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Bo Xilai Defiant At Trial Today; Man Returns From Dead; Bookkeeper Talks Georgia Elementary School Gunmen Down; Crowdsourcing Cellphone Battery Temperatures To Predict Weather; Turkish Government: Syria Crossed All Red Lines

Aired August 22, 2013 - 08:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream.

Now the so-called trial of the century gets underway in China for disgraced politician Bo Xilai.

Egypt's long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak is set to leave prison.

And an unlikely new way to tell the temperature from how hot your phone is.

Now, in Chian, the trial of Bo Xilai has adjourned after some surprises on day one. Now the once high profile politician denied some of the charges against him.

Now the proceedings are taking place at the Intermediate People's Court in Jinan. There has been a heavy police presence outside the court. And the crowd includes curious onlookers, foreign journalists, and Bo supporters.

Now he was considered a charismatic politician and still has considerable support in Chongqing where he used to be party boss.

Now some of the charges against Bo date back to when he was the mayor of Daljian. Now prosecutors say that he accepted bribes from a businessman there.

Now the court says Bo has contested that claim. He's also accused of embezzlement and abuse of power.

Now a court will resume tomorrow, 8:30 a.m. local time. David McKenzie joins us now live from Jinan, and David, some very compelling testimony today in the Bo Xilai trial. Bo Xilai himself very defiant.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, very defiant and certainly not striking the pose of someone who is feeling that this trial is predetermined. So unclear yet Kristie whether that is the case.

It's worth remembering right off the top that the Communist Party controls the courts, the police and the judges here. So many feel that to even to this point they would have had to have come up, or at least feel comfortable with the endpoint. But, still, dramatic testimony from Bo Xilai, dramatic denials of most of the charges so far that have been brought up against him.

At one point even, Kristie, according to those statements from the court, he cross examined one of the witnesses and got him to admit that there was some holes in the evidence. He really appeared much like he did when he disappeared early last year, flanked by two policemen without handcuffs. The first pictures, in fact, of Bo Xilai since his downfall.

He really was one of the most charismatic and powerful figures in Chinese politics. And this trial is certainly a seminal event in modern Chinese political history -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: And David, the scene outside the courthouse, did you see the heavy police presence? Could you give us an idea of the security and the amount of control in place?

MCKENZIE: Very heavy control outside the courthouse. This road behind me was blocked for the majority of the day, certainly during the proceedings. There was tightly controlled entry points and exit points, several blocks, in some cases, from the courthouse. It's unclear how he got to the court, Bo Xilai. There were several buses, armored vehicles, even, but this has all been very carefully managed.

But it is significant, I think, that court here has been releasing these statements as they happen, as it were, using Weibo, the Twitter-like site here in China. It does show some openness, or at the appearance of openness. And people have been commenting and discussing this trial very heavily through the day here in China.

LU STOUT: Yeah, those Weibo updates very valuable for the many, many reporters, including yourself there, who could not get access inside the courtroom.

Could you tell us who was inside the courtroom? And were any relatives of Bo Xilai in there?

MCKENZIE: We can confirm that there were several close relatives of Bo Xilai as well as invited guests. Just over a dozen, quote, "media professionals" -- now that would include the trusted state media here in China.

Now this was meant to be -- well, was called an open trial, though all the attempts by CNN and other international media to get access inside were pushed aside. So the open trial should be taken with heavy quotation marks.

But this trial has lasted a day now. It's going into tomorrow. Some hints it might go even beyond that. There's a conviction rate of more than 99 percent, according to the State Department in the U.S., of criminal trials here in China. So we shouldn't really think that the Communist Party would take any chances with this trial.

But, you know, it's early days yet. And Bo Xilai certainly striking a pretty defiant figure. And on Weibo, also, just amongst people here on the street. Some of them feel that he's come across, at least, as more coherent in some cases than the prosecution.

LU STOUT: All right. David McKenzie reporting live for us from Jinan, China. Thank you.

Now a UN team is urgently trying to gain access to the site of Wednesday's alleged massacre outside Damascus.

Now Syrian opposition groups claim that more than 1,000 people were killed, including many children when government forces unleashed chemical weapons.

Now the claims have not been independently verified, but if true would mark a brutal escalation in the conflict.

Now shocking video posted online of the purported victims has prompted an outcry of condemnation and calls for UN weapons inspectors who are already in Damascus to be given immediate access to the sites.

Now the Turkish foreign minister says all red lines have been crossed in Syria.

Now Arwa Damon is tracking developments from neighboring Lebanon. She joins me now live from Beirut. And Arwa, we have seen earlier today, I mean, the video of the gagging children, of the choking victims, of the limp bodies, but are we any closer to confirming whether chemical weapons were used?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not independently, no. And that UN team has yet to access the site that's going to be hinging on whether or not the Syrian government -- and they are guests of the government -- help facilitate and allows them to access the site. And it's also further compounded by the fact that presumably some sort of cease-fire would need to be brokered between the Syrian regime, the Assad regime, and the rebel fighting force that does hold this swath of territory just to the east of the capital Damascus itself.

That being said, there have been a number of chemical weapons experts who have looked at the video, very difficult for them to determine something from just the images. One leading expert, though, telling CNN that he did believe that it was some sort of a toxic agent, possibly a toxic nerve agent. But pinpointing exactly what at this stage not possible unless someone is actually able to get into those areas -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now in the wake of this allegation, the international community has issued warnings. We heard earlier from France, saying that there must be force if there was a chemical attack on civilians. With those words and the international outcry have any effect on Bashar al- Assad?

DAMON: Highly unlikely.

We've been seeing this increase in rhetoric against the Syrian regime pretty much since this all began around three years ago and nothing that's been said on the global stage has really served to alter the way that the Syrian regime is choosing to deal with this unfolding crisis.

We heard harsh words from Turkey, harsh words from France. America saying it wanted to look into the incident, not exactly taking that solid stance.

At this stage, Syria does not need rhetoric, Syria needs action. And it is up to the current global leaders to figure out a way to come together and find a solution for the country, because this is, after all, happening on their watch.

The death toll up to 100,000 people dead, 2 million displaced to neighboring countries, millions more displaced internally. This is a crisis of epic proportions that people really need to step up to the plate and begin truly turning their words into action, Kristie.

LU STOUT: And as we're waiting for confirmation on this latest chemical warfare claim, what has been confirmed about Syrian stockpiles of chemical weapons? What do we know that they have and they have been willing to use?

DAMON: Well, the U.S. intelligence services do believe that they do have sarin gas, they do have other toxic and biological weapons. It was believed at one point that they were moving around their locations. There was one specific suspected weapon -- chemical weapons production facility outside of Aleppo that we went to back in December. That was being extremely heavily guarded.

The western intelligence community does, however, believe at this point that the chemical weapons are in the hands of the Syrian government, not in the hands of the opposition. One of the great concerns, though, when it comes to western countries, to the United States, is that these chemical weapons would end up in the hands of extremist groups that have affiliated themselves with the Syrian opposition, but who also have links to al Qaeda.

LU STOUT: CNN's Arwa Damon reporting. Thank you.

Now you're watching News Stream. And still to come on the program, a gunmen enters an elementary school in the U.S. state of Georgia, but the bravery of one woman averted tragedy. We'll have that story ahead.

And also a new way of tracking the weather using your mobile phone's internal temperature -- or rather thermometer. Stay with us.


LU STOUT: Welcome back. You're watching News Stream.

And over to Egypt now where former President Hosni Mubarak could soon be released from prison and placed under house arrest. Now it is not clear when exactly that might happen. His lawyer tells state run TV that the release could come today.

Mubarak is still facing retrial on charges of inciting violence against protesters, but a court has ordered him freed because he's been held past the maximum time he can be detained before being convicted.

Let's take a look back at how one of the longest serving presidents in the world ended up in jail.

Now Hosni Mubarak, he took office in 1981 after the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat. He stayed in power for 30 years until the Arab Spring in January of 2011. And three weeks after massive protests against his rule, Mubarak resigned on the 11th of February 2011 handing power over to the military.

Now two months later, he was detained along with two of his sons.

Now Mubarak was then ordered to stand trial, accused of corruption and ordering the deadly shooting of protesters. And then in June of 2012, he was sentenced to life in prison.

But just half a year later, an appeals court overturned his sentence. A retrial was granted. And again, that case is still live despite the order for his release.

Now Mubarak's expected release, it comes at a very difficult time for Egypt.

We've got Nick Paton Walsh, he is outside Cairo's Tora Prison, it's where Mubarak is being held. He joins us now.

And Nick, I mean, why did the military allow Mubarak to be released now, given all the unrest there?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: It is astounding in terms of the timing. As you explained, it really is a technicality. The last of the corruption charges against him were addressed by a court yesterday. And they agreed, really, with his lawyer's argument that he paid the money back he was accused of stealing and had been in jail, as you say, a longer than the two years which is (inaudible) under Egyptian law unless you've been convicted of a crime.

The timing, as I say, is astounding, simply because the volatile climate to release this enormously divisive figure who just many Egyptians lost their lives deposing in 2011 out of the prison I'm standing in front of, Tora Prison, where he's languished for some time into what's either going to be a military hospital, as some suggesting on state media, a form of house arrest in more auspicious conditions.

Now, let me explain to you what we've been seeing here for the last hour. A remarkable scene, in fact. A group of men turned up with a long flag, as a banner, an Egyptian banner. Reeled out and held it up across the back of cameras amassed outside the jail. And then one of us noticed in the sky, in fact -- we don't know where it originated from -- but a helicopter had just passed away.

We have no idea who was on that at all, but with that certainly at some point today many believe he will be transported from he jail by military helicopter they say. Moments after that, another military helicopter passed overhead and circled (inaudible) well known Egyptian military tactic, signaling their presence somewhere.

But people are really looking to see quite what the reaction on the streets would be when this release takes place if it hasn't already.

And really what's profound about this is the lack of protests. We have seen two or three people turn up here holding placards, pictures of Hosni Mubarak, one woman showering a crowd with sweets in celebration with candy. I think really people are amazed in Egypt, and the observers are amazed to see that this figure is being released by a military who are claiming to uphold democratic credentials of the country, but clearly at this moment have decided they would rather look after one of their own, but also believe they have adequate control on the politics of this country and with their military installing a curfew on the streets, that they could hold back any protest were that to be on the streets as a result of this release -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Nick Paton Walsh giving us the reaction, the sense on the scene there. He's reporting outside the Tora Prison in Cairo where Mubarak has been held. And we are waiting his release. Nick Paton Walsh reporting live from Cairo for us.

Now, a bookkeeper at an elementary school in the U.S. state of Georgia is being hailed as a hero after talking a gunmen into giving up his weapon and surrendering to police.

Now her name, Antoinette Tuff. And she put her fear aside. She used words to end what could have been a tragic outcome.

Now a dramatic 911 call highlights Tuff's role as a go between, between the gunman and authorities.

Now for more, let's go straight to CNN's Martin Savidge in Decatur, Georgia. And Martin, tell us more about the heroic actions of this school bookkeeper.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it's an astounding story, Kristie. And right now classes have resumed for the first time inside of that school since this drama played out two days ago.

And think of this confrontation as it took place. You had one man walk in with an assault rifle and nearly 500 rounds of ammunition. He goes up against one woman who has only her words and yet she is the one that saved hundreds of lives, according to authorities. This was that call.


911 OPERATOR: DeKalb police, what's your emergency?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a remarkable call.

ANTOINETTE TUFF, SCHOOL BOOKER: I'm on 2nd Avenue in the school and the gentleman said, tell them to hold down the police officers are coming, he say he's going to start shooting. So tell them to back off.

SAVIDGE: Alone in the office of an elementary school, booker Antoinette Tuff is face-to-face with a man armed with an assault rifle and close to 500 rounds of ammunition.

TUFF: He just went outside and started shooting.



TUFF: Oh, can I run?

911 OPERATOR: Where -- can you get somewhere safe?

TUFF: Yes, I got to go. No, he was going to see me running. He's coming back.

SAVIDGE: It isn't just her life on the line but hundreds of students and staff, as well as dozens of police officers now outside.

TUFF: He said to tell them to back off. He doesn't want the kids, he wants the police, so, back off and -- what else, sir?

He said, he don't care if he die. He don't have nothing to live for. And he said he's not mentally stable.

911 OPERATOR: OK. Stay on the line with me. OK? Put the phone down if you have to but don't put it on hold so I can't hear.


911 OPERATOR: Can you tell me where you are?

TUFF: In the front office with him.

SAVIDGE: He's got an AK-47. She's only armed with her words and puts her own life on the line.

TUFF: I can let them know that you have not tried to harm me or do anything with me or anything. That you want -- but that doesn't make any difference. You didn't hit anybody.

So -- OK. Let me ask you this, ma'am. He didn't hit anybody. He just shot outside the door. If I walk out there with him -- if I walk out there with him so they won't shoot him or anything like that.

SAVIDGE: To connect with the suspect, she pours out her own personal story, of a marriage that suddenly ended.

TUFF: Well, don't feel bad, baby. My husband just left me after 33 years. But -- yes, you do. I mean, I'm sitting here with you.

SAVIDGE: And her own thoughts of suicide.

TUFF: We all go through something in life.

No, you don't want that. You're going to be OK.

I thought the same thing. I tried to commit suicide last year after my husband left me. But look at me now. I'm still working and everything is OK.

SAVIDGE: There's no hint of fear, no sense she's lying to save herself. Her cool, collect nature moves even the police dispatcher.

911 OPERATOR: Ma'am, you're doing a great job.

SAVIDGE: Moments later after convincing the gunman to put down his weapon and lay down himself, the police barge in.

And only then does Antoinette Tuff finally break down.

TUFF: Let me tell you something, I haven't been so scared in all the days of my life.

911 OPERATOR: Me neither, but you did great.

TUFF: Oh, Jesus.


SAVIDGE: And it's at that moment that you realize just how human she really is having (inaudible) with this remarkable ordeal that went on for almost an hour.

It should be pointed out that Ms. Tuff has been with this school district now about eight years, been in this school about three years, but on that particular day she originally was not scheduled at that time to be in the office. She was there due to a last minute change. Talk about fate, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Wow. Incredible story. And such a dramatic 911 call.

Martin, has anyone talked to Antoinette since the incident and asked her about how she was able to find the courage to talk the gunman down?

SAVIDGE: She has spoken and says that it was her faith that guided her. And many people acknowledge that. But they also say, you know what, god was not in that office at that moment, you were and you were the person that made all the difference. She is now at home resting. But a lot of people want to know a lot more about this woman today -0- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yeah, remarkable woman who literally put her life on the line. Martin Savidge reporting live from George for us. Thank you.

You're watching News Stream. And still to come, your smartphone it does a lot more than just make calls. But did you know that the battery can crowdsource weather temperature data? We'll explain how it works. Stick around.


LU STOUT: Coming to you from a rather smoggy Hong Kong you're back watching News Stream.

Now your smartphone is smarter than you think. Now the UK-based open signal has developed a way to crowdsource the weather using data from your mobile battery. That's right, you can tell how hot it is outside thanks to your phone's energy source.

So how does it work? Well, let's talk to the co-founder and CTO of Open Signal. James Robinson joins me now from our London bureau.

James, good to see you. And explain this for us. How can I use my mobile phone to tell the temperature?


It's surprising, isn't it? Because obviously the battery temperature in your mobile phone measures the temperature of your battery, that's a given. But it's not just influenced by what you're doing with your phone. The temperature of your battery is influenced by the temperature of your surroundings. So this sort of signal among the noise of what's going on of how you use your phone, which is the atmospheric temperature.

So it's important to note that just an individual phone is not going to tell you -- give you a very accurate results, but what we discovered, and it was quite by accident, was that when you average over lots of phones you're able to get really reliable readings of atmospheric temperature, the outdoor temperature from smartphone batteries.

LU STOUT: So the crowdsourcing is key so you can get that average.

But how accurate is the temperature data collected by my mobile phone battery and the mobile phone batteries of other participating in this program? And let's say if my phone is in my purse or if it's in my pocket, does that affect the reading at all?

ROBINSON: Yeah. So that's a great question.

Firstly, so, it absolutely does depend on where your phone is. So if I just measured my phone temperature, the battery temperature of my phone, it would depend really strongly on where it was -- whether it's in my pocket, my bag, whether I'm inside or outside, but when you average over a lot of users what you find is sort of user behavior is quite constant. So if you imagine from day-to-day if you look at that average temperature over a lot of users you'll find that some days it's slightly higher than other days. And that's the influence of the outdoor weather temperature.

So as you say the crowdsourcing aspect is absolutely key. And the more readings that you get, the more accurate the techniques become. So we experimented with about 1,000 readings per city. And we looked at all these different cities. And we found across periods where the temperature was ranging about 15 degrees, that on average -- so 15 degrees Centigrade - - on average you were out by only about 1.5 degrees kind of day.

So over quite -- over a period where the weather is changing quite a lot your able to see quite precise readings, get quite reliable results.

And as I say, with more users you get more and more reliable results.

LU STOUT: Yeah, it sounds like you're success really hinges on how big your crowd is.

Your weather signal app, again it crowdsources data from the mobile batteries of many users, but right now how many are using your app?

ROBINSON: So, weather signal will be launched a few months ago. And it has 100,000 downloads. It's worth saying the original app that we used to do this open signal is not about weather at all. We were just collecting battery information because we were interested to see whether poor cell phone signal led to poor battery performance. So we really stumbled upon this by accident.

But Open Signal has 4 million users. So we have a really large data source there. And we're trying to create now a real-time data source, which is Weather Signal so you can see, you know, how the weather is changing through the day.

LU STOUT: Now today with your app and the technology and all of our mobile phones and the batteries, we can tell the temperature. But what will it be able to do it in the future. Could your technology be able to predict the weather?

ROBINSON: Absolutely.

It's worth saying as well that it's not just temperature. I mean there's so many different sensors on devices. Most devices have a light sensor. It's there to adjust the screen brightness. Many devices have pressure sensors now. There's some which even have humidity sensors.

So really even a single smartphone is actually a very powerful tool, very powerful piece of scientific toolkit if you like. But then when you realize that there's actually, you know, over a billion smartphones out there, this has the potential to become one of the most powerful tools for scientific data collection on the planet. And when you have a lot of data it's going to mean that you're going to be able to create much better forecasts, especially over short time periods.

LU STOUT: Yeah, you're basically saying all of our mobile phones together could create one huge weather station. It's a great story. Thanks for sharing with us.

I hope our Mari Ramos was listening it to it just now.

James Robinson of Open Signal. Thank you. Take care.

You're watching News Stream And still to come after the break, we'll have an in depth look at the Bo Xilai trial. An expert on the case will join me.


LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.

Now former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak could be released from prison in the coming hours. He won't be a free man as he still faces a retrial for the most serious charge against him over his role in the death of hundreds of protesters in the 2011 uprising. Now the military says he will be placed under house arrest.

International condemnation is growing after claims that more than 1,000 people died in a chemical attack in Syria. Now the Turkish foreign minister says Syria has crossed all the red lines and accused the United Nations of failing to act. An opposition leader says a government attack killed 1,300 people on Wednesday, but the Syrian government denies the claim.

And a school office worker in the U.S. state of Georgia is being called a hero. Antoinette Tuff came face-to-face with an armed man who had walked into her school and managed to talk him down. Now shots were exchanged between the suspect and police, but no one was hurt.

Now according to a court in China, fallen politician Bo Xilai said he had been forced to confess to crimes against his will as his corruption trial got underway.

Now Bo, faces charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power in China's most sensational case in years.

Now Bo's trial is the latest turn in a long running saga. And reporter John Garnaut wrote a book called "The Rise and Fall of the House of Bo." He joins us now live from Canberra, Australia.

John, good to see you. Thank you so much for joining us here on CNN International.

And I first want to get your reaction to what we saw and heard earlier today. Bo Xilai in court on day one, very defiant. He says he admitted to charges against his will. Did that surprise you?

JOHN GARNAUT, AUTHOR: Well, it did, because this is not the way that Chinese trials are supposed to happen. The way it's supposed to work is they form the judgment. It's a political judgment and you work backwards and you find the confessions to justify those charges.

So Bo Xilai didn't play by their script. And so this is quite a turn up. And it's really kind of set the cat amongst the pigeons, so to speak.

LU STOUT: Yeah. His defiance was surprising, to say the least, today.

Now the son of Bo Xilai, Bo Guagua, we know that he is now studying at Columbia University in the U.S. His name came up today. In fact, he was named in the bribery charges against his father.

So what does that mean for Bo Guagua? What's next for him?

GARNAUT: Look, this is pretty tricky, because one of the -- there's all sorts of conventions and unspoken rules in Chinese politics. And usually the -- you know, they leave the children alone. So bringing Bo Guagua into this proceeding. He's unusual and unexpected. As you said, he's kind of already exiled or marooned in the United States.

And the way the Chinese politics works is, you know, but for this trial he could have expected to have quite a future. You know, Bo Xilai himself is a son of a great revolutionary leader. And his son could be expected to follow in his footsteps to some extent.

So bringing him into this is complicated, it's unexpected, because for one thing, you know, lots of Chinese officials are -- also have children who are involved in business and they wouldn't want similar allegations pointed toward their children at all.

So I think it's quite a -- you know, it's a risky move for the Chinese authorities.

LU STOUT: And I also wanted to ask you about that image of Bo Xilai that went viral today on both western social media, especially on Sino Weibo inside China. I mean, today was the first time that Bo Xilai was seen by the public in 17 months. Did anything strike you when you saw that image of Bo Xilai in court today?

GARNAUT: Look, I mean, Bo Xilai -- you know, he's a handsome man. He's a charismatic man. And we're used to seeing him as, you know, the center of the room. He's -- you know, he's one -- he's a guy that loves to make a big entrance. He's very, very careful -- you know, he's quite narcissistic, really, about how he presents himself. So to see him in court today looking really humble with those great hulking policemen next to him. He's just wearing a plain white shirt. His hair is cut a bit shorter than usual. You know, he just looks like -- you know, I could imagine people thinking, well, that could have been my dad.

So in effect, you know, it looked like the picture of sincerity. I mean, it could actually have been quite effective from his point of view, in adding credibility to his testimony.

LU STOUT: It is incredible. Bo Xilai is actually 6'1. And yet he looks absolutely diminished there flanked by those two police officers.

And also, John, I wanted to get your thoughts about the expected sentence? We don't know if it's going to come out tomorrow or the days ahead, but your thought about how will Bo in the end be punished? And will it send a signal?

GARNAUT: Look, it's been a really tricky case from beginning to end. And so one of the things about this case is -- I mean, the things that Bo was really accused of are great, big political offenses. You know, disregarding the rule of law, ironically, persecuting people, even presiding over a system of torture, stripping assets from entrepreneurs. But he's been tried for none of that. He's been tried for what are relatively petty, really, in the scheme of things -- embezzlement and financial crimes.

And, you know, perhaps they're even flimsy crimes. You know, he's not -- he wasn't about making money, per se himself. He used money for political ends.

So, you know, how they weigh all that up, it's been a negotiated process with patrons, with families. You know, I'm expecting they've got to put him away for awhile, because there's a risk that he becomes a martyr in jail if the public aren't convinced of his guilt. So it's got to be more than 10 years. You know, I'm expecting 12, 15 years. But it certainly won't be -- you know, it won't be the death sentence. And it won't turn out to be a life sentence because of his status and his stature.

LU STOUT: You know, it's interesting that you mention that there is that risk factor that he could be seen as some sort of a martyr. We know that the party, they want to move on from this. I mean, this scandal has just tarnished the Chinese Communist Party. They want to move on to launching the economic reform plans, everything else. Do you think the end of the trial will help bring some closure and to clear the air for the Community Party?

GARNAUT: Look, if it was a convincing trial, that would have been the case. But I mean, all that's happened is really everything that Bo stood for has not been kind of destroyed in this case. In fact, more questions are being raised already.

So, look, I don't think it's going to be the bookend of this period of great turmoil that the party has experienced. It's going to keep going. You know, who else is next? Will it flow onto other senior leaders? I mean, there's all sorts of rumors flying around.

What happens to Bo's red revivalist movement? You know, he became quite a peanut boy for the Maoist movement, in some ways the leadership is actually taking on that project for themselves. So Bo will live on even while he's in jail and will continue to have a big impact on Chinese politics for some time to come.

LU STOUT: In fact, you wrote about that Maoist revival living on in today's foreign policy magazine.

We're going to have to leave our interview on CNN here. But John Garnaut, thank you so much for joining us here. Journalist, author of the rise and fall of the House of Bo joining us live from Canberra. Thank you. Take care.

Now, information about Bo's trial has come from the court's social media account. This is its official page on Sino Weibo. And the state run Xinhua News Agency has also provided updates on its English language Twitter account. Of course, Twitter is blocked in Mainland China.

Now Chinese authorities had talked of an open trial for Bo Xilai. But journalists from the international news media were not allowed into the courtroom.

Our David McKenzie had this encounter with police on Wednesday.


MCKENZIE: We're not doing anything wrong. We're standing on the street corner broadcasting live.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have the yellow, yellow rope here.

MCKENZIE: There's the cordon over there. We're behind the cordon. We're not speaking to anyone.

That's why I have this accreditation, so that I can come in this area.

I'm trying to be reasonable. We've been here for two days.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're all looking at you.

MCKENZIE: Who is they?

I'm not responsible for the other journalists. They're all here just trying to do their job like us. We're just here trying to tell the story of this trial. And if you pushed us out we won't be able to do that. I thought this was an open trial, that's what state media said.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. That's why we open to the media here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) off the area.

MCKENZIE: This is also -- I see photographers here and media here and the cordon is right behind me over here. I'm not trying to be difficult, but this is our position.


MCKENZIE: So it seems like they're escalating the situation.

Please, don't take this. This is my...


LU STOUT: Calm, collected very reasonable. Well done, David.

So what happens next? Now David tells us that they negotiated a new live shot position, but as you saw earlier in the show they no longer have a direct view of the court entrance.

Now remember David had been reporting from this spot for nearly two days now, but then the perimeter changed. Several highways around the court are also now blocked off.

Now, the U.S. soldier convicted of handing over classified documents to WikiLeaks wants to live the rest of his life as a woman.

Now the announcement from Bradley Manning, it came in in a statement read on the American news network NBC a short time ago. And for the very latest, CNN's Chris Lawrence joins me now from the Pentagon.

And Chris, I mean, how did Bradley Manning make this announcement? And why did he make it public?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he basically said that his lawyer said on NBC that it's already been out there. I mean, the defense used a picture of Bradley Manning dressed in a wig and wearing makeup as part of its defense. It argued that he was -- had a gendered identity disorder. It brought on psychologists and psychiatrists to testify to that effect.

So it was out there. And I think from the content of that statement that was read from Bradley Manning saying, look, I now want to go completely public. I want to be known as Chelsea. And he said he wants to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.

LU STOUT: And as Bradley Manning undergoes hormone therapy, treatment for sex change to become Chelsea Manning, how does that alter the conditions of where he eventually -- she -- will serve out the sentence?

LAWRENCE: Immediately, it does not. Simply saying I'm Chelsea Manning. I want this doesn't make I so. There is no provision at Ft. Leavenworth for hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery. They do provide psychiatrists, behavioral health therapists, psychologists, a lot of mental health care and counseling, but no prescribed drugs or anything like that to go along with that.

He could petition down the road to try to get transferred to a federal prison where that might be accepted. And his attorney has signaled that he will sue to try to get that hormone therapy conducted at Ft. Leavenworth. But he would have to sue, because right now it's not allowed by the army.

LU STOUT: All right. Chris Lawrence reporting live from the Pentagon for us. Thank you.

Now you're watching News Stream. And still to come, Mari has your world weather forecast. And also up next, Trami batters Taiwan. We've got amazing video of a dam bursting with overflow caused by this powerful storm. That's next. Don't want to miss it. Stick around.


LU STOUT: Welcome back. You're watching News Stream. And let's take a look at a visual version of all the stories we got in the show today.

Now we started in China with the trial of the disgraced politician Bo Xilai. And a little bit later, we'll tell you the amazing story of a man declared dead for 45 minutes before coming back to life.

But now to Taiwan and incredible video from this storm-hit island. This is all caused by Typhoon Trami. And it's made landfall in China.

Let's get the very latest from Mari Ramos. She joins us from the World Weather Center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie, yeah, those pictures are really amazing. I'm going to show you those in just a moment.

Let me first go ahead and show you this satellite image, because I want to show you where the storm is now. It's no longer a typhoon, not even a tropical storm anymore, it's kind of been interacting with land now. Remember, it was way over here to the east of Taiwan and made -- it moved just north of Taiwan, not making a direct landfall, but bringing extremely heavy rain. And now the storm has moved into Mainland China.

It's kind of become more elongated, bringing rain all the way from north of Shanghai all the way down even into northern parts of Vietnam. It's interacting with land. And it's still bringing quite a bit of rainfall across some of these areas.

Now, I want to take you to Taiwan to that video that you mentioned. This is an area that has gotten tremendously heavy rainfall. Up in the mountains in some cases they've had almost a meter of rainfall over the last three days. These images were taken by storm chaser James Reynolds near this dam as the water was being released. And they're releasing the water because they don't want these things to overflow or cause any more accidents.

But there's so much water already in there, the power of the water is just amazing.

And you see it, it just shoots up into the air.

He happened to be there at the right place at the right time to be able to capture this video. And it's just an example -- you know, when they build these dams it is precisely for these kinds of water management, areas downstream are notified that the dams are going to be opened because of all of the rain that they've had. And just imagine the millions and millions of gallons of water that are going through here.

If they didn't have these kinds of water management systems, you would see much more devastation than what we've already had from this typhoon across northern Taiwan.

Like I said, in some cases they've had over a meter of rainfall, or nearly a meter of rainfall over the last couple of days.

Taipei proper has had over a months worth of rainfall than what they would normally get.

So there's the satellite once again. There you see it. As far as rainfall, Taiwan will continue to see some rain, not as heavy as it was before, but notice the rain continuing to spread inland across China, now across the mainland, and even as far south ad Guangdong and Wenzhou.

These areas already saturated from water. This is a picture from Shantou. Even from the air, you can see how much water is on the ground there, making air drops in these areas for people that are trapped by the water that have no access to food or to clean water, even.

A huge concern because thousands -- I should say millions of people have been affected by what was Typhoon Utor, remember that happened before.

If you were in this situation, what would you try to say? I was looking at this picture here and it looks like they have a rug and a few household items. It's really amazing what people are trying to do to survive in these flooded areas. And of course that takes us to the Philippines where there are more than a million people that have been affected, about half of them are living in shelters like this one that you see here.

This little girl, Kristie, look at her, she's crying because she dropped her food after standing in that long line she drops her food. What is she going to do now? We don't know what happened with her, unfortunately.

The other half of people are living in situations like this one. They stayed in their homes. The waters are waterlogged. They're still filled with filth and debris. And they're just trying to get a little bit of relief.

We're still going to see some rain across these areas, just not as heavy. And that's definitely some good news for that region.

With my last 30 seconds, I want to show you some amazing video from the U.S. state of Louisiana. They call it a burp. Watch the trees on the left-hand side. This is a sinkhole that appeared about two years ago in the southern portion of Louisiana. There it goes. Part of the forest. Those trees are probably six or seven stories high and they are completely swallowed up by this sinkhole.

This appeared with somewhat of a warning. They said that the ground began bubbling up somewhat. And then, all of a sudden, just it began to grow and grow and grow. No one was hurt. The areas have been evacuated. And this sinkhole, as you can see, is extremely large. Part of the town, like I said, has been evacuated. And they don't really know what's causing it. That's still under investigation. A burp -- burp.

LU STOUT: Mari, that was amazing. I mean, we just watched an under water sinkhole take down part of a forest in real-time. And it's called a burp?

RAMOS: Yeah, they say a lot of gases, natural gases are coming down from underneath the ground and that's why they are calling it that.

LU STOUT: OK. Thank you for the background on that. Incredible video nonetheless.

Mari Ramos there, thank you.

Now according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the city's fire department is reconsidering its controversial ban on helmet mounted video cameras. So the ban, it was spelled out in a recent edict from the fire chief some six weeks after helmet cam footage from the Asiana Air Lines crash raised questions about the rescue operation.

A 16-year-old survivor was accidentally run over and killed by a rescue vehicle as she lay beneath foam used to put out the fire. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Fire Department will revisit the helmet camera ban, including that video footage can provide valuable information.

Now body cameras are increasingly being used in law enforcement as well. In California, a successful pilot program means all police officers in the city of Rialto will soon be wearing them. And New York City may not be far behind after a federal judge ruled the city stop and frisk policy unconstitutional and ordered cameras for some officers.

Zain Asher has more.


UNIDENTIIFED MALE: Basically this is the camera device.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Rialto, California police officers are wearing tiny portable cameras on their uniforms to monitor their dealings with the public.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's tethered with a battery pack. The battery pack allows us to activate the camera.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were 54 officers involved in the experiment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It does all of the audio and video recording. It is stored inside here internally. It cannot be manipulated, turned off, changed in any way.

ASHER: Now that stops, searches and arrests are being filmed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your hands, let me see your hands.

ASHER: Rialto's police chief says the complaints against officers has dropped 88 percent from 24 complaints last year to only three.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your hands where I can see them.

ASHER: And use of force has also fallen by 60 percent.

CHIEF TONY FARRAR, RIALTO POLICE DEPARTMENT: When they get dispatched to a call or they're going to make a self initiated contact, they turn the device on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing, sir?

What happened? Did your wheel blow up?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I call you a tow truck or something?

I'm able to exit the vehicle, make contact with this person. I can pull this back and I can search through it. There's no manipulating what really occurred or what was really said.

One day, this piece of evidence will serve as most of my reporting.

ASHER: But would wearable police cameras limit racial profiling? And should they be implemented in a city as big as New York? People we spoke to were divided.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that it would help to change the relationship between the police and the people of New York City.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tax dollars can go up to so many other things fixing so many other problems in society other than the camera.

FARRAR: The equipment, it was a little over $100,000 for the initial 70 cameras that we had. Think of the man hours that you can save, the time that you're investigators can save on investigating all of these cases. Quite frankly, money can be better spent by the officers being out on the street.

The savings that we will have will easily outweigh the cost of the equipment.

I think you really have to ask yourself as a police chief can you afford not to do something like this?

UNIDENTIIFED MALE: This is the future of law enforcement.

ASHER: So the big question now is how do you implement wearable cameras in a city as complex as New York? There are 35,000 police officers here. The police department is 300 times larger than that of Rialto, California. Obviously there are serious financial and policy challenges.

Zain Asher, CNN, New York.


LU STOUT: Now, coming up next on New Stream, it is a medical miracle. An Ohio man manages to cheat death. Find out what happened right after the break.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

And we've got a remarkable story for you. In the United States, a 37- year-old man from Ohio actually came back from the dead.

Now CNN's Chris Cuomo has this story about a medical miracle.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After 45 minutes with no heartbeat, 37-year-old Tony Yahle was pronounced dead. He had no pulse, but in what some are calling a medical miracle, something even his doctors can't explain. Yahle was revived.

DR. RAJA NAZIR, PRONOUNCED YAHLE DEAD: I've never seen anybody who we have pronounced dead come back.

CUOMO: In the middle of the night on August 5th, Yahle's wife, Melissa, noticed him breathing strangely. She checked his pulse and tried to wake him up, but no response. In a panic, she called 911. He was rushed to the hospital. Later that afternoon, Yahle's heart went into arrhythmia, then it stopped.

For 45 minutes, doctors and nurses went into overdrive trying to stimulate his heart. Nothing. Presuming they were unsuccessful, his doctor pronounced him dead, told the family and allowed him to see his apparently lifeless body. Yahle's 17-year-old son, Lawrence, was in disbelief.

LAWRENCE YAHLE, TONY'S SON: I pointed to him and I said, "dad, you're not going to die today."

CUOMO: And he was right. Within moments, Tony's heartbeat came back. Suddenly, showing signs of life.

LAWRENCE YAHLE: Went from hopeless to hope in an instant.

CUOMO: After five days in a coma, Yahle came to with no recollection of how he cheated death.

NAZIR: We're really shared this experience with a lot of my colleagues and none of them have ever heard this kind of coming back.


LU STOUT: Wow. That Tony Yehle and his family spoke to CNN earlier. The man who cheated death told us how he's feeling.


TONY YAHLE: I actually feel really good. The last guess the doctors had was it was a possible viral infection that got me the week before. We'd been on vacation and I had had a cold. But as for any actual evidence, they have nothing. They don't have a good reason for why it happened.


LU STOUT: You bet he's feeling good. Great story there.

Now before we go, let's return to our top story this hour. The trial of Bo Xilai. His court appearance today was the first time he's been seen in public since April of 2012. And many people have noted that he does not look all that different, unlike his wife who was hardly recognizable.

But Chinese netizens are also commenting on the appearance of the police officers next to Bo. Now he's a rather tall man, reportedly more than 186 centimeters, that's above six feet. But those cops, they make him look pretty small. Now some say this is evidence of the show trials that China is infamous for.

And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.