Return to Transcripts main page
Search Continues for Missing Malaysian Plane; Rescue Efforts Continue for Sunken South Korean Ferry; President to Travel to Asia; Stowaway Teen Wanted to Visit Mother in Africa; Discussion of Airport Security; Death Toll Rises to 150 in Ferry Tragedy; Easter Truce Over in Ukraine
Aired April 23, 2014 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: We'll be following that big development this morning. Erin, thank you very much. Erin McLaughlin, live from Perth, Australia for us.
For more let's bring in Mary Schiavo, CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general at the Department of Transportation who now also represents airline disaster victims and their families, and also Major General James Spider Marks, CNN military analyst and former commanding general of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center. Good morning again to both of you. Mary, let's talk about this object of interest as Erin was just talking about with us. It's described as sheet metal with rivets, rivets on one side and what appears to be a fiberglass coating. Is that promising to you? What could that be?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, it could be part of the fuselage. The fiberglass isn't right. They had to switch out and change the insulation that they use on aircraft after the Swiss Air 111 disaster off of Halifax. So the insulation doesn't sound quite right but the rivets exactly right. There are millions of rivets on the plane. The fuselage is riveted. Maybe it's an interior part of the plane, although you wouldn't have quite as many rivets there. But the description is generally right, but there are lots of things in the maritime world also of that description. But it's certainly worth checking out. With the storms and hurricanes, you would expect that it's possible that the part of the plane was blown to the coast of Australia.
BOLDUAN: And it's also another reason why the Australian authorities with this announcement also give -- offer a healthy dose of caution, that they need to investigate, they can't go beyond that until they get it -- get some more eyes on it which we'll continue to follow. One more thing, Mary, the Malaysian transport minister, you were listening in on that press conference with us, he did confirm they are talking about increasing assets for the next phase whatever the next phase would be. What do you think is needed in that next phase?
SCHIAVO: Well, I think given the 20 percent that they haven't searched in the area of interest around the four pings is an area of search interest that is much deeper than what they've done. They've done about 80 percent. They've got 20 percent to go. And that 20 percent is the 20 percent of the search area that's much deeper. So there's questions whether the Bluefin-21 can handle it. so I think the additional equipment they want are submersibles that can go much deeper. Maybe even a manned submersible, but they do need additional equipment to get down to that area of the floor.
And then, of course, they also announced the additional committees they're setting up, a few committees, anyway. Undoubtedly they will have subcommittees to those as well. And it's very much like an ICAO based, International Civil Aviation Organization investigative body, just like or similar to what we do with the NTSB. So that was good news, too. It's a little late to set those up but it's high time they got them going. So that was good news.
BOLDUAN: Spider, who has these additional assets? Will the Malaysian authorities be turning to countries be looking to the U.S. Navy maybe? Or are they going to look to private companies who has this stuff?
MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Kate, it be a combination. Certainly the Malaysians don't have the capacity themselves to do this, so they will go to the contributing nations, those who have been involved to date. Clearly the United States has got some tremendous capabilities in the military and available commercially.
And at some point, we have to be very frank. There's a huge cost element to this. If they can latch on to a piece of intelligence, this object of interest, if this leads to something, then there needs to be a resulting surge in term of collection capabilities. If not, then the inevitable will be, how much is this going to cost, how long is it going to take, expectations are going to have to be decreased in terms of the immediacy of an answer. But other nations will have to stay focused on this, Malaysia, Australia, certainly based on what Mary described as this organizational structure, way late, but at least it's in the right direction. We'll have to be able to keep the focus on this. It's like any other investigation. It's going to take place over time.
BOLDUAN: Over time and time costs money, as you just said. At what point in your experience, Spider, does the cost of an investigation start being prohibitive. When does a cost become a factor in how the search is conducted and limit that search?
MARKS: Kate, each nation has its own interests and they all have come together with a shared interest. When the shared interest is now appears to be waning, in other words, we can't find anything. We've done a very broad search and now we're increasing the depth of the search. So there are areas that we've looked at and that will now be off to the side and we don't have to go back there. So we narrowed the focus area.
National interests and security interests come into play. For example, the United States has a number of PA aircraft, an incredible collection asset, that needs to feed information into our intelligence community on routine and established intelligence collection requirements. It's a bit arcane, but it's what we have created our military and our intelligence community simply to do. In this case we have this tragedy we need to focus in on it, but this is off the radar has not been budgeted. It now is going to cost a lot of money, and you have to be able to sustain an effort, but you have to be take your national interests, your security interests, as a first priority.
BOLDUAN: Mary, I want to get your take on this. You have represented victims. You've also been involved -- you're also the former inspector general at the U.S. Department of Transportation. I think one thing that has not been hit hard enough is why not release the data? The search continues. The families have all of these technical questions, some of them, though, very simple, as you've pointed out, should have already been released to the public early on in the investigation. Is there any compelling argument for why they don't release the data?
SCHIAVO: No, there really isn't. They have said because there's an ongoing criminal investigation as well. But none of this information -- I have seen the questions, I've read the questions the families want answers to. It has nothing to do with the criminal investigation. They are very technical questions, very practical questions.
And there are three reasons why they should. One is the ICAO standards which says you're supposed to brief the families and issue their preliminary report already. Two, in our country of course, we have two laws that provide it. We have the Family Assistance Act and the federal Victim/Witness Protection Act. Both require briefing of the families of the victims. So if they were to step up to the plate now and start doing that I think they could dispel some of the anger. But it doesn't sound like they're going to do that yet, but they should, and there's no reason not to. It cannot possibly compromise a criminal investigation if they really have a real one going.
BOLDUAN: And that's a very important point, if they have a real one going at this point. I don't think that it's ever too late to be more transparent than in an investigation that involves so many people and there's so much distrust now between the families and how this investigation is going. Mary, it's always great to have you. Thank you so much. Spider, thank you. It's great to see you as well. Chris?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Kate, we're also following breaking news in that devastating ferry accident off the coast of South Korea. And it is the last thing families want to hear. Divers are saying this morning there are no air pockets on the third and fourth decks of that submerged ship, all but eliminating any hope of finding anyone, at least finding them alive. And 150 bodies have now been brought to the surface with 152 still unaccounted for. CNN's Nic Robertson is live in Jindo, South Korea. This is not a shock, Nic, but it is just so, so sad.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very disappointing for the families. The real hope had been that the third and fourth levels is where the students were, where the whole rescue effort was focusing. If anyone was going to survive it was going to be in an air pocket there. That is not the case now. Divers are saying, if Brad pans in over my shoulder here you can take a look. Those green flashing lights you see on the harbor side, more ambulances that have just pulled up. And in the background you may just see about to come in the picture there another police maritime ship bringing bodies ashore. The ambulances are there waiting to take those bodies away, this very painful for the families.
We have also learned another painful thing for them today. The first person to make contact from the ship to the emergency services, was a young boy aboard calling 911. He told the responder that he needed help, that the ship was sinking. That was three minutes before anyone from the crew called for any kind of help. Also, another two crew members arrested today, bringing the total 11 arrested so far, Chris.
CUOMO: Nic, that is a huge disclosure about the timing of how they were responding to incident. Certainly we're going to hear more about that going forward. Nic, appreciate the reporting. We'll be back to you.
In other news, President Obama is looking to do more business with Asia. Arriving in Tokyo this morning it is his first stop on a scheduled four-nation tour of the region. The week-long trip is designed to boost America's ties to Asia, especially as alliances in the region become even more critical. Other stops in addition to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines all so key right now. CNN's Michelle Kosinski is in Tokyo with more. Michelle?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Obama is about to kick off his Asian trip by going out for sushi reportedly a three- Michelin started sushi joint with the Japanese prime minister. This trip is seen as extremely significant by the U.S. and by the four countries visited. You might even call it pivotal. Remember, this represents that Asian pivot, the rebalance of U.S. interests towards this region that the administration has wanted for Obama's second term.
The questions are, how credibly will it be viewed in the areas it covers, economic, diplomatic, and military. And how much progress is really possible. President Obama has been pushing for this trans- Pacific trade partnership that could involve 12 countries but it's been slow going. Also the issues of threats of provocation from North Korea, territorial disputes with China, all of which shape U.S. relationships in this important region. Michaela?
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Michelle Kosinski traveling with the president, thank you so much for that.
Let's take a look now at more of your headlines. With start with the Ukrainian government saying the truce it called for at Easter is over. Officials say security operations targeting militants in the east will resume after a surge in violence. There is mounting concern that last week's deal to ease tensions between Ukraine and Russia is unraveling. In the meantime, the Pentagon is sending about 600 troops to yearn Europe in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine. The White House will deliver 10 apache attack helicopters in aid Egypt's counterterrorism operations on the Sinai Peninsula. The U.S. suspended aid to Egypt after the military removed President Mohammed Morsi last year in a crackdown on violent protesters. Secretary of State John Kerry certified to Congress to saying Egypt met key criteria for Washington to resume aid, and including upholding its obligations under the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.
And 1,100 IRS employees who owed back taxes were awarded some $1 million in bonuses between 2010 and 2012. That's according to a federal investigation which says the agency handed out over $2.8 million all to employees with recent disciplinary problems. Now, the bonuses apparently do not violate federal regulations but certainly they look bad. The IRS says it has a new policy to link conduct to bonuses for high-level employees.
How about this? Late show host present and future coming face to face last night. Stephen Colbert made a highly anticipated visit to David Letterman's show, which of course we know Colbert will take over next year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID LETTERMAN, "LATE SHOW" HOST: They could have just as easily hired another boob like me, but they didn't.
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE COLBERT REPORT": They hired a boob like me.
COLBERT: Every boob is like a snowflake, Dave. We're all unique in our own way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREIRA: Like a snowflake, I didn't know that. Colbert, of course, found time for this, a selfie with Letterman. And he apparently told the audience he turned down an internship for Letterman's first late night show when he was in college.
BOLDUAN: What was the other internship if he turned it down?
PEREIRA: I don't know.
BOLDUAN: I don't think he turned --
PEREIRA: It was past my bedtime.
CUOMO: I like it. I think it was a savvy move. People have to get introduced to Colbert as the person he is as opposed to the character he.
BOLDUAN: I suppose. CUOMO: That's going to be his challenge.
PEREIRA: It's surprise that they didn't use the year to build up and make a big announcement.
CUOMO: It might have been scary to the audience. That's the big test.
BOLDUAN: He has until this point.
CUOMO: It's true. I've seen him on -- in and out of character. He's a very kop compelling, very smart guy.
BOLDUAN: Have you ever seen Colbert out of character?
CUOMO: That's true. That's deep. Double hit there.
BOLDUAN: That is way too much deep for me.
All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, a teenage stowaway in the wheel well of a jet begs the question, are all our airports vulnerable? How secure are they? We're going to ask an aviation expert to weigh in.
And on INSIDE POLITICS, it's a new election season but a familiar name. You're looking at him, Bob Dole. Yes, the 90-year-old highly respected former senator and presidential candidate barnstorming across Congress, trading jabs with a certain Republican. We'll tell you who and why.
BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.
New details this morning about the 15-year-old boy who stowed away on a flight from California to Hawaii in the wheel well of a 767. The teen was apparently trying to get to Africa to visit his mother.
Now, his undertaking -- not only is it amazing he survived, but his undertaking, the fact that he just got into the wheel well is exposing huge flaws in airport security.
Here to walk us through kind of the different security features at San Jose Airport and kind of airports all over the country and the world, CNN aviation analyst Michael Kay.
Michael, good morning.
MICHAEL KAY, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Good morning.
BOLDUAN: Thank you for being here. Let's -- let's first just show our viewers just for perspective the layout of the San Jose International Airport, where the 15-year-old got on this flight. This flight was on kind of the far left of the airport. You can see it's highlighted right there.
So it was kind of, if we say, on the outskirts of the airport. He wasn't really walking all of the way through. That's just a little bit of perspective. And we all know that security around airports varies airport by airport. Right?
KAY: Yeah, all correct. But in my experience the security plan usually adopts or incorporates a layered approach. What that means is various levels of security checks and defenses, so you don't have a single point of failure.
BOLDUAN: So you've got a backup of a backup of a backup.
BOLDUAN: And if someone breaches one part of the security --
KAY: Exactly. And that's -- that's just not airfields. That's a corporate building within New York. That's a forward operating base in Afghanistan, or it's an international airport.
BOLDUAN: So let's walk through some of the layers of security that we are aware of at San Jose's airport. First, they have some six miles of a barbed wire fence around the airport. He clearly bypassed that with, what seems like, no problem.
KAY: Yeah, I mean, the usual first layer of defense, as you rightly point out, is -- is -- is a fence. Now that's six miles of perimeter fence in the case of San Jose International Airport, and it's also around six foot tall.
So I don't know if we can see on the monitor. We have the fence earlier. I'm about 6'6. So the fence would be about this high. Also the height -- about double the height.
BOLDUAN: Right, about double the height what we see right there.
KAY: And then there's a barbed wire piece on top of that. But if someone really wants to get over that fence it's not inconceivable that they couldn't.
BOLDUAN: So there is your first -- there is your first layer of defense is the fence. He clearly bypassed that.
Secondly, you have security cameras. They say that there are some 200 cameras at this airport.
KAY: Yeah, absolutely.
BOLDUAN: They don't have surveillance video of him getting over the fence. They do have surveillance video of someone they believe is him walking on the tarmac. But no one saw it at the time, obviously.
KAY: Yeah, and again, you know, there will be this security assessment of the whole international airport about where you put those CCTV --
BOLDUAN: Where are they generally? Is there -- is there a standard?
KAY: I mean, if you've got a one-mile long piece of fence you're only going to need three or four cameras to actually monitor that. If you go back to the terminal buildings that you can see up there, you're going to have to have a lot more cameras because they're all lot more blind spots. There are a lot more angles. There are a lot more buildings. There are a lot more things for people to hide behind against.
But in my experience, there will always be some sort of blind spot. You're never really going to eliminate everything.
BOLDUAN: Well, there clearly was. I mean, when you look at the timeline, the little bit of the timeline that they've given us, it makes it pretty clear that he was either on the tarmac or in the plane for some seven hours before the flight took off. That sounds like a pretty big blind spot.
KAY: Yeah, I mean, and again, if we go back to this layered approach. Let's look at the air traffic control tower.
KAY: I mean, if he jumps over the fence, that's a first layer. That's been breached. But then you've got this air traffic control tower. It's tall. You've got a number of controllers in there who are -- the whole purpose of the air traffic control tower being there is they can see the whole airfield. And there aren't any buildings on the airfield. It's just straight runways with a few aids that help the aircraft come down.
So anyone trying to walk across the airfield should be an easy target. So that would really kind of be the second layer of defense. In my experience, as well, you also have these little caravans, which are sat near the threshold, which have a controller in them. And the purpose of that person is, as the aircraft lines up on the threshold to get airborne, that person is the final check for the aircraft, anything hanging off, any oil leaks, anything like that.
BOLDUAN: So then you're talking about the eyeballs. All of the people who could walk around the plane, do walk around the plane, that could have, maybe should have, seen something. You've got airport security. You've got grounds crews, and you have the pilots. The pilots always do a walk around. What are they looking for? What's the responsibility?
KAY: Yeah, and this for me is like the -- the big key bit, the third layer of defense. You've got the baggage handlers. You've got the catering staff. You've got the operations staff. You've got that little guy that drives the tow tug, you know, when it pushes you out. Yeah, and that's looking at the whole undercarriage of the airplane.
And then, as you rightly point out, you've got the first officer, or the captain, who do a pre-flight walk around.
Now, there's a -- I'm speaking to a very good friend of mine who is a 767 captain, and he flies to Ghana in -- quite a lot. There are various places around the world that airlines designate as stowaway risks. And what that means is, is that when the aircraft is on final approach and the wheels come down, these doors, the big doors a lot of us can actually come back up, and that eliminates drag.
Now, if the aircraft is going to a airfield that has a particular stowaway risk, what will happen is the engineers will press a button and drop those doors. And if anyone has seen the picture of the -- the footage of the 767 of Gary climbing up into it, it's a huge area.
And so, dropping those doors allows the captain and the first officer to have a good view.
BOLDUAN: You get a really good view of what's inside.
KAY: And you can (inaudible). If those doors are closed, the only way in is up through the leg and through a little hatch. So it's almost impossible to see anyone that would be hidden away in that little that seat we saw from Gary's correspondent piece.
BOLDUAN: Real quick, from what you know, is there one fix to this? I assume no. This doesn't happen very often, so the pilot might not be looking for a stowaway, especially at San Jose airport. Is there one fix for this?
KAY: There isn't. The reality of this is security is a product of risk assessment and budget. The risks assessment gives you the threats, where the threats are coming from, the priorities, and there isn't an endless pot of money. So the person paying for it has to prioritize. And in this case, maybe there needs to be a little bit more priority on the CCTV or the people doing the walk arounds and the procedures and protocols need to be better.
BOLDUAN: Because fortunately this boy does not trying to do anything bad. You never know what's going to happen, though, another time.
KAY: But there are more sinister affects of what potentially could happen.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely right.
Michael, thank you very much for walking us through that.
KAY: Good to see you.
CUOMO: I mean, the banner said it all, there, Kate. A 15-year-old spent seven hours on the tarmac. Nobody saw him. Security failed. They have to do better.
We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, breaking news off the coast of Australia: an object of interest. That's what it's being called. A piece of torn metal with rivets. Could it be from Flight 370? We will tell you what we know. And we all know that politicians can be prickly. But if you can get on the bad side of Bob Dole, you know you've got a problem. We're going to tell you who got there and how on Inside Politics.
PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Almost half past the hour.
Let's take a look at your headlines. Breaking news: an object of interest has been spotted in the search for Flight 370. It's reportedly a long piece of metal with rivets. It was found on the Australian coast south of Perth. This, as the underwater search for Flight 370 could wrap up in the next couple of days. The Bluefin-21's drone making its tenth unsuccessful dive overnight. It has now canvassed over 80 percent of the search zone.
Breaking news also from South Korea: divers searching the upper decks of the capsized ferry found no air pockets. This all but eliminates any hope of finding anyone alive in that sunken wreck. One hundred fifty bodies have been recovered; 152 people remain missing.
In the meantime, two more crew members have been arrested, bringing the total to 11. Some including the ferry captain face criminal charges.
It appears the Easter truce in Ukraine is over. The interim government says security operations targeting militants in the east are resuming. This follows a surge in violence amid mounting concern that last week's deal to ease tensions is unraveling. The Pentagon is about to send 600 troops to eastern Europe in response to Russia's actions.
Those are your headlines at this hour. Guys?
CUOMO: All right, let's check Inside Politics on NEW DAY with Mr. John King. Still reeling from just the complete lack of Boston Strong, his Red Sox are showing, his red tie, a disgrace to his neck as they sit at the bottom of the standings. Is there any other news today?
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, the Bruins won last night. Let's focus on that one.
BODLUAN: Wait, didn't they beat the Red Wings?
KING: We're going to stick with the Bruins. We're going to celebrate the Bruins and pray for the Red Sox. More on that in just a minute. Back to you guys in a minute.
Let's go inside politics this morning, a busy day. With me to share their reporting and their insights, Juana Summers of "Politico", Nea- Malika Henderson, of "The Washington Post". Let's start with what I can call a lesson in political geography. Two democrats, two different states and two very different messages. Allyson Schwartz is running for governor of Pennsylvania. She's in a crowded Democratic primary. She's doing something, listen here, very few Democrats are doing this year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALLYSON SCHWARTZ, (D), PA : I worked with President Obama on the Affordable Care Act in getting health coverage to all Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's right, a Democrat bragging about her support and her work for the Obamacare Act. That's in Pennsylvania.
Let's go to Georgia now. Michelle Nunn is the Democratic candidate for the United States Senate. She's the Democrat, but listen here, sounds like she's auditioning for the tea party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE NUNN, (D), GA: What's going on in Washington has to stop. That's why I'm for banning members of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists. I don't think congressmen should get paid unless they pass a budget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)