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Seven in 10 Americans Think Flight 370 Search Should Continue; Ringling Acrobat Speaks Out; FedEx Shooting Audio Released; Monica Lewinsky Breaks Silence in "Vanity Fair"; FDA Have IDed Between 200- 300 New Designer Drugs

Aired May 7, 2014 - 11:00   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Flight 370 vanished more than 60 days ago, but almost 70 percent of Americans want is that search to continue.

Then, it's not the first time she's talked about it.


MONICA LEWINSKY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN: I was a 22-year-old foolish kid.


PEREIRA: But can Monica Lewinsky undo the past by talking about her affair with former President Bill Clinton now? Our image experts weigh in.

Plus, an NFL-style draft to pick prom dates?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just like an organized way of doing it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's supposed to be like a funny thing that the guys are doing.


PEREIRA: Funny? It has some parents shaking their heads and ours, too.

Good morning, I'm Michaela Pereira. John Berman is off today.

It's 11:00 a.m. in the East, 8:00 a.m., bright and early, out West, those stories and much more, right now, @ THIS HOUR.

After 61 days of searching, it's back to the drawing board in the hunt for Flight 370. Officials from Malaysia, China and Australia are due to meet today to plot a long-term strategy for finding that missing jetliner.

The Australians are leading the search, and they say the next phase of the hunt, it could last eight months. And the cost? How about $60 million?

In the meantime, a new CNN/ORC poll finds that almost seven in 10 Americans think the hunt for Boeing 777 and 239 people who vanished with it should continue.

Joining me now, our aviation correspondent Richard Quest, and we're going to crunch the numbers and dig a little bit deeper into this poll.

You couldn't bear the thought of me being alone, my love. I appreciate it. What a charmer.

So let's talk about this.


PEREIRA: Five-seven percent of respondents -- actually, I want to jump to the other one first.

Yeah, 57, there it is. All right, I'm going backwards. Sixty-six percent --

QUEST: You're overcome, aren't you?

PEREIRA: I am. It's your presence.

Sixty-six percent of people polled believe that it was actions by the pilot or flight crew.

QUEST: Right. But that is 66 percent of those who don't believe it was mechanical. If you go back to that other one --

PEREIRA: Right. That's why --

QUEST: If you go back to the other one -- let's start from the beginning, shall we? Let's begin again.

Seven out of 10 say the search should continue, and that makes sense, because this is a country where people fly, a lot.


QUEST: And therefore --

PEREIRA: You think the numbers would be different elsewhere in the world?

QUEST: Not necessarily, but specifically in the U.S. where aviation is part of the absolute, root-and-branch transportation network of this nation, and therefore people are going to say, hang on, I want to know if there's something wrong. I want to know. So the search continues.

But then you come onto what caused it. And if you start to look at what causes it, then you start to say, interesting. I found this one fascinating. Almost half and half people think it could be mechanical.

PEREIRA: I noticed that, too, that it wasn't a big difference between the two.

QUEST: No. But there it is. Look at that.

And then you've got hostile and then you've got all of these other reasons, but half and half believe it could be mechanical.

Once you take the half who believe it's not mechanical, then you start to see these other issues coming on.


QUEST: Some -- many believe it's the pilots. Sixty-six percent believe it's the pilots. Half of those believe it's something else.

So you're constantly getting a narrower group of people.

PEREIRA: And I wonder if it changes over time. I wonder if 30 days ago we would have seen different results than this, but now that it's 61 days in.

I want to look at other number. Forty-six percent of the respondents say they don't think the flight is located in the Indian Ocean.

QUEST: This is fascinating.

PEREIRA: I find that, as well.

QUEST: I find this not only fascinating, I find it a little bit worrying, because so much has been made of the Inmarsat handshakes, which led us to the south Indian Ocean, which is where the search has been going on, which is where they heard the pings, which roughly where the plane would have one out of fuel anyway.

Now I know there are many people who do question that, so those people for whom it is now questionable, they will be relieved that there is going to be this review.

Angus Houston said they are going back to square one. They're going to review all of the data, right the way back to see if there -- to use his phrase, to see if there are any flaws.

PEREIRA: Before we push on to our next topic, if they were to ask Richard Quest what should be included in this new plan, what would you suggest?

QUEST: A complete and utter peer review, which is what they're doing, you go back to square one.

You don't say it's all rubbish what we've done before.

PEREIRA: No, no, no, no.

QUEST: You bring in the experts. These are men and women who are used to doing it. They are not going to be frightened by criticism.

They go back and they say, let's look at every aspect from the beginning.

PEREIRA: And the key point here, too, is the fact that they recognized they need fresh eyes on this, as well. That's important.

QUEST: Who's going to pay for it all? Very interesting, there's a suggestion that Boeing, that the avionics companies, that everybody that's involved in aviation should also be contributing to the cost of the search, because they stand to succeed or fail upon its results.

PEREIRA: Interesting suggestion.

Richard Quest, thank you so very much.

We'll have more on what Americans that are being polled about this are saying about the missing flight, plus the next phase of this search. That's ahead, @ THIS HOUR.

We are just getting some new details about yet another horrific terrorist attack in Nigeria. Witnesses tell CNN that more than 150 people have been killed.

It's the work of the very same militant group that kidnapped more than 200 girls from their school last month and grabbed another eight girls from their homes just yesterday.

The leader of the terrorist group Boko Haram boasts that he'll sell those girls. The mass kidnapping has enraged people around the world.

One of the acrobats who plunged more than 30 feet during a circus act gone wrong is speaking out today. We want to warn you those pictures of the plunge can be hard to watch.

Investigators say it was a five-inch clamp that snapped, sending all eight acrobats to the ground. They were hanging from an apparatus from their hair as part of the act.

Now, despite the accident, Samantha Pitard says she will return to the circus, but she says she may reconsider doing that routine in the future.


SAMANTHA PITARD, ACROBAT: The curtain went down and we got to about the third leg position, hear a huge popping noise and then just plummet to the ground.

I got a couple of small factures on my spine which I actually really can't feel so that's kind of nice.

I got a cut on my head, so I got three stitches, and then I bit my tongue really hard when I came down, so my tongue is kind of messed up.


PEREIRA: She's doing remarkably really. Seven other acrobats who fell and one person on the ground were also seriously injured range from head wounds to broken bones.

A spokesman for Ringling Brothers called the accident unprecedented. He said, quote, "We have never had an accident like this with the number of performers injured. It really is a testament to, you know, their physical fitness and skills that the injuries were not more severe than they were. We certainly wish them well in their recovery."

We have some chilling new audio from last week's shooting at a FedEx facility in Georgia. Security guard Christopher Sparkman was able to make a frantic call to 911 just moments after the 19-year-old gunman shot him at close range.

Take a listen.


CALLER: I don't know. Unknown gunman, he's got a shotgun. I've been shot.

OPERATOR: OK. Stay on the line with me, OK? Stay on the line, OK?

CALLER: Please tell my wife I love her.

OPERATOR: OK, what's your name?

CALLER: Christopher Sparkman. I'm losing energy. I've been shot. I've been shot.


PEREIRA: Thankfully he's been able to tell his wife he loves her himself. Sparkman has reportedly undergone five surgeries. He's still in the hospital, but he is recovering.

Five other people were wounded. Police say the shooter killed himself.

Want to show you new video of the teen stowaway. You remember the teen that went from San Jose, California, to Hawaii. You can see in the circle.

That's him stumbling around on the tarmac moments after his death- defying trip in the wheel well of a jetliner last month.

He survived a five-hour flight over the Atlantic from California to Hawaii with hardly any oxygen and temperatures dipping well below zero.

Apparently he was trying to get to Somalia to see his mother.

Ahead @ THIS HOUR, Monica Lewinsky, she kept silent about her relationship with former President Bill Clinton for years, so why -- why is she speaking up now? We'll explore that.


LEWINSKY: I was a 22-year-old, foolish kid, and I think there was this charismatic, powerful man who was standing there showing interest in me, and I was attracted to him, and I think I was swept up, you know, with the power of the presidency and later found myself swept away by the government as a result of it.

And here I am.


PEREIRA: Larry King, sitting down with Monica Lewinsky about 12 years ago, then she went silent for years, but now in "Vanity Fair," she's writing the suicide of a humiliated college student moved her.

Quote, "Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation."

Psychotherapist Robi Ludwig is here. Let's talk about that humiliation. You know, she was the punch line -- good morning.


PEREIRA: She was the punch line in the '90s, comedians making jokes about it, and then also we know she became part of sort of this whole cultural awareness about this kind of behavior.

Let's look at what "The Daily Beast" had to say. I want to show you this.

"Sixteen years after the affair heard around the world, Lewinsky is back with a 'Vanity Fair' essay. And while we have all forgiven Bill Clinton, we can't seem to quit blaming his intern."

Wow. And that's what you and I were talking about, just before camera --

LUDWIG: It's really true.

PEREIRA: -- the double standard, coming back again.

LUDWIG: We have very puritanical ideas when it comes to women and what we expect.

I think in part it has to do with women are mothers so we really expect them not to act on impulses and to be sexually driven only.

PEREIRA: Is that really what it is, is that we expect more out of them?

LUDWIG: I think we do. I think we expect men will be men. They're designed differently. We can accept men can have sex just for sex and not for love, and that's not entirely true for women.

So I think that's part of it. It's not the whole piece, but you have to remember Monica was the younger other woman.

PEREIRA: It's important to point out she was -- what -- 22-years-old at the time.

LUDWIG: Yeah, she was 21 or 22. She was considered a home wrecker, so not only the other woman, but a home wrecker. And so that, I think, also weighs in heavily on the American consciousness.

PEREIRA: Do you think there is also something -- My producer and I were talking about this earlier. There is something to do with that fact that he was the president of the United States. Leader of the free world. And he was an older man who was established. She's a kid. She's younger. Do you think that he -- it was easier for him to sort of bounce back from this, because there were few repercussions to his reputation. But she's had so many challenges.

LUDWIG: I think in part it has to do with Clinton being brilliant. He was a good president. The country was doing very well. He had a whole pr team around him. Here is a very powerful man. Not only that, Clinton's family forgave him. He was forgiven by his wife. He was forgiven by his daughter. He really transitioned through this time. I think people looking at it say, well, if his family and his private life forgave him, then who are we not to forgive him? We're doing well as a country. We hired him to be a good president. That's what he did.

PEREIRA: It's interesting that people don't want to forgive her, even now. Neither of us are trying to be Lewinsky apologists. But I think we're both, as women, struck by the fact that someone can make an egregious mistake at 22 and isn't allowed to be forgiven. I believe in redemption. I feel like you do as well.

LUDWIG: I think Monica was very traumatized by what happened and that it is probably very healing for her to come out and try to reinvent herself to some extent. The interesting thing is, who is making Monica Lewinsky okay? There's no husband. There are no children. There are no family members who have come out and said we are --

PEREIRA: That could be private.

LUDWIG: If it were public, it would help her. I think if we saw she looked a little bit different and was doing something in the world. That was showing that she had made this transition in a positive way, we might feel different. Your producer pointed out, Monica looks the same. When you look at president Clinton, he's in a totally different place. He's going to be a grandfather. His wife is a political powerhouse. He transitioned nicely.

PEREIRA: A lot of people questioning the timing of this. To which I -- I suppose there's no good time because, especially with Clinton's, they will always be out there. You can read the full interview for yourself out in Vanity Fair tomorrow.

We want to say a big thank you to Robi. We'll ask you to stick around, if you don't mind. I need company on the set today. We want to put another story to you to comment on. A group of high school students, are holding -- or held an NFL style draft to pick their prom dates. Some of the girls say it's just something fun the boys do, but parents and some teachers and adults are outraged. We'll have you back to talk about that coming up @ THIS HOUR.

Then, bath salts and synthetic marijuana, they are drugs that kids are getting access to. Coming up, we have video of customs agents keeping these drugs from hitting the street as part of a nationwide bust. We have details straight ahead.


PEREIRA: Parents and anyone looking out for teenagers, you need to know about a synthetic drug, some synthetic drugs if you don't already know, are often marketed as bath salts, herbal incense and even jewelry cleaner. The DEA has just announced the results of a several month-long takedown of these drugs and their suppliers in a multi- state raid. These drugs have caused thousands of overdose and even deaths. DEA says it has identified between 200 and 300 new designer drugs. Many of them are made in China. Many are sold in head shops.

Our Justice reporter Evan Perez joins us along with senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen. Evan, I'll start with you. I want you to tell us the details about this. This was a big operation carried out across the nation.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: This is one of the biggest operations the DEA and other agencies have done to target these synthetic drugs. They said they did about a hundred arrests this morning in 29 states. One of the things is these drugs are coming in from China. They believe much of it is coming in via the west coast and then it makes its way into neighborhood stores and gas stations. It's sold under names like k2 and spice. It looks like candy and it's being sold at the checkout counter, causing a lot of concerns. Sometimes government chemists have to test them to see what's in the drugs. That's how dangerous they are and how unknown what people are taking into their bodies.

PEREIRA: That's what we want to bring in Elizabeth Cohen in from all of this. I want you to give parents an idea, Elizabeth, of what parents can look out for. Evan is telling us that one of the dangers of this is it looks like candy. It comes with these innocuous names, spice and k2. Talk about this, what parents need to know.

ELIZABETH COHEN, SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You look at that packaging, Michaela, and it's so attractive. Looks like you want to grab it. The real sort of horrible, scary thing here is that we don't really know what's in them because the folks who sell it are a step ahead of law enforcement. They take some kind of plant material and they spray it with chemicals that will give you a high. Then when law enforcement figures out what they've done, then they change the chemical so that way they are staying a step ahead of the law. You can see all of these names that they sell it under. Crazy clown and spice and as Evan said this is becoming more and more of a problem. Take a look at these numbers. In 2009, a national data base received 15 reports, 15, of these drugs. In 2012, more than 41,000. So you can see that these are just very attractive products that just always manage to stay a step ahead of the law.

PEREIRA: That's the concern. They always stay a step ahead. Evan, to you, this operation is an important first step clearly. I'm sense much more needs to be done to cut off the supply. Even though this was a big operation but there's more they can do.

PEREZ: One of the big concerns on this for DEA is that they believe that money is going to Middle Eastern groups like Hezbollah and is probably funding terrorism. So that's one big concern. As Elizabeth said, the makers of these drugs change the formula just a little bit to stay one step ahead of the DEA, and so one of the things that the DEA is looking to do is to be able to more quickly put these things on what they call their schedules. So they can try to stop it from getting in through the ports and through the airports especially on the west coast. A lot of this stuff is coming in from overseas.

PEREIRA: It really is a concern. Parents, you have a tough job ahead of you. If your child is acting unusual or strange or mysterious, here's the other thing. Are we hearing, Elizabeth, about what these things look like outside of the package? We saw one picture where it looks a little bit like marijuana.

COHEN: Right. So maybe some kids think that it is marijuana and they think well I've smoked this before. They haven't smoked it before. They haven't done this drug before. It's synthetic. These drugs can have terrible effects, so people have died from doing these drugs. They have had seizures, racing heartbeat, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions. And often times these things happen in clusters. Recently in Texas, in five days, they had more than 100 overdoses. In just five days in one area. So you get just one batch of really bad stuff and you can cause really horrible things to happen in one community.

PEREIRA: As adults, no use burying our heads in the sand. We need to keep informed about this stuff. That's one of the reasons we really wanted to share this story. Evan, we thank you for your reporting, for following this. Elizabeth, thank you for breaking it all down. We appreciate both of you.

Flight 370 vanished more than 60 days ago now. Maybe we may never know what happened. The search, we do know, is going back to square one. We'll take a look at that.

Plus, an NFL-style draft to pick your prom date? I thought I had it rough finding a prom date. Girls are calling themselves free agents. So much to discuss here. That's ahead @ THIS HOUR.