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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Search for Flight MH370 Resumes; Passenger Relatives Protest in Beijing; Lithuania Pleads for US Gas; US Warns Russia; Economic Impact of Sanctions; Action Urged in Ukraine; Etihad Expansion; Abu Dhabi's Advantage
Aired March 25, 2014 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE CLOSING BELL)
RICHARD QUEST, HOST: Delta Airways and Virgin Atlantic rang the closing bell on Wall Street, celebrating their new partnership, something like nine daily flights between New York and London. Good Lord, that's what you call closing the market on Tuesday, it's the 25th of March, the Dow was higher.
In just a few hours, a new search begins. Ships and planes held back by violent weather will again try again to find Malaysia Airlines 370.
On tonight's program, we're also going to have a plea from Lithuania to the United States: sell us your gas so we're no longer reliant on Russia.
And get ready for the Candy Crush. The stock market debut is tomorrow, but how sweet --
QUEST: -- will the price be?
I'm Richard Quest. Of course I mean business.
Good evening. It is 5:00 in the evening in New York, 5:00 in the morning in Kuala Lumpur and in Perth, western Australia. In the next few hours, search teams will be back over a remote part of the south Indian Ocean. They are, of course, searching for the wreckage from Malaysian Airlines flight 370.
Rough weather kept planes grounded on Tuesday. We've just heard that conditions are more favorable today.
Australia says that to date, spotter crews have scoured half a million square kilometers without success, and they're admitting never mind finding a needle in a haystack, at the moment, they can't even find the haystack. Not surprising. The search area is the size of Mexico.
Now, for the latest on what's happening on land, sea, and in the air. Sara Sidner is in Kuala Lumpur. Kyung Lah, who's with the Australian defense forces in Perth, western Australia. Sara, we'll be with you in just a moment, let's start with Kyung Lah. Kyung, the core question: will the planes be up in the air today this day?
KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Richard. I actually just got off the phone with the Australian maritime forces and the indication is that they will, indeed, fly. That is the expectation, emphasis on "expectation."
The Australian military hasn't really been telling us until after the first planes have taken to the air if they do, indeed, fly. Yesterday, we weren't told until about an hour after the first plane was scheduled to take off.
But before all of this, maritime authorities saying that they do anticipate this search will take place today. So, in about an hour, we are expecting the first plane to take off. Some 12 planes, approximately 12 planes, are expected to fly in this particular search zone.
The waves are lower. The winds are lower. But cloud cover is still a problem, and when you consider, Richard, that so much of the search has to be done with eyeballs from the air, clouds are a major, major issue.
So, we do have more countries involved, more planes than ever before. They're hoping to make some headway today. Richard?
QUEST: Now, Kyung, will they be starting where they left off, looking for those objects that were seen on Monday, which -- but were not retrieved, the green and gray circular, the orange whatever it was? Or will they, effectively, never have a chance of finding where they are, so they will be looking afresh for new objects? Or both?
LAH: If you take the way they have been approaching this over the last week, I'm anticipating that they're probably going to be splitting this up. With so many planes in the area, certainly where they found the debris, they've dropped beacons there, even though it's now been a couple of days, they dropped beacons where they found that debris.
Someone's going to be around that area. We don't know what their operational plans are in detail, but that's got to be a starting point.
As far as the rest of the planes, they want to try to cover more ground. They can't have too many planes concentrating on one area, that's not safe. So, what they did over the last couple of days is that they spread out the planes, they try to cover a larger area, and then they have the ships move in and look at it on the ground.
There are more ships at sea today, and the Chinese are sending even more this way, Richard, so that should help out quite a bit.
QUEST: Kyung, by my reckoning, daylight arrives in about 50-odd minutes from now. We'll be reporting, and we look forward to hearing from you throughout the course of the evening. Kyung Lah joining us there.
We'll be with Sara Sidner in just a moment, but first, some background to what she'll be talking about. They've denounced the airline, the country, and the investigation. Some of the relatives onboard the flight say Malaysian officials cannot justify saying their loved ones are dead when they haven't found any wreckage.
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QUEST: Now, these were the scenes in Beijing on Tuesday. There were scuffles with police as relatives of Chinese passengers marched to the Malaysian embassy. It was a furious response to the Malaysian prime minister's announcement the flight must have beyond reasonable doubt have gone down.
Before we talk to Sara, let's have some background from Beijing and Pauline Chiou, our correspondent, was watching events.
PAULINE CHIOU, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This morning, outrage and fury as relatives face off with police outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing.
CHIOU: Over 300 Chinese friends and family members of Flight 370 protesting.
"STEVE," PASSENGER'S SON: From the beginning, they just hide everything. And I don't think that this kind of government, a liar and even a murderer, can solve anything.
CHIOU: Following Monday's dire announcement by Malaysia's prime minister.
NAJIB RAZAK, PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA: Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
CHIOU: Frustrated by Malaysia's handling of the incident, they descend upon the embassy on foot, marching over two miles after police prevented them from taking buses, and blocked the embassy once they arrived.
Furious and skeptical of Malaysia's investigation, some Chinese family members release a statement reading in part, "The Malaysian government and the Malaysian military continue putting off, holding back, and covering up the truth of the incident, as well as trying to deceive the families of passengers and people of the entire world."
BIMAL SHARMA, PASSENGER'S BROTHER: I don't know why. I just want to see some debris off the aircraft and the black box to know what exactly happened. Because there are too many unanswered questions.
CHIOU (on camera): Because of the questions that still remain, some Chinese families say they're now willing to go to Kuala Lumpur in order to confront the officials there at the highest level. And now, China's president, Xi Jinping, has sent his deputy foreign minister to Malaysia to put pressure on the government there.
Pauline Chiou, CNN, Beijing.
QUEST: Now, to Kuala Lumpur and our correspondent, Sara Sidner, who's waiting for us there. Sara, the press conference last night with Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia Airlines is now taking the lead, according to the government, in dealing with the families and in being liaison with the families. Why is that?
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think what's happening is they have had quite a few people from Malaysian Airlines actually staying with the families through the duration.
We know because we've been seeing ourselves, and I've been staying in a hotel where many of the families who are from China have been housed. And that whole time, morning, noon, and night, we've been seeing them surrounded by Malaysian Airlines employees and also by counselors that have been brought in.
We've seen them break down, Richard. We've seen them go to the lowest depths. We've seen them have to be wheeled out in wheelchairs here. A very different scene than Beijing. While you're seeing fury in Beijing, you're seeing more sorrow and sadness play out here.
And everyone grieves differently, so it's an interesting dichotomy that you're seeing in the two different places. But I can tell you that the families have been surrounded by Malaysian Airlines employees, keeping them, for example, away from the media, shielding them from questions they don't want to answer.
QUEST: And on the question of the $5,000 that we heard last night. I think we need to clarify. This is not compensation, is it?
SIDNER: Right. This is not going to be the last of it. These families, remember, have been here for, now, more than a half of the month, and I think this is just something to help, for example, tide some of them over.
I do want to talk to you a bit about a family member who we were able to speak with. This is the first time that they have spoken to an English channel, and they came to us, they called us, actually. We'd been in the hotel, they knew we were there. And this mother and wife sat with us today.
And Richard, what she said was terribly heartbreaking, because when you hear these individual stories is really when you start to understand their loss and start to understand what they're going through even more.
She has two small kids back in Beijing that are with their grandparents, waiting on her and her husband, who were supposed to be on a work holiday, so going on the weekends and enjoying themselves here in Kuala Lumpur and working during the week, they're expecting them to come home, the both of them.
She has not yet, she told us, gotten the courage to tell her two children, a one-year-old and a five-year-old, that their daddy likely won't be coming home, that he's missing. They do not know that yet. They are oblivious to what she's been going through and what's been going on, and she said she is terrified of having to hurt her children and having them feel the same way she has for the past 18 days, Richard.
QUEST: Sara Sidner in Kuala Lumpur. Thank you, Sara.
When we come back after the break, we'll turn our attention to Russia, the question of what happens over Crimea now it's been annexed, and how the West's sanctions will report.
QUEST: Lithuania says it is being forced to pay a political price because it's dependent on Russia for neighbor. Jaroslav Neverovic, the Lithuanian energy minister, is in Washington. He's asking the US Senate to export American natural gas to Europe.
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JAROSLAV NEVEROVIC, LITHUANIAN ENERGY MINISTER: Let me also be 100 percent transparent. I am also here to plead with you and your colleagues to do everything within your power to expedite the release of some of your abundant natural gas resources into the world market, especially to those nations beholden to monopolistic supplier.
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QUEST: It's unusual to hear a foreign minister go before the US Congress and use the word "plead." I spoke to Neverovic after he made that plea and asked if he thought the Senate was listening.
NEVEROVIC: Well, I hope so, and I'm convinced that they were, because the reactions and the speeches with the senators gave, I understand, were very positive towards opening LNG for exports. And really, the questions which were asked were not whether, but when and how.
QUEST: Why do you think the administration has refused so far to help countries like your own? Lithuania is 100 percent dependent on Russian gas.
NEVEROVIC: Well, I wouldn't say that the administration has refused. The administration has some procedures which they follow, and as I understand in the past few months, these procedures have been considerably quicker, and they are moving quite fast with issuing new licenses.
The question remains whether it could be even faster or if they could have a decision to abandon this process altogether and simply open up the export and -- for gas from the US to reach the world market as soon as possible.
QUEST: As the energy minister of Lithuania, you must be very concerned that if Russia decides to take it out on the EU and use energy as a weapon of political policy, you're country's going to get clobbered.
NEVEROVIC: Well, Lithuania is very reliable partner for Gazprom. We are paying for gas, we never had any problems. They never had any problems with us. We are paying one of the highest if not the highest price in the European Union, so they should be happy with Lithuania as a customer.
We are not happy with Gazprom as our supplier because of the price. That's why we are building LNG terminal, that's why we are diversifying, because we're seeing that this price is not right. But I think that once we have a normal possibility to check what's the price on other markets, other companies, our partners in Gazprom will look at it in a whole different way.
QUEST: Do you think Lithuania, or indeed any of the other Baltic states, do you think you should have greater cause for concern now about Russia? The view seems to be first Crimea, and then who knows next? Do you think Russia will do some mischief making with the Baltics?
NEVEROVIC: Well, I choose to believe that that's not the case. Lithuania is an independent sovereign state, a member of the EU and NATO, and we always declared a very pragmatic, open approach with cooperation with Russia. So, I don't see a possibility for such escalation to happen.
But of course, what happens in Ukraine and Crimea is highly disturbing, and we are all concerned that international law, that bilateral and multilateral agreements are being violated.
QUEST: Would you advise or warn or whatever you want to say your EU partners to be on their guard that the Russian binoculars may be looking at the Baltics?
NEVEROVIC: Well, we should keep focused on implementing all the decisions which have been already made within the EU. Speaking about energy, it's firstly implementing the inter-connectors, making the common EU energy market work. That's the first thing we should do.
NEVEROVIC: And to look for ways, maybe even to speed up these processes.
QUEST: Powerful words from Lithuania's energy minister shortly before we came on air and after he had issued his plea at the US Congress.
President Obama today issued a new warning to Russia to expect more sanctions if the country continued to defy the West over Ukraine. He was speaking at the international summit in the Netherlands, and the president said Moscow must act responsibly or face additional costs, and he said officials are weighting at what sanctions would be most effective.
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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we're doing now is, at a very technical level, examining the impacts of each of these sanctions. Some particular sanctions would hurt some countries more than others. But all of us recognize that we have to stand up for a core principle.
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QUEST: President Obama. So, the limited sanctions are already in place and there are already signs that the crisis is having an economic impact. If you join me at the super screen, you'll see what I mean.
Let's start with Germany. Remember that the bilateral trade between Germany and Russia, even though you have $400 billion, $500 billion bilateral between the EU and Russia, Germany is by far and away the largest single trading partner within the EU and Russia. And German business confidence, the Ifo, fell.
The business climate index, it showed a drop in March. It is the first drop in five months. And of course, not only is Germany Russia's largest single trading partner in the EU, as I've just said, but it's also Europe's largest partner.
So, business confidence falling -- and it is only a confidence data, as opposed to actual real data -- yet with business confidence falling, that's significant.
The Russian government, on the other side proving that it's not a one- way street, estimates investors will have pulled out some $70 billion from the country by the end of the first quarter, and the best guess growth for this year about the same time is around zero.
So, government predicts growth close to zero -- growth was already falling, by the way. Billions are flowing out of the economy, and that's the situation there.
Now, Jim Acosta, our White House correspondent, joins me from the Hague. You're still in the Hague, Jim. And President Obama is still talking tough.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right.
QUEST: But the fact is, as my statistics showed, and as we've already heard from Latvia and all these other places, Lithuania, the truth is, it's not about talk anymore, it's about doing something.
ACOSTA: That's right, Richard. And one thing that we should point out is that the president acknowledged today at that press conference after the nuclear security summit here at the Hague that there would be costs for the world if the US and the Europeans and other nations ramp up these sanctions against Russia.
Particularly if Moscow decides to go into eastern and southern Ukraine, then you would see sanctions, the president said, on the energy sector in Russia, on the banking sector. That would have ripple effects on the global economy.
What the president is saying is that that would be worth it and that the cost would be greater to the global community if Russia were to go unchecked off into those sorts of adventures.
You were talking about the natural gas issue. The administration, I should point out, they've been saying all week they are exploring ramping up natural gas exports out of the US to Eastern Europe in an effort to pressure Russia as well.
QUEST: Now, let's assume, for the purposes of this question, Jim, that Russia does not make any further advances, does not act against Ukraine or the Baltic states, but a status quo exists at the moment. But they refuse to go back to the status quo ante. Now, eventually, in that situation, does this enthusiasm to do anything more just peter out in Washington?
ACOSTA: Well, it might. And one thing that did happen in Washington today is that the Obama administration and Democrats dropped their insistence that IMF reforms be attached to aid to Ukraine. So, you're going to see the Congress act on that, you're going to see the United States start getting that aid to Ukraine, so that is one thing.
But you're right. And the president did acknowledge that during his press conference. He basically said if you look at the facts on the ground, Moscow is in control of Crimea. But the president said it is not a done deal that Crimea is forever a part of Russia.
He is still hoping that the sanctions and that this pressure that is being put on Vladimir Putin will convince the Russia leader to think otherwise, and he said that he feels at this point that the Russians are making new calculations about all of this.
And so, we're just going to have to wait and see if the presidents is right about that. But he is taking the gamble here --
ACOSTA: -- that this confrontation with Vladimir Putin will produce results. Perhaps not in the near term. He said history takes a lot of twists and turns, so he's looking at the long term, the long-term picture here, Richard.
QUEST: Right. Jim, thank you. I think where you're going next, you're not going to need your overcoat. I think it might be cold in the Hague, but I think that the next spot, I think it might be in the Gulf region on this trip, and you're not going to need your coat. Jim, good to see you.
Now, when we come back, Etihad expands just a little bit more, and the head of the one of the world's fastest-growing airlines tells us where he's got his eye on, how controversial it is, and really, the growth structure. In a moment, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
QUEST: Etihad, the national airline of the UAE based in Abu Dhabi, is expanding even further into Europe. It's agreed with the government of Serbia to take a 49 percent stake in Air Serbia. It's a deal that we knew was on the cards, and it converts a loan of $40 million into equity. It is controversial, not least of which because of code-sharing rights for Air Serbia to the United States, which had been vehemently opposed by the US airlines.
Etihad's also considering becoming part owner of Italy's Alitalia. A media report in Germany says it wants to increase its stake in Air Berlin, in which it already has a large stake and it wants to take it even higher to just below 50 percent.
Not surprising, Lufthansa, Air Berlin's competitor, feels under siege from Etihad and others. The company's outgoing chief exec, Christoph Franz, says "Etihad and other Gulf carries pose a threat to Europe's long- established carriers." Christoph Franz told "The Financial Times" European jobs are being lost because of unfair competition from the Gulf.
Now, some US airlines are also crying foul when it comes to Etihad, because Abu Dhabi has just opened a new US customs and immigration post in Abu Dhabi's airport. It's called "pre-clearance." It allows Etihad passengers and other airlines that go through Abu Dhabi to get clearance before touching down in the US. It's a benefit for all, but because it's Etihad's hub, Etihad gains the most.
I asked the chief executive, James Hogan, if this, what some call glaring unfair advantage, was an unfair advantage.
JAMES HOGAN, CEO, ETIHAD AIRWAYS: First, this is an agreement between two governments, between the United Arab Emirates and the US government. Obviously, as an airline, having this service available in Abu Dhabi is a commercial benefit.
However, if you consider where we are located -- three hours flying time, Abu Dhabi, the Gulf states, Middle East, Indian subcontinent -- for travelers actually coming to America, this is a great benefit, to be able to pre-clear in Abu Dhabi, to pre-screen for the traveler. If you're going to be turned around, it's probably better to be turned around in Abu Dhabi.
QUEST: You're being very judicious in this. It's a benefit to you and Etihad primarily.
HOGAN: It is a benefit to the guests, and of course it's a benefit to the airline. But I would argue, it's also good for US business.
QUEST: The US airlines are up in arms about it, aren't they?
HOGAN: Well, we code --
QUEST: They're furious.
HOGAN: We code-share with American Airlines, we code-share with Jet Blue, so in fact, those customers who interline over New York or Washington, Chicago, onto Jet Blue or American Airlines are taking advantage of the system, too.
QUEST: Are you going to spend money on Alitalia.
HOGAN: Alitalia --
QUEST: A simple yes or a no will do.
HOGAN: We carrying on due diligence. It's a great airline, it's a great country. If we can make it work, we'll see.
QUEST: What's your reservation? Let's face it --
HOGAN: Well, the reservation --
QUEST: -- more money's gone down the toilet there than most places.
HOGAN: Well, we have a track record of investing and turning airlines around. We have a criteria, and if that criteria is met, our board will take a view whether we invest or not.
QUEST: How close are you to making a decision?
HOGAN: We're a couple of weeks away.
QUEST: What's your gut feeling?
HOGAN: We're a couple of weeks away.
QUEST: If you now look at the way Etihad is, you've got the equity alliance, you've got your code shares you're putting in place. So what now is the growth area for you? Which part of the world?
HOGAN: Well, we're going to continue to grow organically. We have 98 aircraft at the moment, we have another 18 aircraft coming this year. The code shares continue to grow to give us access to South America, to Africa, into China, where -- they're the areas where we still need to grow. So, bilateral, from aircrafts' availability, using code share enables us to stretch our network.
QUEST: So, but which country? Do you want to be bigger in the US? You're here for a bankers day and --
HOGAN: Well, it's about a balanced network. The beauty about Abu Dhabi, it's a true crossroad of the world. We operate to Washington, to Chicago, to New York. In June, we start operating to LA. In December, we start operating to Dallas.
So, step-by-step, we're opening up the US, but we also are going to balance that with more cities in Southeast Asia, in the Middle East, and we continue to build -- and especially in India, where we've just entered into an agreement with Jet Airways.
QUEST: That's James Hogan, the chief exec of Etihad. Now, when we come back, it's just been announced from Perth, Australia, the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will resume today. We've got details on what's going out, and we'll have the latest information. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, good evening.
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's more "Quest Means Business" in just a moment. This is CNN, and on this network the news always comes first. Australia has confirmed that search teams are about to resume their search for any sign of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 in the Southern Indian Ocean. The search will resume in around two and a half hours from now. Five other countries are taking part in what they're calling a search and recovery operation. New Zealand, the U.S., Japan, China and the Republic of Korea are joining in. They'll be scouring an area of 80,000 square kilometers. On Tuesday the search was suspended because of high seas and gale force winds.
In Afghanistan gunmen attacked the election commission office in Kabul on Tuesday, 11 days before the presidential election. The interior ministry says five people died, another eight were wounded. He said the five attackers were also killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Rescue officials in the U.S. state of Washington say 176 people are still missing and 14 dead after a massive landslide over the weekend. Two small communities north of Seattle have been devastated by a surge of mud. No survivors have been rescued since Saturday. A local emergency director says it's unlikely anyone else will be found alive.
Clashes broke out in Egypt on Tuesday as nearly 700 supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood went on trial. They're facing charges related to a riot last August in the southern city of Minya. On Monday a court sentenced 529 others to death on similar charges.
And the German football giants Bayern Munich have won the Bundesliga title after beating Hertha Berlin 3-1. With seven games still to play, it means that Pep Guardiola's team has won the title at an earlier stage of the season than any previous team.
In the search for flight 370, Australia's defense minister says the priority's clear which is to find the debris and identify if it's part of the plane. Kate Bolduan spoke exclusively to the minister David Johnston and Australia's deputy chief of defence.
KATE BOLDUAN , CNN ANCHOR AND CO-HOST OF CNN'S MORNING SHOW "NEW DAY" WITH CHRIS CUOMO AND MICHAELA PEREIRA: I think the most important things is what's the message to families who wait with baited breath for any answer of where this debris is and what happened to the plane?
DAVID JOHNSTON, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE MINISTER: With respect to the families, all I can say is how tragic this whole mystery has been for them -- the emotional rollercoaster they have been on. I know my prime minister and myself are very, very concerned not to give false expectations. We are doing everything we can. The first thing we want to do is extract some wreckage if there is any from the surface of the ocean down there, two and a half thousand kilometers from Perth and identify it as being part of the aircraft. That is the first threshold issue that we have focused upon.
BOLDUAN: And you're not comfortable enough yet to say you believe this is debris from the plane? You're just looking for that debris that was spotted, correct?
JOHNSTON: All we are doing is responding as best we can until something positive comes up. Now, you know, we've got to get a boat into the water, we've got to hook up the debris depending on its size, we've got to get it onboard, and then we've got to have experts tell us whether it's part of an aircraft.
BOLDUAN: Now, I want to ask about that process, and, Vice Chief, you can probably help with that. Let's say the Success finds debris, they bring it on board. Is it identified right there on the ship? I know it's a huge ship. Or is it brought back to Perth? What is the process?
MARK BINSKIN, VICE CHIEF, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE: They will then move into the area and, as they start to recover the debris, they'll look for anything - the serial numbers, the shape of it, the color of the markings. They'll find as much as they can, they will pass that back to the coordination center and then they will start looking at that and start looking and talking with experts and describe it to see if it's possibly a part of wreckage and then we will look to collect more. But some wreckage if it's serial numbers or things like that, it becomes very obvious.
BINSKIN: If other parts, it might be cautionary and difficult to do. But it is a big task.
BOLDUAN: And as someone who is helping to lead one of the major parts of this effort - the investigation here -- is the minister of defence. Do you think that criticism of your counterparts in Malaysia has been fair? Because there's been a lot of focus on that during this investigation.
JOHNSTON: Hindsight is always a wonderful thing in a mystery such as this. I think the blame game is a long way from even being credibly able to be started. Now, my heart goes out to the Malaysian authorities, not to mention of course the families and friends of the crew and the passengers. Look, this has been a tragedy, it has come from nowhere. Who would have anticipated anything like this - an aircraft just going off the radar? And now we believe it's about three and a half thousand kilometers away from where it's supposed to be at its last point of identification. Now, you know, and may I say in one of the most outrageously remote parts of the planet.
BOLDUAN: You're working very hard to spot this debris. Are you confident this effort will find the debris at some point? Do you think there is a chance that we will never find this plane even if it landed in the Indian Ocean?
BINSKIN: It's - again it's difficult to speculate. But we take every bit of information that comes in, it's being shared by many, many nations to find - refine - the search area. But there's always a possibility actually we might not find something next week or the week after. I think eventually something will come to light, but it's going to take time.
BOLDUAN: Yes, time and patience is something that's very difficult in these trying times when you know that you only have a limited day - number of hours - left on that black box. Gentlemen, I really appreciate it. Thank you very much for your time and good luck with the search. Everyone's hoping and waiting with you.
BINSKIN: As we all are.
JOHNSTON: Thank you, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Thank you very much, sir.
QUEST: Australian officials there. Now, in about two and a half hours the search will resume as we've been telling you. Forces from six countries are taking part. There'll be Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., Japan, China and South Korea joining in. A search and recovery operation - that's significant as opposed to a search and rescue. It means really all they're doing is going out there now - not all -- or what that main area is, is to go and find debris and locate it, the ships pick it up, verify it and then try and work out from there where the larger debris field will be which will be further north up the (ph).
On Tuesday search planes couldn't fly because of gale force winds. We know that of rain and cloud. Conditions are today more favorable, and let's put all of this to nuff in San Diego (ph). To talk about the search is Colleen Keller, former U.S. navy operation research analysts who worked on 447 and - Air France 447. What would it - to those who are going out to this area to do the search, and knowing the sort of difficulties that you have deep in the area, what would your advice be to them? What would - do -- they need to keep in mind?
COLLEEN KELLER, SENIOR ANALYST, METRON: Well, Richard, right now what we're trying to do is just cover a large area and to pick up some kind of debris. So, we've had satellite pictures, we're not really sure if they were parts of the aircraft. We're trying to get something in our hands that would corroborate with the satellite hits that we have that have put the aircraft in the Southern Indian Ocean. Right now the Australians are on target. They've just got to cover as broad an area as they can, they're managing the search, they're coordinator other countries' efforts in this search and they're doing a beautiful job in such difficult conditions. But the key thing is to get a ship onto a piece of debris that's spotted from the air and get it identified.
QUEST: But of course the debris field that would have existed when the flight ended is very different now to a debris field or even individual debris that has drifted and separated over the last nearly three weeks.
KELLER: Right, yes, I mean everything is spreading out. The currents aren't - they're not continuous. They actually have a lot of variation. Things drift and at different rates, depending on how far out of the water they stick - we call that leeway. So leeway is a combination of the effect of the wind on the piece of debris and the effect of the currents. Some math - we actually have mathematical equations that can calculate leeway. And different things protrude out of the water at different amounts, so some pieces will drift farther than others, some people - pieces - will be subject to the wind vice other pieces being subject to the currents. So the sum effect of this is all these pieces from the original wreck site will spread out or fan out, and after 16 days, it's fairly widespread.
QUEST: Can you give us cause for optimism and hope in this?
KELLER: Well, we still have the wildcard of the pingers on the black boxes. I mean, if we can get close, we have a chance of detecting them, but the if - the if we get close part - is the difficult part. It's a very big ocean and we should be looking at the kinds of data that we have right now are, the satellite ping which - I don't know how localized that is, you know, how tight they were able to get that. And the question is, you know, the aircraft kept flying after that last ping, and at some point it impacted the ocean. So we need estimates of how much fuel it had, when it sent that last ping in, how - what its fuel burn rate was and then we can to start to come up with an uncertainty area past that last ping where it might've impacted the ocean. Combining that with maybe reverse drifting back whatever -
KELLER: -- debris we can find - if we find something - will give us a location to get into the water.
QUEST: Thank you for your expertise. You put it very clearly -
KELLER: You're welcome.
QUEST: -- and concisely and I'm very grateful to you tonight. Thank you much indeed. When we come back, we're going to talk about the makers of one of the biggest mobile creations around. It's going public on the stock market. We'll talk about it. It's called Candy Crush. I've never played it, but I think I am alone. (Inaudible) the studio.
QUEST: If you ever wondered what they do before we go on air here at "Quest Means Business," if you ever wondered how the crew spend their time - now wonder no more. Just behind me, they play Candy Crush. The makers of the online game are hoper for a sweet market debut. It's King Digital Entertainment which will go public tomorrow on the New York Stock Exchange. The British company's selling around 22 million shares at a price range of $21 to $24 each. That tells us it's another market value, market cap around $7 billion. Samuel Burke, our technology Internet correspondent has been covering this story for us. He joins us now live from London. All right, Samuel, you can gratuitously beat me up. I have never played Candy Crush but I think I'm probably alone.
SAMUEL BURKE, BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You're definitely the only one left in the entire world, Quest. Everybody's playing it. But the real problem for King is that it really seems to be their only game. It's a one-hit wonder. Yes, it's brought in $1.8 billion in one year - Candy Crush. But so far it seems like a one-hit wonder - 78% of King's revenue. So you haven't played this game and you haven't probably played any of other - any other - of King's games. So, that's a problem.
QUEST: Right, OK. So these one-hit wonders and Zinger (ph) - I think it's Zinger (ph) and Farm Girl is the one that people always talk about even though I think even though --
QUEST: -- I think it does have other products.
QUEST: Why, then hasn't the market learned that these companies tend to be one-hit wonders and why do they still price themselves so highly?
BURKE: Well all the analysts I spoke to said that King actually has learned from all of Zynga's troubles on their farms and with FarmVille, and so that's why they think this is a more appropriately-priced IPO potentially. But they say that doesn't solve the long-term problems. Already in the last few months they've seen the revenue go down for Candy Crush when it comes to King Digital. So, yes, they've learned from Zynga but you have to get another hit, and boy is it hard to get another hit.
QUEST: And in the past few minutes Facebook has announced a new acquisition. Samuel, tell me more about the virtual reality that is moving into the social media giant say it'll take over a company called Oculus VR - around $2 billion. By my reckoning, $19 billion on - WhatsApp -
QUEST: -- WhatsApp, --
QUEST: -- and now $2 billion on what - Oculus VR. What is Oculus VR and why should they care about it?
BURKE: Oculus Virtual Reality. Maybe we should start thinking about combining the headset Google Glass with virtual reality. Imagine booking a hotel online, Richard, or booking an airplane seat and being able to look at that hotel room or inspect the plane first and see what your seat looks like on your Google Glass using this Virtual Reality technology. They're probably moving more toward that and not toward gaming -
BURKE: -- which is what a lot of other people have done with virtual reality technology.
QUEST: Samuel, thank you. Samuel Burke joining us there. Matt, stop playing that game! You're fired. Confidence returned on - again - confidence returned on Wall Street today. Look at the numbers and you'll see exactly what I mean. It was a very strong session. We had a dip just sort of around lunch time, but by and large things moved back up again. And although we were off the best of the day, the gain of 91 which is under 100 points, a gain of half a percent as U.S. consumer confidence reached the highest level in some six years. European markets rebounded - look at the numbers. They decided that that fall in Germany's business climate was not as bad as people had feared. The German market was at 1.6, the best of the four. All the others were up quite sharply - Paris as well as strong station - a strong day.
Now, more rain is on the way for the U.S. state of Washington where the death toll from a massive weekend continues to decline. Ivan Cabrera is with us at the CNN World Weather Center.
IVAN CABRERA, METEOROLOGIST AND WEATHER ANCHOR FOR CNN INTERNATIONAL: Yes, it's going to continue to climb and I think in fact that it could climb exponentially here. That's the important part because, Richard, what we have is 176 people that are still unaccounted for here and we have not heard, unfortunately, from them four days since this landslide occurred which was of course on a Saturday.
I want to show you some incredible pictures here from Google imagery. This is obviously the before picture here, and watch what happens as the mountainside just completely gives way - unrecognizable and this happened with just in a matter of minutes. There was just no time for people to get out. I'll show you some of the pictures on the ground there. You can see from the devastation you could imagine how quick - quickly - this turned into a quite a calamity down there. Now, the death toll again at 14 right now, but still 176 people missing. Hopefully some of them just haven't gotten in touch with their relatives or with officials, but unfortunately I think that 14 is going to go up in a dramatic fashion.
Now we have two things going on. The search and rescue continues there obviously. But that landslide blocked one of the major roads going in and out of that town and what goes through that road, alongside it is a river and we've also blocked that. Look at this - the hydrograph here and it goes from four feet to zero. Essentially we have blocked it here. Eventually this will give way as we have these flash flood warnings that will continue downstream for places like Arlington will continue that threat over the next couple of days. And if that weren't enough, which it is, we have this - more rain on the way. So landslides probably will continue over the next few days and we're not just talking about a few showers. You can clearly see from a 12 affer loop (ph) this moisture - it's just continues to stream in, and this is just one of several storms systems that are going to roll in over the next couple of days. There's one that you see there spinning up and then by the weekend, we'll have another one coming in and that one also will be bringing in some rain as well. So, that is going to be a mess.
Are you coming into the United States via New York? You may have some issues tomorrow. Windy conditions, a blockbuster of a storm. We'll be covering this 24/7 here but the storm has shifted further east and so that the major cities are not going to get clobbered with the heaviest of the snow, but I think the major airports still could see some delays because not so much of the snow, but because of the windy conditions. As we check in quickly on Europe, here the big story will be this area of low pressure down towards the central Med. It's going to be bringing some rain and so cold enough for snow although slowly but surely getting into spring here. So now the snowfall, you have to go higher and higher up and so the mountainsides are going to be getting in all the snow, the rest of us just seeing some unsettled weather with rain the next couple of days. Richard.
QUEST: Ivan, thank you very much. Ivan Cabrera at the World Weather Center. "Build it Like Beckham." English football star - biggest star - shares his vision of a new stadium in Miami - after the break.
QUEST: David Beckham is planning a brand new stadium for his football team in Miami as WLPG's Terry Forney reports, some people see problems ahead.
TERRY FORNEY, REPORTER FOR WPLG LOCAL 10 IN MIAMI: David Beckham back in south Florida tonight -
DAVID BECKHAM, FORMER ENGLAND FOOTBALL CAPTAIN: Miami's all about the water, you know, all about the culture -
FORNEY: -- admiring the Magic City and giving us a peek at what the 25,000-seat soccer stadium he plans to build here would look like.
BECKHAM: If you see the plans, the skyline is what you see and that can only be good for Miami.
FORNEY: Beckham's eyes are on Port Miami, an already congested area with traffic and limited parking.
BECKHAM: Every stadium in the world, there's going to be traffic so, you know, it's something that we will try and deal but it's something that will be there.
FORNEY: But Royal Caribbean has announced it's against the current stadium. It has other plans for the land. However, that hasn't swayed Beckham.
BECKHAM: I don't want to be enemy - an enemy - to the people that are opposing the stadium. I want to work with them, I want to change their minds and change their minds to the fact that we are here to help the community and -
FORNEY: David, what's your biggest struggle right now in bringing this idea to life?
BECKHAM: Thankfully, we haven't had too many struggles at the moment. We will be funding this stadium ourself. But as an organization, as a franchise, we want to be treated like every other franchise is treated.
FORNEY: That means a tax break at the state level, no matter which of the four proposed sites are picked. But Beckham and his team have their sights stuck on Port Miami even though it's far from final.
BECKHAM: Not everything can run as smoothly as it has so far, but, fingers crossed, that'll be where it will be.
QUEST: We told you about the popular King Digital Entertainment, the maker of the popular game Candy Crush, who has announced its IPO price $22.50 a share which is bang in the middle of the predicted range of $21 to $24 -- $22.50 the IPO strike price as it's called for Candy Crush. We'll have a "Profitable Moment" after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment." To visitors of the United States there are few things more disturbing, distressing, frustrating and annoying - call it what you will - than going through U.S. immigration and customs, especially if it's at one of the major airports like Miami, Los Angeles or here in the northeast. So the decision of the U.S. and Abu Dhabi government to ground pre-clearance at Abu Dhabi was a major event. There's only one other such of its kind and that's in Shannon in Dublin in Ireland, and it has of (ph) historical interest. Grounding Abu Dhabi pre- clearance for immigration and customs is a huge benefit for one particular airline - Etihad. Oh to be sure every other airline that flies through Abu Dhabi stands to potentially gain. But they only have one flight a day, maybe, to the U.S. and they can only benefit once. Etihad will benefit to all its flights to New York, Washington, Chicago, and some to come on line, Los Angeles. I don't criticize Etihad. They have been the beneficiary of a policy that's giving them a jewel in the crown. But I do wonder about the people who introduced such a policy that gave it to some and not to others, and ultimately have left one airline much the richer. And that's "Quest Means Business" for this edition. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, (RINGS BELL) I hope it's profitable. I'll see you tomorrow.