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Plane Communication; Malaysian Airplane Search; What Addicts Know; Former Victim Takes on Sex Trafficking

Aired March 14, 2014 - 08:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. We're going to bring you the latest for the search for that missing Malaysian airliner. But first we want to get to John Berman for the five things that you need to know for your new day.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Chris.

We will start with that missing Malaysian airliner. Reuters says that radar data shows it was deliberately flown toward the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean, but our experts say that that flight path could have been coincidental.

With two days to go before Crimeans vote whether to become part of Russia, Ukraine's acting president says he fears a full-scale investigation is looming as thousands of Russian troops build up along his country's eastern border.

President Obama ordering his administration to find more humane ways of handling deportations. The president meets with leading immigration activists at the White House today.

A grim search through the rubble following that explosion and building collapse in New York. Eight people were killed, five others still unaccounted for.

Four thousand pages of previously unreleased papers from the Clinton White House set to drop today. Topics will include the 2000 Florida recount and the Clinton/Bush transition. Should be interesting reading.

We're always updating the five things you need to know, so go to for the latest.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, J.B., thank you so much.

Back to the latest now on the missing Malaysian jet. We have been reporting on that changed flight path. Reuters saying now the radar indicates it headed for the islands in the Indian Ocean. We've also talked about the signals the plane sent hours after it was last heard from. And we've made so much of that last point of contact between Malaysia and Vietnam. Questions have been swirling about why certain instruments were shut off, about whether the pilots were somehow overtaken so they couldn't relay a problem to the ground.

Now we want to give you a look at exactly how these planes communicate with controllers and why all of this is adding to the mystery of Flight 370. Rene Marsh has this for us in Washington.


RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michaela, this is a model 777, just like the missing Flight 370. And at 35,000 feet in the air, these planes, there are three ways that the plane can get an urgent message down to the ground. And that critical information is transmitted by voice or data through satellites or radio frequencies. And this morning we're going to take a look at all the ways the crews or the plane systems could have communicated to someone on the ground that something was terribly wrong.


MARSH (voice-over): Inside the cockpit of a Boeing 777, there are multiple ways pilots communicate with the ground. The ACAR system automatically beams down information about the health of the plane.

MARSH (on camera): Give me details. What kind of information is being beamed down.

TOM HAUETER, FORMER DIRECTOR, NTSB OFFICE OF AVIATION SAFETY: Commonly what's downloaded is engine parameters, temperatures, the amount of fuel burn, any maintenance discrepancies.

MARSH (voice-over): Another way to communicate, radio. "All right, good night," the final call from the pilots as Flight 370 left Malaysian air space, a common phrase when changing controllers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ALASKA AIRLINES 261 (voice-over): We are in a dive here.

MARSH: In Alaska Airlines Flight 261, when the plane dived out of control, pilots radioed what was happening. But no mayday from Flight 370.

MARSH (on camera): In the event of an emergency, is communication secondary?

HAUETER: Yes. The first thing is to fly the airplane, navigate the airplane, then communicate. That's the order of precedence.

MARSH (voice-over): A third way to communicate, by transponder. 1:21 a.m. Flight 370's transponder's signal goes dead. It transmits the plane's location, speed, altitude and position.

MARSH (on camera): Is there any good reason that a pilot would want to switch that off? HAUETER: Clearly, if all the power was lost to the aircraft or something happened to take out that part of the electronics, I mean the electrical system, yes, that would turn it off. But certainly one aspect of turning it off is because you don't want to be seen.

MARSH (voice-over): But the one piece of the plane that is likely still communicating, the flight recorders. Only sonar equipment can detect their pings. And time is of essence. The signal only lasts for about 30 days.


MARSH: And another way the plane could communicate a problem is through the plane's emergency locater transmitter or ELT. It can be manually activated or it automatically activates on impact. Now, the signal is sent to the search and rescue teams via a satellite system, but it stops working once it sinks below the water's surface. And we know in this instance, according to a senior official telling CNN that emergency beacon did not activate in this case.

Michaela. Chris.

PEREIRA: All right, Rene, thank you for taking a look at all of that technology onboard those planes. We appreciate it.

CUOMO: There's no question that experts and analysts are looking back at what's happened in the past -

PEREIRA: Combing through it all.

CUOMO: To try to understand it, looking at that through a lens of the new information they get.

PEREIRA: Absolutely.

CUOMO: We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, the longer Flight 370 is missing, it seems the more conspiracy theories grow about what happened. Coming up, we're going to test those theories and see what is fact and what is likely fiction. We'll also look at other famous aviation mysteries with a retired marine fighter pilot. Stay with us.


PEREIRA: Welcome back here to NEW DAY.

We continue to follow these breaking developments in the ongoing search for Flight 370. This morning, Reuters reporting the plane was deliberately flown towards a group of islands in the Indian Ocean. As new information indicates, the airplane could have flown for several hours after all initial contact was lost. But each new piece of information really only leads to more questions, more theories about what exactly happened to that plane and what exactly happened in that cockpit.

We're joined by Colonel Pete Field. He's a retired marine fighter pilot who specializes in downed aircraft.

Colonel Field, thank you so much for joining us.

Given your level of expertise, I want to get your take on all of these conflicting reports, the radar clues, the seismic activity on the sea floor. Are you confident in the focus of the search efforts right now?

COLONEL PETE FIELD, RETIRED U.S. MARINE: Well, I think the Malaysians have been faced with a very difficult accident investigation process. They immediately assumed that the airplane had gone down and it appears to me that they've married the two radar tracks and have been able to, more or less, follow the airplane.

I'm of the opinion that turning that transponder off is really the first signal that whoever was in control of the airplane didn't want to be seen any longer. So, I am not at all surprised to find out that they are looking at various airports in that string of islands north of Malaysia in the Indian Ocean.

PEREIRA: So let me run with that for a minute then. So you're not speaking to a catastrophic event, necessarily, taking this plane down. You think there was intention, there was deliberation here?

FIELD: It sound that way to me. The 777 has got an absolutely marvelous safety record. There's not been any in-flight failures of that airplane. There have only been three fatalities involved with the Asiana balked (ph) landing at San Francisco a year and a half ago. So it's been a very reliable airplane and it's - it's built on 747 technology and Boeing builds pretty solid, pretty sound airplanes. Air Malaysia has 17 of them -- of these 777 200 ERs and they've been operating them for a long time. So the airplane's got a superb safety record. It's a little difficult for me to believe that it's a mechanical problem.

PEREIRA: We know that looking to the past sometimes can give us clues to the future, so let's talk about some of the other incidents that we've seen and some of the theories that have risen out of them. Let's look at TW 800. We know that was a Paris-pound flight, exploded mid- air off the coast of Long Island back in 1996. Several theories came about off of that incident and all of them were disproven.

FIELD: Well, that accident occurred because of aging maintenance in the airplane and the center fuel tank exploded. We would not expect that to be a condition that could affect the 777 because since TWA 800, most airliners now have nitrogen innerting (ph) in the - in the fuel tanks. So I'm doubtful if that could be one of the possibilities.

PEREIRA: Then, of course, you know, you go way, way back to Amelia Earhart, arguably the most famous mysterious plane disappearance ever. Still no trace. Is there anything to be learned from that at all because you look at the technology, vastly different from what they were dealing with all those years ago.

FIELD: Yes, Michaela, you're exactly right. Amelia didn't have good nav aids. She certainly didn't have global positioning and there weren't many ground-based nav aids in that part of the world. In fact, there were none. And so it was all done by dead reckoning. No really good way to know what the weather ahead was like or what the winds were like at her cruise altitude. A lot of it is just, in that day in age, was just by good luck. It's also -- her airplane's been down for, you know, well over half a century now. So the ocean's taking care of disintegrating it and it's not likely that we'll find it now.

PEREIRA: Well, back to our missing Flight 370. We need answers for those families and we certainly need answers to prevent something like this to happen in the future, whether it was mechanical, whether it was some sort of intention. Colonel Field, we want to thank you for your expertise and lending your voice to our conversation today.

FIELD: My pleasure.

PEREIRA: All right, Chris, back over to you.

CUOMO: All right, coming up on NEW DAY, we're going to bring you much more on the search for 370. But first, Christopher Kennedy Lawford. He's here to talk about his new book and some of the realization about recovering from addiction that can help us all.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. We're going to bring you the latest in the search for Flight 370.

But right now we want to turn you to a "New York Times" best-selling author. His name is Christopher Kennedy Lawford. He is a nephew of President John F. Kennedy and son of Patricia Kennedy who is a recovering addict himself.

But more than that, he is someone who understands a situation that is just spreading throughout the country and families everywhere. He has been studying addiction and understanding what it can do to you for 25 years.

He's taking a new look at it in his book "What Addicts Know: Ten lessons from recovery to benefit everyone". Chris joins us now. It's great it have you on the show.


CUOMO: The timing very good with this -- society is dealing with addiction more and more all the time. We want to talk about the book, but let's put it in the context of the news. Whether it's Philip Seymour Hoffman, the actor --


CUOMO: -- or we see addiction playing out a role in a mass shooting or in some type of violence, people immediately go to the idea that addiction is a choice and when drugs are involved, you did this, just stop and the problem goes away. How do you get past that idea towards what addiction really is? LAWFORD: Well, we have brain science now. I mean the great thing is the new neuroscience shows us this is a disease centered in the brain. There is a genetic component to it. There is an element of people, I do believe in personal responsibility. I believe when people know they have this illness, they're responsible to get it treated. We have good treatment now.

One of the things that is coming up, obviously is legalization. And I get a lot of questions on that. Do we want a society that still begins to perpetuate this kind of behavior in terms of legalization because it's going to increase prevalence and we know the two most dangerous drugs on the planet are alcohol and tobacco -- do we need another legal drug? I say no.

CUOMO: So you're saying legalizing marijuana for personal use is a mistake?

LAWFORD: I think it's a mistake. And I think it's a mistake for a number of reasons. One -- we don't need another legal drug. Two -- what it's going to do to our young people. And as a matter of policy I don't care what people do in their private lives as long as the rest of us don't have to pay for it. But as a matter of policy it's not good policy.

I think down the road everybody is talking about the millions of dollars Colorado is making now in tax revenue, I think it's going to cost money down the road.

PEREIRA: I also think that it's interesting to see how we still stigmatize drug use, whether it's marijuana, coke, heroin, those kinds of things, meth. But we know that in this country there's a real increase in the rise of prescription drug abuse.

LAWFORD: Absolutely.

PEREIRA: And that is a concern because it's kind of invisible in a way and people turn the other cheek a lot of the time.

LAWFORD: Or Chris mentioned Phil Hoffman, who was a friend of mine. This was his story, basically. I mean this is a guy who's sober 25 years, clean and sober 25 years. When he got prescription drugs, oxycontin, became re-addicted to them. A doctor gave it to him. When he couldn't get them, he went back to the street. Heroin today is very, very powerful and he overdosed.

This -- prescription drugs, you know, is a major problem in the city because it's -- in this country because it's under the radar.


LAWFORD: And people think it's legitimate. I think that you mentioned, Michaela, the most important thing and the reason I did this book is stigma. People don't understand addicts have a lot to give the world. They're not just people who are only good for getting and staying sober, although that's a good thing. They have a lot of wisdom and the world could use it. JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: You're talking about Philip Seymour Hoffman, the 20 years he was clean. To me that was the most remarkably tragic part of this just completely awful story. What are your tips to someone out there who has been clean for so long? Can you ever let your guard down?


LAWFORD: Well, you can. The problem is, this is -- the alcohol, the drugs, the behavior is really a symptom of a more fundamental disease -- underlying causes and conditions. You know, addicts feel things greatly. They really and those are the things that need to be addressed. People do after a time begin to think they've got it licked. And this is something that requires constant vigilance.

CUOMO: You know, it's interesting you say that. I think this is a really great. I mean you break down the ten lessons, it's easy to read. The things that apply to you whether or not you have addictive problems or not and it's also so instructive for families and people who have deal with addicts and that circle is getting bigger all the time --

LAWFORD: That's right. That's right.

CUOMO: -- and almost everybody has someone they love or someone they know who is struggling. But you just made the key and you know, we've done a lot of work on recovery over the years. You deal with the drugs and you deal with the alcohol, which is, of course, a drug, as well. That's only the beginning of the problem. And that's why so many people stay in it. They don't want to deal with the problems underneath.

Do you think we have enough sensitivity here yet in the non-addict community to it's still just treating something bigger?

LAWFORD: That's what this book is about. This book is for families. This book is for that don't understand this illness and they get a sense of it. And I think as a society we're getting there. I mean, we've come a long way since I've been doing this. I've been doing this ten years as an advocate. I've seen serious progress in people's understanding, people's, you know, being willing to talk about this and I think it's going to bode well for this as an issue.

PEREIRA: Keep up the great work. Keep doing it.

LAWFORD: Thanks. Thank you.

CUOMO: It's important.

PEREIRA: It really is.

CUOMO: It becomes more important all the time, sadly.

LAWFORD: Absolutely.

PEREIRA: Yes. CUOMO: Chris, great to have you on the show.

LAWFORD: Thanks.

PEREIRA: Now to this week's CNN hero.

A study released this week found that the underground sex economy generates nearly $300 million a year in the city of Atlanta alone. But the human cost is much harder to calculate. That's where Vernida Carter steps in.


VERNIDA CARTER, CNN HERO OF THE WEEK: Prostitution has been known as the oldest profession. I know that it's the oldest oppression. I was able to get out, but the majority of women, they're trapped. That's why I do this work.

A lot of the ladies are really needing housing right now. We're a survivor-led program. Many of the women that work here have been there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My last trick was turned behind that store front.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you doing my sister? Do you need some time (inaudible)? All right, baby. You know where we're at.

CARTER: When they are ready, they can come here.

So you were referred by a friend?


CARTER: We have many different services. Another core piece is our support groups. We have to learn how to live with it and forgive ourselves. It is healing for them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm working full time now. I'm almost done with probation.

CARTER: Their life there could change and we're educating men who have been arrested for soliciting women.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not here to make you feel like a piece of (EXPLETIVE DELETED), but that's somebody's daughter.

CARTER: We are really raising an army here and this is a battle. It's not OK to buy and sell us. We're not for sale.



COOPER: It's time for "The Good Stuff". Girl Scout cookies, the end -- no, they are great. But we're talking about Girl Scouts. They're great sales people but did you know they're also great crime fighters.


CUOMO: Listen to this. A troop of Girl Scouts selling their wares outside a grocery store in Houston when they spot a man up to no good.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We caught a bad guy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was stealing a lot of stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had just pushed his cart back into the corner, just kind of like he was hiding from us.


CUOMO: Everyone knows you can't hide from a Girl Scout. It's not the cookies, it's character they're about. This man is walking out of the store with a bunch of stuff, it turns out not just ordinary stuff.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wine, high-end appliances, a lot of stuff; not only just groceries, but a lot of high-end merchandise.


CUOMO: So the Girl Scouts grab him, choke him around the neck -- no, they don't. They alert authorities and he was arrested for trying to steal nearly $2,000 of goods.

Speaking of the good, the Girl Scouts got their reward, the store bought them out of cookies --

PEREIRA: Well done.


CUOMO: The troop's picture now hangs in the store.

BERMAN: Their the least menacing people I have ever seen in my entire life yet --

PETERSON: Do they get a badge for this? Do they get a new badge?

PEREIRA: There's a badge. Crime fighting.


CUOMO: They wrestled him to the ground and broke 19 bones.

PEREIRA: Oh, my goodness. Take it down. CUOMO: But it turns out if you eat a Samoas or a Tagalong it's sure --

PEREIRA: So good though.

CUOMO: They did a great stuff. They were the good stuff for us. Congratulations, young ladies. I will take five boxes of the tagalongs.

PEREIRA: Samoas.

That's it for us. Let's head up to the "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello. Take it away dear Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I will. Have a great weekend. "NEWSROOM" starts now.