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Search Zone For MH370 Moves North; Turkey Bans YouTube; Ukrainian Civilians Form Self-Defense Committees In Wake Of Russian Troop Buildup; Oscar Pistorius Trial Postponed; Microsoft Launches Office for iPad, With a Catch
Aired March 28, 2014 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.
Now patrol plane spots objects in a new search zone for flight MH370 over 1,000 kilometers away from the previous search area.
The trial of Oscar Pistorius is put on hold due to the illness of a court official.
And Microsoft's new CEO makes his first major public appearance to unveil Office for iPad.
New developments in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines passenger plane. Now we learned about an hour ago that a New Zealand patrol plane has spotted objects in the water. Now this after the search zone was pretty dramatically shifted earlier today about 1,100 kilometers northeast of the previous search area.
Now that patrol plane is now back on the ground in Perth. And Australian authorities will study the photos of those objects to determine if they might be linked to the missing plane.
Now authorities say that ships would also need to confirm what the plane spotted, but that's only likely to happen tomorrow.
Let's get more now from Jim Clancy. He joins me live from Kuala Lumpur. And Jim, again, objects have been spotted in this new search area. What more have you learned?
Jim, it's Kristie in Hong Kong. Give us the latest on the new search area.
JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: ...has moved...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, Jim.
LU STOUT: OK, our apologies there. Unfortunately we weren't able to get Jim Clancy on the line. We'll try to reconnect that line for you.
Now another U.S. navy aircraft, meanwhile, is helping to boost search operations. A second P8 Poseidon is joining the hunt for the missing plane. And CNN's Kyung Lah got the rare opportunity to ride with the search crew on one of those sophisticated planes.
KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When the U.S. military wants to locate something underneath the surface of the ocean, this is what it deploys, the P8 Poseidon. And this is the crew, these are the men associated with and who fly the world's most high tech aircraft. And today, I get to fly with them. I'm one of the journalists embedded with the P8 Poseidon as it takes off on a renewed mission.
The Australian government says that there is a new search area, about 700 miles northeast of where it once searched.
What's aboard this plane is so classified that we can't bring any electronic equipment. I have to leave my CNN photojournalist aboard this van. Everything has to stay behind that's recordable.
What we'll do is fly about four hours down to the search area, look for about two areas and then make the long trek back. The hope we'll spot some debris.
LU STOUT: and that was Kyung Lah reporting there. And just to update you on the new development in the search for the missing airplane in the last hour. New Zealand planes, we have learned, they have spotted objects in the new search zone. But again ships, they would have to confirm exactly what was spotted. That won't happen until tomorrow.
Now let's get the latest on the search from Jim Clancy. He joins me now from Kuala Lumpur. Jim, again, these objects that were spotted in a new search area. What can you tell us?
CLANCY: ...focus of the search has really been driven not by new data, but by a new analysis of the data. The National Transportation Safety Board of the United States together with Boeing apparently did a recalculation on the best estimates that they have now of the plane's speed and altitude that have yielded a conclusion that the plane was going faster than previously estimated and therefore would burn fuel at a higher rate and travel a shorter distance.
Now it's in some ways on the ground in Australia, we are hearing, that's a good development, because it moves the focus, the search area closer to Perth where these planes are based. You know they have been dogged by the problems of only being able to spend an hour or two on station actually doing the search because so much time is involved in getting to the search site and back again. Now they would have more time to do that.
So there's a refocus, there's already a report, a clue if you will. Let's not get too over enthusiastic about this. But they've gotten a report of some hits, some data about objects in this new search area. They're going to be pursuing that with naval vessels on the surface.
Because remember, Kristie, all of this means nothing unless they can find some trace, something they can actually link to flight 370.
Back to you, Kristie.
LU STOUT: New radar analysis has brought us to this new search area. New objects have been spotted there. Nothing confirmed yet. We are still far away from any answers, Jim. And this must be heartbreaking for the families there in Malaysia.
CLANCY: It is. You know, they've been through so much. Some of them are physically ill, because they just had -- they put so much raw emotion into this and they have been told, you know, this is the most significant lead that we've had thus far how many times only to see it reverse.
Now it would be easy to blame Malaysia for all of that, but what you have here is a working group that composed of experts from China, the United States, from the FAA, from the National Transportation Safety board. You've got the British involved. All of these experts are coming together and they say, look, we've got this new analysis. It looks good. Let's reshape the search area. So that's good.
But at the same time, like you say, the families are just being whipped up and down by all of this. You know, today on social media, Malaysia airlines released a bit of an interview with one of the people it interfaces with the families that tries to counsel them. Listen to what she has to say, Kristie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INTAN DARLINA MUHAMMAD, CAREGIVE FOR PASSENGERS' FAMILIES: You try to give them anything and everything you possibly can. It's still not good enough, right. The only thing they want was the one thing we couldn't give them, just answers. That's all they wanted, really. They didn't care for the lavish rooms or the food. They really didn't care for those. They just wanted answers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: Kristie, what they really want are those answers. Where are my loved ones tonight? How could it be that they were on a flight to Beijing and ended up literally on the other side of the planet.
Back to you, Kristie.
LU STOUT: The families, they want answers. It is three weeks already since the disappearance of the plane, yet the search area, it keeps changing. I mean, is this progress, Jim, or are we back to square one?
CLANCY: You know, I sure hope it's progress. You know, that's my own personal point of view here, because like so many others who have followed this from day one, we have seen changes. We have seen mistakes made. We have seen a coming together, a really incredible alliance of countries working together adding their resources, some of the best resources in the world, to try to understand what happened to Flight 370.
I think we can say that it's progress. I don't think that we can predict whether or not it's going to lead us to the aircraft. We've been there too many times before. We haven't been lucky, let's face it. We were searching in the South China Sea for a week, then we find the plane isn't even there. We've been searching in areas far to the south, searching for this plane. We had hits on satellites saying yes this could be a debris field. None of that has been able to be confirmed.
We have a real problem in trying to link up satellite data, sometimes days old -- satellite photos days old and get a surface ship there, estimate the currents. Get a surface ship to try to verify this, it hasn't happened so far. All we can do is hope things will change.
It's been three full weeks. It's high time -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Indeed. Jim Clancy, thank you so much for your reporting and also for your perspective.
Now let's get an update on weather conditions in this new search area in the southern Indian Ocean. We have Alexandra Steele standing by at the world weather center. She joins me now -- Alex.
ALEXANDRA STEELE, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Kristie, we're talking about a change, and do we need one? Well, the weather finally is making a change for a myriad reasons. And finally it won't be working against the search efforts.
So, what we've seen with this ship, 1,100 kilometers north is taking it closer to Perth. So, one, that's easy for those flights to come back and forth. And also what we have not had was visual confirmation, that is what we keep hearing we need.
Now finally, we have seen strong currents, strong winds, incredibly low visibilities and now that is changing.
So here's the new search area. It's still massive, 120,000 square miles. But with this move farther north 1,100 kilometers north, it takes it out of what we've been calling in what you know now, probably, what we call the roaring 40s, which is this latitude farther south that brings up big storms and big weather.
And we've seen it. The weather has so impeded this search. But finally now with the movement farther north, just a little example, the wave height on the whole in this area about two meters, the wave height farther south in the roaring 40s, four to six meters. So that's just one area of really improved conditions, not only the ocean, but of course the weather above it.
So here's this strong cold front that moved through that brought wind and rain and weather certainly the last couple of days. Now that is past and moved east. Here's where all those lights are emanating from, it appears. And you can see the temperature. The winds pretty light and will continue to stay light. And the visibility finally at 10 kilometers if key.
You see these planes, how low they have to get down just to kind of get through all those cloud cover and all of the distance there. Well, that will change.
So here's the (inaudible) and here's the search area. You can notice to the north today, tomorrow, Sunday we're going to bring in potentially rain and wind.
Wind has been huge with this, but now, here again the search area the next two days. The wind, of course farther south as well.
So the wind farther south, the rain staying away. So also the ocean currents a lot calmer, Kristie. So conditions on so many fronts will improve, especially today and tomorrow.
Sunday, though, we're going to get back into some wind and rain.
LU STOUT: All right, better conditions in the new search area very good to hear.
Alexandra Steele there, thank you.
Now you're watching News Stream. And still to come, an unexpected turn of events at today's Oscar Pistorius trial. We'll tell you what happened inside the court room next.
Tensions are high in Ukraine's parliament and on its eastern border. Our reporters are on the ground. We'll take you there live.
And the incredible story of one brave survivor from that landslide in the western U.S. Now crews are battling heavy mud in some places several stories high. Stay with us.
LU STOUT: Welcome back. You're watching News Stream. You're looking at a visual version of all the stories we've got in the show today.
A little bit later in the hour, we will hear from Microsoft's new CEO on his public debut. But now, let's turn to a surprise in South Africa. Now Oscar Pistorius was expected to take the stand at his murder trial a few hours ago, but the Olympic sprinter left soon after he arrived. Now the trial was suddenly put on hold, because one of the assessers was hospitalized.
Robyn Curnow is in Pretoria. She joins me live with the latest -- Robyn.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there.
Well, this is crucial. This trial has now been postponed for a week while this assessers gets better.
Now the reason this is important is that the judge has two assessers under South African law. They're a little bit like having a jury. There isn't, of course, a jury system here.
So if a juror was sick, well of course the trial would have to be postponed. It's the same for an assesser who is basically there to help the judge make decisions based on the facts of the case, not the law. So very integral in terms of how the case proceeds.
But so now we know back on the seventh of this month, a week's postponement. And of course frustrating, no doubt, not just for Oscar Pistorius and his legal team, but also for Reeva Steenkamp's mother and family and friends who were in court today. Everybody, I think there expecting to hear Oscar Pistorius's side of the story, at least the beginning of his defense. And of course now they have to wait another week.
LU STOUT: And Robyn, no April 7 the trial will begin again. The defense will open its case. What are the key questions the defense must address?
CURNOW: Well, I think the very key issue about this of course Oscar Pistorius's own testimony. He was -- he was the only person there that night besides Reeva Steekamp. And it's his story that is so crucial to this whole case.
And of course in telling his story, the judge is going to look for consistency. Remember, he's put a plea application. He had a bail application. He put his side of the story out there already. So in testimony he has to consistently back it up.
Also, very important, his emotional state. We saw that he was quite tearful at times, vomiting throughout the last month at crucial points in the trial. And legal experts have said, listen, it doesn't matter if he's over emotional, if he's tired, if he's crying, if he's weepy, it's more if he becomes arrogant or he snaps.
So there's this sort of an assessment on his character as well as on the facts and whether he's believable. And that is so crucial in a trial that's based on circumstantial evidence.
LU STOUT: And at this point in the trial, what about the prosecution? Because up to now we've heard from neighbors, we've heard from friends of Oscar Pistorius, a former girlfriend, forensic experts, even mobile phone evidence was presented. Robyn, what do you think has been the strongest argument for the prosecution so far?
CURNOW: Well, I think as I sat in the courtroom for more than three weeks, it was clear that really the perhaps the most damning, the strongest piece of evidence the prosecution had were those four messages from Reeva Steenkamp, messages she wrote out, typed out on WhatsApp long-form to Oscar Pistorius after they had a few arguments. And in those messages, she wrote things like I'm sometimes scared of you and you should be protecting me. She didn't -- she eluded the fact that he sometimes had tantrums, painting the picture of somebody who was critical and who was jealous.
And of course this is important, because it was the first time we had a sense that perhaps the state was creating or establishing some sort of motive for this, for this premeditated murder charge. So I think that's what's crucial.
And of course remember in cross examination Oscar Pistorius's defense very, very keen to paint those four messages. And in the context of 1,700 other messages, which they said were all loving, and the fact that these arguments they have made up after these arguments and they had pet names and they seemed to have been happy.
So really no matter what the defense say, the fact that these messages existed and they're there on paper, at least for the prosecution, definitely the strongest piece of evidence they had.
LU STOUT: All right, Robyn Curnow reporting. Thank you.
You're watching News Stream. And still to come, rain and mud hamper the ongoing search for victims of a deadly landslide.
LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.
Now authorities expect the death toll from a massive mudslide in the U.S. state of Washington to rise significantly. As George Howell reports, the weekend disaster took at least 24 lives and destroyed dozens of homes.
STEVE MASON, BATTALION CHIEF: The neighborhood that was here spreads out into these areas.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the latest pictures from the disaster zone. The mud in many places, some three to four stories high, that came crashing down from the hillside and within a matter of seconds, one square mile of what once was a community now coated and covered.
Gary McPherson remembers it felt like being in a blender.
GARY MCPHERSON, LANDSLIDE SURVIVOR: Instead of making a margarita, you just kept mixing it and mixing it and mixing it, when it got going fast enough, you took the top off.
HOWELL: Gary is among the many rescued Saturday, when the wall of mud hit his farm. He says he and his wife, Linda, were sitting in their reclining chairs and before he knew it, he was in the fight for his and her life.
His air force training kicked in. Stay calm, try to find a way out. He grabbed a stick.
MCPHERSON: Stick to the north until I don't have any more stick there and I kept waving it.
HOWELL: A rescuer saw that stick and pulled Gary to safety. But all Gary could think about was trying to save Linda. She didn't make it.
MCPHERSON: She was gone.
HOWELL: There are so many stories of heartbreaking loss in the Oso mudslide. The rising number of those who died, the missing and those who survived.
The search and rescue effort continues in this area, but the outlook for finding anyone alive is grim.
MASON: They're digging through the different piles. There's guys looking in holes. As you notice out here, there's lumber. There are trees, actually, trees, mud, dirt, residences, cars, motor homes, boats. Everything that everyone would have in a neighborhood is now strewn out here.
HOWELL: McPherson says the mudslide threw his home more than 100 yards away. Nothing left standing and everything he knew...
MCPHERSON: Obviously, losing Linda.
HOWELL: ...changed forever.
George Howell, CNN, Arlington, Washington.
LU STOUT: Such heartbreaking loss there.
Now U.S. President Barack Obama, he is urging Russia to, quote, move back troops from the Ukraine border and to negotiate with the international community.
Now the president told CBS News that the forces may be, quote, an effort to intimidate Ukraine or maybe that they've got additional planes, end of quote.
Now tens of thousands of Russian troops are said to be massing at various points along the border. And Kiev fears that after annexing Crimea, a Russian invasion of Ukraine will be next.
Now Karl Penhaul is in Senkivka on the northeastern border where Ukraine meets Russia. He joins me now with the latest.
And Karl, fear is rising over this Russian military buildup at the border. What have you seen there?
KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Kristie. Fear is rising, tension is rising and the local people are making their own preparations.
Just to set the scene for you, the Russian border is just a few kilometers over that way. Desolate landscape, some farm land, a lot of forest. This is where the Pentagon says that on the other side up to 40,000 Russian troops are massing. The Ukrainian government says that figure is much higher, puts the figure at about 88,000 along with tanks and attack helicopters.
But this is the local response. These men that you see here in military uniforms, these are civilians that have had in the past military training and are now forming these civilian self-defense committees, ready in case those Russian troops roll across the border with their tanks.
You know, they've been building barricades here with old car tires, with wood as well. They say that if the Russian do advance and try to cut off the main highway here, then they'll set these tires on fire to set up a smoke screen.
And if I can get and just move aside, I want to show you a little bit more of the preparations that they've made. Yes, of course, they put up sandbags on this little military post that they've put together. And down here around this area they've been digging tranches as well. They've been digging trenches, they say, that they're working jointly with the Ukrainian military as well. The Ukrainian military can use this area as a fall back position and fight from these trenches if necessary.
And -- but it really does go to show that there is a genuine fear that the Russians could roll across and that is why they're making these urgent preparations, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Karl, it is incredible to see civilians there at the border getting ready to respond by any possible Russian invasion. If Russia moves into Ukraine, how will the Ukrainian military respond? And how will Ukraine's paramilitary forces respond?
Karl, it's Kristie in Hong Kong. Hopefully you can hear me. Curious about not just the civilian response and readiness, but also how Ukraine's military and paramilitary forces would respond.
OK, unfortunately we just lost our Karl Penhaul there. Karl Penhaul reporting live there at the border between Ukraine and Russia, a very vivid account there from Karl.
Now you're watching News Stream. Right after the break, new objects spotted. Could they be part of debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner, we'll get the latest details from our correspondent in Perth.
Also ahead, the key to unlocking this mystery, it lies in the plane's data recorder, but the time investigators have to locate signals from the device, it may be shorter than expected.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
A New Zealand patrol plane searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has spotted objects in the southern Indian Ocean today, that after the search zone was shifted some 1,100 kilometers northeast of the previous search area. Australian authorities plane to study photos of those objects to determine whether they could be linked to the missing plane.
The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius is on hold after one of the assessers, a key adviser to the judge, fell ill and was hospitalized. Now court is set to resume on April 7 when Pistorius is set to take the stand.
U.S. President Barack Obama is urging Russia to withdraw its military forces from the border with Ukraine and to start negotiating. This, after reports that Russia has some 40,000 troops positioned at various points along the two country's border. Now the Kremlin is dismissing Thursday's UN vote that declared Crimea's referendum invalid, calling it counterproductive.
Now it took two days, but a Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying two cosmonauts and one astronaut has finally arrived at the International Space Station. Now this journey, it was supposed to take just six hours. NASA says the new crew was never in danger. Now the spacecraft had to take a longer route than planned due to a variety of complications.
Now a quick recap of our top story, a New Zealand patrol plane has spotted some objects in the new area where officials are focusing the search for missing Malaysia flight 370.
Now this new area is about 1,100 kilometers northeast of the previous search zone.
Let's get the latest now from Andrew Stevens. He joins me live in Perth where the search effort is being coordinated.
And Andrew, what can you tell us about these objects that have been spotted in, again, the new search area?
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We know that was spotted by the New Zealanders, which was one of the first planes out on this new search area, Kristie. That plane is now back here at Pierce Air Force Base just outside Perth.
We don't know yet what those objects are. Still waiting to get some sort of confirmation. Depending on just how clearly defined they are, they will need to be picked up by a ship by somebody who can actually get a proper ID on those objects.
Now at the moment there -- we understand there's one small Chinese vessel in that search area, but the main vessel, the main fleet is still making its way from the far southern end of the Indian Ocean where it had been searching following down those leads from the satellite images that were taken earlier.
So, the first ship is expected to be on station, according to the Australians, by tomorrow -- late tomorrow afternoon. So it could be quite a long wait.
Satellites are also being retasked, they're being redirected to take pictures of that area.
Let's not forget, this is a big, big area. It's 320,000 square kilometers. That is roughly the size of Poland, working in favor for the searchers, though, are the conditions, much better conditions this further north. Also, much better sea conditions -- not expecting to see those rough weather, those big storms suddenly whipping up in this part of the Indian Ocean. So that all helps the searchers. They'll also obviously get more time on the location, because it is closer to Perth, Kristie.
LU STOUT: All right.
And what about all the satellite data of debris, or potential debris, objects that were picked up earlier this week. I mean, given this new search area is that data still in play?
STEVENS: Yeah, that's a very interesting question. The Malaysians said today it could possibly be still in play. They -- the Malaysian transport minister saying that the pictures taken by satellites -- and there were five separate satellite images taken of various bits of objects, as they're described. They could actually have, according to the drift models, moved into this new search area.
That is a long way, though, that's 1,100 kilometers. And there's quite a lot of comment on Twitter from Oceanographers saying that that would look unlikely, but the Malaysians are saying that. The Australians when they made the announcement of this massive radical change in the search area also asked whether these earlier satellite pictures were still of use.
And the answer there was a little bit more circumspect. It was maybe or maybe not.
So, at this stage, we really need to sort of see what objects the New Zealanders have seen. Wait for the satellites to get them -- to get set up to target that area and also get the ships back in there to make any real connection.
But this all along has been the frustrating part of this search, that objects are picked up in Space, objects are picked up from airplanes over the spot, but they're not relocated by ships on the surface, whether that changes in this new search zone, we'll have to wait and see, but it does require all those vessels to be in there. And that's going to be before they're up to full strength there, perhaps another 24 hours, Kristie.
LU STOUT: All right, Andrew Stevens there, reporting live from Perth, thank you Andrew.
Now finding the Malaysian plane's voice and data recorders could resolve some of the key questions in this case. But locators pings being transmitted from the recorders, they will go silent the moment their batteries run out and, unfortunately, as Athena Jones reports, there is now reason to believe those batteries may have already died.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirty days. That's how long the batteries on the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder are expected to last. They power the underwater locator beacons, or pingers, that help search teams find these crucial devices. And after 21 days, those batteries could soon run out if they haven't already.
That's what has CNN's safety analyst David Soucie concerned. He talked to a mechanic whose audit of Malaysian Airlines found problems with the way that they store these devices.
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Having them stored improperly against the manufacturer's recommendations is extremely hard on them and will actually reduce the battery life to close to half as much as it is intended to, so 15 days or so.
JONES: Dukane Seacom, the company that makes the pingers for Malaysian Airlines, said high temperature could affect battery life. The manual says they should be stored in a cool, dry environment.
We don't know how the recorders on Flight 370 were stored. We do know that it will be much harder to find the black boxes without the pingers. It took two years to find the recorders from Air France Flight 447 after it crashed off the coast of Brazil in 2009. Search teams towed pinger locators near the debris field just days after the crash and heard nothing, suggesting that pingers had stopped working or the signal was somehow blocked by rugged underwater terrain or other obstacles. SOUCIE: Even plant life, seaweed, plant life, coral, any of those things can detract from the signal and even temperature changes in the water. If you have a thermal layer, it can hide that ping and it can hide any kind of detection that you might have.
JONES: Oceanographer David Gallo helped find the recorders in the Air France crash with the help of sonar, high-resolution cameras and submersible devices like deep-sea drones.
DAVID GALLO, CO-LED SEARCH FOR AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447: We took 85,000 still images of the wreck site, handed those over to a company, Phoenix International, and they took it from there and found the black boxes.
JONES: If the boxes are found, investigators can still retrieve the vital information inside.
ANISH PATEL, PRESIDENT, DUKANE SEACOM INC.: The battery running out will not preclude the authorities from being able to extract that data. It is embedded into the system.
JONES: Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.
LU STOUT: Now Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai paid a touching tribute to their colleague who was on the missing airplane. Now their film, "The Grandmaster" picked up multiple trophies at the Asian Film Awards last night. And Wong, who was very emotional while receiving his award for best director, said this, quote, "one of our martial arts directors unfortunately is one of the victims of MH370. So I hope the Malaysian government can try their best to address this issue by taking a more transparent attitude and to let us know the truth.
Now, when we come back, Microsoft Office, it's now available on the iPad, but the talk at the launch, it wasn't just about the new software. Now Microsoft's new CEO also had people paying very close attention. And we'll tell you what he said.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now Turkey is cracking down harder on social media ahead of weekend elections. Authorities have now blocked YouTube less than a week after imposing a blackout on the social networking site Twitter.
Now Ankara accuses social media platforms of being used to spread false information and lies. And for the latest, let's go live to Ivan Watson in Istanbul. And Ivan, can you tell us more about the reasons behind this YouTube blackout there?
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, again it just comes days after Turkey shut down access to Twitter, which has more than 10 million Turkish subscribers. The justification for this crackdown on YouTube was different from the Twitter crackdown. In this case, there was a major breach of Turkish national security. Basically a recording of a meeting taking place in the office of Turkey's foreign ministry in which top government officials, including the head of Turkey's intelligence agency, an army general, and the foreign minister himself were all discussing the possibility of going to war with neighboring Syria.
And heard on this tape is actually the intelligence chief suggesting the possibility of a so-called false flag operation, perhaps firing missiles at a piece of Turkish territory to justify Turkey then responding using force into Syria.
The Turkish prime minister reacted to the release of this leaked conversation during a campaign speech on Thursday in which he had already very much lost his voice on the grueling campaign trail. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Today they posted a video on YouTube. There was a meeting at the Turkish foreign ministry on Syria, on the tomb of Suleiman Tsa (ph) and they even leaked this on YouTube. This is villainous, this is dishonesty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: So, Kristie, there you have word from the prime minister. Meanwhile, the foreign ministry called the leak of this -- what was supposed to be a private meeting a real act of espionage, an act of war. But it is the response that Turkey is taken to shut down clearly what is one of the worlds most popular videosharing sites, access to that rather than perhaps going after whoever made the recording and leaked it in the first place. That is what is coming under fire, not only from critiques within Turkey, but from without -- from outside of Turkey as well, especially with Turkey just days away from national elections, which are expected to be held on Sunday -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: You know, this move it just seems so extreme, especially in this day and age. What is banning YouTube say, what does it reveal about Prime Minister Erdogan and his political confidence ahead of local elections happening this weekend?
WATSON: In some ways it could be considered an act of desperation, but the Turkish government has really been under fire, battered by a campaign of wiretap leaks. The one that came out that's called into question here was very different from previous recordings that have been released on various social media platforms. This recording was not a phone conversation as other wiretaps that have emerged. This sounds like some kind of recording device that was planted in the room of the foreign minister himself, as I mentioned, a major national security breach whatever country you're in
But it comes after daily leaks of what appear to have been phone recordings. The previous leaks appear to have been recordings of conversations that the prime minister himself had or that members of his family had or his inner circle had. And some of them did not have to do with war with Syria, they had much more to do with sleaze, allegations of corruption, hiding assets from police investigations, putting pressure on courts, putting pressure -- trying to put tax fines on media organizations, direct censorship of news organizations here in Turkey. Some of the allegations that the Turkish prime minister has denied, claiming that those wiretaps were falsified, edited material.
The government's response to that is what has been really questionable by shutting down Twitter, which as I mentioned has more than 10 million subscribers in Turkey. And it all comes in a real atmosphere of polarization here in Turkey and under immense pressure from the government on media organizations as well, where many media watchdog groups argue that there is a very small space for journalists to speak openly, that there is punishment of journalists if they criticize the government. And now another disappearing open space for Turks to discuss not just politics, but everyday ordinary affairs.
People here in Turkey use Twitter and YouTube more to discuss which soccer team they prefer and which music stars they like, but it is also a free area of speech for criticizing the government and that is now being closed. And that has come under criticism from within Turkey, but the European Union questioning Turkey's freedom of speech, its commitment to freedom of speech and expression, really coming under fire there. But the government seems to be willing to take any measure necessary to control the damage to its image in these last final days running up to Sunday's national elections.
LU STOUT: Indeed, this crackdown happening on multiple platforms as our Ivan Watson reports live from Istanbul. Thank you, Ivan.
Now Amazon is considering a streaming media service, that's according to the Wall Street Journal. Now the Journal says that Amazon is planning a free streaming service that could compliment its existing $99 a year Amazon Prime subscription. But hours after the report came out, Amazon appeared to dispute it. It said this, "we have no plans to offer a free streaming media service." A denial.
Now that denial, it came as journalists received invitations from amazon to an event next week focusing on their video business.
Now I want to bring in CNN's senior media correspondent now. Brian Stelter joins me live from Washington. Brian, what have you heard about Amazon's video plans?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amazon is clearly up to something. And even though they denied aspects of the Wall Street Journal story, it got a lot of people talking even more about what Amazon's ambitions are when it comes to television and movies.
You know, because Amazon is one of these technology giants like Google, like Microsoft, like Apple, that wants to have a bigger role in producing and distributing television and other content to people.
And people are very curious about what's going to come next week at this press event they've unveiled. People expect -- people in the industry expect Amazon to introduce some sort of device that connects your television set to all of the content that's available on the Internet.
Google and Apple already have devices like this. So it would seem that Amazon is playing some sort of catch up.
On the other hand, they may have some surprises in store and that's what the journalist story was getting at last night.
LU STOUT: OK, so Amazon wants to be a multimedia player. There's already a multimedia component to its existing Amazon Prime service. So how would a free streaming service change that?
STELTER: Right now if you have Amazon Prime, which gives you free two-day shipping and a lending library for Kindle eBooks, you also get free -- you get streams of some TV shows and movies for no additional cost. Amazon Prime costs about $99 a year.
What Amazon could be doing, according to the Wall Street Journal, is creating a complimentary service that wouldn't cost $100 a year, that you could watch for free. And you could imagine Amazon taking some of its original TV shows, like Alpha House or Betas, making those available for free as a sort of sampler for people and then trying to convince them to pay later for Amazon Prime.
Hulu, which is owned by three of the television networks here in the United States, has a similar model. Hulu has lots of shows online for free, lots of episodes for free, but if you want to watch more, if you want to have more convenient access to them you have to pay $8 a month.
I'm curious to see if Amazon is thinking about a similar model, even though they did try to deny the story yesterday.
LU STOUT: Now let's talk about the hardware, because there is this Amazon event that's coming up in April. Is Amazon planning to unveil a streaming video device of its own?
STELTER: That's what it seems, that's what the plans seem to suggest.
It makes a lot of sense, because all of these technology giants do want to be more involved in the way all of us receive television. They think the way television is delivered now is antiquated and prime for disruption. But they have to do it in a way that keeps their partners happy. After all, Amazon has lots of deals with existing television providers. For example, you know, the makers of television shows like CBS, because they get content from those companies.
So while Amazon is expected to create some sort of device that makes it easier to watch internet TV on your big screen TV, they also have to make sure they don't anger their existing partners too much.
The reality is we are going to watch more and more and more television via the Internet. And the question is how we're going to do it. Will Amazon be involved in that? Will Apple be involved? Will Google? Or will the existing satellite and cable providers continue to maintain control over the way we watch? That's the battle I think we're going to see in the next few years.
LU STOUT: All right, big media plans ahead for Amazon. Brian Stelter joining me live from CNN Washington. Thank you so much. Take care.
Now one of the world's most popular apps, it's finally on the iPad. Microsoft Office for iPad is free to download from the app store right now, but there is a catch here, it's only free if you want to view documents. If you actually want to create a document or edit a document you need a subscription that starts at $70 a year.
But it is still significant, because up until now the only tablet with Office was Microsoft's own -- the Surface.
Now Office for iPad was unveiled by Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella. And many have wondered what Nadella's plans are for Microsoft.
Now take a listen to what he had to say at the event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SATYA NADELLA, MICROSOFT CEO: It's day 52 for me. Who is counting? It's been just an amazing, you know, five weeks or so. How in spite of having spent most of my adult life, 22 years, at Microsoft you see things from a very fresh set of eyes and a fresh perspective and relearn the place.
And today marks that beginning of exploration for us. Our customers want to know where we're going, what is our innovation agenda. And our team is really ready for it.
Everything that we do going forward is grounded in this world view, which I describe as the world of ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence. It's an amazing canvas for innovation. And it's an amazing opportunity for growth for company. And the real goal for us is to step up to provide the applications and services that empower every user across all of these devices and all of these experiences.
You also hopefully got a feel for how we're taking great focus and great care to make sure that office on every device shines through.
When it comes to Office 365, the vision is pretty straightforward, it is to make sure that the 1 billion Office users and growing can have access to the high fidelity Office experience on every device they love to use. And Office on the iPad, and today's announcement, marks one more step in that direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Satya Nadella there.
Now up next right here on News Stream, we step back into history. And we take a look at how the Cold War played out in the east.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now CNN is marking a quarter century since the fall of the Berlin Wall by once again airing our 24 part series Cold War.
Now this weekend's installment looks at why the Korean War broke out. Here's a preview.
KENNETH BRANAGH, ACTOR: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was proclaimed with Kim Il Sung as its president. As Soviet troops withdrew, Kim dreamed of uniting Korea under Communism.
COL. PETR SIMCHENKOV, SOVIET HIGH COMMAND: Kim Il Sung understood that to resolve the problem of unifying the two Koreas was very difficult - - that he would need help. Of course the help he was hoping to get would come from the Soviet Union.
BRANAGH: In March 1949, Kim Il Sung went to Moscow: his secret agenda to seek Stalin's permission to invade the South.
Stalin, preoccupied with crisis in Berlin, rejected Kim's request to invade. By the end of 1949, the international situation had been transformed. The Soviets detonated their first atom bomb. And the communist revolution in China was finally successful. Mao Tse-tung proclaimed the People's Republic of China.
A treaty of friendship between Mao and Stalin created a communist global alliance, opening a second front of the Cold War in Asia.
Stalin was now confident that the United States lacked the will to respond to events in Asia. In April 1950 he finally gave approval for Kim Il Sung to invade South Korea.
June 25, 1950: the North Korean Army launches its surprise assault on the South.
HANG AN, STUDENT, SEOUL: I remember vividly, even today, the day the war broke out. It was Sunday morning. And we heard this kind of remote -- the roaring noise from the North.
BRANAGH: Equipped with Russian tanks and artillery, and directed by Soviet advisers, 10 combat divisions of the North Korean army flooded south.
LU STOUT; And tune in this Saturday for the next episode of Cold War, that's Saturday 6:00 pm in Hong Kong.
And that is News Stream. World Business Today is next.