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NEW DAY SATURDAY
239 Missing As Jet Vanishes Off Vietnam; Crisis in Ukraine; White House Searches for Diplomatic Answers; Pentagon Studied Putin's Body Language; Police: Pregnant Mother Drove Kids into Ocean
Aired March 8, 2014 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Thank you so much for waking up with us on this Saturday morning. I'm Pamela Brown.
JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Joe Johns. Christi Paul and Victor Blackwell are off today. It's 7:00. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.
We begin with a desperate search at sea after a jet carrying 239 people vanished off the southern coast of Vietnam.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: The USS Pinckney is now headed from the South China Sea to the area where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-370 was last reported.
Meantime, a Vietnamese aircraft has spotted liquid and rubbish on the surface of waters right off Malaysia and Vietnam.
JOHNS: Reports from the region say Vietnam's military confirms the jets crashed into the sea as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. But Malaysian authorities say they're still working to verify that.
BROWN: And according to the airline, three Americans including an infant were on board the Boeing 777. Two thirds of the passengers are said to be from China and Taiwan.
JOHNS: Now, let's bring in CNN's airline and aviation correspondent Richard Quest who's been following the developments all night from New York.
Richard, what's the latest on the search and who is going to investigate this?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AIRLINE AND AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, the search is very much between the waters of South China Sea, between Malaysia and Vietnam. Air and sea rescue operations from both of those countries are involved. China has also said it will get involved for good reason. Most in fact of the nationals on board came from China and Singapore.
If you look at the map of Southeast Asia, you'll see exactly why so many of these countries are involved. And these waters are extremely, extremely busy. There's an enormous amount of ship traffic, trail and the oil tankers that go between them.
As to who will investigate this, the rules are really very simple. The country where the plane -- where the accident happened is responsible for investigating the incident, and if it's in international waters or there is some dispute about that, then the country where the plane was registered would investigate.
So, in this case, you're looking at, depending on where the accident happened in the waters, you're looking at either Vietnam or Malaysia. But if that cannot be determined or if there's some -- if one authority or the other decides to take precedence, then it would be Malaysia as the origin, the aircraft of origin.
BROWN: If I'm mistaken, I think the NTSB has to be invited by the country, too?
QUEST: Well, there's a treaty on this. There's (INAUDIBLE) treaty on this. And what happens is, various parties involved are accredited to the investigation. So you would be talking about the NTSB from the United States, as the plane manufacturer's country of origin. You'd be talking about Rolls Royce because the engines were British. So, the Air Accident Investigation Authority of Britain would be involved.
So, yes, there would be a lot of others that would be involved.
BROWN: Yes, many components.
And I want to talk about this, this is really eerie, Richard, because we understand that you actually met the co-pilot of this plane and actually sat in in the cockpit of a similar aircraft just a few days ago. What you can tell us about him?
QUEST: Yes, two or three weeks ago, we were filming in Malaysian Airlines in the cockpit for CNN business traveler. This was all be authorized and was properly regulated and there was a safety jet captain with us as well. And it was apparently the same co-pilot and we believe maybe the same captain that was on board the aircraft.
These are the pictures of landing of the aircraft, after we were flying down from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur, and it's one of those very strange incidents.
JOHNS: This flight occurred just about a third into the way of a six- hour flight. Technically, what's happening at that point, and what might cause a problem? I've heard this might have been considered the safest part of the flight?
QUEST: There's no question. This plane was -- the phrase is in the cruise. It was flying at about 36,000 feet according to the various logs. It will have been maybe drifting up slowly, as it was burning off fuel. But this was -- the plane would have been on autopilot. Both pilots would have been doing regular check calls, on-route checks to the various air traffic controls.
In this case, we believe it was already under the control of Ho Chi Minh. You know, this is one area of flight where you don't expect that to happen. It's not takeoff. It's not landing.
The plane was proceeding in an orderly direction. And what's really significant is no mayday, no pan-pan message. No form of communication from the flight. So, whatever happened to Flight 370 was fast, it was instantaneous, it was dramatic, and it was catastrophic.
BROWN: Oh, still such say mystery.
JOHNS: It is. Thanks so much for that Richard Quest.
So what could have caused this plane to disappear? According to Malaysia Airlines CEO it does not look like it was bad weather.
BROWN: And we want to go --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AHMAD JAUHARI YAHYA, CEO, MALAYSIA AIRLINES: Early review out there of the weather situation shows there's no bad weather system at that point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: All right, let's go now to our Jennifer Gray in the severe weather center.
Jennifer, what can you tell us about the weather conditions at the time this plane left Kuala Lumpur airport?
JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, conditions were fine. Really, I mean, temperatures, 77 degrees, minds at 3 miles per hour, visibility at 6 miles. Conditions don't get much better than that. Pretty much ideal.
We're also looking at some of the satellite images. Barely a cloud in the sky over the last 24 hours. Of course, when you're flying over 30,000 feet, none of this really matters.
So, we were looking back at turbulence data that we have. It doesn't look like that that was a factor. From this point, from what we can see, I would think weather can be ruled out, guys.
JOHNS: All right.
BROWN: All right. Jennifer Gray, thank you for that.
JOHNS: Dozens of relatives of missing passengers or crew members have gathered at Beijing airport. Some overcome with the grief and fearing for the worst.
BROWN: Yes, just an anguishing wait for them.
CNN's David McKenzie is in Beijing where the flight was supposed to land.
David, what are you hearing from people there?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're very frustrated, Pamela, and certainly worried. It's been hours of an agonizing wait through the day here in Beijing. Most of the passengers on board were Chinese nationals going from Malaysia here in the capital in China.
And many of them looked very upset, but often, they were just stoic, going into a conference room, pushing through throngs of local reporters and not saying much really to us because, of course, is this a very sensitive time for them. But also because the information that's coming out is conflicting. They're hearing one thing from those with the ear to the ground and maybe another thing from the airliner.
We do believe that there are officials from Malaysia Airlines coming into China to help with the support, psychological and otherwise, of the people who fear the worst for their loved ones -- Pamela.
BROWN: And at this point, we have just talked to Richard Quest about this. And there has been some evidence about where the plane may have went down. Do you have any other details about this, by chance?
MCKENZIE: Well, we do know that officials from the Vietnamese search and rescue say they might have been debris or perhaps an oil slick or substance of some kind of on the ocean where they were flying over that area. Of course, as you reach nightfall, it will be very difficult, indeed, to mount any search and rescue operations in the South China Sea or territorial waters in Vietnam and Malaysia, which according to reports I've seen appears to be where that plane crashed if it did indeed crash.
Now, there also is, of course, U.S. involvement in this. A U.S. destroyer is heading into the region to try and give assistance that could be there within 24 hours, according to the Pentagon. Including a U.S. Air Force plane from Okinawa in Japan.
So, certainly a multinational effort to try and figure out what happened to this plain. And if there's any chance of any survivors.
JOHNS: Right. And you would think certainly think, very, very difficult to reconstruct whatever happened if that plane went down into the water. Very difficult to get the debris back as well.
BROWN: Yes, absolutely.
JOHNS: David McKenzie, thanks so much for that.
BROWN: Of course, we're going to be following the story throughout the morning.
And still to come right here on NEW DAY, armed Russian forces reportedly inside a Ukrainian military recruitment office. We're going to take you live to Crimea for the latest.
JOHNS: Plus, we'll also head to the White House where administration officials are trying to work on a plan to end this crisis without military action.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) JOHNS: We have new developments out of Ukraine. Ukrainian officials say pro-Russia forces have positioned themselves inside a Ukrainian military recruitment office, positioning armed men on every floor.
BROWN: This latest incident coming less than a day after pro-Russian troops reportedly tried to take over a Ukrainian military base.
Anna Coren is following the story from Simferopol.
And, Anna, what can you tell us?
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, we got a crew down there at the moment, and we're waiting to get details from them. But we are hearing obviously that those pro-Russian forces have taken over this military office not far from where we are. And they barged their way in, forced people to the ground. As you say, they have occupied every single floor.
We are seeing a much more visible presence of these pro-Russian forces or local militia. You know, they're not wearing any particular uniform, but they are now the law here in Crimea.
And in fact, the prime minister who was self-appointed just over a week ago who is obviously very pro-Russian. He said that the only forces who should be here other than his local militia, his local army, is the Russian forces. He said any other force would be considered an occupying force. He's told Ukrainian troops that either swear allegiance to the Russians, or they leave.
So this is the ultimatum that has been given to them in. There was an attack last night on a military base about an hour and a half away from Simferopol here. And, obviously, those Russian forces rammed the gate. They tried to get inside. They ended up retreating.
However, it just goes to show, you know, I guess the brute force that is now -- that we are now seeing near Crimea.
And, you know, it's also filtering down to journalists. They're wanting to control the message that is actually coming into Crimea. Journalists have been attacked. There's a crackdown on dissent.
There was a Bulgarian journalist filming some paramilitary, you know, taking, confiscating television equipment and he was attacked. Had a gun put to his head.
We spoke to a Greek journalist who encountered a similar situation where he was actually hunted down for about seven kilometers in a car chase and taken out of the car and bashed.
So, it's getting a lot worse here for the media. And it's only going to get, worse, if you like, in the lead-up to that referendum on that 16th of March.
JOHNS: Anna, a quick question if you can answer quickly -- it seems chaotic, it doesn't seem there's a plan or a rhyme or reason to any of this. True? COREN: Yes, look, it does seem very sporadic. And attacks happening all over the peninsula. But certainly from this Greek journalist that we spoke to earlier today, he said that things are becoming more organized. Beforehand, it was these thugs, these local militia who were the pro-Russian forces. But now, these sort of paramilitary are coming in, these soldiers without insignia on their uniform and they do seem to be taking orders from above, Joe.
JOHNS: All right. Anna Coren in Simferopol -- thanks so much for that.
BROWN: Stay safe, Anna.
And the White House is trying to find a way to end the crisis that doesn't involve military action.
JOHNS: Erin McPike is at the White House.
Erin, what do you know about the possible diplomatic actions at this point?
ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joe, those actions are actually quite limited at the moment. Talks haven't really produced any constructive results as yet. And President Obama called German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday to get the E.U. on board with possible sanctions against Russia if they're needed.
Now, as the United States prepares for high-level talks with Russian leaders are continuing. But as I said, they haven't produced results just yet.
Now, State Department spokesman Jen Psaki addressed that yesterday. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT: Our reference here is not to keep hyping up sanctions. Our preference here is to find an end to this conflict that's happening through engagement, through discussion. Russia can take the off-ramps.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCPIKE: Now, here's what that off-ramp looks like as President Obama has proposed such a thing to Russian President Vladimir Putin. First, Ukraine and Russia should hold direct talk he says. There will be international monitors in Crimea to protect ethnic Russians during this time. Russian forces would return to their bases and exit the bases they're occupying in Ukraine and Ukraine would hold some elections in May.
Now, we also know that the deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken is traveling with the president to brief him on the situation as it continues -- Pamela and Joe.
BROWN: Erin McPike, thank you, for the latest there. JOHNS: Still to come on NEW DAY -- could Putin's swagger or posture give clues to Ukraine's future? Apparently, the Pentagon has studied his body language. An expert joins us in a moment to break it down.
BROWN: Welcome back, everyone. It is "Money Time" on NEW DAY.
And a pleasant surprise on the economic front. We always like to hear that.
BROWN: Hiring picked up last month, despite miserable winter weather across the country.
JOHNS: CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans has more on that.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Despite all that bad weather, hiring pick up in February, 175,000 jobs created. The jobless rate ticked up slightly, but the Labor Department is saying it's essentially unchanged, 6.7 percent.
The trend here is what's important. This is the best hiring we've seen since November. But you can see, it has been a cautious start to the year.
We had some revisions. A little better hiring in December and January than we thought. But you do want to see 200,000, 250,000 jobs created every month.
Look, it could have been that high if it hadn't been for all the terrible weather. Weather mentioned 13 types in this government report.
There's also another number called the U-6. Under employment rate, U- 6, that's the line it is on the table from the BLS, 12.6 percent of the under employment rate. It's still coming down, but still too high.
This is the number of people who are unemployed or they're working part-time but would like to be working full-time. Kind of sidelined by the recovery, 12.6 percent. That's still too high.
One last number to leave you with, professional and business services 79,000 jobs created there. These are architects, these are lawyers, these are people who work in offices, these are technology workers, tend to be higher paid. Seventy-nine thousand jobs created in that sector. That's something to continue to watch.
BROWN: CNN's Christine Romans, thank you for that. JOHNS: And here are other business stories, that's got us talking this morning. This one, very appropriate for this hour, sure.
BROWN: I love this one.
JOHNS: A bacon alarm app that wakes you up to the smell and sound of sizzling bacon.
OK. How does it do this? It's made by who else -- Oscar Mayer. And contains a device that plugs in to your iPhone and shoots the scent out.
BROWN: Have you ever heard like it before?
JOHNS: I'd rather have a coffee smell I think than bacon in my bedroom.
BROWN: Coffee smell, but it's great marketing idea if you think about it. You want to get up with bacon. But there is a catch to this, of course, right? Fans must enter a contest online to win the smell emitting device.
JOHNS: There you go.
BROWN: Only 4,700 are available. And winners will be selected at random until April 4th. You still have a shot.
JOHNS: Get your bacon smell device right now.
The app is free, but the gadget is worth about $40, according to the official game. Rules from parent company Kraft, and it's not going to be sold in stores. Of course not.
BROWN: Of course. Why would it be?
JOHNS: Right. I'll run down to Wal-Mart.
BROWN: I can't wait to see what the next smelling app is going to be.
All right. Speaking of food, smelly apps, Chinese food and winning the lottery normally don't go hand in hand, right? If you like both, you're going to want to pay attention to this next one.
Get this -- a 75-year-old woman in New York won a $2 million power ball drawing after using the numbers printed on her fortune cookie.
JOHNS: No way. That's incredible. Yes, you get those things and you look at it and no way would I pick those numbers.
JOHNS: But she matched five of the six numbers. She opted for the one-time lump sum totaling more than $1 million after taxes. And if you think it's a fluke, she's not alone actually. In 2005, 110 people around the country hit the Powerball using the fortune cookie numbers. Each of them got paid about $100,000. So, it's not that bad of a bet.
BROWN: I guess it's a fortune cookie for a reason, right?
JOHNS: Right, right. It's like lightning getting struck just to win the lottery. But then to have the fortune cookie give you the numbers, that's incredible.
BROWN: And more than one person it's happened to. Unbelievable.
All right. Next time I get a fortune cookie, I'm going to be getting those numbers.
And still to come right here on NEW DAY, the Pentagon has studied Vladimir Putin's body language. What do the subtle movements tell us? A body language expert joins us, next.
BROWN: Now, for an update on mortgages, rates dropped this week. Take a look.
BROWN: And bottom of the hour now. Thank you for spending a part of our Saturday with us. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Pamela Brown.
JOHNS: And I'm Joe Johns.
Here are five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.
BROWN: And at number one, the USS Pinckney is now headed from the South China Sea to the area where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-370 vanished. The Boeing 777 carrying 239 people was last reported off the southern coast of Vietnam. A Vietnamese aircraft has spotted liquid and rubbish on the surface of those waters. The airline says three Americans including an infant were on board.
And at number two, one day after a judge ruled in favor of a commercial drone pilot, the FAA is pushing back and appealing the court's decision. The agency says the operator violated the strict laws of the sky by not getting authorized for flight ahead of time. The FAA argues the court's ruling puts the safety of people and property on the ground in jeopardy.
Number three, was Oscar Pistorius a paranoid, cheating gun-loving man with a temper? And wrapping up the first week of the Blade Runner's murder trial, an emotional ex-girlfriend accused the Olympic sprinter of sleeping with guns and cheating on her with Reeva Steenkamp, the 29-year-old model he later shot to death. The trial has been adjourned until Monday.
Number four, politics stole the show at the Paralympic Winter Games opening ceremony at Sochi. As a symbolic protest, Ukraine's team sent just one of their 31 athletes to carry the flag into the stadium. The team received a huge cheer from the crowd. Originally, Ukraine threatened to pull out of the games during the crisis and warned they will drop out if Russia escalates the conflict.
Number five, today, international observers will try for the fourth time to enter Crimea. The past two days, a team of about two dozen unarmed observers have been stopped at blockades and refused entry by pro-Russian forces.
And, meanwhile, Moscow is accusing the organization of the observers of hypocrisy. Russian leaders say the OSCE needs to first condemn the violent administration that ousted Ukraine's president.
JOHNS: Forget spies and moles and the NSA. Could the U.S. use body language to figure out Russia's next move in the Ukraine crisis? With President Obama, all put calling his Russian counterpart a liar, noting Putin's words don't match the facts on the ground, "USA Today" says the U.S. government has used a technique called pattern movement analysis to try to figure out Russia's next move in the Ukraine crisis.
The Pentagon admits to studying Putin's body language back in 2008 but denies studying him against with regard to what's going on in Ukraine.
Janine Driver joins us now live from Washington for me. She's the author of the book, "You Can't Lie To Me," and the president of the Body Language Institute.
So, Janine, what kind of things could the government learn from studying Putin? Anything more than just personality traits?
JANINE DRIVER, YOU CAN'T LIE TO ME: Yes, I think that -- what they're looking for, right now, the team they're using in the Pentagon, they're trying to determine most likely how quickly is he going to take action. Is he spending a lot of time gathering research? Is he going to spend a lot of time on pluses and minuses in invading the Ukraine, maybe taking a peninsula permanently for Russia? Or how quickly is he going to pull the trigger? Is he going to pull the really trigger quickly on taking action?
General body language, we're looking for all of the non-verbals. What does it say? My specialty is detecting deception which we have loaded with Putin in the last week or two, is a lot of deception that we can prove, he's telling us things that aren't true.
JOHNS: So, OK. Let's get to specifics. Putin first broke his silence in the Ukraine press conference earlier this week.
What did you take away from his body language while he was defending his actions and blaming Western powers, especially the United States, I think he called it anarchy and armed coup in Ukraine?
DRIVER: Well, you see in his right hand, he did just a second ago, a zero. Literally, this is how he feels probably about the United States of America.
And then he does a chop. And that chop with his hand is very aggressive. It's like a karate chop. It's very aggressive.
We used to see with Bill Clinton and we saw it with Tony Blair. They did the thumb of power, America, I want to you listen. He is not using this little thumb.
The thumb of power is the combination of pointing and chopping. Putin is not doing that. He's not taking the softer approach.
He's taking, this is who America is, he's calling us lab rats. That we're doing experiments. We don't know what the outcome is. We're a big fat zero in his book.
He's trying to intimidate us with his nonverbals.
JOHNS: What about deception? What are the signs of deception that helps him to be perhaps other than a liar?
DRIVER: Well, it's very interesting, Joe, that you're asking me that, because there are very common signs one is of contempt, which is moral superiority. It looks like this, it's a smirk in our face saying yes, but shaking your head no, and the big one is shoulder shrug. A shoulder shrug is uncertainty. I don't plan on taking over the peninsula in Ukraine.
The problem with Putin is we see none of that. We know as a fact he's lying about his soldiers. He's trained those soldiers. He said he didn't train the soldiers. He's in there with a huge presence, thousands of soldiers. He's saying those aren't his soldiers.
We know he's lying, but we're not (AUDIO GAP) any of those nonverbal tells. That makes him a scary threat and a scary leader. Why? He used to be KGB, right?
So, here's a guy that's so controlled with lying. What is that, Joe? Powerful liars literally focus on the rewards, not the consequences. Powerful liars, literally, Joe, have a decrease in cortisol, the stress hormone that's released when we're nervous. That powerful liar in the movement of lying has that decrease in cortisol and it increase in happiness.
They're literally are so good powerful liars, when one lie doesn't work, oh, you misunderstood me. What I meant to say was this. They have an increase on cognitive function, so when one lie doesn't work, they can divert and do a smoke screen. And Putin is a pro at it. It makes him a very dangerous threat.
JOHNS: The other question I think, you've heard so much in Washington about Putin needing an off-ramp. Do you see this as a guy sort of projecting the body language of someone who is trying to find an escape route to get out of the crisis?
DRIVER: I do not see this as a man ready to take action for escape route. Are you kidding? Putin is all about not wearing his shirt and he's holding a rifle and riding horse, and fishing and swimming in a river. He's all about, you know, my dog is bigger than your dog. George W. Bush wrote a home memoir and he talked about he showed him the little dog that he had, a little terrier dog, tiny dog, his name is Barney. And then Putin, when Bush goes over to Russia, Putin brings out this big, huge, chocolate lab, this black lab. And Putin says, my dog, faster, stronger, more powerful than Barney. It's always mine's bigger than yours.
I don't think he's going to take an off-ramp, unfortunately. I hope I'm wrong.
JOHNS: This goes both ways, right? The U.S. can also read Putin's language, so the Russians can do the same thing to Obama. Do you take anything away from the president's body language that's pretty interesting?
DRIVER: Well, it's interesting. There was a phone call recently. We see Obama in the Oval Office talking with Putin. Here's the picture now. We see Obama's right hand on his hip. Obama likes to take a lot of phone calls standing up, which is great sign of a powerful leader. It's someone who's to take action. You can't take action when you're sitting down.
So, he's standing up. But interesting about Obama here, his right hand on his hip while he's talking and he has a very wide stance. So, we see him in a casual outfit. I think this was a snow day actually in Washington, D.C. last Monday.
So, this wide stance, we see, in law enforcement. I come from the law enforcement, I used to be with the Justice Department. In law enforcement, we call this, Joe, a short fat candle. When someone stands on your feet very close together, they're seen as a table skinny candle. You bump a table, a tall skinny table, it falls over. A short fat candle on the table, when you bump the table, the candy stays still.
So, Obama is saying I'm a force to be reckoned with, too because I'm not going to be pushed around easily. He's got that nice solid stance, a broad display, almost in a superman pose taking up the space. Think about it when a bear is in the woods to attack you, you say a bear, they say if you have a mountain bike, put the bike over your head to look bigger. I'm a bigger threat.
Obama right here is saying, listen, I'm a threat, too. Don't mess with me.
JOHNS: Janine Driver, the body language expert -- that's just fascinating. When I get back to Washington, maybe you can tell me about the body language some people I interview for the news.
DRIVER: Yes, well, you look right. You guys have a great team there, you have great rapport. And I appreciate of being here, Joe.
JOHNS: Thanks so much for that, Janine.
Coming up on NEW DAY, witnesses say the woman behind the wheel of this minivan looked possessed after she drove her children into the ocean. Up next, the latest legal developments in the case, whether there were any warning signs.
JOHNS: A pregnant mother accused of attempted murder after driving her children into the ocean is expected to appear in court in less than an hour.
BROWN: Yes, this is such a disturbing story.
Take a look. This was the chilling scene in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Tuesday. Rescuers say Ebony Wilkerson had a blank look on her face as three children screamed for help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One kid was on motor's lap like wrestling her from the steering wheel, trying to steer her from the ocean trying to turn her away back up to sand.
One kid in the backseat screamed out, you know, "Please help us, our mom's trying to kill us."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Wilkerson is now charged with three counts of premeditated first degree murder. Her children are in state custody.
BROWN: Yes. For more on this story, let's bring in CNN legal analyst Paul Callan and clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere.
Great to have you with us.
Paul, I want to start with you.
Curious about this woman's mental diagnosis at the time of this is going to play into her defense. And are you surprised by the charges she faces?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Attempted first degree murder, three counts and she's also charged with child abuse. And, frankly, if you put those charges together, it would result in her being in prison for the rest of her life if she's convicted of those charges.
I would, of course, anticipate an insanity defense. And you know, it's always possible jurors will have sympathy for her because they'll just think it was mental illness that contributed to this crime, but very, very serious charges for this crime.
JOHNS: How hard would it be to prove to a jury that she didn't know write from wrong because of her mental state?
CALLAN: Well, that's a great question, John. You know, I think what a lot of people get confused with the legal system is that when somebody is severely ill, people think, well, gee, that have a good insanity defense. Not necessarily. In the legal system, the standard is that you don't understand the nature and consequences of your act. Here's what the sheriff says. She planned this killing. She told her kids she was going to kill them. She was going to take them to a safer place and they should close their eyes and when the rescuers tried to pull the kids out of the car, she blocked the rescuers and tried to continue with the crime.
So, that looks like she knew exactly what she was doing and does not make out an insanity defense.
BROWN: Yes, you hear those details, Paul, saying, you know, telling her kids, we're taking you to a safe place.
I want to go to you, Jeff, how similar is this case to Andrea Yates. You remember her as a mother who was found not guilty by reason of insanity after drowning her five children.
JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I think it's very, very similar. I think absolutely mental health issues play in here. The sister of Ms. Wilkerson actually contacted the police and said that her sister checked out of a hospital after she had checked her in against doctor's advice, number one. Number two, she was complaining or talking about hearing demons, seeing demons, seeing Jesus.
So, this was a woman who was extremely disturbed. Think about this, if she really wanted to kill these children, OK? She could have done this privately. She could have poisoned them.
The fact that she drove a car into the ocean, something so explosive, something that is so public speaks to me of severe mental health issues.
And, by the way, she was trying to kill herself and she's also pregnant. So, to me, I think this woman has a great chance of getting a not guilty by reason of insanity, even though it is one of the hardest things to prove. Paul is absolutely correct about that.
JOHNS: And we haven't even begun to talk about the effect on those children of being driven off into the ocean and having to tell the authorities, that our mother's trying to kill us.
But let's talk about the warning signs here because that's where the case gets complicated. The mother was actually stopped about two hours before she drove into the ocean. Here's what she told one of the officers who pulled her over. She said it was clear during my observation conversation that she was suffering from some form of mental illness, but she was lucid and did not provide any signs that she met the Baker Act requirements.
So, let's just talk about the Baker Act, Paul. And why it prevented the police from taking action. What is the Baker Act?
CALLAN: Well, I think that police officer was dead wrong. The Baker Act, by the way is an act in Florida, it exists in most other states. And it lists what you need to put somebody in a psychiatric hospital. And basically, if somebody is exhibiting signs and symptoms that they're a danger to themselves or others, you take them to a hospital. They get examined by two psychiatrists or a psychiatrists and a psychologist, and they can be held for at least 72 hours for a psychiatric evaluation.
It's not up to the cops to do the evaluation. It's up to the cops to say, hey, is this a person who needs to be evaluated? They're looking at a woman who is saying strange things in a car full of kids. Right off the bat, she's a danger. She's driving that automobile right out of the hospital for observation into the Baker Act.
I think the cops were wrong in this case.
BROWN: And, Paul, last question, Wilkerson is expected to make an appearance before a judge today, what can we expect in court?
CALLAN: Well, you know, I would expect you'll see substantial bail set on this case. It's an attempted first degree murder case. There's -- at least on the face of it, a very, very strong against her. So, I think you'll see high bail. I also think the judge will order a psychiatric evaluation, and down the road, of course, as Jeff says, we're going to see an insanity defense.
JOHNS: Paul Callan and Jeff Gardere, thanks so much for that.
BROWN: Thank you.
CALLAN: Nice being with you, Joe.
BROWN: Well, a homeless man wins the lotto, but it turns out it was all a prank. And now, it has gone viral. That story up next.
JOHNS: Now, this is being called a good deed prank. The video is getting something like 8 million YouTube hits.
BROWN: Yes, and it involve as homeless man and a lottery ticket and just might warm your heart. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a story of a homeless man who got pranked with a losing lottery ticket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, today, I'm going to make him think he just won the lottery.
MOOS: But don't worry, he's still a winner. It is a good deed prank and this is the prankster.
Normally, Rahat (ph) is doing things like dressing up in a car seat costume so he can scare fast food workers as the invisible driver.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yo. Oh, my God, really? MOOS: But instead of a laugh, expect a tear when Rahat pranks a homeless man with a good reputation who had been hanging around a Virginia shopping center.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't really have any money to give you. But I do have this winning lottery ticket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's cool, my friend.
MOOS: They head for a nearby deli to cash in the ticket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The store clerk is in on it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guess what? You got $1,000.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're kidding me, right?
MOOS: As the clerk counts out 10 $100s -- the man stares at the cash, stunned into silence and then --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to share it, my friend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, come on. That's all yours, man.
I was really thrown off because I did not expect somebody to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to share with you, big guy.
MOOS: When Rahat insists he keep all of the money, the camera mounted on Rahat's sunglasses catches the eyes of the homeless guy welling up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here.
MOOS: And when they were done hugging, it wasn't just the homeless man who had to wipe his eyes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's get out of here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never never had a friend, has somebody do what you did back there.
MOOS: He was not aware that Rahat was recording everything.
(on camera): Eric the homeless guy now knows that there's a video. But what he still doesn't know is that the lottery ticket wasn't a winner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't want to really ruin the moment of him winning the lottery ticket. I wanted him to just like capture that moment, that memory.
MOOS (voice-over): Rahat says he's going to break it to him soon. Though most think the video is touching, some have qualms.
(on camera): Good deeds on camera or exploiting people as props was the headline. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not just going to give him the $1,000 and just walk away and say, hey, have a great day.
MOOS (voice-over): Rahat set up a fundraising site for Eric. In less than a day, it totaled over $6,000 and counting. Eric didn't win the lotto but he did hit the jackpot.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
JOHNS: Yes, you know, I'm glad he recorded that or otherwise you wouldn't have caught the moment.
BROWN: Oh, and how special was that when he started to cry, when he said I'm going to share it with you. It gives you chills.
JOHNS: I know. It makes your heart feel good.
BROWN: Really heartwarming there.
JOHNS: More people need to see that. That's great.
Moving on. A school bus driver jumps into action when he smelled smoke coming from this bus. We'll tell you what he did after the break.
BROWN: But first, making a dream come true for an adult with a terminal illness sounds like a pretty tall order. Reba Roberts wanted to see her daughter again. With Priscilla Presley's help, the 84- year-old Elvis fan got a little something extra to impact her world. Here's CNN's Chris Cuomo.
PRISCILLA PRESLEY, DREAM FOUNDATION AMBASSADOR: Hi Reba.
REBA ROBERTS, TERMINALLY ILL PATIENT: Hey.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Elvis fan, Reba Roberts was so thrilled when Priscilla Presley came to visit her Santa Barbara hospice facility, she broke into song.
Presley is a Dream Foundation ambassador. The charity grants wishes to adults with terminal illnesses.
PRESLEY: The requests you would think would be crazy things, but they're not. They're simple. They're about getting back with your family, having a reunion.
CUOMO: Like seeing your sister for the first time in four years. That was Roberts' wish.
ROBERTS: We just hugged and hugged and hugged.
PRESLEY: Really when you stop and think of it that you offer comfort, a closure to not just the recipients but to the family members, what they go through -- to try to grant that last wish when they really can't.
CUOMO: According to the Dream Foundation, around 20,000 wishes have been fulfilled in the past two decades.
PRESLEY: As sensitive a journey that this is, to see the smiles and the appreciation and the love, it's really unmatched that you're doing something and able to help others. The impact is immeasurable.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN: So President Obama last night host add White House concert for soul singers and when it was time to talk about Aretha Franklin he actually misspelled the word respect. It's great. Watch this. It's classic. Watch this.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her --
FALLON: Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the white half of Barack Obama!
FALLON: R-S-P-E-C-T, C-T, R-P-C-T, C-T, R-S-P-E-C-T, give it to me, give it to me, give it to me --
(END VIDO CLIP)
JOHNS: I don't think he's ever going to live down the spelling of "respect."
BROWN: He knew I'm going to get hammered for this, and he has. He gave us a good laugh.
Now, let's got to Minnesota and an amazing rescue with just a couple seconds to spare. A quick-thinking school bus driver smelt smoke Thursday morning then saw it coming out of his heater.
BROWN: Wow. So he decided to pull over and evacuate four kids with disabilities who were inside. Two in wheelchairs. Moments later, smoke and fire consumed the bus.
JOHNS: And some amazing video to show you. A cringe-worthy crash on a Canadian highway. A couple's dash-mounted camera captured the whole thing as they approached a side road, a pickup truck hauling a trailer comes right on to the road and, pow. And what's really amazing is no one was seriously injured in the crash. BROWN: Well, the driver of that pick up was charged with failing to yield to traffic. And if you look closely, just before impact, it appears that right here, you see it, it looks like he's talking on his cell phone.
JOHNS: There you go. The root of all evil.
BROWN: Yes. Hmm.
Well, thank you so much for starting your morning with us.
JOHNS: Your next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.