CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

NEWS STREAM

Mudslide Death Toll Rises To 16 In Washington State; French Satellites Identify 123 Possible Pieces Of Debris In Indian Ocean; Facebook Buys Occulus VR; Two Daredevils Base Jump From One World Trade Center; President Obama: Crimea Annexation Not Done Deal

Aired March 26, 2014 - 8:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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

Now French satellite images show dozens of objects in the south Indian Ocean. Could they be linked to missing flight 370?

A U.S. town is still in shock after a massive mudslide.

And Mark Zuckerberg bets billions that the future of computing is virtual reality.

Malaysian officials say new satellite images show 122 objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean. It is unclear at this point if their debris from the missing Malaysia airlines flight 370, but it is the latest new lead in the search, which intensified today.

Now a dozen planes and five ships resumed operations a day after bad weather forced them to stop.

Now search aircraft spotted three objects in the water, but Australian authorities say none of them were obvious plane parts.

As we noted on Tuesday, the search area, it has narrowed from more than 7.5 million square kilometers -- that's roughly the size of Australia -- now it's down to an area the size of Iran, or 1.6 million square kilometers.

Now search crews, they focused on these three areas today. They cover 80,000 square kilometers, about the size of Austria. And Malaysian authorities have highlighted this section of ocean measuring 400 square kilometers, that is where the new satellite images show some 122 objects.

Now an international group is working to more accurately pinpoint the plane's final position. Rene Marsh explains a key detail that could help them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New satellite data may help unlock the secrets of where Malaysia Flight 370 went down. After disappearing from radar, the Boeing 777 flew south over the Indian Ocean, connecting with the satellite once an hour for six hours. The final ping, as described by Malaysian authorities nearly two weeks ago, happened at 8:11 a.m.

But now a new revelation -- there may have been another ping. Eight minutes later, this satellite detects something else, this time evidence of a partial connection.

BILL NYE, ENGINEER, "THE SCIENCE GUY": So by getting that very last data, that very last data point, you have a lot more information about where the plane might be. It's another very important piece of the puzzle.

MARSH: But not even the engineers understand what this means and how it fits into the big picture.

HISHAMMUDDIN BIN HUSSEIN, MALAYSIA MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION: At this time, this mission is not understood and is subject to further ongoing work.

MARSH: Is this partial ping a sign that the plane is still flying or is it the moment it went down in the Indian Ocean?

JEFF WISE, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: This extra data point is not in itself very definitively conclusive about the fate of the plane. It will allow us, should it come to that, to have a somewhat better -- somewhat narrower search field.

MARSH: The plane never made its next satellite connection scheduled for 9:15. Around the same time the plane would have run out of fuel.

WISE: At the time of that transmission was received, even though it was partial and complete, somewhat garbled, presumably the equipment that was sending it was intact. And sometime after that, there was an impact and it stopped functioning completely.

MARSH: The new data helps further plot the path of Flight 370, a 12:41 takeoff and then a left turn off course after 1:21 a.m. Flight 370 then flew for more than six hours and then sometime after 8:11 but before 9:15, the plane went down.

Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Well, let's get more now on today's search. Andrew Stevens joins me live from Perth, Australia. It's the base of operations.

Andrew, we have many more pieces of possible debris spotted by satellite. What is the latest on the search and the hunt to reach that debris?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: All the planes have now left the search area for this day, Kristie. Night has fallen in the search zone. Most of the plan are back in Perth. We're still waiting the arrival of two more.

Just in the last 30 minutes or so, a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion, one of the long range search aircraft came back. The pilots spoke to us briefly, saying that they didn't see anything. But importantly, he did say that the weather conditions were good, in fact better than they've been for days. And he was also expecting weather conditions to be good tomorrow. So that's very promising for the search, because it really is now ramping up as -- into a major international air force. There are 12 aircraft out over that zone today, Kristie, from six countries both military and civilian jets.

Two sightings, but inconclusive from two different aircraft.

Also, those Malaysian satellite images, all this within that real zone of interest.

But frustratingly still no visual and still no linkage between what they've seen from the air and what they are picking up on these ships. None of the wreckage that's been sighted so far has actually been seen at surface by anyone on the ships which are in the area. And there are now several ships there.

There's the Australian naval vessel, it's back on station after being diverted away because of bad weather yesterday. There are five -- or four other ships, five altogether. There are three Chinese naval vessels and there is the icebreaker there.

But as I say, frustratingly the dots aren't being joined, there's no linkage between what's being seen in the air and what can be picked up from the water and identified, Kristie.

LU STOUT: No answers yet, despite this immense international search effort. We have six nations, 12 planes, five ships all out there looking for the evidence of the missing plane. How are they divvying up the duties and coordinating the search effort.

STEVENS: It's all being coordinated by the Australians in Canberra. The Australian Maritime Safety Authorities. So they give coordinates like, for example, today's search was split into an eastern zone and a western zone. And they allocate assets on the available information and what looks the most promising leads. And they will continue to do that. They also are run the ships as well.

So they get them in the right areas.

What's important here is that this has to be a very methodical process. They have to basically grid the area and then go laboriously go over that area just so they can tick off the area, take little bite sized chunks out of it so they can cover it all as they go along.

But this is a moving canvas, obviously. So if there's heavy winds, if there's big seas, debris may move from one side to another, so they may have to revisit them. Very, very frustrating, Kristie, for the crews and also for the organizers trying to keep these grids organized and try to keep all the assets in the right place, keep them focused.

At the moment, they're doing what they can, but still as I said there's just not that breakthrough at the moment.

But the air crews you talk to, the people are to answers saying this is still the area. This is still the most credible, the most possible lead in this mystery. The Australian government continues to be quite optimistic that something will be found. It's still more hope than anything else, but that hope is showing at this stage no signs of fading or turning into disappointment.

LU STOUT: Well, we wish them well in the search as it continues tomorrow. Andrew Stevens joining me live from Perth, thank you so much for that.

Now the search, it has resumed -- suspended because of nightfall now, but days out what is the weather forecast? Could it possibly be hampered by more storms? Let's get the latest now with Mari Ramos. She joins me from the World Weather Center -- Mari.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kristie, I'd venture to say that this part of the world has never had so much attention of course looking at it as far as the weather goes. You know, there's not a lot of data that comes out of this part of the world. It's a part -- you know, very remote as we've been saying. And I was surprised, actually, that they were able to go out today and what Andrew was reporting right now that they had some of the better days as far as search conditions go.

If we have that video, I want to go ahead and roll it, because I want you to notice a couple of things when it comes to the weather. You're looking at the ship there. And the seas look relatively calm and that's good. But look at the clouds. We still have very thick cloud cover and -- but visibility is generally good. The clouds were still hanging around. You're probably seeing, what, probably one to two meter seas there, I would venture to say. But the seas are relatively calm. The skies, they didn't bring us these big storms that looks like the storms at least in this area stayed away.

But we were talking yesterday about satellites being moved through this region to possibly take more pictures. With cloud cover like that, that would simply impossible because the satellites would not be able to see the surface of the ocean because of that thick cloud cover.

So keeping that in mind let's go ahead and come back over to the weather map. I want to show you a couple of things. Right over here, this is the search area, the bigger search area, not that pinpointed search areas that we've been talking about that now that they're narrowing down those regions. Some of those are actually in some parts farther to the south here. And we see a little bit of more weather coming across that area even right now as we speak.

We're going to see some changes as we head through the next 24 to 48 hours. And of course this is an area where the weather changes very quickly. We're going to have that cold front finally begin to move away significantly. And so the weather compared -- I think Thursday compared to Wednesday local time is going to be much different.

That cold front will pull through here through the day on Thursday. That's going to bring some winds, some rain and high seas, probably seas three to five meters not out of the question in some of these regions, because the winds will be picking up. Lower clouds, problems with visibility, but then the weather improves significantly by Friday.

I'm hoping that in the areas that they are pinpointing, perhaps the weather will be a little bit weather, but I can give you the wide areas here. And we have the wind moving through here and then really picking up farther to the east as we need to the day later on Friday.

Let's go ahead and pinpoint this hour by hour. This is starting Wednesday. And this is our CNN exclusive computer models here that are forecasting for this area. And I want to show you. This is what you just saw on the satellite, remember, that moisture that I told you that is beginning to move in. We're going to go ahead and move forward in time. This is Thursday by 7:00 am. And notice all of these rain and thunderstorm activity beginning to move in. And pretty much the entire wider search area here covered in clouds. That's going to be one thing to keep in mind.

Then, the rain and the thunderstorms continue to move in even through Thursday afternoon. By late on Thursday, we start to see some clearing in this southwestern quadrant, but still the rain showers remain areas farther to the north. But then by Friday, pretty much all of this is gone and we begin to see a marked improvement across the region as far as the rain, the thunderstorms and the clouds.

But you've got to remember that the winds are still there. And that's what's making the seas move very quickly. I want to start you off at the same time. And again, by 5:00 am you begin to see the stronger winds start to move in here. Then you begin to see by Thursday afternoon these are winds that are going to be close to 90 kilometers per hour at times. So seas will be very, very rough.

And even after all of this continues to move away, I think seas will remain easily maybe three to four meters through the day on Friday, even though the skies will be clear, the seas I think will remain rough. So we'll have to see how they actually figure all this out.

And hopefully they will be able to get out there and my weather forecast is wrong. Back to you.

LU STOUT: All right, Mari Ramos there. Thank you so much with the forecast in the search zone.

Now, U.S. equipment that could help locate the plane's missing black box has arrived in Perth. Brian Todd shows us how it works.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The U.S. Navy has only two of these high-tech listening devices and one of them is now head together Indian Ocean to help find the missing plane. It is called a toad pinger locator. It's mission, find the plane's black box with the important data recordings before the pingers die out. That's in less than two weeks.

PAUL NELSON, PROJECT MANAGLER, PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL: The facility of Phoenix International, where the toad pinger is made. This helped recover wreckage. The pinger locator with the fin on top is towed slowly through the area. It can go down to 20,000 feet below the surface. For hours and miles at a time, it is listening intently for the black box's signal.

TODD (on camera): How far away can it be?

NELSON: The outside edge is about 2 miles, a mile and a half to 2 miles away, it can detect the sound.

TODD (voice-over): If the pingers battery is fading, they can still detect it.

NELSON: The signal would come up through the umbilical. You can see here is a cable. It runs up through the umbilical. It comes into our receiver unit. We have speaker on here and all the power buttons and we can adjust the frequency it is looking for. Out of this box, we have computers set up that graphically represents the signal that you are hearing from the beacon. TODD: Then, a team on deck deploys Phoenix's other assets. An autonomous underwater vehicle scans the sea floor looking for the black box and debris often using a lawn mower search pattern.

(on camera): Once the toad pinger locator finds the black box, this is the machine that can recover it, this remotely operated vehicle that can go very deeply in the ocean with manipulator arms can pick up all sorts of debris and the black box. This one recovered the black box for Air France Flight 447.

(voice-over): With flight 370s pinger battery life ticking down each day, every moment is critical.

NELSON: Until they recover this data, it is still a mystery. They will not know what happened.

TODD: Without a confirmed sighting, why not just deploy a lot of these pinger locators on a lot of different ships and blanket an entire area of the ocean? The manufacturers say there are just a few of these in the world and they're very expensive to deploy.

Brian Todd, CNN, Largo, Maryland.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Coming up on News Stream, thick heavy mud is making the recovery dangerous for rescue workers. We have the latest on that major mudslide in the U.S.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Now the death toll from that massive mud slide in the U.S. State of Washington, it now stands at 16. And officials say that they're trying to recover what could be another eight bodies.

Ana Cabrera speaks to some families who are struggling to cope.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAE SMITH, SEARCHING FOR DAUGHTER: It's horrible because I know she is down there in the mud, in the dark.

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It has been the darkest four days of Rae Smith's life.

SMITH: My heart is broken. It's broken. She was my best friend.

CABRERA: Smith's daughter, Summer Rafo, is among the missing. The 36- year-old was driving to work when the massive landslide broke loose, flattening homes and crushing cars.

CALLER: There is a house on 530 and a big slide and it is covering the road.

CABRERA: Newly released 911 calls capture the shock and panic that overtook this tight knit community.

CALLER: My neighbors house has been taken out and they're trapped.

CABRERA: Four days into the search, people are still trapped.

SMITH: My family has been down there digging for her since Saturday afternoon.

CABRERA: Aaron Bright (ph), focused and determined, charged into the disaster zone against officials' orders.

AARON BRIGHT (ph), SEARCHED FOR SURVIVORS: I wanted to rescue people. I wanted to find people that were still alive.

CABRERA: Instead, the horror he witnessed now haunts him.

BRIGHT: It's no fun finding bodies. It's no fun doing any kind of work like that.

CABRERA: Smith has lost hope that her daughter somehow survived, but says closure can come only if Rafo is found.

SMITH: It just hurts so bad. It hurts so bad. I have 12 other children, but not one of them can replace one that you lose, not one.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Heartbreaking stories there from the scene.

Now officials say 176 people could still be missing, but they caution the list may have duplicate names.

Now international rights groups and the UN are harshly criticizing two mass trials being held in Egypt. On Monday, 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters were sentenced to death. Also facing charges is the spiritual leader of the group and nearly 700 additional supporters. Now their trial has been suspended until late next month.

On Tuesday, hundreds marched to show their anger over the death sentences. And the defendants lawyers boycotted the proceedings in protest.

Now the charges relate to riots in August where a police officer was killed.

You're watching News Stream. And after the break, days after the Russian President announced the annexation of Crimea, there is a growing military presence on Ukraine's borders. Could he have his eye on more?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now if Russian troops attempt to seize more territory, Ukraine's prime minister has promised to fight. But the U.S. has ruled out a military intervention, instead pushing for further economic sanctions.

Last week, Russia annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea. And now their military presence near the Ukrainian border is raising fear that Moscow may move again.

Now the U.S. says there are 30,000 Russian soldiers stationed near Ukraine's eastern border. Russia says it's just carrying out military drills.

Now the U.S. president is in Belgium, meeting with European leaders. Ukraine and Russia have been high on the agenda. And for more, let's cross over to our White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski joins me live from Brussels.

And Michelle, how did President Barack Obama criticize Russia's recent moves in Ukraine?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the White House and the president himself have had some strong words over the last few weeks, but they've been really tempered in general.

It's really been American lawmakers who have sort of come out fighting, at least in words.

But yesterday the president really turned heads during this press conference where I think many people, especially in the press, expected it to be more of the same, because repeatedly you see the president and the White House use the same words and phrases. You kind of almost can anticipate the responses to certain questions at this point.

But he stunned everyone when he said Russia is just a regional power coming from a position of weakness and isolation. And he said that that massive of Russian troops, some 30,000 of them at the Ukrainian border was just an intimidation tactic.

Of course not everybody agrees with that, and the president has been asked over and over again has the U.S. miscalculated? And what happens next? What if Russia really does invade Ukraine?

And the president and officials, also EU leaders, haven't wanted to go there. They've really downplayed that. In fact, the prime minister of The Netherlands said he can't imagine this being a military operation and that the way to go right now is what the U.S. and EU have been doing, this cooperative effort to sanction Russia and further isolate it.

There are a lot of questions, though, surrounding that. And nobody really has the answers to them at this point. And nobody really knows what the outcome is going to be. I mean, it's tough to imagine that kind of situation today, to see Russia invade Ukraine. Then again, several weeks ago you would have said it's almost impossible to imagine this happening in Crimea. Well, it has happened and the rest of the world has had to act in sort of incremental steps hoping, they say, for some change in course. Of course, that change hasn't happened -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Now Michelle, President Obama he also said that the fate of Crimea is, quote, "not a done deal." What does he mean by that?

KOSINSKI: Yeah, that has been one of the biggest questions here. I mean, you have to say during some of the answers given by the U.S. administration, you have to say well how could there be a de-escalation at this point? Russia has already taken over Ukraine -- Crimea, essentially and does Russia staying there constitute an escalation then?

It's been tough at times to get answers there. But the president, he answered directly as did senior administration officials this week. They said, no. The taking of Crimea is not a done deal in the sense that the rest of the world, as they put it, doesn't recognize that taking. They don't recognize the legitimacy of the referendum that caused this to happen, or you might say Russia's efforts prior to that may have really caused this to happen.

But the president said yesterday that Russia is alone in this. And part of the explanation given later for the president calling Russia a regional power was that they don't have this coalition of nations behind them. Essentially they've said that Russia is completely alone in its recognizing that Crimea is now a part of Russia.

How does that change things in the practical sense? No one is really sure.

LU STOUT: So we hear this tough talk from the U.S. President Barack Obama. There is the threat of more economic sanctions to deter Russia from any more moves in the Ukraine. Political isolation in regards to the G7 also being used as a tactic here. And yet, Michelle, Crimea remains still militarily controlled by Russia.

So has President Obama been forced at all to defend his handling of the Ukraine crisis?

KOSINSKI: Absolutely. I mean, I think the questions have been building over the last few weeks even among the U.S. press. Those questions have been getting tougher and tougher.

You don't always get a complete answer or the answer in the breadth that you would desire to these questions. But I think no more so than yesterday when the president and the Prime Minister of The Netherlands, they were asked by international reporters has there been a miscalculation, has the U.S. response been tough enough? And people at home in the U.S. have been asking those same questions as well, some high profile lawmakers.

But the president has been consistent in his responses, as have administration officials saying that what can you do really at this point? And the president got to the point where he said I know what you're asking is should there be some military response. And his answer was no, that this economic pressure is really the way to react at this point.

And even to the extent of some have called for why don't we give Ukraine some military equipment or supply them better militarily. The answer has been, well, we don't know that that's the way to go at this point. And wouldn't that possibly be an escalation of the situation that Russia could then react to?

Because the U.S. and the EU obviously don't want to make the situation worse, they want to try to stay unified and change the course of this. Although, again, how that is going to happen at this point remains to be seen.

LU STOUT: All right, Michelle Kosinski reporting live from Brussels, thank you very much indeed. Really appreciate your insight and analysis on this story.

Now you are watching News Stream. And still ahead on the program, the long wait for answers about Flight 370 takes its toll. This woman's husband was on the missing plane, but she tells CNN she still does not believe he's gone.

And Venezuela cracks down on dissent. Now this leading opposition figure faces the possibility of arrest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Now new French satellite images show 122 objects in the southern Indian Ocean where crews are searching for the missing Malaysian airliner. Now the potential new lead came today from the Malaysian government, but so far planes and ships scouring the area have not spotted the objects seen in those images.

U.S. President Barack Obama visited Flanders Fields before meeting European leaders in Brussels. Now discussions of Ukraine and Russia likely to dominate the meetings. On Tuesday, Mr. Obama said Russia's annexation of Crimea is not a done deal.

Rescue and recovery crews in the U.S. state of Washington believe that they have located eight more bodies in the muddy wreckage from Saturday's massive landslide. At least 16 people have been confirmed dead, 176 are still unaccounted for.

South Korea's defense ministry says North Korea has test fired two medium range ballistic missiles. They were launched from a site north of Pyongyang into the sea early on Wednesday. It happened as U.S., South Korean, and Japanese leaders sat down for three-way talks at The Hague. The U.S. State Department called these latest missile test firings troubling and provocative.

Now let's return to the hunt for the missing Malaysia airlines plane. Now the search resumed today in the southern Indian Ocean. And also today a possible new lead was announced by the Malaysian government in Kuala Lumpur.

Now Jim Clancy is there. He joins me now live. And Jim, more possible debris spotted by satellite. What is the latest on that and efforts to reach that debris?

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, if we step back for just a second, Kristie, we look at unprecedented international cooperation, that's how officials here in Kuala Lumpur describe what's going on here.

For the fourth time, we've gotten satellite information directing the search crews to go out and look for objects in specific areas. And this included a lot of objects, the latest satellite images, and so that raises some hopes perhaps, perhaps this is a debris field.

But remember, it's only a clue. Listen to what the acting transport minister Hishammuddin Huseein had to say today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HISHAMMUDDIN HUSSEIN, ACTING MALAYSIAN TRANSPORT MINISTER: In one area of the ocean measuring some 400 square kilometers were able to identify 122 potential objects. some objects were a meter in length, others were as much as 23 meters in length. Some of the objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicated solid material.

The objects were located approximately 2,557 kilometers from Perth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: Kristie, once again tantalizing details, but we have yet to find anything that we can positively link to Flight 370. And that's the task at hand.

It has been frustrating, to be sure. I think all of our viewers would agree, we have gone through this now for three weeks, almost three weeks. As we sit down and we listen to these briefings, we hear about these reports, we are constantly reminded that in a verification process all of our hopes may be dashed. But we have to remember one by one, kilometer by kilometer, square nautical mile by square nautical mile, these search crews are narrowing down the areas where there might be a debris field.

They think they have the best data in order to search there, but they can't be sure. And so we just have to continue hoping. They have to continue flying. The ships have to continue to move into the area. And that's exactly what they are doing now.

Back to you.

LU STOUT: Jim, earlier today we were talking about this process of elimination, just day by day we get more data, more evidence, more information to narrow the field of inquiry. We now have this possible debris field forming. Is there a greater sense of optimism that this prolonged search is indeed yielding solid results?

CLANCY: You know, Kristie, when we look at this area, when we see how vast that ocean is, when we realize how strong the storms are that prevented any search at all from taking place on Tuesday, we realized that, you know, this is a monumental task. Don't get your hopes up. We have to be encouraged, we have to be determined more than anything else.

And I think that that's what the Malaysian authorities are trying to stress over and over again. That's what we're hearing from Australia as well.

But everyone knows this can't go on forever. Everyone knows we have to come up with some positive link. There is a lot of hope, but there's also a lot of realism. This is a vast ocean and one of the remotest parts of the planet. And the challenges are truly daunting -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Straight talk and analysis there from Jim Clancy, thank you so much for that.

Now while the Malaysian government says that all available evidence shows that the plane crashed into the ocean with no survivors, many relatives of those on board, they're having a very difficult time accepting that, particularly the absence of tangible proof.

Sara Sidner spoke to one woman who is dreaded breaking the news to her children.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Cheng Liping is having a hard time stringing the words together to make a sentence, she is gripped by unrelenting sadness. Her husband was on the flight that officials now say disappeared somewhere over the Indian Ocean.

Cheng cannot bring herself to tell her 1 and 5 year old boys, waiting back in Beijing, that their daddy may not come home.

CHENG LIPING, WIFE OF PASSENGER (through translator): I don't dare to. I have no courage. Every day I'm scared to call my sons because once I call them they will cry out daddy, mommy. And my heart can't handle it. I don't want to hurt my children.

SIDNER: Sitting in a hotel room in Malaysia, she cannot bring herself to accept that her husband is dead, even after a Malaysian Airlines and government officials put it quite bluntly that all 239 people on board are gone forever.

What did you love about him?

LIPING (through translator): There are lots of reasons why I love him. I don't know where to start. He's very good to me, very considerate. He takes care of me.

SIDNER: She is soft-spoken, but filled with anger as well because, she says, she does not have faith in anything the Malaysian government or airline has to say anymore.

Some of the families in Beijing have had some very harsh words for the government. The airline is also responsible for the deaths of their family members. Do you feel that way?

LIPING (through translator): Yes. I think the same, because they have been hiding the truth, even though they know.

SIDNER: Cheng Liping and her husband came to Kuala Lumpur looking for a bit of fun and sun in a tropical paradise. It didn't work out that way. Her husband needed to take a short business trip back to Beijing. She decided to stay and wait for him in Malaysia. She's still here waiting.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Kuala Lumpur.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Malayasia Airlines says it is giving the families all the information it can as quickly as possible.

Now many family members, they have been struggling to accept the conclusion that those on board MH370 did not survive. They say many questions have yet to be answered. And at CNN.com we take a look at nine key questions that you might have as well about the missing flight.

Now let's turn to Venezuela where three air force generals are under arrest, accused of planning a coup. Now President Nicolas Maduro says the three generals have direct ties to the opposition.

Now weeks of clashes between protesters and government forces have seen at least 36 people killed. The opposition and the government blame each other for the violence.

And now a move against this woman, a prominent figure in Venezuela's opposition. Now she could face arrest when she returns from a visit to Peru. Rafael Romo explains why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Maria Corina Machado introduced herself as a Venezuelan legislator at an event she attended as a guest in Peru. But the Venezuelan government says she has lost her mandate.

The president of the national assembly says that, since Machado accepted to speak last week at a meeting of the Organization of American States in Washington on behalf of the Panamanian government she was acting as a foreign official and is therefore constitutionally barred from serving as legislator.

DIOSDADO CABELLO, VENEZUELAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT (through translator): We are issuing orders effective immediately that Ms. Machado is not to enter again the national assembly's headquarters as a legislator, at least during the current term.

ROMO: Machado, a fiery speaker and one of the most prominent leaders of the Venezuelan opposition has strongly criticized the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

MARINA CORINA MACHADO, VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LAWMAKERS: How do you call a regime that persecutes and has repression, that tortures students and the censorship the press, how is that regime called? It's a dictatorship.

ROMO: The government accuses Machado and other members of the opposition of inciting violent anti-government protests that have left more than 30 people dead and hundreds injured.

In fact, pro-government legislators were trying to strip her of her parliamentary immunity to charge her with promoting crime, homocide, treason and even terrorism. But now they say doing so is no longer necessary, since in their words she's no longer a legislator and has no immunity.

At a rally last month in eastern Caracas, she told CNN she's more worried about her country's future than the government's threats.

Are you afraid that you're going to be targeted by the government and end up in jail?

MACHADO: What I'm afraid is that our country to keep on going through this way of destruction, of tears, of blood, of violence that this regime has brought.

ROMO: But the threat of jail is very real. President Nicolas Maduro has already sent to jail opposition leader and former presidential candidate Leopoldo Lopez as well as two opposition mayors.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: Now, first, they bought Instagram and then WhatsApp and now Facebook has made another big buy. I'll be asking an expect why the social network wants to pay $2 billion for a virtual reality company.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now Facebook says it will buy the virtual reality company Occulus for $2 billion. And they make the Occulus Rift, it's a headset that covers your eyes and displays this immersive environment that responds to how you move your head. It's mainly been used for games so far, which begs the question what does Facebook want to do with it?

Now on a conference call with reporters, Mark Zuckerberg talked about the history of computing. He spoke about how it started on the desktop and how for many people their main computing platforms are now mobile devices like phones and tablets.

And then he said this, quote, "we want to start focusing on building the next major computing platform." Mark Zuckerberg is obviously betting that virtual is the way we will interact with our devices in the future.

Now I know what you're thinking, I mean, come on virtual reality? It's a concept that conjured up visions like this of people waving their arms around while wearing strange headsets, a relic of the 1990s.

But the difference is that Occulus Rift is getting rave reviews.

So let's talk to someone who has used it to see whether it really works and what the buzz is all about.

David Pierce is a senior reviews editor at The Verge. He joins me live from New York.

David, good to see you again. I have to say I saw your gut reaction to the news on Twitter and you said this, quote, "my head is actually exploding."

Now for viewers who may not be as familiar as you with the technology behind Occulus Rift, why is this such a mind-blowing deal?

DAVID PIERCE, THE VERGE: I mean, it's almost hard to explain until you've actually seen it work, but it's the most immersive real feeling thing I've ever used like this. You strap on these big, goofy goggles and it sort of immediately feels like it's not going to work.

And then I just remember the first demo they ever showed me you were just walking through a spaceship. And I was holding a controller. I remembered it wasn't real. I could hear the noises around me. And then up above me there were these sparks coming out of the ceiling and I looked up and just flinched. And I was like, oh. And I was like, oh right, this is a video game, this isn't real, but it's so real. The science is real. It's proven. It's there.

And the technology is finally to the point where the latency is low enough, it really, really does work.

And I think that's what so exciting and that's what got people so riled up about this acquisition.

LU STOUT: Yeah, it's an amazing technology that finally delivers on the virtual reality promise, but why did Facebook buy Occulus VR?

PIERCE: It's actually -- it's at first glance it really makes no sense almost. I think if Google had done this, we wouldn't be so surprised by it, but I think what Facebook sees is just what Mark Zuckerberg said that he said every 10 to 15 years there's a new platform. Right now it's mobile. And mobile is huge for Facebook. It's a huge portion of their revenues. It's a huge portion of their users. It's a huge portion of how they get more users.

But what he said is next is not sharing things -- like right now we share photos and we share videos and we share links, but he said what's next is sharing experiences. I'm going to be able to go to a movie with my friend and we're going to be millions of miles away from each other. Or we'll be able to go to a basketball game together, or we'll be able to share a video game together. And Occulus really enables those things in a way that's really real in a very serious way it feels real, it's as if you're experiencing this with somebody.

And Occulus is not necessarily there all the way, but they're so far ahead in this game that I think if Facebook is serious about that being the next platform it makes lots of sense for Facebook to be part of it.

LU STOUT: Got it. So from Zuckerberg's point of view, this is the next platform after mobile.

But, you know when this news got out there of this acquisition, there was a huge backlash. I mean, there's a lot of people out there who do not like the deal. Case in point, the creator of Minecraft, Markus Persson. He said that he is canceling Minecraft for Occulus just because of this deal.

And I've got to ask you, I mean why all the hate out there?

PIERCE: Well, Occulus was supposed to be the future and not just the future of technology, but the future of a company. They were a bunch of young people who figured out this amazing thing and were, you know, kind of nerdy video game guys that just made a company for other nerdy video game guys that he real potential to change the world. And they raised all this money on Kickstarter which came from people who said not just I want an Occulus Rift, but I believe in you and people pledged more money than they needed to to make this company happen.

And I think now they feel like they were basically part of a venture capital round that they're not seeing any money from. So it feels -- it feels false somehow, like this great promise of this company that we all backed together that could have been something really special is now just part of this sort of big conglomerate ugliness that so many people have this almost allergy to now.

LU STOUT: Occulus has been absorbed by Facebook, acquired for $2 billion. Do you think Occulus will be able to remain true to its original vision and its original fanbase?

PIERCE: So again it's hard to say because these things take time to shake out anyway, but I will say Facebook has maybe a better history than almost any other company of acquiring companies saying we're going to leave them alone and actually leaving them alone. Instagram says this all the time. Everybody was worried about Instagram in a lot of the same ways, it was this fun little quirky social network and Facebook acquired it and left it alone and it's thrived. They've had all the resources and all the scale and all the tools and talent that they need to do well, but none of the interference.

And the Occulus guys -- Palmer Luckey in particular, the founder of Occulus VR, has said over and over and over Facebook is not going to get in the way, Facebook is a resource. They have tons of scale. They have really smart people. They have resources. They have the name that will get Occulus into meetings with manufacturers who can build them the things that they need.

And so if all of this is true it could be a huge win for both sides.

Occulus has said that the Rift is now going to be better and cheaper and maybe come sooner and that's one lovely extreme and I hope it comes true. But there's always with any big company like this, this feeling like this great thing might just get swallowed and die within this huge conglomerate.

So my fingers are crossed because honestly I love the Occulus Rift, but I'm still a little bit skeptical.

LU STOUT: All right, David Pierce thank you so much for explaining the technology and also the implications of the deal as well. David Pierce of The Verge joining me live. Thank you. Take care.

Now also got some big news for Bitcoin, the U.S. government announced on Tuesday that for tax purposes it will treat the digital money as property, not a currency. Now the good news for Bitcoin advocates is that it's a sign that authorities are taking the online money system more seriously. The bad news, Bitcoin transactions will be taxed. Paymore worth more than $600 will be treated as property, that includes payments made with Bitcoins, investment gains and income from mining new Bitcoins.

You're watching News Stream. And still ahead, it is one of the most well known buildings in New York and the country's tallest. But the antics of three daredevils are now raising serious questions about the security at America's One World Trade Center.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now three daredevils jumped with parachutes from the new One World Trade Center.

Now some call them crazy, some say they were disrespectful, but others simply asked how did they get past security at New York's tallest building?

Dave Evans has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVE EVANS, WABC CORREPSONDENT: It is a jaw-dropping view from the top of the world trade center site, and then they plummet to the street below, their dark parachutes unfurling behind them.

JAMES BRADY, JUMPER: Everybody has their thing. This is our thing.

EVANS: After the short prayer and the jump, they glide through lower Manhattan, reaching a deserted street. They quickly hide the parachute. So, how did they get in?

Well, Brady used to work construction at the site.

ANDREW ROSSING, JUMPER: We found a spot where the cameras were not picking up and there happened to be a hole in the fence there as well.

EVANS: The men were charged last night with a variety of felony crimes, including burglary and trespassing.

It was back on September 30 in the early morning hours when three men got to the top of the tallest building in the nation, 1776 feet tall, the World Trade Center tower and jumped. A fourth man remained on the ground acting as a lookout.

But now, security is a big worry at the site. Just last week a 16- year-old got through a hole in a fence at the site and also got to the top of the tower, snapping photos.

ROSSING: In no way did we intend to disrespect the police, the city, the victims of 9/11.

EVANS: The jumpers say they never meant to go public with their stunt. It was supposed to be just for them. Police though used a snippet from a nearby security camera to help break the case.

ROSSING: It's six months after the fact, and we were a little big shocked that they spent that much time and energy continuing to pursue something that they knew was not a terroristic act.

EVANS: But the police are being serious about this. After all, the nearby museum commemorating 9/11 opens in just a few weeks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LU STOUT: And that was Dave Evans of WABC reporting. An attorney for one of the jumpers says his client described how easy it was to get into the building.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIMOTHY PARLATORE, JUMPER'S ATTORNEY: It was one of the first things my client said to me was that how surprised he was at how there was no security whatsoever, how easy it was to just walk right up there in something that -- you know, the mayor has just recently described as the number one terrorist target in the world.

So...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did they encounter any security whatsoever?

PARLATORE: None. None at all.

(END VIDEO LCIP)

LU STOUT: One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the United States. And companies are set to begin working out of the new building later this year.

Now on to another amazing jump and some amazing video, but this time it was to escape a burning apartment complex in Texas. And incredibly, no one was injured. But as Christine Romans shows us, it was a very close call.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that a construction guy?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A heart-stopping rescue. Watch as this construction worker trapped on a ledge as the building he was working in is engulfed in flames.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God.

ROMANS: You can see the five-alarm fire ravage through this apartment complex in Houston, forcing the worker to cling to a ledge, trying to escape the massive blaze.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no! Oh, no! Oh, no!

ROMANS: Watch as the intense heat forces him to hang and drop to a ledge below, slipping and then regaining his balance. Witnesses captured the tense moment on video, watching as firefighters finally reach the man and pull him onto the ladder trick just in time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, thank Jesus! Thank you, God!

ROMANS: Seconds later, the building begins to collapse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh no. Oh my God!

(END VIDEOATPE)

LU STOUT: Incredible video. My goodness. It took more than 200 firefighters to put out that fire. And that construction worker was not hurt.

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

END