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YOUR WORLD TODAY
Monks Demanding Democracy in Myanmar; Bush Slaps More Sanctions Against Myanmar; Game Time: Halo 3 Flying Off the Shelves; United Nations General Assembly
Aired September 25, 2007 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JONATHAN MANN, CNN ANCHOR: Demanding democracy. Myanmar's monks get a big boost in their ongoing quest for political freedom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Americans are outraged by the situation in Burma.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. president uses his view in general assembly speech to slap more sanctions against Myanmar's military regime.
MANN: And game time. Halo 3 is flying off store shelves like a hero hurdling through the planet earth.
CHURCH: It's 10:30 p.m. in Yangon, Myanmar, noon in New York. Hello and welcome to our report broadcast all around the globe. I'm Rosemary Church.
MANN: I'm Jonathan Mann from Yangon to U.N. headquarters in New York, Dublin to Dubai, wherever you're watching, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.
It's an annual outing, a chance for leaders to take the world stage and shine attention on themselves and their most important causes.
CHURCH: It is and we're hearing some familiar themes in today's speeches at the U.N. general assembly. But also, a focus on a nation usually in the shadows of the global spotlight, Myanmar.
MANN: That's right. U.S. President George Bush announcing stiffer sanctions on the country's military regime to support growing demonstrations there for democracy.
CHURCH: Thousands of monks and activists marched for the eighth straight day in the capital Yangon, defying government orders to stay home.
MANN: News agencies say riot police in military trucks have moved in, but haven't left their vehicles.
CHURCH: Now in another major development, Reuters.com reports pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is no longer under house arrest, but is now in a notorious prison there.
MANN: The military has ruled Myanmar, also known as Burma for decades. Dan Rivers looks at how the popular dissent is shaking its iron grip on power.
DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what Myanmar's military regime wants the world to see. One of its leaders, Brigadier General Torre Minmong (ph), respectfully asking senior monks to rein in the protests that have gripped the country for eight days. General Mong reads from a prepared statement, reportedly telling his audience that monks make up only two percent of the country and urging them to stop the demonstrations. And adding that if the protests don't end, the army would be forced to act according to its own regulations. The supplicant image belying an ominous threat.
But outside, there's no sign that the monks or the growing numbers of ordinary people joining them will listen to the regime. These people have suffered for 45 years under one of the world's most repressive princes. Now they sense there could be change in the air. Exile pressure groups say the numbers of protesters continue to grow.
VOICE OF AYE CHAN NAING, DEMOCRATIC VOICE OF BURMA: Right now in Rangoon there are tens of thousands of people peacefully protesting in Rangoon. The number that we get from our reporter inside the country, are much more than yesterday and (INAUDIBLE) days last week. It's not just in Rangoon, it's also in Mandalay and at least as far as we know, 10 cities across the country.
RIVERS: It's difficult to confirm the scale of the protests but it's clear they have grown quickly. Students are joining in just as they did in 1988, hoping democracy will be restored. That uprising ended in awful bloodshed with hundreds being killed. Now with each passing day, there is concern the military will opt for another crackdown, pro-democracy campaigners want the west to act.
SOE AUNG, NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR UNION OF BURMA: Now there should be some action, pervasive action taken by the international community. At least there should be an urgent meeting, emergency meeting, at the Security Council level.
RIVERS: And all the while, the woman who symbolizes the struggle for freedom in Myanmar, Aung San Sue Kyi, remains under house arrest. The Nobel Peace Prize winner was seen briefly over the weekend, as police struggled to stop protesters marching to her home. Now, she, like everyone else, is waiting for the regime's next move. Hoping it will be a step towards reconciliation and peace, not violence and further oppression.
Dan Rivers, CNN, Bangkok.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
MANN: Myanmar is both oppressed you can say and impoverished despite large oil and gas deposits. It is one of Asia's poorest countries.
CHURCH: That's right. It has been under military rule now for more than four decades. And the current (INAUDIBLE) tolerates very little public disdain.
MANN: Amnesty International says 1,200 political prisoners are being held there.
CHURCH: Now, the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions against Myanmar back in 1997.
MANN: Warnings by the military that it might step in have raised fears of a repetition of the last major uprising that was back in 1988. People there remember it well. An estimated 3,000 people were killed when troops stepped in to stop those protests.
U.S. President Bush says Americans are outraged by the situation in Myanmar and want tougher action against the regime.
CHURCH: That's right. We want to take a quick look now at the steps that George W. Bush announced at the U.N.
MANN: Tighter sanctions on military rulers and their financial backers. An expanded travel ban on those responsible for human rights violations. Increased support for humanitarian groups and pressure on the U.N. and all countries to help Myanmar's people reclaim their freedom.
CHURCH: That's what we heard from the U.S. president. Then, of course, the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, got up and spoke at the podium. Our Hala Gorani is standing by outside the U.N. general assembly. Hala, his first time before the general assembly, what's the feeling of how he went?
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well this was the big international United Nations General Assembly debut for Nicolas Sarkozy. He was elected in May, of course. This is really the French leader version 2.0. It is really a different brand of French leader. He and his foreign minister Bernard Kushner (ph) at the United Nations general assembly.
Nicolas Sarkozy said there could be no peace and stability with an Iran that possesses nuclear weapons. He also called for climate change control. And work from international leaders on that aspect of things. And said essentially that France wants to play a role and this is very important and significant -- wants to play a role in the new world order of the 21st century. This is a French leader who wants France's voice to be heard, diplomatically, strategically and militarily.
And of course you mentioned there the U.S. president, George W. Bush, he addressed the United Nations general assembly at a very different time in his tenure. It's one of his last appearances at the United Nations as president. Our White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux has been following the president's trip to New York and his speech to the U.N. general assembly. Suzanne, what was the headline? We heard sanctions against Myanmar or Burma. We also heard Iran, Syria and Iraq mentioned, but very much in passing.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Sure, Hala. It was a very unusual speech by this president. Very little mention of Iraq or Iran, or even the fight in the war on terror. This is a president who obviously does not want to be considered a one-note type of guy, that there are other issues.
I mean, there have been critics who have called him a war monger, he is trying to establish himself as well as a peacemaker. This is about legacy as much as it is really about policy. We heard him address the concerns, Myanmar as well as -- or so-called Burma and the additional sanctions against that military dictatorship. This is an organization group that he started off, of really accusing them somewhat of haunting them somewhat as possibly becoming irrelevant. Then for years, asked for their assistance, pleaded for their assistance when it came to the Iraq war.
Now, he is presenting this type of humanitarian challenges to this organization and even offering some criticism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: The United States is committed to a strong and vibrant United Nations. That the American people are disappointed by the failures of the human rights council. This body has been silent on repression by regimes from (INAUDIBLE) to Caracas to Pyong Yang and Tehran, while focusing its criticism excessively on Israel. To be credible on human rights in the world, the United Nations must reform its own human rights council.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Hala, another one of the main points by the president here is that he's essentially saying the United States is also the good guy as well, not just the bad guy when it comes to the image of the Bush administration and the United States. He talked a lot about the Bush administration, all the dollars that are spent in combating AIDS, malaria and these types of things, poverty. So that is another message that the president was trying to get across.
Also setting the stage for a climate change conference, that's happening in Washington Thursday and Friday. Very cursory mention of the climate change issue when it comes to the United Nations version. How they want to deal with it. Obviously, Ban Ki-Moon, some 80 leaders meeting yesterday to tackle that very critical issue that the president essentially punting that forward for later in the week -- Hala?
GORANI: All right, our Suzanne Malveaux, White House correspondent, following the president's trip to New York and his address to the United Nations general assembly. As we and before we go back to you at the CNN Center, Danielle Ortega, the president of Nicaragua is addressing the U.N. right now, really lambasting what he calls imperialistic and capitalistic oppression of victims in parts of the world according to him, that suffer from big corporations and those who are only in it for big profits. So this is Daniel Ortega, we are expecting later this afternoon the president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yesterday at Columbia University in New York City, he took the questions of students. He prompted jeers and even laughter when he said among other things that there were no homosexuals in Iran. He also stood rather silent for 10 minutes while the president of Columbia University criticized him before opening up the floor to that Q&A session with the president of Iran. All right, so that's what's happening in New York. Today we'll continue to follow the major and notable speeches for you and interventions at the UNGA, but for now, back to you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: There's a lot going on as you point. Hala, before you go though, a few leaders are going to be absent this year as we're finding out. Who is missing out on the opportunity?
GORANI: Well, we have confirmed just a few hours ago and this is rather a surprise. The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, will not be making the trip to New York City. You will remember last year he made headlines when he walked up to the podium and said that essentially George W. Bush was the devil that he could even still smell the sulfur after his speech as he addressed the United Nations country at the general assembly.
Also, Pervez Musharraf, the president of Pakistan, will not be making the trip. Now this is because things seem to be so unstable in his country that it might be just a little bit too risky for him to leave Pakistan now and make the trip because what might happen in Pakistan while he is away could be potentially politically dangerous for him. You will remember last year when (INAUDIBLE) the prime minister of Thailand came to New York. Essentially he was overthrown by the military during his absence. Rosemary, back to you.
CHURCH: All right. All very memorable stuff. Hala Gorani there at the U.N. general assembly.
MANN: Good guys, bad guys, and the quest to save the planet from the domination of evil doers. We're not talking about the United Nations. We are talking about Halo 3 and all the hype.
CHURCH: We are. A highly anticipated video game finally on sale across the United States.
MANN: Is Microsoft's game creating the same buzz in the video game industry that say Harry Potter did for publishing?
CHURCH: Also ahead, coming together for a good cause. Some big names in the music business rerecord some Lennon classics. But could there be a charity song fatigue. We'll take a look.
MANN: Video we're just receiving of U.S. President George Bush meeting with Nuri al Maliki, prime minister of Iraq. As the two men gather on the sideline of the United Nations general assembly, both men under enormous pressure because of events underway in Iraq. But this is the kind of meeting that goes on while the U.N. general assembly is meeting, all kinds of people get together. The president, the prime minister, and the foreign minister of Britain will be meeting with Angelina Jolie. I mean it's just talks, parties. Really, quite the event. Welcome back to CNN International and YOUR WORLD TODAY.
CHURCH: We're seen live around the globe this hour. One of the most highly anticipated video games in years is finally on sale across the United States. Microsoft's Halo 3 is creating the kind of buzz in the gaming industry that Harry Potter did for the publishing industry. Maggie Lake amid the buzz and we're not too sure if she's been exercising though. Some say I think perhaps yes, as part of your research. Maggie, what's the reaction been in the U.S. so far?
MAGGIE LAKE: Rosemary, I'm purely a spectator in all of this. But I can tell you so far there has been a frenzied reaction, some 10,000 stores across the U.S. stayed open into the wee hours Tuesday morning for midnight Halo 3 madness and it certainly was. As you can see, here in New York, thousands lined up to be the first to own this game. In fact, whole city blocks had to be shut down. Rabid fans, including some well-known gamers, said they have been waiting for this day for years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUDACRIS, RAPPER, HALO FAN: It's just a real competitive game and I just -- you know, you see the fans outside waiting. They have been waiting for a very long time to purchase this game, so it's just a great night.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
LAKE: With this game, Microsoft is attempting to break not only video game records but entertainment industry records as well. Halo 3 is expected to be the biggest ever launch in retail entertainment history. Even bigger than the $150 million first weekend take for "Spiderman 3", Hollywood's box office record. To put things into perspective Microsoft is hoping to make $155 million in the first 24 hours alone. One and a half million games have already been pre- ordered. This is not just a U.S. launch, it's a global launch.
By the end of the week Halo 3 will be on sale in 37 countries. Who knows? Halo may actually live up to all of this hype. It is already getting the thumbs up from reviewers, including Dean Takahashi of the "San Jose Mercury News." He says the video game featuring master chief and sidekick (INAUDIBLE) caused him to be physically ill but in a good way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN TAKAHASHI, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: I was getting a little motion sick. You know, the graphics are so intense that sometimes that happens. The thing that will make Microsoft happy is that I kept on going. And like a good soldier, I just couldn't put this game down.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP) LAKE: That's dedication. Gaming review site Medicritic is giving Halo 3 a 96 rating out of 100. Not a bad score for a newcomer. Whether Microsoft beats that entertainment sales record remains to be seen. But already I think it's safe to say that Halo 3 is a blockbuster -- Jonathan?
MANN: Maggie Lake, thanks very much.
MANN: He's about to lose his lunch and that's only part of the lunch. The Halo 3 hype goes into overdrive as the game gets set for its European release in the hours to come. Microsoft is hoping that Halo 3 will in fact give it an edge against Sony and Nintendo which have rival game consoles. This isn't just about a game after all. Jim Bolden has more on a much bigger competition between the big three.
JIM BOLDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Forget the latest film. Maybe the most talked about entertainment release of the year is the video game Halo 3. Microsoft spent millions to develop and market it because unlike many games, it will only play on a Microsoft X-Box 360.
Four or five years ago you just wouldn't think the developers would have taken Microsoft that seriously. Whereas it is now, if you want a game on and you want to excel, you want it on a 360.
BOLDEN: But Microsoft is no longer the new kid on the game console block. That title belongs to the wildly popular Nintendo Wii. It has been out less than a year but it's reported more Wiis have sold than Xbox 360s, despite the popular Halo series.
ELLIE GIBSON, EUROGAMER.NET: Halo 3 is very much a traditional game of its type. It's set in space, it's about shooting. It's a character that gamers recognize. It has become very iconic. Whereas Nintendo Wii is a different demographic they're aiming at. They're aiming at women and younger kids and older people.
BOLDEN: The Wii with its cartoon-like characters and family friendly games was a huge gamble for Nintendo who had lost its mantle as the top games company. But the Wii caught on quickly and became a must have last Christmas, despite a few smashed TVs thanks to the first generation wand slipping out of hands. Until the Wii, Nintendo became an (INAUDIBLE) to Sony. Now Sony's Playstation series tries to appeal to the hard lined gamers and families.
JONATHAN ARBER, OVUM: And then you have Sony which is somewhere in the middle and appears to be floundering at the moment.
BOLDEN: Sales of Playstation 3 lag behind its competitors. But a cut in price and a slew of new games coming out next year might put the PS-3 back on track. Until then it's the XBox 360 but its online shoot them up gaming and social networking appeal for gamers. Versus the Wii with bowling, tennis and baseball and a few new titles to capture the bulk of the console sales. Jim Bolden, CNN, London.
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CHURCH: All right, well, some Lebanese lawmakers live in fear for their lives.
MANN: Dozens of them in fact. Ahead on YOUR WORD TODAY, now that presidential elections are on hold, the shrinking majority looks over its shoulders wondering who could be the next target.
CHURCH: Also ahead, the need for speed gets a British driver in big trouble. Stay with us for that.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone, I'm Kyra Phillips at the CNN Center in Atlanta. More of YOUR WORLD TODAY in just a few minutes, but first a quick check on stories making headlines right here in the U.S. A snarled and smelly mess in Philadelphia right now. A garbage truck with a full load has wrecked on I-95 in suburban Philly. That cargo caught fire and has back up traffic for miles. The trash also rained down on the Amtrak rail lines below and that's causing delays for passengers in the northeast corridor.
Picketers are walking the line for a second day. Negotiations between GM and the United Auto Workers union resumed. But as bargainers work on a deal, 73,000 union workers at General Motors are off the job. That means that 80 facilities in 30 states have been shut down. Workers across the country are hoping for a quick resolution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOS: We'll hang tight and we'll man the hall and stand tight. And hopefully the American people will agree and say, you know, It's time to, you know, pony up and let's get this thing done.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, what do you think ...
MOS: Well I'm not really happy about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody wants to do this. Nobody wants to do this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I figured if they would have had it all worked out and we would have had it settled by this time. I didn't think there was that many hang-ups. I mean, I guess, a lot of it with most everybody around here, you know, we just want job security. We want to know we have a future.
MOS: It's tough. You know, the whole situation is tough. But you can't think about today you have to think about tomorrow.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: Auto experts say that the strike is costing the struggling automaker about 12,000 vehicles per day. But car buyers shouldn't see any shortages in the short run.
More trouble for disgraced quarterback Michael Vick. A local prosecutor in Virginia is seeking an indictment on the dogfighting charges. Vick pleaded guilty to federal charges last month. He admitted helping kill dogs and funding the operation. He faces up to five years in prison. Sentencing is set for December 10th. Convictions on state charges could potentially add decades more to Vick's sentence.
Just into CNN right now, a juror in the trial of polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs has been removed. Gary Tuchman joins us now from St. George, Utah. Gary, what happened?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyra this is a very unexpected development. The jury had been deliberating over two days, for about 13 hours. Last night the jury members went home and said they were very close to a verdict, just wanted to sleep on it. We expected to have a verdict maybe around now. When we came in, a court official told us there was a "event with one of the jurors."
What does that mean? They haven't told us yet. We're expected to go into Court minute to find out that event. But what's going to happen is they're bringing an alternate juror in. There were four alternate jurors in this case, they were told to go home, not talk about the case, and be ready to be called in if there was an event. That event has occurred, that juror is coming, we're going to come into court and find out what the event was. It could range anything from a sickness to hearing something about the case on the news media. What that means is deliberations will have to start over.
Warren Jeffs is being tried on being an accomplice to rape. Allegedly he presided over and ordered previously to that a marriage of a 14-year-old girl to a 19-year-old man back in 2001. He is accused of doing this many, many times. This trial pertains to one particular event. If this polygamist leader is found guilty of this charge he could face five years to life in prison. But right now, it looks like the deliberations will have to start all over -- Kyra?
PHILLIPS: All right, Gary Tuchman, we'll talk to you in about a half-hour.
Remembering the Little Rock 9. 50 years ago today, they made civil rights history. Nine African-American students integrated all white Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas. Federal troops protected them as they entered that school. Days earlier, armed Arkansas national guardsmen kept them out. Today at the same school a ceremony marking that anniversary. The nine former students arrived in police escorted limousines. Former President Clinton is among those honoring those nine.
Meantime, YOUR WORLD TODAY continues after a quick break. I'm Kyra Phillips, see you at 1:00 o'clock Eastern time.
MANN: Welcome back to our viewers. Joining us from around the globe, including the United States this hour, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Jonathan Mann.
CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church.
Here are some of the top stories we have been following this hour. Tuesday saw an eighth day of pro-democracy protests in the secretive Asian nation Myanmar, previously known as Burma.
The demonstrations reportedly ended without incident, but wire services say that riot police and army troops have been seen in Yangon City's center. Reuters.com reports that the pro-democracy activist Ang Sang Suchi (ph) has been moved to a notorious prison there.
MANN: With those events in mind, U.S. President Bush called on the United Nations to uphold its founding pledge to fight for freedom around the world. Mr. Bush called for political change in Myanmar, but also in Cuba, and in Zimbabwe. He also announced the tightening of U.S. sanctions against Myanmar.
CHURCH: During his speech at the United Nations, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the world must not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. He also called on a united front on global climate change, fighting corruption, and achieving peace in the Middle East.
MANN: The new French president is shaking up his country, shaking up his continent and even taking on Iran. And interesting figure making his first appearance on the world stage. Hala Gorani joins us now from the U.N. with more -- Hala.
GORANI: Hello, Jon. Yes, indeed. This is the 62nd U.N. General Assembly. We heard from George W. Bush, the U.S. president. We also heard, as you mentioned, from the Nicolas Sarkozy.
An unconventional speech by George W. Bush, who this time only very much in passing mentioned Iran, Iraq, and the Middle East. And spent a lot more time on perhaps what the United States is doing around the world that he would like to portray as being positive, and working towards peace. For instance, fighting malaria, AIDS and other things.
Let's go to our Senior U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth.
This is your 15th U.N. General Assembly, I understand.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SR. U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Oh, don't remind me.
GORANI: Now, the president of the U.S. as we mentioned, George W. Bush, quickly mentioning Iran. I barely even heard the word actually. But more on Myanmar. What is the aim here?
ROTH: Well, on Myanmar, the intention is to start turning up the heat on the rulers there in Myanmar. It has been difficult in the Security Council to even get the Chinese and French to go along with a resolution criticizing the administration there. So that's -- it has been difficult. Now President Bush has stepped up the heat while the demonstrations on the streets -- I didn't hear much from the French leader, either, on Myanmar.
GORANI: What about Iran, Iraq, the fact that only briefly we heard the names of those countries, that in previous U.N. General Assembly speeches had a "starring role", quoted, unquote? What did you make of it this time?
ROTH: Well, look, I mean, we're going to hear from Iranian leader, and we are not going to hear from Chavez. Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua is railing against the United States earlier today. I think for President Bush, as you mentioned, he has kind of put a small, quick list, almost a subliminal message of troublemakers the U.S. believes together.
The idea is to get the U.N. more involved in Iraq. I think for President Bush it was not to be pointing fingers at so many countries. It was to try to maybe quietly start to pull away from the U.N., in his view, from the bad image he has.
GORANI: All right, Richard Roth, stand by. Let's listen to something the French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in his debut performance at the U.N.
GORANI: Right, as our entire setup falls apart.
Right -- what he said about Iran and peace in the region. Let's listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLAS SARKOZY, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): There will be no peace in the world if the international community falters in the face of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Iran is entitled to nuclear power for civilian purposes, but if we allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, we would incur an unacceptable risk to the stability of the region, and the stability of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, Richard, an unacceptable risk, the French president says, about a nuclear armed Iran. Much closer to the U.S. ideologically and strategically from the French president?
ROTH: That is true. But he also says you can't make all regions, all people speak alike, and act alike. I think he was trying to distance himself on this democracy everywhere in the world front, but clearly, the U.S. has a new friend in France when it comes to getting tough on Iran. And it will be France taking the lead, with the British, Germany, again, along with the U.S. in making sure Tehran complies with resolutions.
But look, we were -- this is where we were a year ago. Now we do have a new French leader and the pressure will be on Tehran. We'll hear what -- if there is any give in his remarks later in the day. I wouldn't expect it. GORANI: We will be following United Nations General Assembly speeches all throughout the day, tomorrow, and throughout the week.
Senior U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth, as always, thanks so much for your coverage and analysis.
That's the view from here for now. As we mentioned, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking later today. We also have some one-on-one interviews that we will be airing in the next 24 hours. Right here on CNN and CNN International.
For now, Jon, back to you.
MANN: Hala Gorani, thanks very much.
A very different kind of story now, much closer to home, perhaps. It is from Apple and it's a warning for iPhone owners. Don't hack the phone. Hackers have figured out how to unlock the iPhone, so it can be used on carriers besides AT&T, which is of course its exclusive official carrier in the U.S.
Apple says, guess what, its next software upgrade will make any hacked iPhone stop working and the warranty won't help you.
CHURCH: If he were alive today, John Lennon would no doubt be leading the fight to stop the suffering in Sudan. In his place, some of the biggest names in music have come together to record an album of cover songs. How's that going? Well, our Alphonso Van Marsh takes a look.
ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, writes a wish for peace in Darfur. It's a signed note to the release of a Lennon cover song charity album in partnership with Amnesty International, calling for an end to the human rights crisis in southern Sudan. This week, Ono celebrated the CD going platinum in Ireland.
YOKO ONO, WIDOW OF JOHN LENNON: I accept this on behalf of myself and John Lennon who really had an incredible feeling for the world. And he wanted to see the world become better for all of us.
VAN MARSH: But that's 15,000 copies of the half million CDs Amnesty says were distributed worldwide.
BILL SHIPSEY, PRODUCER, ART FOR AMNESTY: So it has done very, very well in some markets and, you know, not so well in other markets.
VAN MARSH: Ono gave amnesty the rights to use all of Lennon's post-Beatles songs. Allowing artists like Green Day and U2 to rerecord London classics.
(on camera): Lennon album CD sales aren't anywhere as close as the original charity single "Band-Aid" to help Ethiopian famine victims in 1984. "Do they know it's Christmas" has sold 3.4 million copies in the UK alone. Following Princess Diana's death, on 1997, Elton John's charity single, "Candle in the Wind" sold 4.8 million copies in this country.
(Voice over): Unlike Diana's sudden death, the conflict in Darfur has been simmering for years. Janjaweed militias stand accused of systematic killings, rapes, and torture in the south, much of the world says it at the behest of the Sudan's government.
GENNARD CASTALDO, HMV RECORDS: Because it's been this kind of, unfolding drama, rather than some dramatic immediate thing. That's why maybe the awareness hasn't been as strong. And in the face of it Lennon and all these artists is something that should sell in the hundreds of thousands.
VAN MARSH: Activists say the public may be suffering from charity song fatigue.
PETER GABRIEL, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST, ARTIST: Generally, if you go to a record company anywhere in the world, and say an idea for a charitable compilation album, you get a big yawn. But I think this is something really special.
VAN MARSH: Something special, like The Black Eyed Peas' take "Power to the People" that despite lackluster sales, Amnesty says has raised $1 million for the organization's work in Darfur. Alphonso Van Marsh, CNN, London.
MANN: Good music and a good cause. But sometimes that's just not enough really.
CHURCH: Yeah, I think so, a less about charity fatigue, and more about fatigue for covers. I mean, you like the original song, and you get tired of hearing it again and again, redo, redo.
MANN: Well, we're going to switch gears tell you the business of government getting progressively more difficult in Lebanon.
CHURCH: Just ahead here on YOUR WORLD TODAY, a string of political assassinations leaves lawmakers coping with heavy security precautions. We'll show you what they have to contend with, and later --
MANN: Fast times, I mean, really fast times. A British motorist earns himself a place in the record books, and a jail sentence, after getting caught speeding in a rental car, more on that after the break.
CHURCH: And welcome back. You are watching YOUR WORLD TODAY here on CNN International.
MANN: We are seen live in more than 200 countries and territories across the globe. And sometimes, unfortunately, we have to bring you news like this. What was supposed to have been a meeting to reconcile differences between Shiite and Sunni militia leaders in Iraq, what happened, actually in the volatile Diyala Province, represented the kind of senseless, tragic violence we have seen so much of in the Iraq war.
A suicide bomber attacked the reconciliation meeting, which was being held inside a mosque, a place of prayer in Baquba. U.S. military reports at least 24 people were killed; 37 wounded in the attack. Iraqi interior ministry officials say the attacker detonated a suicide belt during the daily breaking, of the Ramadan fast.
CHURCH: Well Lebanon's parliament adjourned Tuesday without officially beginning the process of selecting a new president. The body has suffered a string of politically motivated killings in the past few months. It's left other lawmakers working under a blanket of security and a blanket of fear. Brent Saddler reports.
BRENT SADDLER, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In subdued underground lighting dozens of Lebanese MPs showed how they live in fear for their lives. They are members of the governing majority here, targeted, they claim, for trying to elect a president of their liking in a chaotically divided parliament.
They move under cover, protected by units of elite guards, supporters of a besieged Western-backed government, and opponents of Syria. Their majority has been shrunk by assassination. The eldest among them took the parliamentary seat of its own son, murdered two years ago, one of four MPs to meet violent deaths, making a defiant stand.
SADDLER (on camera): Are you afraid?
GHASSAN TUENI, ELDEST LEBANESE MP: No, I'm 80.
SADDLER: Eighty years old, and you're not afraid?
SADDLER: No matter the risk?
SADDLER (voice over): He shakes his head. Resolute that despite the unsolved assassinations, parliament must sit. More than 40 MPs are being moved in a fleet of armored cars under an intense security screen, to travel half mile to parliament. Wrapped in an overpowering mile-wide security blanket. Streets cleared of all vehicles, locked down by troops, and a ring of steel.
MARWAN HAMADEH, TELECOMMUNICATIONS MINISTER: Because we are on a killing field, with a serial murderer who is Bashar Assad, trying to kill the MPs one after the other, to abolish the absolute majority.
SADDLER: The latest victim was blown up last week. But the unproven allegations against Syria's president, once Lebanon's undisputed power broker are vigorously denied by Damascus. Syria's political allies in the opposition, which include the radical Shiite movement, Hezbollah, boycotted the session. They contend the U.S.- backed government is bad for Lebanon and bad for the region.
But parliament's speaker offers way out that warring factions might eventually agree on, a consensus president.
HUSSEIN HAJJ HASSAN, HEZBOLLAH MP: I think we must reach the consensus president.
SADDLER (on camera): Otherwise what will happen?
HASSAN: We haven't any other choice.
SADDLER (voice over): But in a half-filled chamber, where pictures of dead lawmakers are placed on parliamentary seats, there is a climate of suspicion and distrust.
(on camera): If assassins kill more pro-government MPs they fear they'll lose their slender majority in parliament here. So this exercise in embattled Middle East democracy seems to be as much about surviving as it is voting. Brent Saddler, CNN, Beirut.
MANN: Just in to CNN International, more bad news to emerge from the Bad Newz Kennels of Atlanta's NFL quarterback Michael Vick. You recall he pleaded guilty to federal charges involved in a gambling ring and dog fighting.
Well, now Michael Vick is facing state charges in Virginia. We just learned that a grand jury in Sussex, Virginia, has handed down indictments in connection with the case. Vick is already facing five years in jail and a $250,000 fine in connection with the federal charges. He's to be sentenced on those December 10th. But the prosecutors in state court in Virginia want their piece of him, too. And now a grand jury has handed down indictments. We are still waiting for exact details.
Still more trouble for a young man who had -- and gave away a very, very big future in pro football. We'll have more details as they come in.
CHURCH: We shall.
But now to a story of a sports mascot who showed some serious game on the playing field.
MANN: A happier story. Take a look at what happened when a fan ran onto the field during a Kansas City Chiefs against a Minnesota Vikings Sunday. Look at him! That's K.C. Wolf helping the security guards tackle the guy with a resounding thud. Can we see that again? That's just fun to watch. Maybe that's why the fired up Chiefs did so well. They came back to win the game, 13 to 10.
CHURCH: Look at that. Very enthusiastic. There should be more mascots like that.
MANN: Every dog has his day. And I guess, you know, KC Wolf got his day.
CHURCH: Enjoying every moment.
MANN: I could watch that all day long.
CHURCH: All right. Well, blocking traffic because you can get through the intersection. We have seen it a lot here.
MANN: Well, who cares? This is L.A. and no one really cares, there.
MANN: I suppose it depends on where you are, but being in a car can be scary. I don't know if you ever had the experience of, say, Paris, with French drivers.
MANN: Or Bangkok, or --
CHURCH: Or Atlanta, perhaps.
MANN: Or Atlanta. Well, let's compare two cities close to home, New York and Los Angeles.
CHURCH: That's right. That's what one transplanted New Yorker says that L.A. is actually worse, believe it or not. He is taking matters into his own hands.
MANN: Chris Lawrence takes us on a nerve-wracking drive with him.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): They have been called rude, even reckless. L.A. drivers are just as liable to forget you are there as flip you off.
MICHAEL SHEN, BLOGGER: That guy, did he just curse at us?
LAWRENCE: It was enough to drive this transplanted New Yorker crazy.
SHEN: And it's not about L.A. bashing. I like L.A.
LAWRENCE: But not its roads. So Michael Shen created a Web site where he could vent. He takes pictures of people he considers bad drivers, and posts his rants on a blog.
Oh, here we go. Here is someone going down the wrong way, in one-way traffic. So, I'll be like, cheese. OK, this is a one-way road. I took his photo. And I let him pass. LAWRENCE: Shen has seen drivers speed up to keep cars from merging into their lane.
SHEN: If they are safely signaling and there is plenty of room, you should not be accelerating and blocking them.
LAWRENCE: His personal favorite the car trying to beat the light and ends up stuck in the middle of an intersection.
SHEN: I mean there is just -- way -- do not walk.
LAWRENCE (on camera): Come on, L.A.'s an easy target. But are we really that bad?
(Voice over): Well, yes and no. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you are almost twice as likely to be killed in a car crash in L.A. as in New York City. San Francisco, Chicago, and Philly all have lower rates, too. But L.A. is safer than San Diego, Houston, Detroit and Dallas.
Somehow that doesn't register with the frustrated folks who post on Shen's Web site.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The driver attempted to back up, out of the middle of an intersection. But then she had to stop to avoid hitting cars that were navigating around her idiotic (EXPLETIVE DELETED) from behind.
LAWRENCE: Bloggers say these roads are home to an infinite number of idiots.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just valet parked my car when I looked up and saw the minivan, in the photo, accelerate and rear-end the SUV in front of him. Get this. Both were stopped at a red light.
LAWRENCE: Chris Lawrence, CNN, Los Angeles.
CHURCH: OK, from bad driving to fast driving. A British man is facing 10 weeks in jail after he was clocked driving a Porsche 275 kilometers an hour.
MANN: That's 172 miles an hour. He's probably not even out of second gear in a Porsche. But that is a speed record, nonetheless, for anyone caught by a speed camera.
CHURCH: That's right. But it is costing his job and, of course, his driving license. Philip Reay-Smith has the story.
PHILIP REAY-SMITH, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): High performance cars can reach great speeds and it was driving in this Porsche at 172 miles an hour that Timothy Brady earns himself a place in the record books and a prison sentence for the dubious honor of being Britain's fastest speeder.
INSPECTOR MARTIN PERCIVIL, THAMES VALLEY POLICE: The reaction and breaking time for this incident, at 172 miles per hour, would take over -- 500 meters to stop. If you put it in more obvious terms, a blink of an eye is on average, 0.3 seconds in this case, the car would have traveled 23 meters.
SMITH (on camera): Timothy Brady was driving a brand-new Porsche 911 Turbo, just like this one that he had taken from the car hire company that he used to work for. He was clocked on this road, the A420 Upswitch (ph), here, traveling at 172 miles an hour.
Now, of course, legally on this kind of road, it would be impossible for me to get anywhere near that kind of speed.
But I can on a racetrack.
The thing is here we are on a closed course, no traffic coming in the other direction, and with an experienced racing driver at the wheel. You can imagine on a public road how dangerous it would be.
(Voice over): Road safety campaigners say driving like this on public roads costs lives. They have criticized the 10-week sentence as too lenient. Besides prison, Timothy Brady has also left his left as a car hire firm driver.
SMITH: Philip Reay-Smith, ITV News, Oxfordshire.
CHURCH: Wow. That wasn't a Porsche, though.
MANN: It wasn't a Porsche. But you have to be tempted to try it. You have to be. Don't do it. But have to be tempted, don't do it, in that helmet.
CHURCH: No, not cool.
MANN: On a more serious note, we will have the latest on Michael Vick. In still more trouble for the gambling and dog fighting ring he was part of. That story just doesn't end. That's it for this hour. I'm Jonathan Mann.
CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN. Stay with us.
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