May 21st, 2014
12:38 PM ET

Six Iranians Arrested for Making Fan Video of Pharrell Williams' 'Happy'

Apparently, dancing to a song about happiness in Iran can get you arrested.

Six Iranians are behind bars after they appeared in a fan video set to Pharrell Williams' "Happy," the American hit song that has sold millions of downloads worldwide.

Tehran Police Chief Hossein Sajedinia ordered the arrests of the three men and three women because they helped make an "obscene video clip that offended the public morals and was released in cyberspace," the Iranian Students' News Agency reported Wednesday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may think differently - if a post on his Twitter account is any indication.

"#Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy," the post read in what appears to be a restatement of a Rouhani comment from 2013, based on a date accompanying the tweet.

Pharrell denounced the arrests.

"It is beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness," the Grammy Award winner said on his Facebook page.

Just like in the singer's original video, the Iranian fan version features a montage of men and women dancing to the song in a variety of settings.

Reihane Taravati, a woman who said she helped make the fan project, gushed over the reaction to the video in the days before the Tuesday arrests.

"178K VIEWS thank you," she wrote on her Facebook page last week.

She also posted a picture of people featured in the video on Instagram.

"People of Tehran are happy! Watch and Share Our Happiness!," Taravati wrote. "Let the world hear us! we are happy and we deserve to be!"

Taravati's last Facebook post came Sunday.

The arrests come amid growing support on Facebook for an unrelated project featuring photographs submitted by women who appear without the country's legally required head scarves.

The page, created May 3, now has 331,000 likes.

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May 1st, 2014
01:15 PM ET

MH370 Report Reveals 4-Hour Gap Before Official Search For Plane Began

 On the fateful night that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared, officials apparently didn't notice for 17 minutes that it had gone off radar - and didn't activate an official rescue operation for four hours.

Those are two of the details outlined in a preliminary report by Malaysia's Transportation Ministry released to the public Thursday. The report had been sent to the International Civil Aviation Organization, the U.N. body for global aviation.

What's remarkable about the report is what's missing from it.

When did the plane disappear?

At 1:21 a.m. on March 8, the plane - carrying 239 people to Beijing - disappeared from radar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

By then, the plane's crew should have contacted air traffic control in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, but apparently it didn't.

And it wasn't until 17 minutes later that Ho Chi Minh asked Malaysian air traffic control where the plane was.

"We are left to assume (that) for those 17 minutes, Kuala Lumpur either didn't notice or didn't act," CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest said.

Why was there a four-hour gap in response?

Then came a four-hour gap - from the time when officials noticed the plane was missing to when the official rescue operation was launched.

The report gives an account of the conversation air traffic controllers in Vietnam and Malaysia had at that time. Ho Chi Minh City let Kuala Lumpur know at 1:38 a.m. that it was not able to establish verbal contact with Flight 370.

Kuala Lumpur also contacted Singapore, Hong Kong and Cambodia.

Those four hours may have been crucial.

On Tuesday, a Malaysia Airlines official said the plane probably ran out of fuel about 7½ hours into the flight. That means it might have been flying during that four-hour gap, and possibly for another 2½ hours after the search started.

Where was the military?

The Malaysian Prime Minister has said the military tracked the plane as it headed back across Malaysia.

According to the report, a playback of a recording from military primary radar revealed that an aircraft that may have been MH370 had made a westerly turn, crossing Peninsular Malaysia. The search area was then extended to the Strait of Malacca.

But it's unclear when that happened. The report makes no mention of the military's role the night of the disappearance.

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April 29th, 2014
10:44 AM ET

Exploration Company Says It Believes It Has Found a Plane

A private company declared that it has found what it believes is wreckage of a plane in the ocean, but leaders of the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are dismissing the claim.

The reasons for the skepticism are obvious - the site where GeoResonance says it found the wreckage, in the Bay of Bengal, is several thousand miles away from the current search area in the southern Indian Ocean.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre, which is coordinating the multinational search, dismissed the claim.

"The Australian-led search is relying on information from satellite and other data to determine the missing aircraft's location," the JACC said.

"The location specified by the GeoResonance report is not within the search arc derived from this data. The joint international team is satisfied that the final resting place of the missing aircraft is in the southerly portion of the search arc."

Malaysian acting Transportation Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Malaysia "is working with its international partners to assess the credibility of this information."

GeoResonance said it analyzes super-weak electromagnetic fields captured by airborne multispectral images.

"The company is not declaring this is MH370, however it should be investigated," GeoResonance said in a statement.

The company's director, David Pope, said he did not want to go public with the information at first, but his information was disregarded.

"We're a large group of scientists, and we were being ignored, and we thought we had a moral obligation to get our findings to the authorities," he told CNN's "New Day" on Tuesday.

GeoResonance's technology was created to search for nuclear, biological and chemical weaponry under the ocean or beneath the earth in bunkers, Pope said.

The company began its search four days after the plane went missing and sent officials initial findings on March 31, Pope said. It followed up with a full report on April 15.

By going public, the company says it hopes it will spur officials to take its claim seriously.

Malaysian authorities contacted GeoResonance on Tuesday and were "very interested, very excited" about the findings, Pope said.

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April 24th, 2014
02:17 PM ET

Malaysia to Release MH370 Report, Prime Minister Tells CNN

Facing anger from families of Flight 370 passengers, Malaysia's Prime Minister said Thursday his government will release its preliminary report on the plane's disappearance.

In a TV exclusive, Najib Razak told CNN the report will be available to the public next week.

"I have directed an internal investigation team of experts to look at the report, and there is a likelihood that next week we could release the report," Najib said. Later in the interview with CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest, he gave a more definitive statement, saying the report will be released next week.

Najib also discussed why he is not yet officially declaring the flight - and the 239 people on board - lost.

The report has already been sent to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the U.N. body for global aviation, but not made available to the public.

The ICAO told CNN about a safety recommendation in the report: Malaysia said the aviation world needs to look at real-time tracking of commercial aircraft. It's the same recommendation that was made after the Air France Flight 447 disaster in 2009.

Earlier Thursday, the partner of one of the passengers accused Malaysian authorities of seeming "to be choosing to treat us as if we are the enemy as opposed to an interested party in helping to solve this mystery."

"We need a fresh start here," Sarah Bajc, partner of passenger Philip Wood, said on CNN's "New Day."

"We've been sitting on opposite sides of the table. They have a briefing, they tell us what they know and we ask them questions. That's just kind of broken. I think we need to start from scratch and sit down and have a positive dialogue."

Families don't "necessarily believe" that the Malaysian authorities are "withholding any new information other than the facts that we've already asked for," she added.

A committee representing some of the Chinese families have posted 26 questions on the Chinese social media site Weibo.

Usually, such reports to the ICAO are public, Quest says.

"In most cases, the report is published because it's not a controversial document," he said. "It's a statement of facts - what happened. And if there are any controversial or difficult facts, they can be redacted."

Malaysia has insisted it has nothing to hide and is working to find answers.

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