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NEW DAY SATURDAY
239 Missing as Jet Vanishes Off Vietnam; No Wreckage Found Yet of Jet Carrying 239; Crisis in Ukraine; President Obama Discusses Ukraine with German Leader; Mom Tried to Kill Own Children; Former Girlfriend Testified in Oscar Pistorius Trial; Bill to Ban Orcas Performance in the SeaWorld Can Become Law in California; Bleacher Report on Paralympic Games in Russia, Tiger Woods Incredible Putt Basketball Fan Confronting Coach During Game; Scientists Inventing Clock That Would Never Slow Down
Aired March 8, 2014 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Vanished. A Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 239 people fell off the radar in midair. This morning new details about what happened to the flight.
JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: Charges filed --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Close your eyes and go to sleep, taken him to a better place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Charges filed against a mother accused of trying to kill her three children by driving them into the ocean. Now we're hearing the 9/11 calls from before the event.
BROWN: And the picture of Oscar Pistorius emerges as a cheating, gun- loving boyfriend with a temper. Unpacking the events of week one in the blade runner's trial.
Your NEW DAY starts now.
And good morning, everyone. Great to have you along with us on this Saturday morning. I'm Pamela Brown.
JOHNS: And I'm Joe Johns. It's 6:00. Christi Paul and Victor Blackwell are off today. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.
We begin this morning with a desperate search at sea after a jet carrying 239 people vanished off the southern coast of Vietnam.
BROWN: China, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam have dispatched rescue ships and aircraft to the area where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
JOHNS: Report from the region say Vietnam's military confirmed the jet crashed into the sea. But Malaysian authorities say they're still working to verify that and no records have been found as of yet. BROWN: And according to the airline, four Americans, including an infant, were on board the Boeing 777. Two-thirds of the passengers are said to be from China and Taiwan.
JOHNS: Let's bring in CNN airline and aviation correspondent Richard Quest who's been following the developments from New York.
Richard, what's the latest on the search and how will rescue crews find the wreckage?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AIRLINE AND AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, in theory, of course, the aircraft itself could give clues as to where it will have come down. And I think we now know of course that we're all talking about an incident where the plane has -- in some form crashed. And the aircraft, when it gets into distress, when a plane does crash in this sort of circumstance, will emit its own beacon.
It will send out its own radio transmitter which effectively will help and alert the rescuers and the recovery teams about where it is. Now the difficulty here, of course, is that this 777 may well have been over the South China Sea when the incident happened.
We're still not entirely confirmed exactly where the plane was at the time. We know it was at 35,000, 36,000 feet. We know it was about two hours into its flight from KL, Kuala Lumpur, up to Beijing.
Now that puts is roughly around the eastern part of Vietnam and into the South China Sea. If this incident did happen over the sea, then you're talking about a much more difficult operation here. Because now not only will the plane, or maybe the plane had broken up, but now, of course, the transmitter which can keep going for many days, we might not be able to receive the signal from it.
So that's going to be, Joe, the sort of issue. That's why you're going to be getting these search and rescue operations for many countries. Politics gets put to the one side in this area, as they try now to find where is the wreckage, the remains, if you like. Where is this Aircraft?
JOHNS: Richard, I understand you met the co-pilot of this plane, Fariq Hamid, and actually sat in the cockpit of a similar aircraft just a few days ago. Can you tell us about that?
QUEST: Yes, we were filming for "CNN BUSINESS TRAVELER." The monthly travel program that I do. And we were filming on a flight from Kuala Lampur -- from Hong Kong down to Kuala Lumpur. And during that flight, we were actually with the Malaysia Airlines. And as the pictures show, we're -- we can confirm that the first officer who was flying the aircraft, the one you see in this picture is the one who was on board the aircraft.
We have reason to believe that the captain was also on -- the one who's on the left seat is also involved in the flight that we're talking about tonight.
Now it's worth pointing out, and I'm just going to give a bit of background to this filming. This filming was well and truly within the ambit of authorized. It was Malaysia Airlines. There was a safety check captain on board the aircraft as well. So all the correct -- anyone who's saying what was going on here, all the correct parameters that allow for in-cockpit filming were followed in this particular incident.
The first officer involved had about 200,000 hours flying experience. He'd been with Malaysian Airlines since 2007. He was experienced First Officer in aviation. He was new -- what they say new on type. He had -- he'd only been on the 777 for a matter of weeks.
JOHNS: A real mystery so far. Thanks so much for that, Richard Quest. We'll be checking back with you.
Dozens of relatives of missing passengers or crew members gathered at the Beijing airport. Some overcome with grief and fearing for the worse.
BROWN: CNN's Davis McKenzie is in Beijing where the flight was supposed to land.
So, David, tell us what are you hearing from people there?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're hearing is frustration, sometimes anger and certainly confusion. And a lot of emerging doubts about what exactly happened to the loved ones and relatives.
We were at the airport earlier this morning. There was just a very poignant red -- in red sign for that airline coming in, delayed. And then people were staying at a local area hotel. People were crowding in and out through the (INAUDIBLE). One woman screamed out, my son was only 40. Another man said, I had a relative on board but they're complaining they're not getting much information.
That's partly because the information is relatively sketchy at this point, coming from the airline. Because they don't want to give those relative any details until they know for sure. But very agonizing hours here. More than half of that flight was packed with Chinese nationals, 14 nationalities on board including American, Australian, New Zealanders and many Malaysians, of course, too.
BROWN: Yes. We learned that four Americans were on board including a 1-year-old infant.
JOHNS: An infant.
BROWN: That's right.
David, where do you think that the plane went down? I mean, I know it's tough to tell and there's still so much to learn about what happened. But what -- from what you can tell where do you think it went down?
MCKENZIE: Well, Pamela, our sources through state media and also on the ground in Malaysia and Vietnam indicate that this airliner could have gone down in the Gulf of Thailand. Around 150 miles south of any nearby islands. Now that makes it very difficult indeed, to get rescue and recovery efforts to that point. As Richard was mentioning, this is a multinational effort, particularly from Malaysia and Vietnam.
Going into those areas, we just recently got off the phone with one of the people in charge of that operation from the Malaysian side. They say they're sending helicopters, planes, any means necessary, to try and find out where that airliner went down.
Of course, we can assume that it's crashed on some level because there have only 7 1/2 hours left of fuel when they vanished from radar. And from the areas where they were being picked up, effectively, vanishing into thin air.
Now the wait is what exactly happened. And are there any survivors, but certainly, I can tell you very agonizing, as I can say, hours ticking by here in Beijing and across the region -- Pamela.
BROWN: Yes. Your heart really goes out to the relatives there.
David McKenzie in Beijing. Thank you so much.
JOHNS: Just the not knowing is probably the hardest part at this stage and there's been so much speculation. Everybody is (INAUDIBLE).
BROWN: Yes. And like you said, an agonizing wait.
JOHNS: So what could have caused the plane to disappear? According to the Malaysia Airlines CEO so far it doesn't look like it was bad weather.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AHMAD JAUHARI YAHYA, MALAYSIA AIRLINES CEO: Our early review of the weather system shows that no at that point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: So let's go down to Jennifer Gray at the extreme weather center.
Jennifer, can you give us an idea about the weather conditions at the time the plane left Kuala Lumpur Airport?
JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, well, conditions were pretty much ideal. You can temperatures around 77 degrees. Winds only about three miles per hour. And visibility at six miles. So it doesn't look like weather was a problem at all. We were looking at satellite images as well from where they left on to the destination. And barely even any clouds.
We were also looking at turbulence forecast. And it doesn't look like there was much turbulence in the area as well. So from what we can see, it looks like weather could pretty much be ruled out, guys.
JOHNS: All right. Thanks so much for that, Jennifer Gray. Get back to you.
GRAY: All right.
JOHNS: Still to come on NEW DAY, international monitors make their fourth attempt to enter Crimea as Moscow blasts the group accusing them of being biased.
BROWN: Plus, for the first time, we're getting a look at the mother who police say tried to kill her children by driving them into the ocean. Ahead what the children told the police about the terrifying moments inside that car.
JOHNS: Tensions are rising in the fight to regain control of Crimea last night. Pro Russian forces faced off with Ukrainian troops at a military base in Crimea.
BROWN: This as international monitors make a fourth attempt at entering Crimea today. They were turned away at the checkpoint near the border yesterday.
Moscow is accusing a group of acting in favor of Ukraine.
Anna Coren is live in Simferopol in Crimea.
And, Anna, what -- tell us what the scene is like where you are today.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, we're just getting information that pro-Russian forces have taken over military office here in Simferopol, the capital of this region. And we understand that dozens of armed men forced their way in. They forced people to the ground. And from what we understand, from the reports that we're getting in is that they have actually taken over this place.
Definitely a much more visual presence, if you like, of these pro- Russian forces. These local militia. But also of these identified Russian forces. You know, they're not wearing any insignia on their uniform. But certainly from the Ukrainians' perspective, they are Russian soldiers.
They're saying that there are 30,000 Russian troops now in Crimea here on the peninsula. And then, you know, you mentioned that attack on that military base about an hour and a half from where we are here, they've rammed the gate. They tried to get in. Those were with Russian troops. They did back off. But then the local militia came. And that's when the attacks happened on journalists.
So definitely the situation here on the ground is changing so very quickly. Things are moving much quicker than we had anticipated. But we knew things were going to get worse as we got closer to that referendum on the 16th of March.
JOHNS: Anna Coren on the ground for us in Simferopol there. Thanks so much for that, Anna. Stay safe. BROWN: Yes. Stay safe.
All right. Back here in the United States, President Obama may be taking a break from Washington but the crisis in Ukraine is not far from his mind.
JOHNS: Our senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta has the latest diplomatic efforts to calm tensions in the region.
Good morning, Jim.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Pamela and Joe, President Obama called German Chancellor Angela Merkel to talk about the crisis in Ukraine. It's a discussion that likely went much better than conversations between U.S. and Russian officials. The scene is if they can agree on anything.
ACOSTA (voice-over): With the tug-of-war over Crimea at a stalemate, President Obama escaped to Florida and the sunnier topic of college financial aid.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know if you're aware of this, but the rest of the country is cold.
ACOSTA: Vladimir Putin was also playing it cool, posing for pictures at the opening of the Paraolympic Games in Sochi. But behind the scenes both sides are butting heads as Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov continued their tense talks. The Russian Foreign Ministry warmed this week's White House threats of sanctions would boomerang back at the U.S.
The president and Putin are also at odds. The White House said in their latest phone call, Mr. Obama indicated there is a way to resolve the situation. But Putin said his country cannot ignore the calls for help coming from ethnic Russians in Ukraine.
Still a senior administration official tells CNN both leaders understand there should be a diplomatic path forward.
JEN PSAKI, SPOKESWOMAN, STATE DEPARTMENT: We're taking this day by day. So obviously, our focus now is getting the Ukrainians and the new government of Ukraine, the Russians back at the table.
ACOSTA: But potential provocations are mounting with the U.S. moving forward with joint naval exercises with Bulgaria and Romania in the Black Sea near Crimea.
REAL ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: This was an excursion for her that was planned well before her departure from the United States.
ACOSTA: Then there was the threat from a major Russian natural gas company that suspends service to Ukraine. The Obama administration poked back announcing it's stepping up efforts to help Ukraine become less dependent on Russian energy. A tactic gaining bipartisan support in Congress.
REP. ED ROYCE (R), FOREIGN AFFAIRS CHAIRMAN: The White House, frankly, needs to come around to a strategy of supplying Europe, selling to Europe gas and replacing the monopoly that Putin has. And the leverage that Putin has with Europe.
ACOSTA: But the standoff comes with costs. Considering one area of U.S./Russian joint action. Syria. The State Department says the June deadline for the Syrian regime to hand over its chemical weapons could be at risk.
ACOSTA: As of this weekend, the president plans to remain in Florida with the first family even as Vice President Joe Biden is visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands with his wife. But the White House says not to worry, the president will be keeping tabs on Ukraine down in Florida just as well as he can here in Washington -- Pamela and Joe.
BROWN: Jim Acosta, thank you.
JOHNS: And coming up on NEW DAY, you've seen the video. Now the chilling 9/11 call that happened just hours before a mother drove her minivan into the ocean with her children inside.
JOHNS: Attempted first-degree murder charges have been filed against a pregnant mom accused of trying to kill her three kids. This was the terrifying scene in Daytona Beach, Florida, Tuesday as police say Ebony Wilkerson drove her minivan into the ocean.
BROWN: Witnesses say Wilkerson looked possessed and struggled with rescuers trying to free her children.
So why did she do it and were there any warning signs?
CNN's Nick Valencia has the latest.
SHERIFF BEN JOHNSON, VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA: She definitely tried to kill her children, from everything we have seen.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Volusia County Sheriff's Office says new details in their investigation showed this was no accident.
JOHNSON: She actually told them to close their eyes and go to sleep. She was taking them to a better place.
VALENCIA: On Tuesday Ebony Wilkerson drove a minivan filled with her children into the Atlantic Ocean. The dramatic drive on Florida's Daytona Beach caught on tape as kids inside cried for help.
TIM TESSENEER, WITNESS: We thought it was just a joke, you know. Hey, they're having a good time.
VALENCIA: Eyewitness Tim Tesseneer found out quickly the situation was serious. It was Tesseneer and another onlooker, Stacey Robinson, who helped rescue the family.
TESSENEER: We didn't know there's kids in the car to begin with. But then the back windows rolled down and we heard some kids, you know, hollering a little bit. And then I heard -- thought I heard a faint help. And I was like, did I hear a faint help? And then it come clear they were screaming for help.
VALENCIA: The children's mother was charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of child abuse. Relatives told investigators Wilkerson was in, quote, "an abusive relationship," with her husband and she had come to Florida to get away.
Relatives said the 32-year-old pregnant mother of three had no history of mental illness but a 911 call was made by a concerned family member just two hours before Wilkerson allegedly tried to kill her kids.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, I need a wellness check. She's like having psychosis or something or postpartum.
VALENCIA: Police say they did respond and evaluated her for about 30 minutes. But said there was no legal right to detain her.
JOHNSON: The children weren't in crisis. The woman said I'm going to a shelter. And she showed nothing, there was no display that she was a danger to herself or anyone at that time.
JOHNS: Unbelievable. CNN's Nick Valencia joins us now to discuss.
Did Wilkerson have a history, before this, any signs of mental illness?
VALENCIA: Yes, we looked into that. And relatives told investigators, no, there was no sign of mental illness. But as we were digging into her past the fast, we found other fatal accident that she was involved in 2007. I should say a fatal accident she was involved in. In 2007 she was cited for an improper lane change, 100 hours -- 120 hours of community service, I should say, at a hospital. And she had her license suspended for a year.
She maintains that the whole time she wasn't trying to harm her children at all whatsoever. But obviously, very startling details emerging from this, you know, this is -- the mother of these kids, you would think that they would be safe in this car with her. And that's I think the most dramatic detail. She has her first court appearance at 8:30 this morning so we might find out more details after that.
BROWN: Yes, we certainly hope.
Nick Valencia, thank you so much. VALENCIA: Thanks, guys.
BROWN: And more on this case in the next hour with CNN legal analyst Paul Callan and clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere.
And still to come right here on NEW DAY, Oscar Pistorius' ex takes the stand in his murder trial. But will her testimony do major damage to his defense? We'll head live to South Africa right after this break.
BROWN: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. Great to have you here with us on this Saturday. I'm Pamela Brown.
JOHNS: And I'm Joe Johns. Here are five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.
BROWN: This just in to CNN at number one, a Vietnamese aircraft has spotted liquid and, quote, "rubbish" on the surface of the waters right off Malaysia and Vietnam. This as rescue teams from four nations scour the area where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-370 was last reported. The Boeing 777 carrying 239 people vanished en route from Kuala Lampur to Beijing. The airlines says three Americans including an infant were on board.
JOHNS: Number two, today international observers will try for the fourth time to enter Crimea. The past two days a team of about three dozen unarmed observers have been stopped at blockades and refused entry by pro-Russian forces. Meanwhile, Moscow is accusing the organization of sending observers of hypocrisy. Russian leaders say the OSCE needs to first condemn the violent demonstrations that ousted Ukraine's president.
BROWN: And at number three, the jobs report much better than expected. The economy adding 175,000 jobs last month. A big improvement from January. But the unemployment rate is up to 6.7 percent. So why the higher unemployment rate? People were feeling better about their chances of finding work and re-entered the labor market.
JOHNS: Number four, hairline cracks have been found on the wings of at least 47 87 Dreamliners now in production. Boeing says all of the planes that are currently in service are safe. But as you may know this isn't the only sent back for the Dreamliners. Last year, the entire fleet was grounded on fears their batteries could overheat and catch fire.
BROWN: Number five, a violent brawl broke out at a suburban Chicago high school yesterday. Police and the school are still investigating what exactly happened in this video you see right here. But according to CNN affiliate WGN, the chaos erupted after two girls began fighting over French fries. At least seven students have been charged with disorderly conduct. Another was charged with resisting a police officer.
JOHNS: Was Oscar Pistorius a paranoid cheating gun-loving boyfriend with a temper?
BROWN: And wrapping up the first week of the Blade runner's murder trial. An emotional ex-girlfriend broke down on the stand and accused the Olympic sprinter of cheating on her with Reeva Steenkamp. The 29 year old model he later shot to death.
JOHNS: Samantha Taylor also told the court that Pistorius loved guns. Describing how he once shot one out of his car sunroof in anger, and that he kept a gun on time at all times even when sleeping at night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you know that he owned a gun during your relationship?
SAMANTHA TAYLOR: Yes, my lady.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you know that?
TAYLOR: He keeps it on him all the time, my lady.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you say keeps it on him all the time, what do you mean?
TAYLOR: He carried it around with him. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he would go to friends, what would he do? Would he visit the friends, would he carry the gun?
TAYLOR: Yes, he would, my lady.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At night, you know what he did with this at night?
TAYLOR: He placed it on next to his bedside, on the bedside table or next to his legs on the floor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: CNN legal analyst Kelly Phelps is live in Johannesburg with more this morning. So, Kelly, first of all, how important was the former girlfriend's testimony?
KELLY PHELPS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, while the testimony certainly provides plenty of fodder for those reporting on the case, in a judge- led system like South Africa it will only have very limited persuasive value to the court in determining the overall matter.
JOHNS: Taylor was also described just sort of how Pistorius would wake up at night because he thought he heard noises. Does this help Pistorius' case sort of playing into the defense that he mistook Steenkamp as an intruder?
PHELPS: I think it certainly may help the case because it does provide a track record of paranoia and responding to that paranoia. The state was obviously trying to establish that there was an anomaly. Because Samantha Taylor suggested that she - he always woke her up when that occurred. And obviously there's the issue that he didn't look for Reeva Steenkamp. But I do think that according to his version of events there are facts that the defense could still rely on to try and explain that difference away.
BROWN: And something else that could possibly help the defense here. The neighbor and first witness on the scene. He described Pistorius praying for his girlfriend to live right after the shooting. While telling him, quote, "I shot her. I thought she was a burglar and I shot her." So, how important was his testimony to the defense's case?
PHELPS: It's interesting that we're speaking about how important the testimony was to the defense's case considering that he's a state witness. But, in fact, he provided a very strong point for the defense so far. First of all, he's established the fact that Pistorius was in what can only be described as a terrible emotion state in the aftermath of this incident. But equally, the timeframe that he provided of the events of the night in question, very skillfully found a way to explain that in tunes of Pistorius' version of events as opposed to the state's version of the events.
JOHNS: We've still got a long way to go in this trial. We've still got to look at ballistics tests, for example. But after the first week, what's your opinion, does either of the defense or the prosecution have a stronger case?
PHELPS: I think after the first week on balance, the defense has had a somewhat stronger week. You know, one has to remember the states has the burden of proving this case beyond a reasonable doubt. And all the defense needs to do is suggest some reasonable doubt. I think on the whole they've managed quite successfully to do that, but it is very important to remember that these are incredibly early days still. And this week's testimony will eventually be considered in the light of all of the testimony put forth. And therefore, the pendulum may continue to swing.
BROWN: And then on that note, Kelly, what do you expect to see next week?
PHELPS: Well, certainly, we'll see a continuation of the cross- examination of Mr. Barber who was the security official, who was also on the scene very early on the night in question. And it will be important for the defense. He was a very strong witness. And the defense will certainly want to try to explain away the testimony that he gave about Mr. Pistorius saying security, everything is fine. So they'll certainly continue with him. And then we should start to see some of the physical evidence coming forward. We haven't heard yet from any of the experts or from ballistics or forensics. So some of that physical evidence should start to come forward. We've only had this sort of context stated in what witnesses said so far.
BROWN: So, a lot to learn. And we'll be following it right here on CNN.
JOHNS: The world is watching this.
BROWN: Yeah, there's certainly a fascination with it. CNN legal analyst Kelly Phelps live in Johannesburg. Thank you so much. JOHNS: Coming up on "NEW DAY," a killer whale showed that SeaWorld in California could soon be a thing of the past. Up next, how one lawmaker is pushing to end the use of whales for entertainment at the park?
JOHNS: A woman's automatic bill payments helped hide the fact she died in her home six years ago. That's according to police in Pontiac, Michigan. The medical examiner says the 49-year-old woman's body was mummified because it was found inside a closed car in a closed garage. Police last visited the house in 2007 after a call from a concerned neighbor, but didn't find anything strange. This week, the body was found by a repairman sent by the bank that had recently foreclosed the home after the bills stopped being paid. Neighbors said someone kept her lawn mowed, but no one had seen her for years.
JOHNS: A strange story. Just unbelievable that people could be passing around and not know that the woman was dead inside the house.
BROWN: And to think that her lawn was being mowed.
BROWN: It's just odd.
Well, there's some more fallout from SeaWorld - for SeaWorld, rather, from the controversial CNN documentary "Black Fish" that California lawmaker has in - the groundbreaking new bill that would change the way that park operates. BROWN: And the CNN's Tori Dunnan explains the landmark legislation would do more than just ban killer whale performances.
TORI DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pamela and Joe, if you went to SeaWorld in San Diego today, you can watch orcas jump, splash and dive in and out of the water. But if this legislation becomes a law, SeaWorld would no longer be able to use the killer whales as performers in California. Captive breeding would also be banned, and the import and export of killer whales would be prohibited. Now, bill 2140 would still allow orcas to be on display. And state lawmaker Richard Bloom says that he was inspired after watching "Black Fish." Of course that's the documentary that was acquired by CNN films. He stood side by side with the director of the "Black Fish" as well as some of the former SeaWorld trainers who were featured in the documentary. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARS BLOOM: SeaWorld does good work in the community. It provides funding for scientific studies. And it does Marine rescue work that is highly thought of in the community. So this is not -- there are some people, a very small number of people who've contacted me. And suggested that this is somehow an effort to take down SeaWorld. It is absolutely not that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DUNNAN: SeaWorld says "Black Fish" is propaganda calling the film grossly one sided. In light of the recent news, a spokesman for SeaWorld says those supporting the bill are quote, well-known extreme animal rights activists. This legislation appears to reflect the same sort of out of the mainstream thinking. It goes on to say SeaWorld already operates under multiple federal, state and local animal welfare laws. We're deeply committed to the health and well-being of all of our animals and killer whales are no exception. Pamela and Joe.
BROWN: All right, Tory Dunnan, thank you for that.
JOHNS: What a tough situation for SeaWorld, too. Their public relations has really suffered.
BROWN: Oh, yeah.
JOHNS: Well, and not surprising.
BROWN: And not surprising at all. Still to come on this Saturday morning, high tensions steal the show at the Paralympic Winter Games opening ceremony in Sochi as Ukraine seemed to give Russia the cold shoulder.
JOHNS: The dramatic moment and the crowd reaction after this.
JOHNS: Well, the Ukraine crisis continues. The winter Paralympic Games kicked off in Sochi, Russia. The Ukrainian team at one point threatened to boycott the games and they wound up showing up but protested the opening ceremonies. To talk more about this, Andy Schultz joins us now with this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hi there, Andy.
ANDY SCHULTZ: Hey, Andy. You know, the opening ceremony for any Olympic Games is where the athletes - they get to see all of their hard years - all the hard work paid off and get acknowledged in front of a big crowd. And they get to do it as a team together as the whole country. Well as a symbolic protest, Ukraine, they send just one of their 31 athletes to carry the flag into the stadium. This is by athlete Mykhailo Tkachenko, and guys, he received a huge cheer from the crowd when he was introduced right there. Now, Ukraine ...
JOHNS: They're still going to compete, though, right?
SCHULTZ: They are still going to compete. The committee president, he has said that it seem that they're raising their flag for peace. But if there is any escalation of the political unrest right now in the country, the whole team, they will just pull out of the Paralympic Games. Now, many countries including the United States, they have already pulled their official delegations to the Winter Paralympics as the result of ... JOHNS: They do so much training, and, you know, sweat, blood and tears. And to give it up because of a political issue has got to be so hard.
SCHULTZ: It's got to be so hard. And even not to walk in that opening ceremony had to be so hard because that's one of the moments as Olympic athlete ....
SCHULTZ: Yeah, you work years for that moment. And, you know, that's a big show of protest right there not to go out there and walk with the rest of your fellow countryman in a moment like that.
SCHULTZ: All right. The next story out for you, guys. This video is crazy video from Thursday's Hawaii. You see Santa Barbara calling basketball game. After Hawaii's coach Gib Arnold received a tangled (INAUDIBLE). Check out this fan, he runs all the way out on to the court. He gets in Arnold's face. So, some of Hawaii players noticed him and pushed him away.
BROWN: Oh, my gosh.
SCHULTZ: Was that in Hawaii or Santa Barbara ....
JOHNS: Yeah, I know where this is going.
SCHULTZ: It's a little rowdy. He was ejected and arrested by campus police. Now Hawaii's coach Arnold said after the game that the guy was wasted and in a whole different world. It is what it is. You can't control crazies. That's why they're crazy. Now. U.C. Santa Barbara spokesman said that this student actually may end up being expelled from this school and some of the fellow students over- reacted.
JOHNS: That's a big ...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the announcement, they're talking about the kid potentially getting expelled from the school, which - That's kind of outrageous. Or something like this. And it didn't hurt anyone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean it's sports. It gets people's emotion high, and if you don't have fans running on the court, you know, once every two years, you're obviously not doing something right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: I grew up in Kentucky, I'm ...
(CROSSTALK) BROWN: I know how passionate you can get, but come on.
SCHULTZ: Yeah, I still think poor kids shouldn't get expelled for it. You know, it's probably a moment he regrets. OK.
JOHNS: March madness.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Right around the corner. Bracket time. You guys ready?
SCHULTZ: Yeah, it's like this Sunday - a week from tomorrow, and, you know, Harvard, they became the first team this season to punch their ticket to the big dance. Yeah, they beat their archrival Yale. (INAUDIBLE) Harvard, they are going to be going in state tournament for their third straight year.
BROWN: And they actually got farther than anyone expected last year. I remember.
SCHULTZ: Did they? I'm not sure - I remember.
BROWN: They did. They did.
BROWN: I'm just covering it.
JOHNS: Oh, my gosh.
SCHULTZ: Yeah, we'll see.
BROWN: She is going to be reading.
SCHULTZ: I have to look for that. Returning on Bleach Report.com today. I don't know if you saw this, guy, Tiger Woods, he had an incredible put yesterday at the Cadillac Championship at Doral. You know, is that a miserable season so far? He gets the worst start to his career ever. This is from 91 feet out. It dropped. He was even a little shocked right there. Of course, it's not doing so well this year. Maybe that will get it all jumpstarted for Tiger. He's currently six throws back of the lead going into today.
JOHNS: Looking pretty cool.
BROWN: There you see that big smile on his face. So ...
SCHULTZ: It's been rough going so far.
BROWN: All right, Andy Schultz, thank you so much for that. We appreciate it.
JOHNS: All right. Well, you know, it's almost time to set your clocks forward an hour. I almost said back.
BROWN: I know, right? It's important distinction, Joe.
BROWN: But did you know that your wrist watch loses time every month? And now scientists are trying to make a clock that would never slow down. We're going to tell you about that up next.
JOHNS: This is a day that's always tricky. Daylight saving time begins tomorrow. So, don't forget to set your clocks forward.
BROWN: Tricky, if you're working. We will be.
JOHNS: That's for sure. We lose an hour, right?
BROWN: We lose an hour. You wonder if Christi and Victor planned this.
JOHNS: Yeah, I think ....
BROWN: Look, you are feeling bad about losing that hour of sleep like we are. Did you know that your wrist watch actually loses a second every month. Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr takes a look at the science behind this search for the perfect clock.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does anybody really know what time it is ....
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chicago asks the age-old question and the Pentagon is looking for the answer. This high-tech lab of lasers and mirrors measures the movement of atoms, 429 trillion atomic vibrations add up to just one second.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That vibration is sort of the smallest unit of time that we can actually measure.
STARR: Their goal is to make the most precise clock in the world. Currently, the source for precision time is GPS satellites, which contain atomic clocks used to synchronize clocks on the ground. But the Pentagon worries the satellites could be jammed. So they want an even more accurate alternative. Your wrist watch loses a second every 30 days. Clocks on GPS satellites lose a second every 30,000 years. This program is aimed at building a clock that wouldn't lose a second for a billion years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care what your watches say, mine says they should have gone three minutes ago, so send them.
STARR: Synchronizing time has always been vital for soldiers, but now it's more important than ever.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've got all of these high-speed aircraft. You have precision-guided munitions. You have cameras and sensors and radars that are all operating simultaneously. You have to actually do that synchronization much more precisely.
STARR: So if GPS goes down troops will face new dangers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you were to lose a couple of billionths of a second your positioning starts to get off by about a meter. You lose a few more billionths of a second, and now you're starting to get off by several meters.
STARR: And your life won't be so smooth either. GPS time is in everything from power grids to your cell phone to the ATM you use to get cash. Without precision time that ATM would eventually stop. If we can tell time more precisely, you still may be late for work. But now, you'll know exactly how late you are. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hmm, interesting.
JOHNS: That is fascinating. Yeah.
BROWN: But I didn't know. Thank you so much, Barbara Starr. Yeah, exactly.
JOHNS: Let's go down to Jennifer Gray at the severe weather center for the forecast this weekend.
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, we've had some snow showers in parts of North Carolina. Those have ended. But now we're looking at freezing fog. So, be careful. Roads are still slick in those areas. We are going to have a pretty quiet weekend overall. We're watching a little bit of snow pushing through portions of Chicago. No accumulation really expected there. Where we are going to see accumulation, places in Kansas, Dodge City, just to the north of Wichita, could see anywhere from four to six inches of snow as we go through the next 24 hours. But for the south, it's a very different story. We have some warmer air filtering in from the south and that is going to mean spring-like temperatures for the weekend. This is Sunday. And look at Charlotte, at 66 degrees. Memphis at 60. And then warming to 70 degrees by Monday. New York City will be at 49 degrees on Monday, which will actually feel warm, compared to where they have been. The past couple of weeks, guys, you know it, it has been cold in the northeast. So, a little bit of break this weekend and on into next week will be very nice.
BROWN: And we welcome that break.
JOHNS: Absolutely. That's for sure. It's high time.
BROWN: Jennifer Gray, thank you so much.
All right, now let's head over to the White House and a light-hearted moment for the president. JOHNS: A YouTube personality best known for impersonating President Obama had a chance to actually meet the president and give him a taste of his own medicine so don't worry, you're not seeing double.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Are you getting us? Together, you've got to film this.
IMAN CROSSON, ACTOR: It was just a mind blowing moment, I've been doing it for so many years, to be in his office doing an impression of him - for him.
Now, look, I'm happy to be here- either I can do the work or you can. You can take a lunch break. And I can - Listen, I'm just happy to be here. And I'm happy to shake it.
OBAMA: You're going to have to get some gray hair.
OBAMA: I used to look like you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: That's funny.
JOHNS: OK, he's got the syntax down.
BROWN: Yeah, he definitely sounds more like him than looks more like him.
JOHNS: That's for sure. Not at all.
BROWN: So, this meaning it was all part of an event to promote the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare. In case you're wondering. All right. Thanks so much for starting your morning with us.
JOHNS: Your next hour of "NEW DAY" starts right now.
BROWN: Lost in flight. Three Americans are now among the missing of a Malaysia Airlines plane that vanished on the way to Beijing. This morning, Chinese media say they know what's happened to the flight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She actually told them to close their eyes and go to sleep. He was taking them to a better place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Charges filed against a mother accused of trying to kill her three children by driving them into the ocean. But what made this woman do it? Her psychological and legal battles coming up. BROWN: And if you want to know if someone is lying, don't listen to their words. Look at their body language. That's what the Pentagon may be doing to determine President Putin's next move. Our own expert cracks the code. Your "NEW DAY" continues right now.
Good morning, everyone, thank you so much for waking up with us on this Saturday morning. I'm Pamela Brown.
JOHNS: And I'm Joe Johns. Christi Paul and Victor Blackwell are off today. It's 7:00. This is "NEW DAY SATURDAY."