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Ukraine Crisis; Family Frustrated in South Korea Over Slow Pace of Ferry Rescue Efforts; Interview with Open Garden CEO; Ford Parks Mustang Atop Empire State Building

Aired April 17, 2014 - 8:00   ET


MONITA RAJPAL, HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Monita Rajpal in Hong Kong. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.

Hundreds of people are still missing over a day after a passenger ferry sank off the coast of South Korea.

Russian President Putin pulls no punches in his annual question and answer session, calling Ukraine's government illegitimate.

And we'll show you the mobile chat app that works without an Internet connection.

More than one full day after a ferry sank off the coast of South Korea, the desperate search continues for 287 people who are still missing, many of them are high school students who were on a school trip.

Earlier today, South Korea's President Park Geun-hye tried to comfort family members on those -- of those on board, but the wait for any word is simply agonizing. Nine people are confirmed dead, 179 have been rescued. And we are learning more about what happened when the ship began sinking Wednesday morning local time. Some survivors say they were told to stay in place. Many of those who did go to deck jumped into the icy water.

And CNN affiliate YTN is reporting this disturbing information, it says out of 46 lifeboards on board, only one was deployed. That, of course, is raising even more questions as the cause and handling of the crisis come under scrutiny. Paula Hancocks reports.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Beneath these frigid waters nearly 300 people, mostly teenage students and their teachers remain missing. The ship's captain with his head down telling police, I'm sorry, I'm at a loss for words. Overnight, three bodies were recovered from the sunken ferry bound for a resort island off the southwest coast of Korea. The miraculous rescue of a 6-year-old girl was caught on tape. Her parents and brother were not found.

Grief stricken family members gather at a harbor in Jindo waiting into the night desperate for any information. A mother's anguish as she recalls encouraging her daughter to take the trip.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just go. It will be a great experience for you, for your school days. So I'm very regretting -- I'm very regretting this.

HANCOCKS: Dramatic video of the first 24 hours of the frantic rescue shows passengers clinging to guardrails and being airlifted to safety. Most of the crews about what could have caused the ship to sink have come from eyewitnesses who report hearing a loud bang and feeling the ship beginning to tilt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds like he hit a submerged object, which caused a gash in the hull which would allow a lot water.

HANCOCKS: If that's the case the gash apparently was large enough to impact several compartments below and ultimately capsize the ship. Also in question, the handling of the evacuation. According to passengers they were initially told to stay on board. This cellphone video thought to be from inside the ship shows passengers all wearing life jackets.

Outside the ship, only one of 46 life boats deployed. These instructions heard from the crew saying, do not move. If you move, it's more dangerous. Do not move. Could have cost many lives. One of the ways relatives found out about their loved ones was through text messages.

There are a few people in the ship and we are not dead yet so please send along this message. Another student texted his friends. I think we are all going to die. If I did anything wrong to you, please forgive me. I love you all.


RAJPAL: Well, as the search efforts continue, people are discussing the tragedy online and many are expressing anger with a report that only one lifeboat was deployed.

This Twitter user blames the captain, in particular, saying "even if he puts the lifeboats down and left, a lot would have survived."

Others are hoping survivors inside air pockets, that's the term that's been trending on Nairits (ph), a popular search portal in South Korea.

We will have much more on the ship a little later in the show. We'll go live to Paula Hancocks in South Korea and find out more about the weather conditions in the search zone.

Let's turn now to the search for the Malaysia Airlines flight 370. Australian officials say early testing shows an oil slick that was detected in the search area last weekend is not from aircraft engine oil or hydraulic fluid. Meantime, officials are still waiting for analysis of the latest data from that Bluefin-21 submersible drone. It scanned the ocean floor Thursday in its first full mission. Problems forced two attempts earlier this week to be cut short.

And today, Malaysia's acting transport minister said if no traces of the wreckage are found, officials might need to, quote, "regroup and reconsider." But he says, in any event, the search will always continue.

Well, the deep sea search mission has been extremely complex. CNN's Erin McLaughlin gives us this look at how remotely operated vehicles work some 4 kilometers under the sea.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It may look like something out of a science fiction movie, but technology like this could be key to recovering the underwater wreckage of missing Malaysian flight 370.

PAUL COLLIE, FOUNDER, TMT TECHNOLOGIES: The technology is giving a man the feeling that he's sitting there and he's doing this with his own arms.

MCLAUGHLIN: It's called an ROV, or remotely operated vehicle.

COLLIE: But that, you know, when you say 11...

MCLAUGHLIN: Paul Cauley (ph) is the chief operating officer at Total Marine Technology, a Malaysian company based in Australia. They build and operate ROVs for the oil and gas industry.

COLLIE: They actually you would grab it and recover it is really going to be the decision you're going to make on the day. We have something like an Ikea drawer that sits underneath the ROV that you can push that -- that you push that drawer out, put objects in and suck it back into the ROV.

MCLAUGHLIN: Each of these joints represents a joint on the arm. And every move I make it mimics. This looks like it would be easy, but it's not.

And what happens when things go wrong?

COLLIE: Generally they go badly wrong. So you don't know exactly what you're going to get every time you put the ROV in the water.

MCLAUGHLIN: And a lot can go wrong when you have five tons of metal and electronics tethered to an umbilical cord thousands of meters beneath the ocean's surface.

Paul says each year 5 percent of the world's ROV fleet goes missing.

COLLIE: Water gets in to somewhere where it shouldn't be, then what it's going to do is probably damage the electronics.

MCLAUGHLIN: Further complicating the picture, any silt on the ocean floor, if disturbed...

COLLIE: It's like driving in fog.

MCLAUGHLIN: Total Marine Technologies ROVs can operate in water 3.5 kilometers deep, about a kilometer short of the depth believed to be MH370's final resting place. They have not been asked to help in the search.

COLLIE: I guess the owner is very interested in how we can adapt the technology to get down to that depth. You know, engineering is at its best when it's serving humanity.

MCLAUGHLIN: And helping to solve one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Perth, Australia.


RAJPAL: You're watching News Stream.

Top diplomats meet in Geneva as the situation in Ukraine grows more volatile by the hour. We'll bring you all the latest developments when we return.

And we'll look at another crisis, this one in Venezuela. How two months of deadly demonstrations have hardened the resolve of protesting students and the government they're fighting. Stay with us.


RAJPAL: Welcome back.

Diplomatic efforts are underway to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. Representatives from Kiev along with Russia, the U.S. and EU are meeting in Geneva right now. Expectations of a breakthrough, though, are low. Many countries in the west blame Russia for stirring up the unrest in Ukraine. Senior U.S. officials say more sanctions against Russia could be imposed as early as Friday.

But the Russian president is defending his country's actions. In an annual Q&A session, Vladimir Putin said Russia never planned to annex Crimea from Ukraine, but stepped in to protect Russian-speaking people in danger.

Well, as all this happened, there were reports of more violence in Ukraine. A gang of about 300 people attacked a military base in the southeastern city of Mahupol on Thursday leading to gunfire between the two sides. Three of the attackers were killed.

In the city of Donetsk, the self-proclaimed chairman of the so-called people's council there says he wants a referendum to be held by May 11 to ask residents if they, like Crimea, want to join Russia.

And pro-Russian militants are said to be in control of the city of Slovyansk, which is about 160 kilometers from the Russian border.

Now Russia denies having any direct involvement in what's happening in Ukraine, but Ukrainian authorities, they have -- they say they have evidence that shows otherwise. They showed some of it to CNN's senior international correspondent Arwa Damon.


VITALIY NAIDA, SENIOR COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE OFFICER, SBU: You can see the video of (inaudible) being arrested by alpha team right now. He was in this motel in the room.

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Vitaliy Naida, a senior officer with Ukraine's counter-intelligence services says Vichesog Gryenko (ph) was arrested in eastern Ukraine in March. And according to his ID is a Russian military officer.

In his possession, Naida says, all the components of a homemade bomb.

NAIDA: This is the wrapped explosive.

DAMON: Plus detonators, bolts and screws and a map marking the locations of military and administrative installations in the Ukraine.

NAIDA: The exact places where riots were, where peaceful -- let's say, so-called peaceful demonstrators went to protest. So the intention was not to organize peaceful protests, but to organize chaos and organize let's say blood on the street.

DAMON: CNN was given exclusive access to some of the evidence that Ukrainian officials say they are using to build their case in Geneva about direct Russian involvement in the unrest in the east.

NAIDA: But we were speaking about dozens of Russian special forces, Russian military and their agents.

DAMON: Among them, Naida says, is Russian Maria Koleda, 22-years-old. These are photographs posted to social media. In one, she carries a rocket propelled grenade.

Calliedo (ph) was dispatched, Naida tells us, by Russian intelligence services to instigate violence.

NAIDA: Here you see the gun that was taken from Maria Koleda when she was arrested. This gun normally is used for shooting plastic bullets. The lady modified the gun to shoot the metal bullets.

She was arrested for alleged involvement in riots, including this one in southern Ukraine.

In a secretly recorded telephone conversation that we did not have access to, Naida says Koleda reports back to her superiors in Russia, that she shot and wounded three people.

Koleda in custody agreed to speak to us. Her clothing and demeanor starkly different to her online persona.

She denies the allegations against her and claims she is a journalist. But when CNN search for the outlet she said she worked for, it was last published in the 1920s.

She admits she was carrying the pistol to protect herself, but that she did not know the weapon had been modified.

"I know big guns," she tells us, "machine guns, RPGs, but not pistols."

DAMON: She says she'd been talking to friends on the phone and that he comment about shooting people was because she was worked up after seeing so much violence.

"I said by phone that I basically want to shoot all of them. Naturally I said a lot of things at the time."

Now she says, she never fired the weapon.

But Naida says Koleda is part of a complex Russian network to turn Ukraine into a battlefield, something Russia continues to deny doing.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Kiev.


RAJPAL: Well, Maria Koleda and Vechislav Nakienko (ph) remain detained by Ukrainian authorities pending further investigation and have yet to appear in court.

Well, as we mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin is offering no apologies when it comes to Ukraine. In his annual question and answer session with Russian citizens, Mr. Putin called the current administration in Kiev illegitimate. And he said it does not have a national mandate. He also defended Russia's annexation of Crimea last month and said the talks taking place right now in Geneva are very important in figuring out how to get out of the situation.

Well, let's get more on what Mr. Putin has been saying. Diana Magnay joins us now live from Moscow.

Diana, these -- this question and answer session they're often marathon sessions, as they're known.

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this one wasn't as long as he's done in the past, four hours, but a good two hours if not more were devoted to the issues of Crimea and Ukraine. And Ukraine, he repeated the positions that we've heard from him before, as you said, that the authorities in Kiev are illegitimate, that they do not respect the equal rights of the people in the south and east of Ukraine.

Interestingly, he referred to that area as having been -- as being part of Novorussia (ph) and talked about its historic connections to Russia, saying that it was possible if the presidential race continued the way it was going that Russia would not recognize the elections on May 25. Let's just take a listen.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): The presidential race taking place in unacceptable conditions, we cannot recognize what is going to take place on the 25th of May. We cannot call it legitimate. How can it be legitimate where people are constantly being beaten up. What kind of election campaign. If they want the elections to be legitimate, then they need to change the constitution.


MAGNAY: And change to the constitution is what Russia has been driving for, what is on the table in Geneva a decentralized, federalized constitution, that seems to be Russia's objective here. And Mr. Putin said rather sinisterly, which you can only really interpret as a threat that he had -- he hopes that he will not have to use the right invested in him by the Russian duma to send troops into Ukraine.

He also talked about the gas issue with Europe, saying that if Kiev didn't pay up on its gas within the next month and that that would have to switch to a pre-payment delivery system and that that might disrupt gas supplies to Europe. Interestingly, the head of the European commission Jose Manuel Barroso has written to Vladimir Putin addressing that issue today saying that there would be room for talks, but it is Russia's responsibility to ensure safe passage of its gas to Europeans.

Also quite late in this session, Edward Snowden was brought out asking a question on whether Russia participated in mass surveillance of its ordinary citizens whereupon Mr. Putin turned around and said no that is illegal under Russian law and we would never do any such thing.

So a broad range of topics discussed, shorter than normal, and Ukraine very much a centerpiece -- Monita.

RAJPAL: All right, Diana, thank you.

Diana Magnay there live for us from Moscow.

Still to come here on News Stream, two months after taking to the streets, anti-government protesters in Venezuela are standing their ground. We'll take a look at the prospects for peace in a deeply polarized nation.


RAJPAL: Welcome back.

Venezuela has been rocked by anti-government protests over the past two months. Dozens have been killed in the violence.

Rafael Romo has a closer look now at Venezuela's divided political landscape and recent attempts to bridge the gap.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the city of Barquisimeto (ph) chaos as anti-government protesters clash with the Venezuelan National Guard. For more than two months, young people have taken to the streets in Venezuela. And the violent anti-government protests have left more than 40 dead so far. Protesters, many of them students, vow to keep the pressure on the government until their voices are heard.

JUAN REQUESENS, STUDENT MOVEMENT LEADER (through translator): We're going to keep on protesting, because the government hasn't solved the problems and conflicts that the country is experiencing. So I'll keep on demonstrating and protesting.

ROMO: President Nicolas Maduro recently called for peace talks and has met twice with the opposition. The meetings made it clear the political divide between the government and the opposition in Venezuela runs quite deep.

HENRIQUE CAPRILES, VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADER (through translator): There is a political crisis, Nicolas, and we're not going to solve it with repression. This is not a problem that has to do with protests or overthrowing you. Nicolas, you've only been able to stay in power because you control all branches of government.

ROMO: This, of course, is not only about politics -- inflation reaches 56 percent last year in Venezuela and shortages of food staples are commonplace. The South American country has one of the highest murder rates in the world.

MADURO: As, as president of the republic, am open to debate all problems, those that have natural causes. To put it that way or are a product of mistakes or weaknesses of the country and those that have been induced.

ROMO: In the last meeting Tuesday, the opposition asked the government to release political prisoners, including former presidential candidate Leopolo Lopez and two opposition mayors. The government denied the request, a move denounced by the opposition as unwillingness to negotiate in good faith to solve the crisis.

Both sides say what they're doing is out of love for their country. It's not unusual to hear improvised renditions of the national anthem just about anywhere -- in the middle of a polarized Venezuela, a ray of hope, an elderly woman approaches a member of the national guard to give him a hug, a sign that perhaps a peace that so far has been elusive is still possible.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.


RAJPAL: Stay with us here on News Stream. After the break, CNN's Martin Savidge gives us a tour inside a submarine to take a look at the challenge of searching under sea.

And a militant takeover in one part of Ukraine is apparently a welcome sight for some people. We hear what residents of Slovyansk have to say ahead.


RAJPAL: Hello, I"m Monita Rajpal in Hong Kong. You are watching News Stream. And these are the headlines this hour.

Families are anxiously waiting for word of the 287 people still missing from a ferry boat disaster off the coast of South Korea. At least 179 passengers were rescued from the sinking ship. Nine people are confirmed dead. The search and rescue effort is continue despite bad weather today.

The U.S., EU, Ukraine and Russia are holding emergency talks in Geneva to try to resolve the deepening crisis in Ukraine, but hopes in a breakthrough are not high. Inside Ukraine, about 300 pro-Russian militants attacked an army base early Thursday. The video posted on social media shows what appear to be armed men outside the base in the middle of the night. Three of the attackers were killed in the shootout.

In the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370, preliminary tests indicate an oil sample from the search zone is not aircraft engine oil or hydraulic fluid. Earlier today, a submersible drone scoured the ocean floor. Officials are still waiting for the result from that mission.

Ukraine is a country that is very much split along language lines. Most people in the west speak Ukrainian, very few are native Russian speakers. But in the east and the south, you can see the percentage of Russian speakers increases dramatically. Crimea, which had the highest percentage of Russian speakers in all of Ukraine voted to separate and join Russia last month. And now Russian speakers in other cities are seeking to do the same.

Now we want to bring you the view from Slovyansk now where pro-Russian militants are firmly in control there. As CNN's Phil Black reports, support there for the takeover is strong.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Driving into Slovyansk from the north you have to pass through two checkpoints, the first Ukrainian police. They're organized, with fortified positions. The second is a little more improvised and enforced by men wearing masks.

We find many more in the town center. They're well armed. Some don't like cameras, but they're mostly relaxed. A few are still getting comfortable with driving armored vehicles they seized from the Ukrainian military only hours before.

They're picking up guns and demanding independence. The government in Kiev calls these men terrorists.

But in Slovyansk they're heroes.

This is not the sort of atmosphere you expect to find in a town that is effectively under siege. There's not a celebration, but the people here are clearly very happy and they feel a great deal of pride in those masked men who have made this small community world famous.

Crowds of locals come to see them and thank them. 5-year-old Ygor (ph) is beaming while having his photo taken aboard an armored vehicle.

"It's cool. I like it," he says.

Photos with militants are very popular. Even though you can't see their faces, the men are clearly enjoying it.

And we hear women in the crowd complain about the masks. They can't see who is the most handsome.

Admiration for the men is unanimous, so is distrust for the national government in Kiev. But there are different views on the town's future. Some want to stay part of Ukraine, but with more autonomy.

"We just want Kiev to leave us alone," this woman says. "We'll establish order here ourselves.

Others tell us they want the Russian flag to fly here permanently.

The people in this crowd are smiling while knowing the government is threatening to use force against them. A woman tells me they're confident because they believe other soldiers will be just like the ones who used to drive these vehicles. They'll surrender before attacking their brothers.

Phil Black, CNN, Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine.


RAJPAL: Well, one of the cities that we're seeing a lot of this activity take place is Donestsk, that's in eastern Ukraine as well. CNN's senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is there and he joins us now live with more on that -- Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Donetsk has comparatively been free of the violence that's dogged basically much of the northeast away from here, although we still have a regional administration building behind me where we heard of important developments today which was that the chairman, self-declared, of the sort of people's council in that building, of the self-declared People's Republic of Donetsk, as they call themselves, said they want by May 11 a referendum here in Donetsk region.

The question really, he explained, detailing I agree for the first time what they expect people to vote on as it happens is on the sovereignty of this region, that basically gives the people here the right to vote about which country they want to be part of. Obviously that's something Kiev would have presumably no part of unless they come to some sort of compromise at some point.

But it rapidly escalates I think the political rhetoric here when we're seeing also say the first deaths, it seems, on the pro-Russian protesters side. Last night at Marahopol, a city on the sea down here to the south close to the Russian border it appears at a military unit there, sort of an armed police unit, protesters approached that particular place. According to the interior minister, Molotov cocktails were thrown. And then the interior minister himself confirmed three dead pro-Russian protesters, a number injured and 63 people arrested during that altercation, that is going to significantly change the feeling on the ground here. Now here have been deaths on the pro-Russian side.

We saw yesterday near the town Phil was reporting from that some Ukrainian armored units had moved into the (inaudible) been surrounded by angry local protesters, some saying they were angry at shots being fired in the air, damage done to a car. They gave up their weapons in front of us, taking the firing pins off, putting them in a plastic bag, and handing them to those locals, representatives, in fact, or so the pro-Russian militia, one or two of them.

But the key thing now is the interim president of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov says those men will potentially face criminal investigation and may lose their jobs as well.

So an odd message to give to Kiev, to those troops you send out here facing an impossible choice, frankly. And that literally the drive over local residents or come to some kind of accommodation with them. But we're seeing really, here, in Kiev failing to exert its authority and as you heard Vladimir Putin, increasing confidence on the Russian side and the pro-Russian side here.

RAJPAL: If -- Nick, if the residents in these cities of Donetsk and Slovyansk and Marahopol, they get this referendum and it is -- they do vote to join -- to separate from -- sorry, separate from Ukraine and join the Russian Republic, how will that work logistically? We've seen it start to happen in Crimea. Would it be a similar situation?

WALSH: It's a long way off. I mean, the question you have to ask yourself at that point is what will remain of the Ukrainian government here. It's a long way off. I mean, let's not get ahead of ourselves. We haven't even had officially, I think, a date marked for the referendum.

But if that did happen, and it did actually even have a positive result, then of course they'd have to work out some way of working out what happens to remnants of the Ukrainian police and military here which we saw increased pressure against those Ukrainian soldiers left in Crimea to leave their bases.

This is all an extraordinarily long way off. And it will be more complex here because that's not the same sense, I think when you go around as you did in Crimea, of people feeling they're happy to join Russia. I think it's fair to say an minority was against that in Crimea. I think here, it's fair to say, it's the minority who are pro it, certainly according to lots of opinion polls that have been done here recently. Hard to often tell.

I think certainly the events of the past few weeks and the reaction of Kiev often not reaching out here to those in the east who feel distant from that new government in Kiev have felt closer, perhaps, to ousted President Viktor Yanukovych. That failure to reach out has made some who may have been on the fence perhaps go the other way.

But there's a key issue, really, of you want to see those pro- Ukrainians here potentially strongly disagree with the idea of a referendum in the first place. That's where you may see further problems here -- Monita.

RAJPAL: All right. Nick, thank you. Nick Paton Walsh there live for us from Donetsk.

Just ahead, more on the ferry disaster in South Korea. We'll take a look at the tough weather conditions rescue workers are up against. And we'll take you live to South Korea for the very latest on the continued search.


RAJPAL: Welcome back. You are watching News Stream. And you're looking at our visual rundown of all the stories in the show today.

We want to take you back now to our main story, hundreds are still missing a day after a South Korean passenger ship sinks.

Let's get the very latest now on the rescue efforts that have been underway. Paula Hancocks is on the nearby island of Jindo where anxious relatives are awaiting any news -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Monita, we understand from Maritime police who gave a briefing not too long ago that they are working under the assumption that there are still survivors within this ship. So obviously that is something that will give the relatives here some hope. They are praying that there are air pockets within the parts of the ship that are still above the water hoping, of course, that even as the second nightfall begins since that distress signal went out that their relatives may still be alive.

So that's the assumption that these rescue workers are working under. But of course the weather conditions today that Thursday have been hampering the rescue operations we know that at least six times divers were trying to get inside parts of the submerged ship, trying to get inside those cabins to see if there were survivors or if there were anybody they failed every time to get in.

The underwater currents were simply too strong. At one point, three of the divers were swept away. They were later picked up by a local fishing vessel and were fine, but this just shows how dangerous the rescue work is for some of the locals trying to get to this area as well.

Now we know within the next coming hours, maybe even the next eight, nine hours they're hoping to have three cranes coming in to this area of Jindo Harbor here, the ship is about 12 miles or 20 kilometers off where we are here and at that point they were hoping that they will be able to do something more constructive. It's not clear exactly what they will be doing, whether they'll be trying to lift the ship, whether they'll be trying to tow it closer to the coast. At this point, we're not having any indication of that.

But they are pumping oxygen into the ship itself in case there are still survivors. So to make sure that there is still oxygen within any potential air pockets -- Monita.

RAJPAL: Paula, how large of a rescue operation is this?

HANCOCKS: It's a large rescue operation. The figures we were given was we have 171 vessels that are involved in this, 11 ministries of the government, 29 helicopters, more than 500 divers. And it's not just an official rescue operation. We know that there are local fishing vessels. We know that there are civilian divers also involved in this, everybody trying to get involved to help in any way they can.

So it is fairly significant, but of course even with all those assets, if the weather conditions are not conducive it is going to be very difficult to try and even get close to where they want to get to.

Now we know that they were trying on Wednesday to get divers within these cabins. They've been trying again this Thursday. The weather conditions were much more serious than they had anticipated. Of course the hope is that that will clear up now and certainly that they'll be able to get to -- to where they want to get to.

But with those three cranes, they are hoping to be able to do something a little more constructive.

Now just from the investigation point of view, just an update, we heard from the maritime police that there is a high possibility that the ship deviated from the route it was intended to take, which may have caused the accident. This is actually different from something we were told by the government earlier, so we're having some conflicting information coming in, that the maritime police said that it is a low possibility that the ship may have hit a rock.

And of course what is under investigation at this point is why only one of the 46 life boats was actually deployed. And we also know that the ship's captain got off the ship. Of course, this is quite unusual. The ship's captain would usually make sure the passengers get off the ship first. That is under investigation too. He has apologized. He says that he is at a loss for words. And of course he is a very crucial part of this investigation -- Monita.

RAJPAL: All right, Paula thank you. Paual Hancocks there live for us from Jindo in South Korea.

And as Paula has been mentioning, the weather there in the area has been quite bad in terms of even trying to get to the ship that has submerged. Let's go to our Mari Ramos at the World Weather Center.

So we're looking at bad weather above sea level and even the currents below sea level.

MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, let's go ahead and start with the stuff that's happening above sea level.

This is what we have, Monita. We had a weather disturbance that was moving through here and that's the one that brought not just the rain, the wind, the waves, just making the conditions miserable across the region.

The temperature felt like it dropped significantly, too, as the effect of the wind and everything that we were dealing with across that region.

Now, the current conditions across the area -- I want to show you -- compared to yesterday, the temperature not much different, but there's a change in the wind and there's a change in the cloud cover and there's a huge change in visibility compared to yesterday, remember. We were talking about 10 kilometers, today only three.

The wind blowing out about 13 kilometers per hour there in Muan, and in Jeju about 15 kilometers per hour. Visibility there only 2 kilometers.

So this is just part of what they're having to deal with. The seas got rough. Seas between two to three meters at times during the day today.

Visibility above the water continues to be a challenge. We're starting to see an improvement now overnight when the clouds and the rain start to stop, even when we saw Paula Hancocks reporting right now.

She was -- water wasn't pouring down anymore compared to her earlier report where we could see her kind of playing duck and cover with the rain. That rain is slowly starting to stop and we should get a better day as we head through tomorrow.

So we have one weather system moving out. Through the day on Friday, and it's not going to be into early Saturday morning that we begin to see our next weather system starting to pull into this area. So I think Friday, much improved weather compared to what we had today.

Not as good as what we have a day before, but much better in terms of visibility and conditions.

So, the search goes on -- of course above land. This is -- or on land, I should say. This is in Sejong, one of the command posts that is happening.

And this picture that you see here behind me is a chart, a maritime chart. And this is the kind of thing that they would use to try to determine where the ship is, what is underground. And if you are a captain, if you're someone maneuvering a ship, these are the kind of things that you would look at. All of the rocks and things like that are marked, especially in a heavily traveled route like it is right here across the southwestern tip of South Korea.

So the location of the ship is apparently in that location there.

So they're having a very difficult time with the rescue operations. Look at this picture, Monita. Look at the color of the water, the visibility under the water very, very poor. And that is just another challenge that divers are having to deal with here. So even for the best divers, these are very rough conditions.

The dies, limits the amount of time that they can actually be in the water. So you have a 12 hour cycle between the high tide -- between the high tide and high tide , in between you would have a low tide.

Well, those things change very quickly. And because the tides are particularly high this time of year because of the full moon, we tend to have stronger currents. The current as much as 7 kilometers per hour at times. It makes it extremely difficult and dangerous for those divers.

Visbility, as I was telling you in the water only about 2 meters at best. And then on top of that they have to deal with all of this weather - - the temperature changes, the temperature of the water, the rain coming down, the wind and the waves.

So very difficult conditions that they're working in. And it definitely is a race against the clock -- Monita.

RAJPAL: Mari, thank you.

Coming up here on News Stream, we'll show you a new mobile chat app that allows you to chat without being online.


RAJPAL: Welcome back

Now on this show, we've talked a lot about the power of mobile technology and how smartphones allow activists to organize themselves in the middle of protests, but what happens when that technology fails? When protesters staged a sit-in in Taiwan's parliament a few weeks ago, some had to contend with bad reception for their smartphones. We're told they were able to keep in contact with each other thanks to a new app Firechat.

It might look like other mobile chat apps likes WhatsApp, but there's a crucial difference, it does not need an internet connection. Firechat can send messages by connecting to phones around it through wi-fi and Bluetooth. Kristie Lu Stout spoke to the CEO of the company behind Firechat and asked him how it works.


MICHA BENOLIEL, CEO, OPEN GARDEN: So, Firechat is using technologies of mesh networking. Normally when you want to get connectivity, you get connectivity through your mobile operator or through your cable operator. And with Firechat, it's a completely decentralizing for us. That means you can get connectivity from the people and the devices around you directly.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So how are you doing that? Through Bluetooth, through what?

BENOLIEL: We use Bluetooth, Wi-fi and it depends if it's on the iPhone or on Android and different techniques.

LU STOUT: In a way you're chatting off the grid. Are you chatting anonymously as well?

BENOLIEL: So, on the app, you've got completely anonymous, and yes you are chatting anonymously.

LU STOUT: Let's talk about your markets, because Firechat, you just rolled out about just a couple of weeks ago. And you already have a lot of traction in certain markets in the world. You know here in Asia and Singapore, in Taiwan, in Japan. Why? Why the interest?

BENOLIEL: It's amazing. It's a total explosion. We didn't expect it. So we try to adapt and we make the new discoveries every day and how people are using the application.

I think there are two main reasons. The first one is when you can communicate with people, send messages or photos without using your carrier data plan and it's completely free. So I think the first reason is people are excited of being able to communicate with people around completely for free. The second one is that we are realizing now is you have more people who discover the Internet through their smartphone today than from a computer. And I think that's the big change, that's why the chat room is so popular on Firechat, because people just open the application and now they can start chatting with people around.

LU STOUT: Now, I used Firechat here in Hong Kong. Not many other people are using it. And that's sort of the conundrum here, because if you want to create a social network you've got to have a base of people. So how do you get yourself into a new market to grow up from having no one or a low base of users?

BENOLIEL: So, that's why I am in Hong Kong today. And I...

LU STOUT: You're drumming up interest.

BENOLIEL: I want to invite everyone to install the application. And you are right we need scale with this application. And we are getting scale already in countries like the U.S., in other countries in Asia. We - - like Singapore or Taiwan. We're also getting a lot of traction. I think we are number one in over 15 countries around the globe. And when you look at social networking apps in the top 10 in 105 countries, all that in 15 days. So I think we're on a good pace to get to that density that is required to actually have people starting to chat with other people around.

LU STOUT: Let's talk about security. Is security a unique problem for Firechat? For example, because you have this mesh network, right, this daisy chain of users connected to each other through their smartphones, if one Firechat user is -- their account is hacked or compromised, does that affect everyone else in the network?

BENOLJEL: So, first, I think Firechat is a good app for entertaining yourself. So I don't think people are going to use it in a professional way.

And second, in terms of security it's as secure as you connecting to a wi-fi hotspot you don't know, or through your mobile operator, so we don't add any other issue that don't already exist.


RAJPAL: That was Open Garden CEO Micha Benoliel talking to Kristie Lu Stout.

Well, we're asking you to guess what's unusual about this picture. Well, would it -- it would be pretty easy, right? This is a publicity stunt, part of a Ford Mustang's 50th anniversary celebrations. But how on Earth did they get this car up there? Well, CNN's Jeanne Moos pieces together this rooftop stunt.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Down there on the street is where cars are supposed to be, not up here 86 floors above New York City atop the empire state building.

The out of place 2015 Ford Mustang had tourists wondering.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First thing was how in the name of God did they get it up here

UNIDENTIFIED MALE; Maybe by helicopter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A helicopter or something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it went up by helicopter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It basically rode the elevator just like you and I did.

MOOS: Not just like you or I, we wouldn't have to get chopped up into pieces.

The Mustang was cut up into 5 pieces small enough to fit in the smallest Empire State Building elevator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We only have an elevator that's 36-inches wide.

MOOS: They actually built a mock elevator back at the Ford shop to make sure everything would fit.

This wasn't the first time a Ford Mustang rode these elevators. Back in 1965, the then-newly introduced Mustang made the same trip and was photographed on the observatory. This latest elevation of the Mustang was meant to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The weather, though, didn't cooperate. Snowflakes were flying as they assembled the Mustang high above Manhattan. It had to be done overnight when the observation deck was closed and the car had to be put together, in a 6-hour window. Here's the process sped up.

Despite the weather, they met their deadline.

Ford wasn't actually first to raise a car to new heights, maybe they got the idea from Chevy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chevrolet for 1964.

MOOS: They did use a helicopter to lift car and model atop this sandstone tower in Utah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chevrolet stands alone.

MOOS: Though windy conditions prevented the chopper from retrieving them on time and the model had to huddle in the Chevy for a few extra hours.

Ford's executive chairman wasn't exactly huddling at the wheel atop the Empire State, but don't expect him to drive off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you drive it around here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we put an engine, you could drive it around here.

MOOS: The Chevy didn't have an engine either. It would take a herd of wild mustangs to pull this car. The motor that mattered here was the one running the elevators.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


RAJPAL: Well, it's the holiest week on the calendar for Christians around the world. Pope Francis celebrated holy Thursday mass at the Vatican earlier. He then washed the feet of 12 disabled people, recalling how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Today's events commemorate the last super. Holy week continues with Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified. And it culminates on Sunday with Easter when Christians believed Jesus was resurrected.

We are standing by a for a news conference in Geneva Switzerland. Top diplomats from the Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and the EU have been meeting to discuss a solution to the crisis in Ukraine. The news conference is due to begin at any time now. And of course CNN will bring that to you live when it does begin.

But for now, I'm Monita Rajpal. And that is News Stream for this Thursday. The news continues here at CNN. World Business Today is next.