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Interview with Gov. Andrew Cuomo; Four Dead, Dozens Hurt; Federal Investigation Underway; Former Adviser Backs Iran Deal; Car In Walker Crash Was Speeding; Tuberculosis On Plane; Will Kenneth Bae Be Released; Woman Helps Save Crash Victims; Buyer Beware
Aired December 2, 2013 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: The turn has been here for decades. Trains negotiate the turn all day long. So it's not about the turn. Something else had to happen. We want to find out what it is. Again, if there is a lesson to learn from it, we will and that's why the NTSB being here I think is very helpful. They're an independent agency. They're all about the facts and whatever it is, it is.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: What are they telling you about the use of what they call the black box, is they believe they can get the information out of there and interviews with crew to figure out what happened here and why?
A. CUOMO: There are two black boxes. One was in the cab in the front. One was in the back. They've downloaded both. That is going to give you the speed of the train, whether the train was going too fast. There is a 70-mile-per-hour speed limit just north of where we are.
Trains are supposed to slow down to about 30 miles per hour for the curve. They'll tell you if the brakes were applied, if they were, when. So that really should narrow it down and again, if it was something that could by a voided or just operator error?
C. CUOMO: Now, obviously, a horrible outcome here. It was a lightly trafficked route on this day being so early on a Sunday morning. It could have been much worse. So you have that general concern going forward. You had the freighter in July that went off the track. Do you have any general concerns about safety on the tracks in this area?
A. CUOMO: No, we don't. Again, unless NTSB finds something that we should be concerned about. You are right, if there is any good news in this situation, it's that it was on a Sunday it was on an early train. There are about 100 to 150 people on the train and it had been a Monday morning. If it had been during the workweek, you would have had multiples of that number on the train.
My guess is you would have had multiples in terms of casualties and death, et cetera. So to the extent you can say it could have been worse, that's the way it could have been worse, but to lose four New Yorkers during the holiday season, these are four people who left for work in the morning. They were going to the city to enjoy New York City for the day and they just done come home again. So the tragedy of it and the pain of it all New Yorkers should remember the people we lost and the families who are truly suffering today because of this situation.
C. CUOMO: You talk about those four families and we do hear people that someone in the hospital may have a very bad spinal injury, other people critically injured, when you went to the scene, you got there very quickly yesterday, what was it like?
A. CUOMO: Well, what you missed from the pictures, Chris, is as the cars skidded along the dirt, the windows broke out, the doors opened and they were picking up stones, rock, dirt, tree limbs were flying through the cars so the actual cars were filled with debris, filled with dirt.
So these trains don't have seatbelts. They were on their sides. You had all this debris coming through the cars themselves and you could have been hurt badly by the debris coming through the car. So it was a really ugly situation.
C. CUOMO: So you lock for answers. You try to get online as quickly as possible. What are they telling you if you can get the cars up and out of there and fix the track?
A. CUOMO: Everyone has been working through the night here. It's been extraordinary. The first responders in New York, I'm not objective. I believe we have the first best responder network in the country. I have done this all across the country. I believe when it comes to emergency responders, New York has the best.
Unfortunately, we've had too much experience in the emergency response field is probably one of the reasons why we developed the expertise, but the trains are being righted today as you can see. They'll be moved out and NTSB is doing their investigation and we hope to get service up by the end of the week.
Our first concern is the safety and the treatment. Third, we want to get the rail back up. There are tens of thousands of commuters who use this rail and hopefully by the end of the week it going to be up and running.
C. CUOMO: All right, Governor, thank you for joining us. It is no small irony that just in August you were training with the National Guard for these types of things, who knew in a few months later, the training would have to put in practice. Appreciate you joining us this morning.
A. CUOMO: Thanks. Good to see you, Chris.
MICHAELA PERIERA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's take a look at our headlines at this hour. Disturbing new revelations from Intelligence Committee leaders who say the threat of terrorism against the U.S. is on the rise. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Mike Rogers told CNN's Candy Crowley that there are more terrorist groups than ever with access to more sophisticated resources. She adds that Americans are no safer now than a year or two ago.
President Obama's former National Security adviser is defending the recent deal on Iran's nuclear program. Tom Donalin said the sanctions in place against Iran were responsible to force Iran to come to the table. He says the deal serves as a good foundation for further negotiation. The deal has been criticized by many in Congress and the Israelis as being too soft on the regime.
Officials now say speed was indeed a factor in Saturday's car crash that took the life of actor, Paul Walker. He was a passenger in the 2005 Porsche Ferrera GT, a notoriously difficult car to handle. The "Fast and Furious" star was leaving a fundraiser for victims of Typhoon Haiyan when the slammed into a light pole and caught fire. Walker's father said his son had a big heart and he was proud of him every day of his life.
Quite a scare for passengers on board a flight from Austin to Phoenix, they had been advised to get a tuberculosis shot. A passenger on the plane may have been carrying the disease. A spokesman for U.S. Airways say paramedics boarded the airplane once it landed and told passengers they might want to get the vaccine. He adds the passenger in question was cleared to board, but had his status changed while the plane was in the air.
I want to show you some incredible footage of 63 women who shattered the female vertical formation skydiving record, those ladies linking hands as they plunged head first towards the Arizona desert. They left from three different aircrafts at 18,000 feet. This was their 12th attempt. They all hailed from various parts of the world, incredible, incredible footage for you on this Monday.
C. CUOMO: They are actually training as Amazon's Plan B for the rapid delivery system.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: If the flying (inaudible) doesn't work, we've got these brave women who just land --
PEREIRA: I would trust their hands with --
CUOMO: I'm coming in. You have to open the door.
BOLDUAN: They are so strong. They can carry much more than 5 pounds --
CUOMO: If he calls them that, I better get a slice.
PERIERA: You will get a slice.
BOLDUAN: You said it so many times.
CUOMO: I'm sure you will.
BOLDUAN: It's better when she says it. Coming up next on NEW DAY, back to the big stories we are following, new hope for the families of Americans held in North Korea. Could North Korean authorities be closer to letting them go? Coming up, we are going to talk with the sister of one of the men being held.
CUOMO: And imagine surviving a horrible plane crash then the misery is not over. You have to trek out into the Alaskan wilderness and find help, one woman's incredible story right ahead.
CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. The families of two Americans detained in North Korea have new reason to be hopeful this morning. Over the weekend, the National Security Council spokesperson urged North Korea to release Kenneth Bae and Merrill Newman. The appeal came after North Korean state media released a video of Newman reading a so-called apology for crimes committed during the Korean War.
Joining us now is Kenneth Bae's sister, Terri Chung. Bae has been imprisoned in North Korea since November of last year. Terri, thank you for joining us. We appreciate it.
TERRI CHUNG, SISTER OF KENNETH BAE: Thank you for having me.
CUOMO: Please remind us, what were the circumstances surrounding the capture of your brother?
CHUNG: He was detained last November. He was working as a tour operator in North Korea and which he's done for the past year-and-a- half prior to his arrest. So he's working there legally. He has established business relationships and so he had no reason to suspect anything was amiss. But unfortunately, he was detained last November 3rd, 2012.
CUOMO: And you used the correct word, you say detained. I used the word captured because it seems that there is no legitimate basis for this. What is your understanding as to why this was done?
CHUNG: Kenneth has never had any ill intentions toward North Korea, in fact, he only wanted to help. He thought by bringing economic development to the area that he was helping their economy. However, his zeal might like and his religious faith and convictions might have gotten him in trouble.
CUOMO: How so?
CHUNG: I think he is a man of faith and a strong Christian. He had -- because of his zeal -- I think his wanting to help him share that might have been interpreted as having hostile intentions.
CUOMO: The Christianity frowned on by the state and the combination with being an American you think wound up triggering the detention?
CHUNG: Unfortunately, yes.
CUOMO: When is the last time you heard from your brother? What is the last information you had to suggest his condition?
CHUNG: Last time we had any news of Kenneth was when my mother was visiting back in October. She was there from the 11th to the 14th. She got to visit him in the hospital and we haven't any update since. At that time, I think his condition had improved because he had been hospitalized for several months. He had chronic conditions that require on-going attention by his doctors at home, which is why he needs to come home now.
CUOMO: Help us understand that a little bit. Was he injured during his detention? How did he become ill? How long has he been in the hospital?
CHUNG: He's been in the hospital since August 5th. He's had some medical conditions prior to North Korea. He had diabetes, enlarged heart, hypertension and my understanding is while he was in labor camp, some of his injuries before. He had back injuries and radiating leg pain that had reoccurred during his hard labor.
He was working in the field eight hours a day for six days. I think he has malnutrition as well. He had lost 50 pounds during his 80 days of hard labor and I think his body simply started to just give out.
CUOMO: Fifty pounds in 80 days, just to be clear, he is not being held in a hotel. He was in a hard labor camp?
CHUNG: That's right. He was the first one to be actually sent to labor camp although others were never sent there. Fifty pounds, I guess, over the course of his detainment or captivity as you said but yes.
CUOMO: What are the stated crimes? Do you know, if it's there a trial pending? What are you told about the disposition of any case?
CHUNG: Kenneth was already tried back in last May and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for hostile acts against the state.
CUOMO: What are you told by the U.S. government in terms of the best hope of getting him released?
CHUNG: We are told that they are doing everything they can to bring him home. But they aren't generally able to share concrete details with us about what is happening on that front.
CUOMO: I know that you are trying to keep it together. I know that you want to present calm here so that you can just be productive. But what is this doing to your family having your brother over there in these types of conditions?
CHUNG: You know, it's hard to describe the kind of sheer pain and agony that our family has been enduring for the past 13 months, just uncertainty and just not having him come home and especially for the holidays has been particularly difficult. This is the second Thanksgiving we have spent without him. Christmas is coming up. We are hoping and praying that he will be home by Christmas. CUOMO: Hopefully his faith is keeping him going with what his enduring right now. Please stay in touch with us, Terri. We will keep this story out there. We promise.
CHUNG: Thank you so much.
CUOMO: Terry, thank you for joining us -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: All right, thanks, Chris. Now to an amazing story of triumph and tragedy in Alaska, a woman who survived a plane crash was determined to help save as many passengers as she could. She fought her way through rough terrain at night and managed to find help. Some survived, but it was too late to save everyone. CNN's Paul Vercammen has the incredible story.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER (voice-over): From the dark hidden crash site, Melanie Coffee called for help to resuscitate her baby, Wyatt, just 5 months old. This is Melanie and Wyatt on her Facebook page. Wyatt could not be saved but others could. Melanie walked towards the Lights of Saint Mary's, population 5000. Coffee found rescuers near the village dump, led them to the wreckage inaccessible by snowmobile. First responder Clipton Dalton was there.
CLIPTON DALTON (via telephone): She is a hero from my perspective. She is able put her own selfless needs of herself ahead of the passengers on the aircraft. Had it not been for her to work out to the crash scene, there is a potential for other people who would not have survived the crash.
VERCAMMEN: State troopers described conditions as ice fall.
DALTON: The crash scene was on a remote tundra that matches up on the coast side on the banks of the Yukon River. So it was sloping terrain. We had to walk on the frozen ground in the snow and it was an intimate crash site.
VERCAMMEN: Authorities report the single engine Cessna left bound for mountain village then saint marries. The Cessna crashed killing the pilot, two passengers and Baby Wyatte. Six people were injured, first responders say Melanie was the only survivor who could walk.
DALTON: It's amazing, she was attending to her injured child greatly injured, walking a quarter mile, a half a walk a half a mile to keep her composure, to keep her sense about her gathered and remained calm enough to be able to direct the rest of the rescuers into where the aircraft scene was.
BOLDUAN: Yes. All right, Paul, thank you so much. It's amazing she could pull that off when you see that crash, that picture of that crash. It's amazing she made it out herself. Thank you.
CUOMO: Basically had to survive twice.
PEREIRA: Yes, exactly. CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, it's Cybermonday. Don't worry about it. Kate says it doesn't exist, but to the extent that it does, here's a real caution for you. One couple fined for posting a negative review online and guess what? They are not the only ones. What? We'll explain.
CUOMO: Take a sip. Take a breath. Monday. Welcome back. Millions are expected to fill virtual shopping carts today because it's not just Monday, it's Cyber Monday. We have a caveat, buyer beware. On Friday we told you about a Utah couple that was fined for posting a negative review online about a retailer. They are actually fined and it turns out they're not alone. "EARLY START" Zoraida Sambolin has the story for us. More than one?
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": My goodness. The story struck a nerve. Many of you commented on the story and shared similar experiences of your own.
SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Last week we told you about the Palmers, a Salt Lake City couple fined $3500 and hit with the ding in their credit score all because of a negative online review they posted after they say items they ordered from cleargear.com never showed up.
JEN PALMER, FINED FOR NEGATIVE REVIEW: It's ridiculous that anybody would turn around and try to extort us like this especially for doing something as simple as just posting a review online.
SAMBOLIN: Since airing the story our Facebook and Twitter accounts exploded with some strong responses from viewers. This must be challenged in court. We cannot allow this to happen, shame on that company. That should be illegal. It's not fair we all have a right to our opinion. Freedom of speech, hello.
But the Palmers apparently signed away that freedom when they agreed to cleargear.com's non-disparagement clause forbidding them to take any action that negatively impacts cleargear.com. Stating if the content remains in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3500.
PALMER: We said, you know, they can't be serious about this. My husband checked his credit report. Sure enough, there is a charge for $3500 hitting from cleargear.com.
SAMBOLIN: And it's not just the Palmers. In 2011 a Virginia woman posted a scathing review on Yelp and Angie's List blasting contractors complaining of a sloppy paint job, poorly installed door hinges and accusing them of theft, writing, bottom line, do not put yourself through this nightmare of a contract. Chris Dietz, the founder of the company spoke to CNN's Don Lemon's last year.
CHRIS DIETZ, CONTRACTOR: She accused me of criminal activity, false statements presenting them as fact with no basis for it. SAMBOLIN: Dietz turned the tables and filed a $750,000 defamation suit and a judge ordered certain parts of the review be removed. The State Supreme Court later reversed the decision, but wrote that contractor could pursue monetary damages for defamation. It is a win for freedom of speech on the internet, but a warning that you can be held legally responsible for posting negative feedback.
SAMBOLIN: That's sad. All right, so CNN tried multiple phone numbers listed on Cleargear's web site. All of them were disconnected. Clear Gear did respond via e-mail to our affiliate defended its action request for the Palmers to take down the comment was not blackmail, but, quote, "A diligent effort to help them avoid the fine." The Palmers say they are taking this fight to court.
BOLDUAN: I'm very interested to see how this plays out.
SAMBOLIN: Don't you typically just go ahead and click on.
BOLDUAN: Unscientific poll, who reads the contract, the fine print. Show of hands?
PEREIRA: No one reads this stuff, but now we have to.
SAMBOLIN: Be warned. Exactly.
BOLDUAN: All right, thank you.
CUOMO: You remain silent.
BOLDUAN: Next up on NEW DAY, the latest on the train crash in the Bronx. Crews are working to get these train cars upright. We going to two live to the scene when we come back.