Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
How do you value the loss of a life? It would seem that different countries value it differently.
Under an international treaty known as the Montreal Convention, an airline must pay $175,000 for the death of each individual, but there is scope for additional damages too.
This is where the amount owed can differ depending on the passenger’s country of origin. Experts estimate that the families of Americans lost on board MH370 could get up to $10 million, while the families of those from other countries may receive $400,000 per passenger.
To find out more about the legal complexities behind an airline tragedy, Max spoke to attorney Floyd Wisner. He’s handled many cases involving family members of people killed in aviation accidents.
Wisner said a lot of the difference is based on where the case is filed, and what the norm for compensation is in that country. "An American jury is going to award damages ten times the amount of a Chinese court."
Unfortunately, though, he said that this "places a greater value on an American life than on another life."
The search for Malaysia Flight 370 is not over yet.
The U.S. is sending special ships to locate the flight's data recorder, or "black box.”
Black boxes aren't actually black, they're orange, to make them easier to spot in wreckage. They record things like altitude, air speed and audio while a flight is in the air.
To help rescuers find them, they send out a homing signal for up to 30 days after a crash, which can be detected even when 4,000 metres underwater.
On the various challenges search crews looking for the Malaysia Airlines plane are facing, Max spoke to David Gallo. He’s an oceanographer who helped in the search for the Titanic and co-led the search for the missing Air France Flight 447.
Gallo said the search would be getting "tougher by the day,” and highlighted some of the difficult conditions in the area – including whirlpools, bad weather, and the depth of the sea.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is still missing. Even as the search area has expanded, experts say the window of opportunity to find any sign of the plane has been closing quickly. Becky spoke to Rick Burgess, a former P-3c Mission Commander and managing editor of Seapower Magazine, who estimated that there are between three and four days left to finish the search. "From there," he said, "I don't see much hope."
Becky asked Burgess about the debris spotted in the South Indian Ocean. In relation to this possible lead, Burgess said "This is the first optimism I've had with this whole incident."
He also explained the capabilities of the search teams, the challenges posed by the weather, and the remote location of the search area. See the full interview above.
Nearly a week after the search started, the world is still wondering – how does a plane go missing?
New evidence shows that an automated reporting system on the airliner was pinging satellites for hours after its last reported contact with air traffic controllers. This means that the flight may have remained airborne much longer than previously thought.
Becky spoke to David Gallo, an Oceanographer from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He helped in the search for the Titanic, and co-led the successful international effort to locate Air France Flight 447.
Despite all his experience, he's as confused as the rest of us about the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. "I'm astounded by this. It's been perplexing all along but the latest twist about how long the plane may have been airborne has really thrown me for a loop. I hope this is true, I hope it sticks because it's one thing we can cling on to as a solid bit of evidence."
Becky asked Gallo what he personally would do next if leading this investigation. Gallo replied that if it's true that the plane may have reached the Indian Ocean, it's time to mobilize for a "different kind of search.”
"The water depths in the Indian Ocean can get upwards of 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 meters in some spots, depending on where we're talking about,” Gallo said. “Very different from the shallow waters of the Gulf of Thailand."
There are more questions than answers surrounding the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.
Yesterday Becky spoke to a number of experts to get the latest on the search, and to discuss the possible scenarios.
Aviation Expert David Gleave told Becky how the plane seemed to have disappeared at the "point of maximum confusion" – specifically, the point of handover between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control. This period only lasts a few minutes, sometimes only a few seconds, but gives the plane the "maximum opportunity to fly in any particular direction, unmonitored.” Gleave says it would appear that the plane had descended at that point, but this descent was not commensurate with depressurization or engine failure, because the plane remained "too high, and under control, adding to the theory that someone had taken control of the aircraft".
CNN Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson told Becky that Interpol have identified the two men flying on stolen passports as Iranian, but Interpol don't believe there is any link between these young men and terrorism. One of the men's mothers was expecting him to eventually arrive in Frankfurt, Germany, and she was one of the people who alerted authorities.