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Biden En Route to Ukraine; Supreme Court Nudge; Elizabeth Warren Not Running; Flight 370 ELTs; Roots of Boston Strong

Aired April 21, 2014 - 07:30   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lose eastern Ukraine if we continue as we are and I think it's going to be a geopolitical disaster if that occurs.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Short term, long term, what is it the vice president hopes to accomplish and the president sees this going?

JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: One of the vice president's main missions in Ukraine over the next day or two is to reassure the government in Kiev that they have U.S. support, that they will offer assistance in the lead-up to the May 25th elections.

Long term, this is a little tricky for the administration because you have right now essentially a diplomatic agreement with Russia and Ukraine and Europe. It's very tenuous. It's very unclear if this going to hold. And you have people, not just people like Bob Corker, but some people in the White House who say, we need to ramp up sanctions. We need to do something now to prevent Putin from doing what Bob Corker is talk talking about, essentially taking eastern Ukraine.

KING: Sanctions is one thing, Alex, but when you hear people talking about provide light arms, provide weaponry, if you've watched how this has played out, the Ukrainians, especially out in the eastern Ukraine, they don't seem very organized. The protesters show up. The police are evacuating buildings. Is there really enough support on Capitol Hill for arms?

ALEXANDER BURNS, POLITICO: I don't know that there is right now, John, and this, look, this situation is not quite Syria, but you do get some flashbacks in the sense of you have the Bob Corkers and John McCains of the world sort of out there arguing for more muscular response. And you don't see some huge parade of even Republicans on The Hill marching in behind. And if that changes in the next couple weeks, that will be very significant.

KING: Let's bring the political debate back home. A Supreme Court nomination is always fascinating for a president. President Obama had two relatively early on. Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor. Now it's been a while. Over the weekend, the retired Justice John Paul Stevens was out talking and he said that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is 80 years old, she's had two bouts with cancer, he says that she has sought his advice about whenever to stay, whether to go. If you're thinking about going, what to do. Listen to John Paul Stevens saying, of course if you're thinking about leaving, you think about the politics.


JOHN PAUL STEVENS, FORMER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: You're interested in the job and in the kind of work that's done. You have to have an interest in who's going to fill your shoes.


KING: I guess we assume that happens. But, you know, we don't know much about the inner workings of the court. So, to have a retired justice say, of course, you're thinking about going, you're thinking of who's the president, what's the lineup in the Senate, who would my successor be? Is this an active conversation at the White House?

PACE: Well, I think it was just fascinating to hear Stevens say this because, as you said, the Supreme Court is such a secretive institution and we always look for clues in what they say, but it's rare to have someone actually say things that plainly. At the White House, there's always a list of possible nominees because these things can come up pretty quickly. I think they probably expect to have at least one more seat to fill over the next two and a half years. So there will be a list and I think we will (INAUDIBLE).

KING: You say over the next two and half years, but, Alex, there's a real possibility the Republicans take the Senate in November. So if you're President Obama and you're thinking, I may get one, maybe two, but let's think about one more pick, do you want it to happen now in the short term when you know Harry Reid's the majority leader, or do you assume you're going to have to deal with this after the election and who knows?

BURNS: You know, I think for your legacy, you probably want it to happen sooner so that you can get somebody through a Democratic election. For the purposes of this election, that's a real wildcard. And, you know, Democrats want to shake up this race in some way, but I'm not sure that a contentious confirmation battle over social issues and that kind of thing is the way they want to do it.

KING: A couple of endangered Republicans out there might not want to talk about this either, though, out on the campaign trial. Mitch McConnell, who could be the leader, has a primary challenge. So he's hoping this goes at least a month or two, get past the primary. We'll see how that plays out.

Let's have another one back at home. Elizabeth Warren is not, underline not, one more time underline not, running for president. She's a freshman senator from Massachusetts. Of course she's a darling of the liberal movement because of her tough, aggressive actions about Wall Street. She has a new book coming out this week and she's on a book tour. Listen to her on CBS over the weekend saying no, no, and I mean no.


SEN. ELISABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS): I'm not running for president. I'm not running for president. You can ask it lots of different ways.


KING: You can ask it lots of different ways, Alex. And I think a lot of the reasons people are asking Elizabeth Warren a lot of different ways is that there was another freshman senator back in 2006 at this point, I think his name was Barack Obama, and he was saying no, no, you can ask me a lot of ways, no. And then after the midterm in 2006, he started to say maybe. And the maybe quickly became yes. Elizabeth Warren, do people think it's possible?

BURNS: Look, they're always not running until they are, right? And nobody holds it against you if you reverse yourself on whether you're going to run for president.

KING: Right.

BURNS: Part of the reason why this book tour is so significant is because Warren has been so controlled and disciplined and cloistered as a U.S. senator, really not out there talking to the press and pushing a national message. If you look at where she's going on this book tour, it is places like New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, that's a Democratic base.

KING: Wait, a low key beginning to a Senate career, Hillary Clinton?

PACE: Hmm.

KING: Hmm.

PACE: Hillary Clinton.

KING: Hillary Clinton did that. Is the only chance she does run is if Hillary does not run, right? Is that fair?

PACE: I think that's - yes. And I think that's similar for most Democrats who are in this position right now where they want to be asked the question, they want to say no, but they want to keep their name out there just in case Hillary decides not to run. So maybe we'll have to ask that question to Elizabeth Warren once we finally get Hillary's decision.

KING: I was in New Hampshire in December 2006, after the midterms, when that young Senator Obama came up to sign books and his answer started to change right around that. That's when it became a very strong maybe leaning into it.

One more. You might remember when Barack Obama was running for president, back in his convention speech actually for John Kerry in 2004 he said, there's no red America, there's no blue America, there's just one America. Well, Michelle Obama is getting a little lesson in that right now. She's scheduled to give a commencement address for a half dozen high schools in the state of Kansas, the Topeka area. There's been a big controversy about this.

Some people saying the first lady might overshadow, you know, my child's big day. A legitimate question has been the number of ticket - how many tickets can you get when you have such a secure environment, when you have a number of schools coming together. The school districts now say you can get six tickets to come. Is this a big deal? Is this politics? She wants to celebrate. The commencement will be at the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown versus Board of Education case.

PACE: Right. So there's this very clear link to the anniversary, the way that this was billed by the White House is it is a celebration, an historic moment for the first lady to go out there. It will be interesting to see what happens in the community though, now that they have solved this ticket issue.

KING: Right.

PACE: If people start looking for another reason to try to not her not come or if this does actually die down. But, you know, even though a lot of parents that we've seen quoted in AP stories and elsewhere have avoided talking about politics overtly. Politics is everywhere.

KING: Politics is everywhere. It's one of the reddest states in America. But can't we agree that having the first lady come to your child's high school graduation, that should be pretty cool, right?

BURNS: You know, I would expect that if Laura Bush had decided to come to the high school graduation where I grew up in New York City, you would have had a very similar response.

BOLDUAN: (INAUDIBLE) we are in. We live in polarized America.

Julie, Alexander, thanks for coming in.

I don't know about how (ph) you guys think this, but now that they have the tickets, now you can get six tickets, Kate, and Chris, and Michaela, my daughter Hannah (ph) graduates from high school in several weeks and I can't get six. So I think anything we hear from now on out is politics.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Wait. Pause, pause, pause. Hannah is about to graduate from high school?

KING: She is.

BOLDUAN: Oh, my gosh, that is crazy and so exciting.

KING: It is crazy. It is -


KING: Yes, it's a - yes, I'm -- that's why I'm, you know, trying to stay zen.

BOLDUAN: Hold it together, John. Hold it together.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It's an amazing achievement. I mean that's, you know, the whole goal of rising them right is that they get to these milestones. Give yourself a pat on the back, you handsome man.

BOLDUAN: That's so cool. I can't believe she's about to graduate high school.

KING: Amen. There we go, pat on the back.

BOLDUAN: There you go, John. We'll talk to you later.

That's very cool. He has a very cool daughter.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, the mystery draws on. Four emergency beacons on Flight 370s designed to send a stress signals after a cash, why were they all silent and what could it mean?

CUOMO: And, when the bombs went off, life-saving help came from an unlikely place at the Boston Marathon. We have the story of a store that gave birth to the phrase "Boston strong." And there are gifts for the ladies on the show.



A new wrinkle this morning to the Flight 370 investigation as a senior Malaysian aviation source tells CNN that the plane was equipped with four emergency locator transmitters. And these ELTs, or so they're called, are designed to transmit a distress signal when triggered by a crash. So why didn't any of the four ELTs work? Let's discuss it with Jeff Wise, CNN aviation analyst and author of the book extreme fear.

Good to have you with us.

So that's the big question, there's four on board.


PEREIRA: Here they are.

WISE: Right.

PEREIRA: In the aft door.

WISE: Right.

PEREIRA: We've got one in the fuselage, one in the forward door and one in the cockpit.

WISE: Right. Exactly. Now when we say forward door and aft door. What we're really talking about is these life rafts.

PEREIRA: Ah, yes.

WISE: In the case of it ditching can deploy. And when a life raft deploys, then you can have the signal being sent from the ELT. And then you -

PEREIRA: Because it's impact that makes the -- it emit a distress signal, correct?

WISE: So there's one in the cockpit and it says fuselage. Really that means probably back here near the tail.


WISE: And, yes, it -- when the plane hits something, when there's a deceleration, essentially -


WISE: When you get a certain kind of g-force that's strong enough to -- not a hard landing but something more significant than that, then you have the - you can activate it and sending out a signal. These ones in the door, in the life rafts, those start to activate when the life raft is deployed. So you've got --

PEREIRA: And, again, they get -- their sort of portable, if you will. They'll go with the life raft, correct?

WISE: Exactly. Exactly.

PEREIRA: OK. So then let's move on to this and talk about how it actually works. How does it send its signal? How does that work?


PEREIRA: You can draw. I'll let you do that.

WISE: Oh, good, I'll draw. OK. So the newer models actually can determine their own location. So you've got these satellites in space sending a signal to the GPS. OK?


WISE: So now the unit knows where it is.


WISE: Now when you've got this activation event, then -

PEREIRA: So there's like some sort of impact.

WISE: It starts sending a signal back out into space -


WISE: Saying here I am. Here's my location. Here's who I am. And then -- so the authorities who then receive a signal from the satellite --

PEREIRA: To the tower.

WISE: To the tower. And then you've got - then this - there -- a rescue network becomes activated. And they know exactly where to go. Now, they know who's in trouble, they know where they're in trouble and they can really spring into action. PEREIRA: But then here's the question then, why were there no distress signals emitted from these ELTs that would have been aboard this plane?

WISE: Exactly. That's the million dollar question. If there was a quick -- all these ELTs, why didn't the authorities receive a signal? There's a bunch of different reasons. Now, these units are, in the brochures that they've put out over (ph) these unit, for use over land. OK? Over land.

PEREIRA: Only work (ph) over use over land?

WISE: Well, that's where the -

PEREIRA: Then what's the point of having them in the door, the for and aft door on a life raft because you would have been on water?

WISE: Because, under some circumstances, it will work.

Now, why wouldn't it work over water? For instance, if you go plunging right into the water and these radio transmitters are under water, the water is not going to allow the transmission of that signal.

PEREIRA: It's not going to transmit - OK.

WISE: Exactly. So if it's going really fast into the water, it's not going to have time.

Now, these things will activate within a second, though. They should start to transmit.

PEREIRA: Upon impact?

WISE: Upon impact. But if that - if it's already deep under water or if the impact is so strong that these - now, these are hardy, tough units. They're designed to activate in the case of a crash. But, you know, if you're going mach one -


WISE: Meaning a speed of sound into the surface, boom, you could just, you know, disintegrate.

PEREIRA: And these are not devices that can be deactivated, because we know the ACARS, for example, was turns off. These are not devices that can be turned off? This technology can't be switched off.

WISE: That's right. That's right.

On the other hand, if the -- remember, these are designed not to go off in the case of a hard landing -

PEREIRA: Sure, because that happens from time to time.

WISE: Exactly. So in the case of, for instance, of -- you remember the miracle on the Hudson when Captain Sullenberger landed - PEREIRA: Yes.

WISE: He landed gently enough that the ELTs did not active in that case either.

PEREIRA: That they did not. Isn't that interesting.

WISE: So too gentle, too harsh, either way, the ELT isn't going to activate.

PEREIRA: This is the rescue 406 AFN. The 777s have these aboard, although both Boeing and Malaysia Airlines won't confirm that this is the exact model -

WISE: Right.

PEREIRA: That would have been on that plane.

WISE: Right. There are older models that are less sophisticated which don't send this location information and which have a higher failure rate. A lot - I mean a lot -

PEREIRA: Higher like what? What are we talking about?

WISE: Like - well, I've heard numbers as high as like 50 percent of the time they don't work.

PEREIRA: You're kidding.

WISE: Yes. So, you know, if you remember the case where Steve Fossett went missing -


WISE: In the Sierra Nevadas, his ELT didn't activate either. That was a smaller plane, not a commercial fight, so it's a little bit different, but -

PEREIRA: So this is one of the questions, you know, the families -- the committee off families put 26 questions. And one the questions had to do with these ELTs, why they did not get data from the ELTs.

Jeff Wise, thanks for walking us through that.

WISE: Thanks, Michaela.

PEREIRA: It's really interesting to take a look at that technology.


CUOMO: Need to know, gonna fuel a lot of conspiracies, this news that the ELTs didn't go off. So we'll unpack it the best and test all the theories.

Coming up on NEW DAY, marathon sports in Boston, the store that became a triage center, rallying point and birth place of the phrase, Boston Strong". We take you back there and bring back some very special surprises straight ahead.


CUOMO: Welcome back. Today, we are all Boston Strong. I have on my bracelet here that says Boston Strong, our heroes. Let me get it above the banner.

But what many may not know and should never forget is how that phrase came to be. It was born of the worst, an explosion just outside the door of a sporting goods store that became the last best hope for the wounded and then became a place that means so much more.


CUOMO (voice-over): For almost 40 years Marathon Sports has been a fixture in Boston. But on April 15, 2013, a bomb exploded right out front, and what happened next would make this place much more than a store.

KEVIN DILLON, MARATHON SPORTS: And I think that might be Marathon Sports. I'm not sure, but you can see they also went right into there.

CUOMO (on-camera): If we look back a year ago, a year ago what was it like out here?

DILLON: Yeah, on that tragic day everything was as normal and then the explosion went off and, as you know yourself, a whole lot of chaos happened afterwards.

CUOMO: And literally wound up spilling right into the store.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spilling right into the store.


CUOMO (voice-over): Assistant manager Kevin Dillon says within seconds the store became a makeshift ER. T-shirts became tourniquets.

DILLON: T-shirts like you're looking at right now were taken off the clothing racks to try to wrap people up to try to, you know, stop some of the bleeding, but also just to comfort some of the people in that position.

We're looking at the guys -- I think they were very brave on the day. Because you never know whether it's going to be a second or third device afterwards. And they ran straight out here and helped as much as they could. And certainly one girl that was bleeding outright here on the floor and a tourniquet saved her life. And a lot of my colleagues were -- were part of that, and we're very, very proud to say that they acted on the way they did on that day.

CUOMO (voice-over): And like the rest of the city, the store would rebound quickly.

(on-camera): Now, I remember about 10 days later, Marathon Place opens back up. What was that like when the store opened up?

DILLON: It was a little bit eerie. There was almost like a semicircle of shoppers, pedestrians, film crews, cameras were all standing there. And we opened the door. And at first, people were very respectful and just kind of stood back and weren't sure if they should even come in. And we said, "No, no, come on back in. We're back open for business again." And from that moment people poured in.

CUOMO (voice-over): And they never stopped. What was once a store was now a symbol of resilience that captivated a nation, Boston Strong.

DILLON: You really couldn't have come up with a better word, Boston Strong. It really reunited the whole city. And it's something, for me and for all the people at Marathon Sports, we were very, very privileged and proud to be part of.

CUOMO (on-camera): All right, so you got me in the store. Even in New York, everybody loves Boston right now because of what we witnessed. So I'm here. I want to support. What do you got for me? I'm buying the bracelets. I'm gonna get one for everybody on the crew. So we'll get that.

DILLON: Nice guy.

CUOMO: And then we've got to get the T-shirt. I can't green. I gotta stay away -- it's too much. I feel like when I wear it --

DILLON: Because he doesn't want to support the Irish guy.

CUOMO: No, the Irish I'm OK with it.

I'm going to go with the Keep Calm and Marathon.

DILLON: Keep Calm Marathon, yeah, absolutely.

CUOMO: Double XL. I'll take the medium.

DILLON: I was going to say, we've got a small here for you.

CUOMO: All right, and I'm going to get one for Mick. I'm gonna get one for Indra and for Kate. I have to get Kate's a little bit bigger, you know, wearing for two.

DILLON: Oh, congratulations.

CUOMO: Want to make sure I've got the right sizes.

(voice-over): For Kevin and the rest of the Marathon Sports family, Boston Strong means taking the past and using it as motivation to move forward, more together than ever.

DILLON: We're trying to look forward to all the people that are out there running this marathon this year, there's a lot of people that run it for maybe different reasons than they would have done in the past, you know? They run it to make a stand. They run it to be Boston as one. CUOMO (on-camera): We're all Boston strong now.

DILLON: Thank you very much.

CUOMO: Thank you. I appreciate it.

DILLON: Hey, no worries. Thanks your time.


CUOMO: Isn't that nice? You've got your bracelets, Boston Strong.

PEREIRA: Oh, look at you!

CUOMO: Our heroes and your Boston Strong --

PEREIRA: Put that on immediately.

CUOMO: -- and you got your Boston Strong for you --

BOLDUAN: Thank you.


PEREIRA: Baby on board!


CUOMO: And it's stretchy material.

PEREIRA: It expands with you.

CUOMO: I was looking for one that said future marathoner, but they didn't have it. And I got you the one that says Keep Calm and Marathon.

PEREIRA: I like that.

CUOMO: Isn't that cool? Keep calm and marathon.

PEREIRA: That's the best. Thank you, love.

BOLDUAN: It's -- it's cool regardless, right? I mean, the fact that they're -- one year later they're already back. They reopened 10 days later.

CUOMO: Ten days. Look, I remember, we were there. J.B. and I -- Berman and I, we couldn't believe the store was opening because it had been so traumatic just much just for the staff.

PEREIRA: I'm sure they needed to. I'm sure they needed to -- you know, when you've gone through any kind trauma like that, you need to get back to work. You need to start feeling community again.

BOLDUAN: And then the perspective that you offered when you -- when he -- and when Kevin was telling you the T-shirts in the store became tourniquets. That store became an emergency room. I mean, that really --

CUOMO: They saved people's lives. There were people bleeding out in front of that store. And they really -- they really stepped up. They moved the barriers out of the way. They deserve every accolade they get. They deserve being one of the parts of Boston Strong that really started the movement.


BOLDUAN: This means much more than a T-shirt.

PEREIRA: It got -- it got a New Yorker into Boston.

CVOMO: It's true. Let me tell you, it was ugly in there.


BOLDUAN: Notice he did not -- he would not -- he would not allow, what was it?



CUOMO: The green, the Celtics, I couldn't do it. I love them. But love's got limits.


CUOMO: No, I couldn't do it. But I was happy to be there. I'm happy to wear it.

PEREIRA: Thanks.

CUOMO: In that city, 600,000 of the toughest people you'll ever meet in your lives and more together than ever. And because we want people to remember what happened out there, so you can appreciate how strong they are now moving forward, be sure to watch a CNN special report tonight, "BACK TO BOSTON: MOMENTS OF IMPACT" 10:00 p.m. Eastern, of course, only on CNN.

PERERIA: Thank you, Chris.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, the death toll is rising, and so is the list of charges against the captain and crew. We're gonna have the very latest on the ferry disaster in South Korea still unfolding before our eyes.

CUOMO: Plus, the Bluefin sub almost finished looking through the search area as currently designated and, of course, no sign of Flight 370. So then what? What's the next plan here? We'll tell you straight ahead.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The captain should have made the initial command to evacuate that vessel as soon as possible.