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New French Images May Show Objects; Deadly Landslide in Washington State; Crisis in Ukraine

Aired March 23, 2014 - 07:00   ET


RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: -- so waterlogged, they'd eventually sink. Other pieces maybe crack and fill in with water. So, they would eventually sink as well. Now, some items could potentially float for years, but over time, currents and wind would scatter them so far apart. All of these scenarios are problematic because the crews are depending on a debris field to lead them to the rest of the wreckage -- Christi, Victor.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And thank you to Rene Marsh for that.

And a good morning to you on this Sunday. I hope it's been well to you so far. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Seven o'clock here on the East Coast. And we're starting with breaking news this morning.

There have been some major developments in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. Just about an hour ago, Malaysian officials have confirmed they have received new images from French satellites that could show potential objects in that southern search corridor area.

Now, we'll get to CNN's Atika Shubert. She's in Kuala Lumpur. We'll do that in just a moment on that angle.

But we want to catch you up on what else we know this morning.

PAUL: Yes, the search team is larger than it has been yet. Eight planes today from four countries have been scouring the waters of the southern Indian Ocean and that includes the world's most sophisticated search plane, the U.S. Navy P8 Poseidon. That's two more planes than we saw yesterday afternoon.

BLACKWELL: And it's especially helpful to have it there, but despite the amazing capabilities of the Poseidon, today's search is taking a decidedly low-tech turn. It's a visual search, with the emphasis on eyes over radar.

Now, yesterday a civilian plane spotted a wooden pallet in the water, along with some strapping belt. But when a New Zealand jet tried to confirm that sighting, all it found was seaweed.

All right. So, now, let's get right to those new images that came to Malaysia to France, also the Australians have it because they're leading the search there out of Perth.

Atika Shubert is in Kuala Lumpur.

Atika, you know, we have had this before. About this time yesterday, the Chinese had a new image. We learned later that new image was four days old. Do we know yet how old this image from the French is?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We don't have a date yet of that image and we don't have any measurements either. We don't know exactly how large this object is, and this is why Malaysian authorities have immediately been given this image to the Australian search teams. That's why they're comparing it to other satellite images. They have to rule out first of all that it's not simply a different photo of the same object.

And then, if they've identified this as a potential object to go search for, then they have to dispatch all those search teams, again.

And what we're talking about is an area that is 2,500 kilometers from the nearest shore in Perth, Australia. So, four hours of flying there, two hours of searching and then four hours flying back.

So, it really is a long and tedious search. They do have about eight planes up in the air today, but it's been bad weather. So, it's actually been a really tough going.

PAUL: I know that some of the planes have come back already, at least a couple of them have wrapped up for the day. Have they given you any details about what they may or may not have spotted?

SHUBERT: Well, the P8 Poseidon has come back and, unfortunately, because of the bad weather, it was only able to fly about 300 feet above the water. So, really wasn't able to be used to its maximum capacity. It did not find anything.

The Australian planes, however, did identify several pallets of wood and sort of those belt strappings. Now, that's interesting because these are often used in containers. So, when you're shipping containers by ship but also by air. So, they're trying to identify whether this came from possibly the plane or did it simply come from a passing container ship.

And this is why the search takes so long. Even if you find debris, even if you find something that's potentially part of the plane, you actually have to get a salvage ship there to physically lift it up, take a look at it and test it and see whether or not it came from the plane.

BLACKWELL: All right. Atika Shubert there for us live in Kuala Lumpur -- Atika, thank you. PAUL: I know, it seems like as though search crews start to narrow in on a location, another clue send them in another direction, which is only complicating that.

BLACKWELL: Yes. So, let's expand the conversation now and bring in corporate pilot and flight instructor Anthony Roman. He's also the CEO of Roman and Associates.

And CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general Mary Schiavo.

Thank you for joining us, both of you.

I want to start here with this new image from the French authorities and I'll start with you, Anthony. What do you make of this report of potential objects there in the southern corridor?

ANTHONY ROMAN, FORMER CORPORATE PILOT: Well, I think it's too early to tell, Victor. We have to be cautiously optimistic with these satellite views. There are several anomalies that can occur with satellite views. It could be the crest of the wave, it could be a shipping container. It could be debris that had fallen off a ship.

We are actually conducting this search in an area that is a known large debris field. So, with the poor visibility and with the cloud structure, you have all sorts of problems in trying to interpret it.

PAUL: Mary, we heard that the P8, you heard her there say it had to descend to 300 feet because the weather has been such a problem. At what point, they have been so diligent in going out, despite weather reports, at what point might they pull some of their efforts if the weather gets -- how bad does it have to get before they say they can't go out today or images like this that keep coming forward just going to keep pushing them out there?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, for these planes and these crews, I think the images will keep pushing them out there. The weather will reach a point where they cannot operate, particularly if it's the winds and the rains and the conditions make it impossible and not just impossible, make it unsafe. But they are really tough.

I mean, I've been out with similar crews in Alaska and it was hailing and everything else, sleet, snow, you name it. They went out. And hat's off to them.

It's really tough flying and dangerous, too. But unless the winds are so strong, I think they're going to go out.

BLACKWELL: Anthony, we earlier played an example of this ping from the flight data recorder that investigators are listening for. It's actually more like a click.

Let's play it now for people just joining us, what it sounds like and what the investigators are looking for and listening for.

(PINGER AUDIO EXAMPLE) BLACKWELL: Now, that would help the search crews locate this flight data recorder and, of course, some of the debris from flight 370. How difficult would it be beyond April 6th when the 30 days expires and that battery life to locate it? I mean, I guess it hasn't been so helpful thus far, they haven't found it. But beyond April 6th, how much more difficult does this become, Anthony, once that battery dies?

ROMAN: Victor, it becomes incredibly difficult. You have an area of the bottom of the ocean here, which is largely unexplored. It's volcanic, it's mountainous, it has deep crevices, very narrow valleys, it's not well mapped out.

And, so, you have to operate with these submersible devices that have only a half a mile range. So, it really becomes a very, very difficult process. That's compounded by the terrible weather, very low clouds, high seas, squalls and thunderstorms, high winds, pitching decks.

It limits the visibility. It creates anomalies with the sonar reception and side scan sonar. So, you know, the cabling that is used for these devices is very heavy. You have to use three times the length of cabling compared to the depth that you're operating at.

It becomes a logistic nightmare. We're looking at not days, not weeks after the 30 days. I believe we're looking at years unless we are very, very lucky.


PAUL: OK. Mary, help me out here and just humor me for a second. I have heard from so many people, I don't know about you.


PAUL: But so many people who are convinced this thing landed on the ground in the north. Have they -- based on everything that authorities do know and we might not know everything authorities know, let's point out -- may be keeping some things very close. Do you still believe something like that is a possibility or have they all but abandoned the search in the northern part of this arch?

SCHIAVO: I won't say they all but abandoned it, but there's been not one shred, not clue, not one piece of evidence to substantiate that.

And I think most folks believe that they would be wasting some assets that they could apply down south where the debris field has been -- well at least debris field of something has been sighted. So, there has not been one shred and the only thing left that they were looking at, of course, was the pilot's computer and flight simulator and this phone call from the plane and unless that turns up something and that could be completely innocent. Pilots make phone calls from planes all the time. There's just not one shred of evidence to substantiate the northern route. BLACKWELL: Well, let me ask you -- let me challenge you on that, Mary. You say the objects found in the southern corridor -- I'm reading a piece on in which experts and even the Japanese officials say that after the 2011 tsunami, 10 million tons of debris was washed into the ocean.

So, when we say that they found some items, a wooden pallet that could have come from anywhere. Have we really found any clue anywhere?

SCHIAVO: We don't have anything because you don't really have a clue from the plane until you pull it up on to a ship or a boat and determine that it really is from the plane. So, until then, all you have are sightings.

But the best they have to go on are these satellite returns which put the plane in that area. And, remember, a few days ago, Inmarsat, the satellite company that provided some of the images, said that they had provided images or at least coordinates in that area two days after the plane went missing. So, you know, I agree it's not much, but at least it's something that puts the plane in that area, whereas we don't have anything to put the plane in other areas of the world. That's where we have evidence that can substantiate that the plane was most likely there.

PAUL: All right. Mary Schiavo and Anthony Roman, thank you both very much. Always appreciate your insight.

BLACKWELL: Thanks so much.

And, of course, we're following the other breaking news this morning. When you see the pictures, it's difficult to imagine families literally being told to get out now. This deadly landslide in Washington state. It's killed at least three people.

And as we speak, search teams are following cries for help, people are literally screaming for help and they're being asked to be pulled out of this mud. They're digging for the survivors. We'll talk more about this, next.


PAUL: Fourteen minutes past the hour right now. So glad to have your company.

We are watching this new development in the search for Flight 370. France discovered via satellite what could be some sort of debris.

BLACKWELL: Potential objects they're calling them.

PAUL: "Potential objects" is how they're characterizing it.

Again, we'll get to that in a moment because there is a real urgent situation going on right now in Washington state. BLACKWELL: Emergency search and rescue crews right now are following the cries, literal cries for help and taking, as they call them, extreme risks in the hopes of finding survivors out of the wreckage of what you're looking at there. This is a massive landslide northeast of Seattle.

PAUL: We know that three people have already died. Three others, including a six-month-old baby boy are in critical condition right now at a hospital after being transferred. No one knows how many people are buried under this deadly mixture of trees and rocks and mud.

BLACKWELL: Now, CNN's Nick Valencia is back with us.

And, Nick, right off the top, you've got this dramatic photo from the front page of the "Seattle Times" here.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you were just looking at dramatic video from our affiliates in Seattle. But this photo here that you're looking at this morning from "The Seattle Times" --

PAUL: Good heavens.

VALENCIA: Heavens, yes. This puts it all into perspective here, that landslide coming down from the top of the mountain here, you're seeing right in the middle of the photograph, guys, that's the Stillaguamish River. And that's the big concern right now. Officials still don't know how many people are trapped under the debris.


VALENCIA (voice-over): Halo Falco (ph) captured this video of the mudslide that came down right in front of his car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was coming down the hill and I just saw the darkness, like somebody wants to grab you and everything was gone.

VALENCIA: Falco says the debris buried cars and trucks in front of him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard a woman and a baby screaming.

VALENCIA: The massive mudslide cut off the small town of Oso, Washington, and Stillaguamish River and prompted an evacuation notice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got a massive amount of mud out there and debris with a very, very fluid, unstable situation.

VALENCIA: This morning, dangerous search and rescue efforts are under way to find any other survivors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only safe way right now with the water building behind that big mud slurry is to rescue people that are on top of the mud that are alive with helicopters and hoists and actually get them out of there.

VALENCIA: While some people were rescued, others are still trapped under the tons of earth and debris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have people that are yelling for our help and we are going to make, we're going to take extreme risks to try to get them out of there.


VALENCIA: And new information this morning from the National Weather Service, guys. There was a potential for a catastrophic flood. Initially, overnight, we got that information just a couple hours ago. National Weather Service now saying although there is a potential for flooding downstream for those houses and those communities downstream from Oso, just about 75 miles northeast of Seattle, it doesn't appear at this stage that it's going to reach those catastrophic levels.

PAUL: OK. It does appear the town that we were talking about earlier --


VALENCIA: -- 1,350, you know, small town. This is a rural area. This is a very small town. You know, it's been cut off because of this debris.

Jennifer Gray can tell us more about the landslide conditions and exactly why this happened. But the urgent matter is really the people that are still stuck under the debris, guys. Look at those dramatic images coming out.

BLACKWELL: I understand, this video came from a guy that was just driving on the 530 that goes by this town and through it and just came upon this and just pulled out his cell phone video and then unbelievable what we're seeing here.

Let's -- you mentioned, Jennifer Gray. Let's go to Jennifer and she can explain what happened, what led up to this massive landslide -- Jennifer.

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, Victor, you know we were talking about how dry California is. Well, it all relates. It's all because of this jet stream. The reason it has been riding so far to the north, it kept California dry and it's kept the Pacific Northwest very, very wet.

Some of these areas have seen near record rainfall and especially for March. We just had a system roll on through. Some areas right outside of Seattle picked up an additional inch.

So, what happens is when you get so much water coming in off of these mountains and you get soaked into the soil and the soil becomes very, very heavy and basically gravity pulls it down with the hills too steep to support it and then the slope falls and that's where you get your mudslide and that's exactly what happened here.

So, as we move forward over the next couple of days, guys, we will be dry for the next several days. But by mid-week we do get another storm system pushing into the Pacific Northwest and that will bring more rain to the area and that's not good news, but it is all in relation to that jet stream and why we think California is so dry and the pacific northwest has been wet, guys.

PAUL: All right. Jen, thank you. Hey, real quickly, we want to show you another picture that we just got in. This is from Washington State Department of Transportation.


PAUL: Look how steep this is where all of that, that mud and that dirt and that land just gave way. It gives you a real good idea of what these poor people are going through.

BLACKWELL: Again, three people dead, seven adults and a six- month-old boy, thus far, rescued. The oldest person 81 years old rescued and the rescues continue. People trapped in the mud and dirt there screaming, calling out for help.

We'll continue, of course, to follow this breaking news out of Washington state.

PAUL: Yes, Jen, thank you so much and thanks to Nick, as well.

We do still need to talk about the crisis in Crimea. Russian forces stormed an air base there, further strengthening its hold over that peninsula. We're going to talk about it in a moment.


BLACKWELL: More aggression this morning from Russia. Moscow is trying to tie up loose ends to exert complete control over Crimea in a barrage of gun fire and stun grenades. Russian armored personnel carriers ram through the gates of Belbek air base.

PAUL: The takeover removes one of the last barriers to total Russian control of the Crimean peninsula.

Erin McPike live for us right now from Washington.

So, it seemed like a calculated show, right, of course, by Vladimir Putin but wondering what the U.S. is saying, how they're reacting.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, other officials at the White House have been concerned about greater action by Russia over the past several days and they have been talking about it saying that Russia's actions don't match their words and so, they're trying to really figure out what to do about it and President Obama said on Thursday that he wants to see more severe action taken against Russia and he'll meet with European leaders this week about that very thing.

BLACKWELL: So, with this meeting this week coming up with the G7, we know that's happening, as you said. What else is on the schedule? MCPIKE: Well, Victor, it is a very busy week in terms of meeting really about this crisis. There's a lot of focus on that.

On Monday, he will go to The Hague where he will meet with G7 leaders and discuss the situation in Ukraine. On Wednesday, he goes to Brussels for a summit between the U.S. and the European Union. Then on Thursday, he'll have a historic meeting in Rome with Pope Francis who, obviously, is very popular and they'll be discussing inequality. And then on Friday, he goes to Saudi Arabia where he'll meet with King Abdullah, and that meeting is actually going to be on nuclear talks with Iran and the conflict in Syria.

So, obviously, a very busy week ahead for President Obama, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Erin McPike there at the White House -- Erin, thank you very much.

Now, the hunt for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, of course, continuing right now. There are new satellite images from the French given now to Malaysians and to the Australians that could help the search crews. The FBI is also looking at a hard drive of the flight simulator that belonged to the missing plane's captain. We'll talk more about that element of the investigation, next.


PAUL: So good to see you, 7:29 is the time on this Sunday morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to have you with us.

There maybe some new clues in the hunt for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. Malaysian officials confirmed that they have received new images from French satellites that could, could show potential objects there in the southern search corridor.

PAUL: We know some search teams are beginning to return to Perth, Australia, right about now, after a long day of searching over the Indian Ocean.

The Navy's P-8 Poseidon jet, in fact, reported it found no sign of debris. It had a hard time out there. It had to descend to 300 feet because of the weather, we're told. An Australian team, though, however, it was able to spot more pallets. Now, those pallets are used in aviation, we should point out. They're also, however, very common in shipping.

BLACKWELL: Yes, they're very common in shipping.

Now, the search team is larger, larger than yesterday, of course. Yesterday, there were six planes, today, eight planes from four countries. They have been scouring the waters in the southern Indian Ocean with an emphasis on what can be seen.

This is a visual search, we learned today from Australian officials, the emphasis on the eye over radar today.

Let's get right to those new images that Malaysia received from France.

Jim Clancy is in Kuala Lumpur.

Jim, what do we know from about one of these images and also the investigation there that is led by the Malaysians? I know there is a lot of pressure, we are now in week three, to have something, some progress.

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, we have got more images. We have got to say, these are more clues in the puzzle that have to be confirmed on the ground, really, on the ocean, to be exact, in order to determine whether or not they have a direct link to Flight 370, because, OK, it's one thing to have a clue, some image that might be debris.

We know it's debris looking at the satellite images, whether they're coming from France, from China or from Australian satellites, U.S. satellites and others that have all been trained in this area, NASA satellites, by the way, going into the search right now as well.

But that's all they are, clues, until you can tie the evidence directly to 370. That's why the pallets have less impact, because the pallets, of course, could come from a merchant marine vessel. And they are used quite commonly for all of that. What they're looking for is a key that would tell them, perhaps other debris around it. They're really looking for parts of that aircraft, floating seat cushions, luggage, anything that they might be able to put together, things that might not necessarily show up well on a satellite, but they could then use.

They can use the larger objects to go down and take a look and see if there is any confirmation there that they have located some piece, something related to Flight 370. It's a painstaking process and it's very dependent on the weather, as you point out. But the crews that are working almost around the clock or literally around the clock in order to do this remain dedicated, hoping that they're going to be able to find something that brings some kind of closure and some kind of relief for the families -- Christi, Victor.

PAUL: OK. So, Jim, I understand you have not yet seen this new satellite image from France. Number one, are they going to be releasing that, do we know, any time soon? Have you heard anything about the details in terms of when the satellite picture was taken and whatnot?

And, number two, I think, wanted to allude to something that you can speak of, being there in Kuala Lumpur -- Malaysia has a lot on the line here because this is a government-owned airline. Talk to us about the pressure they have to find something at this point and what it means for them.

CLANCY: Yes. Well, sure. The satellite imagery, as we would expect from what we have learned in the past, the process we have gone through, they will get that image to us along with the details of when it was taken, exactly where it was taken and we know that it's in that southern arc, in that southern quadrant where they have been looking.

That is what may give people some encouragement, and now you talk about Malaysia and their interest in all of this. Malaysia has its reputation on the line and it well knows it. This was a bit of a mess to begin with. There was criticism because of the slowness in response in announcing that the plane was missing and in really getting the focus of the search beyond the South China Sea and on to the Indian Ocean.

But all of this came in, in the midst of the confusion, Malaysia perhaps not ready to cope with a problem of this magnitude. Perhaps officials at first thinking this plane is going to turn up in the first 48 hours, it's not going to be a problem. But it has been a problem. So, its reputation is on the line right now and it is putting that very much into the way that it's trying to coordinate the search effort among all of these 25, 26 different countries that are contributing assets to it.

Remember, Malaysia doesn't have a lot of these assets. It is depending on the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, China and others in order to accomplish the goals of finding Flight 370. And their more advanced surveillance aircraft are a big part of that. They have to be seen as doing that job at least well, because they know that their reputation hinges on it and they know that their reputation will stand so long as this plane is found.

And, so, the urgency is very much on right here in Kuala Lumpur ,as well as all the way down to the south Indian Ocean at this hour tonight -- back to you, Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: Also there in Beijing with the families who are waiting for some news of what happened to those 239 souls on board 370. Jim Clancy live in Kuala Lumpur for us, thank you, Jim.

The investigation into 370 is unfolding really on multiple fronts. There is the search, of course, but also the investigation technologically.

PAUL: Yes, the FBI focusing on what may have happened specifically in the cockpit. The agency is looking that pilot's computer hard drives, as you know, this flight simulator that was taken from the captain's home.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in Mark Rasch now. He's a cyber and privacy expert and also a former Justice Department prosecutor for cyber-crimes.

Good to have you with us this morning, Mark.

We know some of the data was deleted from the flight simulator. U.S. officials tell CNN that some of the deletions happened after February 3, as the Malaysians initially believed. Tell us more about what the FBI is looking for as it goes through these files of the flight simulator.

MARK RASCH, CYBER AND PRIVACY EXPERT: Well, there are really three things that you're going to be looking for.

First thing you're going to look for is what flights did the pilot simulate? Was there anything unusual about the flights that the pilot simulated, unusual airports, unusual landings, things like that?

And also did they delete, deliberately wipe or delete files related to that kind of activity? You are going to look for that. You're also going to look for any communications, e-mails, text messages and things like that that the pilot may have communicated with third parties to see what were they thinking, who were their friends and who were they communicating with.

And third thing you're going to look at browser history, what were they searching for and what kinds of things were they looking at to get an idea of who they are and what their interests might have been. Those are the three main things you will look for in a hard drive that you confiscate.

PAUL: How long could the process take for the FBI? We know this is in the hand of the folks at Quantico, very skilled, very adroit at what they're doing, but a lot of people -- at this point, it's been several days. They're probably wondering what is taking so long.

RASCH: Sure.

Typically, it's easier to find something than not to find something. If you look at a hard drive and you see something immediately, you know you found it. If you look at a hard drive and you don't see anything, then you keep looking. The factors that determine how long it takes are, how large is the hard drive, what status or shape is the hard drive in? Is it corrupted and are files deleted and are files hidden, are files encrypted?

Typically, if it's not a very large hard drive and the files are not encrypted, you can do this in a matter of hours. The larger the hard drive, it could take a couple days, and if it's corrupted or destroyed, it could take weeks.

PAUL: All right, Mark Rasch, great information for us. Thank you for taking the time today.

RASCH: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: The other breaking news this morning, emergency search-and-rescue teams are following cries for help in Washington State. And they're taking, as they describe them, extreme risks in hopes of digging survivors.

Look at this -- digging survivors out of this wreckage. A massive landslide happened Northeast of Seattle. Now, at least three people have been killed. Three others, including a 6-month-old baby, are in critical condition. And the deep and deadly mixture of rocks and trees and mud and all the wood you see there, it means this is still a very unstable situation. We will continue to follow that breaking news there in Washington State.

Still to come on NEW DAY: some new clues in the search for the missing plane. Malaysian officials say they now have new images -- now, they use the word new, but we don't know exactly when those images were captured -- of potential objects in the Indian Ocean.

PAUL: Looks as though some bad weather, too, in that area may hamper the search for Flight 370 just as they're ramping up and sending even more planes out.


BLACKWELL: We have got more now on the breaking news in the search for Flight 370 these French satellites have spotted. And they are saying these are potential objects in the southern corridor of the Indian Ocean.

PAUL: Yes, and these are coming from France. France turned over the images to Malaysia. They are providing them then to Australia. It will be interesting to see if they mirror anything that China had released yesterday.

BLACKWELL: It would be interesting it see the images themselves soon, hopefully.

Let's go to CNN justice reporter Evan Perez in Washington.

Evan, OK, this is the third set of satellite images to come out in just the past few days. But when these crews go out to, you know, do a visual confirmation of these items, these objects, they're not there. What's the value here?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, the fact that it keeps getting -- we keep getting images that -- we keep getting indications that there is some debris, I think, is some sign of hope for the searchers that perhaps there is something there.

As you know, the flights are dealing with terrible weather. Some of the ships that were on scene had to be moved away because of very rough seas. So, this is not very easy. Some of them are flying, some of the planes are flying very low to try to see if they can catch anything.

This area is also known as a collection point for a lot of debris. A lot of the world's garbage end up right over in this area. That is what makes it so difficult. And so, you know, until they can get some of this debris on board a ship perhaps and examine it, they won't really know. But they have to keep looking, you know, Victor.


PAUL: So, let me ask you this, Evan, because we know Malaysia is asking the U.S. for these hydrophones, these underwater listening devices that could be significant, of course, because the locator beacons could start fading in a couple of weeks.

But if you don't have a starting point, would they start using those anyway just randomly?

BLACKWELL: So, we're told that they want to find debris in order to have some place to know where to look.

Obviously, the southern Indian Ocean is one of the remote parts of the world. And so they don't really want to just send these devices down there and just start looking just without knowing whether or not there is any indication of anything there. So, I think what they first want to do is find like a debris field and then send these types of listening devices.

They can listen for about two nautical miles. So they can hear things from pretty far away. But, first, you have to have to have an indication that there might be something there.

BLACKWELL: All right, Evan Perez with us this morning -- Evan, thank you so much.

PAUL: So, you know, being able to see down on to the ocean surface is critical, because the search teams are using -- as we're being told today, it's a more visual search, as opposed to using radar.

It's been tough, though. The P-8 that went out, which is one of the most sophisticated pieces of technology out there flying, had to descend to 300 feet because the visibility was so bad today.

BLACKWELL: Yes. We were told through this news conference held there in Australia that the weather was terrible. That's how they characterized it.

Let's bring in CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray.

Jennifer Gray, I can see your board from here. We're waiting to get some confirmation on exactly the potential object the French satellites captured was. So, is this what the Chinese saw?


Well, this has been a very, very hard place to look, because weather is bad on a good day. You know, we have very low clouds. We have had reports of sea fog and we have had very, very high waves, high winds. You know, you have the whitecaps that can also be deceiving when you're searching for white objects out in the ocean.

So, we have seen some clouds roll on through and we have had a couple of disturbances roll on through, and most of the rain has happened during the overnight hours, but you have to keep in mind that leading up to these cold fronts are these rain bands. You will see an increase in cloud cover. You will see an increase the waves and the winds and all of that just ahead of it.

Looks like we're going to have another pretty nasty one move through later on into Monday night into Tuesday. So, really, for the next 24 to 48 hours, guys, it will be really rocky out there. We will see very high winds and you know the waves will be pretty rough as well.

Look at that, winds of 50 to 60 miles per hour as we go through the wee hours of Tuesday morning. And so, you know it is just going it be really, really nasty out there over the next 24 hours.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Jennifer Gray, thank you so much.

GRAY: Right.

PAUL: We're obviously going to keep giving you all the updates as we get them throughout the day. But I know there's something else you're watching.


PAUL: College hoops.

BLACKWELL: Indeed, March Madness.

PAUL: Oh, yes, March Madness.


PAUL: Have you heard about the now Cinderella team out there? Let me just say, people, good things come out of Ohio every once in a while.

BLACKWELL: All right, here we go.



BLACKWELL: So now there is a Cinderella team, and if you didn't know, my co-anchor is the Ohio hype woman. I think it's officially on her business card.


PAUL: I love where I live. I love where I grew up.


PAUL: Go, Dayton Flyers.

BLACKWELL: Dayton Flyers.

PAUL: Go, Dayton Flyers.

And Facebook and me, because I had put on my brackets Ohio State because my dad went to law school there. I would have been disowned had I not. So, if you allow me on the band wagon for Dayton now, I would appreciate it. JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS: We understand the order of loyalty here, so Ohio state one, Dayton two. There's plenty of room on the bandwagon for you.

PAUL: I appreciate because I'm dead last in my bracket.

CARTER: It's OK. For the first time in years, Dayton is going to the Sweet 16. This is great.

Yesterday was a pretty quiet day in the NCAA Tournament until really Dayton rattled the cage and upset Syracuse, a lot of people not totally sold on Syracuse, but you wouldn't think that Dayton would take them down. But, hey, you have got to give it to Dayton. These guys are genuine giant slayers.

On Thursday, they beat Christi's Ohio State team. Then, yesterday they upset third-seeded Syracuse. Dayton are red hot. They have won 12 of their last 14 games. As for Syracuse, though, they have been trending in the losing direction. They were 25-0, number one team in the country, but they have only won three of their last nine.

Dayton on to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 30 years. If you don't think this is a big deal for the school, check out these pictures. They're trending this morning on It looks like the entire campus was celebrating last night, including the university president, who was seen crowd-surfing, crowd-surfing.

PAUL: Look at this.


CARTER: Party on, Dayton. Party on.

PAUL: That's a lot of trust in his students there.

CARTER: It's great.

The traditional basketball powerhouses just keep falling like dominoes, and today you can add Villanova to that growing list. UConn upset the second-seeded Wildcats, the highest seed to fall so far. The Huskies are off to the Sweet 16 in New York City to play the winner between North Carolina and Iowa State, that game of course a little later today.

There will be eight games on tap for you today, a lot of games again. Most of them are going to be in our Turner family of networks. At TNT at 6:10 Eastern, you have got Tennessee and Mercer, on TBS at 7:10 Eastern, UCLA and Stephen F. Austin. And truTV at 7:40, Creighton faces Baylor. You have got games all day long obviously on the Turner family. You got mostly at night on prime time.

But I really like that Tennessee-Mercer game. The reason why, not many people picked Tennessee or Mercer to go very far. And one of those two teams is going to go to the Sweet 16. Good for those two. Obviously, if you're looking for an underdog, that is another one to root for, Tennessee or Mercer.

BLACKWELL: Christi is dead last.


BLACKWELL: Yes. Where am I?

CARTER: Victor, you fell to middle. You're in the middle.


CARTER: You had a rough day yesterday.

I'm sorry to say you are dead last.

PAUL: That's all right. That's all right.

BLACKWELL: I guess never ask a question you don't want the answer to.


PAUL: What about you? Where do you stand?

CARTER: I think I'm fourth, third or fourth. So, yes, it's respectable.

PAUL: He knows. He knows.

BLACKWELL: Who is at the top of the list?

CARTER: Kate Bolduan.


PAUL: Kate Bolduan.




PAUL: On weekdays, she's up here, and I'm on weekends and I'm down here. We got it all in the middle. We got you covered.

CARTER: You're number one in my heart, though.


PAUL: You know I love you.

BLACKWELL: Too smooth. Thank you, Joe.

PAUL: Thank you.


PAUL: OK. So we're going to check in with CNN's John King in Washington now.

I don't know if he had a bracket or not, but he has a look for us coming up on this morning's "INSIDE POLITICS."

BLACKWELL: Good morning, John.


At the bottom of the hour, we will look at how Hillary Clinton appeared to create some ever-so-slight distance between herself and President Obama this past weekend, why Republican Senator Rand Paul thinks his party could learn a lesson from, get this, Domino's Pizza. Also, Obamacare turns four, but Democrats aren't in a celebrating mood.

Join us at the bottom of the hour for "INSIDE POLITICS."

BLACKWELL: And catch "INSIDE POLITICS WITH JOHN KING" coming up this morning at 8:30 Eastern right here on CNN.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: So glad to have you on our team here this morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

Coming up on 8:00 here on the East Coast, and some major developments this morning in the search for Flight 370, the Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared 16 days ago.

Malaysian officials confirmed they have received new images from French satellites that could show potential objects in that southern search corridor.

PAUL: And, in the meantime, let's talk about the search crews, because they are beginning to return now to Perth, Australia, after they had a really long day searching the Indian Ocean. The Navy's P-8 Poseidon, we know, reported it found no signs of debris, but it had a tough time, had to descend to 300 feet because of the weather there.

Australian teams, though, able to spot more wooden pallets, we're told, like the one we're going show you, yes, like this one. They are often used in aviation, we should point out, although very common in shipping as well, but in both.

BLACKWELL: Yes. The search team is now larger than it was of course yesterday, six planes yesterday, eight planes today from four countries. They have been scouring the waters there in the southern Indian Ocean, with an emphasis what can be seen. This is a visual search, we learned from Australian authorities today, emphasis on the eye over radar.

Let's talk now about those new images that the Malaysians say they received from France.

Atika Shubert is in Kuala Lumpur for us.

What do we know about these images, Atika Shubert?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We don't know much at this point.

All we know is that Malaysia's transportation minister has announced in a statement today that they have received these images and immediately sent them on to the Australian coordinating team in Perth.

Now, we don't know what date these images were taken or even, you know, the -- what this object could be.