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Obama Gets Red Carpet Welcome In Malaysia; Bluefin-21 Scan 95 Percent Done: No Sign Of MH370; Tornado, Severe Storm Threat Through Weekend; Connecticut Teen Killed On Prom Day; Georgia's "Guns Everywhere" Law; Storm Suspends Ferry Diving Missions; Two Popes to be Canonized Tomorrow; Recovering Cell Phone Data from Underwater

Aired April 26, 2014 - 08:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: American president to visit Malaysia in nearly half a century. He is there nearly seven weeks to the day since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Our CNN's Will Ripley joins us now from Kuala Lumpur. Will, several key items on the president's agenda today. Of course, the hunt for this jet and also boosting U.S. trade ties with Malaysia, which was the original intention and goal when it was postponed the first time.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so many important items on the agenda and a lot of them will be discussed when President Obama gives his 45-minute or so speech at the state dinner. We believe the president is about to be on his way from the hotel to the national palace where he will attend the state dinner with the prime minister. He is going to be talking about a lot of things, as you said, trade, very important. Trans-pacific partnership that the president is circling around Asia trying to get as many countries in the fold as possible.

He is also going to be talking about the importance of partnering for counterterrorism. Malaysia is key to that to try to keep the world safe from terrorist acts and then as you mentioned MH370, which is really kind of the cloud that hangs over this whole country and it does hang over the president's visit. You can expect that Mr. Obama to express his condolences on behalf of the American people and also encourages steps to be taken in the future to prevent a repeat crisis from another plane disappearing like 370 did.

PAUL: Will, speaking of Flight 370, I wonder how the president's presence there affects a lot of the criticisms that Malaysia has not been transparent enough in what they've released regarding that flight that vanished. Is his presence giving some pressure to the government there, do you think?

RIPLEY: Well, it certainly complicates the visit when you have President Obama standing on the same stage with the prime minister whose government has been criticized widely for lack of transparency, for not giving families the information they needed in the initial days after this and perhaps even not responding as effectively as possible when it first became apparent that 370 had disappeared. You know, remember the prime minister spoke with CNN's Richard Quest about that very topic. So the president, you know, he is going to be trying to shy away from that aspect of things and focusing on the sombre mood here and condolences and continuing to pledge United States support in the search. But yes, 370 definitely does complicate things on this visit, which is really important to the United States, specifically this trade agenda.

BLACKWELL: All right, Will Ripley in Kuala Lumpur for us just as the president will soon arrive at the state dinner there in the Malaysian capital. Will, thank you very much.

PAUL: In case you have not heard, one of the big pieces of news coming out of this is that President Obama does say the U.S. is still committed to the investigation of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Despite seven weeks of this exhaustive search, officials have been unable to locate a single piece of debris from the Boeing 777. The president says we're in it for the long haul.

BLACKWELL: Unbelievable for most people. Right now, the Bluefin-21 is scanning the ocean floor. This is the 14th mission for this underwater robot. U.S. Navy source tells CNN if the Bluefin does not find debris, search crews plan to shift their slightly north.

PAUL: CNN's Erin McLaughlin is in Perth, Australia. She has the latest. Erin, what are you hearing there this morning about the search?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christi. Well, the Bluefin- 21 cutting its 13th dive short due to a software glitch forcing it up to surface. They addressed the issue overnight and as of this morning, it was on that 14th dive having scanned about 95 percent of that current search area. Basically their best guess as to where the plane may be and what do you do when you are ruling out your best guess?

Well, you start to look at your next best guess. Officials announcing that once the Bluefin-21 has completely searched this entire area, if still no signs of MH-370, they will begin searching an adjacent area more to the north closer to where that first ping was detected by that towed pinger locator.

One of the things people here are wondering is why they are still using the Bluefin-21. Why they haven't introduced more powerful submersibles to this search. Something that officials really haven't addressed yet. Considering there are more powerful submersibles out there such as the Orion, which can go about a mile deeper than the Bluefin-21 and search for weeks on end.

We know it is something that authorities are talking about. Australian and Malaysian officials currently hammering out a longer- term search agreement based on a Malaysian proposal calling for a broader search area and calling for a more sophisticated underwater equipment to be used in the search. That agreement expected to be reached within weeks so perhaps we could hear some sort of announcement then. BLACKWELL: All right, Erin McLaughlin for us in Perth, Australia as the search for parts of 370 or the black boxes or any of it shifts slightly north and the first search zone wraps up. Thank you, Erin.

PAUL: Thank you, Erin. Now for more on this, we want to bring in our panel, CNN aviation analyst, Miles O'Brien and oceanographer, Simon Boxall. Good morning, Gentlemen.

BLACKWELL: Miles, Bluefin nearly done scanning the area and so far turned up nothing. Is that a surprise or are we maybe not using the right technology? What do you think?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, I think it is a surprise that we have the search underway without having found any piece of wreckage. The fact that they detected pings in this area seems to be a bit of a stroke of luck. Given what we know about under water acoustics and Simon can elaborate on this, it is not exactly a precise science. So I think we have to calibrate our expectations for the amount of time this is going to take.

It took two years to find the Air France 447 underneath the surface of the Atlantic and they had wreckage to sort of hone in on the location. In this case, we have ping data, we think, which may or may not put us on the right spot. So Bluefin has worked as hard as it can to go to the one particular area, but the fact is, those pings, if they were in fact the pings we hoped they were to be, might be farther to the north or farther south. That search area will expand and it will take more time than we hoped.

PAUL: Simon, a little bit in the show we talked about some of the other technologies that could be used in the search like the Orion or the Remus 6000. Now hearing from Erin there in Perth who says that the Bluefin is taking a break so to speak because of the software glitch. Are we exhausting this one piece of equipment and is it time to bring other technologies into it?

SIMON BOXALL, OCEANOGRAPHER, THE NATIONAL OCEANOGRAPIC CENTER: We are. We are not sure this is the exact location. The best example is the Air France flight that went down in the Atlantic. They searched that same area where the plane was finally found using science technology and missed it. It is possible the Bluefin has missed it. It is working at its limit. It is working at 4.5 limits.

So there are better technologies out there. Even at the NOC, we have our own deep sea rated at 6,000 meters. Moving the search area north is sensible. We don't know for certain the pings are without doubt from the aircraft. Also, sound can travel in strange waves in the oceans. Broadening the search with the Bluefin is sensible.

It is not simple. It is not a question of simply dialling up an auto sub on an Orion and deploying it quickly. It takes weeks to get this ready. You need specialized teams on-site to run the equipment. It is not a simple task. The equipment may be deployed elsewhere on important tasks. It is a question of trying to schedule this in to be part of the search. BLACKWELL: Miles, the Malaysians have indicated that this upcoming week they will make their preliminary report on this flight and its disappearance public. What typically is in that report that could answer some of the questions that the families are looking for?

O'BRIEN: Well, if you apply the U.S. NTSB model to it, it would be a statement of fact. It would include very basic information, which heretofore we have not seen. Things like air traffic control tapes and not just Kuala Lumpur side, but what was side to Ho Chi Minh City Center. Information that might just the basic, basic facts that they have ascertained, sort of a factual finding.

That kind of information should have been out a long time ago. The families have been demanding this and rightly so. The fact the prime minister is finally saying that we will release this, he sees no reason why not, I think is great news and a step in the right direction. I hope it begins more dialogue, not just with the families, but the families who have been in the dark and frankly treated poorly because they haven't given really the kind of respect they deserve to know some of the basics of what they've learned.

PAUL: Simon, I was watching folks last night that think the political debate is really going to turn toward the failure of the military there in Malaysia to act when they first got word that something was wrong with this flight. Do you think that that something, you know, when we ask why delay, do you think that is something that would be revealed in this report or is that something they would hold close to the vest?

BOXALL: I don't know. I mean, I think what it will reveal is they are perhaps not very good at tracking planes. I assume as a passenger or assumed until recently, as a passenger, everyone know where is my plane is at every stage. I find it quite disconcerting that not only can the locator beacons be turned off, but somewhere in the world, there is not air traffic control looking after a particular plane.

I guess, given that information, the military had no better idea than anyone else as to where the plane was or what happened to it. You have to be cautious. You have to be careful you don't release information that is false or supposition. The Malaysians have been criticized and some criticism is justified, but they have been cautious of not either giving false hope or, I suppose, giving the worst possible scenario to relatives of MH370. So, you know, we assume the military know what is going on around the world at any one stage, they don't. We have seen too many James Bond films.

PAUL: Miles O'Brien and Simon Boxall, thank you both so much for your expertise. We appreciate hearing from you this morning.

BLACKWELL: Simon makes a great point. When we board these planes, there are so many blind assumptions. That you think someone somewhere knows exactly where I am.

PAUL: Where I am.

BLACKWELL: And we're learning that maybe not. Still ahead, the tornadoes that touched down across the south. The damaging wind, the hail, look at this.

PAUL: What a mess. Severe weather is on a treacherous roll and it is ready to strike with more, we're told. Karen Maginnis will walk us through it in a moment.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We are watching a severe weather outbreak for the next three days. It starts across the central plains head towards the east. I'll let you know if you are in the firing line for that. Those details coming up in 90 seconds.


PAUL: Look at that. What would you do if you saw that coming at you? Twisters spinning around in North Carolina. That is one ominous sign there. What you see there could still happen in the next 24 hours. There are at least two confirmed reported tornadoes hitting that area. Severe thunderstorms with high winds and hail that sliced through neighborhoods. It damaged a lot of homes. There were some minor injuries reported as well we should point out.

BLACKWELL: Let's go to meteorologist, Karen Maginnis. She has been monitoring the watches and warnings all morning. Who is in the line of fire for this potential tornado outbreak?

MAGINNIS: Well, millions of people across the central plains with biggest cities being from Sioux Falls to Wichita extending all the way down towards Abilene and Austin area. This is all part of a very vigorous weather system that is transitioning towards the eastern seaboard. It will take some time. This is going to be the first significant tornadic outbreak that we have seen so far this season. It has been very quiet.

But as we've all know, these seasons can get amped up quickly. We are watching the temperatures across the southeast really start to warm up. Everyone today in a slight risk. That is not to minimize it, but just wait and see what happens on Sunday and going into Monday. We're looking at a moderate risk and that means you have a greater potential to see some high winds, damaging hail, could be large hail, baseball- sized hail in fact and the potential for an outbreak for tornadoes.

You need to be near a NOAA radio so you can find out if there are watches or warnings. Watches meaning there is a potential. A warning means that a tornado has been spotted by a spotter or on Doppler radar. Then we go into Monday, we are still in the warm sector of the storm. Not moving very fast, but that area of low pressure moves across the Midwest.

So that slight risk all the way from the Ohio River Valley down towards the gulf coast. That moderate risk from Western Tennessee and into Louisiana and much of Mississippi and Arkansas over the next several days. This marks the 23rd anniversary of the outbreak of tornadoes right around Central Oklahoma. That claimed 17 lives. A year ago, that on May 20th, that is when we saw the Moore, Oklahoma fatalities with the severe weather. Back to you guys. BLACKWELL: We all remember that.

PAUL: Karen Maginnis, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: A teenager described as a bright light by her family stabbed to death at school.

PAUL: CNN's Nick Valencia is following that story for us. Hi, Nick.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, guys. A junior full of life. She had a promising future. We will tell you coming up after the break here what police are looking into as a possible motive. You are watching CNN NEW DAY on SATURDAY.


BLACKWELL: Investigators in Connecticut are trying to figure out the motive behind the deadly attack on a 16-year-old honor student. This happened yesterday at a school in Milford just a few miles from Newtown. That is where 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.

PAUL: So here's what we know, police say Maren Sanchez was slashed several times at the hands of a classmate. We want to bring in CNN's Nick Valencia into this. This was so violent, right there in the middle of the school.

VALENCIA: Yes, right there, starting the school off, 7:00 a.m. in the hallway. Lots of people around including some school administrators. But Maren Sanchez was supposed to be at the junior prom last night. Investigators are looking into the possibility if she was stabbed because she refused to go to the prom with her alleged attacker.


VALENCIA (voice-over): Police say high school junior, Maren Sanchez, was attacked by a classmate. She was slashed in the neck, chest and face. They say the attack happened in the stairwell at her school around 7:00 in the morning. Staff members and first responders tried to save her life, but she was pronounced dead about an hour later at a local hospital. The school community is devastated.

DR. ELIZABETH FESER, MILFORD SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: Vibrant. Very, very involved in Jonathan Law High School and contributor, someone who was loved and respected by both her peers as well as her students.

VALENCIA: Investigators recovered a knife at the scene. The 16-year- old male is being held at a local medical facility and a murder charge is pending. Police have not determined the motive. The police chief cautioned against any speculation including the idea that the boy was angry because Sanchez had refused his invitation to the prom.

CHIEF KEITH MELLO, MILFORD POLICE: We've heard that information. Whether or not that is rumor or fact, we don't know. So I think it is important that no one here speculate on the rumors.

VALENCIA: The victim's cousin read a statement from the family.

EDWARD KOVAC, MAREN SANCHEZ'S COUSIN: Maren should be celebrating at her prom with her friends and classmates. Instead, we are mourning her death and we are trying as a community to understand the senseless loss of life.

VALENCIA: The school's prom scheduled for last night was postponed. Family and friends held a vigil at a nearby church and hundreds of people gathered at a local beach to release balloons. Purple was Maren Sanchez's favorite color. Her classmates heart broken.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was very nice. She was gorgeous too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was amazing. She did everything right. Everybody loved her. She was always smiling.


VALENCIA: On social media, so many people reacting to this horrific tragedy yesterday at her school. We should mention her alleged attacker set to be arraigned tomorrow in juvenile court in New Haven, Connecticut.

PAUL: Nick Valencia, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: When you head to the bar or go to the airport, maybe you will be able to take a firearm with you.

PAUL: If you want to. Georgia is saying, sure, go ahead. We are not putting limits on you. It's OK as long as you live in Georgia. We will talk to some critics who are taking aim at the state's sweeping new gun law and somebody says this is the right way to go. Stay close.


PAUL: It's 8:25 to be exact. Just so you know you are on time this morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Let's start off with five things you need to know for your NEW DAY. Up first, President Obama due to speak soon in Malaysia. He is attending a state dinner at the national palace in Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia's king and queen. The president says the U.S. remains fully committed to the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that took off from Kuala Lumpur 50 days ago.

PAUL: Number two, the high tech underwater robot searching for that flight is about 95 percent done with its initial scan at this point. Officials say the search crew may shift north if no wreckage is found. In the meantime, the Malaysian government says it's going to release its initial report on the missing plane to the public next week.

BLACKWELL: Three now, Ukraine security forces move in on pro-Russian militant groups. Police officers are trying to stop them from seizing more Ukrainian cities. At least five rebels have been killed in violent clashes. This is happening as the G-7 lined up additional sanctions for Moscow that are ready to go. Meantime, concern is mounting for a team of detained international observers taken hostage. They are safe and doing well reportedly.

PAUL: Number four here. Look at these images out of Illinois. An explosion levelled an entire house. This was in suburban Chicago. When you see these pictures, there are no reports of injuries. Several homes in the area were evacuated, they tell us. Nearly residents say their windows shook and heard a huge boom, and as you can imagine that incident is under investigation.

BLACKWELL: Yes, number five here, another investigation. Federal prosecutors are close to announcing criminal charges against New York Congressman Michael Grimm. This is according to U.S. officials. The FBI has been investigating Grimm's business dealings and campaign for the 2010 election. Grimm may be best known as the lawmaker to threaten to throw a reporter off a capitol balcony after illegal campaign donations.

The annual meeting of the National Rifle Association is happening now. Members have their sights set on the 2016 presidential race. What they see as a potential threat to the gun rights.

PAUL: But they also face a challenge that looms closer. A new gun control campaign bankrolled by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Let's go to CNN's Alexandra Field who joins live now from New York. Good morning, Alexandra.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Victor, when former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced new effort to promote gun control policies, you know the gun rights advocates at the NRA would have something to say. But they are waiting for their annual weekend conference. We are seeing the Vice President Wayne Lapierre going on the offensive in front of a big crowd.


WAYNE LAPIERRE, EXECUTIVE V.P., NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: Bloomberg announced $50 million to beat us in November. He said he would do everything he could with all of his $50 million to confront and defeat the NRA. Well, here is our response.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Bloomberg says he has $50 million to attack my gun rights. Well, I have $25 to protect them.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is one guy with millions. We're millions with our $25.


FIELD: A slew of Republican speakers also taking stage this weekend in Indianapolis. Among them some potential Republican presidential hopefuls. Some of the speakers criticizing the Obama administration stand on gun policies all of them trying to drum up support for Republicans before 2016.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Our president should take comfort because in 32 months he can return home to live in the anti-gun utopia that is Chicago.

RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are gun owners. All of us. We like to shoot. We like to hunt and very importantly, we like to protect ourselves, our families and our homes.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: The same liberal extremists want to take our guns are the same forces that want to take away our religious liberty or same forces don't think we are smart enough to pick our health care or which sodas we want to drink or food we want to eat.


FIELD: That conference is just getting started. The NRA convention continues through the weekend. It is expected to draw 70,000 people. Tonight's featured speaker is Sarah Palin -- Christi, Victor.

PAUL: All right, Alexandra Field, thank you so much.

So let's talk about this controversial new gun law in Georgia.


PAUL: It's giving gun owners basically the go ahead to pack heat in some pretty surprising places. It's actually been nicknamed the "guns everywhere law" by critics. Supporters though say it gives them added protections.

BLACKWELL: OK, so here is how it works.

Starting on July 1st, Georgia residents will be able to legally carry guns into some churches, schools and parts of the airport, even into bars. A bar owner, now must opt out if they want guns banned from their premises.

PAUL: And unless the police officer witnesses a crime, they cannot go up to any individuals and ask you know them to show a conceal-and- carry permit if they see that the person has a gun.

So we want to bring in gun control advocate Colin Goddard, he is a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting; and Jerry Henry he's the executive director of Georgia Carry, the group that lobbied for this law. Gentlemen thank you both for being with us.


PAUL: Jerry let me start with you if I could please. How do you respond to you know people who argue that this law is reckless and that it just goes too far?

HENRY: Well we have passed three laws in the last six years. And each one of them restored more of our rights. And we listened to the same emotional rhetoric every time and it has not happened not one instance as anything as they said has come true.

PAUL: What do you mean nothing has coming true? What do they argue?

HENRY: Well we -- well in 2008, for example, the restaurant association argued the wait staff would be -- they were in fear of the wait staff lives because someone would come out and bring a steak not done and some guy would jump up and shoot them. Two guys walking into a restaurant would bump into each other and turn around and draw on each other.


HENRY: There were -- there were petitions signed by bus drivers and Marta wanting bullet proof shields if that law passed to protect their lives and there hadn't been one shooting on this since or hadn't been any -- as a matter of fact the crime rate on Marta has gone down in this last six years.

BLACKWELL: And Marta being the public transportation here in the Atlanta area and in Georgia.

Let's play something that Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said on the day he signed this. Let's listen and we'll talk on the other side.


GOV. NATHAN DEAL (R), GEORGIA: While we still guard against tyranny, America today cherishes this right so that people who follow the rules can protect themselves and their families from those who don't follow the rules.


BLACKWELL: Colin, what's wrong with that logic? I mean people -- you can create as many laws as you want restricting guns as we see in major cities like Chicago, but the people who get guns illegally, those laws don't matter. What's wrong with the governor's logic there?

COLIN GODDARD, VIRGINIA TECH SHOOTING SURVIVOR: What the governor has failed to mention and what a lot of media outlets actually not failed to cover in this bill is that it actually expands the Stand Your Ground Law as you currently know it. But currently people with illegal firearms people who don't have carry permits and people who are intoxicated can't use the Stand Your Ground defense after they shoot and kill somebody. Now they can in Georgia because they changed the law.

And so this bill is called the Safe Carry Protection Act. And I'm not exactly sure how giving Stand Your Ground immunity to felons with illegal firearms or people under the abuse of alcohol, or not even with the carry permit in the first place, you know this is a safe carry provision part of that.

So it's really a part that like I said is only a small change that a lot of people missed. And it's now a bit too late because the governor signed it into law. And it's something we need to talk about.

PAUL: Ok Jerry, what do you say to that, does it expand Stand Your Ground?

HENRY: No, it does not. Stand Your Ground is the duty -- no duty to retreat basically. It did not expand that nor did it retreat. The only thing that it did was that, if I go into a location that I'm not supposed to be in to protect someone's life. If I'm standing across the street from a campus, I can't carry on a campus, if I see my daughter and my wife being attacked on the campus. And I can go over and protect them and not be charged with carrying a firearm in the wrong place or and then run the risk of losing my license and my right to carry because I protected my wife and daughter.

They say that it protects felons. Felons have always been able to use the Stand Your Ground law. Just because you're a felon it doesn't mean that they have to give up their lives.

BLACKWELL: Jerry, here is what we are hearing from a lot of people -- a lot of the critics of the law. Where was the outcry to take a gun into a church before now? Where was -- what is the basis for hoping to pass this law to allow people to take guns into parts of airports and churches and bars?

HENRY: Well first off, in Georgia, Atlanta Airport since 2010, you have been able to carry a firearm in there they will not arrest you. The City of Atlanta read the law at that point that said that they could not arrest you for carrying a firearm in the non-secured area.

So nothing has changed there. Now as far as the churches go, the churches are private property. And we think that every piece of private property should be treated the same. The government should not be involved in churches any way, shape or form. And there are an awful a lot of churches that are outside of the metro area who are smaller churches do not have the money for security to protect themselves. And this gives them the opportunity to say I want five or ten people armed and ready to go to protect us if we need it.

PAUL: Colin, I want to ask you because this I think is one of the parts that really does not sit well with people is the whole fact that you can take a gun into schools under this law. Now -- now school districts, as we understand it, can appoint certain employees to carry firearms.

You are -- you know you were a victim in the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting. So you know about guns and school very well. Would that deter, do you think, someone who walks into a school to know that there may be somebody else in that school who is armed? GODDARD: I don't think so. I mean there have been instances where there have been shootings at schools where there have been armed officers before like such in Columbine. You know but we have to understand that, you know, this bill that is passed now and signed into law was -- actually a lot worse. Not only was it K-12 schools that you just mentioned, but this law would have forced all universities in the state of Georgia to allow people to conceal carry as well as also forcing the churches in the state to allow people to carry inside the houses of worship.

Instead of now, we modified it to get so what that they get choose -- before they were trying to be forced. So this bill started out much worse and through the grassroots activity of a lot of people in Georgia, we actually made it a little bit better right at the last minute.

GODDARD: May I say something?

PAUL: Go ahead, Jerry. You have the last word.

HENRY: Ok the churches are private property. And they like any other property have the right to tell you no. Whether it was this law, it was opt in or opt out. If you come to my place with a gun and I don't want you there, I can tell you to leave. Vice versa the same way with bars and the same way with churches and they should be treated that way.

PAUL: Ok, ok Colin Goddard and Jerry Henry, I want to thank both of you so much for being with us.

HENRY: Thank you very much for having us.

PAUL: I have a feeling we're going to be talking about this for quite some time.

BLACKWELL: Certainly we will. We've got much more ahead here on CNN's NEW DAY.

Off the coast of South Korea -- a pause in the search for the victims of that ferry disaster. We're going live to Jindo for the latest.


PAUL: Forty minutes past the hour right now.

And this morning, divers have been forced to take a break from the grim mission of recovering more victims from the South Korea sunken ferry.

BLACKWELL: Yes stormy weather has suspended operations at least for now. CNN's Nic Robertson is in Jindo, the hub of recovery efforts. Do we know how long this pause will last Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes Victor, it was initially going to be just for four hours. The divers we talked to a few minutes ago told us they are still suspended. They could go back in at any moment. What they are telling us is it's more than just the storm. It's the tides, the currents under the water. Because the tides are strong at the moment are also strong and that's what makes the diving difficult for them. The harbor behind me now is really full of a lot of fishing boats. They have come into harbor because the bad weather is coming in. In fact as we're standing here and talking right now, it's just beginning to rain. This is the front edge of the storm moving in here. It is expected to rain for the next few days, it will make the seas pretty choppy.

And of course this is going to be a hard wait for the families. This is the first force of the divers that have been put on here for this long and this is going to be tough for them. They really have been hoping that the divers, they brought in additional civilian divers in the last few days, so they can -- so they can make more progress.

Just in the last 48 hours, they found 48 school -- 48 girls from -- students, in a room -- in a single room big enough only for 30 people. They were all wearing their life vests crowded in there. And the divers believe there may well be another room where there are about another 50 students.

So of course, there is a lot of eager anticipation and desire that the divers get back in the water.

BLACKWELL: Yes Nic Robertson from Jindo Island there. Thank you.

PAUL: Boy you can't help but feel like you want to do something for these people. So if you are talking from yellow ribbons to cash donations. Our Web site can show you how you can help victims of the ferry disaster and impact your world with acts of kindness. That address for you is Thanks for checking it out.

We'll be right back.


MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: Good morning. I'm Michael Smerconish. The Ukraine crisis continues to boil. So are we looking at a civil war, another Cold War or maybe even World War III?

Plus: open mouth, insert foot. Conservatives are rushing this morning to backtrack following one recent endorsement.

Also controversy swirls around a new 9/11 memorial.

And is it time to leave Everest alone?

Plus: the privacy concerns that could mean the difference with life and death.

I'll see you here at 9:00 Eastern -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: Thank you, Michael. And good morning to you. "SMERCONISH" is right here at the top of the hour, 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

BLACKWELL: Pope Emeritus Benedict has accepted his successor's invitation to attend tomorrow's canonization of two popes. Pope Francis will preside over the ceremony declaring Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, saints.

PAUL: Now this is the thing. It is the first time in history the Catholic Church will canonize two popes on the same day. They even expected to draw more than a million people to St. Peter's Square and Vatican.

Charles Reid, Jr. "Huffington Post" blogger joins us now Minneapolis. Charles -- good to have you with us. This is pretty unprecedented.


PAUL: It hasn't happened, you know, twice -- simultaneously I guess we could say.

REID: It's a four-pope day.

PAUL: Talk to us help us understand the process of sainthood.

REID: The process is a complex one. It is a legal process. You bring in evidence, evidence of a personal sanctity, evidence of and miracles. And you assess the evidence. You assess it through a series of legal processes.

You have an advocate -- you used to have a devil's advocate, also arguing on the other side. That was abolished by John Paul II. And then you have the evidence presented to the Pope who makes the final decree. Will this person be canonized or not?

BLACKWELL: Charles, I read your blog post on the canonization of these two popes. And I want to read something that you wrote and get you to expound upon it. You wrote that "In retrospect, had John Paul II chosen to do what his immediate successor did -- speaking of Benedict -- retire or step down, he would have stepped down around 1995. Our assessment would be different. Bu we must assess his legacy in its totality. And when we do, we realize that recovery from it a years-long process." Expound that if you will.

REID: Well, when I say that, the scandals that plagued John Paul II came in his final years in office most particularly the Father Maciel scandal. Father Maciel was a serial abuser, really a very awful human being who ingratiated himself with Pope John Paul II.

Father Maciel had kids by several different relationships. He actually at one point brought his kids in. John Paul II did not know they were his kids, but his kids in for a papal blessing. These sorts of scandals were outrageous and we look at them in retrospect and say yes. This is a years-long process of recovery.

PAUL: I know this event is clearly going to have significance for Catholics around the world watching. But there are a lot of non- Catholics that are very interested in this. What do you think is the draw? I mean why should they care?

REID: Well, I think non-Catholics should care because saints are important role models. That is one of the main purposes of having saints in the Catholic Church. They provide role models. They are supposedly models of what is called heroic virtue -- virtue that goes beyond and above the ordinary call of duty. It is kind of like the Congressional Medal of Honor in that sense. You are moving far beyond what's expected of most people. And that becomes a role model.

BLACKWELL: Now, there are probably a lot of our viewers who remember the papacy of Pope John Paul II, maybe some who don't know as much about Pope John XXIII. Compare and contrast the two if you would.

REID: Well, John XXIII was pope from 1958 to 1963 -- a very brief period of time. But he was enormously influential. He is the pope who called the Second Vatican Council. He is the pope who declared what aggiornamento, an opening of the world. He did not favor the kind of conservative retreat from the world that we saw under Pius XII. John XXIII opened the church.

He brought in experts at the Second Vatican Council to discuss questions that were thought to be off limits. Contraception came up as a matter of discussion for instance. John XXIII died in 1963 before the Council ended and before Pope Paul VI then issued the encyclical against contraception. But John XXIII was a man of great openness, great enthusiasm. He was like Pope Francis.

BLACKWELL: All right. Charles Reid -- go ahead. Go ahead, quickly.

REID: Just same personality, same style of governance.

BLACKWELL: A bit of a revolution in the church then and now. Charles Reid --

REID: Indeed.

BLACKWELL: -- good to have you with us. Good to talk about this. Good that we're informed here. Thank you so much, sir.

REID: Thank you for having me.


PAUL: Thank you. Of course,

So switching gears here, you know, when Flight 370 wreckage is found, if it ever is, this is what a lot of people are wondering. Could information stored on passengers' cell phones provide clues about what happened? Can it be retrieved?

BLACKWELL: I think you're going to be surprised by this. The fascinating demonstration of how data can be recovered from hard ware that has been soaking in pressurized saltwater. Stay with us for this one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maria Sharapova may have endorsement deals with Nike, Samsung and Porsche among others. But in 2012, the 26-year-old launched a candy business called Sugarpova -- a curious choice for a world-class athlete. MARIA SHARAPOVA, TENNIS PLAYER: I have been asked this question so much because I am -- I am a professional athlete and being healthy is such a huge part of my life living a healthy lifestyle, understanding what foods to eat and what is important for my body.

But at the end of the day, as any person, whether an athlete or you're working in an office, everyone loves a treat and everyone loves candy. When I was young and I would finish a practice, what would I ask for? I would ask for a lollipop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sharapova was even said to have considered a little name change ahead of last year's U.S. Open. But her agent said, the legal hassle of becoming Maria Sugarpova for two weeks just wasn't worth it.

But the global media coverage of the story showed that she is not just good at tennis and candy, but a pretty shrewd marketer, too.



BLACKWELL: Once the wreckage of Flight 370 is found, experts say that the plane's data recorders will be key to solving the mystery, of course.

PAUL: But could we also, is the question, learn something from passengers' cell phones? Here is Ted Rowlands who has more from Chicago.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Some of the final messages from passengers on Flight 370 could be with the missing plane at the bottom of the Indian Ocean -- unsent texts, e-mails and photos to loved ones. But could they be retrieved if the plane is found?

CHAD GOUGH, 4DISCOVERY: Absolutely. It's a matter of finding the devices and determining what kind of damage was associated with them and handling them properly.

ROWLANDS: We decided to see if it's possible by putting this cell phone in salt water.

(on camera): We turned off the transmission on this phone and then tried to send e-mails and text. Right now I'm going to take some video of the Chicago River and some stills and we'll see if those survive.

We took our phone to Chicago's Shedd Aquarium and met chemist Allen LaPointe and fish biologist, George Parsons. Using water from the ocean floor exhibit, they prepared this pressure chamber for our phone.

ALLEN LAPOINTE, CHEMIST: We have salt compositions right. We have the temperature very cold. Not as cold as it will be in the Indian Ocean but pretty close. Now we have a pressure chamber.

ROWLANDS: The plan is to leave our phone in water for a week and see if our test e-mail, text, video and photos can be retrieved.

LAPOINTE: It's 2:30 on April 8th. And we're going to place it into our chamber right now. This is going directly into saltwater that simulates the Indian Ocean.

ROWLANDS: Within seconds saltwater fills the inside of the phone. Eight days later two of our computer forensic experts come to the aquarium to remove the phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can definitely see the salt corrosion building up on the outside of the phone. It's just whether or not it made its way all the way inside, built up on top of the electronics and whether or not it corroded the memory chip or the data storage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to overflow a little bit.

ROWLANDS: Because oxygen will quickly increase corrosion, our phone is kept in water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're just going to keep it in the same water that it was in until we can get it back to the lab and get it in a solution where we can begin to clean it up.

ROWLANDS: A few hours later, at the 4Discovery lab --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at how it just ate the plastic.

ROWLANDS: To retrieve the data, the phone is pulled apart. The board, which includes the memory chip, is bathed in an 80 degree ultrasonic cleaner several times. And any tiny salt deposits are chipped away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the most important part. This is where all the data is held and stored. So this is actually looking pretty good. There you go.

ROWLANDS: The chip is then actually removed, using heat.

SCOTT HOLEWINSKI, GILLWARE DATA RECOVERY: It was in pretty good shape. So the next step, quite honestly, is to just pop it into an adapter like this.

ROWLANDS: Eventually, there it is. The e-mails I tried to send, the text message, even the photos and a portion of the video we recorded of the Chicago River.

And while our experiment with the aquarium tank is not the same as the Indian Ocean, our experts believe they could also retrieve data from cell phones on Flight 370.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The chips are fairly well-protected. We were able to get the data off. I think it would be possible.

ROWLANDS: Ted Rowlands, CNN, Chicago.


BLACKWELL: That is fascinating.

PAUL: Its.

BLACKWELL: It's amazing that you can do that.

We always appreciate you joining us and starting your morning with us here.

PAUL: We are not going away. We'll be back here at 10:00 a.m. Eastern with you. But "SMERCONISH" is coming next. Stay close.