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Life Inside North Korean Concentration Camp; Syria Crisis; Controversial Trip for Yemen's President; Smithsonian Begins Digital Archiving Of Earliest Known Recordings; Mexico's Most Notorious Drug Lord's Lieutenant Captured

Aired December 27, 2011 - 00:08:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.

I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.

And we begin with rare insight on life inside North Korea. We'll hear what it's like to grow up in a North Korean prison camp.

Syrian protesters out in force in Homs as an Arab League delegation visits the besieged city.

And Mexican authorities deal a blow to one of the world's most powerful drug lords, arresting the alleged security chief of the man known as "El Chapo."

North Koreans are preparing for the funeral of their late leader, Kim Jong- il, and the world will be watching to learn more about the dynamics of a secretive country in transition. Now, Kim Jong-un has been highlighted since his father's passing. He is expected to be front and center during Wednesday's ceremonies. A recent editorial in the main state newspaper refers to the young Kim as "Supreme Commander."

He briefly met a delegation of South Korean citizens late on Monday, and today the delegation met with the president of the North parliament. Seoul is not sending official representatives.

Kim Jong-un inherits a brutal legacy. Both his father and grandfather were known for repressing their people. And Paula Hancocks speaks to a man who survived an infamous North Korean prison camp.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kang Chol- huan (ph) was sent to a North Korean concentration camp at the age of 9. His crime, his grandfather fell out of favor with the elite. He doesn't know why his entire family, minus his mother, was sent to the Yodok camp. He survived there for 10 years before being released, managing to defect with a friend in 1992.

He tells me, "It was like Hitler's Auschwitz concentration camp. Not as large, and there is a difference in the way people are killed. Hitler gassed people. Kim Jong-il sucked the life out of people through starvation and forced labor." He says in some ways, people may have died in more misery.

Kang (ph) says he saw inmates die of malnutrition or exhaustion every single day. He himself almost died three times. His young age did not exempt him from hard labor.

Public executions, according to Kang (ph), were frequent. He says, "Usually, they fired three bullets each in the head, chest and legs. But they would sometimes use machineguns, firing dozens of rounds in the head, to destroy the body. They would also hang people, then stone the bodies until they were crushed. I witnessed these kinds of scenes dozens of times."

He remembers his family being forced to eat mice, insects and grass to stay alive. He says prisoners were often beaten or tortured.

After writing a book about his experiences, Kang (ph) was invited to meet former U.S. president George W. Bush. He told him the U.S. needs to focus on giving food aid in return for abolishing prison camps, rather than focusing exclusively on the nuclear issue.

North Korea does not admit to the existence of these concentration camps, but Amnesty International released these satellite images earlier this year, which it said shows the size and location of the camps in remote mountainous regions of North Korea. Comparing them to satellite images from 10 years ago and recent testimony from former inmates, the human rights group says these camps appear to have significantly increased in size. Amnesty believes they have been in operation since the 1950s.

(on camera): Kang (ph) says he often things of those who were in the camp at the same time with him, wondering if they're still there or even if they are still alive. He describes that time as a living hell, made only slightly more bearable now knowing that Kim Jong-il is dead. But, of course, the question is, will Kim Jong-un continue this deadly legacy?

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


STOUT: Pyongyang has not invited foreign delegations to Kim Jong-il's funeral, and few details are known. It is expected to echo the ceremonies following Kim Il-sung's death in 1994.

Now, pictures from back then look similar to what we are seeing now. And based on that precedent, Kim Jong-il's funeral is expected to begin at 10:00 a.m. local time on Wednesday. Kim Jong-un will pay final respects to his father, and then Kim Jong-il's body will be driven in a procession around Pyongyang, and he'll return to the mausoleum after that.

Now, turning to Syria, Arab League observers have arrived in the besieged city of Homs, and state media reports say the monitors met the governor. These are pictures from just the last couple of hours said to be of an anti-regime protest in Homs. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights counts about 20,000 demonstrators there.

We have seen many videos from Homs this week, and activists say government forces staged an assault on the city, but residents say the forces pulled out before the observers arrived. An opposition group says 11 people have been killed across Syria today, four of them in Homs.

Mohammed Jamjoom is monitoring developments from CNN Cairo, and he joins us now.

Mohammed, Arab League observers are now there in Homs. What are they likely to see?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, and also, we're just seeing video now posted online by an opposition group in Syria purporting to show members of this Arab League delegation in the Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs. We've spoken to members of the delegation today. They say they are in Homs, that they have been given free access to go where they want. They were taken by Syrian security forces to the city, but then they were allowed to do what they wanted while in the city. They were also saying that anybody in Homs would be able to reach out to them at any time.

We also heard from opposition activists in Homs that the tanks that had been surrounding certain neighborhoods and surrounding the city of Homs, that they were hidden in nearby government buildings so that the Arab League observers would not be able to see them. We heard of violence that happened, at least four people killed, according to these activists, earlier in the day, before the observers got to Homs. And now we're told of this huge demonstration, at least 20,000 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, out in the Haladiya (ph) neighborhood of Homs, calling for international protection, calling for help from the international community, because they say that this slaughter, as they call it, has been going on in Homs for the past several days -- Kristie.

STOUT: Can you tell us more about the flash point city of Homs? Why has it become such a focal point for the uprising in Syria?

JAMJOOM: Well, one of the reasons we're told in the past few days is because there are members of the Free Syrian Army there, and military defectors that are there as well, and that they have been trying to fight the Syrian army in their aggression towards the city of Homs. Homs has been a city -- a hotbed of activism since all this began. It's been a place where there have been reported multiple crackdowns. And in the past week, as we've seen and heard so many different accounts, people there, activists, residents, opposition groups saying that anybody and everybody has become a target.

The Syrian government continues to maintain that they're cracking down only on terrorism, but the activists, the rights groups, the residents there say that, in fact, it's pro-democracy activists, members of the Free Syrian Army, people who are asking for peace and democracy that are being targeted in this brutal crackdown by the Syrian regime -- Kristie.

STOUT: So now we have Arab League observers inside Homs on the back of a major extreme flare-up of violence there. What is Damascus' intention here? Why did they allow the Arab League inside of Syria? And is Damascus serious about working with them?

JAMJOOM: Well, that's the big question, Kristie. I mean, everybody is wondering just how serious the Syrian government is, and if they really do intend to end this violence and end this crackdown.

The protocol that was signed by the Arab League and the Syrian government stipulates that the violence ends, stipulates that the military be pulled out of the villages and towns across Syria, the detainees be released, that this crackdown stops. But, you know, the day that this protocol was signed, on December 20th, we got multiple reports of a massacre that happened in Idlib province. And many people said on the day that it was signed, if this was going on, how can the Syrian government actually be serious about ending the violence?

Yesterday, on the heels of the arrival of this delegation, and even as they were arriving, we were hearing multiple reports by activists and residents in the city of Homs that a massacre was happening, that dozens had been killed, hundreds wounded, that was just yesterday. And today we've heard more reports of violence that occurred before these delegation members arrived in Homs.

So everybody is wondering just how serious the Syrian government is. Their credibility, really at a low in the international community. And a lot of people even in Syria, even ones that are happy that the Arab League is there, fearful that the Arab League just isn't a strong enough or effective enough organization to really make sure that this crackdown stops -- Kristie.

STOUT: Mohammed Jamjoom, on the story for us.

Many thanks, indeed.

Now, officials in Kazakhstan, they are trying to track down the women who uploaded this video onto YouTube. It was reportedly filmed during an uprising in the town of Zhanaozen on December the 16th. It appears to show riot police closing in on protesters and even opening fire. And you can see wounded demonstrators falling to the ground. Some dragged themselves up again; they tried to flee.

Now, these clashes, they killed at least 15 people. The Kazakh president blames criminal groups for the violence. He also fired the head of the country's sovereign wealth fund, saying he failed to resolve a labor dispute that triggered the deadly riots.

Coming up next on NEWS STREAM, diplomatic dilemma. Yemen's embattled president is eyeing a visit to the U.S., but will Washington open its doors?

Strange alliance. Pakistan wants an apology from Washington for last month's deadly NATO airstrike, but the U.S. has a very different version of what happened.

And she defied Soviet leaders. Now it's Vladimir Putin's turn. Find out why this 84-year-old icon of the protest movement says she is not done yet.

All ahead on NEWS STREAM.


STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Yemen's embattled president who was seriously wounded in a bomb attack in June wants to travel to the United States to "get away from things." Ali Abdullah Saleh insists it is not for medical treatment, but the U.S. says that is the only reason he'd be allowed into the country.

As Jill Dougherty reports, the visa request has put Washington in a tricky position.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After months of promising to step down, then backtracking, Yemen's injured president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, says he wants to come to the U.S. for a while.

ALI ABDULLAH SALEH, YEMENI PRESIDENT (through translator): I will go to the United States. Not for treatment, because I'm fine, but to get away from attention, cameras, and allow the unity government to prepare properly for elections. I want to be away from the elections, because whether it fails or succeeds, people may blame the president.

DOUGHERTY: But the Obama administration is wary of giving a visa to a dictator. A senior administration official says the only way Saleh would get one is for "legitimate medical treatment."

Saleh was severely burned in a June 3rd attack, and an Arab diplomat tells CNN he may need specialized surgery. But for Saleh's political opposition, it feels like deja vu, one more attempt by Yemen's strong-armed leader of 33 years to stay in power. This ignited a national uprising and a bloody crackdown.

In June, after the assassination attempt, Saleh fled to Saudi Arabia for treatment, only to return in September, fueling even more violence. Monday, pro-Saleh forces killed nine demonstrators.

President Barack Obama's anti-terror adviser, John Brennan, phoned Yemen's vice president to urge maximum restraint and remind him of the peace deal that includes Saleh stepping down and new presidential elections in February.

(on camera): For the administration, this request by Saleh is an uncomfortable reminder of something that happened 30 years ago, and that is the request by the Shah of Iran to have medical treatment in the United States. And that was followed promptly by the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

Jill Dougherty, CNN, the State Department.


STOUT: Iran looks set to take another step toward enhancing ties with Iraq. A top Iranian military official says the country is prepared to expand military and security cooperation with its neighbors. Now, since the ouster and death of Saddam Hussein, Iraq's Shia majority has solidified its hold on power and developed closer ties with the Shia-led theocracy in Iran.

Now, this announcement comes just a week after U.S. forces withdrew from Iraq. And as Iran flexes its military muscles, it is currently staging its largest-ever war games in a region stretching from the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden.

Now, protesters took to the streets in parts of Pakistan after last month's NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers near the border with Afghanistan. And now the Pakistani government is lashing out at the U.S.

In a letter to the U.S. Congress, Islamabad calls the November airstrike "The most recent example of the losses Pakistan has suffered fighting alongside the U.S. to combat terrorism." Now, the letter also says that the incident has raised suspicions it was " -- a premeditated attack -- to undermine Pakistan's sovereignty."

A U.S. military investigators has said the deadly airstrike was the result of lack of trust between U.S. and Pakistani forces that led to critical missteps on both sides.

Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr is following the story and takes us through what the U.S. says happened.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The CIA suspended drone airstrikes over Pakistan for the last several weeks in an effort to restore still icy relations after U.S. military border strike accidentally killed 24 Pakistani troops. Though the CIA has never openly acknowledged years of drone raids aimed at al Qaeda and Taliban fighters, an administration official confirmed the halt. The U.S. military investigation into that border incident found plenty of blame to go around.

GEORGE LITTLE, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: Inadequate coordination by U.S. and Pakistani military officers operating through the border coordination center, including our alliance on incorrect mapping information shared with the Pakistani liaison officer resulted in a misunderstanding about the true location of Pakistani military units.

STARR: Furious, Pakistani intelligence officials insist the U.S. fired first during a night time raid near the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Not so, said the military investigators who concluded the hours of confusion began with a fatal mistake. U.S. troops go into an Afghan village didn't know Pakistani border posts were nearby.

BRIG. GEN. STEPHEN CLARK, INVESTIGATING OFFICER (via telephone): Two locations that are in question here were not identified on any chart.

STARR: 11:09 p.m., U.S. forces come under fire. They ask Pakistan if it has troops nearby and are told, no. But the Pakistanis are there, firing back. Believing they are under attack, NATO airstrikes are called in.

11:44 p.m., U.S. forces are fired upon again. The Pakistanis say their troops are being hit. The U.S. isn't sure where all this is happening.

CLARK: There is confusion caused by this because there is a lack of precision as it where this is occurring. When asked, the general answer back was, well, you know where it is because you're shooting at them, rather than giving a position.

STARR: Furthering the confusion, Pakistan again says there are no troops in the area. But nobody realizes the U.S. has used a wrong map. The firefight is 14 kilometers from where everyone is looking.

At 12:40 a.m., a third round of firing begins. By 1:00 a.m., the U.S. confirms Pakistani military are in the area, and the firing stops.

(on camera): Investigators say a major problem remains. Neither side trusts each other. And in this case, the worst possible scenario: neither side would say exactly where their troops were on the battlefield.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


STOUT: Now, do you remember the nanny who revealed that she was badly burned by the family of one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons? We have followed her from the start, and we are pleased to say she is making huge strides on her road to recovery. See how she is doing now, coming up next.


STOUT: Her ordeal shocked the world. She was found alone and suffering in Tripoli. On her skin, the unmistakable scars of scalding water poured over her, she says, by the wife of one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons. But now, months after CNN told her story, former nanny Shweyga Mullah is on the road to recovery.

Our Dan Rivers went to see her in Malta.


DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Her new life in Malta couldn't be further from the horrific torture she endured in Gadhafi's Libya. Enjoying a stroll in a mild winter's day, Shweyga Mullah is trying to put her terrible past behind her. She's out of the hospital and recovering fast.

As an outpatient, she needs to visit her doctor almost every day. It's here in the Malta Day Hospital that she has her dressings changed. Nurses also trimmed back her hair to stop the follicles getting infected.

This delicate procedure might look grim but Shweyga doesn't find it painful.

(on camera): With the help of the Maltese government, Shweyga is now getting the meticulous care that she needs. The doctors here say she is facing many more months of treatment.

MARY ROSE BONNICI, NURSE: She's making very much progress. It was discharging before and now it's getting drier and drier. But now it's good. It's very good. Even her hair is growing. She feels it's good anyway.

RIVERS (voice-over): This is how we found her abandoned in a Gadhafi family compound just after the liberation of Tripoli. Then she told me how she'd been scalded with boiling water. Poured over her head by Moammar Gadhafi's daughter-in-law Aline.

After our initial broadcast we were inundated with offers of help for Shweyga. It culminated in her being flown to Malta.

(on camera): A lot of people have given a lot of money to help you. What would you like to say to them?

(voice-over): She says a profound thank you to everyone around the world who's helped her with the medical treatment and with the money they've sent. A huge thank you, she says.

The small Ethiopian community of Malta is rallying around Shweyga. Despite all she's been through, her smile lights up her face.

All people here were migrant workers in Gadhafi's regime, but left Libya before the war. Shweyga's story has touched them all.

(on camera): When you've heard her story, what was your reaction?

EMANUEL TSEGAY, FRIEND OF SHWEYGA MULLAH: My reaction was I feel very, very bad. I heard the story of water, and in fact I was crying that night. Maybe I was crying.

RIVERS (voice-over): I asked Shweyga whether she wants to go back to Ethiopia yet. She says she doesn't feel ready to face the scrutiny of friends and the questions about what happened. Her scars aren't just physical.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Malta.


STOUT: And Dan Rivers will have more on Shweyga Mullah's life in a special presentation, "Scarred by the Gadhafis." It airs on "CONNECT THE WORLD" tonight, 9:30 p.m. in London, 10:30 in Berlin, right here on CNN.

Coming up on NEWS STREAM, she is a hero to many Russians for her fight against the Soviet government. And now this 84-year-old icon is taking on Vladimir Putin.

And striking at the heart of a Mexican drug cartel. Authorities say that they have captured a top security chief for the Sinaloa cartel. Will his boss, one of the world's most wanted men, be next?


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

Arab League observers are making their way around Syria. Activists say some 20,000 anti-government protesters took to the streets of Homs as monitors arrive in the city. The demonstrators are demanding international protection. An opposition group says 13 people have been killed across Syria so far Tuesday.

Two Swedish journalists have been sentenced to 11 years in jail by an Ethiopian court. They were convicted last week of supporting terrorism and illegally entering the country. They were captured after the rebel group they were reportedly embedded with got into a firefight with Ethiopian troops. Swedish officials are calling for their release.

India's anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazari has just launched another hunger strike that coincides with the debate of a new anti- corruption bill in the Indian parliament. Hazari and his supporters say the bill is far too weak. Now he rallied millions of supporters during his last hunger strike in August.

Yemen's president is trying to get permission to visit the U.S. The U.S. official said the visit would be for medical treatment. But Ali Abdullah Saleh's party says the president simply wants to get away from the attention. Mr. Saleh was badly injured in an attack on his presidential palace in June. After months of bloody protests he has agreed to step down.

Now anti-government protesters in Russia say that they are planning another rally later this week. Now despite the announcement of supposed political reforms, tens of thousands of people in Moscow didn't buy into it. They marched again over the weekend. And for many Russians this is the first time they've challenged the powerful Russian state.

Phil Black met one woman who has been facing down the Kremlin for most of her life.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Lyudmila Alexeyeva has been stirring up trouble with Russian authorities for 46 years. And for that, she has a special place in the heart of many Russian people.

This is the end of year party for the human rights organization she helped found in the 1970s, the Moscow Helsinki Group.

She tells its staff that next year will be a turning point in their fight. This is why the 84-year-old speaks with optimism, the recent anti- government rallies that have brought tens of thousands of people to the streets.


BLACK: When you first saw those crowds on Bolotnya Square what did you think, what did you feel at that moment?

ALEXEYEVA: It was great. I was absolutely happy that I saw it.

BLACK: For decades Alexeyeva worked with other dissidents, risking their lives to expose the human rights violations of the Soviet Union. The empire's collapse brought hope, but then the realization she had a new adversary.

ALEXEYEVA: Then Putin came, I thought not so bad (inaudible) you should (inaudible) be back. But unfortunately it's not a little (inaudible). We stormed back terribly.

BLACK: Alexeyeva has directly engaged Vladimir Putin who was previously president and is now prime minister and very likely to be president again. And when her help allowed it, she fought his policies on the streets.

She believes Putin rolled back people's rights, but brought economic prosperity, especially to those closest to him. She has a name for it.

ALEXEYEVA: (inaudible) for friends.

BLACK: For friends.

ALEXEYEVA: For friends of Mr. Putin, not my friends.

When the standard of life began to raise, people said oh you don't need any rights. We live very good without rights. We love Putin. We believe Putin.

BLACK: But she says the Russian people have now changed and there's no going back.

ALEXEYEVA: If you have no human rights and freedom, we have no stability. We have no prosperity. Now many people know it, many people know it, because it's (inaudible) of our development to the democracy. And I believe the real vision (inaudible).

BLACK: Lyudmila Alexeyeva believes it will happen soon. She says it may not be in her lifetime, but recent progress has made her a very happy old woman.

Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.


LU STOUT: Now time to check your global forecast with a focus on conditions here in China. Tom Sater is at the world weather center. He joins us now -- Tom.

TOM SATER, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, you know oh so well how nice it is there. Currently 17 degrees Celsius. You're under high pressure. Winds light, maybe a little breeze later on tomorrow coming in out of the east, but about 23 degrees Celsius and you keep the sunshine beautiful in Hong Kong.

This is the overall picture. The news is not great. You head well to the south or well to the east. More on that in a minute.

But notice the circulation, powerful, sprawling area of high pressure that it was strengthening about 48 hours ago seems to be weakening, but it'll keep you in the sunshine. However, as we find the circulation clockwise around that high, we've had a fair share of problems in areas of Thailand. We talked about it on the coast under clear blue skies they had damaging winds. That area of high pressure means business. So you don't have to have the storm clouds to have the damage.

It was a remote area, very popular remote on the coast, right, just south of Bangkok called Hua Heng (ph). Hua Heng (ph) was actually able to be spared all of the tremendous flooding that they had in Thailand, you know the worst flooding in 50, 60 years. A lot of the residents from Bangkok and Thailand fled to the coastline now to be hit by some damages.

So of course with those winds that was about 24 hours ago they had to put up some damage to restaurants and businesses. Fisherman were told to stay ashore.

Now we take a look at temperatures. And again quite outstanding if you get down to around Hong Kong as mentioned 17 degrees. Teipei 17. Quite cold to the north as we continue to find sea effect snows on the west coast of Japan.

But elsewhere things are not back. Danang looking at sunshine, 19 degrees for the day tomorrow. On a wider scale, too, we do have some rainfall. And unfortunately it's been making its way toward Mendenao (ph) in the Philippines. They'll be getting a break in about 24 hours. Good news for the clean-up efforts there.

But again, we are looking at the possibility of some flight delays due to some thunderstorms around Jakarta and Singapore. We'll have some flight delays for you, the possibility for those in just a few minutes.

But here was that area of high pressure. Notice as it dives southward, it gave those damaging winds right on the Gulf of Thailand here. Those subside. Very nice weather coming in the next 24 hours.

But this steering current has also played a role out in the Bay of Bengal. This is the next story. And this is our next cyclone, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center has given us a name. It is now Thane. Look at the massive size just in the last 12 to 24 hours. The feeder bands feeding into this system. We don't have a fell defined eye, but you can see the convective core.

We've got the warm temperatures. We've got the upper air support to really build this system and create most likely a monster storm. And it is headed toward Chennai. We've talked about this. But the path has been changing just a little bit. The last 24 hours the path taking it more westerly toward Chennai, but south of Chennai. But place to be if you're a populated city to be north of the eye as they circulate counterclockwise.

Well, now it's bringing it closer. Bad news for the strong winds, because if it makes its way into that populated city, the strong damaging cyclone winds along with the storm surge could really be a problem. Hopefully we'll get this to move a little further north, because it would be better to have Chennai on the southern end of a landfalling cyclone.

Much more coming your way, of course including those flight delays possibilities after your city by city forecast.

And if you're plans for pleasure or business take you to the air these are expected and forecasted flight delays. You definitely want to call ahead. Rain is mentioned, even some snow could cause a problem. Light delays there in Seoul and Taipei, but of course as you get toward Jakarta we're looking at thunderstorms possibly an hour to an hour-and-a-half for the day on Wednesday as well.

We're looking at thunderstorms, talked about this and that flow from the west to the east across the south which caused those problems, of course, in areas of the Gulf of Thailand. Could really cause a stir of some rough weather in the form of some thunderstorms around Singapore. So if you are traveling, safe travels.

And Kristie to you, enjoy that pleasant weather.

LU STOUT: I will indeed. Tom Sater, thank you and take care.

Time now for our sports update. And in England's Premier League is it a two team race at the top with both clubs, they're from the same city. Alex Thomas is in London with the details -- Alex.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, two more top teams in action later -- Arsenal and Tottenham, Kristie -- but it now looks as if Manchester United are the team to beat in England Premier League every bit as much as their local rivals Manchester City.

Despite a string of defensive injuries, United racked up their second 5-nil victory in the space of five days on Monday. Wigam the latest victories. Ji-sung Park with the opening. And then a hat trick for Dimitar Berbatov in his first league start since September.

And to add to United's Christmas cheer their local rivals Manchester City were held to an unexpected nil-nil draw by West Brom Albion. City boss Roberto Manchini sounding rattled afterwards, complaining about the festive fixture list and insisting that people were expecting too much from his star studded team.


ROBERTO MANCHINI, MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER: It's impossible to win. We tried, but it was difficult because West Bromwich played their best game (inaudible). And if you don't score quickly in the first half, maybe you can have problem in the second half.


THOMAS: Chelsea and Liverpool also failed to win on Monday, so this is how the top of the Premier League table looks. City still lead, though only on goal difference. Manchester United have joined them on 45 points. As for Chelsea, well their manager Andre Villas-Boas admits that realistically they are out of title contention.

As also, Monday night football stateside and a record breaking display by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. He broke Dan Marino's 27 year old mark for yards passing in a season. Although Brees had to wait before getting past that old record of 5084 yards as the Saints opening touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons was run into the end zone by Pierre Thomas who then pulled a bow from his pants, placed it on the ball as a belated Christmas gift for some fans, rather them than me.

On to the second quarter now and Brees makes some space for himself and then finds Jimmy Graham for a 9 yard touchdown pass.

There's more to come in the third. Brees has to scramble a little bit again before finding Robert Meacham for the 24 yard touchdown.

And later in the game, the Saints quarterback finally makes history when he throws another 9 yard touchdown, this time to Darren Sproles, beating Marino's mark and becoming the first man to pass for more than 5,000 yards in a season twice.

New Orleans win 45-16 and clinch the NFC South.

There's no rest for the NBA stars either. Two games in two days for many of them after the belated start to their season. And after losing to the Miami Heat on Christmas Day, the champions themselves are back in action on Monday night.

The Dallas Mavericks up against the Denver Nuggets. And here's Andre Miller in the first quarter with a nice spin move in the lane for the layup.

Ty Lawson had a big night. Here he is on the baseline for the reverse layup as Denver takes a 15 point lead.

Onto the third and the Mavericks really struggling. Here's Lawson again splitting the defense with a layup. He finished with 27 points.

Late in the third, Rudy Fernandez nails a 3-pointer for the Nuggets as they take a massive lead.

No comeback for Dallas. Denver wins this one 115-93. The Mavs make it 0-2 for the season. As do the Lakers, by the way -- had to mention that -- I know Ravi (ph) is listening.

Kristie, back to you for now.

LU STOUT: All right. Alex Thomas, thank you very much indeed for that and take care.

Coming up next here on News Stream, one of Mexico's top drug lords has been on the run for years. But now the man authorities say helped him lay low is under arrest. Will his capture get a break they've been waiting for? We've got that ahead on News Stream.


LU STOUT: Now it is not 2012 here in Hong Kong just yet. You're looking at live pictures of a lighting test ahead of the News Year's Eve countdown here in Hong Kong. And coming to you live from the territory you're watching News Stream.

As we approach the end of the year we're looking back at the images that represent 2011. Now this year, it marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. And here you can see a personal moment of mourning and prayer caught on camera of what was a day of national reflection for the U.S.

Robert Parazza (ph), whose son was killed in the attack, he is kneeling by his son's name at the 9/11 memorial site.

Just a few months earlier, only a few blocks away, emotions of a different kind were on display. Now crowds, they gathered with flags at New York's Times Square on May 2 shortly after U.S. president Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden to the world. And you could see the news ticker on the left of this picture reflecting that historic announcement.

Now the death of bin Laden produced what may be the defining picture of the year, the famous situation room photo. It gives a glimpse into the White House as President Obama and his team receive updates on the mission that killed bin Laden. And every part of this image tells a story from Obama's casual clothing and his seating position, not the head of the table, but to the side. And look at Hillary Clinton and her hand across her face. Now even the blurred out intelligence on the table. And with tension etched on every face.

Now this picture has become one of the most viewed photos ever on the photo sharing site Flicr.

Now the Mexican army deals a major blow to one of the country's largest drug cartels. And officials say they have seized a top lieutenant for alleged drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Now Guzman has said to be the feared billionaire boss of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. And as Rafael Romo reports he is still on the run.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The arrest of one of his security chiefs is the closest Mexican authorities have been to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman who has been Mexico's most notorious fugitive for almost 11 years.

Felipe Cabrera Sarabia was arrested Friday in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. According to Mexican officials Cabrera was in charge of security for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in the Mexican state of Durango and the southern part of Chihuahua. According to a Mexican army spokesman, Cabrera was also a major figure in drug trafficking operations for the Sinaloa Cartel.

GEN. RICARDO TREVILLA TREJO, MEXICAN ARMY (through translator): The violence that Cabrera Sabaria used to maintain control of his criminal activities was a factor that helped him become more important within the organization of "El Chapo" Guzman. He was a key operative in the organization's drug trafficking activity and even became responsible for providing security to this drug lord in his area of operation in the mountains of Durango.

ROMO: Cabrera is one of several top lieutenants in the Sinaloa Cartel who have helped Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman elude authorities since 2001 when he escaped a federal prison in Mexico. He made the list of the world's most powerful people, published by Forbes magazine, with a fortune estimated at $1 billion. The U.S. government is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. And Guzman is also the most wanted man in Mexico.

Guzman has been indicted in the United States under charges including conspiracy to import cocaine and money laundering, among others. Federal officials say he has been active in Mexican criminal organizations since the 1980s.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.


LU STOUT: So one alleged major player is off the map, but the hunt continues for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, or in slang Shortie. It may not be the most awe inspiring of nicknames but his net worth is pretty remarkable. He is said to be worth at least $1 billion, enough to come in just outside the top 1,000 richest people in the world on the Forbes 2011 list, and 10th in Mexico. And he appears to be a man with great influence. He ranks 55th on Forbes' list of the world's most powerful people.

Now still to come here on News Stream, we'll bring you some of the earliest sound recording known to man ranging from one of Shakespeare's greatest works to a children's nursery rhyme.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now way before the iPod, the CD and even the humble cassette tape, inventors were coming up with ways to record sound. The Smithsonian has a number of recordings dating back as far back as the 1880s. But curators only recently have started to listen to them.

Brian Todd lends an ear.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The audio clips, among the earliest ever recorded, have been virtually unplayable for over a century. In the past year, scientists have found a way to listen to them.

After Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, there was a rush of competition among scientists to make sound recording commercially viable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Edison and the Bells had settled on the cylinder as the format.

TODD: Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, was part of the competition. He sent several sealed tin boxes to the Smithsonian Institution with early prototypes of recordings to protect himself in case of a future patent challenge. The recordings have been stored in the Smithsonian since the 1880s, but with no device to play them, they sat on the shelf.

Enter Carl Haber of Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory.

DR. CARL HABER, LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY: We can use this camera to take a large number of pictures of the item and create a very, very detailed digital representation of the structure of the surface.

I'm going to rotate the record now and you'll see this start to move up and down as if a needle was riding up and down in it.

TODD: Around 18,000 optical images are taken for each rotation of the disc. Then the computer does its work to play back sound from the images.

HABER: This kind of bowl is the -- is the groove that he stylist would sit in.

TODD: There's a reading from Shakesspeare's Hamlet.

HABER: To be or not to be.

TODD: And Mary Had a Little Lamb.

HABER: At that point, the first part of the record ends. Something apparently went wrong. It's probably the first recorded example of somebody being disappointed.

TODD: The digital imaging system is ideal for archivists trying to protect the historically valuable discs, because there is no physical contact needed to hear the audio recordings.

The Smithsonian has about 200 early audio recordings from Alexander Graham Bell's Volta Laboratory. So far they have used optical imaging technology to decipher six of those recordings. You can listen to them by logging on to

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


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