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CONNECT THE WORLD
Russia Bites Back With Sanctions Against U.S.; Promising New Lead In MH370 Disappearance; Leading Woman Park Geun-hye; UN International Happiness Day
Aired March 20, 2014 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON HOST: A possible sighting, or just more false hope, satellite images show what could be debris from the missing Malaysia airliner, but in one of the most remote places on Earth. Tonight, why the search will be far from easy.
Also this hour, why this U.S. senator is no longer welcome in Russia.
And, as people around the world celebrate the UN's international day of happiness, we ask what's being happy really mean?
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A very good evening from London. It is 4:00 am in western Australia at this hour where search teams are getting set for another day in the hunt for any sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
There was new hope today after this announcement from the Australian prime minister.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY ABBOTT, AUSTRLIAN PRIME MINISTER: The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search.
Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Bad weather prevented search teams from locating the objects today. Authorities caution that the debris shown in the images may be unrelated to the missing flight.
Well, CNN's Andrew Stevens filed this report from the air force base near Perth where planes will take off to resume the search in the coming hours.
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Clear weather is being forecast for when the search for flight 370 resumes at first light on Friday from this Royal Australian Air Force base behind me on the outskirts of Perth in western Australia.
It was a fruitless search on Thursday. Four long range surveillance planes coming back empty handed. The crew of one of them tweeting that visibility was hampered by rain and low clouds.
Now the area that they are searching is remote in the extreme. It's a four hour flight from Perth to get there. They can only stay on station for two hours before having to return to base.
The search is expected to be helped by vessels which are now converging on the area. There is a Norwegian vessel actually in the search zone now, which is at the far southern sector of the Indian Ocean.
Now earlier in the day, the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that there was new and credible information concerning two objects that have been spotted in the water by surveillance satellites.
We still don't know what these objects are and that will be the focus very much of the search.
Buoys have been dropped to measure the temperature and the currents in that region to try and trace the wreckage back to where a crash site may have occurred.
But at this stage, it's still a very inexact science. The vessels in the area will make a difference, but it could take days before the sophisticated naval vessels needed actually arrived on the scene. Until then, the world waits and hopes.
Andrew Stevens, CNN, Perth.
ANDERSON: Well, I don't need to tell you that there have been plenty of false leads in the 13 day long search for the missing plane. Officials have stressed that the objects being searched for now may be unrelated to flight MH 370. So what more do we know about today's new lead?
Well, joining me now is CNN's Tom Foreman. Tom, just how credible are these satellite images? Let's start there.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we can start by saying that there are several reasons why you would want to believe in them, why the Australians would tend to believe in them. If we think about the fact that U.S. officials have been saying for some days they have great faith in the idea that if the plane is anywhere it's in this southern arc as determined by satellite data. That's why all of these vessels are racing to that scene there, the airplanes and the ships are trying to get there as quickly as they can so they can decide if these images really add up to anything.
I do want to point something out about these images, they may look very sketchy to us from a distance here, but the company that does this is Digital Globe, are based here in the U.S. They're the satellite company that took these pictures. By law, they cannot release the highest resolution pictures. The're capable of taking pictures down to about 14 inches resolution. So the images that the searchers may have are very likely much, much, much more robust and detailed than what we're seeing here.
But still let's get back to that question you raised there, Becky, of credibility. Why do we think there is credibility in this claim?
First of all, because they're moving so many assets there because the prime minister himself came out and said it, that's a big risk to take if you don't have some reason to believe in it.
Secondly, there's the issue of size. This fits the parameters that we're looking for here. In some ways, this aircraft right now is about 61 meters from wingtip to wingtip; it's about 61 meters from the nose back to the tale. And the piece they're talking about is about 24 meters. So could you get such a piece off an airplane like this? Yes, you could. So the size fits to a degree. Although, many critics say maybe a piece that big would not float, especially not for 12 days in rough seas.
The last issue here, though, is location. And this is the one that probably has spirits up the most. This is the right location, it's the one where all the mathematical models, all the probabilities said they had the best chance of finding something. And now these images emerge from that location.
That said, Becky, it is a very challenging location for all the reasons that Andrew said. When you get down to the water's surface here, even if it were smooth, there are reflections, if the weather kicks up, the wind kicks up, you get white caps on it. It's a very difficult task to see something on the water's surface, let alone something like these images which we believe are just below the surface.
And then if we start talking about going truly below the surface to where wreckage would lie if this proves to be the right place, then much, much, much bigger challenge.
The Indian Ocean on average is going to be around 4,000 meters deep. Even if you have the pinger on the flight data recorder that we're talking about, even if it's operating properly, it will barely reach the surface with that signal. You really have to be right on top of it to be able to hear it with the special listening devices. So they've got to hone it in a whole lot more before this does much good, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, this is a tough one isn't it? Tom, thank you for that. Tom Foreman for you.
These new leads obviously creating a roller coaster of emotion for the families and friends of those missing. The partner of an American who was on board says she hopes the debris is not part of flight 370. Sarah Bajc says she wants to believe the passengers are still alive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STARAH BAJC, PARTNER OF PASSENGER ON MISSING FLIGHT: It strikes me as just one more lead that may or may not come true. So it's enough to make us all anxious again after a couple of days of quiet, but you know I'm cautiously pessimistic that it's not a piece of the plane.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: All right, well, the friends and families of those missing, this is much more than an aviation mystery, it is extremely personal. In one church, they're using prayer to keep hope alive for a member of the congregation who was on board the flight. CNN's Will Ripley has more.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A daily ritual at St. Francis Xavier Church.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We pray for all the passengers and crew members of MH370.
RIPLEY: Prayer for the missing, or a friend whose seat is empty.
REV. ALBERT TAN, FRANCIS XAVIER CHURCH: We felt deeply touched by the anguish the families are going through.
RIPLEY: Father Albert Tan says a loyal churchgoer is one of 239 people who vanished on Flight 370.
Malaysia Airlines veteran crew member Patrick Francis Gomez, known and loved by so many here, now they're left to wonder what happened.
DENNIS HON, CHURCH MEMBER: You can feel it. You can feel the pain that they're going through.
RIPLEY: Fellow church member Dennis Hon knows the family's pain all too well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sending before you mourning for my dad.
RIPLEY: Michael Hon died just three days after the airliner disappeared as the Han family grieves, the Gomez family waits.
HON: There still so many question marks about 370. I pray that they have closure by finding the plane in whatever condition it is.
RIPLEY: But closure is something the families of flight 370 won't have until their questions are answered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the (inaudible). It's actually the (inaudible) for Mother Mary.
RIPLEY: Which is why Hon comes here, lighting a candle for the lost. He and the others will continue to pray until the missing are found.
Will Ripley, CNN, Betalingaya (ph), Malaysia.
ANDERSON: Well, the global resources of CNN covering the story from every angle. You can get a lot more on the web site, CNN.com has a special section on the search for the airliner. You can see a timeline of events around the plane's disappearance. You can get the latest on the search and read more about what are sadly the most infamous aviation mysteries.
Follow the links. The homepage at CNN.com/international.
Well, still to come tonight, U.S. President Barack Obama turns up the heat on Russia and Moscow immediately hits back. I'm going to tell you about what is an escalating sanctions war over the crisis in Crimea.
Also, Human Rights Watch says you could end up abducted and dismembered just by walking on the wrong side of the street in one of Colombia's most dangerous cities. A disturbing new report for you.
And later in the show, it's the international day of happiness. We're going to find out why the UN wants all be dancing with joy. That and much more after this.
ANDERSON: This is Connect the World. You're on CNN. 13 minutes past 8:00 out of London. I'm Becky Anderson.
Now diplomatic fallout escalating today over Russia's decision to annex Crimea. European Union leaders are finalizing planes for what they call phase two sanctions. They are expected to target more Russian officials and asset freezes, travel bans included. U.S. President Barack Obama has already raised the stakes today, announced further sanctions on prominent Russians, also targeting a bank.
Well, Mr. Obama warned that key sections of the Russian economy could be next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now we're taking these steps as part of our response to what Russia has already done in Crimea. At the same time, the world is watching with grave concern as Russia has positioned its military in a way that could lead to further incursions into southern and eastern Ukraine.
For this reason, we've been working closely with our European partners to develop more severe actions that could be taken if Russia continues to escalate the situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Russia responded within minutes, announcing sanctions of its own against U.S. officials.
Russia's lower house of parliament approved the annexation of Crimea today, a formality that goes next to the upper house.
Well, we're on this from all angles. Fred Pleitgen has the very latest from Moscow tonight. Nina Dos Santos is following the EU summit in Brussels.
Fred, let's start with you. A little tit for tat today on what is this escalating crisis. Just how serious are Moscow in their response to U.S. second phase sanctions?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all it's the first time that Moscow has actually put forward a response. They've been saying that they would respond to U.S. sanctions at some point and now right after President Obama announced his expanded sanctions, which certainly hit a lot closer to home, a lot closer to Vladimir Putin and his inner circle than the first serious of sanctions the U.S. issued before.
The Russians came out almost immediately afterwards and issued their list of sanctions. And it was quite predictable. John McCain is on it, the senator. He's already replied. He said he's honored to be on that list. He made a joke saying that this probably cancels his holiday in Siberia. John Boehner is on it, Harry Reid is on it. So, the list quite predictable there.
It really is, as you just said, a tit for tat, almost a little too shallow for the seriousness of the situation that's going on.
But going back to that statement from Barack Obama, it really was interesting to hear him speak in front of the White House today, because it seemed as though he was almost showing the Russians the way out of this. If you listened to what he said, he said these second serious of sanctions is in response to what's going on for Crimea.
So essentially he's telling Russia this is the price for Crimea. He never said we expect the Russians to leave Crimea. It seemed almost as though the U.S. is giving up on that. He said this next round of sanctions, if the Russians move into eastern Ukraine, only then would that up the ante to these very tough sanctions targeting certain sectors of the Russian economy.
That would certainly be a large escalation. Moving into eastern Ukraine, a large escalation on the part of the Russians and that,of course, would draw a much more severe American response as well, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen is in Moscow for you this evening. Fred, thank you for that.
I want to go to Brussels where Nina Dos Santos is standing by. Listen, you and I have been talking about this for weeks now. We never expected (inaudible) sanctions. These are actions, not sanctions. When you talk sanctions, you talk trade sanctions, you talk really hard hitting financially complicated and tough sanctions. We haven't seen that from either the U.S. nor have we seen it from the EU. And to some extent, you can understand the reaction from Russia. It's like, here ones, we'll take another. You take one, we'll take somebody else. I mean, just you're in Brussels, just how serious are ministers taking all of this?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I've got a great anecdote for you here. Those ministers and heads of state have been gathering in their working dinner talking about this for around about an hour and a half. They actually went into their working dinner to discuss the situation in Crimea and Ukraine around about half an hour early because they thought they had so much ground to cover. I've been given indications that that dinner will not finish before 3:00 am in the morning.
And another indication of how serious it is, is also the fact that a number of their key ministers and aids have been excluded. It's just really those 28 heads of state that are going to be discussing this, because they don't want anything to leak.
And some of what could be on the table here, Becky. More people on that key list, you'll remember that 21 people are identified initially, a number of people say they were nowhere near Vladimir Putin. They were nowhere near important enough to really make the case that the European Union should be making.
Here's what one minister had to say about what we could see when they do eventually add.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDER STUBB, FINLAND'S EUROPEAN AFFAIR'S MINISTER: We will see more names today. There will probably be over 10 new names on the list.
And then of course people are going to argue are these people good to be on the list or bad to be on the list? Are they to be taken seriously. Are they big enough, small enough and so on and so forth. But there will be more names.
SANTOS: And this, but no businesses?
STUBB: I don't think that there will be businesses at this particular stage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANTOS: And that is a key point there. We're not talking about trade sanctions, as you were just mentioning, Becky. It is not sore enough as a point at the moment, it's not serious enough for them to actually risk jeopardizing around about half a trillion dollars worth of trade that goes back and forth between Russia and the European Union.
Just going back to that issue of the list that we could see, this leaflet was given to me by a man who hopes to become the next Jose Manual Barroso. He's in the running for the presidency, the executive arm of the European Union, the executive commission there. The European Commission. He wants to see these people on phase 2, which is what we're discussing now. So we're talking about significant leaders of the political elite close to Vladimir Putin, all of the upper and lower houses of parliament.
And then for phase three, we could see these heads of Russian companies. So we're talking about the likes of Gazprom, also Russian Railways as well as plenty others, people basically saying if you don't go for the business community well you really won't get the message home.
ANDERSON: Yeah, all right, OK. Well, Nina, thank you for that.
Fred Pleitgen mentioning Republican Senator John McCain, a long time Kremlin critic of course, making a bit of a joke about being on Russia's sanctions list. Let me just get you what he said specifically.
He said, "I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off, my Gazprom stock is lost and my secret bank account in Moscow is frozen."
Violence erupted in two major cities in Afghanistan on Thursday. In Kabul, unknown gunmen and Afghan police exchanged heavy gunfire in an area close to a luxury hotel. Earlier, at least 11 people were killed and 22 were wounded after an attacker took Jalalabad police station. Now the country's interior ministry says Taliban gunmen stormed the building.
All this comes as the militant group threatened to carry out attacks ahead of next month's presidential election.
Four men have been found guilty of gang raping a photojournalist in Mumbai last year. The victim who was 22 at the time was on assignment in a deserted mill when she was attacked. She said she was threatened with broken glass while a colleague had his wrists tied. The men will be sentenced on Friday.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has made a rare televised appearance with his wife Asma. The couple who is at a meeting with Syrian teachers in Damascus. Now according to Syrian state TV, Asma al-Assad emphasized the roll of teachers during the conflict, which has plagued the country for more than three years.
CNN, live from London. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, how does one search for a missing aircraft. I'm going to speak to an expert about exactly what is going on now.
Also ahead, a very disturbing report about death squads in Colombia. Human Rights watch says paramilitary groups are terrorizing residents and subjecting them to a quite unthinkable fate. Up next.
ANDERSON: Disappearances, dismemberment and forced displacement. Human Rights Watch says these crimes are happening at an alarming rate in Colombia's main Pacific port. It says thousands of people are fleeing Buenaventura where death squads are operating with virtual impunity. As Rafael Romo reports, these paramilitary groups are accused of chopping up their victims sometimes while they are still alive.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Buenaventura, Colombia's main port on the Pacific coast. It's strategic location makes it ideal for international trade. But the city of 370,000 is also a highly profitable transit point for drug cartels.
Their turf wars have left a trail of death and terror, especially among the poor who live in slums by the sea.
Community leader Mario Riasco (ph) says murders and kidnappings have plagued Buenaventura for years.
MARIO RIASCOS, BUENAVENTURA COMMUNITY LEADER (through translator): And the most painful thing is that we don't see a solution, a public policy that puts an end to this and marks a new beginning, that's what's so painful, one generation dies after another.
ROMO: A new Human Rights Watch report calls Buenvaventura a city in crisis and cites disappearances and displacement of people as top challenges. The group also says criminal groups control entire neighborhoods, committing all sorts of abuses.
DANIEL WILKINSON, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Torture and killings and disappearances and probably the worst thing of all is this practice that they've become known for which is they abduct people and then they dismember them.
ROMO: Hector Epalza Quintero is the Catholic Bishop of Buenaventura. He says most people in town know about the existence of the so-called chop up houses where death squads dismember their victims.
HECTOR EPALZA QUINTERO, BISHOP OF BUENAVENTURA (through translator): In Buenaventura, there are chop up houses. It's possible that there aren't many, but people say in the middle of the night they can hear the screams of people saying don't kill me. Don't kill me. Don't be evil. These people are basically being chopped up alive.
ROMO: More than 150 people were reported missing in the last four years. Many in Buenaventura fear they ended up in chop up houses, their body parts disposed of in the sea.
During a recent visit to Buenaventura, President Juan Manuel Santos said he has sent nearly 800 marines and members of the Colombian National Police as part of an operation to reduce violence. At least 26 members of drug gangs have been arrested. Santos also said his government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in education, housing, social programs and infrastructure to fight poverty in the coastal city.
JUAN MANUEL SANTOS, COLOMBIA PRESIDENT (through translator): It's an example of how we can transform a city in crisis into a city of opportunity. The resources are ready and so are our commitment and procedures.
ROMO: The government may not have given up on Buenaventura, but many of its people already have. More than 19,000 fled their homes last year alone.
Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.
ANDERSON: The latest world news headlines are just ahead here on CNN. Plus, the missing plane that has confounded the world. Now possible debris has been spotted in the South Indian Ocean. Is it a lead? We're going to have the latest on that for you.
And coming from a political background doesn't always make your journey smoother. It led to tragedy for South Korean President Park Guen- hye. She tells us her story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Health and happiness, or wealth, money and things?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Health and happiness of course.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: I don't believe him.
I went out into the streets to see whether happiness is more important than wealth to the people of London.
ANDERSON: Thirteen days after a Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared without a trace, officials focus on the satellite images of two objects seen off Australia's western coast. These are your headlines, and much more on this story coming up this hour.
US president Barack Obama announced further sanctions on Russian officials today over Moscow's annexation of Crimea. He also targeted a Russian bank. Russia responded within minutes, announcing actions of its own against US officials.
A day of violence in Afghanistan has left at least 11 dead. In the capital of Kabul, a gunfight erupted between police and unidentified gunmen inside a hotel popular with foreigners. The Taliban has called for attacks ahead of the presidential election next month.
US first lady Michelle Obama is in China on a week-long visit. Her two daughters and her mother are accompanying her on the trip, but she's there officially to promote education and cultural ties. The group will spend time on Friday with China's first lady in Beijing.
Searchers looking for any sign of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane are pursuing what is a new lead in one of the most remote places on Earth. Teams are working to track down two objects seen in satellite images in an area roughly 2,500 kilometers off Australia's west coast. Now, officials caution that the debris may not be related to the missing plane.
Aircraft from Australia, from New Zealand, and the US will be dispatched to the area once again on Friday as sun comes up. A Norwegian cargo ship that happened to be nearby is searching through the night.
Meanwhile, a US official tells CNN that an FBI team is confident it can retrieve some files deleted from the flight simulator owned by the captain of Flight 370.
Now, these are the satellite images of the two unknown objects at the center of the latest search efforts. For more, let's cross to CNN senior international correspondent Sara Sidner. She is in Kuala Lumpur at this hour. And this is, of course, as the sun comes up and we beckon in what is day 14, Sara.
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And it's really an emotional time, as you might imagine, for the families because they went and they looked for this yesterday after the announcement by Australia's prime minister that they had found something that they feel is credible new information and the best lead yet, as they put it, as to what may have happened to Flight MH370.
But the caveat has always been that they don't know and they won't know until they're able to get their eyes and get a close-up look on these objects that were seen by satellite. So, that's the key.
And what happened overnight -- and as you can see, it's still dark here, it's still dark in Perth -- they stopped the search without finding anything yesterday. But of course, they will resume today.
There are a lot of the assets from military that are being involved in this search in that southern corridor. It gives you some idea of just how important they think that this information might be, this clue might be.
Most of the ships and the airplanes that are looking for any sign of Flight MH370 are actually in the southern corridor. There are a few in the northern corridor area, but right now, the southern Indian Ocean is the place to be searching, according to authorities, Becky.
ANDERSON: Sara Sidner in Kuala Lumpur for you. Well, the difficulty of searching an area that is, as I said, some 2400, 2500 kilometers away from land, immense. Despite the international effort, it remains a major challenge to locate this debris and then decide, of course, what it is.
For more on the operation, I'm joined now by Rick Burgess. He's a former P-3C mission commander. That is the same kind of aircraft being used in the search off Australia today. Sir, thank you for joining us.
This is a very basic question, but one I know our viewers will want answered. How long can these search planes fly for? Because this is a critical mission, isn't it?
ANDERSON: Can you hear me, sir?
RICK BURGESS, FORMER P-3C MISSION COMMANDER: I'm not hearing anything.
ANDERSON: All right, OK. Let's move on. I know we've got Jenny Harrison with us, who can work through what's going on weather-wise, because I know once we get back to Rick, he will talk about just how important the weather environment is.
Jen, I know that you can hear me. Let's talk about weather conditions. It's 4:34 Perth time at present. What's the situation some 2,500 kilometers off the coast?
JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, as you say, very different conditions, actually, Becky, to the search area and conditions in Perth right now. The last few hours -- this, of course, is the search area in red. In the last few hours, we've seen this fairly impressive front actually slide by the region, but staying to the north of the search area.
And actually, apart from windy conditions, staying pretty much to the south of Perth as well. So right now, we have got good, clear skies in Perth. But when, of course, they begin to send out the planes once we get first light, about 6:15 AM local time that is actually sunrise.
And in terms of what it is they're then going to face, but as we know, 2,500 kilometers to the southwest from Perth, so as you were saying, it is a long distance they've first got to actually cover to actually reach the search area.
This is showing you the ocean floor here. Now, what we have is a number of tectonic plates, two in particular, that are divergence plates, and so they're pulling away from each other. So, that is what you can see in terms of the lines there on the ocean bed.
But of course, we've got the water temperature, about 12 to 15 degrees Celsius, but it's the depth, of course. It's how deep down is the ocean at this point. And in some areas, and particularly here, it's about three kilometers deep, which is nearly two miles from the surface of the ocean. So, all of this, of course, being taken into consideration.
As I say, we've got good, clear conditions right now. It will stay fine and clear in Perth for the next two or three days, so all of that is good in terms of departing and getting out to the location.
When it comes to weather in the location, Becky, well, again, coming through but not really until Saturday into Sunday, there's another front just sliding by. So, we could potentially see some fairly heavy rain at times. Also some pretty strong winds.
So, what this will do, of course, is increase the wave height. This is on top of the currents, and I'll come onto that, but the wave height, we've got winds expected to potentially reach at about 50 maybe 70 kilometers an hour at times with this storm system as it comes through.
The waves at the moment, about three meters, but with higher winds, of course, that could also exacerbate that problem, the waves could be that much higher, that much more choppy if you're down certainly on the sea as well and trying to get to it, so again, helicopters and planes.
This is the accumulation of rain. So not a big deal, really, and certainly not in the next 48 hours, but it's later on that we have to worry.
This is just showing you the ocean currents. We have this area Indian Ocean Gyre. This is where the search area is, Becky, at the moment. They're sort of just to the north of these very, very strong currents spreading off towards the east.
But of course, if anything slips further southwards, then potentially, they could actually get pulled up in this, the ACC, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. And that could, of course, move any debris quite a distance in a short space of time.
ANDERSON: Yes. What is that debris? We don't know at this point. Jen, thank you for that. Let's get back to Rick Burgess, who's been involved in four or five of these sort of searches with the sort of aircraft that is being used off the coast of Australia today.
So, I know you couldn't hear me earlier on, but I think we've established communications with you. Now, how long can these planes fly in what are fairly good conditions?
BURGESS: Well, the P-3s can fly for about 12 hours, sometimes 10, depending on the range that they're going at. And they can fly out about 1200 miles and have four hours on station for search.
This search area that you're talking about with this instance is about 1500 miles, I believe, and that reduces the on-station time maybe to two hours, possibly three.
ANDERSON: Two or three plus. In that time, how low can they go and how obvious will it become, the closer they get, that this is either an aircraft or some other sort of flotsam, as it were?
BURGESS: Well, if it's a recognizable structure, such as a wing or a tail structure, they would be able to recognize it from a couple of thousand feet. They're likely to go down to 5,000 feet for the search and then descend down to a thousand feet if they see something of interest. They also have electric optical and infrared sensors, so they can take a telescopic look at it.
ANDERSON: Are you optimistic at this point, from what you're heard?
BURGESS: This is the first optimism I've had with this whole incident with the discovery of this potential wreckage. And I believe that if they take a good look at this, they will concentrate on this, and once they find this, they'll be able to make a determination and then go from there.
ANDERSON: What will they be looking for? I know that sounds very obvious, but we know on the satellite images, we've just got two sort of enormous blobs at this point. What is it that they will specifically be looking for here?
BURGESS: Well, looking for -- evidence of aircraft wreckage, such as seat cushions, any other debris that's along with these two large pieces that were seen on the satellite. They're going to have to search down- current from where the original locations were, and I'm sure the commanders on the scene have mapped out their search to try to optimize the search pattern that they're going to use.
ANDERSON: Just how important is it that, so far as I can tell from Jen, conditions are fairly good?
BURGESS: Well, the better the weather, of course, the better visibility you've going to have. A key to this is the height of the waves and whether there are whitecaps present. Those high waves and whitecaps are very destructive on your search pattern, when you're trying to look for objects in the water. The calmer the water, the better.
ANDERSON: One of the things that this story's flushed out is just the enormous amount of shipping containers, debris, that there is floating around the world's oceans. Is that something that you might have seen and identified in the past? And is it something that -- it's conceivable, of course, that that's what this is, isn't it?
BURGESS: There's quite a bit of debris of various sizes floating out in the world's oceans. The fact that this is 75-feet long is a hopeful sign that it could be a piece of an aircraft structure. Because containers typically are 20 foot long and they're not that large.
ANDERSON: Well, industry sources telling us that as many as 10,000 containers may fall overboard every year. They can, of course, as we know, stay afloat for some time. How long do you think this search can continue? How long a window do you think we still have?
BURGESS: I would guess about three to four days following -- trying to locate this possible wreckage. And then from there, I don't see much hope in finding anything in the near term.
ANDERSON: All right. With that, we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. Rick Burgess for you this evening.
From London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Still ahead, overcoming adversity to take her place in history. How South Korea's leaders is using the tough lessons of the past to chart her political future.
(MUSIC - "HAPPY" BY PHARRELL WILLIAMS)
ANDERSON: And they are happy in the Philippines. Despite everything they have been though. We're going to talk to a happiness expert about why well-being is so important to our health.
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ANDERSON: Despite being born in the public spotlight, South Korea's president hasn't had an easy road to the top. Her family paid a heavy price for their political ambitions, but that hasn't stopped her from becoming South Korea's first female leader. Paula Hancocks has more on how she has made the most of life's lessons, both good and bad.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): South Korea's first female president, Park Geun-hye, grew up in the presidential Blue House. Her father was president for 18 years.
Park got her first taste of politics after her mother was killed in an assassination attempt on her father.
PARK GEUN-HYE, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA (through translator): With the sudden passing of my mother, heavy responsibilities and duties of the first lady were suddenly forced upon me. It was, indeed, an arduous task for me. But I would say that my experience during those years continues to be very helpful to me even to this date.
HANCOCKS: Five years after her mother's death, tragedy struck again when her father was assassinated by his intelligence chief in 1979.
PARK (through translator): After both of my parents passed away, I lived a very normal life. But come the Asian economic crisis that buffeted South Korea in the late 1990s, I was shocked to see what was transpiring in the country, and I couldn't just sit idly back knowing how much it took to build up this country.
HANCOCKS: Although Park has presidential roots, her road to political power has been far from easy. In 2006, she was attacked while campaigning ahead of local elections in Seoul. Park has used the attack and her parents' assassinations as lessons on leadership and trust.
PARK (through translator): Regardless of whatever area you're engaged in, but all the more so in the case of politics, I believe that one should value and place the utmost value on trust and confidence.
HANCOCKS (on camera): If you could give yourself advice as an 18- year-old, now you know a lot more, now you have experienced life, what would you want to tell yourself?
PARK (through translator): The most important thing is to have your own dreams and to passionately pursue those dreams.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): At the helm of one of the world's leasing nations, Park understands the importance of building unity with her neighboring countries.
HANCOCKS (on camera): Now obviously, relations between Japan, China, and South Korea are strained at times. How can the three countries build a cohesive policy towards North Korea when the policy between themselves is so strained?
PARK (through translator): Because issues regarding the perception of history fundamentally has the potential to harm a relationship of trust, this historical understanding poses obstacles in terms of our ability to move forward to serve our common prosperity as well as our shared interests.
In order to further uphold peace and stability here in Northeast Asia and for Korea and neighboring nations to move collectively forward, it has been my desire to leave to my future generations a legacy of friendship and a legacy of being able to work together.
ANDERSON: Good advice. It's all about a team, isn't it? Leading Women is on the website. You can learn about other female world leaders and browse past profiles of women making their mark in fields from finance to the arts, cnn.com/leadingwomen.
Coming up after a short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, the Dalai Lama once said that the purpose of life is to be happy. Is he right? We'll examine the meaning of happiness after this.
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ANDERSON: You're watching people in the Philippines dancing to Pharrell Williams's song "Happy," celebrating the UN's International Day of Happiness. People around the world have been posting pictures of what makes them happy using the hash tag #HappinessDay. Easy, really.
They've sent in pictures of pets, babies, stunning views of nature. It's the first day of spring in the United States, and the UN calling on us all to recognize the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental goal.
So, which countries have the biggest smiles? Well, Denmark, Norway, and Switzerland came out on top in 2013's world happiness report, where a high, healthy life expectancy and a lack of corruption were two of the variables found to most affect the country's happiness. Unsurprisingly, per capita wealth also has a big impact.
So, is happiness really something we can measure? And why is the UN worrying about it? Well, to explore this more, I'm joined now via Skype by Ludvig Lindstrom. He's the president of the Global Happiness Organization and joining us tonight from Malmo in Sweden. Happy?
LUDVIG LINDSTROM, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL HAPPINESS ORGANIZATION: Yes, I'm pretty happy, thank you.
ANDERSON: How do we measure happiness?
LINDSTROM: Well, you can measure happiness in many ways. The most common way is to just ask people how happy they are from a scale to one to -- from zero to ten, and then make a general average of that in each country.
ANDERSON: It clearly makes us emotionally better off, but does being happy make us physically better off? I know there have been numerous studies about this, the connection between positive psychological attributes, such as happiness, and physical well-being. Is it that simple?
LINDSTROM: Yes, it is. If you feel happy, you are more physical -- better, too. You feel better in your body and also you're more productive and you're more creative and you -- yes, there are a lot of wins if you're happy.
ANDERSON: Mark also joining us tonight, Mark Williamson. Hold on there, Ludvig. Dr. Mark Williamson is a director of Action for Happiness. This is International Happiness Day, we are happy to have you here.
I was reading into this earlier on today, and I was fascinated to see that genetics can play a part in a person's happiness. Does that mean you're sort of scuttled into being a pessimistic person if you're born into a certain family?
MARK WILLIAMSON, DIRECTOR, ACTION FOR HAPPINESS: Gosh. Well, of course our genes play a role. We do all have a kind of natural level of optimism or a sort of positive emotion we're born with. But actually, what's encouraging is we have a huge amount of ability to control that, not just through out circumstances, but through our attitudes.
But today, as you said, is this United Nations Day of Happiness, and I think what's really important about this is this global recognition that there's more to success, both personally, but also as nations, then just measuring the economy. It's about this well-being, this living the best possible life.
ANDERSON: Well, I wanted to find out how people felt, so as ever, when we want to do that, we hit the streets of London --
WILLIAMSON: Of course.
ANDERSON: -- to ask various people various questions. Were they happy and then whether they were looking for happiness and sort of just a sense of well-being, or whether it was things like money and wealth --
ANDERSON: -- that made them happy. Let's find out what people said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: London makes me happy. It's a great city, a lot of places to see and visit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And love.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And my sisters.
ANDERSON: Are you all sisters?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
ANDERSON: Oh, fantastic! Health and happiness, or wealth, money and things?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Health and happiness, of course.
ANDERSON: Where are you from, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from Denmark.
ANDERSON: Which makes you, I believe, one of the happiest people in the world, correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. Can't you tell?
ANDERSON: Are you going to say money, wealth, things, as opposed to health and happiness? What would you say?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I should say health and happiness, shouldn't I? Yes. But the other ones make me happy as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Understandably so. Mark, there are many people watching this tonight who don't feel happy today. And they don't want to have to be forced to be happy. How do we make them feel better?
WILLIAMSON: Well, that's a really important point. I think one of the better ways to make someone miserable is to tell them they have to be happy. So, I think today isn't about saying you must be happy.
Today's day is about saying kind of our priorities in life are actually about being able to live the best possible and the happiest possible life. But recognizing that every life has good and bad situations.
So in fact, really, this is about equipping people with he skills and the attributes and the opportunities to cope with the difficult times in life as well as to experience those joys and those highs. In fact, resilience as much as it is about --
ANDERSON: We can take this day extremely lightly and say hasn't it been nice that I've been able to go out into the streets of London and I found a whole load of people who felt really good about themselves, which is for a whole bunch of reasons. It's also, for policymakers, actually, in countries around the world, a critical issue, isn't it? Why?
WILLIAMSON: Well, it's a huge issue because although many things matter in policymaking decisions, we've basically, for the last 50 or 60 years, prioritized economic growth as a major measure of success. And actually, that's -- it's important, but it's not the only measure of what matters.
So in fact, now we're seeing policymakers around the globe -- Angela Merkel, David Cameron, and many others -- are calling for measures and policies based on well-being, not just wealth creation.
And that leads to some important changes: a greater focus on mental health as well as physical health, a greater focus on economic stability rather than economic growth.
So, our priorities start to shift when we look at what's best for people's well-being, not just money in our pockets.
ANDERSON: It's not all about money, is it?
WILLIAMSON: It's not all about money.
ANDERSON: There's a song in that. Thank you, Mark.
WILLIAMSON: Thank you
ANDERSON: Why is it, do you think, that people in your part of the world always come tops when it comes to these happiness surveys and reports? What is it about that?
LINDSTROM: Well, that's a pretty tough question. But our democracy is very big here, and also we trust each other. Trust is very important when it comes to happiness. And also, we have good economic and -- yes, other things that creates happiness.
Social relations and things like that and also we don't have to worry if we get unemployed because we will get some money from the state. So, there are a lot of things --
ANDERSON: All right. OK.
LINDSTROM: -- that make you happier.
ANDERSON: Well, it was just a question, because I've always wondered, because you always do in that part of the world come top of these rankings. So, for now, we thank you for joining us. It's been a good chat. Thank you, Ludvig, there and to Mark in London.
WILLIAMSON: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Why is being happy so important? It's a question we've been discussing tonight. Good for your health, we're told. Find out, cnn.com/health. Our Facebook and our Twitter accounts are abuzz. We've been asking you what makes you happy. Be honest. Give us your answer. Stay in touch.
It's a conversation that continues outside of the show, of course, facebook.com/CNNconnect, and you can always tweet me @BeckyCNN.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. From London, it is a very good evening. Thank you for watching. We will see you very, very soon.
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