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CONNECT THE WORLD

Three Bodies, Debris Found from AirAsia Flight 8501; Background of AirAsia Captain; Two Seamen Killed While Towing Ferry; Rally for Putin Critic Convicted of Fraud; Dow Drops as Oil Prices Hit Five-Year Low; Nurse Diagnosed With Ebola Now in London; Bodies, Debris Found from Lost AirAsia Flight; Moscow Rally Protests Navalny Verdict

Aired December 30, 2014 - 11:37   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(SIMULCAST CNN USA)

JIM CLANCY, HOST: All right, our thanks to Michaela Pereira and the team at CNN USA for their continuing coverage of this tragedy on Flight

8501.

As you've heard, debris from the lost AirAsia flight was spotted about ten kilometers from the aircraft's last known location over the Java Sea.

The head of the search effort says three bodies have also now been recovered. There were, of course, a total of 162 passengers and crew on

board that plane.

As we look for answers in the coming hours and days about what went so terribly wrong on this Flight 8501, we want to focus now on the human side

of all of this.

Now, you heard the comments a few moments ago from the wife of the missing pilot. She said her husband was a good man. He's needed as her

husband and as a father. Well now, Joe Johns has more on the man who was at the helm of that AirAsia plane.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As is common in Indonesia, he is known by only one name: Iriyanto. Pictures on

Facebook more than confirm at least one of his known hobbies. Iriyanto was a fan of motorcycles. Reports suggest he's even a member of a motorcycle

club.

His daughter posted a picture of him on social media with this message, saying, "Dad, please come home. I still need you." The family

had recently suffered a loss. The captain's younger brother died of Diabetes just days ago. Captain Iriyanto's father told the BBC, "I want my

son to come back alive."

Captain Iriyanto was a veteran of the skies, with more than 20,000 flying hours, of which 6100 hours were with AirAsia on the Airbus 320. By

comparison, slightly more flying time than pilot Chesley Sullenberger, who executed an emergency water landing of a US Air jet in New York with 155

passengers and crew on board. All survived.

The captain of the AirAsia plane likely had about the same skill set, based on his experience, according to commercial pilot and author Les

Abend.

LES ABEND, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Captain Sullenberger would say he would have been just as competent to perform the Miracle on the Hudson.

JOHNS: What we don't know is what happened in the cockpit before the plane went off radar. The potential clues include the presence of bad

weather in the area and a request to increase altitude radioed to air traffic control, which was denied because of additional air traffic close

by.

What the captain may have done with that information is still an open question. For example, whether the pilot may have tried to disregard the

controller's guidance.

ABEND: What disturbs me is that did he begin a climb without a clearance from air traffic control? That might be indicative of an

emergency problem developing.

JOHNS: There was also no known communication before it went off radar, not necessarily a radio malfunction.

ABEND: We're trained very, very early on to aviate, navigate, and communicate being the last thing, because communicating in this particular

circumstance if indeed a contributing factor was the weather, the last people that would be able to help you is air traffic control.

JOHNS (on camera): The first officer on the plane, Remi Emmanuel Plesel, is from France, according to the French Foreign Ministry, which

notified his family about the missing plane. Plesel had 2300 hours flying with AirAsia.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CLANCY: You are with CONNECT THE WORLD, and when we come back, some of the other stories that we're tracking for you today. We're going to

tell you about the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United Kingdom. A nurse who worked in West Africa now getting treatment. We're live in

London with the latest on her case.

And Russian media reporting a well-known critic of the Kremlin detained after breaking his house arrest to join a protest. We're going to

have the latest on that in just a moment as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CLANCY: This is CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN. I'm Jim Clancy, welcome back, everyone. I want to very quickly bring you up to date on the story

that we're following so closely here on CNN. That is the crash of AirAsia Flight 8501.

Authorities have confirmed that debris found off the Indonesian coast is from the jetliner that disappeared early Sunday. In fact, three bodies

have now been recovered.

The flight was on its way from -- to Singapore, I should say, from Indonesia Sunday with about 162 people on board. Grief-stricken family

members remain gathered at the airport in Surabaya. That is where the plane initially took off.

The other top stories that we're following this hour: two Albanian seamen were reported killed Tuesday. They were on a vessel towing that

ferry that had caught fire in the Adriatic Sea. The Italian navy says a cable connecting the men's tugboat to the ferry snapped.

The ferry caught fire, of course, Sunday while it was making a trip from Greece to Italy. At least ten people on board have already lost their

lives. That's not including those two Albanian seamen. More than 400, though, were saved.

Russian media reporting opposition activist Alexei Navalny has been detained in a Moscow protest. He had broken his house arrest to join

supporters protesting his conviction on fraud charges. The anti-corruption activist was given a 3.5-year suspended sentence for embezzlement. His

brother was sentenced to serve the same length of time in prison.

You're looking at live pictures, here, of their supporters. Both men, of course, deny the charges. Alexei's sentence of 3.5 years was a

suspended one, but his brother was ordered to serve that prison time.

All right, very quickly now, let's take a look at the big board. Take a look here: the Dow is down about 56 points right now, or a third of a

percent. Oil prices hitting lows not seen in five years. Brent Crude fell to less than $57 a barrel. The falling price of crude oil raised investor

concerns about an oversupply amid weak global demand.

Now, a woman who has become the first person diagnosed with Ebola in Britain has now been moved to a hospital in London. She's a volunteer

nurse, and she had just returned to Scotland from Sierra Leone, one of the African countries hardest-hit by the Ebola crisis.

She tested positive Monday after reporting feeling symptoms. She was then transferred from Scotland to a special treatment clinic in London.

That happened a little bit earlier today. Two other people in Britain are being tested for Ebola, one in Scotland and another in southwest England.

I want to go to CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson. He joins us now from outside London's Royal Free Hospital, where the nurse

with Ebola is now being treated. Any update on her condition and more on this case?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No update from the hospital here so far, Jim. She's in the high secure intensity

unit here for treatment. This is a unit that was set up in 2006 to treat people with Ebola, with other types of very infectious diseases. They

successfully treated a patient here with Ebola several months ago.

The best, or if you will, the most recent information we have on this nurse's condition came form the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, a

little earlier. She said given the circumstances, she is as well as can be expected.

British media say the nurse is Pauline Cafferkey. She's from Blantyre just outside of Glasgow. She's been a nurse in a health center there for

quite a few years. She volunteered to work with Save the Children in Sierra Leone.

She'd flown out of there over the weekend, taking a late evening flight from London to Glasgow on Sunday evening, Monday morning, yesterday

morning waking up feeling unwell, going to a hospital.

But of course, that has left authorities with the task of tracking down all the people on board the aircrafts that she traveled on from Sierra

Leone, Freetown there, to Casablanca in Morocco. Casablanca on to Heathrow, and Heathrow on to Glasgow.

Now, that Heathrow-Glasgow flight had 70 passengers, and what we've heard from Scottish officials now is they say they've contacted so far 63

of them to let them know that they were on a flight with somebody who had - - who has the Ebola virus.

But for her condition right now, doctors at this hospital have expertise dealing with Ebola and not saying how she's doing, Jim.

CLANCY: Nic, we also hear this report that one person in England and one person there in Scotland are being tested, I believe, for Ebola, or

being looked at more closely for Ebola. Are these people who came in close contact with her after she returned?

ROBERTSON: Jim, the details really aren't clear. There are a few things that we do know. Somebody being treated in hospital in Cornwall

right in the southwest of Britain, and then somebody in the northeast of Scotland now in a hospital in Aberdeen being tested also for Ebola-like

symptoms. It may be 24 hours before we get those results.

So, they're quite a large geographic diversity of area there, but what we understand is that Pauline Cafferkey, as she's been identified by the

British media, traveled back or is believed to have traveled back from Sierra Leone perhaps with another group of heath workers who'd been there

working on Ebola.

Now, are these other people, were they on that flight coming back? One of them we know -- the one in the northeast of Scotland -- had been in

Sierra Leone, but according to authorities, had not been in direct contact with people who had Ebola.

So, it's possible the reason we're seeing this little spike of people who have potential symptoms of Ebola is that perhaps they all came back on

that same flight or have just returned towards the end of the year here, Jim.

CLANCY: Senior international correspondent Nic Robertson. Nic, it's always great having you to help us sort out here what's really going on.

Still a lot of questions here. If we get an update on her condition, let us know. Nic Robertson, thanks.

Well, live from CNN Center, you are tuned to CONNECT THE WORLD. And coming up in our report, the Russian government accused of reviving a

Soviet practice of targeting dissidents' families. We're going to talk to the organizer of a rally in support of opposition activist Alexei Navalny

and his brother, both convicted of fraud this Tuesday.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CLANCY: You're with CONNECT THE WORLD right here on CNN. I'm Jim Clancy, welcome back everyone. I want to return now to our top story, that

is the AirAsia flight 8501 tragedy. Three bodies have now been recovered from the Java Sea. That's what we're being told right now.

Debris has also been spotted about ten kilometers away from the aircraft's last location off the coast of Indonesia. Indonesian hospitals

are preparing to receive and identify the remains. AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes addressing victims, relatives, and reporters in a news conference

just a little bit earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY FERNANDES, CEO, AIRASIA: The only slight benefit is that for the people in there, there is some closure. This is a scar with me for the

rest of my life. It doesn't change anything. And a very little percent there is at least some closure as opposed to not knowing what's happened

and holding out hope.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: To Moscow where supporters of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny are gathering in the central part of the city. You see some

pictures of that there, they're live. Organizers report several thousand people are expected to protest Navalny's conviction on embezzlement

charges.

A Moscow court gave him a suspended sentence of 3.5 years, but his brother, Oleg, was jailed for the same offense after a trail that their

supporters said was all politics. Navalny led protests against President Vladimir Putin three years ago. Outside the courtroom, he called on people

to turn out in force again this Tuesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEXEI NAVALNY, RUSSIAN OPPOSITION ACTIVIST (through translator): This power does not deserve to exist. It should be destroyed. I'm calling

today on everybody to take to the streets. I'm calling to take to the streets until the power which tortures innocent people is removed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: Now, CNN's Matthew Chance is in that rally, attending it, in support of the Navalny brothers to tell us what's going on there. Matthew,

what is the scene now? It looks like there's a lot more protesters.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Yes, well, certainly, Jim, over the course of the past half an

hour or so, a lot more people had gathered and tried to move their way towards Manege Square, which is in the center of the Russian capital.

But that square had been effectively sealed off by large numbers of police that had been deployed there. Not just the square as well, the

roads leading to it. And so, I'm standing on one of those main roads now where many people have been turned back by riot police dressed in helmets

and wielding batons, refusing to allow people to head towards Manege Square.

It's difficult to get a figure on the exact number of people that have turned back. The pavements they've been corralled onto are pretty narrow,

so it's pretty hard.

But the Facebook page that was promoting this event this evening had 16,000 people or more saying that they would turn up. And so clearly a

good number of people in Moscow sympathetic to the cause of Alexei Navalny and angry that he'd been sentenced to 3.5 years, admittedly a suspended

sentence.

And his brother has actually been sent to prison, Alexei Navalny saying that is punishing his family for his political activities. And so

again, a good sense -- a great sense of anger amongst many people in Moscow this evening, Jim.

CLANCY: Just very briefly, can you tell us, is he a major thorn in the side of the Kremlin?

CHANCE: Yes. I think he certainly is. The opposition in this country, such as it is, is very fragmented. It is not very effective. But

Alexei Navalny has emerged over the past several years as the preeminent opposition figure in the country. He stood for mayoral elections to be the

mayor of Moscow a couple of years ago and got 27 percent of the vote, coming second to the Kremlin appointee.

CLANCY: All right.

CHANCE: So, he is pretty popular. The question is, does his popularity extend beyond the urban areas of Moscow and other cities in the

country? And that's not clear.

CLANCY: CNN's Matthew Chance reporting from Moscow. Thank you, Matthew.

That is our report for now. I'm Jim Clancy for CONNECT THE WORLD. Glad you could join us. We're going to have much more on the AirAsia

disaster coming up straight ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END