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Russian Troops Amass at Ukraine Border; 118th Boston Marathon Underway; Teen Stowaway in Jet Wheel Well; Answers Viewer Questions on MH-370; Boston Strong Raises Money for Bombing Survivors.

Aired April 21, 2014 - 11:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: AT THIS HOUR, 118th Boston Marathon is under way. A perfect day to be running a marathon. 55 and overcast in Boston we're told. Told the fourth wave of runners just starting the race. Mr. John Berman is on the ground near the start line and going to him for the very latest in just a few moments.

But first, Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ukraine on a two-day mission to bolster the Kiev government with the announcement of more U.S. assistance as protest earls say six people were killed in eastern Ukraine at a barricade in a shootout Sunday. Pro-Russian supports refuse to lay down arms and leave the public buildings.

We want to take you live to Phil Black.

We understand thousands of Russian troops are amassed along the border. I'm curious of the sense of the people, the residents, the people that make up the community, what are their sentiments? Are they fearing a war, an invasion by Russia?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some people fear it. Some people desperately want it. They're pleading with the Russian president to go ahead. Michaela, it depends on where you are in this region. It differs from down to town. Here in Donetsk, looks like a fortress at a moment. There are anti-U.S. and European messages, plastered all across it. But outside the town, very much a regular city. Drive north about an hour or so and this is where that shooting is said to have taken place. This is where you will see armed men on the streets, faces covered. Some of them look very professional. That's where the man declared himself to be the new mayor there says he wants the Russian president to send in the soldiers and protect them. So there is a range of views. Some people are nervous. Distrust for the government in Kiev and things increasingly tense, you have to say -- Michaela?

PEREIRA: You talk about the people who so desperately want some sort of civil change. Talk more about that, the folks that are urgently trying to keep this hope of a whole Ukraine alive. They still have resolve despite the threats?

BLACK: They're there and you meet them and sometimes they come out on to the streets and fairly big numbers, by the hundreds. But for obvious reasons at the moment, I guess they feel nervous particularly up against the guys with guns so they're not having a very high profile. But across the region there's a spectrum of views. At the barricades and the occupied buildings, they're the hard core element and feel strongly about breaking away from Ukraine and perhaps even joining Russia but within their -- within that group, there's a range. What really bonds people is distrust of government in Kiev. Other than that, some people want to stay part of Ukraine. Other people want to split away and be autonomous. A range of views of what the region should be -- Michaela?

PEREIRA: Phil Black, thank you for that. Despite the images of soldiers and barricades, there are people trying to live their lives. Thank you so much, Phil Black.

It's been a year since the Boston Marathon bombing and we at CNN are live at this year's race.

Mr. John Berman is there.

And it gives me such great pride and warmth in the heart to see you there. I know what the community means to you. A son of Massachusetts. You've had a chance to talk with some of the survivors of the bombing. I'm curious how they're feeling today.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: They are so happy. They are bursting with joy, Michaela. They have called this, some of them, a reawakening. The runners are talking about reclaiming this finish line after what happened last year.

And there's one family that I got to know over the last year for whom this is particularly true. I want you to meet the White family. For them, this last year has been an incredible, sometimes difficult, but mostly a joyful journey.


BERMAN (voice-over): Kevin White is running. Phil White is walking. But most importantly, the entire White family is standing, tall.

KEVIN WHITE, BOSTON BOMBING SURVIVOR: Last year, I was on the ground at the finish line. This year I'll be running across it. You know, it kind of proves to people that, you know, evil isn't going to win.

BERMAN: I first met the Whites nearly one year ago, after the Boston Marathon.

(on camera): This is a picture, right after the race. Show me where you are.

KEVIN WHITE: I am right here. I kind of got blown away by the blast five feet. My father here in the red laying down. My mother over him. You can see that the blast happened right around there.


BERMAN: Kevin then 34 had shrapnel through the legs. Mary Joe, then 67, a broken wrist. And Bill White, at age 71, lost his leg.

BILL WHITE, BOSTON BOMBING SURVIVOR: When I woke up after the surgery, the first thing it donned on me is I have one leg. That's a shattering moment for you. You lay there to say, one leg. How am I going to live the rest of my life?

BERMAN: You did write, I question God as to why.

BILL WHITE: Why me? What did I do wrong? And why did my life change this way? But I've learned to get over that in terms of it happened and I had two choices, continue to learn how to walk or to give up. And I'm not a person who gives up easily.

BERMAN (on camera): No, none of them are. Bill did learn to walk. And son, Kevin, he's running the Boston Marathon.

(on camera): You still feel the shrapnel at all.

KEVIN WHITE: I do. It doesn't hurt.

BERMAN (voice-over): Kevin explains why this is so important to him in his blog.

The name of your blog is Footsteps.

KEVIN WHITE: Yeah. For us it was to be a concept of footsteps was taking steps forward from where we were and with my dad that's literally walking so those are his footsteps forward. Mine is training for the marathon and just kind of coming to grips with everything that happened last year and probably the same for my mom, just recovering from that.


We have really tried to work together and individually at our own marathons this year just every day.

BILL BLACK: When I think probably for Kevin and the others who are running, hopefully it will get to that point in the run where remember the can and the will and say I'm doing it, I am doing it. That's a huge difference between can and will and doing it.

BERMAN: They are doing it, all of them, together.

KEVIN BLACK: You know, I think looking back and reflecting, you know, we all kind of appreciate that we're still here and together.


BERMAN: They have done so much together. Mary Jo, the mother, she ran a 5k race this weekend. Bill White, the father, he walked a five- mile race and Kevin White is somewhere in this last wave of people starting the marathon. This is his first marathon, Michaela, but he texted me on the weekend and said he signed up for a second. He'll run Chicago after this. So this is a remarkable family and really they have come through this so incredibly well. They're inspiring.

PEREIRA: They are. We know that marathoners are made of different stuff. You're much better shape than I am. I want to know in terms of security, people are talking about this probably being the safest place in America right now. Give us an idea of some of the measures you have seen and maybe you're not seeing some of the measures.

BERMAN: They have got double the number of law enforcement personnel than they have ever had before. Some 3,500 law enforcement both uniformed and un-unformed. They have cameras, more than ever before. The people running, behind me, they can't wear backpacks or water on the back. They asked please don't wear giant backpacks on the lines here. I got to tell you. The measures in place did not cut down on the enthusiasm. You can see everyone with the arms up crossing the starting line and I know that after 26.2 miles, the arms up crossing that finish, Michaela? CNN will look at the Boston Marathon bombing attack victims one year since the attack tonight, and plus more from the race later AT THIS HOUR.

Now, Michaela, it is all yours.

PEREIRA: If you don't have to be back to us for a few minutes, do. Go do a lap, a lap or so, get it out of your system as a sign for solidarity of brothers and sisters in Boston. We're so proud of the city and very proud of the fact that you're back on track. We appreciate it.

John, we'll talk to you in a bit.

Ahead AT THIS HOUR, a teenage runaway says he flew from California to Hawaii in the wheel well of a jumbo jet. How did he survive? We'll bring you a live report.

Also, experts will join us here to talk about your questions. Give you answers to some of the questions you've been posting for the mystery of flight 370. Keep those questions coming.


PEREIRA: Here's a real head scratcher. Did a teenager fly from San Jose, California, all the way to Hawaii in the wheel well of a jumbo jet? It's a claim of a 16-year-old runaway. How did he get past security and survive the flight across the Pacific Ocean?

Dan Simon is digging into the story for us and joins us from San Jose.

This is really quite a mystery, Dan.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is remarkable, Michaela, on a couple of levels. First the security issue, how could the boy hop a fence at the airport and make the way to the tarmac and get on the major airliner? There's the survivability issue.

Joining us to talk about some of this is Rosemary Barnes, the public information officer here at the San Jose Airport.

Thank you for joining us.

First of all, let me just talk to you about how this boy, you know, gets on to the tarmac, gets to that airplane? How does that happen?

ROSEMARY BARNES, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, SAN JOSE AIRPORT: We have a security program here at San Jose Airport that we coordinate in conjunction with TSA with the San Jose police department and so many other people that work here at the airport. However, no system is 100 percent. And it appears that this teenager scaled a section of our perimeter. And was able to proceed on to our ramp under cover of darkness and enter the wheel well of an airplane.

SIMON: There were earlier reports of surveillance video that the airport had of this boy hopping the fence. You haven't seen it. You don't know if it exists. Is that correct?

BARNES: Surveillance video is a part of the overall program, perimeter fencing, surveillance video, those that monitor the video both real time as well as historically and many eyes and ears of those here at the airport. At this time, the surveillance video is under review by federal and local law enforcement officials here. And we'll continue to review that to determine where, in fact, the teenager was able to scale the fence line.

SIMON: Rosemary Barnes, thank you very much.

That's just the security issue. We talked about survivability. 38,000 feet up in the air. Temperatures, we're told, 80 below zero, halfway across the Pacific Ocean for five hours is pretty remarkable. The boy apparently unconscious even after the plane landed. Still unconscious, according to the FBI, for approximately an hour, and then came to and started wandering the tarmac there at the airport. Incredible.

PEREIRA: The fact he didn't have frostbite at the very, very least. There's so much to this that people are shaking their heads about.

Dan Simon, great report. Thanks so much for that.

Ahead AT THIS HOUR, answers to your question about the still missing flight 370.


PEREIRA: The U.S. Navy submersible drone is back under water in the Indian Ocean right now. It's on its ninth mission to find Malaysia Airlines flight 370. So far, the device has combed through about two- thirds of the intended search area. So far, no sign of debris. As many as 10 planes and 11 ships have taken part in today's search.

CNN's aviation analysts, Jeff Wise and Mary Schiavo, are here to answer some of your questions.The folks at home have sent in about the search.

Good to have you both with us.

Why don't we start with you, Jeff, since you're looking right at me?

Paul Ellis asks us, why doesn't anyone try to scan the coastline for debris, and why isn't anyone looking on land, Jeff Wise, for the plane?

JEFF WISE, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: That's a great question. We've been focused on the water. We've been pretty much assured by the authorities it was in the Southern Indian Ocean and, you know, the language is really very positive. They were quite certain these pings correlated to the black box and pretty soon we'd find the plane. As time goes by and the Bluefin scours the seabed, that seems less and less likely.

PEREIRA: The ELTS, the emergency transmitter locators, would potentially have emitted a crash on land, it would have emitted a signal.

WISE: If it crashed on land, it would have emitted a signal. They're not 100 percent reliable, but they're pretty reliable. Of course, if it landed on land, then you wouldn't expect the transmitters to go offer.

PEREIRA: Next question to Mary. This is from Rick Rice. It's been mentioned the plane dove to 6,000 feet and the co-pilot's cell phone might have been on. Don't you think it strange that the plane turn went from 30,000 feet to 6,000 feet with 239 people and none of the passengers picked up or made a cell phone call? This is something we've talked about several times here. Talk about that.

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Not only do I find it strange, I find it impossible, because the distance in which it would have had to dive from 35,000 feet down to 4,000 or 5,000 feet and then climb back up to 35,000 feet was only 125 miles, and it just is not reasonable. And then, not surprisingly, over the weekend, they now determined -- not determined -- they now think that it actually climbed to about 39,000 feet and then stayed at that altitude. So that report appears, according to the Malaysian authorities, to now have been discarded. So, yes, it was questionable, and probably didn't happen.

PEREIRA: I love that our viewers are getting in on this conversation. It shows their level of interest in the story. We certainly are hoping an end to this mystery comes soon, at the very least, for these families that have an agonizing wait trying to get word of their loved ones.

Mary, Jeff, always a delight to have you with us.

Ahead AT THIS HOUR, they are Boston Strong. We're going to talk about how that saying has raised more than $1 million for the Boston bombing victims. We're live in Massachusetts next.



KEVIN SPACEY, ACTOR: I was privileged to come to Boston and meet so many people who inspired me. And who I believe moved our entire country because of the spirit that you showed and shared with everyone.


BERMAN: That, of course, is Kevin Spacey, just one of many people so moved by the strength of the Boston bombing survivors.

I can tell you one thing here about the marathon. We have a winner for the women. Rita Jeptu has set a course record on this race. The women's race now over in terms of the winner. We're waiting on the men to finish. That will be a wonderful thing when that happens as well. So we're talking about the Boston Marathon, the reawakening here.

One group that has been helping so much from the very beginning, Boston Strong Apparel. I'm joined by the co-creators, Chris Dobbins, Nicholas Reynolds, also Lane Brenna.

You guys with these Boston Strong T-shirts, OK, it feels like this is such an indelible thing that it's been around forever, but no, you guys were Emerson College students the day of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Lane, tell me what happened.

LANE BRENNA, CO-CREATOR, BOSTON STRONG APPAREL: Basically, we came back to the dorm room that night. We all wanted to get together. We wanted to make sure everyone's fine and safe. We were watching President Obama and his speech that night. And we were really inspired by his saying that Boston is such a tough and resilient town. We say, well what can we do as college students to help? We said, Stay Strong to Boston Strong. Maybe we have 100 friends who might want to buy this shirt. The next morning, it just kind of was so successful. We couldn't even believe it.

BERMAN: There's been a lot of talk about who came up with the phrase Boston Strong. May have been in your dorm room, just sort of happened that day and took off as you said. How many T-shirts did you sell in that first month?

NICHOLAS REYNOLDS, CO-CREATOR, BOSTON STRONG APPAREL: The first week was 37,000 T-shirts. We sold 37,000 within the next seven days. We only planned on selling for seven days. By the end of the month, I'm not sure. We're now up to 68,000 today.

BERMAN: The money is all going where?


BERMAN: How much money have you donated now?

DOBBINS: We've donated over $1 million.

BERMAN: Over $1 million. Of course, the One Fund is the group helping the people, the survivors, from the Boston Marathon. It's such a wonderful thing. So many of them were involved in this race that we saw take off from right behind us here.

As you were watching the people run by, as you were listening to people shout Boston Strong, you can't go more than 10 seconds here without someone saying it, how does that feel to you?

BRENNA: It's amazing. It's surreal to know something we are a big part of was shown here today. And we just loved being here, seeing our friends who have overcome so much in a year, and we are so glad to be here with them. We're very honored.

BERMAN: What's the future for Boston Strong?

REYNOLDS: It's hard to say honestly. We hope people are still talking about it. We hope people are still thinking about the victims and the survivors of the Boston Marathon attack. We sort of see it move into a bunch of different grounds. We love to see it focused on the victims and focused on the survivors because they still need our help even a year later.

BERMAN: They still do, right?

DOBBINS: Yeah, absolutely. It's been a long road for them. The more help that they can get, the better.

BERMAN: You have given so much help already. Not just the money but I think the sentiment, the Boston Strong sentiment. That's a thing, you know. It's out there now and it's been out there from that day when you first talked about it in your room to this day when we've seen the people of Boston, the 36,000 runners, take this course, and they will retake that finish line. Of course, the women's runner already across that finish line.

Thank you for everything you've done.

CNN's going to take a look at how some of the survivors are doing. That's tonight at 10:00 right here on CNN. Be sure to watch that.


PEREIRA: I'm showing off my Boston Strong bracelet. I'm wearing one in solidarity with you, look at this. Chris brought that back.

John, thank you.

BERMAN: Thank you.

PEREIRA: It's been wonderful to have you right there telling the stories.

BERMAN: It's been wonderful to be here, I have to tell you, to see so much of this over the last year. Today really is the best moment of all.

Michaela, thanks so much.

"Legal View" with Don Lemon starts right now.