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Roger Federer Reaches Australian Open Semis; Chinese Activist Xu Zhiyong On Trial; U.S., Syria Verbally Spar On Opening Day at Geneva Peace Talks; Snow Blankets U.S. Northeast; Macintosh Turns 30 Today
Aired January 22, 2014 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.
A high profile Chinese activist goes on trial, a trial that mainland authorities apparently don't want journalists to see.
Roger Federer roles back the years and takes down Andy Murray at the Australian Open.
And 30 years on from the launch of the Mackintosh, we look back at the critically acclaimed ad that introduced it.
A high profile Chinese activist has gone on trial in Beijing. Xu Zhiyong is accused of gathering a crowd to disturb public order after several small protests in the capital. Now he faces up to five years in prison if convicted, but in court today Xu's lawyer says he and his client refuse to speak, telling Agence France Presse they did not want to take part in, quote, "a piece of theater."
Now Xu is one of China's most well-known rights activists. He is the founder of the New Citizens Movement, which calls for government transparency and the rule of law. Now several other activists associated with the group are also scheduled to go on trial this week.
Now Xu is a former law lecturer at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications and has a reputation for taking on groundbreaking legal causes. He has campaigned for death row inmates, migrant workers and help families affected by the tainted baby formula scandal back in 2009.
Now Xu's trial is attracting widespread media attention. But there is a heavy security presence outside the court and reporters have been harassed.
Now just take a look at what happened to our Beijing correspondent David McKenzie and his crew as they tried to cover the story.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are heading towards a court in Beijing where (inaudible) activist goes on trial today.
Why? This is a public space. There no need to shout at me.
The court is just behind us. The name of the activist is Xu Zhiyong. And the reason he's in trial is because he had a gathering of people several times and was one of the founders of the New Citizens Movement, that is why there are all these police surrounding me here.
We're going to go try look at the entrance of the court, which is this...
Sorry, you can't stop me in a public place. This is a public place. Why must I wait?
This is a public space. This is a public space.
Excuse me, don't push me. Do not push me. This is a public space.
The public -- they're physically manhandling us. They're physically manhandling me. This is a public space. I'm allowed to report. I'm allowed to report.
They're now physically manhandling us. They (inaudible).
This is not illegal what we are doing. We are reporters and we are reporting in a public space.
These guys are physically manhandling us. They're not allowing us to do our work. We were just on a public space trying to tell a story.
I don't know what they're doing. This is not normal procedure here in China. Normally they would treat us a lot more delicately than this.
Hey, hey, hey, hey do not physically manhandle us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those guys broke a camera.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get back. Get back. Get back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you an angry man?
MCKENZIE: Just calm down, please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you an angry man?
MCKENZIE: Calm down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: David McKenzie there incredibly calm as he and the crew being harassed by Chinese police and the camera rolling the entire time.
David joins me now live from CNN Beijing. And David, I mean why did this happen to you? Why did Chinese authorities feel somehow compelled to literally push and force you away from covering this trial.
MCKENZIE: Well, look, it's difficult to report in China with cameras at the best of times. Though on paper foreign reporters like ourselves have free range throughout the country, there are certain subjects where that is clearly not the case. And this clears to have been a pattern today, not just us but other reporters were harassed and pushed out of the scene.
Though, the level of violence from Chinese context was a lot worse than I've experienced before in similar circumstances.
One policeman I spoke to did say that they were ordered to do this. I think whatever the reason that these individuals treated us this way -- the overall situation is that this trial is a very embarrassing one in -- for Chinese officials to get out there to the wider world, because they are according to human rights groups like Amnesty International cracking down on the dissident -- on a legal expert, in fact -- who at one point was a darling of the Chinese public and state media who because he called for transparency in the finances of leaders and other transparent practices in governance, he has been pushed. The state said that he's been arrested and detained and on trial for creating public disturbances.
STOUT: You know, and your treatment by Chinese police all caught on tape just underscores the sensitivity of this trial. The activist Xu Zhiyong. He's on trial for sensibly disrupting public order, but David what do human rights activists say is his true offense, the real reason why he is on trial today?
MCKENZIE: Well, they say that he agitated against the state to call this transparency and what many people believe. It wasn't so much the fact that he wanted this, it was the fact that his New Citizens Movement was getting a widespread following and also a lot of praise in social media and other avenues. And you know they had these small protests in different parts of the country, calling for transparency.
This is not a radical, in the normal sense, group of agitators. These were intellectuals and ordinary citizens who said they wanted Chinese officials to live up to China's own constitution.
And some say, like some human rights groups, that the reason they are going against him is because of the potential power his movement could have gotten over time, almost a preemptive strike as it were.
It's not just, too, the (inaudible) as it were facing trial this week, several other activists who were part of that loosely formed New Citizens Movement will face trial this week.
One interesting note is that through his lawyer they told us that he is refusing to speak during the proceedings, because they feel that it's not a fair system of justice.
STOUT: All right, David McKenzie joining me live from Beijing, David. Many thanks again for your update and of course your reporting earlier today in the Chinese capital.
Now Xu's trial, it got underway amid new revelations about the wealth of China's elite. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists said some close relatives of top Chinese leaders own offshore companies or hold accounts in international tax havens. The ICIJ says confidential files show the brother-in-law of the current Chinese President Xi Jinping and the son of former Premiere Wen Jiaobao, both set of companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.
Now we've reached out for comment from the Chinese government, but have not received a response.
Now for more on this, let's bring in Yuen-Ying Chan, she is the director of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong. She's also professor there. She joins me live from Davos in Switzerland.
And Ying, I mean, just how damaging is this tax haven report for the leadership in Beijing?
YUEN-YING CHAN, UNIVERISTY OF HONG KONG: Yes, it's a remarkable report, because it uncovers facts and stories that have not been reported before. And I think it's ironic that the report was released just on the eve of the trial of Xu Zhiyong who has campaigned for transparency and disclosure of assets by top officials.
STOUT: Now when you go into the courts...
CHAN: Also what we saw in Beijing -- it's just unfortunate that Xu Zhiyong has to go on trial in this situation and release of the ICIJ report is most timely and is a remarkable story.
STOUT: And just a quick apology for our viewers. There's a little bit of a time lag between Davos and Hong Kong, as one would imagine.
Now Ying, I wanted to ask you more about this report. Having offshore tax holdings, that in and of itself is not illegal, but the report, it's been blocked in China. So why is that? I mean, what does Beijing fear here? I mean, are they are afraid of the scrutiny? Are they afraid of what could come next on the back of this report?
CHAN: Well, we can only guess Beijing's motives for the blocking the report. This affects out there, the date is out there. The ICIJ has obtained 2.5 million entries of these records. And the report that was released yesterday by ICIJ only scratches the surface.
And again it's ironic that President Xi Jinping has called for anti- corruption, is called for cracking down official abuses. And I think the government should look at the data, look at the report positively. Don't blame the messenger.
STOUT: Now, you say the government should be looking at this report positively. You also say the report is only the tip of the iceberg.
There are a number of people implicated in this report, a number of Beijing's elite from top military leaders, political leaders, business leaders. But Wen Jiaobao's name comes up. And we know that his family in this report, they are implicated in this offshore tax leak. His family fortune was laid out in that New York Times expose written by David Barboza in 2012.
We know earlier this week Wen Jiaobao issued defense about his family in Chinese media.
So your thoughts about Wen Jiaobao in particular and how much pressure he is under right now.
CHAN: He must be under tremendous pressure, because what's reported yesterday is not knew. There were reports yesterday -- I mean, last year by the New York Times, by other media. And I think the Chinese leadership just have to look at these reports -- honestly and follow the story like what the reporters are doing.
And we live in the nature of transparency. And the facts are out there. And it's just a matter of time that it gets discovered and reported. So, to block it is...
STOUT: This time, this new report by ICIJ. You can find it easily online. Ying Chan joining us live from Davos, Switzerland, thank you very much indeed for that.
Ying Chan there of Hong Kong University.
Now you're watching News Stream. And still to come on the program, peace talks open in Switzerland and try to end Syria's bloody civil war, but already there are signs of discord.
And things are heating up in the snowy Ukrainian capital as violent and deadly clashes rock Kiev. We'll take you there live.
And fed up with the violence on the streets of Lebanon, we'll show you one woman's unique protest. We'll tell you what others are doing online.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now they are aiming high, but the obstacles are enormous. Now delegates from more than 30 countries, they are meeting right now in the Swiss time of Montreux to discuss ways to end the bloodshed in Syria.
Now representatives of Bashar al-Assad's government and the opposition, they will hold face-to-face talks on Friday for the first time since the fighting began almost three years ago.
Now the talks, they're known as Geneva II. They're sponsored by the United States and Russia and chaired by the United Nations.
Now we've already heard from several key players. Let's go live to Switzerland for the very latest. Our senior international correspondent Nic Robertson is there in Montreux.
And Nic, day one of the talks and there's been a lot of heated exchanged in particular between the U.S. and Syria about any future role for Bashar al- Assad.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There has indeed. And exchanges as well unexpected at such early stages between the UN secretary- general and the Syrian foreign minister Walid Moallem as with all the keynotes speakers here had about 20 minutes -- was given 20 minutes for his address. He got up to 22 minutes. Ban Ki-moon interrupted him and said, look, you're going to have to -- you're going to have to tighten this up.
And he said, I'll just be a few more minutes. Ban Ki-moon had to interrupt him again. And he said, well, I just need another sentence. And so it went on. 34 minutes, the Syrian foreign minister spoke for very critical of the Syrian opposition, terrorists he called them, critical of Arabs from the region, critical of his neighbors, critical of Turkey and critical of the west, criticizing John Kerry specifically by name for suggesting the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cannot be a future part of the transitional government, that the talks here have come to -- have come to agree upon, if you will, or they're the prospect of that looks some way down the road.
This is what Secretary of State John Kerry had to say about whether or not Assad could be part of that process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: For a transition government means that that government cannot be formed with someone that is objected to by one side or the other. That means that Bashar Assad will not be part of that transition government. There is no way, no way possible in the imagination that the man who has led the brutal response to his own people could regain the legitimacy to govern.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Now we've been told to expect this process to be very long, the beginning of a political process is how it's been described, just getting these -- the Syrian opposition and the Syrian government in the same room as an achievement is what we're told. Patience and perseverance is what will be required and the talks really not expected to give a result any time soon. Weeks, months, maybe even further away, Kristie.
STOUT: The aim is ambitious, but expectations there are low. Nic Robertson joining us live from Montreux, Switzerland, thank you.
Now these talks, they risk being overshadowed by a report that we brought to you here on News Stream yesterday alleging Syrian government forces tortured and killed thousands of detainees. Now today, the Syrian justice ministry categorically denied the allegations and said photos showing mutilated bodies were faked.
Now a team of legal and forensic experts wrote the report accusing Damascus of torture. It was based on thousands of photos provided by a Syrian defector.
Now it is estimated more than 11,000 children have been killed since Syria's civil war began. And many more have been badly wounded. Now Atika Shubert traveled to a refugee camp in Jordan where she met the family of a young girl who lost her leg in an attack.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Safa (ph) is 6-years-old living in Zaatari for nearly a year now with her parents and five siblings, all girls. Her father admits he spoils his daughters, especially Safa (ph).
"She was very happy. She was active. She was very sociable and she used to play with each and everyone in the neighborhood," he tells us.
But now it's changed. She sits on the chair and she sees all of her siblings around playing, running around, but she can't do it.
The family had narrowly escaped a rocket attack that destroyed their home in Aleppo only to be hit in another attack outside Damascus last year. Her father describes how he tracked down his daughter in hospital.
"They asked me," are you the father? "I said yes. They then told me that five doctors saw her and tried to put the leg back. I insisted, no, it's only broken. They said no, it has been amputated. I didn't have any control over myself at that time."
At least 11,420 children have been killed in the Syrian civil war, more than 70 percent died in explosive attacks like the one that hit Safa (ph).
Safa (ph) comes here to a UNICEF play area in Zaatari, but today her friends are playing games not made for a girl in a wheel chair. Safa (ph) did not want to talk to us or anyone else, really. So we thought maybe there was another way to show us her world, a camera.
The first photos are predictably funny, then sweet as she snaps a photo of Marwa (ph), her identical twin, a walking and running mirror image of herself. She records video of the children that race around her. And she is not alone. Here in Zaatari, there are approximately 23,000 children. And in the last year, camp doctors treated 1,379 kids with weapons and war related injuries just like Safa (ph). This is their world.
But for her father, the anguish of seeing his daughter like this is heartbreaking.
"I started to curse Bashar al-Assad, his family, his children and his regime because he claims that he is defending the country by attacking with the armed forces," he tells us. "Well, my daughter was not affiliated with any armed forces and this is the proof. She's just a human being that lives in Syria. She's Syrian, a civilian, and now she's lost her leg because of this."
Anger, a sense of loss, and the realization that life will never be the same, especially with Safa (ph), but here at least the family is safe.
Atika Shubert, CNN, in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan.
STOUT: Another heartbreaking report from our Atika Shubert there.
You're watching News Stream. And still to come, the anger is boiling over in Ukraine. Three anti-government protesters are dead as clashes with police continue.
STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.
And let's turn to sport now and another dramatic day of quarterfinal action at the Australian Open. Now World Sport's Lara Baldesarra joins me now to tell us all about it -- Lara.
LARA BALDESARRA, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Kristie, the semifinals in Melbourne, they have now taken shape. Roger Federer is advancing now. He had a pretty tough year last year so we didn't really know how things would shape up for him in 2014. But now we know that Federer, he's really back to playing at that level that he did a few years ago.
In his quarterfinal match against Andy Murray, he really looked like the Federer of old. In his first two sets he was just superb. He took them 6- 3, 6-4.
Now Murray really started to bring it in the third set, which he ended up winning, but then Federer he sealed the win with an ace in the fourth set, which means he reaches an 11th straight semifinal in Melbourne.
His opponent will be his old foe, Rafael Nadal who has defeated Grigor Dimitrov in his quarterfinal match.
Now it wasn't exactly smooth sailing for Nadal in this match. He fought back from being down a set to claim a 3-6 7-6 7-6 6-2 victory. But that big concern for Nadal now is the awful blister he has on his left hand. And this thing, it really just seems to be getting bigger and bigger with each match. He even had to receive treatment on it a few times in his quaterfinal match.
Sports Illustrated John Wertheim is joining me now on the phone from Melbourne. John, how big of a concern for Nadal is this blister?
JOHN WERTHEIM, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Well, the good thing about grand slam tournaments is that players have a day off between matches. So we'll see if this heals tomorrow, but you know, as you're saying, Nadal has this blister on his left hand. I mean, it's literally -- I mean he showed it to the media to -- I mean, it's a hole in his hand. And he said it doesn't affect him so much during the point, but it does on his serve. And that could play a role when he plays Roger Federer on Friday night here.
BALDESARRA: But that's absolutely horrible images that we're looking at of that blister, hole or whatever we're calling it.
Let's turn to Federer now who really seemed to roll back the years in his match. Are we seeing a bit more of really some aggressive tactics from him now?
WERTHEIM: We are definitely seeing more aggressive tactics. He's attacking the net. He went to the net more than 60 times tonight in four sets. And he's serving well and he's really striking his backhand, not slicing it. And this is very reminiscent of the Roger Federer that ruled the kingdom of tennis five years ago or so. I mean, this has really been a remarkable turnaround as noted a pretty dismal 2013, at least by his standards.
And boy, so far through five matches he looked as good as he's ever looked. I mean, this has really been just a dazzling display of tennis from him so far. We'll see if he can keep it up when he plays his rival Friday night.
BALDESARRA: Yeah, we will certainly see, John. Thank you very much.
And we're going to move over to the women's side now where the two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka has been knocked out at the hands of Agnieska Radwanska, which means that the top three seeds on the women's side, they're all gone.
Radwanska had actually lost the last seven matches against Azarenka, but clearly she learned something from those defeats and went with her typical variety style of play to grab the three set win. Here's Kevin Skinner with more on this match.
And we're not going to be hearing from Skinner right now, but perhaps we'll have him in World Sport. But let me put it this way, Radwanska, she now has a semifinal day with Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova who just needed one hour to defeat Simona Halep.
And Kristie it means that we're now guaranteed to get a first-time women's champion as none of these semifinalists have ever won the Australian Open. And it's really -- it's a lot of fun Down Under his year, Kristie.
STOUT: Yeah, a lot of fun because there's been a lot of surprises.
Lara Baldesarra there. Thank you. Take care.
Now you're watching News Stream. And still to come, we have the latest on the clashes in Ukraine. Now three protesters have been killed as demonstrators continue their battle with police over new laws limiting their right to protest.
And refusing to be victims, a unique campaign to stop the bombings in Beirut.
STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong, you're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now one of China's most prominent anti-corruption activists went on trial today in Beijing. Xu Zhiyong remained silent at the hearing to protest the handling of his case. He's accused of organizing crowds to disturb public order. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison.
Yahoo's CEO is speaking out on the NSA spying scandal. Marissa Mayer says the U.S. government should be more transparent about what it is doing. and she is urging the international community to establish privacy guidelines.
Now speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, she says revelations of government surveillance have hurt her company. And it wants to rebuild user's trust.
Now a new terror threat rocks the Sochi Winter Olympics. Hungarian Athletes and nationals have been told to stay away in a letter sent to their Olympic committee, which warned of an attack on the games. Now security in Sochi remains a top concern, but Russia's prime minister told CNN the government is aware of the threats and is planning accordingly.
Now violent clashes in the Ukrainian capital turned deadly overnight. Three anti-government protesters lost their lives. Now demonstrators are rallying over new laws restricting the right to protest, but the government says other European nations have a similar law.
Now the protest anger has been bubbling since President Viktor Yanukovych withdrew from an EU trade deal back in November.
But these latest demonstrations have taken a far more violent turn. Now CNN's Diana Magnay is there in Kiev and has more now on today's events. And Diana, the clashes there have turned deadly. Could you tell us just what happened?
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie. They certainly have. Very, very serious fighting that we've just been witness to over the last three hours. And it's still going on.
As you say early this morning two protesters were brought into this makeshift clinic. The doctors told us that they had wounds -- were hit by bullets in the chest, one of them directly in the heart, one of them in the chest and the head, which killed them. We also know that a third protester lost his life possibly falling from some kind of a barricade or a monument, media reports are saying, but we don't have confirmation of how exactly he died.
But, yes, three people dead so far in these very, very violent clashes where police have been using guns containing rubber bullets.
The prime minister says that no live ammunition has been used against protesters and that's certainly is something that we, from what we've seen, can say to be the case. We haven't seen any live ammunition. But we have seen plenty of plastic bullet casings. And if they are sprayed into a crowd, then it is difficult to be certainly where exactly they go, of course.
And actually if you're using plastic bullets, there are very specific rules about where you should be aiming.
Now if you talk to people on the street, they will say that they want the European Union to impose sanctions on various individuals within the government around Mr. Yanukovych. His interior minister, for example, and several others. And we've already heard from the U.S. embassy in Kiev that certain individuals have had their visas revoked.
Also going on right now, Kristie, the three leaders of the opposition are meeting with President Yanukovych. So we will see what those talks -- what the outcome of those talks is and whether it is enough to quell this very, very serious crisis going on in the streets of Kiev, Kristie.
STOUT: Yeah, serious fighting. And these anti-government clashes, they have reached a new and very dangerous level. Is it your sense that this loss of life is stoking anger and will add more momentum to the anti- government protest there in Ukraine? MAGNAY: Well, every time we've seen instances to police brutality over the last two months, and there have been several occasions when that has happened, the crowds have swelled. and really there was this sort of lull over the Christmas period. And then last Thursday when the government implemented or rushed through this anti-protest legislation through the parliament, which contains some very serious penalties -- for example, being involved with a mass disturbance, 12 to 15 years in jail for threatening a police officer, two years in Jail, that is why last Sunday you got so many people out on the streets of Kiev again.
And it would seem as though the people's patience has been tested. However much the opposition have been calling for calm, you have had radical elements possibly from the government side stirring things up, possibly from the use wings of this large demonstration who have decided that enough is enough and to take matters into their own hands.
But it would not appear on the streets at the moment as though the violence is going to end any time soon, Kristie.
STOUT: All right, Diana Magnay reporting on the deadly clashes in Kiev. Thank you very much indeed for that update Diana.
Now Lebanon has seen a spate of recent bombings. Just yesterday four people were killed in an attack in southern Beirut. Many young Lebanese, they say it has gone too far and they refuse to be victims.
Mohammed Jamjoom reports they are taking matters into their own hands with an online campaign and other forms of protest.
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONENT: Whether provocative performance or daring demonstration, in a city so on edge you'd never expect such a reaction to this.
Is this your way of protesting against the fact that bombings have become much more common, especially in Beirut?
RIMA NAJDI, LEBANESE ARTIST: Well, this is me protesting against the normalization of these bombings.
JAMJOOM: Recently blasts that have shaken Lebanon's capital to its core.
It's why artist Rima Najdi dressed up like a suicide bomber and wandered around town in an attempt to jolt spectators out of a dangerous mindset.
NAJDI: If you think that you're going to die any time soon, as it becomes a process that you go through as you're walking in the street. so this is quite worrying.
JAMJOOM: For Najdi and many others, the sentiment grew stronger in late- December after the car bombing that claimed the life of an innocent 16- year-old. Minutes before the explosion, Mohammed Sharaa (hp) was having fun in downtown Beirut. Appearing in this selfie taken with three other friends.
In the next picture of him, Sharar (ph) was lying on the sidewalk. After he died, he was branded a martyr.
GINO RAIDY, LEBANESE BLOGGER: I think Mohammed Sharaa (ph), you know, the straw that broke the camel's back, because he was doing -- taking selfie, which all of us do every day in the safe neighborhoods supposedly.
JAMJOOM: The Not a Martyr online campaign and hashtag gives voice to that frustration. Young Lebanese, sick of senseless violence, posting selfies that contain personal messages. Close to 10,000 people have already liked the movement's Facebook page, including popular Lebanese singer Hamed Sinno who, like many others, is using the platform to advocate change.
HED SINO, SINGER: You have people talking about security, you have people talking about the rights of women, the rights of LGBTQ people. Myself, it was about homophobia with the police and not feeling secure with public displays of affection or public declarations of sexual identity if that's the case.
JAMJOOM: While the concept of martyrdom is deeply engrained in tiny Lebanon's war scared psychology, a younger generation is now rejecting the idea that anybody who dies is automatically a martyr.
RAJA FARAH, LEBANESE BLOGGER: Martyrdom actually requires a kind of self-sacrifice. You have to be willing to die for something. And a lot of these bystanders that are being killed in these attacks never actually voiced any kind of interest in dying in the certain cause.
JAMJOOM: For them, the point will never be about how to celebrate a death rather how to build a life.
Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN, Beirut.
STOUT: You're watching News Stream. And still to come, in the northeastern U.S. it is back to freezing cold temperatures. Heavy snow blankets parts of the country delaying thousands of flights. An update after the break.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Well, it is back in the freezer for parts of the United States. Let's get an update on conditions now with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the World Weather Center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. So much going on, I wanted to start you off first of all with, yeah, the frigid conditions.
The temperatures across parts of the U.S. -- again, we're looking at even some record temperatures. Water Town had a record, minus 37. That's kind of hard to believe. Minus 12 -- that's in New York, by the way -- Upstate New York is the average high for this time of year.
In Canada, Quebec had minus 32. Their average is minus 16. So you can see this discrepancy here in how cold these temperatures are. Toronto, minus 23. Cincinnati, minus 22 against an average of minus 5.
So the cold temperatures are one of the huge concerns, because even now that the snow is ending we still have to deal with this extremely cold, cold air.
So let's go ahead and start, first of all, with the impact as far as flights. These numbers are also incredible. There's been over 3,000 cancellations, that means over 3,000 flights have already been canceled. And it's going to take awhile until we begin to see a little bit of any kind of a normalcy returning to some of these major airports.
The snow is ending, but now the icing is going to be one of the critical things. And of course getting -- catching up on the backlog of all of these flights.
So, you see the big airports -- both New York airports, both Washington airports, Newark, Philly, all of these are in the cancellations. And this is affecting people not just here in the U.S., but also people in other parts of the world. This is a -- having global implications because flights that were expected to come in or leave to other places, even international flights, are being affected.
So let's talk about the snow very quickly. Central Park had 28 centimeters of snow. It's quite a bit -- not a record though. Philadelphia was a daily record of 36 centimeters, but Washington Reagan, they had 10 centimeters of snow and that's the first time since 2011 that they've had over 5 centimeters. So they had double their record. That's pretty impressive.
I have some pictures to show you, let's start with the video. I think the first one is from the Jersey shore. And you -- yeah, you know -- I love this video because -- when we say Jersey Shore people think of, you know, the TV show, but there you see it, a lot of snow on the ground, people just having a hard time getting around. Now that the snow, like I said, is ending they have to deal with the frigid temperatures and the cleanup has to begin.
Roadways have been horrible across the entire northeast corridor.
The next piece of video shows you some cars that are slipping and sliding around. This is also in New Jersey. And look at that, people were stuck for quite a long time. Snow plows were not getting there quickly enough, traffic was at a standstill. That's what they tell you during wintertime if you're doing any kind of traveling -- and this is not just for people in the U.S., this is wherever you are in the world, you have to have supplies in the car. People were stuck on the road in some cases over eight hours.
So you need food, you need water, you need blankets, maybe even a shovel if the snow is coming down very, very hard is to be able to clean the area around you, so you can see that there.
Over on the weather map over here, beautiful shot. This is New York live cam. Minus 13 degrees right now in New York City.
I love this shot, this is outside of Time Warner Center and Central Park West just right over here, that's Central Park on that side. And that's Columbus Circle. The snow is coming to an end, but the wind chill is at minus 35. And look at that, all of these areas still will have to deal with those frigid temperatures. The last thing is, Kristie, is that it is not over just yet. Not only are the cold temperatures reaching all the way down to the Deep South, not only are the wind chills in the dangerous levels at minus 22 in Chicago and minus 22 in Minneapolis.
Do you see this up here? This purple coming down? That is actually our next shot of cold air that will be making its way across the Great Lakes and through the central plains and then all the way down also even into parts of North Texas. So that means even northern parts of Mexico will see this very frigid air as we head into later in the week. Back to you.
STOUT: Wow. It is so cold there. And with another shot of Arctic air to come.
Mari Ramos, thank you so much for the warning there. Mari Ramos.
Now, believe it or not, we have another awkward video that's emerged of the Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Now let's go straight to our Paula Newton in Toronto just to find out what is happening this time.
And Paula, just describe to our audience what do we see, what do we hear in this latest Rob Ford video?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is a bit difficult to make out, but I will tell you that we need to set this up by saying that the mayor had told everyone, including his family, the media, the people of Toronto that he was getting his act together -- losing weight, working out, key, not drinking. Yesterday, there was this video posted online of the mayor out on Monday night. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB FORD, MAYOR OF TORONTO: (inaudible) trying to tell me (inaudible) you know what I mean (inaudible) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you know how much money that cost me? (inaudible)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Where do you even start with that? In the first instance, he's at a fast food restaurant. It is late at night on a Monday. He's speaking in this kind of put on Jamaican accent, which some in Toronto have said it's incredibly offensive. Beyond that, in terms of what he's talking about, he's talking about a month-long investigation actually surveillance against him by the Toronto police and he is criticizing them for spending money, wasting time on it and also criticizing the police chief of Toronto, one of the men that he actually employs as the mayor.
I want you to go on now and hear his explanation yesterday about what that night was all about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mayor Ford, where was that video from?
FORD: Last night.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mayor Ford, can you tell us...
FORD: Yes, I was.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were (inaudible)
FORD: A little bit, yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that video was offensive to people?
FORD: No. I was with some friends and what I do in my personal life with my personal friends that's up to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Ford, you said some stuff about the police chief.
FORD: It has nothing to do with you guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: You know, it's incredible here, Kristie, in terms of him explaining this. What really kind of punctuated this whole event was that his brother, Doug Ford, a Toronto counselor, had come out just hours before saying, hey, no that wasn't my brother. I talked to him that night at 10:30. He was fine. That video must have been from, you know, weeks ago, definitely it wasn't from that night. And he repeated the fact that his brother had not had a drink in weeks.
Clearly not the case with the mayor saying himself that in fact he was drinking.
As much as he wants to try and stash this as his own personal business and that Toronto, the people of Toronto don't have anything to do with it, it's going to be a tough sell right now. I've spoken to certainly Toronto City Counselors who say they're absolutely fed up and it's this kind of distraction that they don't want for the city -- Kristie.
STOUT: It is incredible. It's just the latest in a series of embarrassing and personally damaging videos of a man who is still mayor of Toronto. Paula Newton reporting for us live. Thank you.
Now, the Apple Mac has marked a milestone, it will be 30 years this month since the famous computer was introduced to the world. We'll have a look back just ahead on News Stream. Stick around.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now, you're looking at one of the first ever handsets to run Google's Android operating system back in 2008. And since its introduction, Android has been on a meteoric rise. IDC says more than 80 percent of smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2013 run Android.
But while we often talk about the number of handsets being shipped and being sold, we have knew data on how those handsets are being used. And it's raising some eyebrows.
Now our regular contributor Nick Thompson joins me now. He is the editor of the New Yorker.com. And Nick, what have you learned?
NICK THOMPSON, NEW YORKER.COM: Well, there are two data points that are really interesting. And the first is that if you look at the amount of money made in app stores and you look at Android and you compare it to iOS you see that even though vastly more Android phones are sold, there's still a lot more apps being sold in the Apple App Store, so Apple is making a lot more money of its app store.
The second thing, and this is even more surprising, is that if you look at mobile web traffic, even though again there are many more Android devices out there they were all web enabled, most web -- most web traffic, most web browsing is happening on iOS phones.
So more people have Android phones, but more stuff is happening on the iOS phones.
STOUT: Yeah, this is incredible. So there are more Android handsets out there, but they are comparatively being used less. So why is that?
THOMPSON: Well, so there are a couple of things. So, with the App Store, it's a little more obvious to explain, which is that the Android app store comes out of sort of the open source community. It's actually a little bit hard to develop an app for Android, because there's so many different Android phones out there with different screen sizes and different mechanisms and different ways of working, so you have to make a bunch of sacrifices when you build your app to make it work across all of these different devices and all these different screens. So it's a little harder to make an app. And there isn't as much of a tradition of making money in the store.
Whereas in the iOS store, there are all these people who are Mac developers who made apps. And it's a little simpler to make your app.
So that's a big advantage that Apple has.
The question of the mobile web traffic is harder to explain, because all of these phones have browsers. Now part of the reason there's so much iOS traffic is because iOS still, you know, has a lead in tablets. But it also seems that what's really going on is that people who have their Android phones are a little less affluent. They haven't been using their phones as long. And so they're mainly using them as replacements for the non- smartphones, the sort of the feature phones that they had before. And so they're using them for texting, for calling and for basic stuff.
Whereas the people who have the iOS phones are a little more experienced in using their phones for all kinds of things. And so they're much deeper into them.
STOUT: Hence the difference in use there.
And part of me, as we try to get philosophical about the IDC research, I mean, ultimately, Nick, does it even matter how much an Android phone is being used? I mean, a sale at the end of the day is a sale, right?
THOMPSON: Well, yes and no, right. Because you know the way these companies make money are -- or the way -- you can make money off your phone in a bunch of ways. You can sell your phone, you can sell data usage plans. And if you're going to sell customized data usage plans depending on your country it depends on how people engage in them.
Also if you're going to be selling apps, of course it depends how much people engage in them.
So ultimately what you want to do is to sell a phone and then have people use it for lots of things and you particularly want them to use it for things that involve commerce, right.
As our phones evolve, they're going to be millions of ways of spending money on your phone, whether you tap things, whether you browse things, whether you buy apps. And the companies that make them, the companies that make the operating system are going to want to take cuts. So they're going to want to have phones that people fully engage in.
So it does matter financially for all the companies that have a stake in Android, whether it's Google which built the operating system or Samsung and, you know, Motorola that make the actual physical phones.
STOUT: All right, Nick Thompson there making sense of the IDC research for us. Many thanks as always, indeed, and take care.
THOMPSON: Thank you, Kristie.
STOUT: Now, 30 years ago, this month in fact, Apple introduced the Macintosh. It marked a landmark for computers as the first product to bring a graphical user interface and a mouse to regular consumers.
Now to introduce the product, the film director Ridley Scott was hired to produce an advertisement that has been called the greatest commercial ever.
Now one of the men behind that ad tells us how it all came together.
STEVE JOBS, CEO, APPLE: Today, for the first time ever, I'd like to let Macintosh speak for itself.
MACINTOSH COMPUTER: Hello, I'm Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that box.
FRED GOLDBERG, APPLE ACCOUNT MANAGER, CHIAT/DAY: Because this product was such a breakthrough, the way to announce it would be in some fashion that had never been done before.
One of the coincidences was that we were introducing the machine in 1984, which was of course the year that Orwell wrote about. The creative team came up with this idea of having these robotic like figures who were really supposed to reflect what 1984 might have looked like in Orwell's novel.
And then this gal representing this vital energetic feeling comes running down with a hammer in her hands and flips this thing forward into this screen where this Big Brother image has been lecturing.
ANNOUNCER: On January 24, Apple computer will introduce Macintosh.
GOLDBERG: It was a decision made to actually go out and get I think it was 175 of these skinheads and they paid them $10,000 to sit there for three days with smoke being blown in their face.
RIDLEY SCOTT, DIRETOR: We bought three aircraft and dismantled them. And those three big jet bombers actually were then assembled in the corridors in the sculptural process that's why it looked very businesslike.
GOLDBERG: The board of directors had a problem, they thought that the world would think that we were crazy. At one point, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak agreed -- or offered to pay for the air time. There wasn't a peep until it ran on the Super Bowl.
But then when it did, the next day they sold something like $3.5 million of Macintosh's.
JOBS: People are going to bring them home over the weekend to work on something. Sunday morning, they're not going to be able to get their kids away from them and maybe someday they'll even buy a second one to leave at home.
GOLDBERG: Steve is often quoted as having said that something as insanely great and certain that that's what I heard out of his mouth after he saw the 1984 commercial.
STOUT: I remember seeing that ad back in the days. Great to hear the story behind it.
And that is News Stream. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.