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Sewol Official Death Toll Stands At 150, 148 Still Missing; Leading Women: Sarah Jessica Parker; Kiev Restarts Anti-Terror Campaign; Interview with Pixar Co-Founder Ed Catmull; MH370 Object of Interest Found In Western Australian; Nike Rumored To Kill Fuelband
Aired April 23, 2014 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Ukraine has resumed efforts to regain control of the country's restive east.
Now the state run news agency quotes the deputy prime minister as saying the anti-terror operation will focus on the cities of Kramatorsk, Slovyansk, Donetsk and Luhansk. Now pro-Russian militants in those cities continue to occupy government buildings and show no signs of giving them up. This, despite the international agreement that was reached in Geneva last week that calls on them to lay down their weapons and leave, promising amnesty in return.
Now this is the latest of many fast moving developments on the story. Let's go live to Frederik Pleitgen in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. He joins us now. And Fred, it seems the security situation in Eastern Ukraine is deteriorating.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it absolutely is. And one of the reasons why the Ukrainian government today announced that it was putting in place that anti-terror operation, as it calls it, is because of the developments in the last 24 hours.
On the one hand, there was a politician whose body was found in a river in the town of Slovyansk, which of course is occupied by pro-Russian separatist forces. The Ukrainian intelligence service, Ukrainian authorities are saying that they blame Russian security services as well as those pro-Russian separatists for killing this man. They said they found the body in a river and that there were signs of torture as well.
The pro-Russian separatists have also come forward, for their part, and they're blaming what they call right-wing Ukrainian militias for being behind this murder.
Another major development that happened late yesterday was that apparently a Ukrainian plane that flew over one of these towns was hit by fire from the ground. It's sustained several bullet holes, but was able to land safely.
So, you're absolutely right, the situation in eastern Ukraine is volatile. The Ukrainian government had put this offensive, as it called it, on hold over the Easter holidays, but now says that it is back in place.
However, Kristie, there are serious questions as to whether or not the Ukrainian military is actually capable of conducting such an operation, because this is of course highly sophisticated counter-insurgency warfare that they would have to be conducting. And so far they really haven't shown themselves capable of doing so. In fact, last week when they tried to move into those areas, a convoy there was essentially hijacked by those pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army lost several of its armored personnel carriers, Kristie.
LU STOUT: That's absolutely correct. I mean, Kiev may be talking tough, but are its armed forces tough enough, capable enough, to control those pro-Russian forces in the east of the country.
Now meanwhile, Fred, the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has told Ukraine's leaders that the U.S. basically has the country's back. But how much reassurance, how much comfort does that really give to Ukraine?
PLEITGEN: Well, I'll tell you what, the visit of vice president Biden was seen as one that was very significant. Certainly the Ukrainian government says that it bolstered their position. And he did have some very concrete things in his bag as well.
On the one hand, he promised $50 million in aid for political reforms and also to help the May 25 elections go through smoothly. The U.S. says it's absolutely essential for those elections to be a success, to be transparent, also to take a lot of the arguments that Russia has right now where Moscow is saying that the current government here is not legitimate.
The other big thing that the U.S. has said is it wants to help Ukraine attain energy security and energy independence from Moscow.
Of course, right now Kiev gets a lot of its natural gas, pretty much all of it, from the Russian Federation, and so therefore the Russians always have that chip in their hand to essentially blackmail Ukraine on the energy front. The U.S. wants to stop that.
So certainly there are some very concrete measures, but the U.S. also saying quite frankly the Ukrainian government needs to deal with the rampant corruption that's ever present in the political system as well as the economic system to make sure that the goals of the revolution that happened here several months ago are indeed attained --- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Fred Pleitgen joining us live from Kiev. Thank you very much indeed for that.
Now in Slovyansk Ukraine a funeral was held for three men killed in an attack over the weekend. And as Phil Black now reports, many residents blame the men's deaths on Ukrainian nationalists.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Two noises filled the church: painful grief and many cameras, a sorrowful and very public farewell for 57-year-old Sergei Brudenka (ph). The local bus driver was one of three men killed early Sunday morning, according to officials in Slovyansk, when their checkpoint outside the town was attacked. The other victims, Pavel Pavelco, 41, and 23 year old Alexander Sigarov.
The church was packed with people who loved them, a larger crowd waited outside to hail them as heroes.
This is a scene the people of Slovyansk want the world to see, because they say it is proof of the price being paid here in the east because of the change of government in Kiev.
"Our children are dying, our husbands and our grandfathers," this woman says.
Everyone here believes the men were killed by Right Sector, the Ukrainian nationalist group. Right Sector denies it, but that doesn't satisfy the residents of this pro-Russian town nor the armed masked militants who control it.
At one point during the funeral, they seized a man from the crowd leading him away. They refused to explain why.
In nearby Kramatorsk, more masked men have taken over the police station. Sergei Kalaman (ph) says the heavily armed militants arrived, took away their hand guns and are holding the police chief in an unknown location.
When he finishes talking, he's confronted by one of the masked men. The man accuses the officer of lying, insisting the police chief ran away.
But this online video, which we can't verify, claims to show the police chief walking away, escorted by a militant.
The man who have invaded this building tell me they're protecting the people. They don't explain how disarming the police, hiding their faces and carrying Kalashnikovs helps them to do it.
Phil Black, CNN, Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine.
LU STOUT: And turning now to the ferry disaster off South Korea.
Now divers are continuing their search of the sunken ship. And authorities say they have not found any air pockets on the third and fourth floors. Now that is more devastating news for families as it all but eliminates any hope that more survivors will be found.
156 people have been confirmed dead, 146 are still missing.
And the criminal investigation to wrongdoing expands. More crew members have been arrested, bringing the total number in custody to 11. This comes as officials say the first distress call that day came from a young passenger not from the crew. It is yet another red flag about what was happening on this ship at the time of the accident.
In the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370, investigators say an object of interest has been found some 300 kilometers south of Perth on Australia's western coast. They're looking into whether it is related to the missing plane.
An Australian official tells CNN the object appears to be a sheet metal with rivets. But he also warned that, quote, the more we look at it the less excited we get.
Now Malaysian officials say it is too early to tell if it's a real lead.
And as the Bluefin-21 underwater drone completes its 10th search of the area with nothing found, Malaysian officials now say that they're looking at bringing in more assets to push along the hunt for any trace of the jetliner.
Now if the plane's black boxes are recovered they're only a couple of countries in the world that have the technical know how to decipher the information they contain. Australia is one of them.
CNN's Michael Holmes has more.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In a nondescript government building in Australia's capital, Canberra, the secrets of Malaysia Flight 370 might one day be unlocked.
So, what is this room, Neil?
NEIL CAMPBELL, AUSTRALIAN TRANSPORT SAFETY BUREAU: This is our audio laboratory. It's a specially designed, screened room, so it's shielded.
HOLMES: From electronics and audio --
CAMBELL: That's right, outside signals, and as well, it's got very good soundproofing.
HOLMES: Inside the Australian Transport Safety Bureau laboratory where Neil Campbell and his team forensically examine data recorders not just from planes but also trains even ships.
Now, the reality is there are very few countries in the world, just a handful of them, who have the technical know-how to work out what is inside one of these things. And this lab is one of those places. Boxes from other investigations, torn apart, burned, damaged in many ways suggest a tough assignment. But here they say the story of what happened is usually found.
CAMPBELL: A lot of our work is with undamaged recorders, and it is very easy to download them, perhaps as you would a USB memory stick.
HOLMES: But even with really damaged ones, your success rate in getting the information off is good.
CAMPBELL: Yes, we've always been able to recover the information from the recorders we've received.
HOLMES: He is a measured, cautious man, prerequisites for a job that involves not just knowledge, but patience, lots of patience.
CAMPBELL: From the flight-data recorder, we obtain a raw data file.
HOLMES: Just ones and zeroes.
CAMPBELL: Which contains just ones and zeroes.
HOLMES: The boxes contain a wealth of information, up to 2,000 separate pieces from the data recorder alone, high technology built into a waterproof, fireproof, shockproof shell. At the end of this complex train of information and analysis can be this, an animated representation of a tragedy, this one from a 2010 training flight, two dead after a simulated engine failure went wrong.
CAMPBELL: A lot of the symmetry which couldn't be controlled, and the aircraft ended up impacting the train unfortunately.
HOLMES: And you're able to recreate this thing from the black boxes?
CAMPBELL: That's right. This is based on flight-data recorder information.
HOLMES: The size of the boxes is deceptive in some ways, the vast majority of it containing technology that supports the brain buried deep within, surprisingly small, but containing everything that Neil Campbell needs on a handful of computer chips. In a box this big, that's what you need.
CAMPBELL: Yeah, that's the crucial bit.
HOLMES: But they have to be found, first.
Malaysia not a country with the technical ability to decipher the boxes, nothing's been decided, but it is highly possible that if they're found they will end up here, where Neil Campbell and his team say they're ready to attempt to unlock a mystery like no other.
Michael Holmes, CNN, Canberra, Australia.
LU STOUT: Now still to come right here on News Stream, a major anti- terror operation in Yemen targets al Qaeda. And now officials say a DNA test will determine if the group's top bomb maker is among the dead.
LU STOUT: Massive and unprecedented: that is how officials are describing a weekend anti-terror raid in Yemen. A U.S. official says Americans did not take part in ground combat, but did assist in the operation targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Now right now DNA testing is underway to see if Ibrahim al Asiri. He is believed to be the terror group's chief bomb maker and the man behind the failed underwear bomb plot in 2009.
Now for more on the attack, I'm joined by Mohammed Jamjoom. He joins me live from Washington.
And Mohammed, what more have you learned about this anti-terror operation?
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we're hearing that the operation is actually still ongoing. This is a real commitment by not only the Yemeni counterterrorism forces, but also the U.S. government that back the Yemenis in these counterterrorism efforts.
Because in the past, while there have been so many drone strikes these last several years, the fact of the matter is these operations have been ongoing now for three, possibly four days. It doesn't look like they're going to let up any time soon. And you actually have Yemeni commandos on the ground in remote parts of Yemen like Shabwa province where they carried out ambushes.
For example, on Sunday night there was an ambush by which Yemeni commandos on the Marab highway in Shabwa province, which is a province that they don't usually go into, because it's so remote and such a hotbed for militancy, they were able to kill a number of militants. And it's among those militants that they know that they have killed a Saudi citizen, possibly a high value target. And that's when the Yemenis started to believe that possibly, possibly they had finally gotten Ibrahim al Asiri.
Now DNA tests are still being conducted. It could take a couple more days. It could take a couple of more weeks. But the Yemenis have told me repeatedly that what they want to do with this operation, not just target high value people amongst the AQAP leadership, they want to degrade the capabilities of AQAP, because time and again in the past they've taken out leadership of the AQAP organization, but it has done nothing to deter the growth and the resurgency of AQAP. So they're going after hideouts, they're going after recruitment centers, they're going after training camps. And they say they're going to continue to do so in the days ahead - - Kristie.
LU STOUT: Both the U.S. and the Yemeni government, they are out to degrade the capabilities of AQAP, but what do the people of Yemen think about this raid that's still ongoing? And the ongoing U.S. drone campaign, it's been going on for years inside their own country?
JAMJOOM: Its' a very important point. It's a very good question, because, when you talk about this raid in particular, what I'm hearing -- and not just amongst your average citizens in Yemen, but even among some government officials there, there is skepticism. There is skepticism about how of this may be propaganda.
There have been times in the past where the Yemeni government has stated that there was a massive type of operation underway, not that massive at this scale, but massive nonetheless. And it turned out to be not quite what they had advertised it as being.
But when it comes to the drone question, by and large a majority of the population in Yemen, just about everybody that I speak with, they are very upset about what the drone program has done to Yemeni. You know, Yemenis live in fear because of the drone program. They feel that death can come at any moment. And they that there is too much collateral damage.
And a good case in point to exemplify the discussion that's going on about this came on Saturday, which was the first day of these operations. When I was told by Yemeni officials that this operation had been meticulously planned to avoid civilian casualties, I asked well how many militants have you been able to kill so far. I was told 10.
I said, OK, have any civilians been killed by these drone strikes thus far in that area. They said. Yes. How many? I was told at least three.
That percentage is unacceptable to Yemeni people. They are very upset that more innocent civilians in Yemen are being killed because of the fact this is the way that the Yemeni and U.S. governments have chosen to go about trying to destroy AQAP there -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: And is Yemen extremely dependent on the United States to degrade AQAP? I mean, what options does Yemen have on its own to curb al Qaeda inside its borders?
JAJMOON: It doesn't have a lot of options. It is heavily dependent on not just the U.S., but also Saudi Arabia, its neighbor to the north.
Yemen is in a very difficult position, it has been so for years. It is one of the most impoverished countries not just in the Middle East, in the entire world. And Yemen is a country with a very weak central government. Despite the fact that it has had massive amounts of help from the international community during the Arab Spring and after to try to put forth a political transition and get a functioning government, it's still facing a lot of problems. There's still a lot of instability.
And because Yemen is such a rugged and poor country and is so mountainous, it is the kind of environment where AQAP has been able to get in there easily. They've been able to set up camps very easily. They've been able to thrive in that country. And because of that, it's always been very difficult for the Yemeni military to go after AQAP.
The fact that Yemeni commandos are on the ground in some of these provinces, that really is unprecedented. Usually, they wouldn't attempt that because it's just too dangerous and they don't have the resources to go after AQAP in those areas, that's why they've been reliant on the drones.
It seems there is more of a commitment now from the U.S., from the Yemenis, and possibly even the Saudis to really try to hit these targets hard and fast and really show AQAP that they're not going to just focus on taking out a top tier of people and yet leave the rest of the organization to rebuild once more -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Mohammed Jamjoom reporting live from Washington, thank you.
Now under an agreement reached last year, Syria agreed to surrender its chemical weapons. And just days before Sunday's self-imposed deadline, it looks like the job is nearly done. Now the organization overseeing the destruction of those weapons says Damascus has now removed nearly 90 percent of its stockpile.
Now one toxic chemical, though, is not on that list.
Now the U.S. and several allies believe Syrian forces may have used chlorine gas in an alleged attack this month.
Sara Sidner reports.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A small boy gasping for air after rebels say a bombing raid struck the Syrian countryside terrorizing the residents of Tel Menas (ph) in Idlib government.
"His condition is bad. Take him to another room," a medic shouts.
In another hospital, another room filled with breathless patients, too many in need, too few supplies.
Syrian activists say this 6-year-old did not survive the attack. 100 other people remain alive, but injured.
They Syrian Observatory for Human Rights blames the Syrian military, saying it used a deadly combination of chlorine gas and TNT inside oil drums.
Unsophisticated barrel bombs have become a fixture of this now three year long war. Instead of just using shrapnel and explosives, toxic gases seem to have been added to the deadly cocktail.
However, we can not independently verify the details of what has happened in these videos. We were not there during the attack.
The al-Assad government has been accused of using barrel bombs again and again on cities and towns across Syria. But the Syrian government insists its military is only fighting terrorists, while the international community does not dispute groups such as al Qaeda have made their way into this war, human rights and rebel groups say it is President Assad's government forces doing most of the terrorizing here.
And not just with bombs and bullets, but blocking the delivery of food and medicine.
In the Pelestinian Yarmouk refugee camp, some 18,000 people are again in desperate need of the simplest human necessities. Starvation has come to this camp before. The UN warns it is happening again.
The UN relief works agency says 700 parcels of food per day need to let into the camp to avoid starvation. For nearly two weeks, it says, the government has not allowed any food trucks in. Syria's government says rebel groups hidden inside the camp must surrender first.
In the midst of the violence, President Bashar al-Assad has begun looking towards Syria's future and his role in it. He has made clear he intends to stay put, announcing presidential elections in June.
The move condemned by the United Nations as one that will simply hamper any prospect for a political solution the country so urgently needs.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Jerusalem.
LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream. And up next, he was caught in a deadly disaster on Everest, but an American climber was saved by a Sherpa guide. We'll hear his story after the break.
LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are back watching News Stream.
An American climber has hailed his Sherpa guides as selfless after surviving Friday's avalanche on Mount Everest. Now he guides pushed Jon Reiter and a friend from the path of falling ice. Now Ritter's guide is alive, but 13 Sherpa's were killed while three have not been found.
And now, in an interview with CNN, Reiter recalls that critical moment when he faced down that avalanche.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON REITER, MT. EVEREST AVALANCHE SURVIVOR: Well, we heard the avalanche come off that west shoulder of Everest. And it was, you know, pretty good sized chunk of ice come down. And, you know, you heard it crash down and all the pops into your head was somebody under it? You know, how big was it? How much -- and everything flashes so quickly, but then within seconds the valley is full of just snow and ice.
Our Sherpa did -- you know Mark Saicha (ph) climbing Sherpa decided to (inaudible) immediately, you know, just pushed us behind blocks of ice and just, you know, get down, get down. and it just -- the cloud of ice and snow just encompassed an entire canyon pretty quickly.
The dawa (pn) is an amazing man. These are just such selfless people, you know, and he just immediately -- I keep thinking about that, how he did not -- he did not dive himself, he turned to me and was like get down, you know, get down. And he's an amazing guy. You know, he spent his whole day that day, you know, digging his friends out of the snow and hooking them up to cables and flying them down the mountain.
It's hard to imagine what's going through their heads.
It's just bizarre. You know, we've all seen death in the mountains, but to see that many people down the mountain, you know, in a helicopter, you know, (inaudible) cables was just (inaudible). And everybody up there is just thinking about -- you know, all those families and all those kids whose dads aren't coming home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: An incredible first person account there. That was Jon Reiter who survived an avalanche on Mt. Everest thanks to his Sherpa guide.
Now Japan is U.S. president's first stop on a four nation tour of Asia. And we'll preview his agenda just ahead right here on News Stream.
And there are reports that this popular fitness accessory may be discontinued. We'll look at why Nike may stop making the Fuelband.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now Ukraine's state run news agency quotes the country's deputy prime minister as saying an anti-terror operation has resumed in the eastern region. It is targeting pro-Russian militants who continue to occupy government buildings in several cities.
In the hunt for flight 370, investigators say an underwater drone has scoured some 80 percent of the targeted search area, but there is still no sign of the missing plane. Malaysian officials say additional assets could be brought in.
Now meanwhile, an investigator says an object of interest has been found on Australia's western coast. It's not clear if it could be linked to the plane.
Now officials in South Korea say divers have found no air pockets in their search of the upper decks of the ferry that sank off Jindo Island. Now this leaves little hope of finding any more survivors. So far 156 bodies have been recovered, 148 people are still missing.
Officials call last weekend's anti-terror raid in Yemen massive and unprecedented. A U.S. official said Americans did not take part in ground combat, but did assist Yemeni commandos in the operation targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Now DNA tests are underway to see if the group's top bomb maker is among the dead.
Now U.S. President Barack Obama has kicked off his week long tour of Asia. He landed in Tokyo just a few hours ago and he's meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over dinner. It's happening right now.
Now for more, CNN's Michelle Kosinski joins us live from the Japanese capital. And Michelle, can you tell us in total what will be on Mr. Obama's agenda there in Japan?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Kristie. Yeah, this is really the representation of that Asia pivot the Obama administration has been wanting for the president's second term, sort of rebalancing of U.S. interests towards this important region where so much of the world's economic growth is coming from.
So a centerpiece of this trip will be the TPP, the TransPacific Partnership that we've been hearing a lot about lately. This is a trade deal that could include 12 nations. But it doesn't include China, at least not for now, and China has been pushing for its own regional trade deal.
And President Obama faces some opposition, or at least balking at this deal at home. In fact, just this week, 63 American lawmakers signed a letter urging the president to demand that if Japan joins the TPP that they eliminate their tariffs on goods that they import from the U.S. And the U.S. has sort of described the situation with Japan, at least, as at a bit of a stalemate in those talks. They're urging Japan to open up its economy more, especially in the agricultural sector.
Now that's not to say there aren't other pressing issues in this region that also affect the U.S. There is the North Korea threat of provocation. South Korea is probably most concerned about that. Also, different disputes over territory, Malaysia and the Philippines are involved in those with China. And that relationship, the U.S. with China, China with the other countries in this region, are all interconnected. And the U.S. doesn't want to set up a situation where these allies in Asia feel like they need to choose between alignments from one or the other, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Now there will be a lot of discussion on trade, on territorial issues, concerns about North Korea as well. And it's interesting that this four nation trip in Asia will not include China. I mean, China is not going to be a stop on Mr. Obama's tour of the region. But will China, nonetheless, loom large and be a major talking point in the days ahead?
KOSINSKI: Absolutely. And the U.S. and China have been talking lately. And China especially has described this major power relationship that they want to form with the U.S.
Well, in some ways that makes other nations in the region a bit nervous. They have their own issues with China. And what they're looking for from the U.S. is a commitment.
Again, though, the U.S. doesn't want to sort of put China throughout these talks on the other side. They don't want to make that split. This is going to be important for President Obama to kind of strike a balance, or walk that line between making these credible commitments economically and diplomatically with these nations, but still maintain a sense of cooperation with China, kind of wanting to put out there this goal of let's all work together, but still realizing there are some real tensions that lie just below the surface of that, Kristie.
LU STOUT: All right, Michelle Kosinski, reporting live from Tokyo, thank you so much for that.
Now, time now for the global weather forecast. And a look at the ocean currents near the search zone for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370. Just how far could the debris drift? Let's get some answers now with Mari Ramos. She joins me from the World Weather Center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie.
Yeah, because the news, the breaking news earlier today had been that they found this potential piece of debris all the way down here off the coast of Australia, a piece of debris that may have washed up and it may be -- it may be, they're calling it an object of interest right now related to the missing airliner.
Well, you know, when you think about the ocean and how vast everything, you really can have objects that can travel a very long, long distance. Remember when we talked about the tsunami from Japan that some of the pieces already washed up into parts of North America.
So it all depends on what type of debris it is and what kind of currents are in the area that would carry a piece of debris far away.
The area that we're talking about is about maybe 1,800 kilometers away, so it is a vast distance that we're talking.
Let's start with the big picture, though. This is the Indian Ocean. And this is the Indian Ocean Gyre. We talked about this early on in the search remember when the search area was way down here nearing the Roaring 40s and the strong westerlies. Well, we're going to talk more a little bit about what's happening closer to the coast of Australia, relatively closer.
We have the west Australian current right over here. It's the current that moves from north to south. And that's one of the main currents here on this side.
However, it's not the only current. There are other currents, minor currents, or secondary currents, so to speak, that could have an effect on how this potential debris could be drifting.
So this is the area for the crash site that they were looking at now, that they've been looking at very, very closely. It's close to that one current, but it's also close to this other current called the Leeuwin Current that is off the coast of Australia. And this is the current in question that could have carried that debris down here into the south -- southern tip of Australia.
One of the things that oceanographers are saying is, is this impossible? Well, no. Could it happen? It could. But chances, you know, a lot of things would have to come into play for this to really occur.
Those pieces of debris, or that particular piece of debris that we're talking about would have had to come out of this eddy that was along this area right in here. The debris would have potentially have been circling around in this region. And then eventually maybe making it into this other current called the eastern gyral current. That would have carried the debris toward the east. Then that one piece of debris would have gotten caught on the Leeuwin Current. That would have taken it south, moving about maybe 2, 2.5 kilometers a day. And then eventually as it circles around it moves into this area right in here.
This is the simplified version of those currents. They actually look a little bit different and not a straight shot if you look at what it actually looks like now real time. And this map is a little bit different and sometimes difficult to understand, but let me go ahead and tell you, this is from EarthSchool.net. and you can see this area right here, this is the potential area for the debris site. And you see the eddy, you the see that right there, Kristie, you see that turning around right there, swirling in the water.
And then, here, you have that other gyro that we were talking about. So that piece of debris would have had to go from here to here, kind of swirl around.
And then this is the Leeuwin Current that we're talking about. And you can see it swirling around off the eastern -- off the western coast of Australia. Eventually it would have made it down into this area right in here, another eddy forms in this area and then all the way down here where that piece of debris, if it is from the plane, would have had to travel more than 1,800 kilometers in the last 45 days.
It's really amazing to think that that could possibly happen. It's not unheard of. It could happen. Not impossible, but of course we don't know the answer to that if that piece of debris really does belong to the jetliner.
LU STOUT: And you know what it's also amazing to see what today's mapping technologies can reveal. that's incredible stuff there. Mari Ramos, thank you.
Now you've probably seen something like this on somebody's wrist before, a fitness wristband that tracks how active you are in a day and how many calories you've burned. they're fast becoming one of the most popular forms of wearable technology.
Now there's the Jawbone Up, the Fitbit Flex, and of course the Nike Fuelband.
But now there are reports that Nike might be killing the Fuelband. It says that Nike has laid off much of the team that created it. Reports also say that it will continue to support the existing Fuelbands, but refuses to say whether they will make any more.
Now let's go straight to New York and speak to our regular contributor. Nicholas Thompson is the editor of The New Yorker.com. He joins me now live.
Now Nick, if the reports are true, why would Nike do this? Why would Nike back out of wearable tech?
NICHOLAS THOMPSON, NEW YORKER.COM: Well, I think the reports are true. And I think they're very interesting.
There are a couple of reasons, we don't know for sure.
First of all, they weren't winning. Fitbit surprisingly was winning. This tiny company was beating Nike, was getting slightly better reviews and had larger marketshare.
Secondly, the margins for Nike clearly weren't as good as they are on apparel and they are on footwear.
And then most interesting reason, I think, is that they suspect that there is soon going to be a big leap in wearable technologies, whether it's a watch or whether it's some other device and that the Fuelband was going to end up getting defeated. So they pulled out now instead of waiting for it to lose later.
LU STOUT: Now Tim Cook is on the board of Nike. So is there an Apple angle here?
THOMPSON: Well, this is the best conspiracy theory -- or not conspiracy theory, but the best hypothesis. You know, Tim Cook wears a Fuelband. Tim Cook has been on the board of Nike for a long time. Nike, when they've talked about the layoffs in the Fuelband department has talked a lot about Apple.
It seems possible that Nike knows that Apple is coming out with a smartwatch, which many people suspect and that the smartwatch is going to do a lot of what the Fuelband does. And Nike doesn't want to be the latest in a long string of companies that have basically been absorbed by new devices from Apple, right.
You think about the Flip video camera which was a huge sensation, everybody thought would be huge. And then suddenly the iPhone could take videos that were just as good and Flip went -- you know, Flip went away.
So Nike may have been anticipating -- and it may have known something is coming from Apple. I don't know that, but that's a hypothesis.
LU STOUT: Yeah, interesting comparison to the Flip cam there.
Now there are many rivals out there to the Nike Fuelband from Jawbone, from Garmin, Fitbit and others, how do you think they are interpreting the news about Nike potentially backing away from the Fuelband? Do you think they're saying yes, a key rival is out of the picture, or oh no we could be obsolete as well?
THOMPSON: I think they're saying both. I think when they've got the news they probably said, all right, we've won. I'm just channeling somebody at Fitbit. And then, wait a second. Wait, Nike is a very smart company. They may have been losing money on the Fuelband, but Nike has plenty of money to lose. If they thought this industry was a really good one to be in they would have stayed in.
So I think there's going to be a combination of elation, feeling of success and terror.
LU STOUT: Now we are talking about personal tech, afterall. I'm going to ask you a personal question. We know that you're a technologist. I also know you're a keen runner. Nick, do you use fitness bands or wearables?
THOMPSON: I do not use fitness bands or wearables. You know, I spend a lot of my time trying to figure out how to make tech present when I want it to be present and not present when I don't want it to be present. You know, I have no beeps on my phone. I try to make sure that, you know, when I'm using email I'm using email, but you don't want too many devices coming at you too often, because it can distract your attention from other things.
So I've chosen not to do it.
I know lots of people who love it. I know it's helped a lot of people get fitter. I worry that it's one more gadget that takes you out of the moment and makes you think too much about how many steps you've taken that day and not you know the cool thing and serendipitously appeared in the sky.
LU STOUT: I totally, totally agree with you. We share the same mindfulness about technology and personal tech taking over our personal time and space.
Now let's -- a final question for you taking it back to the company we're talking about, Nike. I mean, what it the bottom line here for Nike? By backing out, it sounds like they are backing out of wearable hardware. Do you think this ultimately is a good thing or a bad thing for the company?
THOMPSON: Well, my guess is that it's probably a smart thing, that this was kind of a strange move for them to take, right. It's very hard to move into a hardware business. It's very hard to be in a hardware business when lots of traditional hardware players are about to go into it and to go into it very hard. So they were going to be in a tough position. They already have very profitable lines, and this was a -- you know, a difficult one to add. And then in addition they've said they're going to focus on software. And there is a possibility that they can succeed in software where the margins are a heck of a lot better than they are in hardware and where there aren't the same infrastructure costs.
So Nike may be doing something smart, cutting its losses now. To the extent it's going to focus on Fuelband in the future, it'll focus on software. If that works, great, then you get great margins. If it doesn't work, they'll peel that off too.
LU STOUT: Yeah. Afterall, Nike is not a tech company right.
THOMPSON: It's not. And they sell a lot of shoes.
LU STOUT: That's right. And there's higher margins with shoes, at least for Nike. Thank you so much for that. Nick Thompson, take care. We'll talk again soon.
You're watching News Stream.
And coming up next, Pixar blew away the boundaries of animation with hits like Toy Story, Monster's Inc., and Finding Nemo. We'll go behind its creative culture with its co-founder Ed Catmull.
LU STOUT: Welcome back.
Now our Leading Woman this week has made the jump from TV star to business woman. Sarah Jessica Parker tells our Maggie Lake that she chooses to stay busy. But the mother of three says she does not like talking about having it all.
SARA JESSICA PARKER, ACTRESS: I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: American actress and businesswoman Sarah Jessica Parker is a force in the fashion world.
LAKE: They feel wonderful actually.
PARKER: And what's nice is they're not -- I mean, they're high enough...
LAKE: But high fashion didn't always come easy. Growing up in Ohio, Parker came from humble beginnings.
PARKER: My mother loved beautiful things. We couldn't afford beautiful things, but she was very clever and industrious, like she would go to, you know, in the wealthier neighborhoods the church tag sales and she would go there and get flawed dresses and in six 6X, 7. They were literally 1.99.
I do remember siting in my mother's -- what we called her dressing room, it was just a closet that was separated. My sister's bedroom and my bedroom that we shared with my parents. And we would watch her get dressed. And then the last thing she would do is spray fragrance. And we would be sort of downwind of her as she -- you know, it seemed like she was walking down this long boulevard to go out into the glamorous night life of Cincinnati, Ohio, but really it was left such an image. You know, she always looked super chic.
LAKE: Parker had no problems portraying a chic single woman looking for love on the television show Sex and the City.
PARKER: You're wearing white.
LAKE: But her real life focuses on her three children and career.
We have a lot of conversations about how you do it all, or how you -- you know, lean in, lean out, all of this kind of stuff. How are you finding the balance?
PARKER: I am in a position to choose to be busy. And there are millions of women in this country who have to work two and three jobs, who don't have a support system, who don't have the financial means to choose the kind of care they want for their children. So to suggest that, you know, I have trouble finding balance, or that I'm overwhelmed because I am choosing to be a busy person sounds ludicrous to me.
LAKE: Between acting, producing and starting her own shoe line, Parker has positioned herself as an industry power player. But she appreciates the value of learning from the women around her.
Is there somebody that you look to as a mentor, especially when you're wearing all of these different hats that you say, wow, I'm so interested they really -- I love the example they set, or I'm so inspired by them?
PARKER: Well, I think there are a lot of women in my life who have been influential who aren't titans of industry, but the choices they make, the way they choose to conduct their relationships, how they treat each other, the way they speak to each other, how interested they are in learning.
But I think those things all add up in some way. And I think the most important thing to me is to be a decent and honorable person and pursue your work with diligence and commitment and that work ethic that, you know, that you can see in the product.
LU STOUT: And you can read more about Sarah Jessica Parker and other inspiring women on our website, just go to CNN.com/leading women.
Now when we come back, how do you manage creativity? Now there is no better person to ask than the man who co-founded Pixar. He shares with us how it all started after teh break.
LU STOUT: Now you may not recognize his face or the name, but you know his work. Ed Catmull is one of the cofounders of Pixar, it's the studio that has created films that are not only commercially successful, but are critically acclaimed. Now Catmull talks about Pixar in his new book. It's called Creativity, Inc. And before Steve Jobs bought the company it was a division of Lucas Film.
Now I spoke to Ed Catmull just a couple of hours ago and began by asking him what it was like to work with Star Wars creator George Lucas.
ED CATMULL, CO-FOUNDER OF PIXAR: ...technology at that time.
So he hired me to bring in technology for video and for audio and for graphics. And it was actually a thrilling time.
LU STOUT: From George Lucas, let's talk about Steve Jobs. He acquired Pixar from Lucas Film. How much of Pixar's success is due to Steve Jobs?
CATMULL: Well, Steve supported us in a way that a venture capitalist couldn't and frankly shouldn't have. But he bought into our vision and he brought a passion and a support. He wasn't part of our internal processes, he was more like the person representing us to the outside world, working things out with Disney. And that kind of support was vital to our success.
LU STOUT: Now in terms of success, let's talk about Toy Story. It was the first feature-length computer animated movie, extremely successful. Why? Was it because of the technology or the storytelling that made it such a hit?
CATMULL: Well, it took us 20 years to develop the technology to make the first computer animated film. But when the film came out, the one thing we noticed was that most reviews at most had one line about the fact that it was computer graphics. And for the technical people, we figured this was a giant win for us, because we always knew, even at the beginning, that it's really about the story. And it's not about the technology.
But there's a vitality that comes, though, with changing technology. So we believe in mixing the two together. But mixing them together, while it makes things exciting, still doesn't replace the fact the story has to be great.
LU STOUT: Because you wanted the technology to be invisible, to be behind the scenes as it were?
CATMULL: Yes, that's right. There's something exciting about doing something new that you always want. And actually if you think about it, in Walt Disney's day he used the newest technology of the day. And we don't think of it that way, because now it's old fashioned, but then it was brand new technology.
LU STOUT: Now your first big success was actually the animated short about the famous hopping lamp, which is the Pixar logo. And I wanted to ask you why the lamp? I mean, why choose to animate that inanimate object.
CATMULL: Well, John Lassiter coming out of CalArts always liked the idea of taking something which is inanimate and moving it in such a way that we as people looking at it would believe that they are thinking. And it's a hard challenge. But John liked hard challenges. So you can make people think this was a lamp then you would succeed -- I mean, excuse me, if you can think the lamp was thinking you would succeed.
In fact, the biggest question we got at our technical conference afterwards was not how we did it, but was whether or not the lamp was a mother or a father.
LU STOUT: And your answer to that?
CATMULL: Well, I always viewed it as a father. I don't' think John decided.
LU STOUT: All right.
Now we know that Disney later purchased Pixar in 2006. Disney, the animated studio division, it was in a slump, but since then it scored with a number of hit animated movies, including most recently Frozen, now the highest grossing animated film of all time. Do you think acquiring Pixar reenergized Disney animation?
CATMULL: When Disney acquired Pixar, they made us -- Pixar was separate, but Disney animation, which was failing at the time, was put under John and me. And we decided to keep them entirely separate, but apply the principles that we had worked out over the years to this group that was failing. And it took some time for all this to go in place, but the result was six films in a row that were critically well received. And now these big successes in Tangled, Wreck it Ralph, and Frozen.
But here's the key point, is the people who just made Frozen are largely the same people who were there when they were failing. And our view was all we had to do was get rid of the barriers and the blocks and trust that their talent and their intents would take them to a different level, which is in fact what happened.
LU STOUT: You talk about getting rid of the barriers and the blocks, but also adding the Pixar principles to Disney animated studios, that was a secret to this revived success there. What are the Pixar principles?
CATMULL: Well, there are -- actually there are quite a few, but one of them is a technique which we called the brain trust -- technique is not the right word. But it's more than just a group of smart people, it was a group who had a vested interest in each other's success. They liked each other. They were funny. They were focused. But very importantly, we paid attention to personal dynamics, which meant that the group itself had no authority. And this is something we learned from John as the director.
What we did has -- we made it so the director has the final say in the film. The group can't override them. So even today John doesn't override the director. So that means in those -- in those brain trust meetings it's very safe and the director can listen to the notes, because they're not going to be told what to do.
LU STOUT: Awesome insight there. That was Ed Catmull of Pixar speaking to me a little bit earlier and much as I enjoyed my conversation with Pixar's co-founder, there was one thing that disappointed me. Now he denied the Pixar theory. You might be wondering what the Pixar theory is. Well, the theory, it claims that every Pixar movie is actually connected and they all take place in the same world but hundreds and some cases thousands of years apart.
For instance, it says that the abandoned Earth, seen in Wall-E is also the setting for A Bug's Life. And the monsters in Monster's Inc, well they're just the regular inhabitants of Earth in the year 5,000.
Now it's a great theory, you can find it online. But as Ed Catmull told me, it is sadly not true.
And that is News Stream, but the news continues at CNN. World Business Today is next.