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Transcript Pilot Did Not Say "All Right, Good Night"; Report: Bad Coordination Slowed Search; Germany: Russia Pulling Troops From Border; GM CEO Testifies Over Recalls;

Aired April 1, 2014 - 06:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, we have the transcript. The final words between the cockpit and air traffic control are not what we were previously told. Our experts weigh in and take a hard look at the investigation. Is it fatally flawed?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Under Fire. GM recalling a million more vehicles as its CEO heads to Capitol Hill to face some very tough question -- why weren't the cars recalled sooner? More than a dozen lives may have been lost because of it.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight. The Obamacare enrollment deadline passed at midnight. Now the big question, did the administration hit its target of seven million sign-up? The new numbers this morning.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY. With Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It is April first, but this is not an April Fool's joke. Malaysian officials are now saying they got the communication from the cockpit of Flight 370 wrong. They are now not even sure who was talking. Let's start this morning at Kuala Lumpur with Jim Clancy who first obtained the new transcript of the communications. Jim, this goes to the content and quality of the investigation. Please explain.

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is no doubt about that because knowing on who is actually saying those words would tell us who was in the cockpit at that time, at least give us some kind of an indication. But the confusion, some of it at least, being laid to rest as we have the transcript of the complete control tower to cockpit of Flight 370 in our hands.


CLANCY (voice-over): Breaking in morning, a copy of the transcript from flight 370 confirms no one in the cockpit ever said "all right, good night." Instead the final voice transmission sent at 1:19 a.m. actually was "Good night, Malaysian 370." For three weeks, Malaysian authorities said, "all right, good night," were the final words the co-pilots said before they lost communication.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we got the last transmission from the cockpit that says, "All right, good night."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Initial investigation says it was the co-pilot who basically spoke the last time it was recorded on tape.

CLANCY: Malaysia's transport minister actually offered the revised account of those last words yesterday, but authorities gave no explanation for the discrepancy between the two quotes. A CNN aviation expert says the new language is routine and not a sign that anything untoward occurred during the flight. The rest reads like a normal cockpit transcript. Someone saying good day and good morning while the plane was taxiing.

Then during the flight's takeoff at 12:42 a.m., someone said departure Malaysian 370. About 15 minutes into its flight, another voice transmission, Malaysian 370 maintaining flight level 3-5-0. That's a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. And then just before the final words were recorded, Malaysia 370 contact Ho Chi Minh, good night."

This as Malaysian government sources tell CNN, they're treating the plane's sharp left turn after communications were lost as a quote, "criminal act" carried out by one of the pilots or someone else on board. The copy of the flight's transcript revealing what appears to be a routine flight just before its mysterious disappearance.


CLANCY: Now the international investigations team according to a statement that was put out by the Transport Ministry, that team as well as Malaysian authorities remain of the opinion that up until the point when it left military or primary radar, MH-370 movements were consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane. They are pointing a finger to foul play -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Jim, great reporting. Thank you so much for starting us off this morning. Meantime, grumblings of dysfunction are mounting over the investigation. This morning, suggestions that the search crews spent days looking in the wrong area because of nothing more than poor coordination. The search back in full swing today with nearly a dozen aircraft and almost ten ships heading to the search zone.

Let's get straight over to Paula Newton who is in Perth, Australia, the heart of the search effort. Paula, how is it looking this morning?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the search really hampered a little bit by weather. It isn't exactly what it was in the last two days. Nonetheless crews telling us, look, we're doing our best out there, but again, this is still such a large search zone. When you were talking about that "Wall Street Journal" report the fact that those models that they had in their hand didn't converge.

They didn't actually get on this site until well under two weeks in this search, it really has been demoralizing. I mean, Kate, talking with officials here on the ground, they did not deny the fact that these two models were working separately. They weren't able to hone in on that new search zone until those two teams got together. And even more so bring information. Now we talked about coordination, the chief of coordination now, the person who wants to turn a whole new page on this search, Angus Houston, told us this morning, look, this is the most challenging search certainly he's ever been involved in. And more than that he's saying, look, if eventually we don't find any debris, everyone, all the stakeholders, they're going to have to review what happens next -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Paula, thank you very much, very challenging if done the best way. The question is, is it being done the best way? We have two major things to test this morning.

Let's bring in David Soucie, he is the CNN safety analyst and author of "Why Planes Crash," and also a former FAA inspector, and we have Mary Schiavo, a CNN aviation analyst, former inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Now an attorney who represents victims and families after airplane disasters.

All right, so here are the two propositions. The first is the headliner, right. David, we'll start with the transcript that the words are different, that they're not sure who said what, and yet they're still confident saying foul play is involved. What is your reckoning of the transcript? Is this a difference with a distinction?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: I think it is. We look through here everything that's said here is repeated. Clearly repeated. He repeats 157, gives the position. He repeats it.

CUOMO: Repeating means what? Is that good?

SOUCIE: He's confirming that he heard what he said and he is telling the controller, I got it, OK. So that's moving on. The one that isn't repeated, the only one that's not repeated and I'm talking eight or nine times here, every single command was repeated back.

CUOMO: Is it supposed to be repeated?

SOUCIE: Yes. It's required. It's what they do. And up until now I was thinking, well, maybe they're just casual. This isn't happen on the last transmission.

CUOMO: The last transmission being Flight 370 --

SOUCIE: Yes, 11:88, Flight 370, thank you.

CUOMO: Now what does that mean?

SOUCIE: It means that he didn't respond back saying here is the frequency that I'm turning into. This is what I'm going my channel to. I'm going to now contact the next controller. Is it a big thing? I don't know. Maybe it's just an oversight, but it seems like he's particular about what he's saying. It may have been that at that point, the other pilot took over the radio command and he was more lax than the other pilot -- than the original pilot was. I don't know.

CUOMO: Mary, what does it mean that they got the transcription wrong and that they are not sure who is talking?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, it's rather stunning because they also told the families last week that they were not going to release the transcript because it was secret. It was going to be sealed and it would compromise the investigation. So now when they release the transcript and the transcript has absolutely no clues of any criminal activity, as transcripts go and I've read a lot of trash transcripts, this one's pretty clean.

Fairly normal, I agree with David that, whichever one is talking, first he said it's co-pilot, now they say they're not sure. They're pretty tight and precise with what they do. I pick up little irritation. They had to twice repeat to the tower Malaysia 370 and give their altitude.

It's like they were waiting for the handoff command. So I'm not sure that the failure to repeat on the last one was significant in that way or they were anxious to get going. But it's a pretty clean transcript to me.

CUOMO: It's interesting that the investigators are holding by the suggestion that there was something wrong, something going on wrong in the cockpit. They're now calling the turn a criminal act, this turn to the left. Is scrutiny of the investigation now becoming more warranted now that more information is coming out?

That the teams were working off separate models. That data is not coming as quickly as it should. Both of you have spent so much time investigating these types of situations. Is criticism now more warranted, Mary?

SCHIAVO: Absolutely. The criticism -- last week, when they indicated that everything was going to be sealed, I mean, I questioned that. There's no reason to seal the air traffic control transcript or tapes. They're available in the United States the day it happens. They are subject to freedom of information act request and that seemed very odd to seal everything up.

Now it's just one thing one day the next. It's truly kind of an amazing roller coaster ride. That would be bad enough just for it's a civil aviation investigation and a criminal investigation according to Malaysia, but there are 239 families involved. So high criticism is in order at this point.

CUOMO: David?

SOUCIE: Well, Mary, you had mentioned that the transcripts are available by the law, which they are. But if it's criminal investigation then they have the right to seal whatever they want. I think that's what they're going here when they say here that it was a criminal act. They're trying to justify legally and say we don't have to release anything without being insensitive. We're not going to. That's kind of what I hear on the undercurrent.

CUOMO: Well, certainly based on what's known at this point. I don't think that you can make a persuasive argument let alone an investigative case that this is a criminal act.

SOUCIE: Right.

CUOMO: It seems that, you know, just to give you both a little path on the back early on. Mary, your path will be a little bit harder because David, a little bit of a turn early on. To this point, it now seems that with everything we know, there's no reason to believe that this was intentional versus a chain of terrible, horrendous, tragic accidental events in the cockpit. Safe to say?

SOUCIE: Absolutely. I agree with you a 100 percent.

COUMO: Because, you know, I've been very shy on speculation from the beginning. I think it's much useful just to test the information. When you test it here, I just don't see why you believe this was intentional over an accident at this point. That takes us to the road of speculation. Chinese families putting out their own idea about where this could have gone. Helpful, any reason to believe it's more persuasive. Mary, what does this mean?

SCHIAVO: No. I mean, I -- my heart just breaks for them. Obviously, they didn't have information and accident -- families work very hard on their information. They're some of the best allies you'll ever have in the trenches with you because they dig, dig, dig. They want this information and they will work and they understand everything about it.

I think they were out of desperation trying to put their own flight track together because no one was giving them what they wanted. I congratulate them for working so hard to try to do it. I don't think it's the accurate track. And then the Malaysian government says it was flown by highly skilled pilots. That doesn't look like that. I applaud them for doing what they have to do. They certainly got the Malaysian's attentions.

CUOMO: At first, it seemed like they were being fueled by emotion. But the more we learn about the investigation, the more the skepticism is warranted. David, the allegation that you've been picking up also on Twitter that there are experts in the field of analysis of raw satellite data who are asking for data and not getting it. Inmarsat folks who are saying, if you give us this data, we may be able to plot it better than you have. Why isn't this data getting to the people who can use it?

SOUCIE: Again, they're not releasing it. They need the adjustments made on the Doppler radar as well. That's two really specific pieces of information that could be released that's not damaging in any way. Give it to these experts. We have a line of experts sitting there waiting. They're analyzing everything they can, but they are stuck. They have a formula. They have algorithm.

They want to fix this. They know they can, but they need those two simple pieces of information. If those were released, we'd have another more specific track. They're not saying it's different. They are just saying they could narrow it down much more tightly and much more specifically than what they've had in the past. CUOMO: All right, those are the developments that we have today. That's the best we can do in terms of analysis. There are two others that are hanging in the wind. One is of the technological variety. There are now companies saying, you can stream data from the black boxes and we would have it in real-time. We do it right now. Companies like Flight, why not? Comes down to money.

Then there's this other looming issue of did all the snoopy sovereigns in the area give the information they may have had about the situation. We still don't know. We still know the U.S. has one of the most formidable surveillance outposts that it has. Diego Garcia in this region and yet no confirmation that they were able to pick anything up. But if not, why not? So issues loom. We'll keep up on that. Mary Schiavo, thank you very much. David Soucie, we'll be back with you in a little bit. Kate, over to you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Chris. Turning now to the situation in Ukraine this morning. There's word that Russia has plans to withdraw some of their estimated 40,000 troops along the Ukraine border. That's what President Vladimir Putin reportedly told Germany's Angela Merkel in a phone call. The White House says a pullback would be a welcome first step if, importantly, Putin actually follows through.

CNN's Karl Penhaul is live near the Ukraine-Russia border. You've been offering a very unique perspective, Karl. How's it looking today?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, we've been putting these comments from Vladimir Putin to some of the local people and it's just been met with skepticism. They're saying what we're seeing across that border just a few miles away is a continued buildup of Russian troops. Yesterday with the military defending strategic positions there, but they are not alone because men like this, he's a civilian.

He's acquired a military uniform and he and friends of his from the nearby town are forming defense militias. They say they will help the army and if the Russians do roll in then he and others will start a gorilla war to fight the Russians. So for now, they've set up this little checkpoint alongside on the main highways building barricades and defending it as best they can.

They say that if the Russians come down this highway, they're going to set those on fire to put up a smoke screen. They've got old vodka bottles and rags ready to make Molotov cocktails and if you look around here, they've taken these small shovels and building trench lines as well.

They're pretty shallow trenches, but they believe this still be serve as a firing position if the Ukrainian military use this as a pull back position or at least some line to escape from the Russians as they continue to move around and fight these small unit guerrilla wars.

So certainly here all this is a real showing sign that there is little trust in the Russian's word. And they still believe there may be a fight with the Russians. Back to you, Michaela.

PEREIRA: Really illustrating what's going on there on the border. Thank you so much for that. We appreciate it.

Let's take a look at more of your headlines at this hour. Open enrollment for Obamacare has officially closed. White House officials are optimistic about the day of enrollment despite some technical glitches. People scrambling to get in under the wire, flooded the site Monday. Some will get an extension. They say sign-ups could reach an early goal of 7 million. The final tally is not expected for some time.

A Senate report accuses the CIA of lying to Americans about its controversial interrogation program. The according to the "Washington Post" says the agency claimed to have gained critical intelligence from harsh interrogation techniques when the information was obtained before agents resorted to extreme measures. This report also finds that enhanced interrogation of high-level terror suspects did not provide the evidence that led to Osama Bin Laden.

The governor of Washington State is appealing to the White House for a major disaster declaration and more federal resources in the wake of a landslide that buried the town of Oso, Washington more than a week ago. The death toll there keeps rising, 24 people now confirmed to have lost their lives in the slide. The number of people remaining missing or unaccounted for is down to 22.

A former U.S. intelligence analyst convicted of spying for Israel, imprisoned in the U.S. since 1987 could be released as part of a deal to restart stalled Mid-East peace talks. Jonathan Pollard is serving a life sentence. In exchange for his release, sources tell CNN, the Israelis would have to make big concessions like a settlement freeze or releasing more prisoners -- Kate, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, let's get over to meteorologist, Indra Petersons keeping track of the latest forecast. I promise you there is nothing funny on the map behind you for April Fools' Day.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That's horrible. It's spring. At least I switched to more rain than snow. There's the system that pushed out of here that affected most of us over the weekend. That the not on April Fools' joke. They need the rain in California. That's what we're going to be focusing on here. Let's take a look at this temperature difference. Guys, look at this, 20s out towards Dakotas, 80s down towards Florida or Miami.

But a good 60-degree temperature gap across the country. Why does that matter? You have that front going right across the country. Every time you see this, you know what happens of course. Yes, we get some rain, but also the threat for severe weather.

Today, already we're looking at places like around Kansas City, maybe just west of Dallas, a miniature threat of severe weather. Look at this Wednesday. Spanning on the even towards Indianapolis. That's going to be the concern. Of course, the other side of it, heavy rain pushing through as well all the way through even the weekend. More rain, not a joke.

BOLDUAN: We have moved into spring, that's for sure. PEREIRA: May flowers. Isn't there a whole correlation?

CUOMO: That's science.

BOLDUAN: That's science for you. Thanks, Indra.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, we're going to have more much more on the search for Flight 370 and the investigation into what happened on that jetliner. A black box pinger detector is headed out to the search zone as we speak, but time is quickly running out. It could stop all together in just days. Some think it may have stopped already. We are tracking its progress just ahead.

CUOMO: Plus, listen up, lawmakers will get an apology and a promise today from the new head of GM when she testifies on Capitol Hill. It's less likely they're going to get answers about why GM knowingly waited a decade to recall vehicles with a deadly defect. We're going to break it down next.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Happening today on Capitol Hill, the CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, plans to offer another apology for the huge recall of millions of cars, all because of a faulty ignition switch, a problem that's left at least 13 people dead. Something GM admits the company knew about for more than ten years.

We're joined now by CNN's global economic analyst, Rana Foroohar to talk about this. This is an important day, not just for those families of the victims, of course, but this is an important day for GM and for Mary Barra herself.

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: Absolutely. She's going to be on the hot seat today and she's going to have to convince people that GM really is a new company. The old GM, the culture was one of secrecy, of a lack of transparency. Mary Barra was supposed to be the person to take this company into the new era and that's going to be what she has to convince people that she is doing.

I think she's done a pretty good job in terms of her transparency of communication. You see her coming out and apologizing. She actually invoked her own children and herself as a mother. It's something you wouldn't have seen the old Detroit executives doing.

BOLDUAN: Do you think they've done enough? I mean, there is still a question of they're not saying why they got to this point.

FOROOHAR: That's right.

BOLDUAN: She's just saying what they're going to do to fix it in the future.

FOROOHAR: That's right. I think the truth is that she doesn't know how they got to this point. I think that it's still a fact-finding mission. We're not going to know who knew what when until the investigation is completely through. A lot of analysts that I've spoken to in the industries say that this sort of thing may have not gotten up to the CEO level. There may have been a culture in this company where problems don't get talked about or fix and that's what she's got to convince people that she's doing.

CUOMO: I think this is a big problem. I think that this is just the beginning of who investigates this. I think politicians are the least of her trouble. I think there is a reason for that, the specific and the general. The specific, is it true that they kept the same part number after they changed this part? Do you believe that that's true?

FOROOHAR: It's unclear yet, but yes, the evidence is pointing to the fact that there may have been a decision taken, a calculated risk, perhaps to keep that same part number.

CUOMO: If it is true, why does that matter? It matters because you're supposed to change the serial number when you change the part. Why? So you can track it. Why else? So you expose yourself to the scrutiny of the reliability of that part. There's no reason to do that unless you're trying to conceal the change. If that's true, it's not a political problem, it's a legal problem.

FOROOHAR: Then you've got someone saying, are we going to get sued. Is this a risk that we're later going to have to pay for legally?

CUOMO: GM has to the -- this is where I think it's going to go. It's time to change. You can no longer calculate what you manufacture on the basis of how many of us you're going to kill. They had the pinto with the exploding gas tank. They knew the tank may have something wrong with it, but you make a calculation. This has been allowed by government and they review these cases that they almost allow it as a purpose of analysis. How many people might get hurt or killed unless we change this. That has to change.

FOROOHAR: I think one of the reasons you're seeing this latest round of recall is that she wants to get out ahead now in one go of any problems. History shows if you're going to do a recall, you want to do them all at once. If you do them in drips, that's when you really start to lose market share.

BOLDUAN: Do you think -- recalls are nothing new. Do you think this has the chance of having a long term damage on the GM brand on Mary's time there?

FOROOHAR: You know, think the jury is still out about that. I think this testimony at 2:00 is going to be very important. Your point about the ignition switch that a calculated decision was made to take a risk, I think that is going to have a brand impact. I think Mary Barra has handled the situation very well. She's setting an example of how you handle a management crisis of this magnitude. It's proven that she is taken the company in a new direction. I think that could be for her as a leader.

CUOMO: We know she didn't start the fire. We know she wasn't there when these parts were being made, so that's the easiest hurdle for her. Politicians are the least of their problems.

FOROOHAR: It will be interesting to see what happens at 2:00.

BOLDUAN: It will. It's going to be important and also the questions coming at her. Thanks so much, Rana. Great to see you.

FOROOHAR: Thank you.

CUOMO: Politician at the end of the day are just looking to create a record. He's looking to build a case if it's the FBI. Much bigger standard. Rana, appreciate it.

Let's take a quick break here. What do you think about this? Please tweet us. We're going to piece the final conversation of Flight 370 as the ocean search drags on. We're going to take you live to the Indian Ocean to give you an idea of what searchers are looking at today.