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Pro-Russian Militants To Ignore Geneva Deal; Arrest Warrant Issued For South Korean Ferry Captain; Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dies At 87; NASA Discovers New Earthlike Planet; A Look At Submersible Technology; Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy
Aired April 18, 2014 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RALITSA VASSILEVA, HOST: Hello, everybody. I'm Ralitsa Vassileva at the CNN Center. Welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.
An arrest warrant is issued for the captain of a South Korean ferry that sank. 271 people are still missing.
Eastern Ukraine's Jewish community is reeling from demands to register with a government office. But who is behind the order?
And an Earth sized planet is found orbiting a star at just the right distance, leading to hopes that it just might support life.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the captain and two crew members of the ferry that sank off the coast of South Korea more than two days ago. That legal development, as well as the desperate search effort for 271 people who are still missing moves into a new phase. Divers have now managed to breach the hull of the ship and were able to enter the ferry's second deck earlier today before rough waters forced them out again.
The entire boat is now submerged underwater. And the death toll has risen to 28.
There is still many questions about what went wrong. Earlier today, a South Korean prosecutor said the captain was not in the steering room when the ship started to sink.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PARK JAE-EOK, SOUTH KOREAN PROSECUTOR (through translator): The situation was that the captain left the third officer at the helm temporarily. That means he may not have been at the helm himself at the time of the accident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VASSILEVA: We have also learned today that the vice principal of the school attended by the students on board was found hanged, that's according to police. He had been rescued from the sunken ferry and police say he apparently hanged himself from a tree in the city of Jindo.
Also, footage from the ship has emerged. CNN affiliate YTN showed these images, which show passengers wearing life boats (sic) on the ferry, some passengers jumped into the icy water below, but many followed instructions and stayed on board. Many of those who were fortunate enough to escape are now receiving medical treatment for their physical and psychological pain.
Pauline Chiou visited the hospital treating them and brings you some of their incredible stories of survival.
PAULINE CHIOU, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She survivors of the ferry accident continue telling incredible stories of pure luck and determination. I'm outside the hospital where several survivors are still recovering. One of them is 71-year-old Shin Young Ja. She was on the ferry with her friends for a holiday and she was watching TV in a big common room when she felt a huge jolt and the room started filling up with water. She swam toward some cabinets and tried to climb them like a staircase. Here is what happened next.
SHIN YOUNG JA, FERRY DISASTER SURVIVOR (through Translator): I didn't have enough strength to climb up. The young man in front of me pulled me up and said hold on tight. Then when he got to the top of the cabinets, I saw the window. A man near me was banging on the window with a life jacket and somebody saw us. Then they turned the rescue boat toward us.
CHIOU: There is another survivor story with a bittersweet ending. A 6- year-old girl, Kwon Ji-yeon, was traveling with her parents and 7-year-old brother. Her brother put a life jacket on her and somehow she made it to the deck where passengers found her crying. They passed her on to rescuers. When she came to the hospital, the doctors said she was fine physically but this is what he's concerned about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My biggest concern is after going through this kind of disaster, she may experience post-traumatic stress syndrome, especially when she finds out her parents and brother have died. How she deals with this would be the biggest challenge. In my opinion, recovering from this kind of psychological shock would be the biggest concern.
CHIOU: Ji-yeon is now being taken care of by two aunts and an uncle.
Pauline Chiou, CNN, Mokpo, South Korea.
VASSILEVA: The searchers are facing some very difficult weather conditions. Mari Ramos is at the world weather center. So Mari, tell us what's in the weather forecast?
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, rescues at sea are never simple. They're never easy. You're dealing with so many moving parts all at the same time, Ralitsa. And we are seeing, again, some changes in the weather.
I think today was actually a better weather day. Today, Friday, local time compared to what they're going to see Saturday and pretty much for most of Sunday.
Let's go ahead and start first of all taking a look at some of the current conditions. There's the accident site on the southern tip of South Korea.
There aren't a lot of places close by where we can get actual observations, weather observations. So we have Muan on one side and we have Jeju Island on the other.
Winds generally light in Muan, a little gustier as we head over toward Jeju.
But you get kind of an idea of what's going on. And the temperature fairly similar for both, around 14, 15 degrees Celsius.
We're not going to see too many changes in that, maybe a degree or so cooler as we head to the next day or so, but I don't think that's going to be the biggest concern.
Let me show you this picture taken a couple of days ago, Ralitsa. This is the ferry and you can see part of the hull sticking out of the water, the sea is relatively calm. This is on a good day that we had.
Then we have that nasty weather move back in and this is what it looks like now. And this is a very sad, sad picture here, because most of the ferry now is completely under water. The hull barely visible above the water. You can see some of these markers, these buoys that they put out to mark the location of where the boat is. And of course you see some of the rescue personnel over to the side.
This is a huge, huge change compared to what we had before.
Now did it sink all the way down to the bottom? We don't know. I can tell you tha the water depth in this area is about 100 feet, about -- between 30 to 40 meters, between 100 to 130 feet in depth. So we are talking about deep water.
The other thing that they have to deal with is of course everything is moving here. We have -- we're talking about water. The tides are changing four times a day -- or high tide, low tide, high tide, low tide.
And Friday, we had a 3.8 meter tide. And look at the change. We have a change of about almost four meters compared to normal sea level every few hours. And so this area right in the middle is when they have their best chance to work. And even though the tides are going to evening out a little bit as we head through the beginning of the week. It's still a big change. And of course a big challenge that they're having to work with here.
So that's in the water.
Of course visibility is a concern, the water temperature, all of those things. And of course the current about 7 kilometers per hour and the tide.
Above the water, the weather is a concern. And we have some weather moving in here. And you can see it right there.
Local time, Saturday, 10:00 am, we begin to see the clouds thickening. I think that's around the time when we'll start to see the drizzle come in, the winds picking up. The worst of the weather still way back here as we head over toward Mainland China, but that will be headed this way also. And you can see that here, by Saturday afternoon we begin to see a bit more of that weather coming in across this region here.
And then look what happens by Sunday morning. We're still dealing with the rain, with the wind possibly, visibility will be reduced. And of course those seas becoming even choppier.
Colder air begins to pull in as well. An indication of that is a little bit of snow that you see right here across parts of North Korea. It won't be that cold here to the south, but definitely some of that cooler air starts to filter in somewhat across the region. So we'll have to see what happens.
They have the cranes now close to that area, but any kind of movement will really have to be when there's good weather. I don't think that's going to happen until at least Sunday.
VASSILEVA: Still very, very challenging conditions there. Mari, thank you very much for that.
Now let's get the very latest developments from South Korea. Paula Hancocks is on the island of Jindo where anxious relatives are waiting news.
Paula, adding to their anguish are all these conflicting reports that are coming out.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Ralitsa. The latest information we have coming in to us here at CNN is the transcript between the -- whoever was talking on the boat, on the sea and the Jeju traffic control -- this is the Island of Jeju that this ship was intended to go to.
Now we heard from the traffic control that they're asking what the current situation is. Whoever was talking on the ship said that the body of the ship is tilted to the left, containers fell over too. The Jeju traffic control then asked if anybody was injured, to which the ship replied it is impossible to confirm and it is impossible to move.
At that point, traffic control said make sure that people have their life jackets on as it may be necessary to abandon ship, to which the person on the ship responded, it is hard for people to move.
Now this is very important for the investigation, because there are many questions as to why so many people are still considered trapped on the ship. But almost 300 people have not made it off.
And we understood from at least one survivor that they were told on the PA announcement on the ship not to move, which is certainly a concern for many of the parents. They believe that this could have affected the chances of their loved ones, and in many cases their children, to be able to escape.
Now at this point, we do know that there is an arrest warrant that has been issued for the captain of the ship. He managed to escape. And he was questioned by police we saw just recently. All he said was I am sorry and I have no words. He would not answer any other questions. And also two other crew members, there's an arrest warrant for them as well.
So that's the latest that is happening within the investigation, Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: So it's interesting that these new details do point that the ship deviated. We were having those conflicting reports from officials as to whether it deviated or not.
How significant is that as to explaining the cause of this accident?
HANCOCKS: Well, at this point it doesn't explain whether or not there was a definite deviation.
We did hear from maritime police. They believe there was a high possibility -- this is what they said on Thursday -- that deviation may have caused this incident or at least contributed to the incident. They said there was a low possibility that this ship would have hit a rock.
So these are things that they will be looking at at this point.
But of course all this conflicting information that is coming through from different officials, from different ministries within the government, that is causing a lot of heartache for these desperate families still waiting on this third night since the distress signal went out to hear any word about their loved ones.
We went to the auditorium where hundreds of relatives are sitting an waiting and asking questions about what is happening within the search and rescue operation. And they are becoming more desperate by the hour. And they are becoming more angry.
One man I spoke to who was waiting to hear about his 16-year-old nephew said that they simply don't think that they're being told the truth, they don't believe what the officials have been telling them. And we saw a lot of frayed tempers, we saw anger as parents was shouting questions at the maritime police on the stage. But at this point, there are so many questions and they weren't getting enough answers -- Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: Paula Hancocks, thank you very much for that.
Well, over in Australia, things are moving slowly in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines 370. The U.S. navy's Bluefin-21 is currently on its fifth trip to scan the ocean floor. It did not find anything substantial in its previous four dives.
Malaysia's acting transportation minister Hishammuddin Hussein raised the possibility of deploying more underwater probes.
Back on land, another promising lead hit a dead end. A preliminary analysis of an oil sample picked up from the search zone show that it is not from the plane.
Coming up on News Stream, anti-Semitic threats emerge in eastern Ukraine. Leaflets, handed out by masked men, ordered Jews to register with a government. We'll bring you more details in a live report on Donetsk.
And later, an Iranian mother faces down and slaps the man who killed her son as he prepares to be hung at the gallows, but what she did after that is even more remarkable.
VASSILEVA: Will words translate into action? That's the big question in Ukraine today. Diplomats made a deal in Geneva on Thursday that calls for pro-Russian protesters to disarm and give up the buildings they've seized. In exchange, they will give amnesty unless they have been convicted of capital crimes.
Russia could be the key to making this happen, but already signs on the ground are raising doubts.
The self-declared leader of pro-Russian separatists in one city said he has not agreed to the deal and the U.S. president is skeptical. Barack Obama says the U.S. and its allies have to be prepared to respond if Russia continues to meddle in its neighbors affairs.
So, de-escalating the crisis depends on what happens in these eastern cities, Slovyansk, which is about 160 kilometers from the Russian border and has been taken over by pro-Russian fighters. Further south you can see the city of Donetsk where there are calls for a referendum to let residents decide whether they want to split away from Ukraine. And tensions have also boiled over in Mariupol in the southeast. Pro-Russian fighters there attacked a military base on Thursday.
There are also concerns that one religious community in Donetsk is being targeted. CNN's Phil Black is there and he joins us now live.
Phil, a very disturbing development.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is, Ralitsa, that's right. A group of people here, and it's not clear who, have been circulating the idea that members of the Jewish community need to be registered. It is an ominous really sensitive suggestion in a country that suffered enormously under the Nazi occupation of World War II. And now once again as this country experiences a crisis that threatens its very existence it appears that someone else is trying to discourage discrimination against Jews and use that as a political instrument. Take a look.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This letter injected the fear of anti-Semitism into Ukraine's crisis. The chief rabbi of Donetsk, Pinhas Vyshedski, reads the text, which says, "All Jews over the age of 16 must register their identities, real estate and car ownership."
He tells me the notice was handed out near his synagogue on Tuesday by four men wearing masks.
He says when he first saw it, he felt shock and fear. America's ambassador to Ukraine described his reaction to CNN's Jake Tapper.
GEOFFREY PYATT, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: It's chilling. I was disgusted by these leaflets, especially in Ukraine, a country that suffered so terribly under the Nazis. It was one of the sites of the worst violence of the Holocaust. To drag up this rhetoric again is almost beyond belief.
BLACK: The notice is signed Dennis Pushilin. Pushilin is the leader of the crowds occupying government buildings in Donetsk who want to break away from Ukraine. Pushilin denies he's behind the leaflet, telling CNN it's a clear provocation.
The notice says Jews must register because they supported protesters in Kiev who drove out the country's former president.
Rabbi Vyshedski says the Jews of Donetsk believe they're being used in a wider political game. He says the people who pray here are angry because those competing to control the future of country are repeating the mistakes of history.
BLACK: It's not the first time the shadow of anti-Semitism has been raised during this Ukrainian crisis. Russia has repeatedly made the allegation that there is a threat against the Jewish community from nationalists in the west of the country. When you speak to Jewish people here in Ukraine, they very genuinely believe that that threat is repeatedly being overstated, exaggerated, probably again for political ends. They're angry about that and that is also why they are angry about this leaflet, these leaflets that are being circulated, because they believe once again that someone is taking this incredibly sensitive issue and trying to use it for divisive purposes and for political gain -- Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: And Phil, as the tensions there rising and more and more divisive issues are coming up, what are the chances that the pro-Russian activists who were occupying the buildings, will adhere to the Geneva deal?
BLACK: Well, at the moment what they're saying today is, no, they're not going to do that. There is no deal, as far as they're concerned. They weren't in Geneva, they didn't sign any document, they don't recognize it.
They're saying they're going to continue occupying these buildings. They're not going to give up their weapons and those are the two key, really, first steps as part of that Geneva agreement. They're not going to follow through with them. They want to keep working towards holding a referendum on the issue of establishing their own autonomous republic here in this southeastern corner of Ukraine. They say they will not leave the buildings and will not even consider doing so until the new government in Kiev also declares itself to be illegal. They say that's really the illegal authority, not what they're trying to do.
So for the moment, no change despite what was hoped to be something, the diplomatic breakthrough in Geneva yesterday, Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: And what can you tell us about the Ukrainian troops. Are there any more standoffs there?
BLACK: We haven't seen any more movements really the last couple of days now. So earlier in the week the Ukrainian government organized this anti-terror operation as they called it. We saw a big Ukrainian military presence in those early days, but what followed was really a series of humiliations for that Ukrainian military where they had weapons and even armored vehicles taken off them by pro-Russian forces simply because locals, villagers, the people of this region swarmed around them, wouldn't let them pass through and said they didn't want them there.
Since that humiliation, no there has not been any overt military action on the part of the Ukrainian military. We know that they are still in command of a strategic -- strategically important airfield in the region. They are still said to be here, but they are not taking any decisive steps, it would seem, to try and dislodge these pro-Russian groups and protesters and militants and so forth from the buildings that they are occupying.
So it is worth noting, I think, that towards the end of a week that has seen this supposed military operation to knock back these pro-Russian forces, at the end of a week that has supposedly seen a diplomatic breakthrough, it would seem that these pro-Russian and separatist groups are really in a much stronger position than they were just a few days ago, Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: Phil Black in Donetsk, thank you very much.
Well, coming up, as this man stood at the gallows in Iran, he thought his next breath would be his last. But then something stunning happened. We have the incredible story coming up next.
VASSILEVA: At least 12 Nepali Sherpas have been killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest. This is the deadliest single accident on the world's tallest mountain. Three other Sherpa guides have been seriously wounded and several others are missing. An official from Nepal's tourism ministry says a group of about 50 people were hit by the avalanche at more than 20,000 feet that was just about base camp. Peak climbing season is next month. And we're told that those injured or killed were preparing part of the route the climbers take to the summit.
An Iranian mother came face to face with her son's killer just as he was about to be executed. But what she did next took many by surprise. Photographer Arash Khamooshi captured what happened in a series of powerful images. He spoke to CNN's Connect the World. And here's his story in his own words.
ARASH KHAMOOSHI, PHOTOGRAPHER (through translator): The first picture I took was the night before the execution. It was just moments after Balal's mother had received a phone call from the court telling her the execution will go ahead the very next day. She was distraught, crying and covering her face.
The next morning at 5:00 AM, people had gathered, mostly just praying and waiting. It was still dark, and we saw the authorities getting ready. It was a very surreal scene for me.
As we were waiting for them to bring out Balal, I saw his mother sitting down behind the barriers on the ground. She had no energy left in her, resigned to the fact that she was going to lose her son. It was very moving.
Then they brought Balal out from the prison. He was breathing very heavily and was trying very hard to figure out what was going on around him. They took him to the chair and put the noose around his neck. He was screaming and praying loudly before he suddenly went silent.
The victim's family came out, and his mother addressed the crowd. She told them she'd been living in a nightmare since she lost her son, and even though in Islamic law it's recommended for the family to forgive, she couldn't bring herself to forgive Balal.
She walked close to the chair with her husband, and at that point, there was no indication she was ready to forgive. But then, she asked for them to bring a chair so she could stand on it. And that's when she slapped Balal, and she said, "Forgive him."
The parents of the boy he had killed took the noose off Balal's neck, forgiving him. Balal's family rushed over and hugged and thanked the mother and father. They were praising them for what they did.
Looking back, I don't know how I took these pictures. I guess it's the power of the camera that allows you to focus, and that's the only reason I didn't break down and cry.
VASSILEVA: In 2007, Balal, only 19 years old at that time, killed 17 year old Doula Hosseinzedei (ph) in a street fight. Iran's semi-official news agency reports that the victim's family does not believe that the killing was intentional.
When we come back, the latest on the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370. An underwater drone scours the ocean floor for a fifth time. We'll get a live report from Australia.
And remembering a Nobel Laureate: the world mourns the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
VASSILEVA: I'm Ralitsa Vassileva at the CNN Center, you're watching News Stream and these are your world headlines.
As the desperate search continues for survivors of a ferry disaster in South Korea, an arrest warrant was issued today for the captain and two crew members. Adding to the tragedy, police say the vice principal of the school attended by the students on board was found hanged. 28 people are confirmed dead from the ferry accident and nearly 280 are still missing.
A pro-Russian separatist leader in eastern Ukraine says protesters will not adhere to a deal to disarm and leave buildings they have occupied unless the Kiev government resigns. The deal was struck by diplomats after high level talks in Geneva on Thursday. It called on armed groups to disband and promise amnesty for protesters who were not convicted of capital crimes.
Colombia's president has declared three days of national mourning over the death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The internationally renowned author died in Mexico on Thursday at the age of 87. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. Among his most celebrated works, the novel 100 Years of Solitude.
Malaysia's acting transport minister tweeted today that authorities are looking at deploying more unmanned underwater probes in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370. The Bluefin-21 is the only deep sea drone being used at the moment. It's currently on its fifth trip to the ocean floor in search of any wreckage from the missing plane.
Erin McLaughlin is tracking the underwater search. Erin is joining me now live from the base of search operations in Perth, Australia.
So, Erin, how is the search going? This is the fifth trip for the Bluefin.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ralitsa. We're still waiting for more details about the fifth mission. We know that as of 9:00 am it was in the water. Unclear when it was set to reemerge. And we will bring you those details as soon as we have them.
We are learning more about the fourth dive that took place last night. It reached new depths. The Bluefin-21 was able to travel some 4.7 kilometers beneath the ocean surface, that's more than the 4.5 kilometers that it was originally thought to be its depth capacity.
Now that's a good sign, because it means that it can search some of the deeper waters. And this is very critical area to the search, an area where they believe based on those pings, a detailed acoustic analysis of those pings this is the most probable area to find the black box. But so far in all four of its missions, as far as we know, no objects of interest relating to the missing Malaysian flight 370 has been found. And we know that authorities are assessing what they are going to do next when -- if and when they exhaust all promising leads in this search -- Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: Erin, why are they considering also deploying more underwater probes?
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, that's something we heard from Malaysia's acting transport minister. We haven't heard that from the Australian in Perth. The Australians are, of course, the ones that are spearheading this search effort, but it's something that has been talked about given the limited capabilities of the Bluefin-21, only able to scour some 15 square miles in a given day at most. And some people thinking that perhaps by dropping more submersibles into the water that would allow it to cover more area in a shorter period of time, Ralitsa.
But again at the moment, Australian authorities -- according to Australian authorities they are still pending all hopes on the Bluefin-21.
VASSILEVA: And how long are they saying they will keep searching before they change tactics?
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was quoted in a newspaper article earlier in the week saying that they would have exhausted their most promising leads in a week's time and then from there assess the next stages of a search. That no way means that in a week time they're going to call this search off. They are determined to see this through, it's just simply a matter of assessing how to approach the next stages of the search, Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: Erin McLaughlin, thank you very much. Joining us from Perth, Australia.
Well, if and when investigators locate debris from the missing airliner, they're expected to use a remotely operated submersible with a robotic arm to retrieve the plane's data recorders. CNN's Martin Savidge rode inside a manned mini submarine. And he explains to us the challenges the salvage operation in the dark, murky ocean poses. Just take a look.
PHIL UYTTEN, SUBMARINE AND SALVAGE EXPERTS, NUYTCO: Starboard. Starboard. Starboard. Starboard.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Essentially Phil's got to give the directions to the pilot in the back.
NUYTTEN: OK. Forward. Forward.
SAVIDGE: There is something orange there, which would be our simulator of the black box. It's a very slow, methodical job. And when you're way down in that kind of pressure...
NUYTTEN: Starboard, Jeff, starboard.
SAVIDGE: It's going to be even more carefully done.
NUYTTEN: OK. Forward. Come ahead. Come ahead. Come ahead. Come ahead. Come ahead.
Like everything else, it's never easy. As you see when we moved just a little bit to get a better grip on this thing a big cloud of silt swells up from the bottom. Now we have to wait for the silt to settle before we can see what we're doing.
SAVIDGE: What we're working on is there is a mechanical arm, very similar to what might be on an ROV that would be used in the retrieval process of say something like a black box.
There is the black box recorder. Of course they're orange despite the namesake. And Phil is going to have to -- we are at a real slant here. So that's a real challenge for us. But the goal now to take the mechanical arm and he's got to very carefully -- go ahead, give it a whirl -- get it into position. And again it's not just like reaching out with your own hand and grabbing.
NUYTTEN: Trying to get the -- excuse me -- the jaws of the manipulator into that bit of a handle on top there and try not to disturb it and slide it down the slope here.
So he's trying to get it into that basket now up in the air. Steady.
It just demonstrates for you that it's not the simple task of just going down there and finding it, then next step is finding it and then retrieving it. And it has to be done in a way you can't damage the black box. It has to be done in a way that everything is carefully preserved and we are just about there. And. Well done. Got it in.
Until you find the wreck, you don't get to do any of this.
VASSILEVA: In Nigeria, another bizarre twist in the story surrounding more than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram militants. After saying nearly all of them had been freed, the military now acknowledges most of them are still missing.
CNN's Vladimir Duthiers is following the story from the Nigerian capital of Abuja.
So Vlad, what can you tell us about the search itself, do we have any clues?
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ralitsa, we don't actually know if -- or how many girls have come home other than we spoke yesterday to an administrator from the Borno school department. And he told CNN that he believes about 30 of the girls have returned home.
This all began 48 hours ago when the military released a statement saying that they had, in fact, freed most of the girls, all but eight of them. We, then, spoke to parents, we spoke to school administrators in Borno state. They told us next day that their kids had not come home. The principal of the school said that the statements made by the military were false. And so we went back to the military to ask them to respond to what the parents and the school administrators were saying.
Late last night, they released a statement saying that in fact the girls had not been free, they had not been released, that they had -- they were going to defer to the school principal and to the governor of the state. They said that they did not mean to willfully deceive the public, that this was done in good faith from some intelligence that they had received in the field, but that they were retracting their statement and leaving it to the school and to the state itself to verify whether the girls had come home.
Now as you can imagine, this period of time, these last couple of days, have been harrowing for the parents. To hear first that your children are coming home and then to find out only 24 hours later that it's not true, that they're still in the clutches of Boko Haram. We spoke to some of the parents. We have one mother who told us, "I had hoped that soldiers would rescue my daughter and all the others, but that hope has dissipated." She goes on to say, "my life will be worthless without my daughter. I'll never have peace in my life if I don't have her back."
Another parent, a father of one of the girls spoke to us. He said, "we have been in grief for the past four days over the kidnapping of our daughters and hoping the military would rescue them. But to our greatest shock and disbelief the same military has resorted to blatant propaganda, claiming all but eight of our girls have been freed." He goes on to say, "it is the highest form of insult and display of insensitivity to the calamity that has befallen us."
So clearly outraged parents by what the military has said. For their part, the military is saying that they did not do this purposefully. It was not meant to deceive the public.
But still a lot of questions, Ralitsa, we don't know what the condition of the girls who have been released are like. We don't know if they were freed by Boko Haram. We don't know if they were rescued. We don't know if they escaped, Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: It doesn't inspire much confidence in the military's ability to find them. And they're searching in forests, in very dangerous conditions. Tell us a little bit about that.
DUTHIERS: So, according to the military, the armed group Boko Haram kidnapped these girls. And again one highlight for our viewers what this really means, these are -- the northeastern part of Nigeria is one of the least educated regions of the country. To have parents sending their daughters to a school to receive an education so that they can better their lives. These girls are sleeping in a dormitory when armed assailants burst into their rooms, kidnapping them in trucks and in vans and vehicles and taking them into the forest that borders Cameroon. This is a thick, basically a rainforest, one of the largest rainforests in west Africa. That is supposedly where the Boko Haram militants have taken these girls.
It's just an astounding thing. And you can only imagine the ups and downs that the parents are going through first hearing that their children are coming home and then finding out afterwards that it was all a big mistake. It's something that we can't imagine, 100 girls, 129 by some reports, missing. And we still to this -- at this moment have no idea as to the conditions of these girls.
President Goodluck Jonathan, I have to say President Goodluck Jonathan has directed his military and his intelligence agencies to root out these abductors and the military also said that they are involved in a frantic search and rescue operation to find these girls and to bring them home.
But for now, the search goes on, Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: Vladimir Duthiers, thank you very much. I cannot even imagine what those parents are going through.
You're watching News Stream. Coming up next on our show, a planet that bears a close resemblance to Earth. We'll tell you about NASA's latest discovery.
VASSILEVA: We have found thousands of planets orbiting hundreds of other star systems, but none of them have been quite like our own until now. This planet is thought to be only a little bit bigger than Earth. It orbits a star almost 500 light years from Earth. But it's not just the planet's size that matters, this green ring is known as the Goldilocks zone -- not too hot, not too cold. It's thought to be just the right spot for liquid water to form on a planet's surface. And that's exactly where this new planet is.
The planet is called Kepler-186f. For more on this, I'm joined from New York by Dave Brody. He's science and technology writer for Space.com.
Dave, this is so exciting, the most Earth-like planet ever found until now? Tell us about it.
DAVE BRODY, SPACE.COM: That's right, Ralitsa. Most Earth-like yet, but we don't know that it is Earth-like, we only know that it is Earth-size and that it's in an orbit which makes it possible that water could be liquid on its surface, as you mentioned in the open. So this is very exciting, because we don't know very much about -- in science, if you only have an example of one thing you basically know nothing. So we don't have another Earth to look at and say why is it different, how is it the same as the world which we inhabit.
VASSILEVA: And so do we know if there's life on it? Can we tell?
BRODY: We cannot tell yet if there is life there, because our telescopes are not quite good enough. Towards the end of this decade, a NASA and European space agency will launch the James Webb space telescope. That won't be able to image this planet, but it will be able to get direct imaging of planets around some of the closer stars to us.
And basically what you want to look for in a planet is you look at its atmosphere. You won't be able to look down and see cities or growing things on the surface, but you look at the atmosphere and if the atmosphere has oxygen, if it has ozone, if it has methane, those are called bio markers and those are indicative that there could very well be life there, because as far as we know that's the only way that a planet can make those substances in abundance in its atmosphere as if there's life there.
VASSILEVA: And as you were speaking, we're showing the M dwarf, which is like the sun to us on Earth that this planet is orbiting. Tell us a little bit more about its behavior, what we know about it.
Well, you mention it's an M dwarf, that's also known as a red dwarf. So the color temperature it's very, very red. If we were standing on the surface of Keplar 186-f at noon, local noon, it would look to our eyes like we were in sunset conditions, the light about an hour before sunrise or sunset. But actually if there's anybody living there, their eyes probably would have evolved to take advantage of the full spectrum of available light there. So if there are creatures living there, they see different colors than we do. But once again, we don't know that there's anybody there.
But the really exciting thing, is that it is a star that is not at all sunlike. So it's quite possible that there are literally billions of Earth-like planets in our own galaxy, which means that perhaps millions or hundreds of thousands of them are very, very close to being Earth.
So once again science is teaching us that we're not particularly special in the cosmos, but we are important.
VASSILEVA: Come on, we are special. We think we're special.
Well, that's really exciting, which means we -- do you really believe definitely that we're not alone?
BRODY: Well, it doesn't matter what I believe, it matters what the evidence indicates. And this is another piece of evidence that another world is in a place where it's possible that life could develop. And we're only at the very, very beginning of this process. The telescope that discovered it is called the Kepler space mission stared persistently at a group of about 150,000 stars and has found maybe 3,800, 3,900 candidate planets. Of those, 1,800 have been confirmed. And of those 20 or so are planets that are operating in the habitable zone. So, you know, you do the math and you extrapolate that out to the full sky and you get to that billions of Earth-like worlds potentially.
VASSILEVA: Dave, this potential Earth-like planet is 490 light years away. What does it mean? Would the present technology, how long will it take us to get there?
BRODY: I don't think we're ever going there. The fastest and furthest things that humanity has ever produced are probably the Voyager spacecraft. One of them is just now reaching the outer edges of the solar system, penetrating into interstellar space. It's moving at about 17 kilometers per second, which is really fast.
I did a calculation on the ride coming in this morning and it looks to me, if I got these numbers right, that it would take that spacecraft about 12 million years to get to Kepler 186f, but it's not going in that direction.
So, you know, we're not going there any time soon.
I think what we will do is we will inhabit worlds within our own solar system. And we'll build a few worlds within our own solar system long before we're able to star hop from star to star to star.
We might talk to them at the speed of light. But think of it, a conversation with an intelligence creature living that far out would take 490 years just to say hello and a millennium to hear back.
So, probably not practical to talk if the speed of light really is the limit. And so far with the physics that we understand that's pretty much what we think.
VASSILEVA: Well, maybe they're more advanced than us. We will see.
Dave Brody, science and technology writer Space.com. Thank you.
BRODY: Thank you, Ralitsa.
VASSILEVA: Well, Bill and Hillary Clinton have both held very important titles throughout their careers. And in just a few months they will add new ones -- grandfather and grandmother. Brianna Keilar has more on that.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chelsea Clinton dropping a bombshell at a Clinton Foundation event in New York.
CHELSEA CLINTON, CLINTON FOUNDATION: Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year. KEILAR: And so are Chelsea's parents. "My most exciting title yet, grandmother-to-be," tweeted Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton said "Excited to add a new line to my Twitter bio, grandfather-to-be." But perhaps they should have said it's about time. After all they've been dropping hints for years now, just months after Chelsea and Marc Mezvinsky's 2010 wedding.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'd like to be a grandfather. I have nothing to do with that achievement but I would like --
KEILAR: This in January.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I really can't wait, to be honest.
KEILAR: And just last month...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you and the president will have another child, any more children?
H. CLINTON: No, but I wouldn't mind -- I wouldn't mind one of those grandchildren that I hear so much about.
KEILAR: As Chelsea gets ready for motherhood, political circles are buzzing about how this might affect a potential Hillary Clinton run for president in 2016.
In September, CBS News' Charlie Rose asked the former president this.
CHARLIE ROSE, CBS ANCHOR: Do you think she'd rather be today, if she can do both, president or grandmother?
B. CLINTON: If you ask her, I think she'd say grandmother.
KEILAR: But many close to Hillary Clinton says it's not an either/or. And that having a grandchild just might make a legacy as the first female president that much more alluring.
H. CLINTON: One day I hope to take my grandchildren to visit Israel to see this country that I care so much about.
KEILAR: A trip that would be even more special if she's in the White House. But first things first -- planning for baby's arrival this fall.
C. CLINTON: I just hope that I will be as good a mom to my child and hopefully children as my mom was to me.
KEILAR: Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.
VASSILEVA: Coming up next on News Stream, the world has lost a literary genius. We'll take a look back at the remarkable work and life of author Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
VASSILEVA: Colombia's president has declared three days of national mourning following the death of a literary giant Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He was 87 years old. The Novel prize winner is best known for his novels 100 Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera.
Rafael Romo has more on the life and work of the acclaimed author.
RAFAEL ROMO, SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR OF CNN WORLDWIDE: By the time Gabriel Garcia Marquez won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, he was already an internationally-acclaimed writer. The Colombian author's works had already been published in multiple languages. Garcia Marquez, affectionately known as Gabo, would later tell adoring audiences that he always wanted to be a writer.
GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ, WRITER (through translator): I knew that I was going to be a writer. I wanted to be a writer. I had the will, the disposition, the energy, the ability to be a writer. I was always writing. I never thought about being something else. But I never knew that I could make a living with it.
ROMO: His novel, "One Hundred Years of Solitude" which was published in 1967, made him a literary star. It sold more than 30 million copies throughout the world during the writer's lifetime. He put a spotlight on the Latin American genre known as magical realism in which reality and fiction class, making it difficult for the reader to tell where one ends and the other begins.
Garcia Marquez's association was highly valued by world leaders from Yasser Arafat to Mikhail Gorbachev whom Gabo met during the latter years of the Cold War. He had a special bond with Cuba's Fidel Castro and the Cuban people, often visiting the island and appearing in public with this Communist leader. Also a screenwriter in 1986, he founded an international film school in Cuba with Castro's full support.
MARQUEZ (through translator): It happened that with film I realized that making a movie was infinitely more difficult that I thought.
ROMO: He continued to write and lecture in Mexico where he lived for more than three decades.
MARQUEZ (through translator): You shouldn't expect anything from the 21st century -
ROMO: ...he once told a group of young admirers. It is the 21st century which is expecting it all from you. With his health failing, he slowed down during the mid-2000s but still attended events like the International Book Fair in Guadalajara in 2008. On March 6, 2014, Garcia Marquez walked out of his house to briefly meet with fans wishing him a happy 87th birthday. He was all smiles and seemed in good spirits but made no comments.
Garcia Marquez's legacy is perhaps best captured by the Nobel Prize Committee, writing about the author in 1982 a text that talks about the writer as a creator and one of the most-accomplished storytellers ever. With his stories, Gabriel Garcia Marquez has created a world of his own which is a microcosm as the committee said. In its tumultuous, bewildering yet graphically convincing authenticity, it reflects a continent in its human riches in poverty.
Rafael Romo, CNN Atlanta.
VASSILEVA: Gabriel Garcia Marquez's tales of love and longing managed to transcend language, culture and even politics. As Rafael Romo just noted, he was a friend of Cuban Communist leader Fidel Castro and you also see him pictured here with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Garcia Marquez was also a longtime friend of former U.S. President Bill Clinton. And he was also greatly admired by Barack Obama. Mr. Obama said, quote, "the world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers." And Bill Clinton says he admired Garcia Marquez for his ability to, quote, "capture the pain and joy of our common humanity in settings both real and magical."
That, indeed, will be the author's lasting legacy. He will be missed.
And that is News Stream for now. But the news continues here on CNN. I'm Ralitsa Vassileva. Thank you for joining me. World Business Today is coming up next.