Return to Transcripts main page


Underwater Vehicle Joins Search For Flight 370; Oil Slick Found Near Ping Locations; Russia: Ukraine Heading For Civil War; U.S. Warns Russia Of More Repercussions; Three Killed in Shootings at Kansas Jewish Facilities

Aired April 14, 2014 - 06:00   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking new details on the gunman who killed three at two Jewish Centers. His long history of anti- Semitism. The mother of the teen killed speaks out hours after the shooting. You won't believe her strength.


ANNOUNCER: this is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. We begin with breaking news. No more listening for pingers searching for debris is winding down. The hunt for Flight 370 now is all about the bottom of the Indian Ocean. An unmanned underwater vehicle, the Bluefin 21 is on its way down, some 14,000 feet, to what is called possibly the most challenging phase in the search.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Meanwhile, officials are investigating that oil slick found not far from where the underwater signals were heard. What does that mean? A lot has happened in these past few hours. So let's bring in Michael Holmes live in Perth, Australia, for all the latest details. Good morning, Michael.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Kate, here from Perth in Western Australia. Yes, that's right. Those four pings that we're now pretty certain came from the flight recorders, well, they haven't heard anything since last Tuesday nearly a week and they've given up hearing more. They now think that the batteries have gone flat and it is time to move in for a new phase.


HOLMES (voice-over): A shift in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 after 38 days, Australian officials announcing they will begin searching the seafloor with this underwater vehicle.

ANGUS HOUSTON, AUSTRALIAN CHIEF SEARCH COORDINATOR: We haven't had a single detection in six days. It's time to go under water.

HOLMES: The crew aboard the Australian ship "Ocean Shield" will launch the unmanned Bluefin 21 to map out the search area using its side scan sonar technology. It will take the vehicle two hours to dive to the bottom, 16 more hours to search a roughly 16,000 square feet section of the floor, and two more hours to return to the surface. It then takes four hours to download and analyze the data collected. Meaning each mission will take at least a full 24 hours to complete.

HOUSTON: This will be a slow and painstaking process.

HOLMES: Investigators are also testing a two-liter sample of oil collected from a slick on sea around the area of the towed pinger locator. They are looking to see whether it's connected to the missing jet. Meanwhile, the visual search for floating debris will wind down in the coming days. Officials say the Bluefin 21 was to be deployed around 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time although they cautioned raising hopes that the underwater vehicle would discover the wreckage of Flight 370, saying it might not.

HOUSTON: This is the best lead we have.


HOLMES: And with that submersible covering roughly about 15.5 square miles a day, it is a tedious process. At that pace, it could take six weeks even up to two months to cover the search area. And also that search for debris, we've talked about, the dozen planes, the dozen ships out there several hundred miles to the east, yes, looks like that going to wind down in the days ahead. They just think they are not going to find anything on the surface -- Chris.

CUOMO: Well, Michael, the anticipation of urgency doesn't always match practicality. That is going to be the situation here. Appreciate the reporting. Let's bring in David Soucie, a CNN safety analyst, author of "Why Planes Crash" and also a former FAA inspector, and Miss Mary Schiavo, CNN aviation analyst, former inspector general for the Department of Transportation. It's good to have you both.

First to comment, David Soucie, in the paschal Easter colors showing rebirth and renewal, optimism. Mary Schiavo, not so much, black for boating, let's see if it reflects the analysis. We're hearing about Bluefin 21, it's going on. Should we be optimistic, we're moving on or is this about exhausting the other possibilities?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: It's both but I am very optimistic about what they found, that two-mile stretch where they got that pinger for is where they're going to focus this Bluefin 21 and I'm very optimistic about. There is only a couple of place that that pinger could be if they rely on that two-mile stretch.

CUOMO: Hence, the rebirth and renewal themes of the colors you have on today. Mary Schiavo, the oil slick that they found in the area, we hear that they're not going to be looking for debris anymore because they believe the length of time is too long to find any. But then they find this slick. Could it be connected? What are the chances?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, it's possible, that's why they collected the sample to take it back and analyze it. It's pretty close to the area where they found the pings, two or three miles. This is a pretty late date to still have an oil slick that close to the wreckage so I'm suspecting that it's probably not. Obviously, it's a potential clue, but they had to take it and analyze and cover every lead, as you said.

CUOMO: I know that when we are covering oil spills, usually, unless it's a huge pooling of the liquid, it goes down pretty fast. Dissipation is a pretty fast issue, but I guess they have to test it, right?

SOUCIE: They do have to test it. Remember, this is a synthetic oil. It's not something you find in a diesel engine so they'll know very quickly whether or not it's from an aircraft or whether it's from a ship.

CUOMO: Is the synthetic effect buoyancy?

SOUCIE: It's just as light as a normal oil. It's still be much lighter than the seawater.

CUOMO: All right, but it doesn't float longer than ordinary crude oil?

SOUCIE: Not necessarily. It may be less saturable though.

CUOMO: All right, so these new terms, the Bluefin 21, I've heard. The Alvin, the Remora, what are these, Mary?

SCHIAVO: Well, they're more advanced vehicles and the Alvin has the ability to go down to greater depths. You know, with each passing day with the Bluefin if they don't find anything or if they find something that's at a greater depth than they can handle, then they'll go to the progressively deeper, tougher, shall we say, more intrusive kinds of equipment that they can send down and search underwater.

So a lot will depend on what the Bluefin finds before they deploy any of the more or I hate to call them tougher, just deeper and different equipment. Remember the Chinese also say that they have one, theirs is called the "Sea Dragon" and theirs has the world diving record, going down 4.4 miles manned.

There are lots of additional pieces of equipment out there that they can use. But, again, they've got to wait to see what the Bluefin 21 does.

CUOMO: It will be great news when we hear that they are deploying the Remora, David, right, because that means they are sending something down that can actually bring something back up?

SOUCIE: Exactly. That's the retrieval stage at that point. Once they've got that down there and starting to pick up pieces. Of course, the focus is the black boxes if that's what they find first.

CUOMO: All right, in the interest of optimism, if they find the black boxes, now the question would be, who gets to do the analysis because without shading any criticism here, you want to make sure you get this right the first time, Mary. So what do you think happens? SCHIAVO: Well, absolutely, as we've heard about over the past few weeks there's the International Civil Aviation Organization and the standard and treaties associated with ICAO, which is part of the U.N. says, the Malaysians have the authority for the investigation and would technically have the authority over the black boxes.

But the Malaysians have already said they do not have the capabilities and the equipment and the experience to actually take those black boxes, and download and analyze the data. So they were in the U.K. over the weekend talking to ICAO officials, presumably about their choices and their decisions for the next phase of the investigation.

Including who or what group or what country will do the work on the black boxes. They were also discussing with ICAO, apparently looking at the security and safety of their newest airport terminal. So they had lots of work with ICAO this weekend. But my best guess they will assign it to one of the members of the Joint Task Force already on duty.

CUOMO: That would be good news. Mary, David, thank you very much. Again, we must exercise patience because every time the Bluefin goes down it's going to be a 24-hour cycle. Four hours down, surveillance and then four hours back up and processing of data. So it's a day before you hear anything so we must be patient. Mary Schiavo, David Soucie, thank you very much. We'll see you later on in the show -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Now to breaking news in Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists are attacking a police building in an eastern city. We're taking a live streaming look of the incident there. This morning, there are growing concerns a civil war could break out at any moment. All of this after a deadline set by Ukraine's acting president for pro-Russia demonstrators to leave government buildings. Well, that deadline has passed.

Russia this morning is warning the government not to take any action as the U.S. warns Russia to stay out. We have Barbara Starr at the Pentagon for us, but let's begin this morning with senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh in one of the hot spots in the Ukraine. Nick, what are you seeing?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, remarkably, what we should have been seeing is apparently an anti- terrorist operation, which the Ukrainian president promised would happen if protesters did not put down their weapons and leave the building they are occupying by 9:00 this morning. That was four hours ago.

But instead, as you just showing those live pictures, they're moving in again on another police station on the area, pro-Russia protesters certainly on the march here and very little sign of the Ukrainian government.


WALSH (voice-over): Across Eastern Ukraine, confrontation and violence are the new language of protests. But officials warning that the threat of civil war looms closer than ever. An emergency meeting at the United Nations Security Council convening at Russia's request. The Russian ambassador calling the situation very dangerous, placing the responsibility for avoiding war on the west.

The Ukraine's second largest city Sunday, pro-Russian activists attacking those supporting the Ukrainian government. This amateur video captures severe beatings in the suburb. Further east, closer to the Russian border, militants are taking over government building, this was the scene where the police station was stormed late Saturday. The captain tries to stop these men.

I'm pro-Russia, an Afghan veteran, one policeman cries. Shots in the air. Another station is occupied by militants surrounded by barricades. Outside of Slavyansk, a Ukrainian security officer killed another injured in a shoot-out apparently with militants.

The pro-Russian groups well armed, well organized in uniform, and prepare to use their weapons. Ukrainian officials issuing an ultimatum to those occupying government buildings, even in the face of a full-scale antiterrorism operation. Moscow accuses Ukraine of fighting and declaring war against their own people.


ROBERTSON: Now, yet, another deadline has passed in which Ukraine's government has said there could be military action. We've seen no evidence of it despite saying that the anti-operation has begun and oddly, the acting president holding out a possibility of maybe a referendum on the future of Eastern Ukraine to be held on the same day as presidential elections.

Confusingly perhaps that this even happened asking those to vote for president. But also what that president will be president of. A messy response from Kiev here and these pro-Russian protesters backed up by armed force still on the march -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Nick Paton Walsh in Ukraine, thank you for that. While the tension is obvious, the reason for it is in dispute. U.S. said Russia is orchestrating much of the unrest and the White House is warning Russia of more consequences if it continues its aggression in Ukraine.

Let's go to Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Barbara, what's the latest word?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Chris. The U.S. is saying that all of these attacks basically have the hallmark of Russian involvement and they want it to stop. At that meeting at the United Nations last night, more talk of ramped up U.S. sanctions. That appears to the major Obama strategy. More sanctions on Wednesday. NATO will be briefed on military options. Not military actions.

Simply stepping up military presence in Eastern Europe that could see more U.S. troops rotating to Eastern Europe in the coming months, but don't look for the U.S. to support any kind of weapons transferred to the Ukrainian government, any type of increased intelligence sharing with the Ukrainians at this point.

How nasty is this all getting? Well, the former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych has publicly accused the CIA of involvement in all of this. Last night, the CIA issued an extraordinary statement saying those allegations are completely false -- Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right, BARBARA STARR with the latest on Ukraine there. Thank you so much for that.

Let's take a look at more of your headlines, quarter past the hour. Oscar Pistorius is back on the stand this morning. Once again, the prosecution is challenging Pistorius' account of what happened the night he killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The prosecutor has accused he athlete of hiding the truth about her death. Pistorius insist that he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder. We'll have a live update for you in from the trial coming up in the next hour.

More than 1200 firefighters still battling a mammoth fire in Chile that swept through the port of Valparaiso. At least a dozen people have been killed and 2,000 buildings have been destroyed and some 10,000 people forced to evacuate from their homes. Chile's president has declared the entire city a catastrophe zone.

Quite a scary scene for passengers aboard a Southwest flight that was diverted to Omaha after a man tried to open one of the doors of the plane mid-flight. The flight was headed to Sacramento from Chicago when witnesses said the man began acting strangely before going to the back of the cabin and tried to open a door. Three passengers were able to tackle the man and restrained him until air marshals led him off the plane in handcuffs. The flight continued on to Sacramento.

Do you think green looks good on Bubba Watson? He won the 2014 Masters coming from behind in Sunday's final round to win the season's first major by three shots. It's Watson's second green jacket. He's just the eighth pro golfer to win two masters titles in a three-year span. That has got to feel good. First time wasn't a mistake. Second time proves it.

BOLDUAN: What do you do with said green jackets? Do you wear them around?

PEREIRA: To the supermarket.

BOLDUAN: There you go.

CUOMO: It is their winning not the wearing.

PEREIRA: With your jammies.

CUOMO: Yes. That's why it's kind of ugly. It really is about what it symbolizes, not that you have to throw it on with khakis on a regular basis. BOLDUAN: Let's take a break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, searchers move to the next step in the hunt for Flight 370, looking under water instead of listening for signals. We're going to break down the new phase with one of the people who helped locate the wreckage of Air France Flight 447.

CUOMO: Plus, the site of hate and horror in Kansas, three people killed outside a Jewish center just before Passover, the suspect called a pioneer of modern hatred. His alleged involvement is no surprise for those familiar with him. We'll give you the latest.


CUOMO: Welcome back.

This is the man accused of shooting and killing three people at a Jewish community center and nearby retirement home in Overland Park, Kansas. He's a 73-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader and in custody. Reports describe him as a life long anti-Semite.

The shootings coming in the eve of the Jewish holiday Passover.

CNN's George Howell is live in Overland Park.

The odd part here, George, he has been active on social media in recent years, right?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, a long history of hate. You know, it was supposed to be another Sunday for people here. It was a group of teenagers packed into this community center, auditioning for a play and singing competition at a nearby retirement home.

Folks just enjoying the afternoon. They were all potential targets for this man armed with weapons filled with hate.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a guy with a rifle here shooting at people. I'm leaving.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why, is he still here?


HOWELL (voice-over): On the eve of Passover, a lone gunman opens fire at two different Jewish facilities near Kansas City.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were described as panic.

HOWELL: Panic, fear and confusion. Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, both gunned down at a Jewish community center, where many teens have been taking part in rehearsals and auditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We thought it was weather at first.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, there were people ducking down inside and people yelling at us to get inside.

HOWELL: Moments later, another victim is shot and killed at Village Shalom, a retirement community about a mile away. Police arrested Frazier Glenn Cross at a nearby elementary school. As he's being taken away, he shouts a neo-Nazi slogan. Cross now faces charges of premeditated murder. Police say the suspect also known as Glenn Miller has ties to white supremacists.

He apparently has his own Web site and the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a longtime anti-Semite. A police chaplain was told by witnesses Cross seemed chilling, deliberate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's an older gentleman, asking people if before he thought if they were Jewish or not. This sounds like very much a hate crime.

HOWELL: Last night, just hours after the shooting, this powerful moment at a vigil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm the daughter of that gentleman who was killed and I'm the mother of the son who was killed.

HOWELL: You can hear the emotion in the crowd as she shares her last words with her father and son.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) I just appreciate you being here. Very helpful (INAUDIBLE) thank you.


HOWELL: As you heard in the report, he went around asking people if they were Jewish, targeting people in that regard. We do expect to learn more about Cross later today, as he is due in court -- Chris, Kate.

CUOMO: He wound up killing two people who weren't Jewish. Just a stupid act no matter what his intentions were. Just a stupid act by a person who now hopefully is going to get to pay for it.

BOLDUAN: A horrible, but just hearing that mother's strength is -- almost makes you break up. It's difficult to listen to.

George, thanks very much.

We're going to continue to talk about this throughout the show and shed the light on the victims and try to figure out what could possibly motivate this because, you can probably understand, makes sense.

Let's move over to Indra Petersons now to a track -- a check of the forecast, how's it looking. It was beautiful here this weekend, Indra, how's it looking elsewhere?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Beautiful in the Northeast, but unfortunately, the severe weather was out there. We have reports, five reports of tornadoes actually towards Idaho, Oklahoma, even Texas. And today, that severe weather risk is still out there. You can see the risk farther to the east stretching from Birmingham, all the way back down to New Orleans.

Even this morning, we're looking at that threat for severe weather as that frontal system continues to progress further off to the east. Today, more on the Southeast, spreading into the Northeast by tomorrow. Look at the back fire here. You are talking about snow, snow out by New York City by tomorrow night. Chicago today looking for light flurries. You can see high pressure buildings in which means more cold air from Canada, once again feels like winter for a couple days.

Take a look at the heavy rain first. So, definitely the flooding threat will be out there. Several inches into the Southeast, and then by tomorrow, spreading into the Northeast by overnight tonight.

But here we go -- this is the snow we're talking about. Out for Chicago, yes, it was a beautiful weekend. That is long gone as even a couple inches are expected towards upstate New York as the system makes its way through.

Let's talk about the temperatures, shall we? Above normal, almost 80 degrees out towards in D.C. today but notice about 20 degrees below normal behind the cold front. So, what happens, the cold air spreads farther to the East. We all start to drop farther down tomorrow. St. Louis, about 17 degrees below normal by tomorrow, and then, of course, by Wednesday, it's back into the Northeast. We're talking about a 30 degree temperature change in the northeast.

By Wednesday, that cold air is here, going to feel like winter again. We do have is a lunar eclipse, the best time and place to see it, Midwest. Of course, the storm is here. Looks like tonight, 3:46 in the morning if you want to check it out. I'll be awake, I can see it.

BOLDUAN: That will be beautiful to see. Always beautiful. Thanks, Indra.

CUOMO: I'd rather be asleep.

We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY.

When we come back, the pinger locator is out, search teams are pulling back from the hunt for debris. It is now all about the submersible, the Bluefin 21 right now diving into the bottom of the Indian Ocean looking for Flight 370.

BOLDUAN: And violence break out in Ukraine this morning. Is the country on the verge of civil war? The former ambassador to NATO will be joining us to talk about if there's any hope for diplomacy.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Let's take a look at your headlines. Right now, the U.S. may be sending the unmanned submersible vehicle. The Bluefin 21 is being deployed in the search for Flight 370. It will use sonar to map the bottom of the ocean. Now, it replaces the pinger locator which has not detected any new signals in six days.

Officials say an oil slick was spotted in the search zone. But the source has not yet been determined. A sample will be tested.

To the Ukraine crisis now, and growing concerns that a civil war may be brewing. This morning, pro-Russian activists have forced police out of a building in eastern Ukraine. Small fires apparently broke out. Now, this is after a deadline set by Ukraine's acting President for pro-Russian activists to lay down their arms and leave the occupied buildings has passed. Ukraine's government says security forces have been deployed to evict them.

Jury selection begins today in New York for Abu Hamza Al-Masri, the so-called hook-handed terrorist.