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Kenneth Bae Holds Press Conference; Corruption Allegations Surround Sochi Olympics; Jamaican Bodsled Team Looking For Funding; Maria Sharapova Chrashes Out of Australian Open; Hong Kong Woman Arrested For Torture Allegations
Aired January 20, 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 ne and technology meet.
Now the Olympic torch arrives in Volgograd, a city rocked by two blasts a month ago, a reminder of the potential threat facing the Sochi games.
Kenneth Bae, the American held in North Korea for over a year reportedly makes a statement.
And the woman who allegedly abused this Indonesian maid in Hong Kong has been arrested.
Now we are three weeks away from the Winter Olympics in Russia and another security threat has surfaced. A video posted on a jihadi website warns of attacks to disrupt the game's host city of Sochi.
Now the men in the video claim responsibility for deadly blasts in the Russian city of Volgograd last month. Meanwhile, Russia's president says the games will be safe.
Now this new threat comes as the Olympic torch makes its way through Volgograd today. Now CNN's Phil Black was there for the torch's arrival.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Mounting concerns in Russia this morning as the Olympic torch relay makes its way through the bomb stricken city of Volgograd. Two extremists in this video, claiming responsibility for two back to back suicide bombings last month that claimed 34 lives and warning that more attacks could come during the Sochi Olympic Games.
In the hour-long video, the purported suicide bombers are seen constructing explosives and explaining their motives all before heading to their targets triggers in hand. The two men, apparently part of an Islamist militant group, vowing to prepare a present for the Olympics and all the tourists who will come over.
Members of Congress are very concerned.
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, (R) TEXAS: If something does happen, what is the evacuation plan and emergency response plan that would take place?
BLACK: Others worried about Americans heading to Sochi.
SEN. ANGUS KING, (I) MAINE: I would not go. And I don't think I would send my family.
REP. MIKE ROGERS, (R) MICHIGAN: I am very concerned about the security status of the Olympics. I do believe that the Russian government needs to be more cooperative with the United States when it comes to the security of the games.
BLACK: Russian President Vladimir Putin deploying a security force of 40,000 police officers and soldiers to the region.
In an interview with ABC News, Putin says that he will do whatever it takes to keep athletes and visitors safe and pledging that Russia has adequate means of security. Security around the Olympic venue on high alert, metal detectors and bomb sniffing dogs visible as the games get underway in just over two weeks.
LU STOUT: And that was CNN's Phil Black reporting from Volgograd.
Now these Olympics are set to be the most expensive ever coming in at $50 billion. Now the high pricetag, it begs the question where is all the money going? Nic Robertson has that.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It looks like any other new road, even feels like a normal road, but with the rail line just over there it costs a staggering $180 million a kilometer to build, that's $290 million a mile. And it links the Olympic events by the coast with the ski venues in the mountain.
According to noe Russian opposition politician, total cost $8.7 billion. Cheaper quipped one Russian magazine to have coated the road in a thin layer of caviar.
The Olympics so far are widely estimated to have cost over $50 billion.
BORIS NEMTSOV, FORMER RUSSIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: These are the most expensive Olympics games in the history of mankind. This is the most corrupted Olympic games in the history of mankind. My estimation is that they steal about 25 billion, 30 billion U.S. dollars.
ROBERTSON: Nemtsov turned a detailed report. The corruption, he says, a result of cronyism. He also compares cost overruns at previous games, roughly two times original estimates.
NEMTSOV: If you look at the London Olympic games, picture it looks very simliar. Twice, higher. Even Chinese, twice. An average increase in money is about twice. For Putin it's more than four.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA: We are allocating around sum of $12 billion for this.
ROBERTSON: Back in 2007, President Putin vastly outbid South Korea and Austria, pledging to spend $12 billion to host the Winter Games in Sochi.
Keeping to budget was always going to be a touch challenge. Sochi is a sub-tropical summertime seaside resort, the Florida of Russia. And the ski slopes are up in the mountains. Everything almost had to built from scratch. That it is so overbudget is no surprise here.
DMITRI TRENIN, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT: Nothing new, really. So this is the way that things are done in this country. This is the way the country operates.
ROBERTSON: Since the collapse of Communism, Trenin has analyzed the new Russia and Putin's rise in it. The Olympics, he says, exposed systemic flaws.
TRENIN: There's a nexus in this country between the people and the government and the companies that are friendly to the government. And this nexus provides the companies with the money that comes from state coffers.
ROBERTSON: Nemtsov goes further, names names.
The high cost road and railway a contract given to a former KGB friend of Putin's whom, he says, now runs the nation's railroads.
NEMTSOV: Unfortunately, they were no transparent tenders, competition for orders, nothing. Putin distributed orders between his friends.
ROBERTSON: Attempts to reach Putin for comment have been unsuccessful. But here is what the President of the Olympic organizing committee had to say.
DMITRY CHERNYSHENKO, PRESIDENT OLYMPIC ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: This budget also is very transparent. It's in the governmental program number 991. So you can visit the website and learn the figures yourself.
ROBERTSON: 1.5 trillions rubles, $47 billion, the total spend according to the government website. A portion of that, the government says, coming from private investors. But allegations of wastage don't stop at corruption, mismanagement too.
(inaudible) went massively overbudget as well as delayed. When Putin learned the details during a visit last year, he promptly fired the official responsible who equally swiftly left the country, escaping prosecution.
Nemtsov believes the big spend is because of Putin's pride.
NEMTSOV: He wants to show the world that he is the most powerful man, this is his personal triumph. I believe that he wants to show it not only for you, I mean the westerners, but for Russian people too.
ROBERTSON: Government officials admit Putin has been in charge every step of the way. But the money, overblown in media estimates they say, was well spent.
CHERNYSHENKO: President Putin is personally involved and this project under the scrutiny and under control of the government. And we're sure that there will be no inefficient expenditures on this project.
ROBERTSON: With so much of Russia desperate for development, the political stakes for Putin might seem high. But as the government controls most media outlets, the Sochi overspend may have little impact at all.
TRENIN: Whatever happens in Sochi will provoke criticism, but this criticism will do nothing for Mr. Putin's standing and his political power in Russia.
ROBERTSON: Few here think they'll ever see what they consider to be the wasted billions ever again. And many worry that once the Olympics are done, most of these wintertime venues in this seaside resort will barely get used.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Sochi, Russia.
LU STOUT: And as you saw there in Nic's report, some people think Putin is using the Winter Games as a symbol of national pride for Russia. It's not a new concept, the 1936 Berlin games were seen as a propaganda tool by Nazi Germany and an opportunity to demonstrate Hitler's Aryan ideal.
On the other hand, the Tokyo games of 1964 were an opportunity for Japan to show how it had recovered from World War II.
And more recently, the 2008 games in Beijing are seen as a time for China to demonstrate its power on the global stage. At $40 billion, those were thought to be the most expensive games ever before Sochi, of course.
Now you're watching News Stream. And still to come, China's state run news agency is reporting that imprisoned American Kenneth Bae has spoken out from North Korea. We will give you the details.
And bombs rocked Baghdad again, but it has become a frightening part of daily life for residnents.
And take a look at life in the Iraqi capital today.
Plus, we got more on the Australian Open. The weather may have cooled down in Melbourne, but things are heating up on the courts as players get set for the quarterfinals.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
You are watching News Stream. And you're looking at a visual version of all the stories we've got in the show today.
Now we started with the terror threat issued against the Sochi games. And a little bit later, we'll look at the outrage over the alleged abuse suffered by an Indonesian maid in Hong Kong.
But first, China's official Xinhua News Agency is reporting the American missionary who was detained in North Korea has made a statement.
Now Kenneth Bae has been jailed for more than a year there.
Now let's go straight to our Paula Hancocks at CNN Seoul in South Korea for details. And Paula, according to the Xinhua report, what did Kenneth Bae say?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, basically we've seen some photos of Kenneth Bae in Pyongyang this Monday holding this press conference, which according to all reports he had called for himself. Of course, we have to take that at face value.
Now he was escorted in and out of the room by military guards, two military guards. And the U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae basically said that he wanted to be freed and to return home to his family. He did say, according to these reports, that he wanted to call once again on the U.S. government to do its best to try and secure his release.
Now there was one interesting thing that he did say that he obviously made another public apology to the North Korea government. This he has done in the past. And he also said that recent media reports have made his situation more complicated.
Now there is speculation that this could refer to the fact that there have been many people saying that Bae was being held for no reason. In fact, just last month the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said that he had not committed a crime and he was being held in North Korea for no reason.
Now Bae in this statement has basically said that he has committed a serious crime. The North Korean govenrment say that he had carried out hostile acts against the government. And he says that he does apologize for this.
He goes on to say that North Korea does not abuse human rights and saying on the contrary it gave him a lot of humanitarian support.
Now as I say, according to these reports, Bae had said that he had wanted this press conference himself, but prisoners from North Korea that we have seen released quite recently, including the Korean War veteran Merril Newman have said they have made these statements and these apologies under duress. So we must take this at face value.
But certainly very interesting that we're hearing once again from Kenneth Bae -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: You know, we have heard from the family of Kenneth Bae here on CNN making appeals for the release of Kenneth, but what is the U.S. government doing to secure his release?
HANCOCKS: Well, the U.S. government has been very clear that they are lobbying for his release. There are certainly back channels and there are lines of communication open between Washington and Pyongyang, even though the two do not have diplomatic relations with each other.
And back in August of last year, the U.S. was just about to send Robert King, the U.S. ambassador who is a special envoy for human rights in North Korea, he was about to head to Pyongyang and the suspicion was he was going to come out with Kenneth Bae, but the visa was canceled at the very last moment.
So certainly the State Department is insisting they're doing everything they can. The Kenneth Bae family is trying to make sure that this is kept in the public eye. And they are calling for as much to be done as possible. And of course just recently with the NBA veteran Dennis Rodman making that controversial trip to North Korea, that certainly has shown a spotlight on Kenneth Bae as well. So he has been kept in the public eye.
You said that reportedly during this press conference that the reason he wanted to speak as well today was today, Monday, is his mother's birthday. Tomorrow, Tuesday, is his daughter's birthday. And he basically just said that he wanted to be freed and wanted to go home to his family -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Paula Hancocks reporting live from Seoul, thank you.
HANCOCKS: Now six car bombs shook Baghdad today, killing at least 13 people and injuring 53. Now most of the attacks occurred in majority Shiite neighborhoods and they follow just a string of deadly attacks over the weekend.
Now to the west of the capital, violence is also raging in Anbar Province. This recent surge of violence has raised fears of an all-out sectarian war in Iraq. Now Michael Holmes has more on Baghdad, a city that is locked in fear.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is security video posted on YouTube that we can't independently verify, but what it shows is chilling. This is in the commercial area of al Sanaa (ph) in central Baghdad. Amid the usual traffic chaos, a small yellow car double parks, the driver casually walks away. People go about their business until -- the camera dislodged by the blast cannot show the death and maiming the bomb caused, one of so many this month.
Such is life in Baghdad today, death can come at any time.
Targets usually not government buildings these days, security too tight for that, but city streets, marketplaces, commercial areas bustling with everyday citizens of a fearful city.
THAMER JAAFAR, BARBER (through translator): If we see someone park their car by the shop, we have to check their IDs and what they are doing.
HOLMES: Thamer Jaafar is a 50-year-old barber. Each day is worse than the day before, he tells us.
JAAFAR (through translator): You try and live your life. Despite the pain and grief, you smile and laugh as much as you can each day you are alive.
HOLMES: There is a sense of forboding intertwined with the daily violence here, a fear that what is happening just to the west in Anbar Province could erupt completely, making what is happening here seem mild in comparison.
The Shia dominated government of Nuri al-Maliki continues to keep the army out of Fallujah, demanding Sunni tribes there deal with the influx of the al Qaeda-inspired fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and other extremist groups as well. So far it's a standoff, albeit with regular skirmishes and clashes.
But the ISIS fighters are, according to reports from inside Fallujah, becoming more of a presence, not less, passing out leaflets announcing a strict Islamic code, running checkpoints and making fiery speeches that denounce the government.
In Baghdad, just 70 kilometers away, life is a lottery, a Russian Roulette of live or die every time you leave the house despite the city being awash in security.
HAIDAR AL-HAJ JALAL, GROCER (through translator): You depend on god when you leave your house, because you don't know what fate holds for you.
HOLMES: It is a terrible fact that it is difficult to meet anyone who hasn't lost someone, friend or family, to the violence these past year.
ASSAD MASHAI, FAFTHER OF TWO (through translator): I've lost many people close to me over the years. All those who die are Iraqis. It's not each person's grief, it's joint grief.
HOLMES: With national elections in April, many see Nuri al-Maliki unlikely to offer major concessions to Sunnis any time soon. And many Sunni leaders in Anbar Province maintain their own hard line. Meanwhile, those al Qaeda-linked fighters feed on the dissent.
But for ordinary citizens, politics and powerplays mean little, just getting home alive at the end of the day is all that counts.
Michael Holmes, CNN, Baghdad.
LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream, and we have much more ahead here on the program. Up next, we'll go to sports and another upset at the Australian Open. Maria Sharapova becomes the latest top seed knocked out of the tournament. Stick around.
LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching News Stream.
California is under a state of emergency as it reels from its worst drought in 100 years. Now governor Jerry Brown has pledged to take all necessary actions, giving aid to farmers and communities with water shortages as well as hiring more firefighters. Kyung Lah reports.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What is this, all this stuff that we're looking at?
ALEX LARSON, HOME DESTROYED BY FIRE: This is my -- this is my bedroom. LAH (voice-over): What was his bedroom, before the Colby wildfire swept through the foothills. Firefighters continued to battle the blaze as Alex Larson returned home to what's gone, learning firsthand the fury of California's drought.
LARSON: It's a ticking time bomb. And something happens, all it would take would be, you know, one lightning bolt.
LAH: From these charred hills in Los Angeles to the dried-out lake beds of the Central Valley, to the barren hills of Albert Strauss's (ph) dairy farm, the state's drought is palpable and painful.
ALBERT STRAUSS (PH), DAIRY FARMER: This is the worst year I've ever seen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Water!
LAH: Farmers pressured California's governor to act. He says while he can't make it rain, he can declare a state of emergency.
GOV. JERRY BROWN (D), CALIFORNIA: This takes everybody pitching in.
LAH: The message: everyone cut back on water by 20 percent.
The state's reservoirs are at critical levels, setting record lows. Snow packs are 80 percent lower than normal, and it's only getting worse. Areas of extreme drought expanded in just one week.
(on camera): The hills across California are brown. In January, this is usually all green. It's summer weather in winter here. And that hurts everyone. About half the nation's fruits, nuts, and vegetables come from California.
(voice-over): As the farms wilt, so does the country's food supply. And prices, they're on the climb.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're waiting for rain; we're praying. We're going to do a rain dance.
LAH: And there may be no other option as the forecast offers no immediate relief for the ever browning Golden State.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.
LU STOUT: Wow, extremely barren scenes there.
Now, let's turn to tennis. And a day after women's number one Serena Williams crashed out of the Australian Open, another top seed was sent packing on Monday. Alex Thomas is in London with who went down -- Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, hi, Kristie. Maria Sharapova refused the blame of persistent hip injury after following Serena Williams out of the year's first grandslam touranment surprisingly early. The 2008 champion lost her Australian Open fourth round match against Dominika Cibulkova, despite taking the opening set 6-3. Cibulkova hit back to reach the quaterfinals for the first time and then spoke to us on the phone to explain the secret to her success.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA, TENNIS PLAYER: The most important thing was believing in myself, you know. I was 100 percent sure that I can beat her. I knew I beat her already before at a grand slam at Roland Garros, so I was not doubting myself even one second.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: Well, with Williams and Sharapova out, Victoria Azarenka is now the favorite to win the women's singles for a third year running. The number two seed survived a feisty encounter with American Sloan Stephens, straight sets win setting up a last eight clash against fifth seed Agnieska Radwanska.
There were no surprises in the men's singles with seven of the top eight seeds eaching the quarterfinals. Roger Federer seemsto already be benefiting from his partnership with new coach Stefan Edberg, a straight sets win over France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga putting the Swiss legend into his 41st grand slam quarterfinal, that equals the record held by Jimmy Connors.
It means the Feds next match will be against Andy Murray. That's a repeat of last year's semifinal. The Wimbledon champion only dropping one set during his fourth round victory over Stephane Robert. Rafael Nadal will face rising Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov after a three set victory against Japan's Kei Nishikori.
Get bang up to date with all the latest in the Australian Open tennis championships. Kristie, back to you.
LU STOUT: All right. Alex Thomas there, thank you.
Up next, calls for reform after a severe case of alleged domestic worker abuse here in Hong Kong. We'll have that story coming up on News Stream.
And despite international criticism, a Japanese town presses ahead with its annual killing of hundreds of dolphins.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now the Olympic torch has arrived in Volgograd, the city in southern Russia where two suicide bombers killed more than 30 people last month. Two men appeared in a video on a jihadist website claiming responsibility for the attacks and warning of more bloodshed during next month's games.
Ukraine's capital remains tense today after huge crowds turned out in Kiev to demonstrate against new laws limiting the right to protest. 100 police officers and 100 protesters were reportedly injured when the two sides clashed in front of government buildings. Now President Viktor Yanukovych says that he is creating a working group to overcome the political crisis.
The Pakistani Taliban are claiming responsibility for a bomb blast in the city of Rawakpindi. They say at least 13 people were killed when an explosion ripped through a market near military headquarters. It comes a day after a Taliban suicide bomber killed 20 people near the city of Banu.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited Iran to attend this week's peace conference on Syria. And Iran's foreign minister says his country will send a delegation to the so-called Geneva II talks which are scheduled to begin on Wednesday. But Syria's main opposition group says Iran's participation would be a dealbreaker.
Our senior international correspondent Nick Paton-Walsh is monitoring developments from CNN Beirut. He joins me now. And Nick, a number of parties have objected to the UN's decision to include Iran in these talks.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, Kristie, we have some breaking news for you, too. The Syrian opposition coalition really ramping up the pressure on UN chief Ban Ki-moon to rescind his invitation to Iran. They've said that unless by 7:00 London time, that's 9:00 Istanbul where they're mostly based. Today, unless by the end the invitation has been rescinded, or Iran has said it will pull out its troops, which the opposition says it has fighting inside Syrai and Iran has said it will respect the Geneva protocol, which is about establishing a transitional government to replace Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, unless it has indications that it will honor those two ideas, the Syrian opposition will continue to suspend its participation in Geneva II.
That's basically a very long, complicated way of saying unless they agree to talking about Bashar al-Assad leaving power and take their military forces out of Syria or the invitation is rescinded, the opposition aren't going and frankly that means the talks are off.
And that comes after 24 hours of extraordinarily complex back and forth diplomacy where talks that seemed to be finally getting underway suddenly overnight unraveled.
BAN KI-MOON, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: The goal of the negotiations is to establish by mutual consent a transitional governing body with full executive powers. It was on that basis that Freign Ministe Zarif pledged that Iran would play a positive and constructive role.
WALSH: And with that invitation from UN to Iran, talks that were probably never going to bring peace to war-ravaged Syria may not even happen at all.
The Syrian oppostion, distant too and renounced by many rebels doing the fighting, said they would suspend their decision to attend.
The U.S. said Iran shouldn't be invited unless it accepted talking about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stepping down.
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: There is no political solution whatsoever if Assad is not discussing a transition and if he think he's going to be part of that future. It's not going to happen. The people who are the opponents of this regime will never ever stop.
WALSH: But Assad, in an interview on Sunday, said any talks should focus on fighting terrorism and not on him leaving power, which he didn't plan to do anyway.
BASHAR AL-ASSAD, PRESIDENT OF SYRIA (through translator): Any political resolution that comes out of Geneva talks without considering fighting terrorism will have no value. There cannot be political work while terrorism is widely spread, not only in Syria but also in neighboring countries.
WALSH: Amid the brutality, talks were always going to be flawed and a long-shot, but the first of their kind and better than nothing at all, some said.
RAMI KHOURI, POLITICAL ANALYST: It may have a very small incremental game step by step, humanitarian issues, refugee issues, something else. It may clarify the players. Despite all of this vague aspects of this process, it's worth being there and I think everybody should be there to test it out.
WALSH: After nearly three years and 120,000 deaths, Syria's war seems to find new horrors to quickly outstrip the old.
It was just four months ago that sarin gas was used on children. Today, rebels are dying in in-fighting against al Qaeda and starvation as the regime's newest weapon of war, says the UN.
The regime said it let aid into one besieged county this weekend. Tiny steps amid endless disarray in the Syrian oppostion who could barely muster an approval vote to even attend Geneva.
There is huge U.S. pressure for them to attend even if these political negotiations endlessly find new ways, often of their own making, of unraveling.
An opening to peace, unlikely, just if they happen better than the alternative of nothing at all.
WALSH: Now let's just recap where we are. We thought at the end of the weekend that these talks were finally happen, that the big hurdle of whether the Syrian opposition would attend had actually been crossed. Then Ban Ki-moon invited Iran. Now we're looking at the end of today, perhaps a deadline passing after which it looks highly unlikely the Syrian opposition will, in fact, attend, objecting so strongly for Ban Ki-moon's invitation to Iran.
That's also been condemned by the United States, too, who say that unless Iran accepts talking about Bashar al-Assad leaving power that invitation should be rescinded.
Ramarkable how in literally 12 hours, it seems, we've gone from talks happening, some glimmer perhaps of a peace process, even though it wasn't going to really stop the war, it might (inaudible) conditions better for the millions on the ground there to the possibility that these long-awaited talks could simply not happen at all -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: That's right, absolutely remarkable. A big question mark hanging over these talks due to take place Wednesday this week. Nick Paton Walsh reporting for us, thank you.
Now, Iran appears to be holding up its end of a landmark nuclear deal. Iranian media report that Tehran has started to eliminate his stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium. And that paves the way for a broader deal aimed a preventing the development of nuclear weapons.
Now the interim agreement between Iran and six major countries, this was made back in November, it requires Tehran to dismantle or freeze some of its nuclear program and to allow more international inspections.
Now police say a Hong Kong woman accused of having tortured her domestic helper has been arrested today at the Hong Kong international airport.
On Sunday, thousands rally to demand justice for the domestic worker. Her claims of abuse have sparked widespread outrage. Anna Coren has this disturbing report.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Motionless in a hospital bed, her frail body racked in pain, Erwiana is a broken young woman whose only dream was for a better life.
Last year, she left her rural town in Indonesia to work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong. Instead, this 23-year-odl claims she was subjected to eight months of physical abuse.
"I got hit if I made even a small mistake," she explains. "If I misunderstood my orders, I got punched in the face."
After a month she escaped and called the employment agency in Hong Kong begging for help.
"I called the agent, but they told me I had to finish paying off the money I owned them. So I went back and convinced myself that it was OK. After that, my employer started torturing me."
Locked in the house, deprived of food and enduring daily beatings, Erwiana became so weak she could no longer work. So just over a week ago, the employer booked her flight to Indonesia and dropped her at the airport.
RIYANTI, FRIEND AND DOMESTIC WORKER (through translator): I saw the injuries on her hands and body and told her we must tell the police. But she said no, I'm scared. My employer threatened to kill my family.
COREN: Erwiana's story has sparked outrage amongst the migrant domestic workforce. With thousands turning up Sunday demanding justice for Erwiana and calling for urgent reforms to the laws that fail to protect them.
EMAN VILLANUEVA, ASIAN MIGRANT'S COORDINATING BODY: Well, we are not just simply mad, we are furious. This should stop. The violence should stop. The abuse should stop. The slavery must end here.
COREN: Of the 300,000 domestic workers in Hong Kong, half are from Indonesia, the other half from the Philippines. And the remittances they send home are part of the multibillion dollar industry driving the export of overseas workers from these country.
Sadly the case of Erwiana is much more common than authorities care to admit. Amnesty International has condemned the slavery like conditions faced by thousands of domestic workers, criticizing the governments of Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Philippines for turning a blind eye to these human rights abuses.
And the hundreds of agencies that facilitate the job placements are also under scrutiny with reports that many are unlawfully charging astronomical fees, forcing maids to forgeit their salaries for months if not years.
VILLANEUVA: They are just here to make money out of the sufferings of the migrant domestic workers. So they are all equally responsible.
COREN: Erwiana's agency wouldn't comment, except to say the owner was traveling to Indonesia to, quote, "learn more about the situation."
Authorities are investigating and police from Hong Kong have now arrived in Indonesia to speak with her about pressing charges.
"I want my rights. I want my employer and the agency to be charged. I want justice."
Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.
LU STOUT: And in response to Amnesty International's claims, authorities from both Indonesia and Hong Kong emphasized their commitment to protecting domestic workers.
And the Hong Kong Labor Department says this, quote, "any abuse that is supported by sufficient evidence will be prosecuted."
Now Erwiana's mistreatment has sparked a protest movement demanding an overhaul of laws that affect domestic workers. The Hong Kong helper's campaign launched today and lists three key demands. Number one, scrapping the two week and the live-in rules. Now campaigners say requiring workers to live with their employers leaves then with nowhere to run if they're abused.
Now they also want to see the end of a law that gives foreign domestic workers two weeks to find a new contract if they are fired or quit before they are deported. Now they want maximum working hours enforced. And they want to stamp out illegal fees charged by some recruitment agencies.
Now one of the most controversial hunts of the year has begun in Japan. The annual slaughter of hundreds of dolphins first gained international attention in an academy award winning documenting. And while people around the world have condemned the practice, Japan defends what it says is an ancient tradition.
Now a warning now, Paula Hancock's report contains disturbing images of animals in distress.
HANCOCKS: Japanese divers wrestle with bottle-nosed dolphins, selecting some to be sold into captivity, others to be killed for meat. Activists say more than 250 dolphins had been lured in from the sea and trapped here in Taiji Cove, some with clear injuries after trying to thrush through the fisherman's nets, an annual ritual, which sparks annual condemnation.
MELISSA SEHGAL, SEA SHEPHERD CONSERVATION SOCIETY: The slaughter process, which is called pithing where they hammer a metal rod into the spinal cord of the dolphin. These dolphins do not die immediately, takes up to 20 to 30 minutes for these dolphins to die where they bleed out, suffocate or drown in the process of being dragged to the (inaudible) house.
HANCOCKS: Japan rejects the international criticism, insisting that it is an ancient local custom. And local officials insist that it is no different to the slaughter of other animals for meat.
Taiji's town mayor tells CNN hunting is done within the legal quota given by the prefectural office. This is based on national scientific research for each species. We have fisherman in our community and they are exercising their fishing rights.
U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy has also waded into this controversy saying in a tweet that she is, quote, "deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive-hunt dolphin killing."
Academy Award Winning documentary "The Cove" brought dolphin hunting practices into focus around the world in 2009. Although most cinemas in Japan did not show it.
CNN has previously filmed the killing of the dolphins in Taiji Cove, a pactice which turns the water red with blood. The town mayor says these days about half of the dolphins rounded up are in fact released from captivity and a less crude method of slaughtering is being used, a claim that will be watched closely in the activists in the coming hours and days.
Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
LU STOUT: Now you're watching News Stream. And still to come, waking up after 957 days in deep space hibernation. An unmanned spacecraft named Rosetta has a lot of work to do. We'll have the details with Mari Ramos later in the show.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now Mark Cavendish is considered one of the greatest cyclists of all time, winning the winning jersey in all the major road races. Now CNN's Nick Glass traveled to Spain to join him in training and to learn what it takes to become the fastest.
NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRDESPONDENT: In the mountains in southern Spain, pro cyclists from the elite Belgian team Omega Pharma-Quick Step imagine cycling around the world, that's pretty much the distance these guys do every year in competition and training. Their star rider is British from the Isle of Man and his modestly known as the fastest man on two wheels.
MARK CAVENDISH, CYCLIST: I believe I'm amongst the greatest sprinters in the history of cycling, you know. And so there's not much more to prove there.
GLASS: Cavendish has been world road race champion. He's won 25 stages of the Tour de France. No other current rider comes close. Physically, he's a man apart. Small, just 1.75 meters, pocket sized, but oh so fast and quick thinking in the sprint.
CAVENDISH: I'm very, very different. I had to work on being as powerful. I work on more leg speed. There are big strong guys. It's like winding up a toy, letting it go and it'll gain speed, whereas I'm more at kick and I kind of hold it from that. I'm small and more aerodynamic. I get to my top speed higher and like quicker and hold it at that.
GLASS: We waited on the plane by the reed beds on a straight section of public road. The boys were sprint training directly into the wind, head down, teeth gritted. They can do over 70 kilometers an hour. Road racing often comes down to a bunch sprint. Cavendish must conserve energy during the race by tucking into the pack, or peloton, protected from the wind by his teammates.
ROLF ALDAG, SPORT MANAGER, TEAM OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP: This guy who is riding in the front who is setting the pace, he has to work 100 percent. And he is about on 80 percent, so he already saves 20, saves another 10 percent. So let's say he's on 70. and he is reduced the maximum.
GLASS: How much energy are you saving your main guy?
ALDAG: He's just roughly putting a little bit more than half of what the guy in front does. So that really, really is a lot.
GLASS: That's a huge saving.
ALDAG: Absolutely. I mean, and again like that's why it makes it a team sport.
CAVENDISH: I always believe I have a nose for finding the right way through peloton, a nose for knowing where I have to go. The amount of tactics that come into play and the time you got to make that decision is pretty incredible and it's not just one decision in a race, it's happening constatntly.
GLASS: Cavendish, you sense, isn't quite satisified with his place in the cycling pantheon. He wants to be out there on his own as the greatest sprinter of all time. And that means securing more wins and a prize that has so far eluded him, wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
CAVENDISH: Above everything, I want to go to the Tour in July, start in the UK and go win the first stage, wear the yellow jersey and then win multiple stages after that.
When I think about a race it's an emotion that I don't get with any other bike race, any other thing in life, you know.
GLASS: Cavendish knows he can't win the Tour de France. He doesn't have the right physique. He falls behind on the mountain stages. But with a great team to help, he can still triumph in the sprints. The Manx Missile, as he's called, unleashed over the last 200 or 300 meters in a blur of pumping legs.
LU STOUT: People in Cuba can finally buy cars without special government permission. But most vehicles are still sitting at the dealerships. We'll tell you why just ahead.
LU STOUT: Welcome back. Time for your global weather forecast. And especially an update on conditions in the Philippines. Mari Ramos has that. She joins me now -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. Same weather system still there stitting right over the Philippines. It started last week, went through the whole weekend. And here we are again at the beginning of the week and that area of low pressure that, you know, briefly was a tropical depression is still there.
This is a picture from (inaudible), this is in eastern Samar. And just an example, these are some of the tents that the refugees are using. The victims, I should say, of Supertyphoon Haiyan that so many people still homeless. There was so much destruction in this area. You see one of the tents, one of many, that were blown over by the strong winds of this, a weather system. And there's also some very heavy rain that has been reported, some areas getting up to a meter of rainfall just because it's been so persistent across these areas and that meter didn't happen in 24 hours, but it's happened over the last five to six days.
So very significant. You can still see that moisture still lingering over that same general area, these areas so hard hit.
We're looking at some of the wettest -- not only the wettest time of the year, but some of the rainiest on record so far across these areas. The risk for flooding and landslides remains and the threat for heavy rain will continue across these areas. We'll probably see that shift a little farther to the south and a bit farther to the north again, but overall it's going to be across this central and southern Philippine where we will continue to see the heaviest downpours and again flooding, mudslides not out of the question. Very, very difficult for people still trying to survive.
Some of the rainfall totals that we're expecting over the next 24 hours, even in Tacloban, 3 to 5 centimeters are not out of the question. And then farther to the south by Soligal (ph) would could see -- look at that -- 25 centimeters. That's what the red indicates here, the purple about 15 centimters. Either way, we're looking at significant rainfall totals. And this is just this forecast, by the way, is for a period of 48 hours.
So for the next two days, this is significant rainfall across these areas that are already saturated with some very heavy rain.
I want to take you to another part of the world that has tremendously heavy rainfall also over the last couple of days, starting over the weekend. Across the Mediterranean, here you see Italy right over here, we're looking at the central Med. In some areas, up to 130 millimeters of rain. The flooding across parts of France, southern France in particular, has been disastrous. Over 150 people had to be evacuated.
Look at some of these pictures. It's hard to tell where the ocean beings. Normally it would be cyrstal clear blue water here, and where that river that's apprarently dumped -- coming out into the sea here -- and it just looks like one giant mud mess. And this is just one example of the severe flooding that they've had across these areas. This picture from the Marine Nationale from the military. You can kind of see this aerial view.
There were at least two people that were killed. This lady showing us the outside of her home with the cars piled up, because the water was so strong it pushed the cars in through these areas.
One of the persons who died was swept away in a vehicle, again, very hazardous conditions for drivers whenever you get trapped in a car. So that's just another example of that nasty weather that they've had.
And the rain is now starting to shift a little bit more toward Italy and ncross southeastern Europe. We're going to see temperatures on the rise across these areas and even the threat for some strong storms moving through, probably not as heavy as what we saw in France, but look for the temperatures expected to be above average across this area including in Sochi at 13.
I want to switch gears and take you to space very quickly with my last 30 seconds, Kristie. Did you hear about the Rosetta. This is -- you're looking at liftoff there. And at the European Space Agency they have this wakeup call for the Rosetta, which is a ship that for the last 30 months has been in hibernation. And what we're -- they woke it up today. It's going to take about another four to five hours to see if it actually did wake up. It's on its way to visit a few comets. The space heaters were on, it's actually now facing the sun again. It was too far away from the sun to be able to get any kind of power, any kind of solar power, but now that it wakes up again they're hoping they'll be able to get some sort of communication, even though it's 871 million miles away from the sun right now.
So, pretty cool stuff. Back to you.
LU STOUT: Yeah, pretty cool because it's so far away. And yet they were able to reactivate it. Incredible. Mari Ramos there, thank you.
Now for the first time since the Cuban revolution, Cubans can buy cars without any special government persmission and endless bureaucracy. But most Cubans can't afford a car because of low salaries.
Now one Cuban dealership, a new Peugeot sadan, it sells for $262,000. So in a country where the average wage is less than $20 a month most cars are just staying on the sales lot.
And finally, on News Stream we often cover the concept of crowdfunding on sites like Kickstarter and Indi Go Go. Now those sites allow people with an idea to make their pitch and to invite members of the public to give their own monye to und that idea. It's usually used to raise money to create products, like electronics or creative works like films or games, but now you can donate to help the Jamaican bobsled team reach the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Yep, I'm talking about the team made famous by the Disney film "Cool Runnings." It told the story of their first ever appearance at the Winter Games in 1988 and now they are back in the games, or will be if they can raise enough money.
They are asking for around $80,000 at Indiegogo in the next 20 days. But it's not going too well so far. They've only raised about $5,000.
Well, good luck guys.
And that is News Stream. World Business Today is next.