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CONNECT THE WORLD
Contradicting Stories At Ukrainian Checkpoint; Remaking Rwanda; South Korean President Has Tough Words For Ferry Crew
Aired April 21, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Unforgivable acts akin to murder, that is just part of a searing attack on the crew of the sunken ferry from South Korea's president as yet more bodies are carried ashore. We're live in South Korea with the very latest for you this hour.
Also ahead, the Americans are coming. But Vice President Biden and company have a tough task ahead trying to end the crisis in Ukraine.
And staying strong as re the people of Boston take to the streets in support of their marathon one year on from the day the city had one of its darkest days.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: 7:00 here in Abu Dhabi.
New arrests and blistering condemnation in South Korea's ferry disaster. Listen to what the country's president had to say about what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PARK GUEN-HYE, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA (through translator): First and foremost, the actions of the captain some of the crew are absolutely unacceptable, unforgivable actions that are akin to murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, meanwhile divers continue to search the sunken ferry for 215 people who are still missing. The bodies of at least 87 have now been recovered.
Well, for the divers that task is almost too much to bear.
CHOUNG DONG-NAM, PRESIDENT, KOREAN RESCUE ASSOCIATION (through translator): Finding survivors is the strong desire of the whole nation. Our position is the same as the missing people's families. We're all volunteers. We're in the same position. We cry every day and search for the missing people. I cry whenever I think about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: All right, we're going to take you live to Jindo in South Korea in just a few moments.
Well, in Ukraine conflicting reports about a deadly shooting creating a confusing situation on the ground. Now this comes after several people were killed at what is a pro-Russia checkpoint near Slovyansk. On Sunday, Ukrainian nationalists and pro-Russia supporters blame each other. Ukraine claims it has proof that the Russian military is stirring the unrest, while Russia says Ukraine is doing nothing to disarm radical groups.
Well, Moscow says that violates the international agreement reached in Geneva last week.
Meanwhile, OSCE mediators have just finished meeting with pro-Russia leaders in Slovyansk for several hours to talk about the shooting and the Geneva agreement.
All this as vice president -- or U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Kiev to meet with Ukrainian leaders and activists.
Well, Phil Black traveled to the scene of the shooting and joins us now from Donetsk, which is I believe about two hours away -- Phil.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Becky, when you visit that scene you see that some of the details in this claim of a shootout at this location, well they're pretty murky. And as you say there are competing stories about who did it and why. But it is the consequences of this that are potentially so significant, because in this town of Slovyansk people there are now talking about civil war. Take a look.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A nationalist attack or an elaborate propaganda stunt -- how and why these cars were torched are now key questions impacting Ukraine's future.
Yuri says he was there when it happened. He's one of the many pro- Russian militants who now control the town of Slovyansk. He shows me where he says he helped fight off an attack on this checkpoint.
Yuri says these were among the four cars which approached before people got out and started shooting.
This man says he was at the barricade when it came under fire. He says he saw his friend die before reinforcements arrived to help them.
The new pro-Russian administration in Slovyansk says six people were killed in the shootout, three from each side. And the surviving attackers fled in their remaining two cars.
Everyone here says they know who to blame.
"Right Sector, that's who attacked us," he says.
Right Sector is a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist group. Pro-Russians in Slovyansk say they recovered all of this from the attackers, including what they say is a Right Sector membership tag. Moscow also chimed in, accusing the government in Kiev of failing to reign in extremists.
The Right Sector says that's not what their tags look like, and they deny being involved.
And Ukraine's security service, the SBU, says its investigators on the ground aren't buying the pro-Russian story either. They believe pro- Russians staged the attack.
Whatever happened here, it is already having a wider impact on efforts to talk down the uprisings across this region. The locals we've spoken to tell us because of this they will not be persuaded to give up their weapons.
"This is the beginning of civil war. They wanted it. With this, they've got it," he says.
But the pro-Russians don't want to fight a war alone.
The self-declared mayor of Slovyansk Visislav Ponamalu (ph) has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to send peacekeepers to protect the town.
"And if not soldiers," he says, "please send weapons and humanitarian aid."
Once again in Ukraine, different versions of the truth are competing to be heard and both are fueling a crisis with no end is sight.
BLACK: So Right Sector denies responsibilities for this. But more than that, they say they've been predicting something like this would happen, that there would be some outrage in the region, and they would be blamed for it.
Now whether this is a bold nationalist attack, or a pro-Russian propaganda stunt, ultimately the motivations behind it are the same, to increase tensions and to escalate the potential for open conflict in eastern Ukraine, Becky.
ANDERSON: Phil Black in Donetsk for you this evening.
And a bit later on Connect the World, we'll have more of our special coverage on the crisis in Ukraine as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev, as I said, we'll take a look at Washington's role and its options.
And as the standoffs continue, we talk to two U.S. lawmakers who are on a fact finding mission to the region looking for solutions.
Let's get a live update on our top story now. The ferry disaster in South Korea. CNN's Paula Hancocks joins me live from Jindo in South Korea. And earlier today, Paula, the spokesman of the joint task force was still calling this a search and rescue operation, suggesting there are examples of people surviving for, what, up to 70 hours in the past.
But we're now six days in with further bodies being recovered. Any real chance of survivors at this point?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, there hasn't been a survivor taken from this ship since Wednesday, which is when the ferry actually sank and this is the sixth night that we are going into now.
Now inevitably, some families will be holding out hope. It's only human nature that until you have the worst confirmed to you, you will have some hope. And at this point, officials say that they are still working on the assumption that there may be survivors.
Another spokesman of the joint task force in the -- in a briefing to CNN basically said that they haven't found any air pockets within the ship yet. But there's a possibility that there may be some, because the ship is not continuing to sink. It's about 10 to 15 meters below the surface of the water now, according to the spokesman, but it's been hovering around that area for some time. It's maintaining that flotation level.
But of course when you are going into the sixth night after this kind of a disaster, in waters that are this cold, it is very difficult to imagine that there could be survivors, but at this point that is the assumption that they are working under, Becky.
ANDERSON: Paula, the president making a very bold and some might say controversial statement ahead of any investigation into exactly what happened with this ship. What was said?
HANCOCKS: That's right. The investigation is very much ongoing, so it was certainly unusual, I think, for a head of state to weigh in, in this kind of -- in this kind of way, but the president Park Guen-hye basically said that everyone was shocked and horrified by what has happened and described what the captain and the crew had done to, quote, "akin to murder," end quote.
So a very forceful statement from the president. And certainly, this is a nation in mourning, it is a nation that has been shocked by this very disaster. And I think that the president trying to tap into the public mood and appreciate that the public is shocked by just what has happened. And also there is a huge amount of criticism for the fact that the captain, or at least someone on the crew, did tell the passengers to stay put initially. There was an announcement over the (inaudible) saying do not move, it is more dangerous if you move. This as the ferry was sinking.
Now that has been widely criticized as potentially and probably having cost lives, the fact that people didn't get to the deck and didn't evacuate.
And also the fact that the captain was one of the first, among the first to be rescued. And many of the crew members also were rescued, this is causing a lot of criticism within South Korea.
So I think the president really tapping into that sentiment -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Paula Hancocks is in South Korea for you this evening.
Well, underway right now in Yemen, what's been called a major unprecedented assault targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula. A government official tells CNN that drone strikes and Yemeni commandos have been going after high level targets in the south of the country since Saturday.
Now this comes about a week after this video surfaced showing a large gathering in Yemen over al Qaeda members.
Mow Mohammed Jamjoom has been following this. He joins us now from CNN in Washington.
And Mohammed, you've been speaking to a high level Yemeni government official about what is going on on the ground. What did he tell you?
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Becky. Let me update you first with the latest batch of news that we have out of Yemen. What I've been told is that late last night, in fact, an elite unit of Yemeni special forces went into Shabwa, which is another area where there are so many AQAP members in Yemen that they ambushed a vehicle that was carrying suspected high value targets of the AQAP organization. A firefight ensued. Those militants were killed. Then a Yemeni helicopter landed there on the scene, collected the bodies of those militants and they've taken them away so that they can be DNA tested.
That's in order to find out if, in fact, any high value targets have been killed in these operations.
What we know so far is that at least 30 militants have been killed, that is very significant, but will it actually have the capability of degrading the organization? AQAP, as we know, is a resurgent. It's a strong organization, it's been deemed for a long time the most dangerous wing of the al Qaeda network in the entire world. It is based in Yemen. Yemen, a country with a weak central government.
So the fact that Yemen's government in collaboration with the U.S. is actually going into these areas, which they've never dared to go into before, putting boots on the ground, carrying out these operations. That is very significant. They want to send a message.
And they want to send a message that's significant, because that videotape that you cited, which shows quite clearly leadership of AQAP sitting very pretty and very comfortably there in Yemen not really all that worried about what the government might do to them. The fact that they could release this tape really is a slap in the face of the Yemeni government. And the Yemeni government wanted to respond, strike hard, and strike fast. And it seems that's what they've done.
Now there's been a lot of speculation as to whether some of the top people of the organization, including the top bombmaker for AQAP Ibrahim al-Asiri, who is a Saudi National, whether or not he's been killed, that speculation is rampant at this hour. All the officials I'm talking to saying it's way too early to talk about who may have been killed. It's the DNA testing that will confirm that once and for all. And that'll happen within a few days -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Mohammed Jamjoom is in Washington for you on what is an extremely important story. Mohammed, thank you for that.
We are being told that the constant threat of drone strikes against al Qaeda militants in Yemen is coming at quite a cost for the rest of the population. The psychological impact of battling these militants is now being studied and the results, well they are quite shocking. We're going to take more about that a little later in the show.
Well, right now, thousands of runners from across the globe are pounding the streets of Boston. These are live pictures and I'm going to tell you about the changes being made to the Boston marathon after last year's terror bombings at the finish line. Live pictures coming to you on CNN.
We're going to take a very short break. Back after this.
ANDERSON: All right. Welcome back. You're with CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson, at a quarter past 7:00 here in the UAE.
Now the international agreement to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine appears to be in danger. a deadly shooting at a pro-Russia checkpoint in eastern Ukraine at the weekend has increased tensions with what are known as pro-Russia supporters and Ukrainian nationalists blame each other for the killings.
Well, a team of OSCE negotiators spoke with the self-declared mayor of Slovyansk about the attack and the Geneva agreement reached last week to ease the conflict. Meanwhile, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Kiev in the capital of Ukraine, leading a delegation of U.S. lawmakers.
Well, earlier, I spoke with two of those lawmakers in the U.S. House who are in Ukraine. The committee on foreign affairs Chairman Ed Royce and Congressman Elliot Engel.
First, I asked Congressman Engel to respond to what Ukraine's prime minister said Sunday on a U.S. television network, have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDRIY YATSENYUK, PRIME MINISTER OF UKRAINE: We need a strong, solid state. We need a financial and economic support. We need to overhaul the Ukrainian military. We need to modernize our security and military forces. We need real support.
REP. ELIOT ENGEL (D) NEW YORK: Well, we passed and the president signed into law a billion dollars in loan guarantees. And we are here as a bipartisan delegation to show our solidarity with the people of Ukraine. I think it's the very, very important time. And I think it's very important to stand up to what Putin is doing. It's absolutely disgraceful. And I think that the west is being watched very carefully, Putin is watching us to see if we mean what we say.
The people here in Ukraine look at the United States and our western allies, the beacons of democracy, and we want to make sure that Ukraine is a beacon of democracy. But good thoughts won't do it at all, we need to put our money where our mouth is and Mr. Putin has to know that there's a price that he will pay if he continues to...
ANDERSON: Chairman Royce, a billion dollars is all well and good. The EU says it'll provide about $15 billion over the next couple of years. This is a country that is on its knees. It needs some $35 billion or more over the next couple of years, otherwise it's a done deal. I mean, it's -- you know, it's bankrupt.
With respect, a billion dollars isn't going anywhere, is it?
REP. ED ROYCE, (R) CALIFORNIA: The first point I was make is there's an election here on May 5. It's very important that election go off as planned.
But with that election and with those reforms that are coming down, it will be possible for Ukraine to get better on its feet. In the meantime, we're also pushing an initiative which will help get gas into the Ukraine. The United States will be helping on developing shale gas here. We're also working on trying to encourage changes in our laws so that gas can be shipped here.
ANDERSON: Congressman Engel, when we're talking about gas, and it would be gas that Ukraine were to need, but it lacks an LNG port, so quite frankly in the short-term it's not likely it's going to get its gas any time soon, certainly not from the states, which at the moment has an oil and gas embargo on its exports, of course.
Your colleague Chairman Royce has talked about lifting that self- imposed embargo. Would you support that?
ENGEL: Well, I think the gas and energy needs is really one part of the picture. I think Ukraine, again, wants to know that the west is standing behind it. I think the best answer that the Ukrainians can have to what Mr. Putin is doing is to go vote in their election in May and to have an outpouring of democracy where the will of the Ukrainian people is worked in this election.
And I think that will be the biggest blow to Putin if democracy takes deep roots in Ukraine.
ANDERSON: Chairman Royce, the European Union is unlikely to come together as a bloc when we are talking about further trade sanctions, so it may be up to the United States going forward to really wield this stick. Would you support the U.S. Treasury limiting Russia's ability to trade in dollars, the precedent of course being Iran.
ROYCE: ...is the question of whether the Russian military comes into the eastern Ukraine. And frankly, one of the things that keeps them from doing so and got them to the table and to the negotiation that you saw between Ukraine, the United States, the EU and Russia a week ago was the fact that there is trepidation in Moscow right now, you've already seen what's happened with the impact on the stock market there, with the impact on their currency the ruble, with the capital flight $70 billion fleeing the economy in Russia.
S, yes , the Russian oligarchs and the Russian government is nervous about what steps we might take.
ANDERSON: That's a look at what diplomats are doing on the ground, at least the U.S. diplomats.
Meanwhile, the faithful in Ukraine are appearing to a higher power. They are using the Easter holiday to pray for peace. If you haven't seen it yet, check out Fred Pleitgen's remarkable story online on a special section of the website CNN.com/Ukraine.
Well, the financial fallout in Ukraine also exposing Russia's economic weakness. Our global exchange series is up next. Moscow starring at recession as its standoff with the west takes a heavy toll.
That is coming up.
And just before we take a break, I want to get you some live pictures out of Boston. Runners making their way to the finish line in Boston. We'll tell you what's being done to protect the marathon there one year after the deadly bombings.
Back on the other side of this break.
ANDERSON: 23 minutes past 7:00 in Abu Dhabi.
Russia's economy has taken a hit since Ukraine crisis started. And things could get a whole lot worse for Moscow in the near future. Emerging markets editor John Defterios joining me at the Global Exchange. What' sort of effect does this standoff having on Russia.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Well, it's interesting, during your interview one of the congressman suggested we've seen capital flight of around $70 billion. At least the Russian government right now is admitting in the first quarter capital flight of $60 billion. We're also making worst case scenario planning, the economic development minister we've had on the program was suggesting we could see capital flight of $100 billion. If that's the case Russia will barely grow in 2014.
This is the worst case scenario. The former central bank government, the former finance minister, I'd like to see (inaudible) was considered a moderate within the former cabinet of President Putin suggesting that number could ratchet up to $160 billion. Now if that's the case growth is out the door in 2014 and the World Bank is suggesting we could see a contraction of 1.8 percent.
It's worth remembering, this is an economy that is growing better than 4 percent during the height of the financial crisis.
ANDERSON: This has got to worry President Putin. Despite the fact that his approval ratings are at something like some 70 percent or over at the moment. You heard my discussion with the U.S. congressman before the break.
What's at stake so far as energy is concerned for both parties here, Ukraine and Russia?
DEFTERIOS: There's a couple of wild cards at play. Let's cover Ukraine, first and foremost. Russia, the deadline today is for Ukraine to pay a back bill of $2.2 billion. We haven't heard much about it, but this could be the next hot point, if you will.
Gazprom is suggesting they owe the Russian government -- the Ukrainians --$11 billion in total. So that's the Ukrainian side. The other side of this is what Europe does now. Will they have the steel to kind of shutdown pipelines and pipeline projects. The first and foremost one is the South Stream project, which is being talked about to keep it simple. It's talking about the Black Sea through Bulgaria and then coming into Europe. It's a $50 billion project. The energy minister of the European Union suggesting it is on hold.
There's another project which is called the nord stream, which is operations. two pipelines going through the Baltic Sea, Denmark into Germany. This is operational.
Now what's very interesting behind this, the major players that are stakeholders in this -- Germany, France, Italy, the Dutch players, on both sides of this. Did they really want to see this deal get scuppered or not. That could be the wild card here.
And in a sense what's considered the nuclear bomb is if you have European Union's (inaudible) and they don't do anything on sanctions beyond where they are today, the U.S. Treasury steps in and follows the model we've seen here with Iran. That's shutting down dollar trades for Gazprom and Rosneft, which has a partnership with Exxon Mobil of course.
And on the other side, you can see them tightening up their ability for the corporates to trade. We have Spaer (ph) Bank, BTB Bank, big Russian banks that have taken out euro bonds and corporates bonds from the United States. This could be -- the worst case scenario when things escalate going further. It's going to see if the oligarchs and corporate Moscow go back to President Putin and suggest you're not helping us. We're in recession right now. Will they step up to the plate and say this is not helping our economy.
The moderate voices of the cabinet have so far in Russia spoken up.
ANDERSON: Yeah, this is fascinating isn't it. We're looking at the U.S. ratcheting up not just its sort of political rhetoric, as it were, but its economic action potentially as we see what, as you suggested, is a split Europe.
DEFTERIOS: Well, and Iran. They know it works now. They ratchet it up, they tightened the noose and they realized it got the Iranians back to the bargaining table. We don't know, because the role that Russia has in providing natural gas to Europe, if it works again.
ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff.
Watch this face, John Defterios at the global exchange.
DEFTERIOS: Well, every fortnight here on the global exchange, we look at major transformations. Well, 20 years ago the country of Rwanda was faced with genocide, now 20 years later we see a national park which is serving as a catalyst for transformation. Neil Curry has the story.
NEIL CURRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An hour from Rwanda's capital Kigali lies Tegara (ph) national park.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has the swamps and the lakes, river rind (ph) forest, (inaudible) savannah, rolling hills, it has everything and a huge diversity of birds. Over 480 species.
CURRY: But beyond its natural beauty, the park's future looked bleak when Jes Gruener (Ph) took over in 2010.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Poaching was high. The government didn't really see it as a resource at that stage.
CURRY: Bruna (Ph) and his team have been recovering up to 300 snares per month in their battle against poachers. And the park's rangers are now better trained, armed and equipped, boats and vehicles, to support foot patrols.
EUGENE MUTANGANA, DEPUTY MANAGER, AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK: What we cover in a month we cover it in two days. So that increase like (inaudible) the more snare that we put, the more -- the more poachers we arrest.
CURRY: Another successful tactic has been to reeducate posaches and help them use their skills for legal employment, not quote poacher turned gamekeeper, but more poacher turned butcher.
He says they learned that preserving the animals instead of killing them can help the economy. And now they try to stop others from poaching.
The lives of local people have also been transformed by the building of 120 kilometer electric fence to separate the animals from their human neighbors.
She says animals would destroy crops and kill villagers, but since the fence was erected, they can finally sleep safety at night.
Fence will also allow park managers to reintroduce animals, which have disappeared from the region.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At present we have three of the five -- the elephant, buffalo and leopard. We're looking to bring back the lion this year in 2014 and the black rhino the following year.
When we came, we did the census and there was 2000 animals. As of 2013, we counted over 8,000 animals which shows a positive growth.
CURRY: And that growth extends to visitor numbers, which have doubled in the past five years as tourists from around the world join Rwandan people in rediscovering their own national park.
Neil Curry, CNN, Akagera Natioanl Park, Rwanda.
ANDERSON: CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. The top stories this hour.
The captain and six crew members have been arrested in the wake of last week's ferry disaster off South Korea. The captain is charged with abandoning his boat, with negligence and causing bodily injury, amongst other things. The coast guard says 87 bodies have now been found, 215 people are still missing.
US Vice President Joe Biden is in Ukraine for meetings with government leaders and activists there. The two-day visit is seen as a show of support for Kiev, and reports say Biden will announce a new energy and economic package.
Presidential elections will take place in war-torn Syria on June the 3rd. Incumbent Bashar al-Assad, seen here at the weekend, is widely expected to run for another term. That is despite three years of conflict in which the UN says more than 100,000 people have died.
An important and emotional marathon underway right now in Boston, Massachusetts in the US. What's believed to be a record numbers of spectators lining the route to show their support. They are refusing to allow last year's deadly bombings at the finish line to define what is this iconic race.
Well, Deborah Feyerick joins us now, live from Boston with more on this year's marathon and last year's tragedy. And a very poignant day, not just for Bostonians and Americans, but for those of us watching around the world who remember the events on this day a year ago, Deb.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN US NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, absolutely, no question about it. And what's fascinating, also, about this marathon is you're just walking in the hotels and around the area, you can hear languages from all over the world. This really is very much an international event. This is a rite of spring for the people here in Massachusetts who have come out every year to cheer.
Behind me, you can see all these people -- this has been going on for the last hour -- people simply walking to get to the finish line, which is about half a mile from where we are, people who are going to line the race route and cheer on those runners, let them know that what they're doing really matters, 36,000 runners, the final batch just beginning this race. The early runners, the elite runners, started a little while ago.
But really, the mood here is very strong. The one thing that you do see is you see a lot of security. You see people who are on horseback, you see police who are on bicycles, on foot. They're making their presence known.
They've doubled the number of police officers here, and we've seen a couple of jackets, police officers coming in from other cities in this area. There are parks police, federal law enforcement agents.
So, really a heavy presence to let people know that, in fact, this race is very safe and they are going to redefine this race and reestablish it as the oldest -- 118 years this race has been run -- last year was an aberration. They are running for the people who were injured, for the people who lost their lives, but they are definitely reclaiming this race and redefining it once again as their own, Becky.
ANDERSON: Deborah Feyerick there in Boston for you. Well, some of those who survived last year's attacks were determined to race again this year. Poppy Harlow talks with one woman looking to cross the finish line.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this city is ready for the marathon. This is Boston Strong, and you know, I spent some of this afternoon with a woman who really embodies that phrase, "Boston Strong." Her name is Heather Abbott, she is an incredible woman who lost part of her left leg last year during the marathon bombing.
And the last year that she has been recovering, it has been astounding to watch her progress. Not only is she walking again, she's running again. She ran this weekend on Saturday in a tribute race, and she's going to run the last half mile of the marathon alongside a woman named Erin, who found her after the bombs exploded and helped save her. She's going to finish -- cross the finish line along with her.
And then there's this: to Heather, it was very important, she said, to feel as much like her old self as she could. Part of that was wearing pretty high heels. So, she is also walking on her prosthetic leg in four- inch high heels.
And she told me that she accepted pretty early on what had happened to her and realized how hard she was going to have to work to recover and get back to the place she wanted to be, and she has certainly put in that hard work. I want you to listen to what she told me when I asked what Marathon Monday, Patriot's Day here in Boston, is going to mean for her.
HEATHER ABBOTT, MARATHON BOMBING SURVIVOR: This year for me, it's like a new starting point. It's a day where I'm going to do the things I was supposed to do last year and didn't get to. It's sort of a celebration, I think, for me of all that I've been able to accomplish this year. And a time to start new memories.
HARLOW: New memories, indeed. And one of the things Heather has done this year as she herself has recovered is that she has been helping other amputees. She's gotten certified as a peer counselor, and she has helped other amputees because she understands what it is like to go through this. And she said that that has actually really helped her as well in her own recovery.
In terms of what we're going to see, of course we're going to see Heather and 36,000 other runners cross the finish line here in Boston. More than a million spectators are expected. Of course, police will be on high alert, security very, very tight here.
We are told there are going to be some 3500 police officers, both plainclothes and uniformed policed officers, a number -- dozens of security checkpoints, 100 cameras lining the marathon route here. People are being asked not to bring big bags with them, of course, not to bring bags at all with them.
Very tight security here in Boston as they try to make sure that everything is secure, but also celebrate what a big, important day -- hopefully a day of healing this is for the people of Boston as we think about all of the survivors and the victims of the horrific attack last year.
The day here in Boston will be a beautiful one, mid-60s, sunny, and a race that will, again, hopefully help this city heal from all they have gone through.
ANDERSON: Poppy Harlow on that. And stay with CNN, of course. You'll get more on the Boston Marathon as it starts.
Now, South Korea's president has called the country's deadly ferry disaster off Jindo Island, quote, "akin to murder." Transcripts released by South Korean authorities reveal the panicked nature onboard the ship as it sank.
At 8:55 Wednesday morning, the Sewol sent its first distress signal, their message: "Please hurry." By 9:00 AM, the ship told maritime traffic control it was impossible to tell if people were OK because of how far the ship had tilted.
Twelve minutes later, the ship confirmed that no passengers had boarded lifeboats. By 9:28 AM, coast guard ships began to arrive. A helicopter arrived shortly after that. At 9:37, the ship confirming it had listed 60 degrees, and by 10:23, the ship had completely rolled over, with only the hull visible. By Friday, the entire ship was underwater.
Well, South Korea's coast guard tells CNN 87 bodies have been found, 215 people are still missing. While divers still hope to find survivors, for some, the search and recovery operation is almost too much to bear. Will Ripley has their story.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For these divers, every day is a race against time, a race to find survivors of the sunken Sewol ferry, marked by only these two buoys.
CHOUNG DONG-NAM, PRESIDENT, KOREA RESCUE ASSOCIATION (through translator): As a civilian diver, there must be survivors. No matter what, we must find the air pocket. That's why I have hope.
RIPLEY: That hope is fading quickly for Choung Dong-Nam, who leads hundreds of volunteer divers. Each hour reduces the chances of finding anyone alive.
CHOUNG (through translator): We cry every day and search for the missing people. I cry whenever I think about it.
RIPLEY: A heavy burden. As divers brave dangerous conditions underwater, strong currents, and almost zero visibility.
CHOUNG (through translator): If you go down 10 meters, you can only see about 20 centimeters. Divers can barely recognize their own palm.
RIPLEY (on camera): As they search for the living, all they find are the dead. Each day, more and more victims are pulled from the water, placed on these ships, and taken to shore.
CHOUNG (through translator): All the families of the missing people and hundreds of volunteer divers are focused on searching for the survivors. We're willing to risk our lives for this.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Each day, they fight to find survivors. They fight the pain of knowing there may be nobody left alive.
CHOUNG (through translator): Let's stop here.
RIPLEY: Body after body, day after day, these divers don't give up. They say they can't give up.
Will Ripley, CNN, off the coast of Jindo, South Korea.
ANDERSON: Well, we've all heard the maritime tradition, the captain goes down with the ship, but one of our top stories online looks at whether that is really the case. From the sinking of the Titanic, to the grounding of the Costa Concordia, to the unfolding disaster in South Korea, it seems it's just not that simple. Find out why, and join the debate over what a captain should do, cnn.com/international.
Live from Abu Dhabi, you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, we'll revisit one of our top stories, a major military operation in Yemen to attack al Qaeda targets. Right now, officials say it's a success, but the ongoing fight is taking its toll on millions of people having to live with it. That after this.
ANDERSON: DNA tests are being done right now to identify suspected al Qaeda militants killed in what was an ambush in Yemen overnight. It is part of a larger operation, we're told, that includes commandos in Yemen, and most likely, US drones.
Well, drones, of course, were first used against targets in Yemen in 2002, 12 years ago. But the vast majority of attacks have occurred since 2009. Now, the New America Foundation counts 107 known US drone strikes in Yemen in the last 14 years.
They estimate at least 753 people have been killed, including at least 641 militants. The foundation also reports at least 81 civilians have been killed by US drones.
Strikes by the US in Yemen reached a peak in 2012 when 487 people were killed. Last year, 133 were killed. And this year, American drones have been used to kill over 30 people in Yemen.
My next guest says millions of Yemenis are suffering from panic and anxiety from fear that a drone could strike them down at any moment. Vivian Salama wrote an article called "A Death from Above" for "Rolling Stone," and she joins us now from CNN in New York.
This isn't a new story, but it is certainly a story that isn't going away. In fact, when you just look at the numbers, you see things, it appears, are getting worse. And we spoke to one local in Sanaa today who said locals are worried that this is the beginning of a new stage in the fight against al Qaeda.
And video just released last week by al Qaeda shows that even though these drone attacks are increasing, it doesn't seem that they're having an enormous amount of impact on the militants on the ground.
VIVIAN SALAMA, JOURNALIST: No. If anything, Becky, it's probably fueling the fire a little bit, causing a lot of resentment on the ground. But like you said, you're right, it is not a new story, but what it is, is it's getting worse.
On my previous trips -- compared to my previous trips to Yemen and this recent one, I saw a great deal more paranoia and just the irritability amongst the people that I talk to because it's just that you're living with this day in and day out.
If it's not an attack, if it's not a death of a loved one or a death of even one of the bad guys that's in your neighborhood, it's the fear that a drone strike may happen nearby your home, damage to your home, cause problems for your children.
The idea that al Qaeda militants might come and creep over next to your children and kind of whisper something in their ear that might convince them to join the fight against America or against whatever. These people are just living in absolute fear and terror every single day.
And it's coming from all sides. It's coming from the militants that are on the ground next to them, and it's coming from the air as well.
And so, unfortunately, what we saw this past weekend is a typical situation where you say, yes, they did allegedly hit militants, but there were also civilians killed. And this concept of being at the wrong place at the wrong time has just completely invaded the minds of these people that I spoke to, and it's the absolute fear of everybody there.
ANDERSON: All right. You wrote in a recent "Rolling Stone" article, I quote, "the drone strikes don't require US troops on the ground, and thus are easy to keep out of sight and out of mind. Over half of Yemen's 24.8 million citizens, militants and civilians alike, are impacted every day."
When you talk to the fact that these are remote-controlled devices, is your point that they will be enacted without much sense of what is actually the impact on the ground? Is that what disturbs you the most?
SALAMA: That is definitely a big part of it, but the other part of it is public perception, public -- the pressure from the public, through the government, to say that this is a problem, that people are dying. It may not be American people dying in this particular case, but there are innocent people, in a lot of cases, that are dying.
And of course, when we send troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, it was more real for the America people, and the public perception of it was very much seen on the streets, picketers and protesters and whatnot. You don't see that with the drone wars because of the fact that we are very distanced from it.
ANDERSON: Yes. All right, let me ask you this. I very much get your point, and many people watching will sympathize with what you're saying. What is the alternative? What is the solution, if not drones?
SALAMA: There are a lot of things. First of all, the Yemeni government, a lot of people are really putting pressure on them to make arrests. There are -- in so many cases, they know where these alleged militants are.
They can go in there and they can arrest them and bring them in, and there's no need to use this extreme military force. Now, that's not the case in all the situations, but in a large majority of them.
And then there's also humanitarian aid. Win hearts and minds for real. Public perception is really going down toward -- sorry, the anti- American sentiments are really going down in Yemen because of these attacks. And that's fueling al Qaeda recruitment.
So, go and build schools, build infrastructure that allows people access to water and other things which they don't have. There is a huge humanitarian crisis in Yemen that doesn't get talked about, and if America did more of that, then they would probably have a lot less need for the drones. At least that's definitely the feeling on the ground.
ANDERSON: One of the poorest countries in the world, it needs huge economic and financial help. Vivian, thank you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. It is ten to 8:00 here. A teenager runaway says he flew from California to Hawaii in the wheel well of a jumbo jet. How did he survive almost five hours with little oxygen and in temperatures well below zero? We've got a live report on that for you, coming up.
ANDERSON: CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Now, to a story that has confounded health and aviation experts. A 16-year-old runaway claims to have made the journey from San Jose in California to Hawaii inside the whale -- let me say that again, it's so amazing -- the wheel well of a jet.
He was apparently dazed and confused, understandably, on arrival, but has since recovered enough to tell his story, which is backed up by video evidence. Dan Simon joining me, live from the airport in San Jose. Dan, remarkable stuff.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It really is, Becky. And on a couple of levels. First of all, you have the security aspect of this, and then you have the survivability issue. Let's talk about security for a second, and we're hear with Rosemary Barnes with the San Jose International Airport.
What we understand is that this young man, 15 or 16 years old, scaled a fence and then made his way onto the tarmac here at the airport, and then climbed into a wheel well. Is that your basic understanding, in terms of how this occurred?
ROSEMARY BARNES, SAN JOSE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: That's what it appears to have happened here. First of all, we are very thankful that this teenager survived his journey. That's what's most important to us. We're glad that this situation has a happy ending.
But this teenager does seem to have scaled a section of our fence line. We are continuing to review what actually happened, how he was able to scale that fence line and enter the aircraft, and that's part of our ongoing review at this time.
SIMON: It does raise a security concern, does it not, that somebody can do this?
BARNES: There are many components of our security program here at San Jose Airport. Perimeter fence line is one. Surveillance video being reviewed, both real time as well as historically. The many, many people that work here on our airport, we're all part of the security program.
It does appear this teenager did scale our fence line under the cover of darkness, and he did remain undetected and was able to enter the aircraft.
SIMON: In terms of video surveillance, does that exist?
BARNES: We are continuing to review the video surveillance. We have 1,050 acres here. There's a lot of video to review between the time when we believe the teenager entered onto our ramp. So, that is -- we're continuing to review that video, and certainly we'll have more conclusive information in the near future.
SIMON: Rosemary Barnes, thank you very much, appreciate your time. Becky, as we said, there's the security issue and the survivability aspect of this. You're talking about a young man, 15, 16 years old, as we said, going up 38,000 feet into the air, temperatures somewhere below 80 below zero, five hours cross half the Pacific ocean. The fact that he survived this is really incredible.
We're told that he was actually unconscious for a period of time. The plane actually landed -- he was still unconscious, apparently, for an hour, then came to and was seen walking around the tarmac there in Maui, where he was confronted by security officials.
Of course, everyone is still reviewing how something like this could happen. The fact that he survived it is remarkable, and the fact that he could just breach the security zone here at the airport also remarkable. Becky?
ANDERSON: Yes. Listen, dangerous stuff, but thank goodness he made it. All right, Dan, thank you for that.
Now, when you think of a stadium packed with screaming fans supporting world-famous wrestlers, you don't necessarily think of Saudi Arabia, do you? But in tonight's Parting Shots, we bring you images of a rather unique rumble in the desert. That is right, those are WWE wrestlers taking part in the first-ever event of its kind in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
And as expected, the all-male crowd was over the moon with excitement seeing some of their heroes in the flesh. Saudi Arabia itself is looking to fight above its weight on the global stage right now.
The event coincides with the start of construction on what will, in theory, at least, become the world's tallest building, Jeddah's Kingdom Tower. It will be a staggering one kilometer tall. Your Parting Shots for this evening.
And just before we go, word just in that Rita Jeptoo of Kenya has just set a course record to become -- win the women's field of the 118th Boston Marathon. The team at CONNECT THE WORLD wishes here the absolute best and congratulations.
We always want to hear from you, of course, facebook.com/CNNconnect, have your say. You can tweet me @BeckyCNN, we're on Instagram at just Becky and CNN. You can also keep up-to-date with what's going on with the Boston Marathon with us here at CNN, of course.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching. Headlines follow this.