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Plane Forced to Land After Slide Deploys; Severe Storms Leave Path of Destruction; Obama to Name New V.A. Chief; Team USA Gearing Up for Belgium; Accident or Murder?

Aired June 30, 2014 - 08:00   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, slide shocker. United Airlines flight forced to make an emergency landing after this, the emergency slide deploys inside the cabin midair. How did it happen? And how real was the danger?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: World Cup fever. We're live in Rio after a crazy weekend of football action. Mexico out. Brazil in. Each game more nail-biting than the last.

Now, our eyes are on the U.S. preparing for their first knockout game.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Caught on tape, an Arizona State University professor stopped for jaywalking. But then it gets ugly. The cop throws her, she kicks him. What is behind this altercation? She joins us live.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. I'm Chris Cuomo live in Brazil with the American World Cup squad has everything on the line, literally. Win, or go home. It is that simple. Tomorrow, big match against Belgium.

Now, the U.S. already shows that it has got the right stuff, made it out of the group of death. However, they're running into this hot Belgium team. They haven't lost the entire tournament, haven't given up a goal an entire tournament.

We're going to review and preview, because we believe we have a chance. We also have some of the weekend's wild matches and we have more of the World Cup experience here in Rio. So, we're going to bring you all that.

But, first, let's get back to Kate in New York. She has a very serious story about a scare in the air -- Kate. BOLDUAN: Yes, Chris, we'll get right back to you. Let's talk about

that scary moment midair, an emergency evacuation slide suddenly deploys on United Airlines flight. The California bound plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Wichita, Kansas, because of it. So what prompted this all to happen and how much danger were passengers and the crew facing mid-flight?

Aviation correspondent Rene Marsh is live in Washington with much more.

So many questions, Rene.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so many questions at this point, Kate. You said how much danger were these passengers in, potentially a lot of danger. One passenger is calling this the scariest flight of all time.

And this morning, the FAA tells us it was an issue with the plane's door that caused this emergency slide to deploy midair. Passengers describe what could have been a deadly situation.


DIANE MODINI, PASSENGER: All of a sudden you saw their faces go like this and you heard a big bang and a hiss.

MARSH (voice-over): Shock aboard a United Airlines flight when an emergency slide accidentally deployed mid-air, inflating inside the back of the Boeing 737 carrying more than 100 people. Passengers report hearing a distinct popping noise before the slide started filling up inside the cabin. Flight attendants rushed to assess the situation.

MODINI: They just had a panicked look. They took the carts and ran backwards to the back of the plane.

MARSH: No injuries reported but the plane en route from Chicago O'Hare International Airport to John Wayne Airport in Southern California was forced to make an emergency landing in Wichita, Kansas, descending over 20,000 feet in 10 minutes, according to

MODINI: The first thing that went through my mind is if the chute opened, then it probably popped out the door, which mean we would probably lose pressure immediately. But luckily, that didn't happen.

MARSH: Passengers took to social media to share pictures and video of the frightening experience.

Former Nebraska quarterback, Taylor Martinez tweeted this picture of the slide. Writing, "scariest flight of all time, #emergencylanding."

This isn't the first time a slide has accidentally deployed on board a flight. Last year, a slide opened on a JetBlue flight, pinning a flight attendant against the wall of the plane. Passengers on board the United flight say it's lucky that everyone was seated and no one was in the back of the plane when the slide deployed Sunday night.


MARSH: Now, these slides are made in many cases to deploy in just six seconds. So just imagine the force. It is not soft, you look at the pictures there, looks like possibly soft, like a bounce house. Well, they're not. These slides are filled with pressurized gas designed to be hard, solid, to handle passengers. So this could have caused severe injuries and it certainly is not a stretch to say it could have been deadly -- Michaela.

PEREIRA: What a relief it was not, Rene. Thanks for walking us through that. Hopefully it won't happen again.

I want to turn to weather -- some extreme weather may turn our Fourth of July into a washout for millions of folks on the East Coast. Churning in the Southeast, what is expected to be the first named storm of this season, the hurricane season.

Meanwhile, parts of the Midwest, look at this, severe storms already leaving their mark. That was the scene in eastern Arkansas over the weekend. Folks trying to get through flooded roads. What looked more like rivers.

Meteorologist Indra Petersons is following all this weather for us.

Certainly a danger out there.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that was like five to seven inches of rain that they saw, almost in 24 hours in Arkansas.

And here is the concern. More severe weather is expected to be out there again today. We're talking about 44 million of you including the quad cities in Des Moines. This is only one side of it. We still have a tropical storm that could be developing into the Atlantic.


PETERSONS (voice-over): Flash flooding strikes the Midwest. Severe thunderstorms leading to raging floodwaters in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Minnesota. The overflow making for dangerous driving conditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rain is coming down pretty hard. You can barely see anything. The car hit. As soon as it hit, you know, it shuts off, starts floating, and puts me against the curb.

PETERSONS: This weekend's rainfall making Sunday one of the all-time 10 wettest days in Memphis. And this is just the beginning. This week's forecast calls for a threat of thunderstorms, hail, and even tornadoes stretching from Kansas to Michigan.

Overnight in Iowa, firefighters and paramedics rescued stranded residents from their homes, whole families pulled to safety by boats in Cedar Rapids, downed trees and smashed vehicles now line the streets. A similar scene in Arkansas where floodwaters rushed into homes like

this in the eastern part of the state. In Minnesota over the weekend, the ominous sky opened up to this. Torrential downpours, that left residents braving the streets in St. Paul.

People and cars dodging the puddles of rain overflow onto city streets. The storm with flashes of lightning closing down a run way at the airport. This is possibly a preview of more severe weather to come.


PETERSONS: We talked about the severe weather threat in the Midwest. But now, all eyes focused on what is developing in the Atlantic. We have a 60 percent chance in the next two days this could be a tropical storm. That would be Arthur, the first one of the Atlantic season.

Take a look at its path, expected to develop right along the immediate coastline, by the time we get to the fourth of July itself. Look like the bull's eye around D.C.

Now, remember, there are several weather models out there, some of them bringing up toward the mid-Atlantic. Some models are bringing it further to the North. We're talking about in through the Northeast. So, keep in mind, pretty much the entire Eastern Seaboard can be affected.

Remember, we're talking about Fourth of July itself, but, of course, by Saturday and Sunday, the hope now is the forecast is right and shifts out of here, the entire weekend will not be a washout, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Let's hope it shifts earlier, sooner rather than later. Thank you, Indra, keeping an eye on that for us.

Also this morning, CNN learned the president picked the person he would like to next head up the scandal plagued Veterans Affairs Department. Bob McDonald is a former Procter & Gamble top executive. Also, a graduate of West Point.

So is he the man to best clean up the systemic problems and the immediate crisis, quite frankly, facing the V.A. and 1700 facilities now under the microscope?

Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta is joining us live from the White House, of course, with more.

Jim, what more are we learning about this pick?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, President Obama will make his selection of Bob McDonald official with an event at the V.A. later on this afternoon. And by reaching outside the government to make his pick, the president is sending yet another message to this troubled department that it's time to change.


BOB MCDONALD, FORMER PROCTER & GAMBLE CEO: Thank you to all of you who are here this afternoon.

ACOSTA (voice-over): It's a White House gamble that Bob McDonald, who ran one of the nation's top companies during the great recession, can bring some big business discipline to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The former CEO of Procter & Gamble, McDonald graduated from West Point in the top 2 percent of his class.

But he is not well known among veterans groups. This is definitely a surprising pick. The head of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America said in a statement, "McDonald is not a name that was on anyone's radar over the last few weeks."

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We are going to do right by our veterans across the board as long as it takes.

ACOSTA: One month after the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, the president now has a better sense of the department's corruption that resulted in secret list that concealed long medical wait times for veterans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a breach of trust. It is irresponsible. It is defensible and unacceptable.

ACOSTA: Last Friday, the White House issued its own scathing report finding a corrosive culture has led to personnel problems across the department that are seriously impacting moral and, by extension, the timeliness of health care. On the day Shinseki stepped down, the president said the VA need an overhaul.

OBAMA: I want somebody spending every minute of every day, figuring out have we called every single veteran that's waiting. Have they gotten a schedule? Are we fixing the system?

ACOSTA: So far, congressional leaders on VA issues still don't know much about McDonald. Bernie Sanders said he wants to meet McDonald in order to ascertain his views on these important issues. While Republican Jeff Miller want heads to roll, saying those who created the VA scandal will need to be purged from the system.


ACOSTA: And making the Bob McDonald pick even more unusual is the fact he's donated money to Republican candidates over the last several years, even Mitt Romney, Mr. Obama's rival in 2012, got contributions totaling $5,000, maybe one reason why House Speaker John Boehner released a statement, pretty favorable one, saying that Bob McDonald is just the person that the V.A. needs -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Even if he makes it through confirmation, which we'll, of course, see quickly, Jim, it leaves you this is a guy who is facing a tough question of where do you begin when he takes on this job?

Jim, thank you very much, at the White House for us.

ACOSTA: You bet.

BOLDUAN: Let's get down to Chris who's in Brazil now where World Cup fever has taken over once again.

CUOMO: True, true. The World Cup rolls on. We're down to 16.

And the question that pains is whether the U.S. will beat the odds and make it to the final eight? Belgium stands in the way, shaking its unbeaten head.

Tourists from all over the world are descending on Rio. You don't just come for the sun and what is barely covered by what passes for a bikini here, so I hear, haven't seen for myself, you come for the soccer -- some of the most exciting soccer that we have seen.

And right now beaches are not just for relaxing, they are for screaming for your country. That's when's go on here, all these different languages, beautiful to behold.

This weekend showed us that anything can happen in the World Cup. Almost all the matches went into overtime. Brazil, the host country, nearly eliminated, but we're all about the Americans here. So, how can they make the Belgians waffle?

Lara Baldesarra joins us. She's the anchor of CNN International's "World Sports".

You can have the line about making Belgians waffle. It is all yours. It's a gift from me to you. Tell me how the U.S. sizes up against the Belgians.

LARA BALDESARRA, CNN INTERNATIONAL'S "WORLD SPORTS": They -- these two teams, Chris, they are almost meant to play against each other. They're very similar teams. Both very physical teams, very tactically astute teams.

I want to talk about the one thing that could e the real difference- maker for the USA. And that's just the pure confidence. A lot of that will stem from the USA coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, he knows what it is like to win the World Cup as a player. He's previously coach in the World Cup.

This is a guy that just exudes confidence. We heard that even more with him telling all his players and the families to rebook their tickets, do not book your ticket until after the World Cup finals to leave Brazil. So, he's confident. That is then feeding to the players.

I am actually going to be inside the press conference in a few hours and that's going to be key, because it's one thing to hear what these guys say to read their quotes afterwards, but you can get a sense almost of that confidence that they may or may not be feeling, what their attitude is like. I've seen Jurgen Klinsmann transition from the first game where he seemed a little tentative, in the press conference, to really loosening up as things -- as he moved forward. And the Germany press conference, he was loose, he was relaxed, he was happy, he was good.

And I want to see if that continues and how that is then feeding over to the players, Chris, because it is all going to be them, if they feel the confidence from him, they're going to go out there and play very well.

CUOMO: You definitely seems to know how to get them to be their best, despite what the media thinks about it. When you get into the presser, see what jersey they're wearing. I want to make sure I have the right one on tomorrow, not the next game day. I know I keep asking you, it is very important.

And Yogi Berra had the famous quote, not the heat, it's the humility. You know, what about this -- the temperature down there in Salvador, the moisture, the humidity, does that play to the U.S. advantage at all?

BALDESARRA: Well, it will and it won't. The U.S. has now been very accustomed to playing in very hot places, humid places, they played up in the Amazon rain forest. They know that it is going to feel like. The U.S. team -- they arrived here in Salvador, in this weather, they have been in the stadium behind me to kind of check out the lay of the land, understand what this pitch is going to be like, feel what it feels like to be standing in the middle of the pitch, and so they are very well experienced, let's say.

The Belgians, not so much. They have not had to play in such extreme heat. Now that could actually be working to the USA's favor.

Now, Chris, I want to mention something about this entire jersey thing. If I find out what jersey they're wearing, I don't want you just to go out and buy it with no name on the back. That's amateur hour. I need you to dedicate yourself to a player and get your name on your back. Can you do that?

CUOMO: I don't know. I'm stunned from the trash talk going on here, Baldesarra. Didn't I just see you wrapped up like Kenny from the rain drops. Don't get all high and mighty with me, to come down to Salvador in just a couple of hours.

I have one jersey from each. I'm not about the names and the pageantry. I'm just about support, Baldesarra. I'm just about being an American.

So, let me know what you find out in the presser and I'll see you down there in a couple of hours. Thank you for the preview.

Giving me that trash talk. I like it. I like it.

All right. Back to you in New York.

BOLDUAN: Definitely. I have the perfect solution. If you have both jerseys, layer them on, and then, you know, grab if you will, whichever one you need.

CUOMO: Make me look bigger. I like it.

PEREIRA: And also a little tip, you're going north, don't go down if you go down, you go away from the match. Go north to Salvador, my friend.

CUOMO: Thank you. Thank you very much.


BOLDUAN: We'll get back to you.

PEREIRA: Talk to you soon, hon.

All right. Let's give you a look at your headlines at 16 minutes past the hour.

Happening today, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether companies need to cover contraception for employees despite religious objections. Right now, it is a requirement under the Affordable Care Act, but critics say the mandate goes against religious freedoms.

Chaotic scene playing out in New Orleans, it was al caught on camera. A pair of gunman opening fire near a crowd on Bourbon Street, people running, crawling for cover as shots rang out. Police say the two men got into some sort of argument, pulled out their guns and began firing. Nine people were injured, two of them critically. Police are still searching for those gunmen.

PEREIRA: Dozens of people got an extended ride at San Diego's SeaWorld. A power failure left them 220 feet high for four hours. They were in the sky tower which takes rider up for a ran panoramic view of the city. They got food and water while they were stuck. SeaWorld says they were never in any danger.

From narrowly escaping a fire by jumping out a window to walking down the aisle. (INAUDIBLE) was married just days after she and her bridesmaid and her roommate jumped to safety from a third floor window after becoming trapped in her burning apartment in Colorado. They made it to the ceremony, despite suffering from burns to her hands and her face. She went to the ceremony.

She recorded a toast on her voice mail and then had somebody play it over a microphone because she couldn't be there. She was there for the ceremony there. They decide they're going to keep moving on, going on their honeymoon, she and her new husband.

BOLDUAN: So strong for her to just get right back to it.

PEREIRA: This is what we're doing. Stay focused.

BOLDUAN: That's a focused bride.

PEREIRA: Congratulations.

BOLDUAN: My goodness gracious.

Coming up next, on NEW DAY, developments in the death of a Georgia child left in a hot car. The boy's father is already facing murder charge. So why police are now investigating the toddler's mother in this case. PEREIRA: And a marine missing for more than nine years turns himself

in to face desertion charges for the second time. Live to the Pentagon with more on this bizarre case.


BOLDUAN: A new twist in the death of a Georgia toddler. He was left locked in a hot car for hours and now police are investigating the little boy's mother in the incident. His father pleaded not guilty to the murder and second degree child cruelty charges he faces relate to the 22-month-old's death.

Nick Valencia is at the CNN Center with more on the new angle of investigation for investigators.

Good morning, Nick.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. Search warrants created more questions surrounding the death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris. This weekend his funeral, his tiny red casket, placed in front of hundreds who came to pay their respects.


VALENCIA (voice-over): A day after she defended her husband against after people called him a murderer, CNN has learned Leanna Harris she may have to defend her own actions. In search warrants released this weekend, police said, quote, "Leanna Harris, the child's mother, was also questioned regarding the incident and made similar statements regarding researching in car deaths and how it occurs." Police did not say when the search was done.

Left alone for seven hours in an SUV, 22-month-old Cooper Harris died. The high temperature that day was 92 degrees. The boy's father, Justin Ross Harris, has been charged with murder. He says he's not guilty.

Harris phoned in to his baby's funeral service and was heard over the speaker phone sobbing. He thanked the crowd for their support. Hundreds there stood to applaud him. Cameras were not allowed inside.


VALENCIA (on camera): You're here.

BROWN: Even if he's done a horrible thing.

VALENCIA (voice-over): Carol Brown, a long-time family friend, was one of those in attendance.

BROWN: I mean, he could have gone to the car and not seen the little boy if the boy was sleeping, you know? It could have. I mean, he could have been distracted. But I do have questions about it.

VALENCIA: Questions that may also be aimed at the boy's mother. Why would both parents do a search as police say for how long it takes a child to die in a hot car? Still to determine if this was a tragic coincidence or something much worse.


VALENCIA: And this weekend at the funeral, Leanna Harris stood in front of the crowd at the church and said she found solace knowing her little boy would never have to suffer his first heartbreak or the deaths of his parents or grandparents. The boy's father in jail, he's held without bond. His next court hearing is on Thursday -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Nick, thank you very much for the update on that tragic story. We'll take another break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, a marine missing for more than nine years, accused of faking his own abduction and now facing desertion charges. On top of all this, this is not the first time.

We're going to have more on this story after the break.

CUOMO: And I am in Rio de Janeiro with the latest on the World Cup competition. Team USA getting ready for what is sure to be a tough match against Belgium tomorrow. What could happen? We have a preview for you.


PEREIRA: All right. Here we go with the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

At number one, President Obama is set to nominate former Protect & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald to head the V.A. He would succeed Eric Shinseki who resigned last month after finding out about secret waiting lists.

General Motors is set to announce a breakdown of payments to victims of those defective ignition switches. The automaker still faces a federal investigation into how it handled the problem.

The Supreme Court expected to rule today on the so-called Obamacare contraception mandate.