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President Obama Visits South Korea; North Korea Threatens Nuclear Test; Highlighting Royal Family Trip To Australia, New Zealand; New FCC Rules Threaten Net Neutrality Principle; Death Toll Climbs to 181 in South Korean Ferry Accident; Catholic Church Embracing New Media
Aired April 25, 2014 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.
Now smiles for the cameras, but the U.S. and South Korea weigh very serious concerns as President Obama visits Seoul.
Ukraine's prime minister accuses Russia of trying to start World War III. But Moscow (inaudible) of its actions already.
And threatening internet equality. We'll explain why you should care about net neutrality.
President Barack Obama says U.S. stands shoulder to shoulder with South Korea in the face of what he called North Korea's provocations.
Now the U.S. president is in Seoul as tensions ramp up with the north. And as South Korea mourns lives lost in its ferry tragedy.
Mr. Obama held a news conference with the South Korean President Park Geun-hye just a couple of hours ago. And they spoke as South Korea warned Pyongyang appears to be preparing for a fourth nuclear test.
Now CNN's White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski is in Seoul. She joins me now live. And Michelle, with these fears rising about another nuclear test, how exactly did Mr. Obama address the issue of North Korea?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, he used strong words, and actually so did the South Korean president. I mean what we've been hearing from South Korean officials even before this trip is that this test could come at any time. So you can see how provocative that would be if it happened while President Obama was here. I mean, they said as it's been happening in the past.
First, the South Korean government gets one warning, then another warning from North Korea. And then they launch the missile as part of the test. So they said that they've gotten two warnings already, but there's been sort of a longer delay than they expected in actually seeing the missile launch. So really they feel that this could come at any time.
And President Obama talked about the U.S. and South Korea standing shoulder to shoulder against threats and provocation from North Korea. He talked about the strong world response to North Korea's nuclear program and the problems that that has caused.
And then he added something, and it was right after he was talking about expanded sanctions on Russia, because of the Ukrainian situation, he seemed to be saying the same thing might happen as regards North Korea. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In light of what we expect to be further provocative actions from the North Koreans, whether in the form of long range missile tests or nuclear tests or both, that it's important for us to look at additional ways to apply pressure on North Korea, further sanctions that have even more bite as well as highlighting some of the human rights violations that make North Korea probably the worst human rights violator in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: And of course North Korea is the biggest security concern for this region, but then again the problem in Ukraine has also dogged President Obama on this trip. He's constantly getting questions about that. And now we're hearing almost a sort of parallel language in describing the situation towards both of these countries, talking about sanction, applying further pressure, kind of the long-term isolation that both North Korea and Russia will face. The problem is, what good do these things do?
And those questions now have come up as well. The sanctions, the tough words, is that really going to change this situation in Ukraine, is it really going to cause North Korea to act? Oh, that's another story. It sort of -- you know, what the U.S. and allies can do now and for the long- term is really how the U.S. has been focused in dealing with these issues, really looking at the isolation that does result from sanctions and kind of the world stance toward these countries.
But in the short-term, does it change behavior? I think as we've seen, the answer would be no -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Now, Michelle, the U.S. President, he's also there in the wake of that terrible ferry disaster, how has the U.S. president been addressing that national tragedy?
KOSINSKI: He's actually addressed it several times, even before this trip. He was giving an address in the U.S. very recently. It was about a completely different topic, but he started it out by expressing condolences for the South Koreans and the families involved. And we know just in speaking to South Korean officials how much that meant to people here. They thought that that was touching and really significant.
And now since he's been on the ground here -- in fact, even in an interview that he gave with the South Korean newspaper, he repeatedly expressed condolences, even offering a moment of silence before the bilateral meeting with the South Korean president, Kristie.
LU STOUT: All right, Michelle Kosinski joining me live from Seoul, thank you.
Now the next country on Mr. Obama's Asia tour is Malaysia. It is his third stop after Japan and South Korea. He'll arrive on Saturday.
And the visit comes as Malaysia continues to look for answers in the disappearance of flight 370. Now the plane vanished 49 days ago with 239 people on board. An underwater probe is almost finished scouring a designated search zone in the Indian Ocean for possible wreckage, but nothing has turned up so far. And investigators say they may now expand that search zone as they map out a long-term strategy.
Now Richard Quest sat down with the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in an exclusive interview about the missing plane. Richard joins me live from the capital Kuala Lumpur.
And Richard, first tell us -- unfortunately , Richard Quest, he's not available for us live at the moment, but let's go straight to -- he is available indeed.
Richard, could you tell me just how committed is Malaysia in finding this plane?
OK, unfortunately he's not available for us.
Let's go straight to this interview clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you believe that there is a long lasting damage to the reputation of this country as a result of what's happened?
NAJIB RAZAK, PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA: I think given time we can recover, Richard. And I believe the world will look at us and judge us in the sense that it was a hugely complex matter to deal with. And I think on balance we did a lot of good things and as to one of the biggest things that we did was to put together 26 nations in the largest ever search operation conducted during peace time. That's a huge success for Malaysia.
Admittedly, we made some mistakes. There were shortcomings, but the world must realize that this is totally unprecedented.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: And that was the Malaysian Prime Minister speaking to Richard Quest earlier.
Now Virgin Australia Airlines reports that one of its planes was hijacked. The reports of that, that was completely incorrect. A spokesperson in fact told CNN that it was a disruptive passenger who was on board a flight earlier today from Bisbane to Bali.
Now Virgin Australia says Indonesian authorities were notified and the passenger was taken into custody. The plane landed safely in bali just a few hours ago.
Now the airlines says the safety of all 144 people on board was never in question.
You're watching News Stream. Coming up next, 185 confirmed dead, 117 still missing from the South Korean ferry disaster. And those are just the numbers, though. We bring you the faces and the names of some who died as well as the hopes and dreams they had before leaving this world all too soon.
Also ahead on the program, as violence flares in eastern Ukraine, Russian and U.S. leaders continue to make threats. Find out what is happening on the ground from our correspondent in eastern Ukraine.
Also, after more than a week of bilbies and stuffed wombats, British royals bid goodbye to Australia. We'll take a look at William, Katherine and of course little George had on the land Down Under. Stick around.
LU STOUT: All right. Welcome back.
Now earlier in the program, it's mentioned before the break Richard Quest, he got that opportunity to sit down with the Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak. It was an exclusive interview about the missing Malaysian Airlines flight. And Richard does indeed join me now live from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
Richard, it is now already day 49 of the search. Just how committed is Malaysian -- Malaysia and authorities there to tracking down and eventually finding this missing plane?
QUEST: I think they're extremely committed to it and everything they said points in that direction.
What the prime minister said that was particularly poignant this morning as Bluefin-21 now widens the search in Australia, the JACC is announcing that they are -- or will announce -- that the 10 mile radius is going to -- 10 kilometer radius, I beg your pardon, is going to extend, they're going to have to look further and further around the ping area.
Now that's going to take more assets. It's going to cost more money. Malaysia, of course, has to be consulted. It is the investigating state of registry. So I asked the prime minister. They're in it for the long haul and it's going to be expensive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Is Malaysia prepared to put whatever it costs for however long into finding this plane? And we're talking hundreds of millions of dollars over many years if need be. Can you give that commitment tonight?
RAZAK: We owe it to the families. We will search. We will spend as much as we can afford to find the missing plane.
QUEST: Can I ask you for a yes or a no on that question?
RAZAK: It will be a yes, but as I said it has to be on the basis of our affordability. But we owe it to the families to find answers that they are looking for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now Krsitie, you would expect politician to perhaps have a get out clause. And he has put one in there, on the basis of affordability, but nothing in the prime minister's demeanor, nothing that he said or the way he said it leads me to doubt in any way that Malaysia will do whatever it takes to find the plane.
LU STOUT: And also, Richard, deeply, deeply sensitive issue, the issue of declaring the plane lost. What did the prime minister say in regards to that?
QUEST: The prime minister basically said that although the evidence clearly points to the fact that the flight came to an end, crashed if you will, into the ocean and there aren't any survivors, he was not prepared, Kristie, to go that one stage further and declare it lost.
Declaring it lost allows relatives to claim compensation from the airline, but it would also be the final, if you like, statement that there is no coming back.
LU STOUT: All right. CNN's Richard Quest joining me live from Kuala Lumpur, thank you very much indeed for that.
And now let's turn to what has been a dramatic escalation of the crisis in Ukraine that has world leaders and markets on edge. Now Russia and the west are both raising the stakes and threatening punitive action as the violence intensifies in eastern Ukraine. Russia announced new military drills near its border after Ukrainian forces said that they killed five pro-Russian militants on Thursday.
Now Russia's military posturing drew strong words from the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who said that if it does not back down, it'll be making a, quote, "expensive mistake." U.S. officials say Russia could face additional sanctions as early as today.
Now that is likely to hurt Russia's economy, which has already taken a beating in the recent turmoil.
On Friday, the ratings agency Standard and Poor's downgraded Russia's credit rating to one notch above junk, citing investment risks amid the escalating crisis in Ukraine.
Now shortly afterwards, Russia's central bank hiked interest rates for a second month running to try to stem the economic impact of the crisis.
Now Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region has been the hotbed of violence this week. Now there have been standoffs in the town of Artemiusk and Mariupol. And reports of deaths in the city of Slovyansk and the surrounding area there.
Now violent clashes are raising fears Russia and Ukraine could be edging could be closer toward and all-out shooting war. Nick Paton Walsh reports on the tit-for-tat military maneuvering and the rapidly escalating situation.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tensions flaring in Ukraine as the region teeters on the brink of war. Bloody, fiery crashes erupting as the Ukrainian military moves to reclaim cities taken by pro-Russian militants, killing five of them, they say, and destroying three checkpoints around the eastern town of Slovyansk.
Russian President Vladimir Putin seizing on the Ukrainian military action as a direct threat to Russia warning of immediate consequences, saying, quote, "If the Kiev regime has started to use the army against the population inside the country, it's a very serious crime."
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation.
WALSH: Russia's response was swift, conducting new military drills for its 40,000 troops positioned along the Eastern Ukrainian border, moving tanks into place and testing jet fighters to overcome enemy missile defense. Running out of patience the Ukrainian president insists that Russia retreat and end what he calls its blackmail.
Ukraine remains a country divided with those in the east carrying a strong allegiance to Russia.
The war of words between the U.S. and Russia growing increasingly intense.
Secretary of State John Kerry accusing Russia of distraction, deception, and destabilization in the region.
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: If Russia continues in this direction, it will not just be a grave mistake. It will be an expensive mistake.
WALSH: New U.S. sanctions against Russia could come as early as today if Putin refuses to de-escalate the situation.
U.S. forces on the ground in Eastern Europe holding military exercise of their own to counter the threat from Russia. These paratroopers are the first of 600 soldiers deployed in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, all NATO allies, all nervous about where Russia could strike next.
LU STOUT: Now Ukraine's prime minister today accused Russia of trying to occupy his country. Nick Paton Walsh joins me live now from the turbulent Donestsk region in eastern Ukraine.
And Nick, Kiev really speaking out in the last couple of hours about the crisis as well as its military operation there in eastern Ukraine. What have you learned?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, on the ground it's been a volatile morning again. We're hearing from the Ukrainian government that they think they're going to launch the second phase of what they refer to as an anti-terror operation here. Focusing on that town of Slovyansk where much of the violence and the unrest has been concentrated by Russian militants and protesters in force there.
Now this second phase would involve encircling that town.
Now this has come also two explosions of note to report. One very far away from here troublingly in the west of Ukraine, Odessa, a large city there where apparently a police checkpoint was targeted by an explosive device. Nobody injured there.
But closer to where I'm standing in Krematorsk (ph), which is a town very close to Slovyansk, there's been a helicopter detonated there. It's not clear precisely how. The majority of reports suggest some foul play. Military officials say either a sniper's bullet or a grenade. A soldier on the ground told CNN that there may have been a technical fault. But it does appear also that Russian state media are claiming that the pro-Russian militants on the ground think they shot that helicopter down as well.
So, there's a lot of information suggesting that we're still seeing pockets of violence around this area here. And of course the question being now we saw the first phase of the anti-terror operation against Slovyansk moved to clear a checkpoint. The men pulled back.
Are we now going to see a more prolonged effort against that. Does that result in more casualties. And how does Russia army respond if that is the case -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: All right, Nick Paton Walsh joining me live from Donetsk. Many thanks indeed for that update.
Now we've learned that the International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has opened a preliminary investigation into alleged crimes committed in Ukraine while the ousted president Viktor Yanukovych was in power. This, according to the court on Friday.
Now the investigation will look at the period from November 21 to February 22, that was when street protests against the government of Viktor Yanukovych resulted in those bloody clashes with security forces.
Now, you might think of the internet as a free space, as so-called neutral territory with all users having equal access to content. But ahead right here on News Stream, we take a look at new proposed rules in the U.S. that critics say could pave the way for online companies to pay more for priority access.
LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.
Now to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, CNN is re-airing its landmark series Cold War every other Saturday. And this week's episode, it looks at the three defining years after the death of Stalin in 1953, that's when the Soviet Union and the west scrambled to define their military influence in Europe. Here's a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNETH BRANAGH, ACTOR: In September 1953, Konrad Adenauer was re- elected as West Germany's chancellor. Adenauer wanted his half of Germany to become a partner in NATO, the West's military alliance.
WILHELM GREWE, WEST GERMAN DIPLOMAT (through translator): We wanted a strong NATO as a defensive barrier against the Soviet Union. We also wanted to prevent any expansion of the Soviet Union into Western Europe. We could only achieve these aims if we had a West German army.
BRANAGH: With American backing, Adenauer persuaded Britain and France to let their former wartime enemy into NATO.
In 1955, West Germany was allowed to form an army. The Soviets quickly countered West Germany's admission into NATO by forming their own military alliance -- the Warsaw Pact. The pact formally bound the armies of the communist satellites to the Soviet high command.
The new treaty legitimized the presence of Soviet troops in Eastern Europe. Both East and West claimed their alliances were defensive. Both prepared for war.
But the Soviets wanted to reduce tension in Europe. Molotov, the Kremlin's hard-line foreign minister, was ordered to negotiate an Austrian peace treaty, and the withdrawal of Soviet troops.
ANATOLY DOBRYNIN, SOVIET FOREIGN MINISTRY (through translator): Only Molotov spoke against it. The others were more restrained. He said, Why should we withdraw? We're very comfortable there. That was his position.
But most of the Soviet leaders disagreed with him and thought we have to make a goodwill gesture and start talks in Europe.
LU STOUT: And tune in this Saturday for the next episode of CNN's landmark series Cold War. Saturday, 9:00 pm here in Hong Kong.
Now there are growing concerns North Korea may carry out a nuclear test despite stern warnings from both the U.S. and South Korea as U.S. President Barack Obama visits Seoul.
And as the number of dead in South Korea's ferry tragedy mount, we're learning more about the lives that were lost.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now the crisis in Ukraine sharply escalated this week. As violence flares in the east, Russia announced military drills near the border. Now U.S. President Barack Obama says targeted sanctions against Russia are ready to go if Moscow does not back down. This, as the International Criminal Court opens a preliminary investigation into alleged crimes in Ukraine under the ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.
U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute to the victims of South Korea's ferry disaster. He observed a moment of silence with South Korea's president in Seoul today and presented her with an American flag that was flying over the White House the day the Ferry sank.
Now Mr. Obama also said that Washington is prepared to deliver a firm response if North Korea carries out another nuclear test.
Divers continue to search the sunken Sewol ferry off South Korea's coast. 185 bodies have been recovered now, 117 people are still missing. Officials say the recovery process is very slow, because visibility is poor and floating debris in the boat is blocking their way.
North Korean analysts say these newly released commercial satellite images are evidence that the country may be preparing for another nuclear test. According to the blog 38North.org, these images of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site show, quote, additional activity probably related to preparations for a detonation.
Now Pyongyang warned weeks ago that it might carry out what it called a new phase of nuclear testing.
Now South Korean official warns that Pyongyang could carry out the test in the next 11 days.
Now CNN's Andrew Stevens joins me now live from Seoul with more. And Andrew, first, let's talk more about the evidence. What more can you tell us about the intelligence that shows North Korea is indeed preparing for another nuclear test?
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, those satellite images from 38 North, the website of John Hopkins University, Kristie, they're commercial satellite pictures. They are the South Koreans -- the assumption is that they have access to much more high resolution images from the Americans.
And they have been quite firm in their belief that they say the North Koreans are now technically capable of pressing the button, quite literally.
It is now, according to South Korea, a political decision which could -- which is the only step now that needs to be taken to set off a nuclear device.
Now what the South Koreans have been saying, and these are in background briefings, is that all the necessary steps have now been taken by the North Koreans. And the key step that they have noted, which they're saying they're reasonably sure of is that a tunnel in which the nuclear material is placed along with a detonator has now been sealed. Once that's been sealed, it is basically ready to go. It's at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which is in the fairly barren area of the northeastern part of the country.
So all ready tot go, according to the South Koreans.
We have been here before. The North Koreans have threatened these sorts of incidents in the past, but certainly South Korea is taking this very, very seriously.
There is a time line, we're told, Kristie, that once that tunnel is sealed, there is up to 14 days before that nuclear device has to be detonated.
We don't know exactly when it was sealed. We talked about those commercial pictures. They were taken on Wednesday. On the Tuesday, the day before the South Koreans said that they'd noticed increased activity, we don't know specifically whether that increased activity refers to the tunnel being sealed. But if it was, that would take us out to May 6, that's Tuesday week for a detonation to take place.
LU STOUT: So we have this evidence, this intelligence of increased activity, satellite imagery of these preparations taking place. But I've got to ask you about the timing. Why is this happening now? Why is North Korea making a show, of preparing for a nuclear test, just as the U.S. President is in the area?
STEVENS: Well, I think that that's the answer right there, Kristie. The U.S. president is in the area.
North Korea has a long history of using events to show its displeasure. And what we've seen in South Korea in recent weeks has been joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea.
Now this traditionally brings a strong response from the north. They don't like what they see. They issue very, very colorful threats against these exercises taking place. In fact, the last exercise finished today. That involved military aircraft from both the South Korean and the U.S. air forces.
So it's an ideal time, many would say, in the eyes of the north to make its point very, very strongly.
Now they do use these sorts of threats as a way of trying to negotiate, to get more -- some sort of aid -- something that is in their interest to get. And they use this as a way of leverage, if you like.
So with the U.S. President here, it does present them with an opportunity.
We've seen three nuclear tests in the past, starting in 2006. They've all been linked to certain events, which the North Koreans wanted to make a point about. So this would follow in those sort of footsteps.
LU STOUT: Now, before arriving there in Seoul, the U.S. President, he was in Tokyo. And there, Mr. Obama urged China to reign in North Korea. I mean, what is China's role here? Is China the best diplomatic hope to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions?
STEVENS: Well, you talk about diplomatic hope, but diplomacy has manifestly failed so far to reign in the nuclear program of the North Koreans. Both the nuclear devices, which they have been detonating, as I said for three times in the past, also missile technology. They've launched successfully long range missiles now.
So it has been a widespread failure on the diplomatic front, at least.
As you rightly point out, China is crucial to this. China provides most of the economic aid, particularly energy for North Korea. It is in a position to influence North Korea hugely. And the Chinese have said that, quote, "they don't want war and chaos on their border," referring to North Korea, of course. And they said that they want to see a dialogue continue.
But the dialogue, really, has come to a standstill and has been at a standstill now for several years, since 2009. And it was interesting listening to the South Korean president, President Park Geun-hye today saying quite clearly that diplomacy, if there is a detonation of a device in the next few days, it will signal that diplomacy has failed and has no further place to go. And she was saying that this doesn't become just a regional piece concern for northeastern Asia, it becomes a peace concern for the global situation. And in that case, the United Nations would have to step in with further sanctions.
Every time the north has detonated nuclear devices, the UN has responded with sanctions, the U.S. is responded with sanctions.
The U.S. President Barack Obama hinted again today that if there was a detonation there would be further sanctions in place.
But certainly at this stage, diplomacy does appear to have been dead in the water for quite a long time now with no real opportunity that we can see that it's about to be restarted.
LU STOUT: All right, Andrew Stevens reporting live from Seoul, South Korea. Thank you.
Now the tensions with North Korea are ratcheting up as the divers continue to hunt for the missing in South Korea's ferry disaster. South Korean officials say divers found the bodies of 48 girls in one cabin, indicating that they fled there when the ship began to tilt.
And investigators say that they have found safety faults in a sister ship of the sunken ferry including dozens of life rafts and emergency slides that failed to operate. They say it also had equipment for tying down cargo containers that didn't work very well.
Now South Korea's fisheries ministry wants lawmakers to ban ship modifications that would increase passenger capacity amid concerns that such modifications may have contributed to this disaster.
Now the divers are now trying to reach a cabin on the sunken ferry where they believe there may be more bodies. The bodies of as many as 50 young girls.
Learning more about the victims who have been found so far. Kyung Lah reports on some of the lives that were cut short.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are the victims of South Korea's worst ship disaster in decades. But to those waiting on land, they are lost children, teachers and parents. Billy Kim (ph), playfully hula hooping in a Dalmatian costume, grew up in Korea with an American boy's name. The mother says she loved goats when she was little. The unique name "Billy" stuck.
Some are only known by numbers as they arrive shrouded in white. Listed on a white board at the port until their parents name them.
Number 63, a student, with a flower shaped belly ring and Adidas sweat pants. Number 58, another student. This one, a boy. Skinny with pimples, braces, wearing a light green hoodie.
Connecting the young victims is Danwon High School. They were on a four-day field trip, a fun excursion, just before junior year exams for college. Park Ye Song (ph) was 16. She dreamed of being a television screen writer in the future. Lee Suk Jun (ph), age 15, focused more on the present. His dad was out of work. Lee waited tables to help pay his families bills.
Their teachers weren't much older than their students. Kim Cho Wang (ph) teaching her first year at Danwon High School, lost her life. She died on her birthday.
There are many stories of the Sewol ferry's crew abandoning passengers. But not so well known are the quiet stories of the crew's heroism. Forty-four-year-old Ya Dang Hon (ph) called his wife as the disaster unfolded. "The ship is tilting now," he said. "Use the money in the bank for the children's school fees." Before hanging up, he said, "I need to go rescue more kids." His wife never heard his voice again.
A nation's hopes fading. Prayers now comforting families of the lost.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Jindo, South Korea.
LU STOUT: Some people are still holding out hope that the missing will still be found alive. And these yellow ribbons, they symbolize that hope and they've sprung up in cities across South Korea.
Now the gates of the high school that many passengers attended are covered in the ribbons. They show solidarity with the dead and the missing students' families.
Now search crews there in South Korea, they are working around the clock, but will the weather cooperate and work in their favor? Let's find out with Mari Ramos. She joins me from the World Weather Center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know the last few days the weather has been virtually perfect for this search and rescue, at least above the water line, right. Still underwater it's very, very dark and very difficult. The seas have been relatively calm. High pressure has been in place. And the skies have remained clear. I want to show you this picture, which -- what you're seeing is, is flares that are in the water.
So at night when they have to work, they use these flares to try to see, to illuminate the water so that the workers can do their job, those crews can do their job even after the sun has gone down. Really, kind of eerie images here again, because they do work by day and by night. And you can see those thousands of flares in the water there at the site where this -- the Sewol went down, Kristie.
But you can also see that the seas are calm and that the skies are clear. And that is what brings me to this next image.
We can see already the cloud cover starting to move in. I think by the time we get into daylight hours -- again in this part of the world we're going to have a much different day.
Cloud cover, rain, drizzle and even the winds will be picking up across this region. That's definitely something to monitor.
And you can see it kind of moving in and even as we head into Sunday morning, we're still going to be dealing with some -- the bulk of the rain still to the west of South Korea and still getting ready to move in.
So I think Saturday will be light rain and drizzle and Sunday will be where we have the more persistent rain.
And unfortunately, this is going to last even as we head into Monday. So clouds on the increase on Saturday. The temperature still holding steady around 17. And then it's by Sunday where we see that temperature start to drop and then the rain becomes more of 100 percent. And then by Monday, we begin to see the rain kind of taper off. And Tuesday should be looking better.
So that rain will not only be affecting the Korean peninsula here, but notice how the front stretches all the way back over toward mainland China. We even have the potential for some rain overnight tonight already beginning for you in Beijing, for example, with the tail end of this front. This is the one that had all of that dust that I showed you yesterday? You can see farther to the north, that's where most of the dust is now. So I don't think we'll have a dust problem across this -- northeastern corner of China, the Korean peninsula or Japan so a little bit of good news there.
So visibility still -- OK, 27 -- excuse me, 7 kilometers in Beijing with 25 kilometer per hour winds.
Very quickly, Kristie, a story that developed overnight across Afghanistan and Pakistan -- very heavy rain affecting the region.
This is Thursday around 10:00 am local time. That's when they had their first round of very heavy rain move through. By Friday, they had another round of very heavy rain. More than 100 people had been killed in that northeastern area of Pakistan that we've highlighted here for you. Fortunately no more rain is in the forecast. But by our satellite estimate, it looks like they had some significant rainfall across this region. 50 to 75 millimeters of rain is a lot for this part of the world. Back to you.
LU STOUT: All right, Mari Ramos there, thank you very much for that update.
You're watching News Stream. And coming up next, if you can't catch the canonization of these two popes in person, well there's another way to follow their transition to sainthood. We'll tell you how the Vatican is modernizing this ancient ritual.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now on Thursday, we told you about how U.S. regulators plan to propose new rules that critics say would violate net neutrality. Now the Federal Communications Commission will vote on creating a so-called fast lane. It would allow internet service providers to give their customers priority access by striking deals with big companies that rely on the web for the most if not all of their business.
Now companies like Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, for example.
Now critics are upset that one of the internet's basic principles that all sites should be treated equally may soon disappear.
Now the plan rules only cover broadband, not mobile internet use.
Now for more, let's bring in Vox.com managing editor Nilay Patel. He joins me live from Washington. Nilay, thank you so much for joining us. Good to see you again.
Now the FCC Chairman, he said this, he says that these proposed rules will keep internet traffic flow open to all, but what's the reality here?
NILAY PATEL, VOX.COM: The reality is that is a great goal and he's doing a good job of talking about that goal, but he lacks the authority to actually make it happen. And the new rules really reflect that lack of authority. The court ruled in the United States a few months ago that the FCC could not regulate internet providers the same way they regulate phone companies under what's called common carrier provisions. And that means the FCC can talk about the open internet and they can make some rules about the open internet, but they can't go all the way until they actually start regulating internet companies as utilities the same way they regulate phone companies in the United States.
Now what they are left with is the authority to, on a case by case basis go in and you know punish companies for doing things that don't promote the spread of broadband in America, which is a very wishy washy sort of broad power. And the way the FCC wants to use it is basically as a threat to say, well, we can't make a broad rule to prevent internet companies from blocking traffic or prioritizing access, making a fast lane, but if you do it, we might punish you individually. And so it's kind of like they're threatening everybody to fall in line, but they can't actually make a rule to keep them in line.
LU STOUT: You know, this is what strikes me and our viewers watching from all over the world. I mean, we all know the United States is the home of great technology, of amazing innovation. And yet we have these proposed rules that will threaten an open internet. And there is also -- I mean, the status quo there, pretty sub par broadband services there. I mean, what is it like to use the broadband there? I mean, the service, the speed and the cost? And also why is it that bad? What's going on here?
PATEL: You know, what you're seeing in the United States is unlike almost every other country in the world, save a few, the United States is enormous. And you're seeing broadband companies slice and dice the enormous land area of the United States into distinct markets so they can go in and profitably serve those markets. And that's not a bad impulse.
The problem is that that leads to no competition. So if you're, you know, 70-some percent of the United States broadband customers you only really have one choice and at most two. And that means that you're not seeing prices fall, you're not seeing service levels go up. It -- Comcast, which is headquartered in Philadelphia. Philadelphia customers say Comcast has terrible service. That is ridiculous. And that's because there's no competition there.
And that, I think, is really the heart of this issue. We wouldn't have to regulate a market if the market already had vibrant competition that held these companies in line. But because there is a lack of really great competition for broadband in America, you're seeing kind of bad outcomes happen all over the place and you're seeing the market not serve customers. And that's why some rules of the road are actually necessary.
The problem is that imposing those rules, particularly in the political climate of the United States right now, is extraordinarily difficult and carries an enormous political price. And that means the FCC is sort of tiptoeing into it and trying to thread the needle on the open internet instead of doing what the vast majority of people who care about the internet say needs to be done.
LU STOUT: Now, the net neutrality fight, it is not over yet. These new FCC rules, they've been proposed. They're getting circulated right now, eventually put to a vote on May 15. Are enough Americans up in arms about this? I mean, what will happen?
PATEL: So, I don't think the vast majority of Americans even know that this is going on. I think the last time a coordinated sort of political protest happened around the internet in the United States was around SOPA and PIPA, which were copyright laws that threatened to alter sort of the DNS structure of the internet.
I've been hearing a lot now that because the rules are there, because it's easy to sort of characterize what they mean, that companies like Netflix and Amazon and Apple will have to perhaps pay higher costs to get their data served faster and those costs will be passed on to consumers, because there is now a simple message in the rules themselves, there is a lot of discussion about how to make something like SOPA and PIPA protests happen.
I don't know if that's possible. You know, that was a big deal. It was an enormous moment. Google blacked out its homepage. Wikipedia blacked out its homepage.
Getting that sort of mass political consensus is not easy. But I think enough people are worried about the damage to the economy and the potential damage to small businesses with a lack of net neutrality in the United States, it's something very well could happen.
LU STOUT: Well, you know, the world is watching. I really hope that more Americans just wake up to the issue of net neutrality.
Nilay Patel of Vox.com. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us here on CNN International. Take care.
LU STOUT: Now, Catholics around the world, they are looking ahead to a historic weekend. Now the former popes John XXIII and John Paul II will officially be declared saints on Sunday.
Now it is the first time that two popes will be canonized on the same day, but thanks to the power of social media it's going to be an even bigger occasion. Jonathan Mann reports.
JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thousands of Catholics will crowd Saint Peters Square for Sunday's canonization ceremony, millions more around the world will see it on TV. And for the first time for such an event, the Vatican is reaching out online, making the event available through a dedicated website Twopopesaints.org. There's also a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, an Instagram account and a YouTube channel, all of them available in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Polish.
Church officials say they're making an unprecedented effort to reach out to a younger audience.
MSGR. WALTER INSERO, COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR, DIOCESE OF ROME (through translator): We believe that apart from the traditional media and the TV, we should also reach out to young people. And we need to reach out to them using the language that youth today use. Also seeing that these two pope saints were very youthful in their way of communication.
MANN: Helped by the popularity of the new pope, the Vatican has slowly expanded its social media presence with millions of new followers flocking to Pope Francis on Twitter and Facebook.
Tourists in Saint Peters Square say it's a move in the right direction.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's definitely a very positive thing for the church to be kind of interacting a lot better with modern communications.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And younger people, I think, will get more involved.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, younger people will get involved. Yeah, exactly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will miss the canonization, but we are very much looking forward to seeing it on the internet and on television, because it brings the Catholic church closer to everyone.
MANN: So even Catholics who can't be there in person will find the canonization is just a click away.
Jonathan Mann, CNN.
LU STOUT: Now CNN will have live coverage of the canonization ceremony. It starts Sunday, 3:30 pm in Hong Kong, 4:30 Tokyo time right here on CNN.
Now still ahead right here on News Stream, the British royals wrap up their tour Down Under. And we look back at their most memorable moments.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have left Australia with Baby George in tow. Now Max Foster looks back at the royal tour and how it brushed off the image of the British monarchy.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he can't even walk yet, but these are Prince George's first tentative steps into a lifetime of public duties.
Well, it seems like such a long time ago now, but when they arrived in Wellington on that horrible wet, windy day, it was a great start to the tour simply because you have the duchess walking down those slippery steps in her heels carrying this huge baby in her arm and trying to stop the wind from blowing her skirt up. It was quite an amazing performance, and everyone was very excited, of course, to see Prince George, because in many ways this was the Prince George tour.
And it was quite a slow start to the tour, but when we had that play date known as the royal crawl about now at Government House in Wellington, that really ramped things up, because this was the first of lifetime of public engagements for Prince George.
We did one that -- what moments would come out of the tour, but we had this sporting rivalry that comes up every so often, the duke versus the duchess, the sailing for example.
Well, it was 2-0 to the duchess. He won't be very pleased with that, but everyone else was. It felt like the whole of Aukland had come out.
They were good picture moments, not much more to them, but an interesting part of the tour.
When they arrived in Australia, another sort of great moment as the duchess came out in that yellow outfit, which got everyone talking.
Well, I guess this is what you call rock star royalty.
Then you had the big crowds, which were the first test, really, the popularity in Australia. Kate has never been to Australian before. And I wonder if they were trying to place her in the country where she will be queen. So you had her at the Blue Mountains. You had her at Taroinga Zoo with a kuala bear. And of course at Oolaroo.
This is a chance not just to take in this extraordinary scenery, but also a chance to reflect and to spend time together.
They were quite important moments. And some people might see them as cliche, but actually there's a very strong message there.
Prince William hasn't been the star of the show by any measure. It's in large being about his wife and his son.
There's been an interesting development, I think, some creeping formality to his appearances. So, for example, on anzak (ph) day in Canberra, I thought that was a very kingly moment. This is a future head of state maturing. And I think that's just because there's another generation coming on behind him, Prince George, and he's gradually moving towards the throne.
So the royals close the door on this triumphant tour of Australia and New Zealand. They may not have killed off the debate about republicanism, but they've certainly put it on the back burner.
Max Foster, CNN, Canberra.
LU STOUT: And that is News Stream. World Business Today is next.