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Researchers Develop Alzheimer's Test; Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 Mystery; Crisis In Ukraine; 13 Nuns Released In Syria; Libya Acting to Seize North Korean Ship; Malaysia Airlines Mystery; Art of Movement: 18th and 19th Century Robots; South by Southwest Tech Conference; Parting Shots: New App Shows London's Past

Aired March 10, 2014 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: And tonight, the new face of power in Crimea.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Crimea with the story of how one Ukrainian military commander's abduction led to pro- Russian militia taking control of his base.

ANDERSON: Also ahead, new information emerges about the two men who boarded the missing Malaysia plane with fake passports. But after three days of intense search efforts, there is still no sign of the plane itself. So how could an aircraft of that size simply vanish?

And a trip down memory lane, how a new app lets you peek into a city's history through the lens of your smartphone.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: A very good evening from London. We begin in Ukraine tonight where pro-Russia forces are tightening their hold on Crimea days before what will be a critical referendum.

Dozens of armed men, some wearing masks, were sworn in today as part of a new special forces unit. Now Crimea's pro-Moscow leader Sergei Aksyonov told the recruits that they must provide security through Sunday's referendum.

Well, Crimeans will vote on whether their province should secede and join Russia.

Ukraine's leaders in Kiev called the referendum illegal and invalid.

Meantime, pro-Russian forces have seized control of another military base a day after its Ukrainian commander was kidnapped. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh visited that base before and after the takeover.


WALSH: This is the new face of power at one military base in Crimea. It's not friendly, but very much in charge, and apparently pro-Russian. The Ukrainian flag here pulled down fast.

Let me show you in a matter of hours it all unraveled.

Earlier that morning, the flag was up. We came because their commander, Vladimir Sadovnik had been kidnapped the day before at a checkpoint. His deputy here says the pro-Russian Unity Party were behind it. The commander has called his wife to say he's OK.

SERGEI GUNDER, DEPUTY COMMANDER, BASE A2904 (through translator): If they try to blackmail into giving up the base it won't happen and we will call his abductors terrorists and won't negotiate with them.

WALSH: We meet Vladimir's wife Yulia at his home who hasn't slept with worry.

Her husband called her 40 minutes ago from a new number to say he was held in Simferopol's military headquarters now in pro-Russian hands.

We couldn't confirm that, but she called back and says she's Vladimir's wife, but nobody wants to talk to her.

"They want, I think, him to surrender," she says. "But I believe in my husband and his convictions."

Back at the base, things have moved fast. The deputy tells us so- called self defense forces have burst in. They're not happy to be filmed.

He tells me he's a Ukrainian resident, but not much else that's polite.

That's part of the answer of what happens to the thousands of Ukrainian soldiers still on their bases, still loyal to the new government in Kiev. Pro-Russian militia muscling in.

The deputy explains to me there are about 15 gunmen inside. And they want to take 10 vehicles from the base. He adds that they came back with Vladimir, the commander kidnapped earlier.

This is how power changes hands here -- bloodless, but in the shadow of kidnapping. And at the end of an AK-47.


WALSH: Now the question is, of course, what capacity did Vladimir Sadovnik, commander of that base, return to it in the company of those masked men. There have been suggestions to activists with in the new government in Kiev that perhaps somehow he was persuaded to change sides, to defect to the pro-Russian forces here. He's denied that squarely, saying he simply went back and stays with his men on the side of the Ukrainian government.

But this kind of pressure, Becky, I think we're going to see across Crimea as the referendum gets nearer. Ukrainian soldiers feeling distant from their commanders in Kiev keeping their guns under lock and key, not willing to fight, but not willing to give up their bases either. And now pro-Russian gunmen, masked, aggressive, turning up en masse and simply pushing their way. We're hearing that a lot now, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, what's going to happen to these men going forward? I mean, you know, we've got -- what is it? A week now between now and the referendum.

WALSH: Well, I think anyone really questions that Crimea after the referendum is going to be significantly closer to Russia and further away from the new government in Kiev. So the question what happens to these men is absolutely key, because they're the one remnant, the one holdout of the previous authority here.

Perhaps we will see them join that new Crimean army, some say. You mentioned earlier on showcased today by the self-appointed prime minister here, Sergei Akysonov. Perhaps they might leave the peninsula by themselves. But you've got to ask yourself, in the position of these soldiers -- they're facing a choice now between staying in Crimea and perhaps joining this new army here, or uprooting themselves and their families, leaving, or staying effectively under siege in many of their bases against this increasing pressure.

Very delicate choices for a delicate situation. The pressure mounting, the tactics changing, increasingly brutal. I think that's a potential flashpoint for the days ahead, Becky.

ANDERSON: What's Moscow's end-game in all of this, Nick?

WALSH: Becky, very hard to tell, really. Normally when you observe Vladimir Putin's behavior, you understand why he's doing what he's doing, although you may not necessarily agree with his point of view. There's normally a logic underpinning it in the eyes of the Kremlin. His response to the loss to Yanukovych as an ally here hasn't really been underpinned by that kind of logic.

You saw him in a press conference saying that the guy was the legitimate president of Ukraine, but also politically in dead meat, to paraphrase what he was saying.

So, it's interesting to watch them, it seems, feel their way forward here. They seem like they have to make some sort of strong response to losing Yanukovych. That's evident in the flood of Russian forces, that's what they are, coming into this country right now. Quite where they stop, nobody knows.

It's clear Crimea will move back into their sphere of influence. They then have to go about maintaining pensions here, getting the government up and running, perhaps even replacing lost water or electricity if Ukraine chooses to cut them off like many fear is potentially possible.

But then of course people are asking, does it stop here? Do they move into the eastern cities where there's also sympathy as well -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh on the story for you. There are so many angles to what is a very complex story. has special features and opinion pieces, including in depth analysis on the role of neofascists, for example, who may be playing into the pro-western Ukraine. That and much more on our website

Well, still to come tonight, three days on and still no clues, but the hunt certainly continues. More on the mystery of that missing plane.

Also ahead, freedom finally for a group of nuns kidnapped in Syria. They're speaking about their harrowing ordeal.

And at the Oscar Pistorius trial, graphic details of how Reeva Steenkamp died. We'll have the very latest from Pretoria when Connect the World continues.

I'm Becky Anderson in London, stay with us.


ANDERSON: Right. Despite all the resources in the air and at sea, there is still no confirmed sign of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Now that plane went missing on Saturday morning shortly after its takeoff from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It was bound for Beijing.

Jim Clancy has the very latest on the rescue efforts underway.


JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This morning the search intensifies for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Now three days into this exhaustive search for clues, multinational rescue teams are scouring the waters of the South China Sea. Overnight, Malaysia's civil aviation chief says no wreckage has been found.

AZHARUDDIN ABDUL RAHMAN, MALAYSIA CIVIL AVIATION CHIEF: We have not found anything that appears to be objects from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft.

CLANCY: But Abdul Rahman did confirm that they have taken samples from a spotted oil slick in the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam in hopes of a positive match. Teams from the United States, Thailand and China, all involved in the search effort with more than 30 aircraft and some 40 ships across at least 50 nautical miles. The missing Boeing 777 took off from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia just before 1 a.m. on Saturday.

Less than an hour after take-off, the tower lost the plane's signal. No distress call sent and the weather clear at the time. The Boeing 777 and its 239 people aboard seemingly vanished. Despite the lack of clues, officials here say they have some leads.

GEN. TAN SRI DATO SRI RODZALI DAUD, ROYAL MALAYSIAN AIR FORCE: We look back at the recording and there is a possible indication that the aircraft may turn back.

CLANCY: Malaysia and Thailand are investigating the possibility that the flight may have changed course and tried to turn back. Adding to the mystery, Interpol says two of the passengers used stolen passports. Now they're examining surveillance videos and additional suspect passports.

This Facebook page has been dedicated to the 239 people who the airline says belong to 14 different nations. Three Americans were on board, including 50-year-old Phillip Wood from North Texas.

More than half of those aboard that jetliner were Chinese citizens. And many of their family members have been coming here from Beijing. They're coming to Kuala Lumpur searching for answers, searching for their loved ones, really. But there are no answers here, at least not yet.

Jim Clancy, CNN, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.


ANDERSON: Well, as Jim Mentioned, the stolen passports used by two passengers on board the flight. Well Thai police say the tickets were bought by an Iranian man for two friends he said wanted to go home to Europe.

We're go to have much more on that angle along with the view from Beijing where family members are waiting for any news, any clues of where their loved ones are.

We're going to do that in about 15 minutes. Do stay with us on that.

Well, in Syria, new allegations that war crimes and crimes against humanity are taking place in the Yarmouk Camp outside Damascus. A report from Amnesty International says regime forces are cutting off food and medical supplies to Palestinian and Syrian civilians.

The conditions are quite frankly horrific. More than half of the 200 deaths there reportedly caused by acute starvation.

Meantime, some rare good news coming out of the country. A month of captivity over, finally at least, for a group of nuns. Mohammed Jamjoom has details of what has been their long awaited release.


MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A harrowing hostage negotiation, one frightened child deposited into the arms of a masked gunman, cries of god is great only add to the dramatic air of the late-night exchange.

13 Syrian nuns held by rebel fighters since November in exchange for 150 female prisoners jailed by the Syrian government.

On a craggy road, along Syria's mountainous border with Lebanon, the relief was apparent.

This fighter repeatedly thanks god before making a vow. "We won't rest," he declares, "until we free every sister from the prisons of the tyrant Bashar al-Assad."

Last minute hiccups in the mediation kept the exchange from happening much earlier.

The nuns started their journey toward freedom in daylight. Before departing, they took mercy on their captors.

"It's been four months," says this nun with a smile. "This is the fourth month, but that's OK, the kidnappers were kind in return."

One sister, too frail to walk, was carried to the car. While the drive may have been smooth, their release was months in the making.

The Qatari government had to intervene to get the deal done, according to state media in Lebanon. In the end, they were delivered.

"We thank you for how you treated us," one nun tells a rebel. "May god protect you."

As they shuffled into safety, they could finally rest and pray a little easier."

Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN, Beirut.


ANDERSON: Well, it was dramatic start to the second week of testimony in the Oscar Pistorius trial. A pathologist took the stand detailing the horrific injuries sustained by his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. CNN's Robyn Curnow has more.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oscar Pistorius shot his own 9 millimeter just like this one, firing through a locked bathroom door with three shots hitting his girlfriend in her hip, arm and head. Those details revealed in testimony today by the state's pathologist. The autopsy report so graphic the judge stopped the live broadcast.

Pistorius physically ill, vomiting during the proceedings, visibly shaken as he left the court.

Pistorius' defense is that he was scared of an intruder, unaware Reeva Steenkamp was behind the door. However, Barry Peters is a competitive target shooter. He says South Africa's gun ownership laws are tight and clear about safety and self-defense.

BARRY PIETERS, COMPETITIVE TARGET SHOOTER: There now way you can just, you know, think that you're being attacked and then fire a weapon at somebody.

CURNOW: As for the ballistics, while it's not illegal to own hollow point bullets as Pieters demonstrates, compared to other bullets on the market they are destructive on impact.

PIETERS: You see the little serrations on the side, which when on impact those little serrations will open up like that and besides there are mushroom that it will form. It will form almost like a little fan. Remember now it's also spinning. So you can imagine the amount of damage that can do to you.

CURNOW: Pistorius says in court documents he felt especially vulnerable because he didn't have his prosthetics on.

In 2008, in the room he would eventually share with Reeva Steenkamp that night, Pistorius showed CNN where his legs were amputated as a child.

OSCAR PISTORIUS, OLYMPIC RUNNER: It's about midway. I mean, if you had to put it about there, it would be about halfway down.

CURNOW: It's this disability, and the high crime rate, that'll no doubt be used in court as a reason for Pistorius' alleged fear and paranoia about an intruder in the night.

Meanwhile, the state will continue to argue that he knew who was behind the closed door and that he deliberately shot Reeva Steenkamp dead.

Robyn Curnow, CNN, Pretoria.


ANDERSON: Well, live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up, these -- and there are more questions than answers regarding the fate of Malaysia airlines flight 370, which vanished without a trace. We'll look at the possible scenarios with our guests in about 10 minutes time.

Researchers announce a major development in the fight against Alzheimer's, but a new test is being touted as a medical milestone could also pose a personal dilemma. That up next.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. 21 minutes past 8:00 in London. I'm Becky Anderson for you.

Now it is one of the world's biggest challenges when it comes to caring for aging populations. I'm talking about Alzheimer's Disease, a form of Dementia causing memory loss and mental decline.

Now the global numbers are quite staggering, an estimated 44 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer's. The World Health Organization says that number is set to triple by 2050.

Now the annual cost of caring for people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia is estimated at $600 billion.

Well now researchers say they can predict with astonishing accuracy whether a healthy person will actually develop Alzheimer's. A blood test can determine if you'll experience symptoms in the future.

Researchers are calling it a potential gamechanger, as you can imagine, but as CNN's Elizabeth Cohen asks, the question is would you want to know?


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: There hasn't been a good way to predict who will get Alzheimer's Disease, whose brains will get the plaques and tangles that destroy memory and concentration, and who will be spared. But in a first-of-its-kind study, a simple blood test was able to predict who would get Alzheimer's.

DR. HOWERD FEDEROFF, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: This is a really wonderful piece of science. It's the most significant observation that we've been able to report in my entire scientific career.

COHEN: The researchers looked at the blood of healthy elderly people, checking for 10 fatty molecules called lipids. Those who had lower levels of lipids were more likely to develop Alzheimer's, or the memory problems that precede Alzheimer's.

On average the change, from healthy to sick, took just two years. And the test was over 90-percent accurate. The researchers and the Alzheimer's Association, point out that other labs need to validate that this test really works. And even if all goes well, the test won't be in doctors' offices for several years.

So who would want a test to predict Alzheimer's? After all, there's nothing you can do to stop it. Dr. Howard Federoff, the lead researcher in the study, says he'd want to know.

FEDEROFF: I would want to plan. I would want to work with my family to make sure that I attend to the issues that are important to us. But some people might not want to know that they're destined for a devastating disease.

COHEN: But some people might not want to know that they're destined for a devastating disease.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN.


ANDERSON: Well, we took to the streets of London today and asked people whether they would want to know if they were likely to develop Alzheimer's Disease. Here are some of the responses.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was thinking about that and I was very conflicted. But I think I would.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I think so, definitely. My aunt (ph) had it and it's horrible. So you'd want to know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would want to know if I had Alzheimer's. We should find that out beforehand. You can make arrangements and sort things out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just because my fiance's family is kind of affected by it. So I think it's just good to kind of know in advance so you can kind of look into treatment options and stuff beforehand.


ANDERSON: It is an absolutely fascinating question, isn't it? I've been -- I think mulling it myself. The team has certainly here at Connect the World. And we want to hear from you. of course. You can have your say. You can always tweet me @BeckyCNN. We're on Instagram. Search for BeckyCNN. You can usually watch the daily preview of the show. Apologies today there isn't one there, but we normally do do a daily preview as well.

So use Instagram, use Twitter, however you want to get in touch with you can. And we are fascinated to hear from you.

The latest world news headlines are just ahead.

Plus, desperate prays for the fate of their loved ones. We're going to be live in Beijing where family members are fearing the worst.

Plus, I'll speak to an aviation expert and find out just how a plane can vanish from thin air.


ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back. It is just before half past 8:00 in London, I'm Becky Anderson, these are the top stories this hour here on CNN.

Pro-Russian forces are tightening their grip on Ukraine's Crimea region ahead of Sunday's referendum that will ask the voters there whether Crimea should formally join Russia. The United Nations Security Council is as we speak meeting behind closed doors to discuss the crisis.

Investigators are expanding their search for that Malaysia Airlines jet that vanished without trace Saturday with 239 people onboard. They are now looking at a larger portion of the Gulf of Thailand, along with the Andaman Sea northwest of Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Thai police say an Iranian man bought the two tickets used by two men who boarded the plane using stolen passports. Now, it's not known whether they had anything to do with the plane's disappearance.

Oscar Pistorius became ill in court today as gruesome details from his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp's autopsy were shared at his murder trial. A pathologist says that Steenkamp was shot in the head, the arm, and the hip and that any one of those injuries could have been fatal.

This ship is causing troubles in Libya. Government forces are moving against the North Korean flanked tanker, which has been docked in a rebel- held fort since Friday. The force has permission to, quote, "stop, seize, or even strike" the ship. Jomana Karadsheh has more on the tense situation.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tensions are running high between the government and an armed federalist group in eastern Libya that his holding oil ports. With both sides threatening the use of force, there are real concerns about this turning into an armed confrontation.

The escalation began after the group announced it was starting illegal oil export, that after a North Korean-flagged ship entered a Sidra oil port this weekend. The Libyan prime minister on Saturday threatened to bomb the tanker if it attempts to leave with the oil and did not comply with the government's orders to surrender.

But the government also came out on Sunday, said their main aim here was not to bomb the vessel but to stop and seize it. They are really concerned about what they say would be an environmental disaster if an oil- loaded vessel is struck in the Mediterranean.

Now, officials say that a force that is made up of some naval officers and government-sanctioned militias was dispatched by the government and is now in the area and is ready to intercept this tanker if it tries to leave with the illegal oil shipment.

It's not clear who owns this tanker or where the shipment would be headed to. The government officials say that its ownership remains unclear. They say it might belong to a private company in a Gulf country.


ANDERSON: Let's return to what is clearly one of our top stories this hour and the mystery surrounding the fate of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. So far, nearly three dozen aircraft and 40 ships from 10 countries have been involved in what is this enormous search effort, but they haven't found any sign of the aircraft.

That plane, let me remind you, went missing on Saturday morning, about an hour after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur. It was headed to Beijing. Now, air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane as it was flying over the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam. The pilots did not indicate any problem to the tower, and no distress signal was issued.

There are more questions than answers at this point, but what we do know is this: the search area will be expanded. The areas inside the white boxes on this map are now being searched. The areas surrounded by the red lines will be looked at starting on Tuesday.

We also know there were a total of 239 people onboard, 227 passengers, including 2 infants, and 12 crew members. Most of them, 153, were Chinese, 38 Malaysians, the rest citizens from 12 other countries, including Indonesia, Australia, India, France, and the US. Also, New Zealand, Ukraine, Canada, Russia, and the Netherlands.

Well, it is just after 8:30 in the evening here in London, which is 4:30 Tuesday morning in Beijing, where families of the missing have now spent a third sleepless night waiting for news of their loved ones. Let's bring in David McKenzie from Beijing. And David, it must be agony for them, not having any clues as to what has happened.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Becky. All of them want information, desperately seeking at this point most likely, some closure to this terrible event, but they're not getting that for days.

In fact, it started with shock, then frustration, sometimes anger. We've seen, Becky, these loved ones of those onboard this ill-fated flight sometimes get angry with the airport, with the airlines, with the Chinese officials. You can understand their frustration at this point.

It's very difficult for them to bear that chance, that hope, that there might be some tiny chance, even how small that might be at this point, that they might be alive. But we've spoken to some of them through the day yesterday, and certainly extremely frustrated, they are. Let's take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm not going home until I know what happened. We've lost loved ones, and they need to answer our questions. When are you going to tell us and what are you going to do? We still don't know if they are alive or dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Still no information and still waiting. I am not happy with the airline's arrangement so far.


MCKENZIE: Well, Becky, tonight, in fact, our time very early morning this morning, they were, in fact, busing out some of those passengers from Beijing to get on a plane to Kuala Lumpur, which is the staging ground of this extraordinary search and rescue effort.

Now, they're still calling it that, despite the length of time it has been, but there is that hope from these people, fading fast of course, that they might be reunited with their loved ones. But in reality, they feel deep down inside that this is a terrible tragedy they're having to deal with.

ANDERSON: David McKenzie is in Beijing for you this evening. Well, the question everyone wants an answer is simply this one: how can a plane just vanish? Well, joining me now to, hopefully, help shed some light on the scenario is aviation expert Philip Butterworth-Hayes and our senior international correspondent Nic Robertson on the security aspect of the story.

Let's just start with you, sir, if I can. Let's take a look at the specs on this plane. Because it's not exactly a small object, is it? It's 64 meters long, almost 61 meters wide when you talk about its wingspan.

A plane like this is packed with communications gear, including radios, automatic beacons, and GPSes. And so it's absolutely baffling the fact that this could just have gone off the radar. Do you have any answers to this very simple question, as it were? A baffling one.

PHILIP BUTTERWORTH-HAYES, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL EXPERT: I'm afraid there are two things that's happened. First of all, whatever happened, it happened very quickly. So, it went down from 35,000 feet to 10 or however fast it was very, very fast.

And the second thing, it was very unlucky, because it's in that spot where it's really at the range of the coastal radars. Perhaps it was picked up by military radars, we don't know, but because they don't have a feedback, we can't actually go back and have a look.

ANDERSON: It's full of gear. Shouldn't it be beeping? Isn't -- is there no way of knowing, getting an sense of communication with what we, surely at this point, have to admit is probably a plane that's come out of the air.

BUTTERWORTH-HAYES: Yes. Yes. It does beep. There's a thing called an A-CAST (ph) system where it sends up a satellite signal about every eight seconds. So, that could have been picked up. But again, even if you got the last location, there's still a long time before it actually -- somebody picked up the fact that it had gone.

So, beeping alone is not enough. There has to be somebody at the other end to see actually this hasn't beeped for 20 seconds, we've got a problem here.

ANDERSON: Nic, adding to the mystery surrounding this flight, of course, authorities say two of the passengers used stolen passports. Now, the details as we have them to date are these: Christian Kozel of Austria and Luigi Maraldi of Italy listed on the passenger manifest. Officials say neither man boarded the plane. Both had their passports stolen in Thailand over the past two years.

Now, authorities say tickets with consecutive numbers were issued in both the men's names. Right now, Interpol examining surveillance. Where do we stand on this story?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's a possibility here Interpol may be looking at more stolen passports being used on this flight. They had hinted at that yesterday.

What we do know is that the passports were stolen in Thailand, that the tickets were purchased in Thailand, that they were purchased consecutively.

We now know from the Thai police, who have talked with the travel agent where the tickets were issued, that the man who purchased, who requested the tickets on the 1st of March -- this was about eight days -- six days before the flight, seven days before the flight -- said "Get me the -- I've got two friends who need to fly, get me the cheapest tickets to Europe."

They worked out a route for them. He didn't take it. On Thursday, just two days before the flight, he called back and said, "Two friends need to get to Europe, get me the cheapest tickets." So they gave them tickets, issued those tickets, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing to Amsterdam, one of them going on to Copenhagen, one of them going on to Frankfurt.

But this man, Mr. Kazem Ali, the Iranian who this travel agency said they'd done business with many times in the past and had known for a couple of years, either he went personally, paid cash, or an associate went and paid cash.

But the fact that you have a pattern of behavior indicates, perhaps, that there's good information here that the investigators can use. One of the fundamental questions to me all day has been why would guys with stolen passports who maybe they figure they can get on the plane without proper checking in Kuala Lumpur, think that they can arrive in Europe and not be picked up?

One analysis might be that they were asylum-seekers and it didn't matter to them. Or is it some other criminal agenda? Smuggling rare gems? Smuggling drugs or something like this? All these -- none of these details are clear. But this pattern that's emerged through the travel agency could be valuable.

ANDERSON: Unfortunately, much of where we are at this point is conjecture, and part of this passport -- this stolen passport story has been over the past 72 hours, was this a terrorist act? From what we know to date, and we know very little, was that something that came to your mind when you first heard about this incident? And where do you stand with the potential for this being a terrorist act now?

BUTTERWORTH-HAYES: Personally, I'm just -- and this is my view -- I don't think it is a terrorist act. From what you've described, those aren't the kind of -- the ways that terrorists would naturally plan. And why Malaysian Airlines? That's not the sort of airline who would naturally be a target.

No, I think there's something else going on here. Whatever it is, we haven't seen it before. Because airplanes like that just do not disappear at that speed from the radar. Something very strange has happened.

ANDERSON: Remind us how, then, this differs from the French airline that fell out of the sky on its way back from Brazil? Because many people will remember that incident.

BUTTERWORTH-HAYES: Well, the French aircraft that did fall out of the sky fell out of the sky because of the -- primarily because of the weather conditions. And here, that's not an issue. So, it's either -- the aircraft has probably collided with something, we don't know what. It could have been another aircraft.

I can't see an engine failure or a structural failure, but obviously something very significant was happening because there was no time for that mayday call to go out. And I think as soon as we find that first bit of wreckage -- we've got 30 days to find the recorders, and then we will find out what happened.

ANDERSON: So, these boxes beep for 30 days, and at the moment, nobody's got any clear idea where this aircraft is, of course. Nic, back to the passenger manifest. So, what we're saying is, at this stage that clearly at least two men using fake passports were able to get on a flight, embark on a flight in Kuala Lumpur, headed for Europe via Beijing. Is that normal?

ROBERTSON: Apparently, it appears to be in Malaysia. Interpol had registered these passports as stolen, one in 2012, one in 2013.


ROBERTSON: No one had come to Interpol requesting information on these passports, which the implication is, therefore, that Malaysian Airlines didn't do that. Interpol keeps a record of about 40 million, they say, questionable passports.

ANDERSON: Forty million?

ROBERTSON: Forty million. And over a year, they say, there are about 800 million inquiries, and about 60,000 hits, i.e. useful information. The United States, for example, requests information from Interpol on this database about 250 million times a year.

But let's say somebody was analyzing how they could smuggle drugs, how they could get asylum, how they could get terrorists onboard a plane on a stolen passport.

They would choose a country where they had -- where they knew, perhaps from past practice, and we know that there's a track record with this Mr. Kazem Ali buying these tickets from this same place before -- where they could get the people onboard the aircraft without being checked.

Interpol is incredibly frustrated. They say there are a billion passengers, if you will, getting on planes every year -- a billion -- who aren't checked. I think all of us didn't think that that was possible.

ANDERSON: A billion who aren't checked?

ROBERTSON: Who aren't checked. I think all of us thought that was impossible these days with security the way it is. It's clearly not --


ROBERTSON: -- and clearly some people know there are loopholes. But it doesn't answer that fundamental question, and I come back to it: what did these men think they were going to do when one of them, with the stolen Italian passport, for example, was going to arrive in Copenhagen.


ROBERTSON: Who did he think he was going to fool with that? Surely the Danes -- and we don't know yet -- but surely they also, like the British and the Americans and the Emirates, check with Interpol.

ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff. Sadly, for those families still waiting to hear, the story has absolutely no closure. But the facts of this story, of course, will be discussed in the days to come. Thank you very much, both of you, for joining us this evening.

This is, of course, the top story on the website, as you can imagine, for all the latest news of what are the search efforts. You'll find commentary from industry insiders on the possible scenarios. You'll see this chap, and it'll be published after the show, again, including what a number of other people think could have happened.

You're live from London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson. Imagine robots with human eyelashes, teeth of ivory, and startling memories. Well, we'll be showing you what they can do, because they do exist, let me tell you, and where they came from.

And an app that blends history with modern reality to present London like you have never seen it before. That and more after this.


ANDERSON: We tend to think of robots as creations of modern times, but 18th century watchmakers were creating sophisticated machines long before the advent of computers and algorithms. Nick Glass traveled to Philadelphia to see one of them.


NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a darkened room in a museum in Philadelphia, a machine with an astounding memory, a clockwork mechanical boy who can write and draw. An automaton, from the Greek word "automatus," meaning self-moving.

CHARLES PENNIMAN, CURATOR, DRAUGHTSMAN-WRITER: It does three poems and four pictures.

GLASS: Charles Penniman is 85. He first saw the mechanical boy when he was six or seven.

PENNIMAN: My father lifted me up so I could look inside the box, and it was very exciting to see how these wheels and gears were producing a picture.

GLASS: The instructions, the memory, are all in the so-called cams, the series of brass disks, each individually filed down and serrated.

PENNIMAN: There is one cam to make the pen go up and down, another cam to make it go from side to side, and another cam group to make it go forward or backward. There are 72 cams altogether to make the whole thing work.

GLASS: The automaton arrived at the Franklin Institute in 1928 in pieces. They didn't find out who made it until they got it working again. "Ecrit par l'automate de Maillardet," Written by Maillardet's automaton. That's Henri Maillardet, the Swiss clockmaker based in London in the 1790s.


GLASS: These automata are from the so-called golden age, that half century from 1860 to 1910. Plaster heads, eyelashes of human hair and mohair, eyeballs of blown glass, teeth of real ivory. The Chef gets Sauvignon white wine as he prepares to cook for Cat.

Automata, like the Peasant and the Pig, have a dozen or more different animations. The mechanism's at the back, a clockwork spring in a drum on the left, the cams with the memory for each animation on the right. All up and under the peasant's tailcoat.

His shoulders shake with laughter. His foot stamps with the fun of it all. And for the umpteenth time, the salivating pig is denied the black truffle in his other hand.

GLASS (on camera): You've known him for over 80 years. Have your feelings changed?

PENNIMAN: Yes, indeed, they have. The more I know them, the more respect I have for the mysteries of how he works, how Maillardet managed to get the information and make chips and poems and so forth, reduced to brass cams.

GLASS (voice-over): With the advent of cinema, the fashion for automata came to an end. But they still have the power to astonish and delight us, adults and children alike.


ANDERSON: The Art of Movement for you. Well, coming up after this short break, from Churchill to Charles Dickens, London's streets are full of stories, and now a new app lets you explore some of them.

And you might have a printed manuscript, but have you ever had a printed cookie? We'll show you the technology that's making food printing possible. That's after this.


ANDERSON: NSA leaker Edward Snowden appeared today at the US tech conference South by Southwest. He was speaking via videophone from Russia. He urged those at the event to help fix and confront the issue of government surveillance.


EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: The NSA, this sort of global mass surveillance that they're trying on all of these countries, not just the US -- and it's important to remember that this is a global issue -- they're setting fire to the future of the internet. And the people who are in this room now, you guys are all the firefighters. And we need you to help us fix this.


ANDERSON: I'm always amazed at how bad technology is at technology conference. Anyway, meantime, new technologies, like 3D printing, are getting a lot of attention at the event, and CNN's Laurie Segall got to taste the product of what is a very unique vending machine.


LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: So, first of all, talk to me a little bit about what we're looking at here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course. So, you're looking at the trending vending machine from Oreo. And so the whole idea here was how do we begin to explore customizing flavors for consumers and really connecting that consumer experience to technology in a way that's never been done before.

SEGALL: Part of the technology behind here is 3D printing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. So, we use 3D printing parts and a 3D printing approach.

SEGALL: How does this translate to other types of food? Could we one day 3D print tacos, perhaps?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think one day you'll be able to 3D print a lot of things, everything from chocolate to candy. But again, I think it's not so much just about the technology, although it's breakthrough. It's really about how do you begin to understand what consumers want and deliver those kind of customized experiences.

SEGALL: At what point are we going to be able to 3D print our own customizable Oreos from our homes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a good question. I don't have a direct timeline, but we would love to be able to deliver that customized experience so consumers could have all the flavors that we offer, as well as create their own.

SEGALL: All right.


SEGALL: OK. It looks good. It looks like a normal one. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, go ahead. Mm.

SEGALL: Really good.


SEGALL: Really good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now you just need to go over to the milk bar and dunk it in milk.

SEGALL: Yes, it is really good. Tastes like Oreo cream.



ANDERSON: Good stuff. Now, in tonight's Parting Shots, a new app lets you play time traveler using your phone as window to historical London. A new version with more than 100 locations and images has just hit the app store. CNN's Adam Dunnakey tested it out.


ADAM DUNNAKEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's not your standard tourist photo. Bringing London's landmarks of the past into the present using your SmartPhone.

This is Street Museum, a recently-updated app from the Museum of London. Using the compass and GPS in your phone, it knows exactly where you are, letting you line up your camera sights with those of photographers in the city centuries ago.

From horses and carts in Covent Garden to deck chairs in Hyde Park in the 50s, it's a remarkable way to glance back through the years.

Anna Sparham is the curator of the Museum of London's quarter of a million historical photographs, and she made the call on which photos were in the app.

ANNA SPARHAM, CURATOR OF PHOTOGRAPHS, MUSEUM OF LONDON: This is just a taste of what we have in the museum, but by the touch of their phone, they can really home in on some of the locations they're most familiar with and engage with some of the richest images we hold of London. They range from around the 1870s through to very recently, 2003.

Obviously, central London tends to have the most -- largest range of developments. So, say, London Bridge. You've only got to walk there even five years ago and it's completely different now, which is odd.

DUNNAKEY (on camera): With around half a million downloads of the Street Museum app, it's proving a popular way of using today's technology to give us a window into the past.

Adam Dunnakey, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: I was hoping that he'd do that. I just wanted to see him dressed as Charles Dickens or something in a top hit. Anyway, I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thank you for watching. From the team here in London and our colleagues in the States, see you tomorrow.