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Search for Flight 370; Desperate Search Continues for Missing Nigerian Schoolgirls; Five Pro-Russian Separatists Killed in Ukraine; Monica Lewinsky Breaks Her Silence; Obama to Visit Arkansas; 911 Audio of FedEx Facility Shooting Released; New Video of Plane Stowaway

Aired May 7, 2014 - 04:30   ET



DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: Girls for sale. Armed terrorists kidnapping more children in Nigeria, promising, threatening, to sell them to the highest bidder. This morning, outrage around the world and a passionate push to bring these girls home. How the U.S. is getting involved and what's happening on the ground right now. We're live.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Ukraine sliding closer to civil war this morning, the death toll rising as pro-Russian demonstrators and soldiers turn streets into battlefields. Can an approaching election solve this crisis? We'll take you live to Ukraine with the very latest on that.

FEYERICK: And happening now, the search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 enters a whole new phase. After weeks of mounting questions and very few answers, investigators now taking a fresh look at finding the vanished jet liner. We are live in Malaysia with the very latest this morning.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I am Debra Feyerick.

HARLOW: And I am Poppy Harlow. It is 30 minutes past 4:00 a.m. on the East Coast.

Let's turn to Nigeria this morning. desperate search continues more than 200 missing girls kidnapped from their school and held for weeks. Now comes word of a group of armed terrorists that have abducted at least eight more girls. Boko Haram has threatened to sell its captives, insisting that women should not be educated. Meantime president Obama is calling what happened awful, saying as a father, he can understand the pain these parents are going through. Also saying the U.S. will do everything they can to help.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are sending in a team made up of our military and law enforcement and other experts and we are very glad that Nigeria accepted the help.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: Vladimir Duthiers has been following the story form the beginning. He is live for us in Abuja, Nigeria this morning. You had a rare opportunity to speak with a father whose two daughters have been abducted. What is he saying about the efforts, the fight to get his children back?

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy, it was a heart breaking interview with a range of emotions. Father and the mother who agreed to speak with us because they say that they feel neglected by their own government. They feel as if their military is not doing anything to bring home these girls that were abducted in the middle of the night more than three weeks ago by armed assailants who we now know to be the vicious Islamist group, Boko Haram. In his remarks to me he ranged from anger, when he said that he didn't see any kind of significant military force on the ground doing anything to rescue these children. To sadness when he talked about the range of emotions that he and his wife are going through. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Life is very dangerous in Chibok right now. Since April 14th, to date, we don't sleep at home. In the evening, right from 6:00, you see the people come into the town. Around 5:00, 6:00, people disappear to the bush because there is no security. There is no security. We sleep in the bush with all our little ones.


DUTHIERS: Poppy, you can see there, not only your children go missing in the middle of the night and there's nothing you or anybody can do to bring them home. You are not even able to sleep in your own bed. You are sleeping in the bush. They told me when they hear any bit of commotion in the outdoors, and sometimes they hear gunfire, the entire town runs into the bush. That's where they sleep for the night. Something that you or I could never imagine.

HARLOW: Absolutely not. It seems, it's clear there's a mounting global pressure on the government of Nigeria to do more. They say look we are doing a lot we are just not making it publicly known. The president of the U.S. now speaking out about it. Senator Susan Collins telling CNN more can be done by this administration. She wants forces deployed. The United States, at least right now, is not sending any troops. Do we know, clearly, what sort of help Nigeria has accepted from the United States? I know there's a lot of back and forth on that, on just how much help they are accepting from the U.S. on this.

DUTHIERS: Right. Well, we spoke to two very senior administration officials here in Nigeria. They said the president is ready and willing to accept any kind of aid the United States is going to provide. They say that president Goodluck Jonathan is ready and willing to accept any kind of aid that the United States is willing to provide. As you heard president Obama says that that is going to happen. So I think that for the first time in a long time, Poppy, the Nigerian government realizes that this problem may be something that is too big for them to tackle alone. That's why they are reaching out to the world.

Quickly Vlad, do we have any sense of what the aid is, what the U.S. is doing?

DUTHIERS: We don't. I know that there have not been specifics that have been, at least, made public to us and the Nigerian government has not said specifically what it is the United States will be doing. I can tell you from my experience reporting here over the last two and a half years, that the Nigerian military and the United States military conduct joint exercises on a regular basis. We have attended a couple of them. We assume there might be some kind of exercise that works that way Poppy.

HARLOW: Good perspective to have. Appreciate the report this morning, thanks so much.

FEYERICK: Now, to Ukraine where the morning fighting in the eastern city of Mariupol has left at least five pro-Russian separatists dead. This after days of intense battles leaving dozens killed. Neither side seeming ready or willing to give in. Some leaders no insisting the military simply cannot handle this alone. They are calling on volunteers, Ukrainian volunteers, to form their own self-defense militias.

Atika Shubert is live in Odessa with the very latest. When you take a look at what's going on here, the pro-Russian forces really looking to separate the cities that give access to the black sea.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. All up and down that eastern border with Russia is exactly where we are seeing those flash points. Even so, a city like Odessa, where I am today, saw a surge in violence where dozens of people were killed because they were trapped inside a building when pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian government groups clashed. So it really is spreading. There are a lot of fears that it could get worse. What we are now focused on is Mariupol. This is a port city about 500 kilometers east of her, also on the Black Sea. There, we heard that government forces had tried to retake control of the city center. We have a crew that's there at the moment. They said when they first got there, they saw the Ukrainian flag up at the city council center. Since then, it appears that the flag has been taken down by pro-Russian groups and it's not clear exactly what the police are doing. So, this is the kind of fluid situation that's happening in a lot of cities in eastern Ukraine. At the moment, in Mariupol. As soon as our crew there gets the latest we will bring that to you Poppy.

HARLOW: It is interesting because he activists are refusing to accept the authority of Kiev. Is this a move by Russian president Vladimir Putin, to simply, put off or disrupt this vote, the presidential vote that's expected in a couple of weeks?

SHUBERT: We have been hearing indications of that from Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, who has said these are not the conditions for an election to go ahead. That perhaps some diplomats are preparing the ground work to say any election held in Ukraine will be illegitimate. From Ukraine's point of view, they need to get control over these eastern cities to go ahead with any sort of vote. That is critical for the government in Kiev. At this point, everything is so fluid on the ground in those eastern cities. It's hard to say if it will go ahead at this point. In places like Mariupol, literally, by the minute, it seems to be switching from one side to the next whether or not pro-Ukrainian forces have control of the government center or pro-Russian groups do. With this fluidity, it's hard to have any sort of a vote.

HARLOW: You can't have a vote that is legitimate if only half the country is voting. Atika Shubert for us, thank you.

FEYERICK: Now, the search for missing flight 370. This morning we have a new sense of what Americans now think about the investigation and just what may have happened to the jet. A new CNN poll finds most Americans support having the search continue. 69 percent think that. Only a little over half believe the plane is in the part of the Indian Ocean where crews are searching. 46 percent believe it might be someplace else. A vast majority, 79 percent, believe no one on board survived. About half of Americans don't think we will ever know what happened, 46 percent believe that. 52 percent of those polled think the truth will eventually come out. As for who was responsible for the plane's disappearance, 66 percent say it is likely the actions of the pilot or crew that are to blame.

HARLOW: It's has now been nearly two months since the jet went missing. Every day that is passing families are saying it's harder and harder to make sense of this tragedy Danica Weeks husband, Paul, was on board. She says the hardest part of all of this is trying to explain it to her young son.


DANICA WEEKS, SPOUSE OF FLIGHT 370 VICTIM: How do you explain to a 3 1/2-year-old that his father is not coming back, he can't. That's the hardest part. He cries every day for him. He knows he's missing from his life. Paul was a very hands on father. He just can't get the concept that daddy isn't coming back. That's just gotten harder and harder for me. This is, you know, for the families, every day, things are hard to do. My mother has been looking after us all at 59 days. I'm finally capable to do even the smallest of things.


HARLOW: The families are not the only one that is want to know what happened. Search crews turned up no wreckage yet. Top officials from Malaysia, Australia, and China have gathered today to go over all the data once again, line by line, to make sure they are looking in the right place. Will Ripley is live in Kuala Lumpur with that part of the story. Will, what is next? Do they think there's something in the information they have that perhaps they overlooked?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they certainly are going to take a close look at that, Deb. Tomorrow, if you can believe it, is the official two month anniversary of this plane disappearing. In some ways, it seems like it's flown by, in other ways it seems like ages ago. Think of what these families, of the 239 people, have gone through. Some of them here in Kuala Lumpur, some in Australia and some in China. All of them suffering in somewhat of a purgatory right now because they simply do not know. They don't have nay closure. Not a single tangible piece of this plane. That's what makes the work that's happening in Australia so important right now.

We have this team of experts, an international team going over all the data, once again, to make sure that they still believe they are looking in the right place. This is a who's who list of some of the top aviation experts from Australia, United Kingdom, the United States, Boeing will be there, the aircraft manufacturer, along with MRSAT, the satellite company. All this work happening behind closed doors. We do not expect constant updates on their progress. We do know the work they are doing will essentially define what happens next in the search for this plane over the next up to 12 months, how the $60 million are going to be spent, where they are going to deploy assets, where they think this aircraft might be, Deb.

HARLOW: When you think of the area they are think about searching, a new poll that we have says 46 percent of all those questioned don't even believe the plane is in that area. They are going to have to search a huge amount of ocean. Is it possible or is it -- is it going to be impossible? What are they thinking?

RIPLEY: It's possible that it's going to take a lot of time. The Bluefin-21, which right now is getting reconditioning and software upgrades before it goes back out into the water, has completed 18 missions so far and only searched 154 square miles. It was the small area they thought the plane might be located. They didn't find anything. Think of that, 154 square miles over all those missions. They need to search 23,000 square miles. They are going to have to bring in a lot of other technology to get that done, even in a years time.

HARLOW: Incredible, just incredible. Will Ripley stand by for us. We are going to check in later on.

FEYERICK: Time to bury the blue dress. That is what Monica Lewinsky is saying. For the first time on the record, she is speaking out about her affair with former president Bill Clinton and the lesson she has learned since.

HARLOW: White House locked down. The man arrested accused of following president Obama's daughters home from school. We are learning information this morning. That, coming up.


FEYERICK: Monica Lewinsky, it is a name that defined the presidency of Bill Clinton. She's now breaking her silence, writing for the first time about the affair she had with the then-president. It's an affair that ultimately led to his impeachment. It made her a household name. In "Vanity Fair" Lewinsky writes that she deeply regrets what happened, that her boss took advantage of her. But she does insist that the relationship with President Clinton was consensual.

As for why she's speaking out now, Lewinsky wrote that it was time to stop tiptoeing around the past and finally take back her own story.

HARLOW: Breaking overnight, CNN projects North Carolina's House Speaker has held off the Tea Party challenger in the state's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Thom Tillis was facing seven candidates including a Libertarian favorite Greg Brannon. He will now go up against incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan in the fall.

Another closely watched race is really very close. That is Clay Aiken's run to be the Democratic House cant in a district near Raleigh. Right now Aiken is leading his closest challenger by about 400 votes but that vote may be subject to a recount.

FEYERICK: And there are new questions this morning about what was going on inside New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration, when a top aide allegedly ordered the shutdown of lanes on George Washington bridge. Another former aide, Christina Renna, has now testified to a state legislative committee that she witnessed suspicious activity, but that she was afraid to speak out because of her job. She described her former boss, Bridget Anne Kelly, as erratic and unstable but said that she doubts Kelly orchestrated the lane shutdown. It was Kelly who sent a famous or infamous e-mail calling for traffic problems in Ft. Lee.

HARLOW: And charges this morning for a man police say followed a motorcade carrying the president's daughters through the White House gates. The building was shut down for about an hour, but the man never got past the checkpoint. The Secret Service says the 55-year- old driver, Mathew Evan Goldstein, has a pass for the U.S. Treasury building, which is next door. He's been charged with unlawful entry and is due in court this afternoon.

FEYERICK: And President Obama today will see firsthand the devastation from last month's tornadoes, visiting Arkansas where a deadly twister took at least 15 lives, mostly in towns of Mayflower and Vilonia. Then the president heads west to California for Democratic fundraisers, and he'll receive an award from a foundation dedicated to preserving interviews with Holocaust survivors.

And celebrities protesting in the street, demanding a popular hotel be sold because of its controversial owner. New developments happening while you were sleeping. It's after the break.


HARLOW: Happening today, a fiery British cleric expected to take the stand in his own defense at his terror trial here in New York. Abu Hamza al-Masri is accused of helping radicalized shoe bomber Richard Reid and 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta, and also conspiring to kidnap tourists in Yemen as well as trying to establish a terror camp in Oregon. He has pled not guilty.

FEYERICK: And where do lethal injection drugs come from? Well, there's a new call for more information on the source, this time from Texas. Lawyers for death row inmates say the state authorities must reveal the name of its drug supplier. Robert Campbell is set to die next Tuesday for the 1991 rape and murder of a Houston woman. His lawyers say the information on where the drugs are coming from is necessary in order to avoid a repeat of the botched execution last week in Oklahoma. Texas officials say they use a different procedure than Oklahoma.

HARLOW: And speaking of that execution in Oklahoma, an attorney for the inmate who died after that botched execution is asking for a second independent autopsy. Clayton Lockett died of an apparent heart attack more 40 minutes after lethal injection drugs were administered. Officials blame a collapsed vein. The result of the first independent autopsy are expected in about 8-12 weeks.

FEYERICK: And we're getting chilling new details this morning about what happened inside a FedEx facility near Atlanta when a 19-year-old armed with a shotgun, knives and bombs opened fire. Six people were hit including a security guard named Christopher Sparkman. He called 911. Take a listen.


911 OPERATOR: 911, what is the nature of your emergency?

CHRISTOPHER SPARKMAN: 1675 Airport Road, I've been shot.

911 OPERATOR: 1675 Airport Road?

SPARKMAN: Kennesaw, Georgia.

911 OPERATOR: Who did it, sir?

SPARKMAN I don't know. A lone gunman, he's got a shotgun. I have been shot. I have been shot.

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

SPARKMAN: Will you tell my wife I love her. Please hurry. Please, god, hurry. I do not want to die.


FEYERICK: Hard to listen to. Sparkman is still in the hospital. He's expected to recover. The shooter, a 19-year-old Getty Kramer, took his own life. Police say they still don't have a clear motive for why and why it happened.

HARLOW: We have new video to show you from Hawaii where security cameras captured these images of a 15-year-old stowaway on the tarmac in Maui after he hitched a ride in the wheel well of a jet all the way from California. The video shows the teen emerging from the wheel well, lowering himself to the ground, and then shakily walking to the front of the plane. He is now back in San Jose with his family where police say he could face trespassing charges.

FEYERICK: And we're getting a new look this morning at a scary jump off New York City's tallest building, 1 World Trade Center. It was a jump that landed four people in court, three jumpers and one accomplice, all of whom now pleaded not guilty to burglary and reckless endangerment charges. They insist their jump was no danger to anyone on the ground.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). That's a beautiful experience to have, to experience life from that perspective, take a moment out and just enjoy your life.


FEYERICK: And they claim that they spent many hours inside and on top of that high profile building before the jump. And may say it highlights security problems at the site. But the Port Authority insists the building is secure.

HARLOW: All right, we'll be back with more EARLY START straight ahead after the break.