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BEA Releases Air France Flight 447 Final Report; Japanese Report Blames Culture For Fukushima Disaster; FIFA To Approve Goal Line Technology; South Korea Announces Intention To Hunt Whales

Aired July 5, 2012 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet. And we begin in France where in the next hour we will hear the final report into the crash of Air France Flight 447.

A report into the Fukushima nuclear disaster places the blame not on the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the crisis, but on Japanese culture itself. We'll explain.

And football authorities are expected to approve the use of technology to help referees.

In half an hour, friends and relatives of the 228 people who died when an Air France plane crashed into the Atlantic will finally find out more about exactly what happened. Now French investigators are preparing to release their final report. Flight 447 set out from Rio de Janeiro headed for Paris in May of 2009, but the trip ended tragically off the coast of Brazil.

Now there have been a number of theories about the crash over the past three years, but there is one major factor that experts had not ruled out and that is human error. And we are expecting to hear more about that when the final report is unveiled later this hour.

So what do we know so far about why the plane crashed? Well, here's Richard Quest with a minute by minute account of what happens on board.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It all began May 31, 2009. Shortly after 22:00 UTC, universal time, the time standard used in aviation, Air France Flight 447 took off from Rio de Janeiro heading for Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. It was an AirBus A-330 200 series, carrying 228 people, or souls as they say in the industry: 216 passengers, 12 crew members.

Four hours into its 11 hour journey, things started to go wrong. At 02:00, the plane entered a thunderstorm with strong turbulence. The pilots made a short course correction to avoid the bad weather.

Then, a problem with the plane's pilot tubes, the small probes that are used to measure the speed of the airplane. It's believed they got clogged with super cooled ice.

The speed censors iced over. In the cockpit, the computers behaved as they were supposed to. The autopilot disengaged.

The plane's co-pilot, who was the pilot flying, reacted by pulling back on the side stick and the plane started to climb. Within a minute, the plane had climbed to 38,000 feet. It was outside its certified parameters. There was a stall warning as the plane's airspeed dropped dramatically and the plane fell out of the sky, falling at nearly 11,000 feet a minute.

As the earlier reports make clear, over the next three and a half minutes there was confusion in the cockpit as the pilot tried and failed to regain control of the aircraft. So far, in the early reports the accident investigators from France have been focusing on a series of sustained mistakes at least one of the pilots.

Finally, after falling 38,000 feet, unable to regain control, the plane plunged into the sea and sank to the ocean floor.

Days later, crews found wreckage in the equatorial waters between Brazil and Africa, 570 miles northeast of Natal, Brazil.

It would be two years and several searches later before the so-called black box, a flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorders, would be recovered. Now, more than three years later, the final report is to be published.

The investigators will not apportion blame to the crew or the plane or the equipment, what they will do is tell us what went wrong.

Richard Quest, CNN, London.


LU STOUT: Chilling details of the final moments there.

We will go live to that news conference on the Air France crash as soon as it happens in about 25 minutes. So stay with us for full coverage.

Now also in France, former senior executives of France Telecom are being questioned over a spate of employee suicides. More than 30 employees killed themselves between 2008 and 2009. Now the ex-head of the company, Didier Lombard was told on Wednesday that he is being investigated for alleged workplace harassment that authorities may believe may have contributed to the suicides. Lombard has been placed on $125,000 bail. Now France Telecom is one of the biggest companies in France. And at the time of the suicides, the company underwent a major reorganization designed to shed some 20,000 jobs.

Well, let's turn to Japan. Its nuclear disaster of 2011 was triggered by natural events, but a new government report says that the crisis that unfolded was man-made. An earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. It spewed radiation and displaced tens of thousands of people.

And a probe by a Japanese parliamentary panel singled out the plant's operator, TEPCO, along with nuclear regulators and the government. And the report, it was harshly critical of Japanese culture itself. In fact, it says that it's fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture -- our reflexive obedience, our reluctance to question authority, our devotion to sticking with the program.

Now this is just one of several investigations into the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. It is considered the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

Now WikiLeaks says it has begun to release some 2,500 -- rather, 2.5 million emails all from Syrian politicians, government ministries and companies. And the emails date back to 2006. They're in a number of languages including Arabic and Russian. WikiLeaks says the emails, quote, shine a light in the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy and show how the west and western companies say one thing and do another.

Now, I want to bring you story about a man in the UK who is virtually a prisoner in his own body. Now Tony Nicklinson, he is unable to speak and is almost completely paralyzed. He's a victim of what's known as locked in syndrome.

Now he wants to end the torment. And he's taken his fight for the right to die to the UK high court. Nima Elbagir reports.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Seven years ago, Tony Nicklinson was a healthy 51-year-old man.

JANE NICKLINSON, TONY'S WIFE: He was the life and soul of the party. He was a big bloke, ex-rugby player. He worked hard, but he played hard. He was, you know, full of life, great sense of humor, loved the sound of his own voice.

ELBAGIR: Then he suffered a stroke. Today, the man who loved life is fighting for the right to end it.

TONY NICKLINSON, SUFFERING FROM LOCKED IN SYNDROME: My name is Tony Nicklinson and I have locked in syndrome. This means that most of my body is paralyzed, but my mind is as it was before the stroke. All I can move is my head and the stroke took away my power of speech. Now I talk to people with a perspex spelling board or a computer operated by my eye blinks.

My day typically begins at 5:00 am. I need only four or five hours sleep, because I lead a very sedentary life. I watch television until 8:30 when the first of the gary's (ph) come. During this time, my wife checks on me at 7:30. In between then and 8:00 she gives me my drugs and juice for breakfast. These drugs are only to make my life more comfortable as I have refused all drugs that are designed to prolong my life since 2007.

Unfortunately for me, tomorrow will be exactly the same and the next and the next ad infinitum until the day I die.

ELBAGIR: If you were given the right to make that decision, would you chose to do so?


ELBAGIR: But under British law, Tony doesn't have that right. He's physically incapable of committing suicide and it's illegal for anyone to help him. At present, so-called voluntary active euthanasia, when assistance is required to end a life, constitutes murder. And the sentence is life imprisonment.

Tony has taken his case to the high court in Britain, saying he's not looking for a new law allowing euthanasia, he simply wants a remedy to the current legislation which he calls discriminatory.

TONY NICKLINSON: Some people have in the past spoken to me in a loud, slow and deliberate tones normally reserved for the deaf or daft. I am neither. All too often well meaning able bodied people just assume that if a person is so severely disabled that he needs assistance to commit suicide, he must automatically be unable to deal with such a choice. I say that where a person has the mental ability, he should have the choice of his own life or death. The only difference between you and me is my inability to take my own life without assistance.

ELBAGIR: Tony's condition hasn't changed for seven years. And he and his wife say the longer the court takes to rule on his appeal, the longer his only hope for relief is postponed.

JANE NICKLINSON: I think the injustice of it all, you or I can go out and take our lives at any time we want whereas Tony being the one that really needs that right can't do this. And he's only asking what everyone else has got, really. You know, his right to take his own life. He wants that given back to him.

ELBAGIR: The high court is expected to issue its judgment in Tony's case after the end of July. As difficult as things are for them, Jane says she and Tony have never had any doubts that assisted suicide is the right choice for them.

JANE NICKLINSON: It takes so long to get to this point. And we've never, ever waivered. And it's what he wants. It's what he wants desperately. So if it's what he wants, it's what we want.



LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Barclays former chief executive is slamming the traders he says were involved in the interest rate fiasco. Bob Diamond describes their behavior as reprehensible. But a testimony before a British parliamentary committee on Wednesday, he said only a small number of traders were responsible for manipulating interbank rates.

Now Diamond, who resigned on Tuesday amid the scandal said he felt physically ill when he discovered what some of the banks traders had been up to.


BOB DIAMOND, FRM. BARCLAYS CEO: I'm sorry. I'm disappointed. And I'm also angry. There is absolutely no excuse for the behavior that was exhibited in those activities and the types of emails that were written. And I stand for a lot of people at Barclays that are really, really angry about this.


LU STOUT: So he's sorry and he's angry. And Diamond also said that he believed Barclays was singled out as it was the first bank to cooperate with regulators investigating the matter. Meanwhile, UK lawmakers will vote today on whether to recommend an independent inquiry into the rate scandal.

Now environmental groups in a number of countries around the Pacific Rim are speaking out against South Korea's plans to start whale hunting. In a proposal to the International Whaling Commission, South Korea plans to cite a loophole in a global moratorium that allows some whales to be killed for research. The Australian and New Zealand governments have both raised objections. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says there is no excuse for scientific whaling.

Now CNN's Paula Hancocks is following the story. And she joins us now live from Seoul with more -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, the South Korean government is effectively saying that it does have the right to hunt whales for scientific purposes, but as you say it has caused a lot of anger around the world with both governments and environmental groups.

Now at this point we don't have the exact details from the government. They haven't specified exactly how many Minke whales they would intend to kill every year. And they haven't specified when they would start hunting.


HANCOCKS: Japan insists it kills whales for scientific purposes only. South Korea has now signaled its intention to follow suit.

HAN HYE-JIN, SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON (through translator): Scientific whaling is the right of the members of the International Whaling Commission. We think for scientific whaling will take place.

HANCOCKS: The move has outraged conservationist nations and environmental groups alike.

JULIA GILLARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: I am very disappointed by this announcement by South Korea. We are completely opposed to whaling. There's no excuse for scientific whaling.

HANCOCKS: The Korean delegation announced its intentions to the International Whaling Commission in Panama Wednesday saying stocks of Minke whales have replenished in Korean waters. And the Korean fishing industry is suffering as whales are depleting fish stocks. Two claims rejected by Greenpeace who believe scientific whaling is thinly disguised commercial whaling.

JEONGHEE HAN, GREENPEACE KOREA: There is no scientific evidence that the Minke whales in the Korean waters have recovered and it's still being assessed by scientific committee of the IWC. And also, whales do not cause the decline of fish stocks. It's actually human beings who are overfishing with mismanagement of fisheries.

HANCOCKS: More than 90 Minke whales were accidentally killed by fishermen in 2010 according to a joint Korean coast guard and whaling commission report with over a dozen more believed to have been illegally hunted. All of these ended up being sold into (inaudible).

Whale meat remains popular here in South Korea, particularly in the southern port city of Ulsan. Now this is where the meat from whales accidentally caught and sold. And in fact the Korean government insists that in this country there is a long tradition of hunting whales for food.

"I don't have anything against eating whale meat," this customer says, "I think it's OK to resort to a variety of food if food resources are shrinking."

South Korea continued whaling after a 1986 moratorium went into effect, but stopped after one season due to international pressure. Environmentalists are hoping similar pressure will make South Korean reconsider this time as well.


HANCOCKS: Now we did ask the fisheries ministry what exactly the scientific purposes were that they would be killing the Minke whales for. And what they said was that they had been told by their fishing industry that fish stocks around the Korean peninsula are depleted because there are too many whales. So they said they would be catching these whales to find out what is in their stomachs, how many fish are in their stomachs to see if there is a case to be made that there are too many whales and that fish stocks are in fact depleted.

Now of course environmental groups do say that there are many ways of doing scientific research in a non-lethal way -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: That's right, many people out there are simply not buying this explanation. In fact, many countries have condemned South Korea's announcement including Australia and New Zealand. So Paula do you think diplomatic pressure can prevent South Korea from hunting whales?

HANCOCKS: Well, it's certainly possible when the moratorium did come into affect in 1986. As I say now South Korea did continue to hunt whales, but that only lasted for a season. And it was the international pressure, we understand, that did convince the South Korean government to then respect the moratorium and to stop whale hunting completely. And they have stopped that whale hunting from 1987 up until the current day.

Now there are, of course, a very small amount of illegal hunters out there as there are in many other countries as well. But certainly the environmentalists are hoping that pressure can be applied to South Korea and it will help the Australian government. We've heard from the prime minister there saying that she will use diplomatic pressure. She is going to tell the ambassador, the Australian ambassador here to South Korea to try and follow this up at the highest level of government.

So it's certainly not something that countries like Australia and New Zealand are going to stay quiet about -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Paula Hancocks report, thank you very much for that.

Now South Korea's plan to hunt whales depends on approval from the International Whaling Commission, or IWC. Now only three nations currently conduct whale hunts. And they're highlighted here in yellow -- Iceland, Norway and Japan.

Now the IWC enacted a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986. The animals had been hunted to near extinction for their highly prized meat and oil, but as you know the IWC, it still grants permits to kill whales for scientific purposes.

And there is another exception. Now aboriginal whale hunts are permitted in the Danish territory of Greenland, the United States, Russia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Now ahead right here on News Stream, what a save -- no wait, it went in. We'll how the use of technology could soon solve a problem that has plagued football for decades.


LU STOUT: Live from Hong Kong, you are back watching News Stream. Now football officials are set to make a historic decision today. In a few hours they're expected to approve the use of goal line technology in football to solve a problem that's plagued football for decades, judging whether a goal is a goal.

Now in the 1966 World Cup final, England scored a crucial goal against the Germans, a goal that their opponents dispute because they don't think it crossed the line. Now it's a situation that's been repeated through the years all the way to the last World Cup in 2010 where England and Germany met again and where another English shot was disputed, but this time despite being clearly over the goal line, this one wasn't given.

Now unlike in 1966 we now have the technology to help referees make decisions like this. And at least one former referee thinks they support technology.


GRAHAM POLL, FORMER REFEREE: All referees welcome goal line technology. There's nothing worse then driving home from a game which is all about scoring a goal, and a goal has been scored and generally through no fault of your own you haven't seen it. So I think every referee welcomes the introduction...


LU STOUT: OK. So how would it work? Well, let's look at one of the two systems expected to be approved. It's called hawk eye. Sports fans may be familiar with the name, Hawk Eyes technology is used at Wimbledon and other major tennis tournaments. And it works by having cameras placed at several places around the court. And each camera has a different view of the ball in motion. All those views, they're combined and processed by a computer to come up with this.

Now this is a computer simulation of the flight of a tennis ball showing exactly which side of the line the ball landed on. Obviously this is a tennis simulation, but Hawk Eye argues that the technology would work for football as well.

So they say the technology works, referees and players are in favor, so why has it taken so long to get this approved? We'll go to World Sport's Alex Thomas in London now. Alex, why has there been just so much resistance to goal line technology from football officials?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I think, Kristie, just because of tradition really. Football purists, if you want to call them that, insist that the final decision for anything that happens on the field of play should rest with the referee and there shouldn't be any outside interference. You start looking at television replays it would break up the flow of the game. Football, I might say -- American football, has very few interruptions.

However, that stance has certainly changed in recent years while the head of European football, UEFA is the governing body, Michel Platini, their president, is still against the idea. The head of world football, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has changed his mind, mainly it has to be said because of that disputed goal by Frank Lampard in the 2010 World Cup you highlighted earlier.

I was at that game, Kristie, and it was farcical because of modern technology with our smartphone, people were sending video clips to their mates in the crowd in South Africa clearly showing the ball crossed the line when the referee just a few yards away on the pitch was oblivious to it. And it made the whole thing a complete joke that the referee wasn't allowed to use the same technology the fans can easily access these days.

We all use technology more and more in our lives. I think football is bowing to the inevitable really.

LU STOUT: Yeah, it's time for a big upgrade in the sport, right? And Alex, will goal line technology be used for more than just judging goals in football?

THOMAS: Well, the football authorities are adamant that this isn't just the first step to use technology just to decide whether or not the ball has crossed the line, it's the only step. They don't want TV replays to become a widespread thing in the sport. When you look at other sports like cricket or rugby or NFL that already use some sort of video technology to make decisions, it started with one thing and has spread because the players and the officials can see how effective using technology is.

But one member of the International Football Association Board, the body that will make this vote later on today on goal line technology, insists that GLT is where it will stop.


NEALE BARRY, IFAB TECHNICAL COMMITTEE: This is a debate that we may have in the future, but currently we're only talking about goal line technology. And the reason we talk about goal line technology is because it's a matter of fact: the ball either crosses the goal line or it doesn't. All the video technologies then come to a matter of opinion: was it a penalty, wasn't a penalty; should he have been sent off, should he have not been sent off.


THOMAS: Then no sooner, Kristie, will you get football fans saying at last football has come out of the dark ages, goal line technology come in - - not for this season, it will take probably until next year to get it implement, then suddenly you'll still get debates about whether the player was offside in the buildup or whether it was a foul or not. So I don't think arguments are going to end.

LU STOUT: Yeah, yeah. I don't think the smartphones are going to be put away during the game, right? Alex Thomas there. Thank you very much indeed for that.

Now you're watching News Stream. And still ahead, what went wrong on Air France Flight 447? We'll go live to Paris for the final report on the 2009 crash. We've got that next on News Stream.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now a final report into the Air France disaster in 2009 is being unveiled in Paris. Some 228 people died when Flight 447 came down in the Atlantic ocean after taking off from Brazil. Now this report, it will provide more information about exactly what happened and is also expected to look at possible human error.

You're looking at the room where this press event is about to take place. And of course once they begin to release the final technical report of AF 447 we'll bring it to you live right here on CNN.

And for the loved ones of the victims of the flight, their hopes that the final report into this disaster will bring a sense of closure. But back in 2010, Don Riddell spoke to Patricia Coakley who lost her husband in the crash. And she told us knowing what happened won't change the past.


PATRICIA COAKLEY, WIFE OF AIR FRANCE CRASH VICTIM: I just hope he was fast asleep, knew nothing.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Do you allow yourself to think of what happened on that flight?

COAKLEY: No. It pops into my head, I bat it out.

RIDDELL: Does it matter to you what actually caused the accident?

COAKLEY: No. No. I'm not (inaudible). It was an accident no matter what, but it's not going to help me.

RIDDELL: But it won't make any difference to you?


RIDDELL: Why is that?

COAKLEY: Because it's not going to bring him back.

RIDDELL: What do you miss most about Arthur (ph)?

COAKLEY: What do I miss? I miss him. You know, he just call me sweetheart and saying I look lovely even though I know I look like a bag of bones. He was just so great, you know, a cup of tea. We always knew what we were thinking. And I really knew my heart is just full of unshed tears, because I know when I start I won't stop.


LU STOUT: A very human face of this disaster.

Let's get the very latest for you now. Richard Quest has been monitoring the story from CNN London. And Richard, we're waiting for this press event to start. What is the final report likely to say?

QUEST: You know, before I go into that, Kristie, the -- what you just heard is an important reminder of why this report has taken so long to put together, why they were so urgently requiring to get to the bottom of the sea and find the flight-data recorded and the cockpit voice recorder, because frankly until they found the pieces of the plane and found the recorders they had no idea what was happening or why it had happened.

Over the last three years, we have had three very long, very detailed reports. The most recent one was interim three that came out last year.

But what we're going to get now is the distillation of them all. And what I'm fully expecting it to say is that, yes there was a malfunction of the speed censor, the so-called PITOT tube, and that was serious, but it wasn't catastrophic, it was the way the pilots responded to that crisis that ultimately doomed the aircraft. That -- you know, pilot error, one might say. It's going to talk about the lack of training, the lack of experience, the lack of the relationship between the cockpit members, how they related to each other, the seniority, all those sort of issues.

This is not fundamentally a crash about a plane that went wrong. This particular report will be about how the pilots handled the incident after the incident had taken place.

LU STOUT: You know, the last two years there's been this ongoing discussion and debate about what happened, what went wrong. There was this dispute between Air France and the manufacturers between the AirBus jet over who is to blame. Do you think this final report when it comes out, will it put that dispute to rest?

QUEST: No question. No question.

We know this already. We don't need the final report. Interim three tells us all we actually need to know about it.

The pilot made certain -- the 32-year-old, the least experienced pilot who was the pilot flying in the right-hand seat, made certain maneuvers, pulling the nose of the plane up, that in the cold light of day are inexplicable. That is not my view, that is the view of the dozens of experts that I've spoken to. It is the view of the report.

And what the inquiry discuss is why he did it. What lack of training was there in terms of handling manual flying at altitude, in handling a high altitude stall. Because here's the fact, Kristie, here's the fact, if they had done nothing and sat on their hands and just watched and waited, the plane would have been fine. The nature of this disengagement of the autopilot and the auto throttle was such that the plane would have carried on flying straight in a line at the same speed while they worked out. But you're seeing there what the pilot did was raise the nose of the plane. And he did it at altitude. And that had a dramatic effect on the aircraft.

And the report itself says, the interim report says the pilot did not understand what was happening.

So there you have it. It will be pilot error. It will be compounded by a technical fault, but ultimately the lessons will be learned about how crews and pilots and planes are put together.

LU STOUT: And Richard, what about closure? I mean, do you think this final report that we're waiting to be released there in this press conference at this even later on in Paris, do you think it will finally bring closure to the friends and to the families of the 228 victims who died?

QUEST: Nothing ever brings closure. If you've ever met a relative -- I mean, I just think of that lady who was just speaking -- I'm not going to dwell on how this plane came out of the air, it is simply too horrific for us to think about.

What I can say is, if it does -- and please god it does bring closure to those who suffered directly -- it does open up an entire debate in the airline and aviation industry about the training of pilots. And it does so at a time when tens of thousands of pilots are going to be needed for the future growth of aviation. How they are trained, how they work together, those are the real issues that today airlines and plane manufacturers are working very hard on.

LU STOUT: And also there's this investigation. I mean, both Air France and AirBus are being investigated for alleged manslaughter. Where does that stand now?

QUEST: Well, you know that -- I mean, for those involved, that's significant because of the decisions that were taken. Were the pilots so out of the realms of reasonable that it becomes criminal and manslaughter? That's significant for Air France, it's significant for the people, the families involved. It's a sideshow for the industry. But it's one reason why the report never -- these reports do not cast blame. They are designed to show what happened so that it doesn't happen again.

But I promise you Air France 447 has gone down in the record books already as a seminal incident that people are learning from. So make sure that we've already reached such a safe environment in the air, but how do we get to that next level?

LU STOUT: All right. Richard Quest there.

Let's take you live to Paris where the final report is in fact being announced right now on this airline tragedy.

QUEST: I'll stay with you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): ..simultaneous with another accident which was taking place around the (inaudible) at the same time. Also exceptional due to the -- the precise details of this accident was only known thanks to the reading of the black box in May 2011 -- also due to the fact that it was a large amount of media coverage of the different stages given by different phases of sea researchers and different -- three different state reports to the first major air accident of the new -- in the new era of accelerated media.

Exceptional last also due to numerous violations concerning security ethics whether we're talking about divulging confidential information and also publishing a transcription of the recording in a fraudulent way.

Exceptional finally due to the controversies and an unjust accusations concerning the BEA inquiries and these have been called into question.

I would like to remind you that what we're speaking about here is the security report which had been carried out by BEA. This inquiry is not seeking to turn any responsibilities, that is a judicial inquiry which is taking place in parallel and independent to us. Each person has their role. So do not expect to hear from us about fraud or responsibility.

BEA from the very day the accident 1st of June, 2009 we started our inquiry. From the very beginning the priority was given to recovering the flight recorders without discovering, finding them the inquiry could not have taken place. It's only the 2nd of April, 2011 during the fourth phase of undersea search that they were recovered, the recorders quickly recovered, able to be read fully, having remained two years at 3,900 meters. And this -- undersea -- and this surprised the researchers.

Specificities were therefore able to be described in a new report of the 29th of July, 2011. The description of the circumstances of the accident in this report brought about lively reactions in an emotional context given the number of commentators. Indeed, we need to understand the reasons for the accidents of the pilots, how the only loss of this speed indicators could have left -- from that alone could have led to such a catastrophe. And thus, we are is now going to present this to you.

ALAIN BOUILLARD, INVESTIGATOR-IN-CHARGE (through translator): Ladies and gentlemen, a little less than a year ago we presented the state report at stage three following the reading of the flight recorders, a report in which we described how the events had come about.

At that time, we'd set up a human factor group in order to understand the actions, reactions of the crew associated with the conclusions of the system groups, operation group and maintenance group. And we were able to write up the final report and its conclusions I'm going to present to you today.

In order to be in the context of the flight, this was a regular flight, scheduled flight from Rio to Paris. The take-off was 22:29. It was at 350 cruising level. And it was as planned during the flight.

On the right, the co-pilot who was working, on the left the commander who was not working. The second was resting -- the second pilot was resting. The flight took -- was taking place quite normally. There were good meteorological conditions. And then they said that they were not bothered by the storms which had -- they had expected.

Then, the plane entered with light turbulence into the clouds. At this time, the pilot was concerned that he could not reach the height as planned for the rest of the flight due to the external conditions which did not make it possible for the flight -- the plane to rise.

A little later, the pilot -- working pilot was implicitly involved as the working pilot. The second co-pilot then entered the cockpit, took the briefing from the second co-pilot who had just taken over on the left side. And then assisted with the elements in particular concerned about the flight conditions of turbulence and the fact it was not possible to get up to level 370.

At this time, the commander left the piloting post.

At this time, nothing had been defined the two co-pilots were in command. And we reached the point where we can now visualize the journey, the movement that this plane was taking.

It was 2:07:48. At 35,000 feet the plane was visible and stable despite some light turbulence. The commander on board and the pilots were discussing the strategy to take, particularly concerning the detection of the weather radar and suggested a deviation to the left of the planned journey of around 12 degrees.

The flight turbulence could be felt. The discussion was still on the subject, the possibility -- the possibility of going -- rising in order to -- because of the risk of going into the clouds. And a few seconds, as you will see on the right of the screen at the time where there were ice crystals and in currents of the measured speed.

Then there was a deconnection of the automatic piloting which was something that was understood by the pilots, an action which then led the plane to descend, an altitude alert then reached in the cockpit and the plane was then to rise up to an altitude of about 38,000 feet with a vertical speed over 6,000 feet per minute.

At this time, at 2:10 am an alarm sounded several calls were made to the pilot...

LU STOUT: OK, live in France the final report of an airline tragedy has been released. The crash of Air France Flight 447 into the Atlantic. Earlier we saw the director of the BEA, that's France's bureau of investigation and analysis, he said that the inquiry is not to talk about who was responsible, but to look at the actions of the pilots.

Just then we saw Alain Bouillard, he's the investigator in charge. He's speaking in great detail about the flight.

Richard Quest is watching this very closely. He joins us now. Richard, takeaways so far?

QUEST: Well, he's going through the series of events minute by minute. And he's talking us through exactly what was happening in the cockpit, the noises they were hearing. This is what you would expect.

He, you know, we won't hear for another hour or so, maybe 40 minutes their recommendations and their conclusions. He's literally doing what we would say a tick-tock.

But he has already said something that's very telling. He said what they had to understand was how the loss of the speed censor, something that is serious, but you know it's one of those things, how could something like that have lead to the loss of the aircraft?

And that is when we then now look at the various panels that they put together. A human relations one. They put together a technical panel. This is all about how the crew responded.

I keep coming back to this point, and I'm avoiding the phrase pilot error, because that's way too simplistic. Here, and we will hear it in the next hour, you're talking about the culture that existed at Air France and you're talking about the culture that existed in that particular cockpit with a captain that wasn't there, with two first officers where neither one had been designated in charge. You're talking about a question of the training for high altitude manual flying, high altitude stall, all these issues -- why the left-hand seat didn't take control again, why the captain didn't take control again, these are the human factors.

Now we'll get to those in the next hour. I can tell you they've left no stone unturned in the working groups, in their discussions, in their investigations. This is the interim report. The full report isn't out yet. But it does go into pages. And it has graphs of what the aircraft was doing. They know, Kristie, how that plane was behaving, what was done.

What they haven't fully managed to understand and I don't believe even at the end of this inquiry we will understand this is why.

LU STOUT: So we're waiting to hear more about how the crew responded as well as recommendations from this investigation. We will continue to monitor this presser as it goes on. But just that -- go ahead.

QUEST: I would just say -- well, we know how they responded. We don't know why.

LU STOUT: OK. That's the big question, that's what we're waiting for an answer if there is an answer in this press event.

Now the director of BEA, we heard from him. And he said that this inquiry from the top he said this inquiry, it's not about seeking to talk about who is responsible. A separate judicial inquiry is taking place. I understand that will be presented to victims families soon.

What will that say, Richard?

QUEST: Well, the investigation is never about apportioning blame. Under the laws and the treaties that set it up under the ICAO (ph) process it's very clear these investigations, the reports are all written in exactly the same way. It doesn't matter whether it's Russia, Germany, the U.S., the UK, Australia, it doesn't matter which country, these reports all follow a particular format. And they're never designed to apportion blame, because if you do that you're not going to get the cooperation you seek.

It's up to other authorities, in this case the judicial authorities, to decide what was there criminality, mass negligence, malpractice, whatever it might be.

We know what happened here. It's up to other authorities and other jurisdictions, legal systems to decide whether that does reach the level of criminality.

LU STOUT: All right. Richard Quest, thank you very much indeed. He will continue to watch that press event underway in Paris. The final report being released into what happened on Air France Flight 447.

You're watching News Stream. We'll be back right after the break.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now hot temperatures continue to dominate the world weather headlines. Meteorologist Karen Maginnis joins us now from the world weather center -- Karen.

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We have plenty of heat to tell you about. And let's start across Europe where we saw temperatures that were well into the 30s when typically they should be in the upper 20s for this time of year. Budapest, Hungary, 36 degrees reported on Wednesday afternoon.

Well, it's got a sharp contrast in temperatures. It is primarily from around Greece towards Poland, that's where we're seeing the most intense heat with an area of low pressure, this trough, it keeps digging in across the United Kingdom, also into France and portions of Germany.

It isn't that way everywhere, but as we take a look around the globe it certainly does look like hot weather is the dominating factor. We go to the United States and on July 4 St. Louis, Missouri topped out at 41 degrees. A typical high would be 32.

Then we transport across the pond and into Europe where we already showed you some of those temperatures that were playing out just about 24 hours ago. Even in the Middle East, Kuwait, soared to a temperature of 47 degrees on Wednesday.

And then into Asia, a lot of heat taking place here. Take a look at this. In Shanghai, the temperature at 38.

Here's that tough I was telling you about. Not moving a whole lot, but it is drawing that moisture up and could be a factor as far as rainfall is concerned both at Wimbledon and at the Tour de France.

And an area of low pressure across the Black Sea did produce some flash flooding that in Sampson (ph). And it already claimed nine lives.

Fires erupt, hundreds of them, across Russia. These Vietnamese red areas, that's where we see the heat signature. And the smoke that is just kind of swirling around across this region. Even on some of those higher peaks there are pyrocumulus, that is these cumulus clouds, thunderstorm clouds, that have intake -- have a lot of smoke that is associated with them is what I'm trying to say.

Also into eastern Asia this frontal system just kind of waving across Korea and Japan. And this will be the trigger mechanism for some of the heavy rainfall there. Take a look at these temperatures. Hong Kong expected to make it to 32. For Beijing 28. For Islamabad 43 degress. Mumbai at 30. And for Bangkok 33. Singapore should be about 30.

And across the Midwestern and Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley in the United States temperatures soaring again 5 to 10 degrees above where they should be -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Karen Maginnis there. Thank you very much indeed.

You're watching News Stream. That is it. But the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.