March 18th, 2014
09:43 AM ET

Thai Military Radar Data Bolsters Belief That Flight 370 Changed its Path

New information from the Thai government bolsters the belief that missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took a sharp westward turn after communication was lost.

The Thai military was receiving normal flight path and communication data from the Boeing 777-200 on its planned March 8 route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing until 1:22 a.m., when it disappeared from its radar.

Six minutes later, the Thai military detected an unknown signal, a Royal Thai Air Force spokesman told CNN. This unknown aircraft, possibly Flight 370, was heading the opposite direction.

Malaysia says the evidence gathered so far suggests the plane was deliberately flown off course, turning west and traveling back over the Malay Peninsula and out into the Indian Ocean.

But investigators don't know who was at the controls or why whoever it was took the plane far away from its original destination.

The Thai data is the second radar evidence that the plane did indeed turn around toward the Strait of Malacca.

It follows information from the Malaysian Air Force that its military radar tracked the plane as it passed over the small island of Pulau Perak in the Strait of Malacca.

"The unknown aircraft's signal was sending out intermittently, on and off, and on and off," the spokesman said. The Thai military lost the unknown aircraft's signal because of the limits of its military radar, he said.

The radar data is an encouraging sign that investigators are on the right track, but they still are not sure where the plane ended up.

The latest findings say the plane's last known location detected by a satellite is somewhere along two wide arcs: one stretching north over Asia and the other south into the Indian Ocean. The plane's last electronic connection with the satellite was about six hours after it last showed up on Malaysian military radar.

The total area now being searched stands at 2.24 million square nautical miles, Hishammuddin Hussein, the Malaysian defense and transport minister, said at a news conference Tuesday. That's an area nearly the size of the continental United States.

"This is an enormous search area," Hishammuddin said. "And it is something that Malaysia cannot possibly search on its own. I am therefore very pleased that so many countries have come forward to offer assistance and support to the search and rescue operation."

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January 31st, 2014
04:24 AM ET

Rodman in Rehab: "I'm Not an Ambassador to North Korea"

Did you catch Chris Cuomo's exclusive with Dennis Rodman in his first interview since entering an alcohol rehabilitation facility two weeks ago?

The former basketball player is probably the American with the most access to the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and many have been critical that he has not lobbied for the release of American prisoner Kenneth Bae from a labor camp.

"I'm not an ambassador, and I tried to strive and tell people, just because I know the marshal (Kim), that doesn't mean I know the marshal like that," he said.

Rodman says he's not a diplomat, just a former NBA star fighting addiction and trying to be a better father.

FULL POST

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December 13th, 2013
10:31 AM ET

Don't Expect a Respite From The Cold

For the third time this month, a round of wintry weather is heading for the Midwest and Northeast. CNN's Indra Petersons reports.

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December 5th, 2013
10:29 AM ET

U.S. Man Sits In Jail For Posting Comedy Video

A young American living in the United Arab Emirates has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.

It was meant to be a piece of comedy, a 19-minute video that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture. In the 1990s, the label "Satwa G" was coined for a group of suburban teens who were known to talk tougher than they really were.

But the situation isn't funny any more.

Now, the family of Shezanne "Shez" Cassim wants to bring attention to his case ahead of a hearing December 16.

"It was just for fun. He's a big fan of sketch comedy, he's a big fan of "Saturday Night Live," ...he and his friends just wanted to make a funny sketch comedy in their spare time,"  Cassim's brother, Shervon Cassim, told CNN's Kate Bolduan Thursday.

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Cassim's family says Shez, 29, has been charged with endangering national security, but they've not been told what about the video endangered security.

UAE authorities did not respond to CNN requests for details about what charges Cassim may be facing and why.

“He tries to put on a brave face. He said he was doing fine.. but I could sense a growing anxiety in his voice. He’s a little depressed. My impression is that he’s going just a little bit crazy in his cell,” his brother told CNN.

Cassim, from Woodbury, Minnesota, moved to Dubai in 2006 after graduating college to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He and some friends made and posted the video online in 2012. He was arrested in April 2013.

According to the family, Cassim and eight friends have been charged under a cybercrimes law for endangering public order. This law, the family says, wasn't passed until after the video had been released.

Two attempts by Cassim's lawyers to get him released on bail have been rejected.

The U.S. State Department is providing consular services to Cassim, a department official said, and has attended all his court hearings.

"The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General have engaged with UAE counterparts to urge a fair and expedient trial and judgment," the official said.

The Satwa G's, the family said in a statement, were known as wanna-be gangsters, and that's how Cassim portrayed them.

"These 'gangstas' were known for their decidedly mild behavior and were seen as the total opposite of actual criminals," the statement said. "The fictional training depicted in the video teaches techniques that include the best way to throw a sandal at a newspaper (target) and, ultimately, how to use the mobile phone when in trouble."

At the last hearing, the judge in the case asked for an Arabic translation of the video, giving the family some hope that the authorities will realize that it was a parody.

"I just want my son home for Christmas," said Cassim's mother, Jean Cassim, in a statement. "He's a good young man with a great career and has never been in trouble. Now he's being held for no reason. I've been praying, going to mass and lighting candles, and that's what I'm going to keep doing."

An average of about 2,500 Americans are jailed abroad every year, and about a third of those arrests are related to illegal drugs, the U.S. State Department says. "In 2010 alone, consular officers conducted more than 9,500 prison visits, and assisted more than 3,500 Americans who were arrested abroad," the State Department's website says.

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