Return to Transcripts main page


Search For MH370 Goes Underwater; Displaced Chileans Afraid To Go Home; The Dangers of E-Cigarettes; Afghans Set To Vote In Historic Elections

Aired April 4, 2014 - 15:00   ET


AMARA WALKER, HOST: Tonight on Connect the World, the eve of an historic election -- Afghans prepare to go to the polls for the country's first democratic transfer of power. But as fresh attacks take place, will the vote be peaceful?

Also ahead, four weeks after a plane with 239 people board disappeared, the search has entered a new phase. We'll have a live report from Perth, Australia.

And are you getting enough good sleep? How your gadgets might be to blame for those restless nights.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.

WALKER: We're now just hours away from a critical test of democracy in Afghanistan. Voters will soon head to the polls to choose a president to replace Hamid Karzai. He's governed since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

Now there's a great deal at stake, including the future of international troops in Afghanistan. All NATO combat forces are due to leave by the end of the year. The United States won't authorize troops to remain behind to assist Afghan forces unless a new security agreement is signed.

And the Taliban have been stepping up attacks, threatening to disrupt the election. Just today, a blast killed at least two people at a polling center in Khost southeast of Kabul. Now that attack happened just 15 kilometers from a deadly ambush on a convoy delivering election ballots.

Officials say an Afghan police commander opened fire on two journalists who were part of that convoy, an Associate Press photographer was killed and a reporter was wounded.

Now the attacks underscore the enormous security challenges facing the Afghan government. Let's get more now from Anna Coren who is in Kabul tonight. And Anna, what details do you have about this attack on those two Associated Press journalists?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Amara, a brutal attack in host province in eastern Afghanistan on the border of Pakistan. As you say, Anya Niederhaus and Kathy Gannon, these two journalists worked for Associated Press. They were traveling with the independent election commission to monitor the handout of ballots to the more remote areas.

This is an inhospitable place, but they obviously felt secure. They had armed forces, they had police with them on this convoy.

Now we understand form Associated Press that the convoy stopped, the car was stationary. It had approached a heavily guarded compound. And a police officer walked up to the back of the car, yelled Allah akbar, god is great, and then with his AK47 fired bullets into the back seat of that car.

Anya was killed instantly and Kathy seriously wounded. She now in a stable condition in hospital.

But, you know, this is something that has really shook up the community here in Kabul. I mean, the capital is on lockdown. There is no doubt about it. You cannot travel more than 500 meters without coming across a checkpoint that -- you know, the Taliban, they have been going after journalists, but they've also been going after to local Afghans. There have been a series of high profile attacks over the past two -- several weeks, I should say. And, you know, they have vowed to disrupt the elections tomorrow.

But Amara, despite that, you know, the people that we have met they are determined to turn out t the polls. They are determined to cast their vote. They are determined to see change, to bring change to their country.

WALKER: And Anna, one of the main issues at stake with this election is the future of the international troops there on the ground. What's the expectation when it comes to this final security agreement?

COREN: Well, as we know U.S. forces are pulling out by the end of the year, but it is expected that there will be an enduring U.S. presence.

Now this is vital to the security of Afghanistan, it's something that I discussed at length with ISAF commander General Dunford last night. He, of course, is the man in charge of the entire military operation here in Afghanistan. And I'd now like you to take a listen to part of our conversation.


COREN: Well, general, thank you so much for your time.

You've been here in Afghanistan for 14 months, how would you describe the situation on the ground right now?

GEN. JOSEPH DUNFORD, ISAF COMMANDER: Anna, I would tell you that today on the eve of the elections, we've kind of accomplished three of the things we came here to do. And we're well on the path to doing that.

First is, we continue to neutralize the terrorist networks that are over here, put pressure on the network and ensure that another attack against the United States or the west didn't take place from Afghanistan. We're well on the path to develop an Afghan security forces so in the future they can be self-sustainable. And what we really feel good about today on the eve of the elections is the support from the political process and giving the Afghan people the opportunity to determine their own future.

COREN: How do you think the elections will go this Saturday?

DUNFORD: From all I can tell, the Afghans will absolutely be able to provide for inclusive elections. The Afghan forces for months have been working on a security plan. And I think you've seen over the past couple of weeks the overwhelming enthusiasm that people have to participate in the elections.

COREN: What about the insurgency. I mean, they consider democracy to be the enemy. They've said that they are going to disrupt these elections. How much of the threat will they be come election day?

DUNFORD: We're not complacent about the enemy they have, said they would try to disrupt the elections. They have said that they would conduct high profile attacks and acts of violence to deter people from participating in the elections. But they also said they would start to do that on the 21 of March. And I think right now, the Afghan security forces have had a -- have done a great job at disrupting the enemy's efforts to disrupt the elections.

COREN: General, the bilateral security agreement, President Karzai refused to sign that. How damaging was that to the partnership between the United States and Afghanistan?

DUNFORD: Well, I think the biggest damage about the delay in the bilateral security agreement is the effect it's had on the confidence of the Afghan people, the Afghan security forces and other nations within the region. We're also concerned about the impact of delays on the coalition.

So I think it's less about the relationship between the United States and Afghanistan than it is about giving the Afghan people the confidence that they need to look to the future with hope.

COREN: I guess the world looks at what's happening in Iraq at the moment and after the long investment that the United States had there and to see that obviously their insurgents say that al Qaeda is there. Is there a fear that if the U.S. was to pull out from Afghanistan that that could also happen here?

DUNFORD: My assessment is that if there was a withdrawal as opposed to a transition -- and my expectation is that we will transition, that certainly the expectation that has been outlined by both President Obama and our senior leadership at NATO. So we expect a transition, but if there weren't a transition I think we would not be able to finish the job with Afghan security forces. And they would not be on the path to self- sustainability by the end of 2014.

COREN: Do you believe that this is still the good war?

DUNFORD: I believe what we are doing is the right thing. It's the right thing to protect the west from an attack from al Qaeda, it's the right thing for the Afghan people.

What Saturday is with the elections is not the end, it's the beginning. It's the beginning of a decade of opportunity that the Afghan people have as a result of our presence here over the past 12 years. So, yes, I think we've done good things here.


COREN: Certainly a message of hope there from ISAF commander General Dunford.

You know, tomorrow, Amara, is going to be a test for the Afghan security forces. They are the ones that are going to be protecting the polling booths. There are 6,500 polling booths around the country and they are responsible for protecting them and protecting the people.

There is no doubt there will be attacks. The Taliban has said this. But, you know, the people are going to turn out. They want this election to be a success Amara.

WALKER: Anna Coren live from Kabul there on the ever of this presidential election. Anna, thank you.

Well, Afghan voters will choose their next president Saturday as well as hundreds of seats in the 34 provincial councils. Presidential candidates run for a 5 year term. A candidate must receive 50 percent of the vote plus 1 to win.

Now, if no candidate wins this majority, the top two candidates would face each other in a runoff election on May 28.

Now there are 458 seats to fill on the provincial councils. Each council varies in size based on the population of the province it serves. At least 20 percent of the seats have been allocated for female candidates. There are almost 3,000 candidates vying for those seats.

The presidential election will usher in the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history. Manisha Tank looks at just how far the country has come.


MANISHA TANK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The last 40 years of Afghanistan have seen dramatic change. In 1973, Afghanistan's King Mohammed Zahir Shah was overthrown and a republic was declared. The king's cousin, former prime minister Mohammed Daoud Khan seized power and became the country's first president.

In 1978, Khan was killed in a bloody coup and two unpopular Communist groups took power.

The Soviet Union sent 30,000 troops into Afghanistan on Christmas Eve 1979 to support the faltering Afghan Communist government. By the time they withdrew a decade later 15,000 Soviet troops had lost their lives.

In 1984, the U.S. started giving assistance to Afghan Mujahideen, known as freedom fighters by supporters.

By 1992, the mujahideen had taken over Kabul, declared Afghanistan liberated and formed an Islamic state.

But the staunchly conservative Taliban militia was gaining strength. And in 1996, they took control of Kabul.

In October 2001, the U.S. linked al Qaeda, a group operating under the Taliban's protection to the 9/11 attacks a month earlier. U.S. and British forces launched air strikes on Taliban and al Qaeda targets and increased their military presence in Afghanistan.

Two months later, Afghanistan had a new interim government headed by Hamid Karzai. And Karzai was democratically elected as Afghanistan's president in 2004.

In 2013, Mr. Karzai refused to sign an agreement allowing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

Manisha Tank, CNN, London.


WALKER: Eight presidential candidates are on the ballot, but analysts say there are just three serious contenders. And you can learn about the presidential hopefuls and much more about Afghanistan's election on our website. That's

You're watching Connect the World live from CNN Center. Still to come tonight, the most sophisticated equipment has been searching for the missing Malaysia airlines plane. And now it goes below the surface. Details coming up next.

And many use them as a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes, but as we'll show you electronic cigarettes may be more harmful than you think.

Plus, tablets keep you up at night -- no, not the medication, but your smart device. We'll tell you about new research that proves why.

All that and more when Connect the World continues.


WALKER: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me, Amara Walker. Welcome back.

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has moved underwater in the southern Indian Ocean. British and Australian naval ships are using special sonar technology to detect pings from the plane's flight data recorders before they fall silent. One of the ships is using a giant underwater microphone borrowed from the U.S.

Now they're working in tandem with 14 other ships and 11 aircraft, which are conducting a visual search from -- for remnants of the plane. Crews are searching where they say there is the highest probability the plane would have hit the water. But so far, no evidence has been found four weeks after flight 370 took off on its voyage from Kuala Lumpur headed for Beijing.

Our Will Ripley has been following all of Friday's search efforts from Perth, Australia. And he has details on the conditions the searchers are facing.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, after a day of clear weather, we are now starting to see some light rain off the coast of Western Australia. The weather about 1,000 miles from here in the search zone, we are told, has been similar. Relatively calm seas, which was good for search crews today because they weren't distracted by those white caps on the waves. White caps that could easily be mistaken for possible debris floating in the water.

Even though the visual search is now over for the day and these planes from a number of different countries are flying back to Pearce Air Base in Perth. We know that the underwater search, the sonar is going to be active 24/7. The U.S. Navy towed pinger locator behind the Australian ship, the "Ocean Ship," is going to be functioning literally 24/7 under water listening for any possible signal from the inflight data recorders from Flight 370.

The problem is, with all that sophisticated technology, the TPL, the submarine that's in place and then the ship that's using sonar equipment as well, all of that technology is just fine, but it needs a more narrow search area than what we have right now. The search area needs to be 100 times smaller for this technology to effectively locate possible debris. Those are answers that we simply don't have right now.


WALKER: We'll have much more on the search, including how the passengers' families are feeling about it right now. That's coming up in about 15 minutes.

Officials in Texas say they still haven't uncovered a motive for a shooting rampage at a U.S. army base. Texas governor Rick Perry visited Fort Hood today where officials say Ivan Lopez killed three fellow soldiers before taking his own life.

It's the same base where a U.S. army psychiatrist killed 13 people in 2009.


RICK PERRY, GOVERNOR OF TEXAS: This is the second time we've had to deal with a tragedy on this post. But you still see it in the eyes of the people that you meet, you see it in the handshake that they give you, the strength of these people. They -- they'll recover. They'll recover from this latest tragedy. They'll heal their wounds and we will go forward. We'll learn lessons about what's occurred here to minimize the chances of this ever happening again.


WALKER: Investigators say Lopez had a history of depression, anxiety and other emotional disorders.

Syrian activists are reporting another round of barrel bombings in northern Syria. The opposition local coordination committees of Syrian says army helicopters dropped barrel bombs on rebel held neighborhoods in Aleppo. The group says at least 20 people were killed in the latest attacks and dozens were wounded by the blasts designed to injure and maim indiscriminately.

A Turkish court has lifted a nationwide ban on YouTube. Access to the video sharing site was blocked just over a week ago. It was the government's response after a conversation between top officials was leaked on the site. They were said to be discussing the possibility of going to war with Syria.

The court left 15 specific YouTube links blocked, but it said a total ban was contrary to fundamental rights and freedom of expression.

To Chile now where residents are on high alert for more powerful aftershocks from Tuesday's 8.2 earthquake. Now, one of the aftershocks was almost as powerful as the quake itself. And for many people living in the city closest to the epicenter, the future is appearing as unstable as the Earth.

Shasta Darlington takes us inside.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They've pitched tents all along the ridge that surrounds the Chilean mining city of Iquique. Hundreds of families who fled after the massive 8.2 earthquake last Tuesday fearing a tsunami. Now, they refused to go home.

"Our houses were damaged, but we're also scared," says one woman.

Most of the families here live close to the water or in high buildings. But more than anything else, they say they're afraid the big one is yet to come.

"Everything is still shaking, sometimes five or six times a day," says another woman.

Lilliana (ph), nine month's pregnant says she feels safer here than in her own home.

But they desperately need drinking water and portable toilets.

You can't blame them for not wanting to leave. There have been more than 140 aftershocks.

We were in the city of Arica when one of the strongest hit on Wednesday night. Sirens sounded and the tsunami warning went into effect.

So there's been a 7.8 aftershock. And we've seen the evacuation procedure put into place here in Arica. We've had to walk up the hill. We've been ordered up here. You can see people are already gathering. They're out with their radios just trying to get to higher ground, someplace safe.

It's that kind of preparedness that helped save lives this week. Only six people died, four of them from heart attacks.

Damages were limited to the coastal region, however. Further inland, landslides buried highways and completely isolated mountain towns. But while services have largely been restored in other cities, water and power are still in short supply in Iquique and nobody in this tent city can tell us where they think they'll be able to go home.

Shasta Darlington, CNN, Iquique, Chile.


WALKER: Michael Schumacher's spokesman says the ex-Formula One star is showing moments of consciousness and awakening. The racing legend has been in a medically induced coma since a skiing accident back in December. About a month later, Schumacher's family said the drugs used to keep him asleep were being gradually reduced.

He's still hospitalized in Grenoble, France where his accident took place.

Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Coming up, why e- cigarettes are sparking health concerns around the world.

Plus, didn't get enough sleep last night? Well, a new report says you might blame your smartphone or your tablet. We'll tell you why coming up just a bit later.


WALKER: You're watching Connect the World live from CNN Center. Welcome back. I'm Amara Walker.

e-cigarettes may be less harmful to your health than smoking tobacco, but they're not without their dangers, especially for others around you who don't even smoke. As the liquid nicotine sticks rise in popularity, our Elizabeth Cohen has been investigating the health risks many don't know about.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Nicotine, it's a poison. And when it liquefied, it's a highly concentrated poison. Ren Gaulrapp learned that the hard when her 4-year-old son got into liquid nicotine used to refill e-cigarettes.

REN GAULRAPP: Here a little bit of a noise, come in and he has taken the lid off all of them and has this liquid everywhere. He's got it all over him, he's been eating it.

COHEN: Her son vomited all day long and was rushed to the emergency room.

Calls to poison centers involving e-cigarettes have surged, 215 in February alone. Just three and a half years ago calls averaged only one per month.

The Centers for Disease control says the liquids in flavors like melon and strawberry look and smell like candy.

So one mouthful of this for a child is like eating.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's like eating four or five cigarettes. That could be lethal.

COHEN: And poison control experts say you don't even have to swallow liquid nicotine to get sick.

So you've gotten calls from people while they're filling this thing up that spills on their skin and they start to feel sick?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, you could start feeling sick in as little as four to five minutes.

COHEN: A spokesman for e-cigarette makers says they want child-proof packaging and warning labels and they're working with regulators. But he put some of the safety burden on consumers, to0o.

"This is an adult product and should be treated as such," he wrote. "Responsible behavior should be promoted and enforced."

The Centers for Disease Control called these liquids a threat. Poison experts say bottles can spill, cartridges can break, and little hands can get into this highly concentrated poison.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Atlanta.


WALKER: So have you had a bad experience with liquid nicotine? What are your thoughts on e-cigarettes in general? The team at Connect the World wants to hear from you. Get in touch via Facebook at And you can tweet me @AmaraWalkerCNN.

The latest world news headlines are just ahead.

Plus, no more suffering in silence -- the mother of one of the Iranian passengers on flight 370 speaks exclusively to CNN to defend her son's honor.

Also ahead, put down that smartphone well before you go to bed. That's if you want a good night sleep according to a new study. We interview the man behind the research a little later in the show.

And he's not even a year old and he's not jetsetting to the other side of the world. We'll tell you where Britain's young prince and his parents are off to.


WALKER: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories this hour. Deadly attacks on the eve of elections in Afghanistan. Officials in Khost say an Afghan police commander opened fire on two foreign journalists, killing one and wounding the other. And just kilometers away, an explosion at a polling center left two people dead.

The search for the missing Malaysia airliner has gone underwater. Hardware, such as this robotic device, are being used to scan the ocean in an area where the Boeing 777 may have crashed. It's now been four weeks since the plane took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing.

A milestone today for the US jobs market. The US Labor Department reports America's economy added 192,000 new positions in March. That means all the jobs lost during the 2008 financial crisis have now been recovered. But the unemployment rate in March remained at 6.7 percent.

Formula 1 racing legend Michael Schumacher is said to be making progress in his recovery. His agent says the 45-year-old is showing moments of consciousness and awakening. Schumacher suffered a serious head in jury in a skiing accident late last year. He has been in a medically- induced coma ever since.

Four weeks ago today, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing. No trace of the 777 jet has been seen since. What happened to the flight remains a baffling mystery and a never-ending nightmare for the families of the passengers and crew members onboard. Our Jim Clancy looks at how the tragedy unfolded.


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The story of Flight 370 began at the arrival gate in Beijing, where it was listed as delayed some six hours after it disappeared over the South China Sea.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: We have breaking news right now. Malaysia Airlines confirms it has lost contact with a plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members. Flight MH370 was headed to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. It was a Boeing 777 200. It was expected to land at 6:30 AM local time.

Now, it's almost 9:00 in the morning in Beijing right now. That means that plane is two and a half hours late.

CLANCY: The confusion, concern, and fear at that hour completely predictable. Everyone dread the worst: a terrible accident.

AHMAD JAUHARI YAHYA, CEO, MALAYSIA AIRLINES: The airline has confirmed that this flight, MH370, lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM this morning.

JAMES CHIN, MONASH UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA: Most people at initial stage thought that it was a straightforward crash and that you have come down somewhere south of Vietnam and that the wreckage would be found very, very quickly. So, a lot of people took a hands-off approach.

CLANCY: Malaysia waited to reveal details of its own military radar, the plane had deliberately reversed course, flying back over the Malay peninsula on a heading toward the Indian Ocean.

CLANCY (on camera): How much of a turn back it made? Twenty kilometers, ten?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are still looking at forensics.

CLANCY (voice-over): Suddenly, anything became possible. Wild and intricate internet theories fed fears of an elaborate terror plot, led by two young Iranians who boarded with stolen passports. The only problem: they weren't terrorists, just trying to begin new lives in Europe.

Suspicion soon shifted to the only people capable of flying the Boeing 777, the pilots. Captain Zaharie Shah, some suspected, had practiced the stealthy turns and changes in altitude on his home flight simulator. But analysis by the FBI of the simulator's data turned up nothing.

No claim of responsibility. No known ties to terror groups among passengers or crew. No motives supported by evidence. Intricate analysis of satellite handshakes took the search to an area where it likely ran out of fuel. With the plane, all of evidence of what really happened on its flight data recorders.

TONY ABBOTT, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: We cannot be certain of ultimate success in the search for MH370, but we can be certain that we will spare no effort, that we will not rest until we have done everything we humanly can.

CLANCY (on camera): Who steered the plane off course and why? What happened inside the cockpit? Where did the aircraft go down, and when will we find a trace? There's an abundance of theories colliding with an absence of evidence. After four weeks here, like everyone else, I have only questions and no answers.

Jim Clancy, CNN, Kuala Lumpur.


WALKER: And as you heard Jim mention, the two Iranians who were found to be traveling on stolen passports, they were on their way to Europe to seek asylum, but their initial labeling as terrorists has left deep scars on their families.

Our Sara Sidner spoke exclusively to one of their mothers in Tehran who was unable to travel to Malaysia due to her ongoing battle with cancer. And now, there's the heartbreak.


SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This mother is tormented by the words she saw used in conjunction with her son: terrorism and suspect. She has asked us not to show her face for fear her family will be harassed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son isn't a bad boy. He wanted to study, he wanted to work. And he wants freedom.

SIDNER: Her eldest son is Pouria Nourmohammadi, initially suspected in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The Iranian teenager and his friend managed to board the flight with stolen passports. Investigators later determined they had nothing to do with the flight's disappearance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I thought maybe they got in airport, didn't give him permission to fly.

SIDNER (on camera): Were you hoping that they had caught him?


SIDNER (voice-over): It turns out, Nourmohammadi was trying to leave Iran quickly to be with his mother, who has cancer. She needed his help. Because he is 18 years old, she couldn't bring him to Germany legally, where she is awaiting refugee status along with his younger brother. So Pouria decided the quickest way to get to his mom was to use a stolen passport.

SIDNER (on camera): Did you think that you were going to die? Is that why you wanted him with you and he wanted to be with you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. That sickness reminds me of the time -- short time we have, short time.

SIDNER (voice-over): Shorter than she could ever have imagined.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To lose your son is hard for every mother. But I'm here alone. Even I don't have any passport yet.

SIDNER: So she can't travel to Malaysia to be close to the investigation and information, like the other families of passengers aboard MH370. She is also still undergoing cancer treatment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These three weeks were more difficult than the rest of my life. I want to say that they alive somewhere else, but I need -- I need to know what happened.

SIDNER: After reading our story about her eldest son online, she decided to speak to us via Skype.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was the first time that I talked with somebody. I expect that you understand me.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt you near me. I appreciate you.

SIDNER (on camera): Thank you.

SIDNER (voice-over): A mother with no support system at home, crushed by the burden of waiting to find out what happened to her firstborn son.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Kuala Lumpur.


WALKER: It is just heartbreaking. For all the families who had loved ones onboard, the wait and the uncertainty have been agonizing. Four weeks without any trace of the plane, no evidence to prove it crashed, but the search goes on.

Let's bring in our Paula Newton, now, who is Perth, where the search operations are based. And Paula, the search efforts underway have entered a new phase. They've gone underwater, now. Do you have any updates for us on that?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the search, certainly, in the air has ended, although we're just a few hours from those planes taking off again. What is happening, though, underwater is in a swathe of about 240 kilometers.

We have, still, the towed ping locator that is on the Australian Ocean Shield and the British Royal Navy ship HMS Echo, both of them using the equipment they have to try and find any trace of those black boxes. And that has been a shift in this investigation.

It has brought, though, little solace to the families. I spoke with Danica Weeks. She is the wife of Paul Weeks, he was an engineer Flight 370, on his way to Mongolia for work. What's so incredible is that she's just a ten-minute drive from where we're standing right now, and she could never have predicted that the search would come here.

She has seen the operations here firsthand, the only one of the relatives to do so. She says it gives her great comfort. She has great confidence in the team here. And yet, she still has that nagging question, are they looking in the right place right now?

Still, she says that she is longing for them to continue this search no matter what. She said, "I just needed them to know that they were looking for Pauly." I want you to hear from her now about what it means to her that they don't give up. Take a listen.


DANICA WEEKS, WIFE OF PASSENGER PAUL WEEKS: I don't think for the rest of my life I'll ever give up trying to find out what happened. I owe that to my soulmate and my loving, amazing, strong, awesome husband who was an amazing father and an amazing husband. He was an extraordinary man, and I owe it to him.


NEWTON: The problem, she tells me, is that she can't even begin to grieve. There's no proof, there is no evidence, and it's been very difficult for her to really come to terms with what happened. She still has that feeling that he's just going to come walking through the door. Amara?

WALKER: It has to be pure torture for these families. And Paula, we've mentioned that there's technology being used underwater to hopefully locate this black box. But the technology has limited capability, doesn't it?

NEWTON: It does, but in this area that they're in, it's actually quite good. I spoke to the commander earlier, I guess it's yesterday now, my time, and he said, look, the terrain was good, he had confidence in his equipment, it wasn't that steep.

It's very slow. They're going to go at it 24/7 for 10 to 12 days. But the key problem here, Amara, is the fact that they have not been able to narrow the zone. This equipment basically goes about as fast as you and I might be walking on the ocean bed, and that is a problem, given how vast the search area still remains.

WALKER: Still very, very challenging. Paula Newton, live for us, there, on the latest search efforts in Perth. Paula, thank you.

Well, the only way we'll likely ever know what happened to Flight MH370 is when the black boxes are found. And time is of the essence in that search. The batteries that power the pings on those boxes will run out any day now. has a guide to these crucial devices and how they work, and there's much more on all the new developments related to both the search and the families there, as well.

Live from CNN Center, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Now, trouble sleeping? Coming up, we'll talk about why gadgets before bed are bad for your sleep.

Also, Britain's young prince is setting out on his first world travels. We'll have details about the royal trip to Australia and New Zealand.


WALKER: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Amara Walker. It's coming up to 9:00 PM in the UK, and if you're there and want a good night's sleep, well, you might want to switch off your SmartPhone or tablet right now.

New research blames blue light emitted by our mobile devices for disturbing our slumber. A UK study says almost 60 percent of Brits are sleep deprived. That's more than 28 million people. The report found most people use their phones or tablets in the two hours before bedtime, and that exposes them to this blue light.

And young people suffer the most, 90 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds surveyed said they don't get the recommended seven hours rest a night. We took to the streets of central London to see what people there thought of the study. We asked them if smart devices kept them up late.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I always think it interrupts my sleep because I -- it's just so bright, and so, I don't get to sleep for two hours.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you pretty much don't turn it off.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, this is the lady with the tablet.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm on my tablet all the time.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But to saying that, I don't sleep very well anyway, so that just entertains me while I don't sleep. I don't think it affects whether I get off to sleep or not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get about six hours of sleep a night, but I never use tablet or my mobile before I go to bed because I never keep it in the room, either, because I think it's disruptive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I'm very tired, I'll just be in bed. But I think I have been known to stay up sort of fiddling on social media or games or things like that until I feel adequately tired.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They must be bad for you, using these mobile phones all the time. I think to use them when you need to use them is one thing, but to be looking at them in the little screen before you go to sleep is not good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, opinion is pretty negative.


WALKER: I think a lot of us are guilty of being addicted to our phones, especially right before we go to bed. Well, I spoke earlier to the man behind the study, Richard Wiseman. He's a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. I asked him why so many people were walking around tired.


RICHARD WISEMAN, AUTHOR, "NIGHT SCHOOL: WAKE UP TO THE POWER OF SLEEP": Well, we think there's a number of things going on, but one of the things that we asked about was the use of computers and tablets and SmartPhones just before people go to bed. Because what happens there is the blue light that comes off of those devices can really disrupt melatonin production in the brain, which is a really important sleep hormone.

And so, if you use those devices in the hour before you go to bed, often people struggle to sleep. And what we found was around about 80 to 90 percent of people were doing exactly that. So, we think that could be a major cause.

WALKER: You say it disrupts a sleep hormone. I want you to elaborate on that. What exactly is a blue light and how, again, is it truly affecting our sleep?

WISEMAN: Well, blue light is simply light from the blue end of the spectrum, just with more blue in it. There's nothing special about it other than it's what's produced by those screens on those devices.

Melatonin is, then, a hormone produced in the brain, and normally it's produced as part of the circadian rhythm, which is the sort of extent to which we feel awake or asleep during the day. And so there's just more of it produced at night.

The problem with blue light is that it stops the production of melatonin. So basically, the light goes into the eye and then the brain simply says, oh, that's like daylight, so it's time for me to wake up. And so you don't feel so sleep and you climb into bed and then struggle to sleep.

WALKER: So then, Professor Wiseman, what do you recommend? Do you recommend that we turn off our phones, our laptops, our tablets? How many hours before we go to bed, and is it simply enough to just turn over your phone near a bed stand? Because I have this fear of missing an emergency phone call in the middle of the night.

WISEMAN: Well, I think it depends how controlled you are, how much self-control you have. There's nothing wrong with any of these devices being next to you unless it means during the night you're rather tempted to pick up your phone and check your e-mail or something like that.

What we're recommending is that people don't use them in the hour before they go to bed, or if they do, they screen the brightness right down. But there are so many other things you could be doing. Just reading a book on low light, for example, is much, much better. I think we need to be very careful about these new devices and the impact they're having on this aspect of our lives.

WALKER: And before I get your tips on how we could get a better night's rest, how many hours of sleep a night are we supposed to get? What is considered sleep deprivation?

WISEMAN: Well, it does vary individual to individual. Some people can cope on very small number of hours. But for most people, the average should be eight to eight and a half hours. If you're a teenager, it's even more. You add on another hour.

As soon as you start going to seven hours, though, it's a problem for most people. And what's really dangerous here is that most people don't realize that. They struggle on, and then it becomes a way of life. But actually, there are enormous psychological and physical dangers associated with living on seven hours sleep.

WALKER: And I know you have a lot of tips on how we can get a better night's rest. Can you give us your top two or three tips on how to sleep better?

WISEMAN: Well, this research is part of a project which was written up the "Night School" book, and it's all about these very simple things you can do to sleep better. So, for example, if you go to bed and you're struggling to sleep, then tire out your brain. Distract yourself away from your thoughts and worries by, for example, just thinking of an animal for each letter of the alphabet.

If you wake up in the middle of the night and you're laying there for, say, ten or fifteen minutes, then the important thing is to get out of bed, because otherwise you start to associate your bed with being awake, and that's a bad idea.

So, get out of bed and again, do something very simple in low light. Maybe work on a jigsaw or something like that. These are very simple tips that can have a huge impact on people's ability to sleep.


WALKER: Yes, simple but very, very important tips. So, is your mobile phone or tablet ruining your night's rest? Tell us what you think on our Facebook page, that's at Have your say. And you can tweet me @AmaraWalkerCNN.

Coming up after a short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are heading Down Under with their son. Our royal correspondent Max Foster will have the details.


WALKER: Well, he's just eight months old, but Britain's Prince George is off on his first official trip, a global-spanning royal tour. He'll accompany his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, for a three-week visit to Australia and New Zealand. Max Foster has the details.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was designed to whet the appetite, a portrait of a family preparing for its first trip together overseas. There's no doubt who will be the star of the show Down Under.


FOSTER: It's a long trip for an eight-month-old George, but the little prince's father, William, went on a strikingly similar tour at the same age.

The family will certainly be fitting a lot in. The first glimpse of them will be on Monday, when they arrive in Wellington, New Zealand. The capital will be the base for George whilst his parents crisscross the country with a mission to meet as many people as possible, including relatives of the 185 people who died in the Christchurch earthquake in 2011.

Expect to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge getting involved in outdoor pursuits, like jet-boating through Shotover Canyon in Queenstown and experiencing traditional Maori culture. Kate hasn't been to either country before, so they'll be taking in all the sights.

In Australia, that will include the iconic Uluru, Sydney Opera House, and even a surf lifesaving exercise on Manly Beach. And perhaps an appearance for Prince George at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, where an enclosure for these Bilbies has been dedicated to him.

The presence of the duchess with the added star power of two future kings is expected to test Australia's strong republican movement --


FOSTER: -- with huge crowds expected at every public appearance.

Max Foster, CNN, London.


WALKER: Max Foster, CNN's royal correspondent there, and he'll be traveling with the young family. We'll have full coverage of their trip during the coming weeks.

Finally, rumors are rife about who will replace legendary late-night TV host David Letterman. The comedian dropped a bombshell on his audience Thursday when he announced he'll be retiring next year. He's America's longest-serving late-night TV host, so his successor will have very big shoes to fill.


DAVID LETTERMAN, CBS HOST, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": It's been great, you've been great, the network has been great, but I'm retiring.



SHAFFER: This is truly -- this is -- you actually did this?

LETTERMAN: Yes, I did.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The latest late-night shakeup: David Letterman, late-night television's longest-running host surprised his audience Thursday night by announcing he's signing off next year. After 33 years, the 66-year-old host is retiring when his contract expires in 2015.


LETTERMAN: Thank you! Thanks to everybody!

TURNER: The surprise announcement comes less than two months after his new, top-rated competitor, Jimmy Fallon, took the reins of NBC's "Tonight Show," at times nearly doubling the late-night veteran in ratings.

JIMMY FALLON, NBC HOST, "TONIGHT SHOW": I'm Jimmy Fallon, and I'll be your host -- for now.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES": Letterman still had an impressive audience every night at CBS. But it wasn't creating lots of new fans all the time, the way that somebody like Jimmy Fallon is.

LETTERMAN: Portions of Indiana at one time yesterday were under a flash-flood warning.

TURNER: Letterman started off as a weather man in Indianapolis. He launched "Late Night With David Letterman" on NBC in 1982, following "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson," Letterman's idol.

BILL MURRAY, ACTOR (singing): It's the "Late Night Show" starring Dave.

TURNER: Always the heir-apparent for when Carson retired, Letterman was stunned when NBC instead chose Jay Leno, sparking a rivalry that spanned more than two decades.

BILL CARTER, REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": They had never told Dave that they had made this deal with Jay, and it was a huge blow-up, because Letterman felt they had stabbed him in the back.

TURNER: Letterman's heated departure from NBC led to the creation of "The Late Show" on CBS in 1993, taking Leno head on.

LETTERMAN: How are things at the White House, OK?


TURNER: For 21 years, he's been hosting Stupid Humans, Pet Tricks, singers, and some of the biggest stars.

LETTERMAN: You thought I was --

CHER, SINGER: An (expletive deleted).


TURNER: And delivering his signature Top 10 List.

LETTERMAN: It's the Top 10 List. Let's go!

TURNER: But it hasn't been all jokes. He took us through life- changing heart surgery in 2000. His first show after the 9/11 attacks serving as a key moment to help Americans move forward.

LETTERMAN: If you didn't believe it before, you can absolutely believe it now, New York City is the greatest city in the world.


TURNER: Through all the ups and downs, Letterman continued to do what he loved. His run behind the desk eclipsing Johnny Carson's 30-year reign on late night. Truly an end of an era.

LETTERMAN: I said, when this show stops being fun, I will retire ten years later.



WALKER: He has definitely had a great run. I'm Amara Walker and this has been CONNECT THE WORLD for tonight.

If you've been wondering where Becky Anderson is, well, she's in Abu Dhabi preparing for a big day on Sunday. CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson launches this weekend from its new home and at its new time.

Live from Abu Dhabi, Becky brings you the latest news from the crossroads of East and West. That's CONNEC THE WORLD at its new time starting this Sunday at 19:00 in Abu Dhabi.