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Malaysians Lead Probe, Need Black Box Help; Key Question in Stabbing Case -- Why?; Shoe-Thrower Targets Hillary Clinton; Coverage of President Obama Announcing New Secretary

Aired April 11, 2014 - 10:30   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: For some families of the passengers aboard Flight 370 the leadership of the Malaysian government hasn't inspired much confidence between conflicting reports and misinformation which is why the statement you're about to hear has some people very concerned.


KHALID ABU BAKAR, MALAYSIAN POLICE CHIEF: We will be leading the investigation. All right? But of course, we don't have the expert to open up the black box and to analyze what -- what are the contents of the data, the voice data and the flight data. We have to get experts to do it for us.


COSTELLO: In other words once those black boxes are found. Malaysia will take control of that part of the investigation. But as you heard the police chief admits he doesn't have the resources to do it alone.

So let's talk about that, we're joined by CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson and former FBI assistant director and CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes. Welcome to both of you.




COSTELLO: Nic -- Nic, can you tell us the protocol. Because Australia is currently is in charge of the search operation in the Indian Ocean. What happens next?

ROBERTSON: Yes the protocol has been detail by the acting transport minister also the defense minister and the international protocol he says is that Malaysia will lead the investigation, will appoint the person that will be in charge of the investigation and will direct it. But he said that's going to be done in consultation with the countries that are helping like China, United States, Australia, Britain, France -- these nations. But it's very clear and that the Malaysian officials want to take charge of it and certainly the indications would have up until now as you pointed out there has been contradictory information -- information that's caused -- caused people a lot of concern about the way Malaysian officials have handled it.

But internally, if internal politics it's very important for Malaysian officials to be seem to be controlling this and to be seen to be directing if you will how it's all handled. So there is an important local component in the way they talk about this as well -- Carol.

COSTELLO: So -- so Tom does that mean Malaysia will kind of sort of be in charge but not completely?

FUENTES: No it doesn't. They are in charge. That's the -- that's the law, that's the rule, that's the treaty. They are in charge of all aspects of this case. Everybody else is providing assistance to them including the Australians conducting the search.

But that doesn't mean they are going to tinker with those boxes. It means that when they are located they will determine who gets them and who does the analysis. And it will be among -- you know, from among the groups of experts that are already working on this case.

So all they're saying is that Nic is exactly right, you know what they're saying is it is their case. They are in charge and they will decide and they are admitting that they don't have the expertise. So that should be comforting and not distressing to anybody because it means that they will decide among the experts who should have it.

Now some people I have talked to, have said the expectation is that Australia does have the skill set to do it. And they may have the boxes examined in Cambria, Australia with assistance from NTSB and U.S. and maybe a couple of other experts and not necessarily have to transport those boxes all the way back to Washington DC for the analysis.

But wherever it's done and who ever actually does it, it will be for the decision of the Malaysians all the way through whether -- whether people have confidence or not, that's the law.

COSTELLO: And Nic I know you've spoken to many family members of this people aboard Flight 370 and I would guess that they probably wouldn't be overjoyed that Malaysia is going to be taking the lead on that part of the investigation?

ROBERTSON: They certainly have some concerns and those concerns might be ameliorated by the fact the NTSB, Australians, maybe the French who are involved in the recovery of the Air France Flight that went down in deep water off the coast of Brazil several years ago.

In fact some of the families have said that they would like the French to be involved in that because they know they have the expertise. I guess another question people here would be asking and already are asking, you know, once the black boxes are recovered, once the data is extracted who really gets to sort of lead the investigation with that data makes the interpretations, that would be applied to that data about what happened to the aircraft. Was there anything on the actual voice recorder itself?

And here Malaysia does have expertise in doing that. There was a crash of Fokker 50 a Malaysian Airlines Fokker 50 back in 1995, MH 2133. The pilot was judged to have come down too quickly on the runway there. But part of that determination was based on the flight data recorder. So Malaysia does have the experience in reading that data although people close to that investigation have raised questions and queries about some of the -- about the outcome of that particular investigation. But the Malaysians do have -- have if you will the know-how to use the information once somebody has physically extracted it for them.

COSTELLO: And Tom I think that many times perhaps unfairly the Malaysian police criminal investigators are like you know, we all assume they are like the Keystone Cops, but are they?

FUENTES: No, they are not the Keystone Cops. And something we need to keep clarify is that this from the beginning has been a police investigation on the one hand with a tremendous amount of assistance from the FBI. It's also been a defense ministry investigation and their civil aviation authorities. The confusion that's been raised almost continuously and still doesn't end is on the radar interpretations whether the plane went up, down, sideways, went around Indonesia or across Indonesia without them knowing. That's where much of the confusion and much of the media handling by them has been a ball of confusion frankly.

But the police have been under the radar all along in this thing very diligently working and they still are. So it's really not been the police that have been questions let's say other than when they said they cleared the passengers after only three weeks or so. That was pretty unrealistic -- I'll put it that way.

COSTELLO: All right Nic Robertson and Tom Fuentes thanks for your insight, I appreciate it.

FUENTES: You're welcome Carol.

COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM. Take a close look. It is not a giant squid, but it is patrolling the waters of the southern Indian Ocean. CNN's Brian Todd on one of the unique tools in the search for that missing plane, good morning -- Brian.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Carol. These are high- tech buoys designed to detect under water signals. How did they do this week? We'll let you know just ahead.


COSTELLO: The latest glimmer of hope in the search for missing Flight 370 came from a sonobuoy. If you don't know what that is you probably weren't supposed to. Joining me to explain this is CNN's Brian Todd, he's live in Washington. Just to make it clear the sound picked up by the sonobuoy proved not to be coming from black boxes but that doesn't mean that searchers won't continue to use them.

TODD: They certainly will Carol. You know these search teams are stretching the bounds of technology in this operation and with these buoys they've done it again these latest -- the latest detection this week of an underwater signal came from these sensors that were designed actually for maritime combat, not search recovery.


TODD: They are dropped out of a plane, plummet into the sea with a parachute, descend below the surface, open up their payload and hunt for their target. These aren't bombs or torpedoes. They are called sonobuoys.

COMMODORE PETER LEAVY, ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY: Sonobuoys are essentially a censor package that is parachuted out of the aircraft, floats on the surface of the ocean and will deploy a hydrophone.

TODD: Authorities thought sonobuoys might have detected a manmade signal in the search area this week but have since dialed that back. The buoys were dropped from an Australian P3C Orion plane.

CAPT. VAN GURLEY (RET): And once it hits the water's surface and it got the saltwater switches that start activating different deployments. Everything that is in this canister surface starts to unwind with a bunch of gear in there that's packed in very nicely. Some of it floats to the surface so there is a radio antenna that talks to the aircraft, so the buoy and the aircraft are constantly in communication. And then the microphone, hydrophone that actually is listening to a signal on a very long strain and they deploy below the canister.

TODD: The Australians got this batch from American manufacturers, sent a cargo plane to Indiana in recent days to pick up more than a thousand sonobuoys. The device was first tested and deployed by the U.S. Navy but not for this purpose.

GURLEY: An anti-submarine warfare this is one of the tools that the Navy has to look for and track enemy submarine. So they are under the ocean surface, they don't have a radar signature and you need to use sound and smart wave both actively and passively to find them and then track them.

TODD: On this mission, the sonobuoys and the Orion planes deploying them have been modified to detect sounds in the frequency range of black box pings. Sonar operators onboard the aircraft are manning computers to receive and analyze the signals. Sonobuoys are dropped in a pattern 84 of them at a time, they have a shorter range to detect signals from the towed pinger locator but they are durable.

GURLEY: The beauty of these things sonobuoys once you put them out they stay out there for a long time up to eight hours.

TODD: And then they expire and sink to the bottom.


TODD: Now when they are deployed the sonobuoys can actually go about 1,000 feet down. So how could they detect signals possibly from a black box which could be as far down as 14,700 plus feet? Well experts say the sound moves through the water in a matter that it can be detected further away and with good weather the signals are a lot easier to hear.

But Carol as we just found out signals can also be deceptive. The sounds picked up by the sonobuoys this week are now not thought to be consistent with black box signals.

COSTELLO: I know I found myself wishing those pings could go deeper than a thousand feet.

TODD: Well they might be able to. You know our source in the Australian Defense Force is confident that the technology has been tested during this operation to send those buoys down to a much greater depth. So you may see that in the days ahead. They're going to push this as far as they can.

COSTELLO: I hope so. Brian Todd reporting live for us from Washington. Thank you.

TODD: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM two days after 21 people were stabbed at a high school outside of Pittsburgh -- a more complete picture of the boy who allegedly took those two knives to school. Miguel Marquez is in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Good morning Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning there Carol. I am indeed in Murrysville, Pennsylvania where we are learning more about that troubled young man and what led up to that terrible incident. We'll have it for you in a moment.


COSTELLO: Investigators in this week's stabbing spree at a high school near Pittsburgh are still trying to uncover a motive for that vicious attack. They do have a 16-year-old in custody. And they're learning a lot more about him. Miguel Marquez is in Murrysville with more for us. Good morning.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning there -- Carol. The one thing that the attorney wants to underscore here is that this was a random attack. He says that no one in particular was targeted. That 16-year-old was home the night before this attack. Everything seemed normal he says.

We are also learning about the acts, small and big, that the heroes took that day to save it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARQUEZ: 16-year-old Brett Hurt recovering from a knife wound to this back and a bruised lung now speaking out.

BRETT HURT, STABBING: What was going through my mind? Will I survivor or will I die? Gracie saved my life.

MARQUEZ: That would be Gracie Evans a junior here at Franklin Regional and a friend who wouldn't leave his side.

GRACIE EVANS, STUDENT, FRANKLIN REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL: My best friend jumps in front of me and takes the knife for me and I started putting pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding.

MARQUEZ: Another hero -- William Yakshe. Everyone here calls him Buzz. He helped subdue 16-year-old Alex Hribal.

WILLIAM YAKSHE, SCHOOL OFFICER: These kids are like my own I've been with them for ten years.

MARQUEZ: Hribal's lawyer, Patrick Thomassey spent hours speaking to his client about what happened.

PATRICK THOMASSEY, ALEX HRIBAL'S LAWYER: He knows he's in a world of stuff right now and how serious it is. And he can't believe he did this.

MARQUEZ: Hribal he says remembers everything.

THOMASSEY: Of course he remembers doing it. He did it. This is not a whodunit? This is a question of why.

MARQUEZ: Saying Hribal targeted no one specifically his lawyer hinted bullying and more maybe at the heart of what drove this 100-pound, 5'2" hockey loving kid to unfathomable rage.

THOMASSEY: I think there's a lot of things that have happened. I don't want to comment specifically right now. But I think there's some things that have occurred that led to where we are here today.

MARQUEZ: Hribal, says his lawyer, called in no threats prior to the attack despite rumors and will fight to have this 16-year-old who has been charged as an adult tried as a juvenile.


MARQUEZ: Now, the lawyer also says that Hribal has apologized and is remorseful and has been -- truly understands what he has done now. He also said that he will call in mental health experts in order to take a very good look at this young man and his number one job now that Hribal has been charged as an adult will be to have that reversed and have him tried as a juvenile -- Carol.

COSTELLO: I just wondered, where is he being held, Miguel?

MARQUEZ: A detention center about 40 miles from here in Monroeville and he will stay there. His parents have visited there. The lawyer says he's going to be back and forth to that center. And it is a juvenile detention center, near the area here.

COSTELLO: Got you.

Miguel Marquez reporting live for us this morning.

One of the faces of Obamacare and its botched roll-out will resign. At the top of the hour, the President is expected to announce that Kathleen Sebelius is stepping down as Health and Human Services secretary. She'd been under fire in the early days of Obamacare when Web site problems overshadowed everything else.

In her place the President plans to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget. We'll have a full announcement starting at 11:00 a.m. Eastern on CNN. See, they're getting ready there.

Here is another reminder that politics is not for the faint hearted. Watch closely and don't blink. Oh, yes. That's something that whizzed by the head of the former first lady, Hillary Clinton. It was a shoe and it came pretty close to hitting her in the head.

CNN's Brianna Keilar has more for you.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: About to -- what was that, a bat? Was that a bat? Is that somebody throwing something at me? Is that part of Cirque du Soleil?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton cracking jokes just seconds after a woman hurled a shoe at her during a paid speech in Las Vegas to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.

CLINTON: I didn't know solid waste management was so controversial.

KEILAR: The hurler who slipped in without a ticket was immediately subdued and taken into custody. It is not the first time objects have been thrown at a politician. An Iraqi journalist chucked not one but two shoes at President Bush during this news conference. And protesters in Egypt threw tomatoes at then Secretary of State Clinton's motorcade.

The latest incident nowhere near as threatening.

CLINTON: Thank goodness she didn't play softball like I did.

KEILAR: Perhaps an item for her new memoir which her publisher said this week will come out in mid June. Until then, expect some more dodging from Clinton -- not shoes but questions about her presidential ambition.

CLINTON: And I am thinking about it.

KEILAR: Brianna Keilar, CNN Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM the Masters in full swing -- at the top of the leader board, a name familiar to many golf fans. Lara Baldesarra joins us now from Augusta. Good morning.

LARA BALDESARRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Carol. And yes, it's a name that is familiar to many. But most people associate it with the man who made 22 Masters appearances and not the one who's made just five. I'll have more details for you in just a moment.


COSTELLO: All right. I said the president was going to announce his new nominee for Health and Human Services secretary at the top of the hour. But apparently things are running early for the White House today.

As I've told you the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will resign. She has very much become the face of that he botched roll out of Obamacare.

Jim Acosta, our White House reporter is at the White House, awaiting the President come out of those doors and stand behind the podium. Tell us more, Jim.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, it's a Friday so we don't mind when things are starting a little bit early over here at the White House. Yes, we do expect to see the President come out in just a few moments with this current Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and what he -- or who he hopes to be his future Health and Human Services secretary and that is Sylvia Mathews Burwell who is the current director of his Office of Management and Budget.

The president is coming out right now. And I have been told that we should be hearing from not only the president but also Sebelius and Burwell. So let's watch -- happening just now.



All right, everybody have a seat. Have a seat. Have a seat.

Well, good morning.

In my sixth year in office, I am extraordinarily grateful to have so many aides and advisers who have been there since the earliest days. But it's still somewhat bittersweet when any of them leave for new endeavors, even when their successor -- successor is wonderful.

OBAMA: In early March, Kathleen Sebelius, my secretary of health and human services, told me she'd be moving on once the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act came to an end, and after five years of extraordinary service to our country and 7.5 million Americans who have signed up for health coverage through the exchanges...


... she's earned that right.


I will miss her advice, I will miss her friendship, I will miss her wit, but I am proud to nominate somebody to succeed her who holds these same traits in abundance, Sylvia Mathews Burwell.


Just a couple of things about Kathleen. When I nominated Kathleen more than five years ago, she -- I'd gotten to know Kathleen when she was governor at Kansas and had shown extraordinary skills there, was a great adviser and supporter during my presidential campaign, and so I knew that she was up for what was a tough job.

I mentioned to her that one of her many responsibilities at HHS would be to make sure our country is prepared for a pandemic flu outbreak. I didn't know at the time that that would literally be her first task.


Nobody remembers that now, but it was. And -- and it just gives you a sense of the sorts of daily challenges that Kathleen has handled, often without fanfare, often unacknowledged, but that have been critical to the health and welfare of the American people.

OBAMA: She's fought to improve children's health from birth to kindergarten, expanded maternal health care, reduced racial and ethnic disparities, brought us closer to the first AIDS-free generation.

She's been a tireless advocate for women's health.

And, of course, what Kathleen will go down in history for is serving as the secretary of health and human services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America.


Kathleen has been here through the long fight to pass the Affordable Care Act. She helped guide its implementation, even when it got rough. She's got bumps; I've got bumps, bruises, but we did it because we knew of all the people that we've met, all across the country, who had lost a home, had put off care, had decided to stay with the job instead of start a business, because they were uncertain about their health care situation. We have met families who had seen their children suffer because of the uncertainty of health care.

And we were committed to get this done. And that's what we've done. And that's what Kathleen's done.