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Search Expands for Jet Lost off Vietnam; Could Stolen Passports Be Key to Missing Plane?; Families Face Agonizing Wait; Rand Paul Wins CPAC Straw Poll; Tiger Woods Making a Comeback?

Aired March 9, 2014 - 06:00   ET


PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. investigators on their way to Asia to help solve the mystery of what happened to that Malaysia Airlines flight. And new information suggests the plane may have tried to turn around.

JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: In the Crimea chess game, the world is waiting to see Putin's next move as the clock ticks down to next Sunday's referendum.

BROWN: And the Blade Runner trial resumes tomorrow in South Africa. But why is there no jury, and how is the course of the testimony different from that in American trials? The answers just ahead.

Your NEW DAY starts now.

Good Sunday morning to you. Great to have you along with us. I'm Pamela Brown.

JOHNS: And I hope you got up on time, even though the...

BROWN: We're here, right?

JOHNS: ... clocks moved forward. Yes, exactly. We made it.


JOHNS: I hope you did, too. I'm Joe Johns. Christi Paul and Victor Blackwell are off today.

It's 6 a.m. This is NEW DAY SUNDAY.

We begin with breaking news overnight on the Malaysia Airlines mystery at sea. Rescuers have expanded their search for the jet carrying 239 people, including three Americans.

BROWN: And new evidence now suggests Flight 370 may have turned back before vanishing off the southern coast of Vietnam. Forty ships and 22 planes are now combing those waters, where miles-long oil slicks have been spotted. And now a, quote, "strange object" has been seen on the surface.

Meantime, investigators with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board are on their way to Asia, and the FBI has offered to help.

JOHNS: We also know now that two people who boarded the flight using stolen passports appear to have bought their tickets together, and other names on the passenger manifest are raising questions about who was really on the plane.

BROWN: While stolen passports are a stock in trade for human smugglers, officials are telling us they have not ruled out terrorism.

JOHNS: And CNN is covering every angle of the story with Jim Clancy in the Malaysian capital, David McKenzie in Beijing, where desperate families are desperately waiting for word about their loved ones, and on the phone, Mike Brooks here in Atlanta, keeping tabs on the FBI's involvement.

Let's start now with the new information about the plane's possible path that has prompted investigators to expand their search of the waters off Vietnam and Malaysia.

Jim Clancy is in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

Jim, what have we learned?

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: Joe, Pamela, it's still a mystery, but piece by piece, we are getting a trickle flow of information. New leads, if you will, and that's the right way to describe them. Because there is no confirmed evidence.

We were talking earlier today with the man in charge of Malaysia's air force, Roozali Daud, who made it clear that records were indicating to them that this aircraft may have actually tried to turn around and return to Kuala Lumpur. Listen.


CLANCY: Was this turn back, you say, detected on radar? The radar record?

GEN. ROOZALI DAUD, ROYAL MALAYSIAN AIR FORCE: Yes. We -- actually, we looked back at the recording. And that is the envision (ph) -- possible envision (ph) that the aircraft might have turned back. And this is, you know, calibrated (ph) at the moment. We are -- as we speak, we are trying to make sense of this. And its -- in some path, some path. We'll know better by C-1 (ph) radar, but we're still looking for areas from our international agencies, you know, one, on the possibility of turn-back. One, the possibility of turn- back, its coming back.


CLANCY: Now General Daud did not say how far the aircraft may have traveled on any return route. That is still to be determined. This has become a forensics case. They're examining that.

An hour from now, Vietnamese ships should be on scene to examine just what is that mysterious yellow object in the South China Sea, near where those oil slicks were discovered one day ago.

There are a lot of leads, but, tonight, the mystery continues -- Pamela, Joe.

BROWN: And, Jim, we now know that at least two passengers boarded this flight using fake passports. Can you tell us how this could have happened and what airport security was like there?

CLANCY: Well, airport security is generally good, Pamela. And when we look at the overall scene, we say this is no different than any other airport.

And yet, one source within our pool telling CNN that they had not checked the Interpol database, and this is the reason why one of the men who was on that database wasn't challenged as he tried to board the aircraft. When I tried to raise that with the director of civil aviation here, I got no reply. Instead he demanded to know the source of the information.

Clearly, it would be an embarrassment to the Malaysian authorities if it were shown that they were not readily checking that Interpol list.

There are many things to consider right now. We've got scores of ships and planes that have been searching throughout the day. All of them, all of them trying to do one thing: give the families an answer as to where are their loved ones who were aboard that flight -- Joe, Pamela.

JOHNS: So early, so confusing, a huge mystery, and we're all waiting for some -- some more information. Jim Clancy in Kuala Lumpur, thanks so much for that.

BROWN: In fact, the more we learn, the more it becomes a mystery, right?

An FBI official told CNN that the agency is not ruling out terrorism as a possible cause, and that's leading to a lot of questions. On the phone right now, HLN law-enforcement analyst Mike Brooks.

Mike, great to have you here with us. Tell me: If you were investigating this, how concerned would you be about the stolen passports?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW-ENFORCEMENT ANALYST (via phone): I would be very concerned. And the fact, Pamela and Joe, that, you know, the two tickets that were bought from South China Airlines were bought -- basically, were issued together.

I don't -- when it comes to terrorism, you know, I spent six years on the FBI's joint terrorism task force and worked a number of plane crashes, and I don't believe in coincidences. So what the FBI and other intelligence agencies, I guarantee right now, they are going through that manifest, taking a look at each one of these names. Because you have the passports in Italian and an Austrian citizen, you know, that appear to have bought those tickets together. Those are at least two of the missing passports that we're talking about. So, you know, I just don't believe in coincidences, and this -- they're going to be looking at every single name on that manifest to see if there's any other possible passport issues with anybody else who was on this plane.

BROWN: And what does it tell you, Mike, that the -- basically, these two people who use the stolen passports bought their tickets together? What exactly does that say to you?

BROOKS: We don't know what that really says right now. But they're going to find out how it was issued -- was it with a credit card -- and they're going to be backtracking on exactly where that ticket was purchased, who it was purchased by, you know, method of payment. These are all things that they're going to be looking at.

And, you know -- and the fact that there were three Americans onboard, that's why the FBI is going to be getting involved in this, because if it is deemed that it is terrorism, the host country will most likely ask them to come in and assist, just like they have in other incidents of terrorism. But again, we do not know if it is terrorism right now or not.

BROWN: Right. But that is not being ruled out at this point.

BROOKS: No, not at all.

BROWN: Last question for you, Mike. There was no distress call. Is that a red flag for you?

BROOKS: Absolutely. You know, and then the fact that it was turning back. You know, was it the pilot who was turning back?

And that's the other thing they're going to look into. They're going to be looking into whether or not any of the crew, any of the pilots had ever had any issues, you know, because, we have heard of planes who have been commandeered by a crew and taken down. You know, the Egypt air flight back a number of years ago was taken down by one of the pilots in the North Atlantic. So, you have to look into every single thing.

You know, right after 9/11 happened, I was with Delta Airlines at the time, and the FBI sent -- sent subpoenas. And we were going over those for records of all the people who had been in our database who were onboard that particular flight, trying to find out their history. And they're going to go back and look at the history of everyone who's on this flight to see where they've flown, who they've flown with, to see if there's any linkage whatsoever to these two stolen passports.

BROWN: Yes. Still so many unanswered questions here.

BROOKS: Sure are (ph).

BROWN: Mike Brooks, thank you for offering your perspective. JOHNS: The families of the 239 passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are enduring just an agonizing wait as the search for the aircraft continues. CNN's David McKenzie joins us live from Beijing, where the flight was scheduled to land on Saturday.

David, Malaysia Airlines had a grim message for families today.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Joe and Pamela. It's been a terrible day of waiting here in Beijing. Across the region, in fact, as those hours tick by and the Malaysian Airline spokesman had a bad message for the families. Take a listen.


HUGH DUNLEAVY, MALAYSIA AIRLINES: We have communicated to the family members that, after more than 30 hours without any contact with the aircraft, we believe that the family members should prepare themselves for the worst.


MCKENZIE: Well, that worst is, of course, what people are preparing themselves for. Some family members are getting angry and frustrated at the lack of information, even circling a petition to say they want to get more information from the airlines and from the government. But, of course, as Jim mentioned, it's very difficult to piece together this information in the early hours.

JOHNS: David, we now know that two of the passengers who were traveling with stolen passports apparently bought those tickets together. What more do you know about that?

MCKENZIE: Well, that information that we dug up here in China suggests that they bought them together through China's Southern Airlines, which was a co-chair with the Malaysian Airline flight, and those two people, presumably impersonating the Italian and the Austrian national, were both flying, both due to fly through Beijing onto Europe and then separate onto two different destinations, Copenhagen and Frankfurt.

Of course, troubling details, but in no way does this suggest what intent what those two people had. But it does open to question the security situation getting onto that flight when it boarded in Kuala Lumpur -- Joe and Pamela.

JOHNS: And have you heard from any of the families of the missing passengers? Have they weighed in on this question of the mystery passports?

MCKENZIE: No, they have not. And certainly, their primary worry now is what happened to their loved ones. And because of the lack of information and the conflicting information coming in about where that plane might have crashed, if they have found any evidence of the plane crashing in the South China Sea, that is their primary concern. And that's something that Malaysian Airlines has repeated again and again. The primary concern right now is to find the credible evidence of the crash, where it happened and whether there are any survivors at -- at this point.

But as that person, that spokesman said, Joe, as the hours tick by, it's very unlikely, given the scenario we've described, that there would be survivors at this point. But hey still, of course, will be holding out hope.

JOHNS: Just a deeply troubling situation right now for those families. Our hearts go out to them. David McKenzie in Beijing, thank you.

BROWN: Agonizing.

Well, still to come right here on NEW DAY, the president may be on vacation, but the situation in Crimea is never far from mind. We're going to tell you which European leaders he called, trying to rally support against Russia.

JOHNS: Plus here at home, Rand Paul wins the CPAC straw poll for the second year in a row. But which voters took him all the way to the top might surprise you.



JAY PHAROAH, CAST MEMBER, NBC'S "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Well, good evening, my fellow Americans. As of tonight Russian forces still occupy the Crimea Peninsula inside Ukraine, and Crimean lawmakers have begun steps to secede. And in these past few days, I've heard so many questions from the American people. Questions like, "Is this the first step towards war?" "What can the United States do?" And "Hold up, what's Crimea?"


JOHNS: Good question, right?

Ukraine is no laughing matter for the real President Obama. He took a break from his Florida vacation to reach out to world leaders on Saturday morning. He called French President Francois Hollande and the prime ministers of both Italy and Britain, as well as other European leaders.

BROWN: The president was looking for support to trying to de- escalate the crisis in Crimea. Mr. Obama and several heads of state agreed Russia should exit Ukraine and that Ukraine sovereignty should be restored.

JOHNS: We'll have more on the crisis in Ukraine coming up in just a bit, including what could be Russia's next move. And we'll talk with a Russian TV anchor to get an insider's perspective.

BROWN: Meantime in other news this morning, Senator Rand Paul took home the honors for the second year in a row. The Tea Party darling finished first in the CPAC straw poll yesterday, crushing second-place finisher Senator Ted Cruz. CNN national political reporter Peter Hamby was at the event.

So Peter, tell us about Paul's win.

PETER HAMBY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Joe, Pamela, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul had a blowout win here in the CPAC presidential straw poll. This is a test of conservative activists about who they want to be their Republican standard-bearer in 2016.

Paul won a full 30 percent of the votes here, and Ted Cruz, the second place finisher, only got 11 percent, a distant second. He was followed in third place by Ben Carson, a conservative neurosurgeon, a regular on the conservative speaking circuit who's really popular with grassroots activists.

Surprisingly, in fourth place, outperforming expectations, was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Now Rand's win here shouldn't be viewed as a real predictor of who's going to be the Republican presidential nominee, but it is a good snapshot of how a slice of the conservative base feels about the potential field of candidates.

And this event was dominated by libertarians and young people. They really have rallied to Rand Paul in recent years. A full half of CPAC's straw poll voters were between the ages of 18 and 25. Rand Paul rode the wave after a really big speech here to a big victory in the CPAC straw poll, just like he did last year -- Joe, Pamela.

BROWN: Peter Hamby, thank you very much for that.

JOHNS: Still to come here on NEW DAY, never mind his recent slumps and injuries. Tiger Woods set the Cadillac Championship on fire this weekend, but can he win it all today?.


JOHNS: Tiger Woods looking a little hot, at least for the moment, after his best round of the year. Tiger's back in contention this weekend in Doral, Florida.

BROWN: The world's No. 1 golfer is in fourth place heading into the day's final round of the WGP Cadillac Championship.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." So all eyes on Tiger.

ANDY SCHOLES, "BLEACHER REPORT": Sore back and all, he really put out a great performance yesterday. One of the best rounds of the year thus far. And for the first time this year, he's really put himself in position to win a tournament on the final day.

In 2014, it's been really rough for Tiger thus far. He's finished 80th, 41st, and he'd withdrawn from the three tournaments he's played in so far, guys. But yesterday, you know...

JOHNS: Monster putt, right?

SCHOLES: Yes. Yes, that got him going there on Saturday -- or Friday, I should say, and he looked like the Tiger of old yesterday. He knocked down eight birdies, and he's climbed all the way up to fourth on the leaderboard.


TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: It's nice to get back in the tournament, again. You know, I held it together yesterday on a long day and long, tough day, and that gave me a chance today. And I figured, you know, I'm only six back. It's not -- that's definitely doable.


SCHOLES: And today's final round should be exciting, of course. We're all going to want to watch and see how Tiger does. He's three shots back the lead. He tees off at 2:35 Eastern this afternoon.

BROWN: Walking with that swagger.

SCHOLES: Yes. It seems like he's got it.

JOHNS: It seems like he gets less consistent with age when you normally get more consistent with age, don't you?

SCHOLES: That's the way it's been going for him ever since, you know,, he had that downward spiral. But it looks like he's back on the way up. Hopefully, he gets a major this year. That's what everyone wants to see him do.


SCHOLES: All right. Big college basketball game last night. I know you were interested.


SCHOLES: Duke-North Carolina.

JOHNS: It was on too late.

SCHOLES: It was a late one. Big names in the crowds.


SCHOLES: There was NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Tony Romo, his coach, Jason Garrett, watching this one. And guys, I don't know if you've seen much of Jabari Parker this year. He's a star -- star player.


SCHOLES: You know, he had an amazing game. Thirty points to go along with 11 rebounds. You know, a lot of people say he's going to be the top pick in the NBA draft next year. And Duke won the game -- sorry, Pam -- 93-81.

BROWN: They may have won, but we won before. UNC won before. So, this is exactly.

SCHOLES: Getting men's game, Perdue (ph). So...

JOHNS: The crowd was going nuts.

SCHOLES: And big win for Duke as they get ready to go in the NCAA tournament. A lot of people picking them to go all the way this year, probably because of Jabari Parker and how good he is.


JOHNS: Get out your brackets.


BROWN: I'm wearing Duke colors, but that's deceiving.

SCHOLES: A week from today. Collect them Sunday.

All right. This was a very, very interesting story I saw this morning. Two high-school hockey teams in Ohio are splitting a state championship after their game could not be decided after seven -- count them -- seven overtimes.

JOHNS: That's awesome. Yes.

SCHOLES: The two schools involved, Sylvania Northview and Cleveland's Saint Ignatius, they were tied at one after the seventh overtime. There was no shootout procedure in high-school hockey, guys. You know, the coaches got together, and they decided they really needed to call this game, because the players were just absolutely exhausted.

JOHNS: Right. You know, and that's really so good, because those kids fight so hard to get to the state championship, and the idea that they both walk away champions is pretty fantastic.

SCHOLES: And look at them. They could barely stand up at the end -- at the end of this game. This is what the coaches had to say.

JOHNS: Right. Looks like the crowd left, too.


MIKE JONES, NORTHVIEW COACH: I have kids that can't walk. They can't walk to the shower. At what point do we put their safety -- I mean, no one wants it on their watch to have something catastrophic happen.

PAT O'ROURKE, ST. IGNATIUS COACH: This is how it was meant to shake out. So like I said, we're going to deal with it and accept it and move along and enjoy being state champs.



JOHNS: Wow. You know, I know what it means to do that in Ohio as a state champion in the discus.


SCHOLES: Really? There you go.

JOHNS: I know a thing or two about it.

SCHOLES: Awesome.

BROWN: Wow. Seven overtimes.

JOHNS: It's incredible.

SCHOLES: And you guys, I'm sure you guys skated before. I can't -- I can't ice skate for more than 20 minutes without being exhausted.

JOHNS: No way.

BROWN: Give it to them for fighting through.

JOHNS: Yes. And they both get a trophy. That's just fantastic.

BROWN: Yes, good for them.

All right. Andy, thank you so much...

SCHOLES: All right.

BROWN: ... for that little wrap.

And coming up right here on NEW DAY, it could be one of the largest counterfeit schemes ever in the United States, and it involves millions of dollars in fake beauty products. The details on that just ahead.

JOHNS: Plus, the U.S. issues a new warning to Russia in the standoff in Ukraine, and it could mean the end of diplomatic options for the crisis.


BROWN: Now for an update on mortgages. Rates rose slightly this week. Take a look.


BROWN: Bottom of the hour now, welcome back. I'm Pamela Brown.

JOHNS: And I'm Joe Johns. Here are five things you need to know for your NEW DAY. BROWN: New evidence in the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people suggests the jet may have turned back before vanishing off the southern coast of Vietnam.