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The Search For MH 370 Continues; Russian Show Support For Putin's Handling Of Crimea; The Last of Us Wins BAFTA Game of the Year; Comedian Pranks Taxi Passengers With Snake

Aired March 13, 2014 - 8:00   ET


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

Now another day brings no answers to the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, only more questions about where the plane is.

As tensions rise in Crimea, we look at how Russians feel about the crisis.

And a year after he became leader of the Roman Catholic Church, we look at the impact of Pope Francis.

Frustration is growing as the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 stretches into a sixth day. And as a variety of theories pop up about what may have happened to the plane, Malaysian authorities are urging caution.

Now today, they denied a Wall Street Journal report claiming that the jet liner may have flown for hours after it's last confirmed contact. And they revealed that these satellite photos from the Chinese government were released by mistake and do not show any debris relating to the plane.

Now Malaysia's transportation minister also rejected criticism over how the search effort is being handled.


HISHAMMUDDIN BIN HUSSEIN, ACTING MALAYSIAN TRANSPORTATION MINISTER: This situation is unprecedented. MH370 went completely silent whilst over the open ocean. We are in the middle of a multinational search involving many countries and more than 80 ships and aircraft.

This is a crisis situation. It is a very complex operation and it has not always been easy. We are devoting all our energies to the task at hand and I want to be very clear, our focus has been on finding the aircraft.


LU STOUT: Malaysia's transport minister went on to say that the search area was expanded in recent days to follow every possible lead, but he says the main search remains in the South China Sea.

Now 26 ships and 25 aircraft are working there while 17 ships and 15 aircraft operate in the Strait of Malaka.

Now searching such a vast area poses many challenges. Rene Marsh takes a look at the technology being used to locate the lost jetliner.


RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From the sea, air, land and even space, search teams are using everything at their disposal to find Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. The first question? Figuring out where radar last picked up the plane.

TOM HAUETER, FRM. DIR. NTSB OFFICE OF AVIATION SAFETYH: It's a big task because you have multiple radar sites and possibly from multiple different countries, so they're not all in the same format.

MARSH: Some of the top radar experts in the world are helping analyze every possible blip, but searching can also be low tech, like looking out a window for debris

JOHN HANSMAN, MIT: Most of the search is being done either by air, airplanes flying over, because they can cover the largest area.

MARSH: The US Military is even searching in the dark.

WILLIAM MARKS, PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER ON THE USS BLUE RIDGE: We're looking at tonight, actually, flying a night mission, which can use its radar, infrared and even night vision goggles there.

MARSH: High above it gets even more high tech. Devices that look for nuclear explosions and missile launches were checked to see if the plane blew up. Satellites were focused on the area. NASA says it's using weather satellites to look for wreckage, along with a camera on the international space station. Besides photos released from the Chinese government, the pentagon is checking its satellites, but below the waves the plane itself could be calling if anyone is close enough and listening.

HANSMAN: There is the acoustic pinger, which is on the flight data recorder, but that requires that you have basically a microphone that will work in the water. Most ships don't have the right equipment, so you have to get ships to the area that have the right equipment to start looking for it.


LU STOUT: That was Rene Marsh reporting there.

Now a little bit later, we'll take a closer look at the currents in that area with Mari Ramos and see just how far any object in that water might drift.

Now I want to take a closer look at what sort of data planes sent back to the ground.

Now Malaysia Airlines is one of a number of carries that used the system to automatically send technical details during flights. Now the new scientists says it's a system that sends four technical reports during takeoff, during the climb, at any point during the cruise phase and on landing. It's not a continuous stream of data, it only files information at those four times.

Now the CEO of Malaysia Airlines said that the system did send back data before it disappeared, but the data showed nothing unusual.

It may well be that whatever happened on this flight simply had not happened yet.

Now the system has worked effectively before, before Air France Flight 447 crashed in the ocean back in 2009, it sent data back showing that the plane was having serious problems. It didn't say why, but it did say that something had happened to the flight.

Now sadly, that alone is more than we know about the fate of the Malaysia Airlines plane.

Now the families and friends of those on board the missing plane, they continue to push for more information. And they're also sharing stories about their loved ones. Jake Tapper has that.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 239 souls, including 12 crew and 2 infants, boarded Maylasia Airlines Flight 370.

HUSSEIN: Each time that passes, I hear that this search and rescue becomes just a search, but we will never give up hope.

TAPPER: As investigators try to solve the baffling mystery of the plane's disappearance, we all run the risk of not paying enough attention to the tragedy behind it all - the loss of humanity.

Philip Wood, an IBM executive, a father of two.

33-year-old Mohammed Sofuan Ibrahim was traveling to start a new job. He's seen here on board the flight in a photo he posted to social media.

French students and teen sweethearts Zhao Yan and Hadrien Wattrelos, seen here on Facebook, were traveling together, returning from a trip to Malaysia with his mother and younger sister.

Australians Robert and Catherin Loughton (ph) traveled often, posting photos such as this to Facebook. The couple boarded Flight 370 with fellow Australians Rodney and Mary Burroughs (ph) to begin another adventure.

Muktesh Mukherjee and Xiaomo Bai left their two young sons with family as they embarked on a vacation together.

MATTHEW MCCONKEY, FRIEND OF COPULE OF MH370: They had left the two boys with her mom back in Beijing. He was very much in love with her. And as parents, nothing was more important to them than those kids.

TAPPER: A dozen crew members are also missing today. The daughter of chief steward Andrew Nari continues to tweet messages to her missing father. "My dad must be busy serving the passengers food and drinks," she tweeted today.

Among Nari's fellow flight crew, first officer Fariq Ab Hamid, aged 27, and Zaharie Ahmad Shah.

ZAHARIE AHMAD SHAH, PILOT: The experienced pilot is seen here, in one of many YouTube videos posted under his name, teaching others how to do household repairs.

Comments such as "come back, captain!" flood the page. But with each passing hour, that cheer seems increasingly, tragically impossible.

Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.


LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream. And still to come this hour, Angela Merkel lashes out at Russian over its intervention in Ukraine. We continue our coverage of the crisis there. Our reporters are on the ground across the country.

Plus, Pope Francis marks one year as the head of the Roman Catholic Church. I'll take a look back at his many firsts. Stay with us.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now just days before a secession vote in Ukraine's Crimea region, western leaders are sending a message to Russia. U.S. President Barack Obama met at the White House on Wednesday with the interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Now Mr. Obama warned Moscow there will be consequences if it does not change course in Ukraine. Yatsenyuk says Ukraine will never surrender, but still wants to be a friend of Russia.


ARSENIY YATSENYUK, INTERIM PRIME MINISTER OF UKRAINE: My country has faced a number of challenges, the military one is a key challenge today. And we urge Russia to stick to its international obligations, to pull back its military into barracks and to start the dialogue with no guns, with no military, with no tanks, but with the diplomacy and political tools.


LU STOUT: Now in other diplomatic developments, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that Russia's presence in Crimea violates Ukraine's territorial integrity speaking to the German parliament today.

Now she said this weekend's referendum is unconstitutional.

Well, armed Russian-speaking troops have effectively isolated the Crimean peninsula from the rest of Ukraine. Crimea, which has an ethnic Russian majority, will vote on Sunday on whether to become part of Russia.

Now Ukraine may be worried about the prospect of losing Crimea, but many Russians seem to support President Putin's handling of the crisis.

For more, let's go straight to Moscow. CNN's Phil Black joins me live. And Phil, how do people there in Moscow view the situation in Ukraine?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we know that to western leaders Vladimir Putin is something of a frustrating figure at the moment. His aggressive policy on Ukraine, his reluctance to admit that there are Russian soldiers occupying the peninsula. But here in Russia it is very different. His continued defiance of the west, his support for ethnic Russians in the east and the south of the country and his promotion, his support and it would seem willingness to recognize the results of this coming weekend's Crimean referendum on joining the Russian federation. All of this is overwhelmingly popular.


BLACK: At Moscow's Danilovsky (ph) market you'll find quality food, middle class shoppers and workers who aren't quite so well off. This microcosm of the Russian capital is a long way from the Crimean peninsula, but almost everyone here says they feel a connection to it.

"Crimea was always Russian and it should stay Russian," Anatoli says.

Not surprisingly, Vladimir Putin's handling of the crisis is popular, which explains approval rating up around 68 percent.

"Absolutely I support it, that's not even up for discussion," Irina (ph) says. "Well done, Putin. I'm extremely grateful we have such a leader."

As for those mysterious, well prepared, heavily armed men in green and black spreading across Crimea, many here believe their president when he says they're not Russian soldiers.

"There aren't any troops there. You are misinformed," this man tells us.

And some of those who think they are Russian troops are OK with it.

"We're not going there to vote," Nicholi says, "we're going there to protect our people. The presence of soldiers creates stability."

"When our people are attacked, you have to fight back," this woman says.

That's another strongly held view. Ukrainian nationalists are hurting Russian-speaking people.

"It's indisputable. Nationalists are in control and they're killing people," Vladimir says. "It's just like when Hitler came to power."

Some of the strongest opinions are not just from people who support President Putin and his approach to Ukraine, you also hear real passion when people here speak about their deep mistrust for Europe and the United States.

"They're doing this to encircle Russia," Irina (ph) says.

Valery (ph) agrees, the goal is NATO expansion.

Tatiana (ph) sees a bigger conspiracy, "they want to bankrupt Russia," she says.

Most of these people admit they're informed by Russian media, much of which is controlled by the state.

Even though western reporting tells a different story. She wants Crimea to stay with Ukraine. It's a minority view, most believe Crimea is like the delicacies available here at the market, a vital part of Russia's history and culture.


BLACK: Kristie, I mentioned there that Vladimir Putin's approval rating is now around 68 percent, well a new poll just released puts it up around 71 percent and approaching 72 percent.

It is an increase in about 10 percent since mid-February. And the analysis is it's all because of the successful hosting of the Sochi games and the very tough position he is taking on Ukraine -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: So many Russians support Putin because of those reasons and also because they're skeptical about the intentions of the new Ukraine and the new interim government in Kiev.

So when the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits down with Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister there in Russia again, it's going to take place on Friday, will Kerry attempt to ease those concerns?

BLACK: The western position towards the new Ukrainian government is that it must prove that it is willing to govern for all Ukrainians -- those in the east, those in the west, those who are very much see themselves ethnically, culturally as Ukrainian, those with closer ties to Russia as well. And that is the job for this new government.

But the position of the U.S. and Europe is also that they don't buy in to Russia's claim that this government is posing an imminent threat to ethnic Russians in the east and the south. They don't believe that's the case. That's why they suggested so-called diplomatic off ramp is for international observers to go in and validate whether or not Vladimir Putin's concerns are real and genuine and verifiable.

But at the moment, everything that we've seen from Russia so far suggests they are not willing to sign up to that potential off-ramp as it's been presented by the U.S., Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right, Phil Black joining me live from Moscow. Thank you for that.

Now 24 hours ago we brought you the breaking news of that tense standoff at a military base in Western Crimea. Now Nick Paton Walsh, he was part of the CNN team that witnessed that incident. No shots were fired, but as he reports, it was pretty close.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Stuck out in Crimea's windswept northwest, these Ukrainian are edgy, weapons loaded, defenses laid. Here's why.

Two masked soldiers approach fast. They say nothing.

The captain tells me the soldiers have told him they're Russian but haven't spelled out their demands. A second track of Russians moves in. Its soldiers fanning out.

The base calls its soldiers to their positions ready to defend.

Four Russians have moved along down the side fence near the base. Then, the Russians make their clearest threat, placing a heavy machine gun in front of the gate. Meters apart, weapons loaded, Ukrainians isolated from their leaders in Kiev, Russians whose very existence here is denied by the Kremlin.

Just the kind of standoff that everybody has been fearing in Crimea -- Russian troops heavily armed with machine guns they're now meters away from Ukrainian soldiers, their weapons loaded ready to defend the base.

Suddenly the Russians pull back. Some locals are more sympathetic to the Russian troops than the Ukrainians, many of whom actually live in the village. And these ask us to leave.

But the show of force isn't over yet. This helicopter has a red star on it consistent with Russian military markings. Increasingly bold as the referendum on whether Crimea becomes part of Russia nears, the soldiers gather here beneath the Russian flag, probing the readiness of those beneath the Ukrainian flag to die. So far, so isolated from their cause and commanders in Kiev.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Novoazorny (ph), Ukraine


LU STOUT: Oscar Pistorius has been violently sick in court again after seeing photos from the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed. Now bloody images from the bathroom where the model was shot to death were displayed as a police forensic expert gave testimony and the athlete has pleaded not guilty to murdering his girlfriend on Valentine's Day last year, saying that the shooting was an accident after he mistook her for an intruder.

Now a forensics expert provided some of the trial's most dramatic testimony a day earlier, swinging the Paralympic star's cricket bat at the bathroom door reassembled in court. He concluded that Pistorius was on the stumps of legs when he hit the door.

Now today's testimony has centered around footprints on the bathroom door.


BARRY ROUX, PISTORIUS' DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Of course there's another possibility that somehow he turned the plank over first, stepped on it and then -- of course he stepped on the plank with an upside -- and then he turned the plank over for the footprint to be at the bottom, that's a possibility.

COL. J.G. VERMEULEN, POLICE FORENSIC EXPERT: My lady (ph), there many possibilities in this -- in the commotion that took place after he pulled the deceased out of the toilet. He could have moved the panel into the toilet, that's another possibility. And not taking note of which side must be turned up and which side must be to the bottom, it could have been an automatic action trying to get the plank out of his way while he was probably trying to assess Mrs...

ROUX: And step on it.

VERMUELEN: Before -- before he went into the bathroom. After he broke open the door and after the panels was removed, he could have stepped on it, he could have tripped over it.


LU STOUT: Now do stay with CNN for full coverage from the court room as the day progresses.

Now a car plowed into a crowed at a music and film festival in Texas leaving two people dead. 23 people are hospitalized and police in the city of Austin say the driver was intoxicated and fleeing police when he drove into the crowd at the annual South by Southwest festival. The suspect faces two counts of capital murder.

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


LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.

Now cabs in New York can be infamous for drivers who have plenty of attitude. And one former cabbie who is also a comedian shares a lot of special ingredient. In fact he staged his promotional stunt in a taxi with a rented reptile. As Jeanne Moos reports, some slithery chaos ensued.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hailing the cab from hell...



MOOS: It's a snake in a cab, an albino python.

JIMMY FALLA, COMEDIAN: You should have told me you didn't like snakes.


FALLA: You should have told me.


MOOS: OK, one 10-foot python doesn't compare to snakes on a plane. Still...

FALLA: Sorry about that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dude, get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) away from me.

MOOS: Former New York City cabbie Jimmy Falla (ph) was looking for a way to promote his book. And what's says promotion better than snake prank?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I get out of this cab, I'm going to kick your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) ass. I'll (EXPLETIVE DELETED) snake (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

FALLA: It's not a dangerous snake. Most of the venom has been taken out of her.

MOOS: Actually, it wasn't Jimmy's snake.

It was a rent-a-snake?

FALLA: Yeah, essentially, yeah.

MOOS: Going rate about $350 for three hours, handler included. Holding the snake on the back seat floor as the door swung open.


MOOS: Other times the handler hid with the snake under a duffel on the front passenger floor.


FALLA: She would take the snake up towards the seat. We get a fast reaction and then I would apologize profusely and beg forgiveness.

So what you didn't see on the video is three hours of me begging forgiveness.

MOOS: "Monumentally poor judgment" was what the taxi and limousine commission called the prank suggesting the driver's taxi license might be pulled.

FALLA: They can have my license.

MOOS: PETA said slamming doors and shrieking passengers are stressful to snakes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get me out of this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) right now. Get me out of the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) car right now.

MOOS: PETA suggested the prankster should have used a rubber snake.

FALLA: A rubber snake, because I'm clicking on that thumbnail, rubber snakes in a cab.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: I have had it with these (EXPLETIVE DELTED) snakes on this (EXPLETIVE DELETED)...

MOOS: Taxi. Taxi.

Even a python couldn't squeeze a tip out of these freaked out passengers.


MOOS: Jeanne Moos...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of cab is this?

MOOS: New York.


LU STOUT: I would not forgive that cabbie.

You're watching News Stream. Stick around. More right after the break.


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

Now Malaysian authorities are disputing a report in the Wall Street journal that flight 370 could remain in the air for four hours after it last made contact. At a news conference today, Malaysia's transportation minister called the report inaccurate.

Now Russian state media say the results of Sunday's referendum in Crimea will be announced as soon as Monday. Now these provocative billboards in Sevastopol present the vote as a choice between Russia or a map of the Swastika. Now voters must decide whether they want to seceded from Ukraine and become part of Russia. And Ukraine's interim prime minister is due to speak at the UN security council in New York later today.

Now Oscar Pistorius has been violently sick in court after photos from the scene of Reeva Steenkamp's death were shown. Bloody images from the bathroom where the model was killed were displayed as a police forensics expert gave testimony.

Now the Olympic sprinter is accused of murdering his girlfriend. He says he shot her after mistaking her for an intruder.

More now on our top story, the disappearance of Malaysia airlines flight 370. Now Jim Clancy is in the Malaysian capital. He joins me now live.

And Jim, officials earlier today in that press event they were forced to go through and refute a number of claims about this missing plane. What did they say?

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they said -- and let's start out with the allegations coming from the Wall Street Journal...

LU STOUT: OK, unfortunately we just lost our connection with Jim Clancy live at KL. When we reestablish that link, we'll bring him right back to give you an update on what happened in that press briefing on that missing Malaysia airlines jet.

Now meanwhile we have anguished families, they are waiting for news and they're waiting in Beijing for loved ones who never arrived. Now the Chinese government has urged Malaysia to speed up the investigation, the Chinese premier Li Keqiang says at long as there is a glimmer of hope search efforts will not stop.


LI KEQIANG, CHINESE PREMIER (through translator): There are 239 people on board the missing plane of Malaysia Airlines among which there are 154 Chinese passengers. Those people's families and friends are burning with anxiety. The Chinese government and Chinese people are all deeply concerned about their safety.

We are all eagerly awaiting news about the plane, even the slightest piece of good news.


LU STOUT: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang there.

But six days have gone by without any answers. The uncertainty is taking its toll.

Now Saima Mohsin shows us the mood in Kuala Lumpur.


SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Frustrations are starting to brim over.

He's been asked not to speak to the media.

Family, friends and next of kin have been flown to Kuala Lumpur by Malaysia airlines. And there are support groups on hand to help them through this difficult time. But moment ago, an elderly man who has lost his son on flight MH 370 approached the desk and the consular team here and told them we don't want your compensation, we want answers.

I spoke to 60-year-old Salamat Umer (ph) a short while later. He's visibly agitated and exhausted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I am upset, very, very upset. I am really hoping they will find this plane.

MOHSIN: His son, Garul Umri (ph) is just 29-years-old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My son is a normal, happy guy. He called and told me he was going to Beijing. And less than 24 hours later, it happened, the plane went missing.

MOHSIN: I ask him how long he's prepared to wait here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My plan is still to hope the authorities, government and Malaysia Airlines can locate the plane as soon as possible. That's our biggest hope. But I will wait until Malaysia Airlines comes out with answers.

MOHSIN: But those answers are few and far between.

Six days in, the Malaysian government, working with the FBI and MI6 as well as intelligence agencies from China, have failed to come up with any concrete evidence of where the plane might be.

Instead of narrowing their search operation, it's expanded each day. And it's the lack of knowledge and answers that is leading to the kind of frustration we witnessed here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This morning, they were supposed to give us the latest updates, but they were late and that's what made me really upset.

MOHSIN: While the world's media watches on and pushes for answers, so, too, do the families, helpless but still full of hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My family is hoping they will find the plane and really hoping all on board are still alive.

MOHSIN: Saima Mohsin, CNN, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


LU STOUT: Let's get more now on our top story, the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Jim Clancy, we have -- are now reconnected with him. He's of course reporting live for us from Kuala Lumpur.

And Jim, you were telling us just how Malaysian officials responded to that Wall Street Journal report that the plane flew on for four hours after it went missing. What did they say about that?

CLANCY: Well, they understood, first and foremost, how important it was to either get it right. They said they had to go back and study the facts here, but they say that they had Rolls Royce here, they had Boeing here -- well, you can listen to what the defense minister/acting transportation minister had to say at the press briefing.


HUSSEIN: I would like to refer to news reports suggesting that the aircraft may have continued flying for some time after last contact. As Malaysian Airlines will confirm shortly, those reports are inaccurate. The last transmission from the aircraft was at 01:27, which indicated that everything was normal. Rolls Royce and Boeing teams are here in Kuala Lumpur and has worked (inaudible) and investigations here since Sunday. These issues have never been raised.

Whenever there are new details, they must be corroborated and today's media reports (inaudible) has asked Rolls Royce and Boeing specifically about the data. As far as Rolls Royce and Boeing are concerned, those reports are inaccurate.


CLANCY: All right, when we listen to that, we also get a sense here that the Malaysian officials, the defense minister specifically, trying to take control here, trying to put a new face on the way Malaysia is handling this, tackling the problems one by one. It has to do all of this, but it still doesn't have anything new to report. The search really yielded nothing again today -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: And we also have to talk about those Chinese satellite images, made headlines around the world earlier today, many thought it may have shown debris. What did Malaysian officials say about those images?

CLANCY: Well, that, you know, is kind of a surprising point, because they did launch a search party, they did go out and look for those, because you know they had to check it out, they had to know they were fairly close to the area where we last heard from the missing airliner.

Again, here's what Hishammuddin Hussein had to say.


HUSSEIN: On the Chinese satellite imagery, a Malaysian maritime enforcement agency surveillance plane was dispatched this morning to investigate potential debris shown on Chinese satellite images. We deployed our assets, but found nothing.

We have contacted the Chinese embassy who notified us this afternoon that the images were released by mistake and did not show any debris from MH 370.


CLANCY: All right. So, you hear that, an apology coming from the embassy there, that the photos were released in the first place -- some surprised, because as those came out, Malaysian officials said they didn't really have them. But there they have the answer to all of that.

But we go through another day with no answers for the families. And you saw in the report there how upset, how distressed they are not to have any answers.

It was a warning that has come in you know earlier this week. It may be some time before we get those answers before we have a final resolution to all of this and unravel what is truly a mystery -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: It is a mystery six days on absolutely no sign of this plane. Jim Clancy reporting live from Kuala Lumpur, thank you, Jim.

Now let's take a look at ocean currents and see just how far something might drift in the search region.

Now CNN's Mari Ramos, she joins me now from the World Weather Center with that -- Mari

MARI RAMOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, I want to start you off with the big picture when it comes to ocean currents. We're going to talk about the major ocean currents around the world. And when you think about this, think of it as -- you know, sometimes we talk about the jet stream in the atmosphere, which is kind of the same thing. Those are rivers are air. These are almost rivers within the ocean. In other words, these currents that move very, very quickly around the world.

And I'll move away so you can see some of the major ones. For example, we've talked quite a bit about the Kuroshio Current off the coast of Asia, for example. Remember when we talked about the tsunami debris and how that has been continuing to drift toward the coast of North America here for Canada and also for the United States and even off the coast of Hawaii.

That is a major current and it has carried all of that debris along these areas. And it will continue to carry it for many, many years to come.

That was a huge amount of debris when we were talking about the tsunami off the coast of Japan. This is different, because this is a much, much smaller bit of debris that they would be looking for in the ocean when it comes to the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

So, let's go ahead and move a little bit closer.

For example, when you look at the search operation here, they're looking in very small areas. So localized current is going to be what drives it. This is, for example, you see Malaysia here, you see Sumatra, they're looking in the Malaka Strait, for example. And then more recently, of course, in the South China Sea and off the coast of Vietnam.

So localized currents and localized events, much like for example if I give you the big picture on weather and I tell you, well you know locally you may see more rain. This is kind of like the same thing, locally the effects of these big, big currents are going to be much different and they're going to have localized currents, localized things that they're going to have to look at.

This is the last known point of contact, according to authorities. This is that area potential debris that they were talking about from the Chinese satellites that now we know turned out nothing. But look how big the area that they are searching. And this is about -- if you take it all together it's about 500 square 1,000 kilometers. The whole, entire thing. It's about the size of the country of Venezuela, the size of the country of Egypt, for example. So this is a huge area that they're looking for.

In this particular part of the world as we head into the South China Sea, there are many smaller currents that they have to talk about and that they have to look at. And this map that you're looking at right there, that is the location of the potential debris. and all of these little lines that you see here are the way that the water is moving.

And there it is right over here near that area something called an eddy. In other words, a little whirlwind of water. The last transponder location about 225 kilometers away. If this would have been the location where that plane came down near this weak eddy, the debris would have moved between 45 to 65 kilometers since then, which is quite a bit of distance.

But still if they had located that debris, that would narrow it down tremendous. 45, 65 kilometers compared to that large area that I showed you before, that was what, 400, 500,000 square kilometers. Back to you.

LU STOUT: Yeah, a huge, vast area and out in open ocean no less. Such a challenge for the search teams.

Mari Ramos there. Thank you.

Now you're watching News Stream. And coming up next, hostilities erupt in the Middle East. Rocket attacks on southern Israel prompt retaliatory air strikes on suspected militant targets in Gaza.


LU STOUT: Now thousands of people marched in Istanbul on Wednesday for the funeral of Berkin Elvan. The death of the 15-year-old boy is renewing widespread anger against the government.

Ivan Watson explains how he has become a symbol for the opposition.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A river of humanity pouring through the streets of Istanbul. This was one of the largest funeral processions in modern Turkish history and it was all for a boy.

15-year-old Berkin Elvan, he died on Tuesday nine months after a police tear gas canister apparently wounded him and put him in a coma.

This is the coffin of a 15-year-old boy whose death has pushed tens of thousands of Turks out into the streets and they are all united in one message. They accuse Turkey's democratically elected governments of killing this boy.

DURSUN INCE, MOURNER: The boy was innocent. The boy wasn't doing anything. He wanted to get a (inaudible) and the police took a shot at him and basically killed him.

WATSON: In an earlier interview with CNN, Elvan's mother says the last time she saw her son conscious was as he went out to buy a loaf of bread for breakfast.

GULSUM ELVAN, VICTIM'S MOTHER (through translator): After half an hour I said I should go out wondering why my child was late. At that moment, the doorbell rang. They told me Berkin's head was injured. I thought he'd fallen down. I went out an they said Berkin was taken to the hospital. They said he was hit by a tear gas canister.

WATSON: Elvan was caught in the crossfire during anti-government protests and a fierce police crackdown that shook Turkey's largest city last June. For the next nine months he lay comatose in a hospital bed wasting away to the weight of just 16 kilograms, about 35 pounds.

When the boy finally expired on Tuesday, the streets erupted in many Turkish cities. Demonstrators ignoring a message of condolence from Turkey's largely symbolic president.

ABDULLAH GUL, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): I was really sad when I saw the news today. He was only 14 when this incident took place. My condolences for his family.

WATSON: The man who really rules Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has never once mentioned Berkin Elvan's name, even at campaign rallies this week leading up to elections at the end of the month.

The result, another spasm of anger directed at the Turkish government from protesters who call their prime minister a killer.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Istanbul.


LU STOUT: Now militants in Gaza are launching rockets into southern Israel for a second straight day. On Wednesday, Israel responded with retaliatory air strikes. And for the latest, let's go live to CNN's Nic Robertson in Jerusalem. And Nic, what has been the fallout from this latest spike in tension there?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we are learning now from Palestinian medical sources in Gaza, four people have been injured, critically injured, they say, been taken for medical treatment. They say these were workers in the tunnels that link the Gaza to -- into Egypt. What we understand from Israeli defense forces following several rockets that were fired from Gaza into Israel this morning, a couple of them they say long range ones -- long range rockets, they responded with seven strikes against what they say -- the terror -- terrorist targets there inside Gaza. And we know from -- from witnesses inside Gaza that at least two of those rockets hit in the Rafa (ph) border area where tunnels are located.

So, of all the rockets that were fired yesterday, the Israeli defense force firing 29 different strikes, they said, late last night against training and planning facilities of the Islamic Jihad inside Gaza. And more than 60 rockets fired out by Islamic Jihad from Gaza into Israel.

There were no casualties. That has now changed. And right now we are seeing essentially -- and not so much an escalation, but a show of force from both sides. And Israel's prime minister has said any more rockets will be met again with force. This is what he said.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): At this moment, the Israeli army is responding with force to the firing upon Israeli citizens by the Islamic jihad in the Gaza strip. If there won't be quiet in the south, there will be noise in Gaza. And that is an understatement.


ROBERTSON: Now, Hamas is calling for a deescalation, but they're saying the responsibility here lies with the Israeli government. The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who is due to meet President Obama in Washington this weekend is saying the same, Israel bares the burden of responsibility to ensure that there isn't an escalation here, Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right, Nic Robertson reporting live from Jerusalem, thank you.

Now Pope Francis today is marking his first anniversary as the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Now Francis, he wasted no time challenging perceptions of the church, but some key doctrines remain intact as Jim Bittermann reports.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From the very beginning, all knew this successor to Saint Peter would be different from others. The first pope from Latin America, the first Jesuit pope, the first pope to actively condemn the vanities of his fellow churchmen -- expensive vestments, golden crosses, luxury cars are out as far as Francis I is concerned.

Few could have imagined how far the differences would go. The head of the Catholic Church kissing the feet of young criminals, some of them women and Muslims. No pope had ever done that before.

Few would have predicted that within his first year, the prelate from Buenos Aires would engage four outside management consulting firms to recommend ways to clean up corruption and make the Vatican more efficient.

Few might have believed the head of the Catholic Church, once considered infallible by Roman Catholics, would humbly say who am I to judge when asked about the church and the gay community.

FATHER THOMAS REESE, NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER: He's rebranded the Catholic Church. I mean, we used to be, you know, thought of in terms of we're only concerned about abortion, gay marriage, sex, rules, regulations, condemning people. Now we're suddenly the compassionate church. We're the field hospital that takes care of the wounded. We're the church that's concerned about the poor and speaking out for justice.

BITTERMANN: But as much as he's changing the image of the church and recentering it on better addressing the needs of the deprived and downtrodden, there are some things observers believe will remain the same.

FRANCIS X. ROCCA, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE: Well, I think he's made it very clear that he's not going to change the fundamental doctrine of the church on morality, that he's not going to -- he doesn't -- haven't given any indication that he plans to make any radical changes to liturgy.

BITTERMANN: As well, few expect church policy will be changing on abortion or marriage for priests. And in many regards, of the era of Francis I is showing every sign that it will mark a major turning point for the papacy and the church, some observers believe there are still some things he needs to do.

REESE: You know, my friends who are feminists say, yeah, he doesn't know how to talk to us, but we like what he's doing. So I think they're open to him that way.

Secondly, I think he doesn't quite know how to respond to questions about the sex abuse crisis. I think in the interview with the Italian newspaper, he was a little too defensive. What he really needs to do is to meet with survivors of sexual abuse by priests, with former victims of sexual abuse. He needs to list -- to sit down with them and hear their stories.

He hasn't done that yet and he really needs to do it.

And then finally, he needs to go after the bishops who aren't with the program. People have to see that bishops are held accountable when they don't deal with bad priests.

BITTERMANN: Despite any number of crises and challenges over the past two millennia, the Catholic Church remains one of the longest surviving institutions in history. In part, because it has been capable of reform when they were necessary.

After the sexual scandals, the disaffection of many Catholics, the decline in the priesthood, the 266th pope in his first year has demonstrated he knows well that his Church must change the way it operates, a reformation that comes none too soon for many of his faithful.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.


LU STOUT: Still to come on News Stream, Britain's film academy celebrates the best in video games. We'll show you the winners next.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now the best of video games were celebrated in the UK on Wednesday. And Sony's Zombie thriller the Last of Us was the big winner of the night taking best game.

And Jim Boulden was there.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Glitz, glamour, Britain's precursor to the Oscars. That was the BAFTA film awards in London last month.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The BAFTA is awarded to the Last of Us.

BOULDEN: Wednesday it was the BAFTA Awards for the British video games industry, which is now much bigger than the film and music industry in the UK.

DAVID BRABEN, FOUNDER OF FRONTIER: But people don't appreciate that. BAFTA is a very good forward looking organization that has embraced games for quite a long time now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're seeing there guys put all the power into the engine...

BOULDEN: Braben is a legendary British games designer and has added 3D to his 32-year-old creation Elite.

BRABEN: The games industry has been one of the industries that changes the most over the very long period of time. And that's no different now. If anything, it's accelerating.

BOULDEN: One big part of that acceleration, the blending of filmmaking and games designing.

STEPHEN KEY, KONAMI: We're starting to see perhaps more movie specific creatives, visionaries, directors taking more of an interest in the gaming after they've seen the type of things that, for example, Grand Theft Auto can do. As the technology in gaming has improved, so has the relationship between movies and gaming as well.

BOULDEN: With Britain having a thriving film industry, you might be forgiven for thinking the British Games Industry is growing. It's not.

HARVEY ELLIOTT, CHAIRMAN, BAFTA GAMES COMMITTEE: A lot of the games industry has moved to the States. The weather is sometimes nicer. The environment has been more conducive to games, but it is changing. And we're finding now this year especially we're seeing a lot of independent game studios start up.

BOULDEN: That's because designers can create the hot free games to be played on mobile devices, no expensive consoles needed. Big game designers are adapting.

Of course, winning a prestigious award is good for an industry. And creating jobs is vital. But ultimately, it's about allowing the consumer to have a bit of fun.

Jim Boulden, CNN, London.

Can't play it.


LU STOUT: And Jim having some fun there as well. Now it is worth noting just how influential the UK is in today's gaming industry. Grand Theft Auto V maybe a satire of the American way of life, but believe it or not it's actually a British game. It was develop by Rock Star North in Scotland.

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