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Security Strategy in Iraq; President Bush's Trip to Latin America; Harrowing Escape From a Burning Plane

Aired March 08, 2007 - 12:00   ET


CROWD: Yankees, get out! Yankees, get out!


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Protests ahead of a five-day trip to Latin America by U.S. president George W. Bush. One of his aims, counter the region's swing to the left.


GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS, COMMANDER, U.S. FORCES IN IRAQ: The student of history recognizes that there is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq.


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Frank talk by the new U.S. commander in Iraq. In his first words to reporters since taking charge, he says military action not the only answer.

CLANCY: Tales from the edge of life and death. More than a hundred escape a burning plane. Now they tell their stories.

GORANI: And a deadly apartment fire in New York City on one of the coldest nights of the year. Women throwing children from windows to try to save their lives.

CLANCY: It is 8:00 p.m. right now in Baghdad, Iraq, 2:00 in the afternoon in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Hello and welcome to our report broadcast around the globe.

I'm Jim Clancy.

GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani.

From Indonesia to New York, Somalia to Belfast, wherever you're watching, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.

Trekking on foot on a path already proven deadly for fellow pilgrims, Shia Muslims are streaming in to an Iraqi holy city for religious commemorations.

CLANCY: Meantime, a top U.S. commander calls those who attacked the pilgrims earlier this week "thugs with no soul" and promises to do more to protect all of the citizens of Iraq.

GORANI: Well, this is the scene in Karbala, where some one million pilgrims are gathering to end a mourning period for Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. Now, his death in battle helped cement the divide between Sunni and Shia Islam, and also, of course, disagreements on who should have inherented power within Islam.

CLANCY: But what is on the minds of many today, even as they celebrate, has been the attacks on the pilgrims, relentless attacks at every vulnerable point, despite increased security as they marched towards Karbala. More than 170 people in all have been killed.

Now, U.S. commander General David Petraeus says civilian safety is his top priority as troops are stepping up security in Baghdad and beyond in some areas. He says military action alone, though, not enough to end this violence.


PETRAEUS: Political resolution of various differences, of this legislation, of various senses that people do not have a stake in the success of the new Iraq and so forth, that is crucial. That is what will determine in the long run the success of this effort.


CLANCY: Now, General Petraeus spoke to reporters today for the first time since taking command in Iraq last month.

Let's bring in our own Michael Ware in the ground in Baghdad for a little bit more on this.

How is this message likely to be received? It's something that in all fairness they've heard before in Iraq.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, absolutely, Jim. I mean, there was nothing new, really, in anything the General Petraeus said, neither about U.S. strategy, nor about any sense of timetables or time frames for changes in U.S. troop levels.

I mean, there were some nuance that was insightful about the deployment of the surge of 21,500 troops that are coming in to help re-secure the capital, Baghdad. We now know that they're going to secure the Baghdad belt around it. But beyond some of those little details, there was nothing markedly different.

We've heard time and time again, there is no military solution to this war, America cannot win this on the battlefield.

CLANCY: All right. Back on Capitol Hill, another battle is being fought over the future of U.S. troops in Iraq. And Michael, I want you just to hear -- this comes from an Illinois Democrat, a lawmaker up on Capitol Hill today, Janice Schakowsky.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. JANICE SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Four and a half years ago, the president asked Congress to give war a chance. And despite our objections, he got that chance and he blew it.

No more chances, no more waivers, no phony certifications, no more spending billions of dollars to send our children into the meat grinder that is Iraq. It is time to spend the money to keep them safe and bring them home.


CLANCY: All right. Strong words there from that Democratic lawmaker. At the same time, the Democrats are pressing for a deadline, be it at the end of 2007 or 2008, to bring all U.S. troops home.

How is that going to affect General Petraeus, the Iraqi government and the Iraqis themselves?

WARE: Well, Jim, certainly in terms of the Iraqis and the war that's being fought in the streets and the deserts of this country, I mean, what's happening over there, what the Democrats are saying about timetables may as well be happening on the planet Pluto for all that it counts, to the bloodshed and the endless combat that we're seeing day in, day out. All that it does -- anyone setting time frames like that without real preconditions, anyone trying to put artificial deadlines upon this conflict, is only aiding the enemies, so-called, of America, al Qaeda and Iran. It allows them some leverage to know when to put the pressure on, to know that the clock is ticking and to know where the pressure points are.

So in terms of the battle, day to day here, General Petraeus isn't looking more forward than five or six months. He's trying to make this surge work. But in terms of the broader strategic framework, it serves only America's enemies -- Jim.

CLANCY: Michael Ware, calling it like it is, laying it on the line there from Baghdad, Iraq, tonight -- Hala.

GORANI: A former U.S. Navy sailor is behind bars, charged with helping plot terrorist attacks on American warships. He's 31 years old, named Hassan Abujihaad. And he was arrested at this Phoenix, Arizona, apartment complex.

He's accused of releasing classified information that ended up in the hands of a suspected terrorism financier. Investigators have traced the case from Connecticut and into Europe and the Middle East. His alleged contact is under arrest currently in London.

Now, authorities say Abujihaad exchanged e-mails with the suspected men while on active duty on this guided missile destroyer, discussing military briefings and praising those who attacked the USS Cole in Yemen back in 2000.

CLANCY: All right. Another fascinating story from the region. New information surfacing about a former Iranian deputy defense minister who went missing in Turkey last month. "The Washington Post" reporting Alireza Asghari was giving information to Western intelligence officials. Now, the paper, citing a senior U.S. officials, said Asghari had left his country and was willingly cooperating.

It reports the official giving information about Lebanon's Hezbollah, something that he knows a lot about, and he was talking about Iran's ties to that group. Iran has suggested he was kidnapped by Israeli or Western intelligence. "The Washington Post" reporting Asghari is not being questioned about Iran's nuclear program.

GORANI: Well, President Bush is on his way to Brazil this hour. It's the first stop on a five-nation trip to Latin America, improving relations, discussing democracy. Drugs, energy among the topics on his agenda.

Ed Henry is in Brazil, where there have already been some protests ahead of the president's arrival -- Ed.


You know, President Bush is aboard Air Force One right now on his way here to Sao Paulo. And what he will find is a busseling capital city, as you can see some of it behind me.

But I can tell you, on the way here from the airport, I saw makeshift shacks on the side of the road, people in abject poverty. And that gulf between rich and poor all throughout Latin America is really shading the beginning of this trip, the buildup to it.

A lot of anger, allegations the U.S. has not done enough to deal with that gulf between rich, and it's put Mr. Bush on the offensive.


HENRY (voice over): In the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush vowed to use his experience as Texas governor to make neighboring Latin America a top priority.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Should I become the president, I will look south not as an afterthought, but as a fundamental commitment to my presidency.

HENRY: Seven years later, that promise has become yet another casualty of the Iraq war. Now the president, looking for legacy items, is trying to make up for lost time with a seven-day swing through South and Central America.

BUSH: The fact is that tens of millions of our brothers and sisters to the south have seen little improvement in their daily lives. And this has led some to question the value of democracy.

HENRY: Fuel for the anti-American Venezuela strongman Hugo Chavez, whose education and health programs have won the hearts and minds of the impoverished in his nation as American development programs have lagged. Chavez has formed a close alliance with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and armed with massive oil revenue, wants to spread his brand of socialism.

The White House insists this is not an anti-Chavez tour, but the itinerary suggests otherwise, with stops in five democracies wringing Venezuela.

First, it's Brazil, where the president hopes to ink an ethanol deal to ease America's energy crisis, but also to weaken the influence of Chavez's oil reserves. In Uruguay, Mr. Bush wants to set up a free trade deal. Then on to Colombia to highlight the battle against narcoterrorists. More trade talk in Guatemala and Mexico, as well as the thorny issue of immigration reform.

The president's overriding message to those in poverty, the U.S. feels your pain.

BUSH: The trip really is to remind people that we care. I do worry about the fact that some say, well, the United States hasn't paid enough attention to us.

MICHAEL SHIFTER, V.P., INTER-AMERICAN DIALOGUE: Bush is in a very weak position. His political capital is depleted. There's a lot more mistrust in the region. And so he's got his work cut out for him.


HENRY: Now, the White House strategy is to try and not directly rebut Chavez. That only elevates him. That's what he wants. So the White House wants to try and avoid that, but it's going to be difficult, because while the president is in Uruguay this weekend, Chavez is going to be just across the river, planning a major demonstration -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Ed Henry, thanks very much.

And stay tuned. To our viewers all over the world, we're going to be discussing President Bush's trip to Latin America in more detail.

For now, Ed, thanks very much.

CLANCY: All right. Let's check some of the other news that we're following this day.



CLANCY: Hello, everyone, and welcome back to CNN International and YOUR WORLD TODAY.

GORANI: All right. Welcome, especially to our U.S. viewers. And we're trying to give you here some perspective that goes deeper into the international stories of the hour.

CLANCY: A grim task for doctors in Indonesia this day. They have to identify the dead from the wreckage of that Garuda 737 that ran off the runway in central Java. Eight people still missing after the crash on Wednesday.

GORANI: Now, it's confirmed, 20 people did not survive, but more than 100 did live to tell about it.

Dan Rivers has the story of their harrowing escape from a burning plane.


DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Looking at the ferocity of the fire, it is amazing anyone could have survived this crash. But they did. Two-thirds of the 140 passengers and crew made it out alive, some running away from the burning wreckage with barely a scratch. Others badly injured and burnt, carried away on stretchers.

Yanadi Frimulio (ph) tells me how his hands and legs were badly scolded when he brushed against the red-hot fuselage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I jumped awkwardly and my hand touched the side of the plane. But it was so hot, I fell to the ground when it was burning (INAUDIBLE) fuel. My body started burning. Luckily, I was wearing a leather jacket.

RIVERS: But Nonook Sufitri (ph) was barely injured, just the odd bruise and scratch. She says, "When I tried to escape from the plane, I fell down and people were trampling me, but someone helped me up and I jumped out of the emergency door." But Nonook (ph) wasn't just jumping for her own life. She's 10 weeks pregnant.

She says, "When I was about to jump from the plane, I was worried about my baby, but I had no choice."

The pictures of the crash reinforce just how lucky she was. She simply walked away from the wreckage, got a taxi to take her to the hospital, where doctors confirmed her baby is fine.

(on camera): Here at the crash site, this engine is a graphic illustration of the shear violence of the impact. Both jets were ripped clean off the wings as the plane plowed into this patty field. And when you look at the fuselage, it's remarkable that anyone managed to get out alive. The top has simply melted away.

When you look at that, you've got to wonder how on earth Nonook (ph) managed to get out through the emergency exit.

(voice over): Investigators have found the plane's black box flight recorder which will be sent to Australia for analysis as people here reflect on just how incredible it is that this crash didn't kill every single person aboard.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


CLANCY: Now, do you carefully choose where you sit on a plane? I mean, do you think about it when you get on board? I do most of the time. At least I know where the emergency exits are.

GORANI: Right. Well, in our "Question of the Day" today, we're asking -- Do you ever think about how you would escape if your plane crashed?

CLANCY: You know, the wing comes off, the door opens up, and you jump clear? Yes, right.

E-mail us your thoughts at Remember to tell us at least your first name and, of course, where you're writing to us from.

I think it comes up on everybody's mind.

GORANI: It does. Though the chances of surviving a plane crash unfortunately very low. That said, people do sometimes think about what to do in case of an emergency.

Now, still ahead, a warm reception.

CLANCY: U.S. President Bush hasn't even touched down yet on his first step in his Latin American tour. But take a look at this. Some people just can't wait to tell Mr. Bush what they think of both him and his policies.

GORANI: All right. Not too warm there, but a much more courteous reception for Michael Jackson in Tokyo, where fans lined up to meet the king of pop. Guess how much it costs to meet the king of pop in Tokyo?

We will tell you after this.



CLANCY: People were listening closely as General David Petraeus gave his news conference. This is the first time many of them had heard from him personally, but if you'd been listening closely all along, you might have noticed something already.

Jonathan Mann looks back with some Insight.

JONATHAN MANN, CNN ANCHOR: Progress in Iraq is going to take time. General Petraeus said it, and we've heard it before. In fact, it's been a few years now that people have been talking in terms of months. Let's turn back to February of 2003. War seems imminent. U.S. troops are pouring into the Middle East, and diplomats are working overtime, when the U.S. defense secretary says this to U.S. troops in Europe.


DONALD RUMSFELD, FMR. U.S. DEFENSE SECY.: It is not knowable how long that conflict would last. It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.


MANN: About 10 months later, in January of 2004, Saddam Hussein has been captured, attacks against coalition forces are picking up, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair visits Basra in Iraq. There he says the important thing is to realize that we are about to enter into a very critical six months.

A year and a half goes by. Iraq's leaders grapple with the text of the country's new constitution, while insurgent attacks get worse and worse.


CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. SENATE REPUBLICAN: These next six months are going to be very critical in Iraq. Not just the constitution writing, referendum, but also within that six-month period, we're going to see whether the Iraqis are really going to be capable of defending themselves.


MANN: You're probably seeing the trend. About nine months ago, in June of 2006, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, tells the German magazine "Der Spiegal (ph)," "The next six months will be critical in terms of reigning in the civil war. If the government fails to achieve this, it will have lost its opportunity.

Well, now there's another number worth watching. Not months, but men and women. The 21,500 additional troops that President Bush announced he's sending, well, in fact, there's going to be more.

CNN's Jamie McIntyre has a look at that.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When General David Petraeus took over command in Iraq a month ago, one of the first things he did was call for even more troops to reinforce the reinforcements already flowing into Baghdad in Anbar Province.

ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: He anticipates that as the brigades come in, and as the Baghdad security plan is implemented, that there will be a requirement for -- that they will pick up a significant number of additional detainees, and he wants more military police to help with that.

MCINTYRE: The Pentagon announced back in January that 21,500 additional troops would be sent this year, along with support units that turn out to total some 2,400 soldiers. Add in the 2,200 additional military police just requested, and the surge now comes to more than 26,000 troops.

The price tag for the roughly 5,000 extra troops? Another $1 billion, says the Pentagon.

Despite the continued ability of suicide and truck bombers in Iraq to inflict mass casualties, the Pentagon insists there are tentative signs the Baghdad security plan is working.

GEN. PETER PACE, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: The murders between Sunni and Shia are down. The numbers of bombs that have gone off killing large numbers, as you have mentioned, has gone up.

R. GATES: There are some very preliminary positive signs of things going on. No one wants to get too enthusiastic about it at this point.

MCINTYRE (on camera): So far, the Pentagon has only asked for money to fund the surge through September, the end of the budget year. But for planning purposes, the budget for next year is being prepared with the idea that the extra 26,000 troops may be needed well into 2008.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


MANN: And the surge may have to grow. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the need for noncombat support troops could push the total to between 35,000 and 48,000 when it's all done. The White House disagrees, but as we've just heard from Jamie McIntyre, the numbers seem to be changing as the months drag on.

Back to you.

GORANI: All right, Jonathan Mann, thanks very much, with our Insight segment.

And now we go to Israel for a tale of strange bed fellows. Some refugees from Sudan have turned to Israel for help and safe haven. That's an unusual and a difficult choice given the state of relations between the two countries, and Israel has had to face some difficult choices of its own, as Ben Wedeman now tells us.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Officially, these inmates in Israel's Masayahu (ph) Prison are enemies of the state. They're among the more than 300 refugees here from Sudan, officially at war with Israel.

"KARIM," SUDANESE REFUGEE: The enemy between government of Sudan and Israel, not between us.

WEDEMAN: We've had to obscure their faces and can't give their real names because, they fear, authorities in Sudan could punish their relatives back home. Some are from Darfur, where human rights activists claim the Sudanese government is committing genocide. They came here via Egypt where they sought, but didn't find, refuge. The turning point for many Sudanese came in Cairo on a cold December night in 2005, when Egyptian police finally broke up a months-long sit-in by Sudanese refugees, killing more than 20 people, including women and children, wounding dozens more. "KARIM": After that, we have a lot of problems in Egypt. We come here to Israel. We need Israel to help us, and Israel put us in the jail.

WEDEMAN: Now in this country where genocide has a special meaning, public pressure is mounting to let these people go.

Members of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, have come to the prison to discuss the plight of the Sudanese.

AVISHAY BRAVERMAN, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: We should change the laws, that refugees should be accepted even if they come from a country that is an enemy of Israel.

WEDEMAN: The law still stands, but a halfway solution has been found.

EITAN SCHWARTZ, COMMITTEE FOR REFUGEES FROM DARFUR: We've convinced the court these guys are not criminals, which the court realized. And we said, instead of them sitting in prison doing nothing. Let's transfer them to (INAUDIBLE), to essentially rural areas in Israel, where they can work, live in communities. This would substitute prison.

WEDEMAN: At Kibbutz Maagen Michael, the Sudanese have been given jobs and a place to live.

NAAMA CARRIRI, KIBBUTZ MAAGEN MICHAEL: They are part of the Kibbutz life. I mean, they take part of everything. They go to the parties, the concerns.

WEDEMAN: And most importantly for this man, we'll call him Ali, they now have hope.

ALI, SUDANESE REFUGEE: I think Israel has helped me because it has helped me and they care about me and they give me new life.

WEDEMAN: And with enemies like these, who needs friends? Ben Wedeman, CNN, Jerusalem.


CLANCY: Fascinating story there as Israel tries to grapple with that problem and that question, but I really wonder how many of those people are actually from Darfur and not from the mountains and other areas of Sudan that have also seen conflict. A lot of Christian/Islamic violence in other parts of the country, and still a lot of fear.

GORANI: And of course, Egypt also has that issue that they have to deal with because so many tens of thousands of Sudanese seek refuge and try to go through the UNHCR process to get official refugee status.

And it's putting strains sometimes on some of the neighborhoods. That said, there are a lot of good organizations helping those refugees in Cairo that we've profiled in the past.

All right, we're going to take a short break on YOUR WORLD TODAY. When we come back, students in Colombia have a message for the U.S. president.

CLANCY: That's right. There you have it. You'll see a lot more of it in the days ahead. These kinds of protests are going to be all through the week-long tour of George W. Bush in Latin America. We'll take a closer look at the trip ahead.

GORANI: And could you get out of a downed plane that's filling with smoke? A lesson in crash survival, next.


CLANCY: Hello, everybody and welcome back. You're watching YOUR WORLD TODAY on CNN International.

GORANI: Absolutely, the international news hour for the world and the United States.

Now we look at U.S. President Bush's trip to Latin America. He boarded Air Force One on his way to Brazil. Protesters hit the streets in Colombia. Students in Bogota brought part of the city to a halt Thursday as they protested ahead of the visit.

Demonstrators clashed with riot police even, who resorted to tear gas to restore order. Well it's just one of many protests planned throughout Latin America in the coming days.

People hold very definite opinions about the president's trip to Latin America. Among them is that he has ignored the region with his focus on the Middle East and Iraq. Paul Sotero is director of the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. Thanks for being with us to talk about this trip.

Now, the president wants to make sure that the region, Latin America, does not feel ignored. Do you think he'll succeed in sending that message to the region?

PAUL SOTERO, DIRECTOR, BRAZIL INSTITUTE: Well, the trip was perceived in Brazil and in the other parts of the region, a little bit of too little too late. But late is better than never, and I think the president, although he will be received by protests in many countries, including in Brazil, President Bush was unpopular in many regions, in many countries before he became unpopular in the United States itself.

But he will be very well received by the government of Brazil because they have some very serious business to talk about, particularly in terms of cooperation on renewable sources of energy.

GORANI: And tell us why President Bush is unpopular in Latin America. The Middle East is very far from Latin America, so presumably that can't be the only reason. What else is there?

SOTERO: Well, it precedes -- his unpopularity precedes the invasion of Iraq.

It's a certain unilateralist style of doing politics. It's a sort of in your face style of conducting international diplomacy. It has to do precisely with stances that the government here took on the environmental issues and it has to do with the invasion of Iraq, which was not appreciated. It was condemned all over the world.

GORANI: And Paul, let's talk about these leftist leaders that have all been elected in so many key countries in Latin America. Not only Brazil, but also Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, we also have Bolivia, as well. Is this trip, do you think, partly a way to counter the type of influence from these leaders? We say Hugo Chavez now there on our screens, to counter that influence?

SOTERO: Well, I believe there is inevitably that component. Although U.S. officials will not acknowledge it or deter the trip by highlighting for instance President Lula by acknowledging Brazil as the largest and most stable democracy in South America.

You are in a way, counter President Chavez, but we all hope that President Bush will not play the anti-Chavez card in Brazil, because Brazil has good relations with Venezuela and will continue to have, regardless of what the United States thinks about it.

GORANI: And Paul, I'm sorry for interrupting, but quickly, we have 30 seconds -- energy, you discussed renewable fuels. President Bush there in Brazil. Wanting to sign a deal with Brazil. I mean, how is that going to change things?

SOTERO: Well, Brazil and the United States are the two largest producers of one form of renewable fuel, which is ethanol. They can, together, create an international standard for this fuel. They can, together, spread this technology, particularly Brazil in South America and other regions of the world because we are the most efficient and most productive country in terms of ethanol from sugar cane.

So there is room for cooperation and to put some substance in a bilateral relationship that has been distant, very correct, but has lacked focus, so this is the centerpiece of the dialogue with Brazil.

GORANI: All right, Paul Sotero of the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Brazil Institute there. Thank you very much for your thoughts.

SOTERO: Pleasure.

CLANCY: All right, we used to have a segment on the news that we called the news of the weird, and this will almost would follow into that category.

Paying $3,400 to talk with Michael Jackson, it says two things. It says some people would pay anything to do anything, and it says some people really need the cash. Many Michael Jackson fans didn't think twice as they shelled out that kind of money to stand next to, pose for a photograph with the king of pop.

Jackson, of course, is huge in Japan. And that's where all of this took place. He has been mobbed ever since he arrived in Tokyo last weekend. He hasn't been appearing in the United States ever since his acquittal on charges of child endangerment and the whole problem that he had over accusations that he had molested children. But there he is in Japan, raising some cash. His financial difficulties are said to be considerable.

GORANI: All right, just ahead, a skill everyone should have and no one should have to use. Could you escape from a burning plane? We'll show you the ABCs of surviving a plane crash like this one in Indonesia.


GORANI: We've been following the investigation into that plane crash in Indonesia.

CLANCY: That's right. While we only had 22 killed, eight are missing, more than 100 people did manage to survive. That is a miracle considering the dark, smokey haze that they had to go through to get out of the plane.

GORANI: Now what does it take really, to survive an airplane crash? Greg Hunter went through the checklist with a man whose business it is to help people survive such accidents.


BLAIN STANLEY, FACT: To start the first scenario ...

GREG HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Blain Stanley shows people how to survive an aircraft emergency. He does it with a mobile emergency simulator, mostly for crews of corporate jets from this small control room.

STANLEY: Any in-flight fire, lavatory fire, cockpit fire, galley fire, engine fire, ducking smoke into the cabin, ditching, decompression, medical emergencies, anything.

HUNTER: Stanley uses these levers to make this simulator roll and vibrate, like a real aircraft in trouble.

One scenario, a decompressing plane making an emergency landing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put your mask on, quick!

HUNTER: Another scenario, how to escape a plane that's crashed into the water. And you find yourself hanging upside down under water. You must be able to unlock the seat belt, find the exit, and swim to safety.

And the most terrifying for passengers -- fire. Whatever the emergency situation, Stanley tells his clients, the most important thing is to stay cool and listen.

If you don't know anything about a crash, what should a consumer do? STANLEY: The consumer, again needs to have situation awareness, know exactly where they are on the airplane and above all else, listen to the crew members.

HUNTER: Greg Hunter, CNN, Whippany, New Jersey.


CLANCY: Well, it's time to open our mailbox. With the recent plane crash in Indonesia, we've been asking if you've considered how you might survive such an air accident.

GORANI: All right, specifically, do you ever think about how you would escape if your plane crashed?

Raymond in Scotland, writes: "I fly tomorrow and have already checked-in via the Internet, ensuring that I'm next to the emergency door!"

CLANCY: Now, Ima from the Netherlands writes: "Survival from a plane is neither determined by your seat number or your vigor to cheat death." Ima goes on to say: "It's more of luck, geography and some variable factors all put together."

GORANI: Now, Anders from Sweden says: "Flying is by far the safest mode of travel there is. One would actually do better to plan for emergencies sitting in a car or riding a bicycle."

CLANCY: OK, (INAUDIBLE). This one from Kendrick in New York writing: "I always, always note where the nearest exit is and the best route to get there before the plane takes off."

Some interesting notes that we got in from people. One person was saying, don't wear synthetic materials because they catch fire and melt. If you're wearing cotton or something. I wouldn't have thought of that.

GORANI: That's true, though. Make sure you drive safely. That's one of the most important things we heard.

CLANCY: Getting to the airport.

GORANI: Right. Continue please, sending your e-mails at

CLANCY: All right. Got an interesting story for you here. You'll soon be able to go over the edge, so-to-speak, of the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona.

GORANI: Look at this. A glass skyway has been installed. And if you don't like heights, you might want to avoid it. The ledge extends out over the rim, and it's perched more than one kilometer, what is that in miles, above the canyon floor? It's like a half a mile, pretty much.

CLANCY: Yes, fantastic. We're going to leave you with that shot. That's got to be it for this edition of YOUR WORLD TODAY.

I'm Jim Clancy.

GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN and CNN International. Over the canyon. When the news continues.