tv CNN Newsroom CNN April 6, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
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♪ hello again, everyone. i'm fredricka whitfield. right now breaking news, the "hms echo" just arrived at the site of where the chinese detected signals. we'll talk more about the british ship, "hms echo" royal navy survey ship supports submarines and amphibious options. it's to chart the sea floor and provide realtime information.
it's equipped with highly sophisticated sound locating women. it could be the key in determining whether or not the signal is coming from flight 370's black boxes. the search is focused in a part of the ocean where the chinese ship detected pulse signals friday and saturday. that british ship may be the best bet right now to get some real firm answers. the chinese ship detected the pulse signals two days in a row a mile apart from one another. it may be the best lead officials have right now. australian officials have used words like important and encouraging as a lead. they caution it may not find answers. australia ship picked up what they call an acoustic noise. that's 100 ways from the chinese vessel and now the british vessel are. search teams there are trying to figure out what that acoustic event is.
we're also learning brand-new details about the potential path of the plane at the very start. just after it dropped off malaysian military radar, as you key right here in this graphic. a senior malaysian source now tells cnn it appears the plane went north and then around indonesian airspace you see right there. that move may have been intentional to avoid detection in indonesia. first a closer look at the details about the possible flight path now. senior international correspondent nic robertson is live for us in kuala lumpur, arab. nick, what more can you tell us about the plane skirting indonesia and why? >> well, fredricka, what we're being told by officials here, they have been able to make this calculation based on more radar data available for neighboring countries. they have been able to use that to get the accurate plot of where the flight flew after it
crossed back over the peninsula. it told them something very concerning, very important, and maybe a big clue for the investigation. it has told them, they believe, that the pilot was intentionally flying to avoid radar detection before taking off into that very remote part of the south indian ocean. why is this a concern? we know in the past day or so, officials here on the investigation have played the air traffic controller's recording between air traffic control and cockpit of the aircraft. they played that to colleagues and friends of the captain and first officer. why? they want to know who made the last radio communication before transponder switched off, before radio silence. they want to figure out if it's the captain or first officer. they say they haven't been able to make that determination right now. whoever was at the controls they now because of this new information, skirting and
avoiding radar detection they have better psychological analysis of who was at the controls and what their motivation might have been, fredricka. >> you've given detail to expand the conversation with the panel coming up. thanks so much, nic robertson. lets focus on the fact the british ship made it to the location where the chinese vessel was and where it said it detected those two pulses on friday and saturday. what's the first order of operation for this british ship "echo?" >> this is an important develop in this investigation. what this is going to do is push thins forward. we don't have answers, as you mentioned. this will bring us closer to getting answers about two possible were pings detected by "haixun 01." what's it's done for a couple of
hours is scanning ocean floor, using sophisticated technology to essentially map out what may be down there. this type of technology will be crucial. what chinese did, detected sounds that could have been from flight data recorder according to some experts. again, the key word here, possible. we know the battery on those recorders are going to be running out any day now. we've now passed that 30-day mark for the patry life. to have the echo in this area scanning for any potential wreckage that may lie below will help us get clear information about is something there, is something not there. that's very important work happening as we speak? >> what do we know from chinese technology as compared to high-tech technology supposedly on this british ship. how do they compare, work together, potentially? >> you know, our spokesperson at the australian defense, cnn has
been talking to, tells us they are really trying to get their heads around exactly what the chinese technology is. we saw the video of hydrophone hand-held going into the water. obviously that raises some questions about how accurate is this. is there a possibility of a signal, a false positive, so to speak. as the australian command center officials continue to communicate they are talking about that, the the accuracy of it. significant enough, promising enough to get that echo in, get started. they have planes, air force planes flying over this area as well. there a lot happening and perhaps today could be a day we learn more. >> let hope so. will riply, thanks so much in perth, australia. i want to bring in rob mccolom, specialist and vice president of williams & associates. rob, help us understand. what would lead to false
positives? >> you know, the noise that's being heard is in the sort of 30 to 40 kilo hertz band. that's being selected intentionally because it's the quiet zone. it's part of the spectrum which has the least amount of ambient noise. it makes it very good for human use trying to get through synthetic sound in the water. the ocean is an increasingly noisy place. there are other users of that frequency, science women, people using sonar in the water for scientific purposes or military purposes. you just never know what is going to crop up. it's a little trying to turn your radio dial and get exactly the right stations amongst a lot of others. >> it's conceivable other scientific and military
equipment could be in that area and could duplicate the same kind of sound or frequency? >> it's hard to say because we're getting snapshots of sound. we're not getting really good quality lengthy broadcast we can analyze. it doesn't necessarily have to be in this area. sound can travel through the water a long distancish if it's bouncing along between therma climb and bottom or bouncing off some other event. >> okay. rob mccallum, thank you so much. don't go away. we're going to include you in a panel later. we're going to talk about the obstacles in place for the british ship which this great technology -- still, there are hurdles along the way. we'll explore all of that next. in the nation, it's not always pretty.
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with advanced detection equipment has just arrived where a chinese ship did he teblted signals. australian ship picked up acoustic noise in a different area to the north by 350 miles. authorities say they can't verify that any of these sounds are connected to the missing plane. there are will new details about the potential path of the plane. a senior malaysian government source tells cnn it appears the plane went north and then around malaysian airspace. they say that may have been intentional to avoid radar detection. want to bring back the panel, kit darby, retired aviation captain. mary schiavo former with the aviation, now an attorney representing families in airline crashes an disaster. tom fuentes, law enforcement analyst and rob mccallum senior
analyst and vice president at williams and associates. this british ship, the "hms echo" arrived in the area where the chinese heard pulse signals. does it mean we're taking this very seriously, at least the australians, rob? >> yes, it does. it mean there's been a trigger of interest and now the acoustics need to be verified. the best way to do that is get more assets in the water, bring in another ship with acoustic capability or drop sonar. this the way to go. >> the chinese have taken the lead of their own search selecting the area and came across pulse signals. should australians believe any sharing of information or cooperation now that a british ship with supposedly more high-tech equipment than that of the chinese. they would have to work
together, would they not. should expectations be high or low for that level of cooperation? >> i think they will have that level of cooperation based on what we saw the equipment, chinese equipment that found the pings, it was pretty rudimentary. they need that ship, the british "echo," because finding the pings and hearing the pings is a tiny part of what you've got to do. then you've got to find where the source of the pings are, find the location of the black boxes, get down there and map the floor, then call in the resources to decide now what do we do to bring it up, get a submersible, get the black box up if it's still in parts of the plane. what they did, if it's what they have done, they found it, it's very, very important. now the heavy lifting begins. you need several nations to help you do the heavy lifting. >> rob, this is your area of expertise, in fact, if we're talking about pulses are detected again and sound as
though these boxes may be in the general vicinity, lets talk about the depth of three miles potentially in this area. we heard our jennifer gray make comparisons of that, distance of 20 eiffel towers. what kind of equipment can be brought in, the time line to bring in and salvage explore beneath the surface? >> that's a very good question. if this is verified as a pinger noise, then really we've hit the jackpot and we're able to stick a pin and say this is the spot. the next step is to map the sea floor, probably first by sonar which the "echo" is equipped with and side scan sonar which would provide imagery of any wreckage on the sea floor. after that, really, the clock stops in the scene there's not a
great rush. then we would need to bring in more equipment, an rov. that would go down to retreat the black boxes, all large pieces of wreckage for forensic examination. >> captain darby, these are hopeful scenarios. these are ifs, if the pulses can be redetected, if the pulses turn out to be the black boxes. a lot of pope here. >> it is. if it a true ping, it's well founded. they have been extremely lucky to find out or had information others didn't have. somehow we took hundreds of thousands of square miles and brought it down to a pinpoint as the gentleman said. i'm excited if it's a ping. if not, we're back to where we started. >> all this hope shrouded by scepticism. hearing from nic robertson, out
of malaysia, not only did the track change of the plane trying to avoid radar detection in indonesia, but officials have also played control tower audio to friends of the pilots. not family members. but no one was able to identify those voices. what do you suppose officials are trying to pinpoint right now? two things come in close proximity, a change of the track and then the identification of the voices and the last communications. >> first of all the reporting of the change in the track is not really new reporting. it's the motive that it was on purpose to avoid radar. that theory is what's new about that. malaysian officials early on said that plane was hand flown. it was a criminal act. somebody intentionally made it change course, not knowing whether it was by the pilots themselves or intruder in the cockpit making them do it. that part is not really new.
i think the whole aspect of this investigation really in a way it is where it was in the beginning. they really don't know why the plane made those maneuvers. it appears it's not because of mechanical problems of that's the issue. >> mary, still unclear who may have been piloting the aircraft. we know that the investigation is still a criminal investigation. they are looking at the pilot and copilot but still unclear whether or not someone compromised that cockpit and took control and there by trying to avoid indonesian airspace taking the plane north and then south again. >> right. ordinarily you can identify if it's pilot or copilot. in other words, pilot flying an not flying handles the radios. so it's interesting to me that persons familiar with their voices, for example, in the united states, ntsb routinely
has co-workers identify voices. the fact they can't can be attributed to one of two things. one, they were under stress, didn't sound like themselves or someone else communicating or the transmission are so bad they haven't released them but air traffic control tapes are scratchy sometimes. pilots ask air traffic control to repeat twice because of scratchy communications. there's many reasons why they can't identify them. but if they have cockpit voice reporter they will know in an instant because there's two mics. they will know left seat or right seat talking. once again, need the black boxes. >> what would be the next step if they are unable to get that cockpit voice reporter, what would be the next way they can try to verify with the voices they have control tower reporting or another means to try to pinpoint those voices. >> there is. they can use voice analysis. we have to do this in crash
investigations often for courtroom purposes, too. there are companies that analyze voices in the cockpit, sounds in the cockpit. any sound you hear in the background, normally you have cockpit voice recordings not black boxes but you can use both. you can use scientific analysis to identify the voices. kind of like a voice print. you can go that route as well. hopefully they will be able to identify them soon. >> captain darby, why is it officials would not want to rely on family members of the pilot and copilot to help identify the voices. >> it's more difficult than it might sound. when you're talking on the radio you have limited audio range. people listening often can't under what's being said even though they know the people saying it. it's hard to say. typically the captain would fly first and copilot on the radios. if that changed, that would mean something going on.
that's my indication. the call from vietnam who said he made the call he felt was answered by the copilot but that's unidentified. >> thanks, everyone. stick around. we'll talk with you again throughout the afternoon. we have so much, so many moving parts on the developing story and mystery surrounding flight 370. how reliable is the chinese equipment in detecting underwater sound? we're going to further explore that.
right now a british navy survey ship in the area of the indian ocean where a chinese ship detected underwater signals. this could be a lead for flight 370. there's serious concern about the equipment that detected the pulses. here is cnn's report. >> reporter: we now know more about the equipment used when the pinging sound was reportedly detected. we spoke to the company that makes it. they tell us divers can use it or it can be used hand-held from the surface like the chinese are doing in this video. clearly this hydrophone does not go as deep as the tow pinger. remember, the tow pinger is what crews are using on board australia ship "ocean shield."
it can go 20,000 feet deep, far from any noise on the surface. from this video you can see hydrophone got nowhere near that. the reason depth is so important, you have to be in a one to two mile radius to reliably detect pings from the black boxes. one concern is about false positives. maker of the hydrophone they are using says interference from another device in the ocean is a possibility. fred. >> all right. renee march, thank you. right now british ship with sophisticated equipment is on the scene, the same location where chinese say they detected pulse activity. so how does technology on those ships compare? we explore with our panel after this. across america, people are taking charge of
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malaysian government are raising suspicions that missing flight 370 may have tried to avert radar detection. the source tells cnn the plane flew around indonesia in an attempt that may have been to avoid detection. why the plane would do that is still a mystery and certainly crews in the indian ocean are rushing to figure out if three underwater sounds are relating to the missing plane. a british ship just arrived in the area where a chinese ship had detected two pulse signals and an australian ship with a noise it detected 350 miles to the north of where the chinese ship is and now the british ship. our panel joining me kit darby, mary schiavo, rob mccallum. now this ship is on the scene, what is the process, how do they coordinate with the ship. rob, it would seem this is apples and oranges, the chinese
ship using a hydrophone placed below the surface and this british ship having technology that can detect sounds 20,000 feet deep. how do they work together or conflict with one another? >> that's a question for the search commander to determine how they will be deployed. the most important thing for both vessels to keep in mind is to keep the area as quiet as possible. once the pinger locater she will need absolute silence to troll along and listen carefully for pinger noises from the black boxes. i don't think that's a lot from haixun, she's using a small pinger locater from the surface. >> mary, is it your opinion there's more to it than that. could that chinese vessel only be using the hydrophone or something else they are not
revolleying. >> if they are just using hydrophone, they would have some theories, intelligence, number crunching why they went to that location. i suppose it's possible because the pinger through water about a mile, mile and a half, then that's vertical distance, lateral up to three miles. if they were right on top of it, i suppose it's possible. i guess the bigger question would be why were they right there and how did they know to go right there. no matter how you look at it, if they have stumbled on it or figured it out, the "echo" is the right ship to have there and they can confirm it either way. if it is wreck arnlgs the "echo" can start the business of mapping and finding the boxes. >> one would think the same questions but because of the issue of time felt like it's right to go ahead and move the assets now, ask questions later. >> sounds like it but sounds also like they didn't really
move that quickly. around noon. they are still contemplating in the press release what they were going to do and finally decided to answer this. as i mentioned earlier, i don't think they can ignore it whether they want to or not, this was broadcast in china as the finding of the airplane. if the "echo" gets there and it finds nothing from the equipment they are still going to have to go to the bottom with the submersibles and do more. i don't think they can sale away and say we didn't find anything, the chinese were wrong. >> where would these submersib e submersibles come from, if there's duplication of the signal, a lot of equipment has to be brought in. we're talking about not just hours more but days more if not weeks. >> not exactly my specialty but certainly this is not --
detecting is one thing and recovering is a much larger operation take a lot of time and winter is coming. it's going to be a long difficult search. once finding it, lifting it from the bottom, getting the box out of the airplane, bringing it to the surface. very different than hearing a sound and locating the wreckage. >> we're talking optimistically. if there's nothing, so much devoted in the four weeks to the search. much of that four weeks in this general indian ocean area, at what point do officials, do countries say, you know what, we have no more resources to give. are we a matter of weeks away or days away from the juncture if nothing is concluded today, nothing is found. >> there's so many countries involved and citizens of countries involved and commitment from the airline, it's going to be a long time before they back off this search entirely. obviously some people will fall away due to lack of resources.
we'll be looking at this a long time. >> mary, you've seen this investigation before. really this investigation is unprecedented in so many ways. at what point do you see countries resources drying up saying, you know what, we just can't commit anymore? >> i think what's going to happen is the source of the ping, since it came on the cusp of the battery running out, they will have to map the ocean floor. they will have to do mapping to rule out where the wreckage is and badry just died. after that i would assume what they will have to do is with the weather going to be changing soon, winter coming on. that would be a good time to say, well, as in air france, we're going to have to take a break over the winter and regroup and see what they can find otherwise. that's the case even if they do locate the ping, the black box, the black box may keep parts of
the plane, et cetera, winter approaches. the weather will call an end to it at some point. >> what does it entail mapping the ocean floor? >>. >> it involves the use of sonar. if you're looking at the sea floor itself and wanting a picture of symmetry, the type of underwater topography you see on google earth, you use a multi-beam sonar, "echo" is equipped with. if you want images of the sea floor and start at things like aircraft wreckage, you use a side scan sonar. that's deployed one of two ways, either by auv or towed array, towed sled. you could actually map the entire certainly area in about nine months if you elected to do so. >> all right. incredible investment of time. thank you so much to awful you. appreciate it. all right. we will have much more on this
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chinese ship heard two pulse signals under water. to the north an australian ship picked up what officials are calling an acoustic noise, 350 miles between them. cnn's jennifer gray has more. >> reporter: a lot has been going on over the past month with search areas, new certainly areas. we've been talking about this. we're going to try to put it in perspective now the chinese felt like they heard that ping. lets start with the arc, the blue line. that was the original arc. it give a lot of insight into where we were going to search, handshakes, all the talks we've had in the last weeks. the yellow, the previous search area down to the south along that blue line and up to the north. also we've been watching the areas in red. those are new search areas. these are areas we're currently searching. if you look right here, this is where the chinese said they heard that ping. this the "ocean shield." if you look at it in relation to
where the current search areas are, that's 200 miles. here to here is 200 miles as well as there. so where the chinese say they heard that ping is well away from those current search areas. >> all right. jennifer gray, thank you so much. pinger batteries on the black boxes from flight 370 could expire at any moment. british ship with advanced detection gear is in a an area where chinese detected pulse signals. as cnn reports some of this technology was never designed for this kind of search. >> it can descend 20,000 feet below the surface, detect this sound coming from the black boxes pinger from two nautical miles away but experts say deploying the towed cater is a big ask. >> we're asking a big ask. it was never designed to do this. >> physicians at phoenix international, the manufacturers of the pinger locater agree
these conditions are far from ideal. to be most effective, it needs a starting appoint, a confirmed piece of wreckage from malaysia airlines 370. >> if they haven't found deb, is it pointless to use this? >> your question pointless is not a good description. it is very, very difficult if they have not found debris to even know where to start. >> pinger locater limitations, it's passive, michbs from the pinger. it doesn't send out signals to pick them up. obstructions like underwater hills or mountains can impede it. >> weather is a big factor. if the boat is doing this on the ocean waves, now you're attached to an umbilical. >> the first towed pinger in 1976, last years it's been used four times in major commercial air crashes.
in 2009 it passed right over the box from flight 447 in the atlantic. in that case the pinger locater failed to find the pinger. they said that's because the pinger had broken off from the black box. it might have been damaged. three other cases success, egypt air crash in the atlantic in 1999 and air crash of adam air jet off indonesia. the black boxes were found by search areas were small. malaysia air is the fifth attempt and still a long shot. >> we have nothing to use. it's a better shot on the indian ocean. >> an official from the manufacturer expresses confidence telling us if that pinger on malaysia airlines 370 is working and they are searching in the right area, they will find it. the pinger locater will speak for itself. >> a new ship with equipment is
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that of the black boxes of flight 370, our panel is joining us. how might this british ship the echo try to confirm or dispel what it has said are two pulses? >> what is going to produce the sound is probably at the bottom. it is a major structural part of the airplane. when you get a band of the different temperature water. it can go a long way. but to find it twice in the same place, very encouraging. if this is the real ping, we
have found the flight. >> if this is the real ping, and you have the device with the censor, they are usually in the tail of a plane, but you were saying it is not out of the realm of possibility that a plane could have gone down in tact and everything remain in tact and that is why you have debris? >> that is why we haven't found it. landing an airplane in the open ocean with winds and saves far more difficult. >> let's talk about the limitations of these pingers. maybe nothing is quite like this flight 370. what have you discovered the limitations are of these pingers? >> i think probably is when they
don't work as in air france 447. either they are damaged or that kind of a situation. we found in the 9/11 investigation the black box was destroyed so it was pointless. the biggest draw back on the pingers themselves is damage or not operational. when they selected the frequency for the pinger pulse ps they tried to make them not sound like something in the sea. i think it is a pretty good chance that it is a pinger. it doesn't sound like other things. it is a cyclical emission like a stop watch. so, the limitations are just the mechanical part. if it is putting out sound there
are not many limitations you can find it. the chinese vessel did duplicate the 37.5 gigahertz. you are talking about this section of the ocean 20,000 feet. if indeed a pinger or pulse is detected that is now in the area, give me an idea of how and by what means would the exploration go to those depths. you have been in depths like this. explain what would be in store. >> there are two ways to get to these depths. you can use a remote operated vehicle, an rov and you would need a work class rov which would go down on the end of a tether, the tether provides
power and electricity and command and control to the device. >> and you used that apparatus in the search for the titanic? >> yes, it was but our dives were by man submersibles. which are free swimming. they are not tethered or operated by humans. >> so, when we talk about this search area, they would probably have to be the use of both. perhaps some use of manned submersables as well? >> they are not necessarily the ideal way to go. they are fairly rare. and they have a limited time down below they are carrying humans which breathe oxygen. a remote vehicle can operate
24/7. >> thanks to all of you appreciate it. we'll have more on these new developme developments on the search for flight 370. australian ship is concentrating on an area 350 miles north of that because of acoustic noise. also next another story involving the high seas and involving a daring rescue of a sick little girl off the coast of mexico. what if a photo were more than a memory?
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following. c afghanistan estimates that several million turned out for the election. one woman said she went to vote because she was fed up with the violence. 20 people were killed at voting centers. winners will be announced at the end of the month. president and first lady obama will be in texas wednesday.
we have much more straight ahead in the news room and it all starts right now. the search for missing flight 370 is on right now. british ship arrived to the area to investigate. it will try to figure out if what the chinese ship heard on friday and saturday is linked in anyway to the missing plane. officials say right now it is the best lead they have. but they caution it may not be the answer. an australian ship picked up was they are call iing a signal to e north. we are learning details to the path of the plane after it dropped off malaysian military radar.