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Bloodshed in Eastern Ukraine; Did Something Go Wrong in Search for Flight 370?; Deadly Clashes In Eastern Ukraine; Should Sterling Be Forced To Sell?
Aired May 6, 2014 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Half past the hour. Welcome back to NEW DAY. Let's take a look at your headlines now.
The head of the al Qaeda affiliate Boko Haram is threatening to sell more than 200 abducted Nigerian schoolgirls, claiming that Allah says he should. He calls the children slaves in a newly released video and says western education should end. The White House is calling the abductions an outrage and has offered the Nigerian authorities help in searching for the girls.
Seemingly no let up for the fire crews in Oklahoma. They're fighting a series of flare-ups in the deadly fast-moving wildfire in Oklahoma. Unseasonably high temperatures and low humidity are expected to keep fueling the inferno into tomorrow. One firefighter suffered minor injuries Monday when a box of shotgun shells exploded in the fire. About 100 other firefighters reportedly treated for heat or smoke inhalation. So far 3,500 acres have been scorched.
The Supreme Court says it's OK to open local town and city council meetings with explicitly Christian prayers. The 5-4 ruling split along ideological lines with the court finding the prayer's constitutional as long as they don't denigrate non-Christians or force others to join in. Critics say the decision relegates minority faiths to second class status.
Those are your headlines at this hour. Kate?
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Michaela, thank you.
Is it back to square one in the search for Flight 370? Government officials there are set to meet with aviation analysts and other experts tomorrow to assess the data that has determined their search so far. Did they get something wrong or is this just the next phase of the search?
Let's discuss. David Soucie, CNN aviation analyst and a former FAA inspector is here.
So David, tomorrow is a very big day in terms of the next phase of the search. You have Malaysian, Australian, Chinese officials coming together with experts to take a look at the data. I don't know if we call it taking a step back to reassess or if this is a step going forward.
But I want to get your take on really what you think is going to come out of it? So what I've heard is that one group is going to be looking at the data that they have had so far and the information they have gathered from the search area so far. Then the next group is going to be looking at resources. What's going to come of it?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, it's a stage we call sometimes validate, sometimes verify, validate and verify. What it is you have done, what it is that needs to be done, and what it is that is most likely to be done.
But as you validate your information, what you want to look for is anything else that's happened before and any new information that you have, and they have both. They are looking back at what the pings did. Are the pings really pings? There's a lot of question about that because the frequency doesn't match what it is. So is it possible the pinger got damaged or maybe there's something else out there? So those are the kinds of things that they'll be looking at.
BOLDUAN: Is there a scenario, David, that we can be looking at? They have this meeting. Who knows, maybe it could last a couple days -- who knows how much information they're going to be working through -- that we could see -- I mean, ping two is where they had been focused where they did not find anything in that narrow search. They are expanding the search now. Could we find that these are dramatically going to move elsewhere?
SOUCIE: I don't think the pings will move elsewhere. I think what we're looking at here is the fact that this was the most likely. But if -- we also have to consider that the Bluefin was the only tool they had for this area. Up here, it's too deep for that Bluefin.
SOUCIE: So as they come back, they're going to evaluate is it worth going back out and looking at that ping or are these pings invalid? So those are the kinds of pieces of information. But here, I don't think we'll see that. I think what we'll see more of an oblong shape like this, and they'll start working their way up this way with the new tools, depending on which tools they opt to use at that point.
BOLDUAN: I want to talk about kind of a mish-mash of both of the things we're talking about here. We're also looking at this is -- so the pings came from the Bluefin. That was direct pings coming from the ocean detected by the Bluefin.
BOLDUAN: You also have -- this is the Inmarsat data. So this is the data that we have not yet -- that has not been released to the public. This is the data they have had from the beginning, these complex complications that have led them on this -- on this flight path where they think they projected this highest probability area. Do you think this could change?
SOUCIE: Absolutely. This could very much change because of the fact that these are all assumptions.
SOUCIE: They are saying how fast did it go. And in fact, what was released in this report would say that you see how these change right here, right here. These points are points in time in which they say --
BOLDUAN: The speeds and altitudes that they weren't --
SOUCIE: And these speeds and altitudes are not an assumption that stays the same all the way down. There are some varying speeds in here too, which we hadn't seen before, so we didn't know that.
BOLDUAN: And David, we also say -- the more transparency throughout the process is better. The Inmarsat data has not been released. Do you think anything would change -- do you think it would be -- it would create any kind of a problem if they did release this data?
SOUCIE: You know, I have been thinking about this a lot because people have been asking me this question quite a bit. I thought before, no, because it just makes things hectic; it makes things -- there's too many things going on. But I reassessed last night. I thought, you know, what's wrong with doing that? There's some groups that I have been communicating with. They're very, very sharp.
BOLDUAN: Lots of people say crowd sourcing could be the solution.
SOUCIE: Absolutely. Well, and -- and the specific crowd that I have been talking about, there's some really smart crowds out there.
BOLDUAN: We're not talking about me being part of that crowd.
SOUCIE: Me either, really, you know. This -- this is some high math people. And so, I think that would be helpful actually. Let's get the information out there, and let's really look this.
BOLDUAN: Real quick, we're talking about in this area could be deep as 4.4 miles. This is deeper than anything we've been talking about, deeper than the Bluefin can go.
BOLDUAN: What else are we gonna see brought in in the next couple of months?
SOUCIE: Well, most likely the Remus because it can get down 6,000 meters -- 6,000 -- yes.
SOUCIE: I keep thinking kilometers. All right. So now there is some areas that are deeper than that even. So they are going to have to bring in a deep-water sonar scanner. And so, that's something they will probably need as well if they get any further north towards that top ping. BOLDUAN: The problem is we're also dealing with a time problem. It will take a couple months, they said, to get all of these assets in place.
SOUCIE: And the teams.
BOLDUAN: And the teams. The Bluefin will be searching, but some would say that is a loss of time in getting all these assets in place.
BOLDUAN: David, thanks as always.
SOUCIE: Thanks, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Thanks very much.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Kate. Let's take a break on NEW DAY. When we come back, Ukraine strikes back. Dozens of pro-Russia protesters killed. So much for this staying at the level of shouting in the streets. How much worse will it get? And is there a plan to help stop it? We're going to take you there.
And everyone agrees Donald Sterling's comments were awful, or at least I hope everyone agrees, because not everyone thinks he should be forced to sell. We asked you what you think, and you're going to be surprised by the results and the reasoning, coming up.
BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.
Heavy fighting and bloodshed in eastern Ukraine Monday as the government tried to win back control from pro-Russian militants in the city of Slovyansk. Russia's foreign minister, though -- Russia's foreign minister blamed the violence on Kiev, accusing the government of terrorism against their own people.
How do they calm things down? How do they slow the trajectory this country is going right now?
Joining us to discuss Damon Wilson, the executive vice president at the Atlantic Council, former White House senior director of European Affairs. Great to see you. Thanks for -- thanks for coming in.
DAMON WILSON, ATLANTIC COUNCIL: My pleasure. Good to be with you, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Of course.
Everyone is trying to get in Vladimir Putin's mind at this moment. Impossible to do so, but we try nonetheless. There's fear on the ground, we hear from our reporters, that the bloodshed and the uptick in violence is a precursor for Putin to try to rationalize a further invasion. Do you think that's what's happening on the ground right now?
WILSON: Look, you're right. It's hard to be exactly in Putin's mind and know what his next steps are going to be, but on the other hand, he's been fairly transparent in what his efforts are, what his objective is. He's been very clear that he wasn't going to allow Ukraine to move to the West, to follow a path towards the European Union, which was the origin of all of this. And he's played a very heavy hand. This is a Kremlin-backed strategy to provoke a crisis in Ukraine. I think that's important to remember. We wouldn't actually be having a crisis and instability on the ground in eastern Ukraine if it weren't for Russian intervention.
BOLDUAN: That's a great point. May 25th, coming up, that seems to be the marker everyone is watching. That's when elections will be taking place. I was talking to Fareed Zakaria yesterday and he posed the question, will elections be allowed in eastern Ukraine? That's going to be a water shed moment for this country. If they are not allowed, if they are not seen as legitimate come the end of May, what then do you think?
WILSON: Well, I think we have to be aware this is part of Vladimir Putin's strategy. Elections, a duly-elected president that represents all of Ukraine is actually the biggest threat to Putin's ability to control this country.
And so, what we see playing out right now and in the coming three weeks is a Russian effort to help disrupt these elections, to be able to prevent voters from coming out, particularly in eastern Ukraine. This is going to be the big challenge. That's why you see the Ukrainian government trying to reassert its authority in some of these regions in the east because everybody understands how important it is to allow the Ukrainian people to demonstrate how different they are and to be able to pick their own leaders and determine their own future. So the stakes are high right now heading to May 25th elections.
BOLDUAN: And the stakes are high. We know that world leaders are talking a lot to each other trying to figure it out. We have unilateral sanctions and multi-lateral sanctions kind of all over the place at the moment. To a mixed review on how effective they are, what more do you think, if there is one thing, one set of sanctions or one move by President Obama, what should the president be doing now, do next?
WILSON: Well, the United States and the European Union have already moved forward on a series of sanctions that intended to target more individuals either those close to Putin in government --
BOLDUAN: Do you think those have worked?
WILSON: I think they have had some impact. They certainly -- if you look at capital outflows in the Russian economy, $60 billion already, predicted to be $100 billion over the course of the year, an economy in Russia that now the IMF predicts will go into recession. So in some respects, they are having an impact. At the same time, Vladimir Putin's calculations, his immediate calculations of what he's doing in Ukraine, these have not imagined to deter him yet.
WILSON: Exactly. I think, so that's the challenge the administration and the European Union is facing right now. When do they pull the trigger on these more significant sanctions, they're called sector sanctions, if you will, to target the energy sector and more broadly hit the Russian economy.
BOLDUAN: Do you think NATO allies or many of the EU countries that are NATO members, do you think they are going to have to, in the end, accept some pain in order to apply the sanctions that will actually hit at Putin and make him -- make him change his course? Because they are so tied, their economy so far, that's why many have suggested that many EU countries have been very hesitant to move forward with the really hard core sanctions.
WILSON: That's right. The United States trade with Russia is less than 2 percent of our overall. But if you look at Europe, it's certainly more integrative; 30 percent gas dependency in Germany, for example. At the same time, European leaders are coming to grips with the reality that this is an unacceptable situation. There's going to have to be some short-term pain.
This is also why you saw last week, Vice President Biden, Secretary Kerry talking about a greater U.S. strategic response to Putin's aggression includes things such an energy union, energy cooperation across the Atlantic as well as our trade policy to be able to demonstrate that the economies of Europe and the United States, the fundamentals are strong.
And with a more integrated energy policy, open trade our economies can rebound from some sanctions that might impact us on the margins. It's really the Russian economy that would suffer a direct hit.
BOLDUAN: Having that long view is not something that we know that many countries are capable of sometimes, but we will see. Damon Wilson, thank you very much. Great to see you -- Chris.
CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, the Donald Sterling mess. Taking the team seemed like a no-brainer, but tic toc and there's no word from the owners. Is there a debate? Should private comments no matter how despicable lead to the sale of private property? We asked you, and you're going to be surprised by the results, they are straight ahead.
We also know what caused eight performers to come crashing down at the circus. We're going to tell you and we are going to ask famous daredevil, Nick Walenda, what he thinks could be done to keep performers safe.
CUOMO: OK, so new this morning, not everyone thinks Donald Sterling should be forced to sell the L.A. Clippers for those racist remarks that he made in private. That's going to be a key point. It's also key depending on who you ask. A new CNN/ORC poll has the numbers. When you ask fans of the NBA, 60 percent say, as you can see there, he should have to sell, but non-basketball fans, only 41 percent say yes, 55 percent say no.
This is a legit debate. Let's have it out. OK, we have Criminal Defense Attorney Darren Kavinoky. That's a beautiful name.
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You're not the first.
CUOMO: We also have former NBA player and game analyst for Comcast Sportsnet in Philadelphia, Malik Rose. I have been a fan of yours for too long. Let's do this. Starting with you, Kavinoky, give me your best 20 seconds your best part of your argument first and then Malik you go.
KAVINOKY: First of all, I'm not backing what Donald Sterling says, but fundamentally our country was founded on notions of freedom. And Donald Sterling, people believe, has the freedom to be an idiot in the privacy of his own home and that should not result in property assets being taken from him.
CUOMO: OK, Malik?
MALIK ROSE, GAME ANALYST, COMCAST SPORTSNET: Mr. Kavinoky, you're exactly right. In the U.S. courts, that is true, but he's not being tried by the U.S. The U.S. isn't the one that's sanctioning him or putting pressure on him. Donald Sterling is part of a private entity and he's in clear violation of the by-laws and constitution of that entity and the longer he stays a part of it, he jeopardizes the entire multi-billion dollar industry.
CUOMO: Kavinoky, rebuttal?
KAVINOKY: Yes, well, when we're talking about those by laws, the rationale behind them were to make sure that owners who were in financial problems wouldn't be able to continue to run the team. Here that doesn't apply. What we're using is these by laws that were designed to keep owners making their payroll who were having problems with making their payroll from remaining a team in the NBA. We're using that to strip ownership because of what's essentially thought policing and I think that's something that people have a genuine fundamental problem with.
ROSE: It goes further than that. Commissioner Silver has a fiduciary responsibility to the owners, the players and the sponsors that spend money with the league. And the longer he allows this racist to be to be a part of his brand, the NBA, the more sponsors are going to pull out. You already saw with KIA, Red Bull and State Farm, with the Clippers and you can be sure they are putting pressure on the league to deal with it.
Because they don't want their brand associated with another brand that allows or allows racism and discrimination. It's his responsibility, Mr. Silver, to deal with this, get him to sell the team or there's going to be less money in the revenue sharing pool for the players and owners to split.
CUOMO: Darren, he's basically the member of a club. This club instead of owning a golf course owns franchises in the NBA. They have rules about their membership. Why shouldn't they be allowed to exercise their rules and say you are bad for business?
KAVINOKY: Well, I think ultimately we're going to see this it play out that they are going to attempt to do exactly that. Brace yourselves, everybody. This is going to be protractive litigation where Donald Sterling with his deep pockets and his veracious appetite for litigation is going to do everything he can to delay, delay, delay.
I think he's got good legal arguments to be able to do it, both from a breach of contract standpoint and antitrust standpoint and also the ultimate bomb to throw into the garden here is to file divorce paperwork, which will bring all of this into the realm of the California family law courts and more people will be fighting to prevent the transfer of ownership.
CUOMO: No, it's not a marital asset because it's going to be a franchise. Let me put this to you, Malik. Is it true -- what is it said in the document he signed in his membership? What rights did he give away in terms of what he can litigate and what does he just have to own up?
ROSE: I really don't know -- that's not public knowledge to us, the players and the players union. That's why one of the things they wanted was full disclosure and what he's being governed by. But the bottom line is, the more he stays involved with the team he's going to jeopardize the multibillion dollar industry. You have to think of the chaos that would come out of this. Players are already saying they are not going to want to play for him.
Free agents aren't going to want to sign to play with them. Doc Rivers doesn't want to coach for him. Technically threatening the entire franchise. It will be 29 teams instead of 30 teams. No one will want to be involved with the L.A. Clippers and that's going to hinder the revenue sharing process.
KAVINOKY: Did we see the clippers game? They are still a highly functioning organization having a great run in the playoffs and there's little suggestion that the Clippers are being run in a way that's racist. Clearly what Donald Sterling said revealed his own idiocy and no one is going to defend that, but fundamentally at the end of the day, there's a strong analogy to be made between freedom of expression and those protections that are found in the United States constitution.
That is that it's only unpopular views, unpopular expressions that need protection and Donald Sterling's views as unpopular as they are arguably should not be the basis to force an asset to be disgorged from him. Fundamentally, that's something that people are troubled by, Chris.
CUOMO: Kavinoky started, Malik, you finish, final point.
ROSE: It's pretty simple. The players are not going to want to play for him. Donald Sterling has to go. As long as he's still involved with the L.A. Clippers, no one is going to rest. The public outcry is still going to be there. To finish with a point, the league knows he's ready to fight and the union is ready to join hands with the league and fight this guy tooth and nail to get him to sell the franchise.
He has to sell the franchise or they won't be able to go global with the NBA because you have minorities. You're not going to embrace a product that allows somebody to be racist like Mexico or South America. He has to sell. The league and the union will eventually get it done.
CUOMO: It's refreshing in a league and players association that fight about money they found something that matters more to them in this particular cause. Malik Rose, thank you very much. Darren Kavinoky, this was a great debate. It's an important one. Fellas, thank you, we'll have you back for sure.
We're dealing with that story that's going on in the NBA, but there are other big stories to start your NEW DAY as well. International outrage after more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls have been taken, kidnapped from their own school. The violence is getting worse in Ukraine.
And how did a cold war spy plane snarl civilian flights at LAX? This is all going on, so let's get after it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His is the face of terror, bragging that he was behind the kidnappings.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a young mother. I can't imagine any mother going through this. It's disheartening, shocking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putin is many things, but he's not reckless. Civil war breeds civil war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a single piece of equipment that failed. What I saw was mass trauma and broken bones.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was attempting to strike the window, the patient put her hand against it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's surprising that she survived the crash at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome back to "NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, May 6th, 7:00 in the east. Up first, the United States is offering to help the Nigerian government find more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the al Qaeda affiliate, Boko Haram. In a newly released video, the head of the terror group is threatening to sell the girls in the name of Allah triggering international outrage and intense pressure on the Nigerian government to bring these children home and do it right now. If it's not too late already.
Our coverage of this crisis begins with Vladimir Duthiers. He is in Lagos, Nigeria this morning. Vladimir, what is the latest?
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, as you saw from that despicable video, the supposed leader of Boko Haram is saying he's going to sell these 200 girls that his men kidnapped in the middle of the night from their dormitories in a remote, rural area in north eastern Nigeria. Taking these girls in the dead of night into an area.
The parents we have spoken to said all along their biggest fear in addition to not being able to get at their daughters even though they had a general idea of where they might be is that these women would be trafficked out of Nigeria into neighboring Chad and Cameeron (ph).
With the release of the video where this man essentially says that he is going to a human market and that he's going to sell these girls because Allah tells him to, the parents' worst fears have been realized -- Chris.
BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, laying it out for us where things stand. Joining us now to discuss from London, Christiane Amanpour, host of CNN International's "AMANPOUR" and our chief international correspondent. Christiane, it's always great to see you. I have to get your take on all of this. You have a group of young girls, 200 plus, ages 15 to 18 years old. They have been kidnapped.