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Search Continues for Missing Malaysian Plane; Rescue Efforts Continue for Sunken South Korean Ferry; Officials Say Chemical Weapons may have been Used Again in Syria; How Did Stowaway Survive?; Three American Doctors Killed in Kabul; Debris Found in Search Not Connected to MH-370; Russians Threatening Force Over Ukraine's Use of Military
Aired April 24, 2014 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Another incident where someone who works for Afghan security forces apparently is shot and killed. These people, we saw something similar just a few weeks ago in eastern Afghanistan when an Afghan security official shot and killed two American journalists. Just before that, also, a French journalist shot and killed in a Taliban attack. Kate?
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: When you listen like that it seems to get worse and worse. Barbara Starr, thank you so much, Barbara. Thank you.
Let's turn now to the latest on the search for flight 370. The Bluefin-21 is more than 90 percent done in scanning the focused search zone it was working on. The underwater drone is now in its 12th dive. Still no sign of the plane, and it turns out that metal object of interest found Wednesday on Australia's west coast did not come from the missing jet, they say. Let's get to Erin McLaughlin in Perth, Australia. Erin, what do you think with all of this and kind of the false start, if you will, on that metal object, what does this all mean for the search?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The search, of course, will go on, indicate. This really was just one more that managed to disappoint. The Australian Transport and Safety Bureau analyzed photographs of that object of interest which was discovered off the coast of Australia. We managed to obtain the photographs as well and they show pieces of metal, a piece of metal, rather, that is white and orange in coloration. It's easy to see how someone might mistake that for a piece of the plane. But the ATSB saying on further analysis that those images are not, in fact, related to missing Malaysian flight 370.
They're not saying exactly what it is that was discovered, but we understand it seems to be though that it was just another piece of garbage, another piece of sea garbage, the kind of garbage a that has managed to muddy the waters of that ongoing visual search for any signs of debris.
So the spotlight really turning back to the Bluefin-21 and the underwater efforts. We understand as of this morning it was on its 12th dive having traversed 90 percent of the very narrowed search area, the area that they say is their best guess as to where the black box may be. And with that ruled out, Australian and Malaysian authorities already considering next steps. We understand there in the process of hammering out an agreement possibly to broaden the search area and introduce more underwater submersibles into the mix. We understand that agreement is expected by the end of the week. Chris?
BOLDUAN: Erin, I'll take it. . Thank you. Joining us now is CNN aviation analyst former inspector general at the Department of Transportation Mary Schiavo to discuss more. Mary, I hope you were able to get a look at that picture as well. It's the first time we're seeing this object of interest. Obviously I am not a trained eye. Would it be easy to mistake that for debris?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Sure, it was white in color and there are a number of rivets and then there was a support structure underneath. So the white color of the rivets and the metal certainly did point to something that could look like a piece of aircraft. The things that are giveaways that it wasn't a piece of aircraft are the insulation and the color of the insulation. Aircraft insulation has three properties. It's thermal blanket, it's moisture resistant and it's acoustic, it's acoustic properties, and so this is not I've aviation insulation.
And then the inside of the metal on the plane is usually a dirty green color, like a gray-green kind of color. So it sure looks like it on the outside. The rivets are a little too far apart for an aircraft wing, but I could see why people would have thought that this might have been an aircraft part, sure.
BOLDUAN: And if there's a chance you might as well chase down any leads you have at this point, right, Mary?
SCHIAVO: Absolutely. At this point I would actually encourage people, even like they did in Adam Air, encourage people with rewards to see if they can find aircraft parts, because that might be some of the only leads we have going forward.
BOLDUAN: That gets to the point I feel like the discussion is moving towards. Why not get the public more involved? Why not be more trans important with this entire -- not criminal investigation, no one wants to get the details of any criminal investigation, but to get more people involved in trying to find out what happened to the plane? That speaks directly to this preliminary report that was just submitted to ICAO by Malaysian officials. They chose not to make it public which is allowed but unusual. What are the reasons to keep that confidential?
SCHIAVO: They say it was to protect the investigation, but that's really disingenuous because there have been thousands of air investigations by very accomplished nations such as Britain, France, Australia, and the United States, and they follow the protocol with making the preliminary investigation public. Those countries have public sunshine hearings where we set forth the facts. A docket on the NTSB hearing is thousands of pages long where they make public all the information. And by the way, at an NTSB hearing you can go forward and you can talk to the NTSB board and investigators and tell them, hey, I would like to know this or I want this question asked. They may not ask them but you have access.
And I think the public would be helpful, as CNN found out with the crowd sourcing project, the calls came flooding in for every pixel -- for every picture they put up on that crowd sourcing project, I think 30 pairs of eyes looked at it. That is so encouraging that the world cares as long as you give them a chance to help.
BOLDUAN: Crowd sourcing has been effective in the past. The U.S. Navy has employed this in the past. I can ask the same question, why not do it? It sounds like there's not a good reason to not try it. Is there a downside to crowd sourcing? Too many people involved, too much noise to have to weed through?
SCHIAVO: Well, there is a lot. As we found out there is a lot of people that send in a lot of suggestions. You can weed through them and look through them, but for the crowd sourcing, it has been successful in the past. I don't see any reason why the public can't know these facts. In a sense, we're paying for it. It's the taxpayers around the world paying for this search.
BOLDUAN: That is an excellent point I don't think has been hammered home enough, Mary. On this preliminary report, in your past experience, what is in the prelim report? What could we have seen in it which we're not going to unless they decide to release it?
SCHIAVO: The preliminary report reads a lot like a police report. It's just the facts. It says on such and such a date, March 8th, you know, a plane was lost from radar. We have this information. We have that information. You know, the cause is not known. It's under investigation. But it sets forth all the facts that are known.
And I suspect the reason they're not releasing it is they're not too sure of the facts. For example, the radar data from Malaysia and Indonesia is deplorable. I think there's a huge lack of it is what they're not wanting to come forth with. But that preliminary report has to set forth the facts. And so I think a lot of facts are missing. At this late date in the investigation, that's bad.
BOLDUAN: The saving face that they might be trying to do as the family members like Sarah Bajc, that was she suspects at this point. Mary, thanks so much. Chris?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We know exactly where the sunken ferry ship is, but the horrible question in that situation is, where are 131 people, many of them teens? Divers continue to bring more bodies to the surface. And 171 people are now confirmed dead. Investigators are expanding their criminal investigation. They searched the offices of the shipping company that operated the ferry as well as the home of its reclusive billionaire owner. CNN's Nic Robertson is live in Jindo, South Korea. Nic?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris, right now we got a standoff situation here on the harbor area. There are a group of families here who are not satisfied with the answers getting from government officials. They are surrounding the minister of maritime and fisheries. The chief of the maritime police and his deputy, these minister and police chiefs are not allowed to leave. The families for over an hour have been asking questions. They're not satisfied with the way that the search is going.
We have also here at CNN now heard from a South Korean lawmaker who tells us something about the ship that we didn't know for sure. He said that an extension was built on the ship within the past year or so adding capacity for another 117 people, taking it up to a capacity of 921 people the ship can take. The problem is, according to the lawmaker, this heightened the center of gravity on the ship making it potentially, potentially more liable for capsize.
We've also learned in the last few hours that another crew member is likely to face charges. That is 15 out of the 20 surviving crew members likely to face charges including deserting the ship. Chris?
CUOMO: These are some harsh charges and obviously we're going to have to see where it goes forward, because still don't understand why it happened. Nic, thanks for the reporting.
We also want to tell you about ugly reminders of the crossed red line in Syria. Listen to this. There are reports the nation may be using chlorine gas against its own people including children. That could be the result of a loophole in the international deal made last summer to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons. CNN's Elise Labott is in Washington D.C. with more. How could chlorine be an acceptable loophole in this situation?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's the thing, Chris, it wouldn't. And three years into Syria's civil war U.S. policy is in shambles. One of the reasons is because all roads to Damascus lead through Moscow.
LABOTT: Horrific images of a possible choline attack in Syria, fresh signs, U.S. officials say, the regime continue to gas its own people, even as inspectors on the ground rid Syria of its most deadly chemical weapons, making a mockery of the U.S.-Russian deal which scuttled plans for American military strikes.
President Obama pushed back against charges the latest attacks spelled diplomatic failure.
BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Right now we have 87 percent of Syria's chemical weapons have already been removed from Syria. That's as a consequence of U.S. leadership. And the fact that we didn't have to fire a missile to get that accomplished is not a failure to uphold those international norms. It's a success.
LABOTT: But three years into Syria's civil war peace talks between the opposition and regime are on ice. The humanitarian crisis is exploding, and extremists are growing in strength. The U.S. has looked to Russia to rein in President Assad. Instead, Moscow has blocked action and continues to arm the regime. Senator John McCain pointed the finger on late night TV.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: And 150,000 people have been massacred. Atrocious things are going bon by this guy Bashar Assad. The Russians, by the way, are sending them weapons.
LABOTT: In an interview Wednesday Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said the U.S. must share responsibility.
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Then Syria happened and they were telling us, they still do, if only Russia tells us go, everything would fall into place. It's an absolute, I would say, egoistic and unrealistic approach.
LABOTT: And now with tensions over Ukraine, U.S. officials say what limited cooperation they've been getting from Russia is in jeopardy. And that would pose a big dilemma from the U.S. about how to respond. After this attack is investigated if it does turn out to be a gas attack at the hands of the regime, that would be a clear violation of that deal. Michaela?
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Elise Labott, thank you so much for that.
Let's get more of your headlines at this hour, starting with Ukraine. Ukrainian forces with a major pushback against pro-Russian separatists in the east. They've executed several operations, leaving a number of militants dead and holding off an attack on a military unit. Now, Russia isn't sitting quietly. President Putin accuses Ukraine of ignoring terms of the deal reached in Geneva to ease tensions, and Russia's foreign minister took a slap at the U.S., saying it is behind the revolution in Ukraine. President Obama says he has more sanctions ready to go against the Russians if they continue their aggression.
The Obama administration is expanding the criteria for low-level, nonviolent federal drug offenders to be eligible for early release. The Justice Department announcing it will consider recommending clemency for inmates who served at least 10 years and would have received significantly lower prison terms today. This move is expected to generate tens of thousands of new clemency applications.
And 2,000 U.S. army officers are losing their jobs, about 1,500 captains and 500 majors being forced out by the end of the year because of budget cuts. This is part of the Pentagon's plan to shrink its force to pre-World War II levels. By the end of 2015 the army will have fewer than half a million active duty soldiers.
The Food and Drug Administration see set to propose regulations on e- cigarettes. Among the measures, banning sales to people under 18 and requiring manufacturers to report ingredients. They also would have to produce proof that e-cigarettes are healthier than cigarettes, as they claim. These would be the first regulations on e-cigarettes. They certainly have risen in popularity.
BOLDUAN: Huge jump in popularity. When I was flying overseas, they even say on planes overseas, they were even saying no e-cigarettes.
CUOMO: Not now with a baby though.
BOLDUAN: Oh, my e-cigarette smoking?
CUOMO: Yes. I know you think it's cool and all that.
BOLDUAN: The blue light, it's so cute.
CUOMO: Also, how can it not be bad for you?
BOLDUAN: It is. It's highly addictive.
CUOMO: Come on, any time you put something in your mouth and smoke comes out the other side it's just not good.
BOLDUAN: Logic tends to tell you.
CUOMO: You don't have to be Sanjay Gupta to know.
BOLDUAN: But you do play a doctor on TV.
CUOMO: That's true. It's the tie.
BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, the father of the stowaway who survived a trip from California to Hawaii is speaking out about why the teen fled. And we will look at how he was able to survive the deadly conditions with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
CUOMO: Inside Politics, red hot this morning, Hillary Clinton saying there is an army of women out there. The question is, will they fight for her? We're going to examine it straight ahead.
CUOMO: All right. New information in that stowaway story. The father of the 15-year-old who somehow survived a five-hour flight in a wheel well is speaking out. He describes his son as very quiet, struggling in school since moving to California a few months ago, especially in math and science.
Meanwhile, it's a medical mystery as to how this young man avoided freezing to death, suffocating inside the wheel well, and dealing with altitude sickness. Remember, he's at 38,000 feet.
Let's bring in CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Doctor, it's good to have you.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICIAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
CUOMO: I was saying earlier you don't have to be Sanjay Gupta to know that cigarettes are bad for you, but you do need to be you to explain this situation to me. Why isn't his skin frozen? How did he walk away? GUPTA: You know, it is a medical mystery, and obviously there's not a lot of cases like this. We don't know for sure what exactly happened to him. But one of the things that's important to point out is that there were sort of two competing forces on his body likely if he was in that wheel well when he was up at that altitude.
He had lower oxygen as a result of the altitude, lower oxygen available to his body. But also he may have been so cold, Chris, that it almost puts his body into, like, an animal hibernation. When you're in hibernation state you don't need as much oxygen. So the body almost protects itself in a situation like this. He could have, you know -- could have warmed up a little bit as he was coming back down. That could explain why his skin temperature wasn't so cold. But, you know, that's a -- that's theory, Chris.
CUOMO: So this is one of those scenarios where because of the extreme condition the brain kind of slows down, the body goes into kind of a state of shock that allows it to survive?
GUPTA: That's right. And it's interesting because the body will do this naturally in some ways. We do this in hospitals as well. Someone comes in with a cardiac arrest, for example. They're not getting enough on oxygenated blood to the body.
You have two options. Get more oxygen in the blood to the body or slow down the body's need for that oxygen. And a lot of times will cool the body in order to do that. And so, it's the same sort of thing.
I profiled a woman a few years ago, Chris, Anna Bagenholm. She was skiing, and she literally fell into this creek head first. They couldn't get her out for a long time. Her heart had stopped for three hours. She was 56 degrees when they measured her body temperature. And then they slowly rewarmed her, slowly, Chris. And take a look at what happened to her heart.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just saw some little shivering and suddenly, suddenly it contracted. And there was a pulse and a second contraction. Ahhh, everybody goes like that and we had really tearful eyes all of us because it was a moment of victory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: They were slowly rewarming her heart, Chris. Again, three hours without a heartbeat, 56 degrees. She made a full recovery. She's now a radiologist in that very hospital where she was cared for.
CUOMO: That's amazing. The shivering, I guess it's the body trying to warm itself up. And yet in this situation, every other one we've heard about there is an obvious physical manifestation of the trauma. Here, the kid walks away. As far as we know, there were no burn marks on his arms. Does it make you think that there has to be a variable we don't know about right now, that something was warm, he was somehow insulated, he had found his way into some different compartment?
GUPTA: Yeah, absolutely. I think that -- those would be much more logical assumptions. We haven't heard that for sure. But if he were in that wheel well alone, is there a possibility he could have still survived? The answer seems to be yes. Again, based on what we know the medical science and previous cases like this.
CUOMO: Something about it, you know? There's just something about this that makes me think even in ones where it's happened before like that really amazing one you just showed us of that woman with her heart, there's been such obvious signs of distress. You know, as opposed to this kid just saying, I passed out. Then he's eating meatballs and drinking water and having cookies and walking around. I mean, have you seen one where someone seemed to show so little sign of the distress?
GUPTA: No. I guess that's a good point. I mean, even with the women we just showed, she obviously had tremendous distress, needed critical care in the hospital, all of that.
Yeah, I agree, there is something about it. I mean, could he have stayed warm in some way? Coming out of a state of hibernation like this, even if you do make a full recovery, as you saw there, you still would have probably some signs of disorientation, physical manifestations.
CUOMO: And look, we don't know what's going to happen with him going forward. You know, God willing, everything is OK. But it's too soon to tell.
And before I let you go, doc, let me just say the work you did in Africa was amazing and proof of why --
GUPTA: Thank you.
CUOMO: -- so many people turn to you. You took on a problem that's not popular. It's really dangerous, and it's spreading. And you let us learn about Eboli. You let us feel what the human condition is. Thanks for doing it, doc. That's why you're the best.
GUPTA: I appreciate that, Chris. It means a lot coming from you. I appreciate that.
CUOMO: Especially because I don't like you, as you well know. You know it's genuine.
GUPTA: That's why. That's right. That's why it's so surprising.
CUOMO: Take care, doc. I'll see you soon.
BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, the Bluefin's under water search for Flight 370 soon nearing its end with no success in this phase. So where does that leave the search if their leads were wrong here?
And also, we'll go Inside Politics as President Obama kicks off his four-nation Asia visit in Japan, dealing with difficult trade talks, enjoying pretty expensive sushi. And take a look at this video. A little soccer with Honda's amazing robot.
PERERIA: Almost half past the hour here on NEW DAY.
Let's look at your headlines. And we begin with breaking news. Three American volunteer doctors were killed after a security guard allegedly opened fire outside a children's hospital in Kabul. The security guard turned the gun on himself but survived and is now being questioned. Another woman, also an American, was shot and is being treated for her wounds. So far, the motive for the attack is unclear.
Authorities say a piece of metal found Wednesday on Australia's west coast is not connected to Flight 370. The Bluefin-21 has now scanned more than 90 percent of the underwater search zone with still no trace of the missing jet. Now, if the drone fails to find the plane, officials are expected to expand the search area and bring in additional sophisticated equipment.
Off the coast of South Korea, divers fighting treacherous currents to locate more than 130 people still unaccounted for in the ferry disaster; 171 bodies have now been recovered. The ferry was expanded last year, we're told, to make room for an additional 117 passengers. Investigators now looking at whether that may have made it more vulnerable to capsizing. A total of 15 crew members now, including the ferry captain, have been arrested.
Russian President Vladimir Putin now says Ukraine's use of the military will have consequences. This comes as Ukrainians have gone on the offensive. They're pushing into areas pro-Russian forces have tried to plant their flag. The Russians are threatening force if their interests are threatened. President Obama's warning more sanctions are at the ready.
Those are your headlines, guys.
CUOMO: That is not good. Politics words on one side. Threats of violence on the other. Obviously political implications going home abroad and at home. So let's get to Inside Politics on NEW DAY with John King.
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, Kate, and Michaela, good morning to you. We're going to pick up right on that point on the standoff with Vladimir Putin over Ukraine.
And with me this morning to share their reporting and insights, Julianna Goldman, "Bloomberg News", CNN's Peter Hamby.
Julianna, you're just back from a trip with the vice president. He went over to offer moral support and some financial support for the Ukrainian government. Let's listen to the president here. He's traveling in Asia now in a news conference over night with the Japanese prime minister. President Obama making clear that if Russia doesn't back down, and there's no indication it will, more sanctions are coming.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have been preparing for the prospect that we're going to have to engage in further sanctions. Those are teed up. It requires some technical work, and it also requires coordination with other countries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: "Teed up" the president says. Obviously, there is some work. You have to put the language down. You have to work with the European allies.
Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, also said yesterday she thinks the sanctions should be tightened and widened. She says I think Russia will pay a big price.
First, let's start within the administration. What's the argument between going to like full bore sanctions now or gradually amping them up?
JULIANNA GOLDMAN, "BLOOMBERG NEWS": It's very clear that the administration, the president, they don't think that there's going to be a change in Putin's calculus right now. There won't be a change of behavior before they get to this next round of sanctions.
But they have kind of been out-gamed over the last week. Geneva, the accord last week, it really bought Putin some time here. So, yes, it looks like this next round of sanctions will be within a matter of days. We're not talking weeks, possibly by the end of this week.