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Malaysia Air 17 Shot Down; Gunfire in Vicinity of Crash Site; Russia, Ukraine Trade Blame; Gaza Facing A Humanitarian Crisis

Aired July 19, 2014 - 07:00   ET



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: At that point, when you realize what could have happened.

Thank you so much for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: Next hour of your NEW DAY starts now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Behind me is just part of what is left of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just hope that none of these children -- or the grandchildren will go before you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You saw next to three of the passengers' names the capital "I." As we now know, the letter "I" stands for infant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's crazy. You don't expect to go into an airplane and get blown out of the sky.


PAUL: I just feel for those families and what they are dealing with today.

We're so glad to have your company. Thank you for making us part of your morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

Welcome to viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.

And some new breaking details there from the vicinity of the crash site, reports of gunfire and explosions in that area. Experts have bags, body bags there, they're moving them to the sides of the road. This is from the OSCE monitor, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe there.

These body bags are being placed there. The details are indelicate. But the body parts are being placed in the bags and then left on the side of the road for collection. The question is, when will there be this collection of these 298 souls, these bodies that were essentially shot out of the sky just a couple days ago?

Now, we know that the bodies of these people, from 11 countries, have been lying in a remote field patrolled by the armed gunmen in eastern Ukraine.

PAUL: Now, Malaysia says it's a disgrace and it's inhumane and it wants access and it wants access now.

BLACKWELL: And so far, international monitors have only been allowed at the site by gunmen for a little more than an hour yesterday. We know today, there are fewer of these OSCE monitors, these observers so they can be more mobile today. But it seems like they're getting a little more access, but again, the reports of gunfire in that vicinity.

PAUL: And explosions as well. Malaysia's transport minister said the full list of the passengers from Malaysia's Flight 17 will be released today. And he said he and other officials are going to Ukraine's capital to make sure the bodies are retrieved to be laid to rest. At the end of the day, he says this is not just a geopolitical issue, this is a human tragedy.

BLACKWELL: The U.S. and Malaysian officials suspect that pro-Russia rebels took down the passenger plane on Thursday with a surface-to-air missile as it was flying from Amsterdam, it is the flight path, from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia says it will indeed continue that investigation, as the transport minister gets to Kiev.

We want to bring in CNN's Phil Black. He has been there at the crash site.

PAUL: He's in Donetsk right now, in eastern Ukraine.

Again, Phil, as we hear about gunfire and explosions in that the vicinity of that crash site, what are you hearing?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as we know, this is an active war zone, and even through the morning when we were there, we heard what sounded very much like either mortar fire or some form of artillery in the near distance. It is a constant threat in that location very much part of the reality there, and yet another complicating factor as to why it is so difficult to get access. And to begin the much needed processes of recovering those bodies. And, of course, investigating precisely what happened there.

The scene there, it is confronting, it is deeply moving. There is no doubt about it. It is quite awesome to stand before the scale of the destruction, the size of the wreckage. The damage to the earth from the impact and fire that followed there but also then to simply turn to look around the fields and see the many bodies that still lie there. Now, we've heard that there is a beginning process to recover those

bodies with body bags and so forth. But I can tell you that this morning, there seemed to be very little progress in that regard. I think that increasingly, that is going to be a source of concern for the international community if these bodies are not treated with respect as they now enter their third day beneath Ukraine's summer sun -- Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: My question to you, Phil, how aggressively are these rebels protecting, for lack of a better term, this wreckage, this area?

BLACK: They are very much regulating controlling their territory, because in recent weeks, they have been driven back significantly by Ukrainian military. The area of territory they now control is much smaller than it was. But it does, as we know, include this area where the plane came down.

So to get there, you have to go through many layers, many road checks, and vehicle checks, paperwork, documents, really. You can't get in there without their approval. It just doesn't happen, certainly as Western journalists. We were able to get in there. Once there, we found them to be relatively friendly, even supportive of our presence.

But we know that others, including those European monitors that you mentioned, had a much different experience. We described them as openly hostile, talked about them even firing their weapons into the air in response to their presence.

So I think it does vary and this is another independent factor, depending where you are, because these groups do not fall under one banner, one leadership. They are variation factions loosely banded together in the cause of this autonomous people's republic, but it is not a strict hierarchy or chain of command if you like.

And, again, yet again another complicating factor, in responding to this sort of disaster in the way the world would normally expect -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: Phil, we only have a couple seconds, but you mentioned the last time we spoke with you, that the rebels were due to hold some sort of news conference. Do know anything about that?

BLACK: We believe it's ongoing. We haven't heard what the details are. We've been trying to get that information. But they are expected to discuss their approach to this disaster and the investigation and, of course, that recovery.

PAUL: All righty. Phil Black, thank you so much.

The question that a lot of people have: was this an accident or was it calculated at the end of the day? While pro-Russian rebels are being blamed for shooting down flight 17, the why is what is still unanswered?

BLACKWELL: So, joining us now, Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis, and also CNN safety analyst, David Soucie.

Colonel Maginnis, let's start with you. What's your opinion about what happened here?

LT. COL. BOB MAGINNIS (RET), MILITARY COMMENTATOR: Well, Victor, with SA-11 I think indisputably in the hands of the separatists, and they're out of control of Russian and Ukrainian air defense capabilities and monitoring radar. And, of course, over the last week, we've had at least three downings of aircraft by separatists, according to the president's statement yesterday, that it would appear as if this was mistakenly identified, the Flight 17, by separatists and therefore, engaged. And certainly within the capability of a surface-to-air missile 11 by separatists who probably have been trained or perhaps had deserted the Ukrainian side and understands how to use the weapon, that it was engaged.

Now, whether or not the People's Republic of Donetsk, the separatist regime there, gave the order, or it was an individual who was saying, well, I'll take the initiative -- what we do know, by voice intercepts that the separatists, the leader of the separatists claimed credit for downing another aircraft. And then, of course, quickly, they removed it from the Web site.

So, you know, culpability is across the board. And, of course, whoever provided that SA-11 to the separatists, whether it's the Russians, or it was a captured SA-11, that's to be determined. But the tragedy and the blame will go on for some time.

PAUL: David, whether this was intentional work or whether it was an accident by Russian rebels, do you think that those rebels then will back off a bit? Or will we see an escalation?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: There's been no indication that they're going to back off at this point, other than the fact that they have let some people go on to the site. They've allowed them to get in there and start doing some extraction of the bodies. There's really two things that need to be done right now. And that's the dignity of those victims and to preserve those bodies and to bring them back to their loved ones and relatives.

The second part is that of culpability again. And the only way that's going to be truly determined is the hard physical evidence to prove something did hit the aircraft. And then determine from that aircraft what direction it came from and perhaps how far away it was when it was launched. That's going to be -- that's going to be so important as we move forward with this culpability issue.

BLACKWELL: Colonel, the strongest resistance, I'd imagine, that we'd see from these rebels would be if the Ukrainian military, the Ukrainian government, would come into that area, as they have a right to, to lead that investigation.

Do you think the Ukrainians should hand over leadership of this investigation to the international community, to the U.S., to some other body? MAGINNIS: Well certainly, the president sent the FBI and the NTSB

there to assist. And the U.N. has endorsed an investigation. And, you know, clearly, the disaster site has to be cordoned and it has to be investigated.

However, we already have reports that the black boxes are in the hands of the separatists and probably they've moved to Moscow. We know the site is contaminated. And as the reports over the last few minutes have indicated there at CNN, you know, you have bodies sitting out in the open and three days of intense sunlight. You know, it's a disaster within a disaster.

Now, I will tell you that, you know, the former PTB (ph), FSB, the GRU, the military intelligence of the Russians are well imbedded within the separatists. Because of that, I think they have every motivation to try to hide some of the evidence.

So, the longer that the West is kept out of the crash site, it's going to be much more difficult to prove culpability. And I think that that fits what Moscow wants. They don't -- they want this to be declared an accident. They don't want it to be, you know, marking what they're trying to accomplish there in eastern Ukraine.

PAUL: All right, well, David, when it comes to, you know, the crash site itself do you think it is going to take force by somebody else to overtake these rebels and get in? Or do you think there can be some sort of negotiation?

SOUCIE: Well, I think they have to try both aspects. They have to try to negotiate. But if it doesn't work within a day, we need to start moving in and someone needs to go in there and secure that site, in some manner. I know that's not an easy task. But it has to be done. It really has to be done.

If the evidence has already been damaged to a point of irretrievability, which I don't think has happened, actually from the pictures that we're seeing right there. I could see earlier there were pictures of the tail of the aircraft. You could see the actuator for the horizontal stabilizer. These are things in determining what happened to the aircraft. Why it went down in the manner that it did, and that will help us determine how close that missile was fired. And thereby tell us who may have launched the missile in the first place.

So I think that's a very important part as well.

BLACKWELL: David Soucie, Colonel Maginnis, thank you both.

SOUCIE: Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you.

Meanwhile, you know, there are families and there are friends watching all of this, and they just want to remember the people that they love.

One of those passengers was a pioneer in HIV/AIDS research, Dr. Joep Lange. We're going to hear about his legendary work and his impact from a long time friend.

BLACKWELL: Also, buildings reduced to ashes, hundreds dead, thousands injured. We'll talk about the relief efforts heading into Gaza as it faces down this humanitarian crisis.



DR. JOEP LANGE, HIV/AIDS RESEARCHER: We now know if you treat people very early, if you treat people occurring acute infection, that the reservoir size is quite limited. I think that's what our hope is, that if we catch enough people early in the infection, that it will not be all that difficult to cure them eventually.


BLACKWELL: That was Dr. Joep Lange, one of the passengers onboard Malaysia Flight 17. Now, he was a revered scientists and pioneer in HIV/AIDS research. Dr. Lange was on his way to an international AIDS conference that started this weekend in Melbourne, Australia.

A lot of his colleagues say that his death is a huge loss to the HIV/AIDS and global health community. A lot of his friends and colleagues are now talking legacy.

PAUL: And joining us from Washington a longtime friend of Dr. Lange, Jacques van der Gaag.

We want to thank you so much, Jacques, for being here with us. And, certainly, our thoughts are with you and everybody who is trying to reconcile what's happened. But we did not know him. We want to give you a chance to help us understand the imprint that this doctor was leaving behind. What kind of man was he? What kind of visionary was he?

JACQUES VAN DER GAAG, FREND OF MH17 PASSENGER DR. JOEP LANGE: Yes, I think visionary is a good simple word to describe him. He was very early, one of the leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS, when there was nothing that could actually be done against that horrible disease, he worked tirelessly to come up with what is called a combination therapy of very dangerous and hard to swallow drugs, but at least that stopped the death toll for the people that were infected with HIV/AIDS.

But he did not stop there being a scientist. He was, of course, very pleased that more and more people in the Western world, in the United States, in Europe, could use those drugs, and continue a healthy and productive life. But he was appalled to see that almost nobody in Africa, for instance, had access to those drugs.

And he worked tirelessly to reverse that, or to change that. And I think it's not much of an overstatement that today, millions of people are alive in Africa, thanks to his tireless efforts to get those people access to those drugs. BLACKWELL: As we learn more about him, it's hard to overstate his

contribution to science and to research. But, this was your friend. Tell me about the man.

VAN DER GAAG: The man, you saw on the screen, he is -- he's very soft-spoken, very gentle. He's a great friend to almost immediately to all the people that he works with. But he as an iron core, deep down there is a commitment to improve the lives of those infected by HIV/AIDS to rid the world of the disease, to promote access to all kinds of health care for even the poorest parts of the world population. And I would say that once he is on a mission, don't go in his way, because he will do everything he can to reach his goals.

PAUL: Soft-spoken and yet so passionate and staunch in his beliefs. I'm wondering, what, Jacques, are you going to miss most about Dr. Lange?

VAN DER GAAG: Well, we became good friends in the past 15 years that we worked together in Amsterdam. And he just -- just by being in the room he was an inspiration to all the people that worked around him and with him and for him. And my guess is that his vision and his energy and his passion will continue to stimulate and inspire those people. But I think they will just miss the person.

PAUL: As you will, I'm sure.

VAN DER GAAG: Absolutely.

PAUL: Well, Jacques van der Gaag, thank you so much for bringing such an intimate look at a man that we don't know but that you obviously had the blessing of knowing. Thanks again for taking the time for us today, and our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

VAN DER GAAG: Thanks for having me.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

VAN DER GAAG: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: We learned a lot about the final moments of MH17 through social media. Through the crash itself, to video of the passengers just moments before takeoff. We're going to take a look at how YouTube and Twitter and Instagram are helping us understand just what happened to this flight.


BLACKWELL: Well, we know social media is playing an important role for investigators who are looking into this crash of Flight 17, and the final moments for that plane.

PAUL: Yes, I mean, there's even video. One video showing some of the victims boarding. Look at this, before they took off on this flight.

CNN's Nick Valencia has seen a lot of these things out there. And there's almost more than you can even stand. NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so many retweets, so many

posts on Instagram, on Facebook, social media in general. We were talking about this could very well be the most documented plane crash of all time.

Almost instantly, we saw photos posted from civilians at the crash site, as well as journalists posting what they saw from the crash site and the crime scene. They were posting photos on Twitter, posting information on Twitter.

And then we saw this video posted on Instagram by one of the passengers which could be the last glimpse of MH17 before it's ill- fated trip, before it crashed right there on the border of Russia and Ukraine.

I want to show you this video. The caption of it, "In the name of God, feeling a little bit nervous."

You see there, Victor and Christi, passengers doing their ordinary routine things before taking off, stowing their luggage. You can't hear the video there but you hear the final crew member talking about the final moments, saying, you know, make sure you stow your bags before the flight takes off.

And then there was this Facebook post from another passenger on his way for holiday with his girlfriend. He posted this Facebook, what appears to be joking here, it says, "It disappears, this is what it looks like", of course making a reference to MH370, the flight that still has not been located.

As well as a story we saw today on "The Daily Mail", another post, saying people were actually taking photos of the bodies falling from the sky 30,000 feet in the air. They have a story on the main page.

So, lots of people talking about this. Also, people that witnessed it. Residents in this very remote part of the world posting about what they see. This is not just a crash site. It's a crime scene as well.

And there's this ethical question as well, we've got to ask ourselves, journalists walking around, are they stepping on what could be evidence? Are they tainting an investigation? This is hampering anything at all that could potentially limit the investigation as it moves forward.

PAUL: Well, I know the dignity that we want to give these people.

VALENCIA: That's a great point.

PAUL: And how do you do that when there's so much tension there, just trying to get to the site so you can get information to these families.

VALENCIA: And there's a lot of interest, you know, so it's like where's the line? When do you draw the line? You know, what is going too far in posting these photos, from civilians, from journalists, really? I know the folks that we have there, it's a sensitive issue that they're dealing with.

PAUL: Right.

BLACKWELL: And, you know, the other benefit of social media is that we're hearing the stories of these victims.


BLACKWELL: The social media, Instagram, Twitter, they're being used to remember the loved ones. In ways that previous crashes, previous disasters, they just didn't are the resources to do.

VALENCIA: That could help with the healing.

PAUL: Yes, it helps with the healing and helps remind us this is not just a number. These are people.

Nick, thank you so much.

VALENCIA: Thanks, guys.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Nick.

PAUL: Well, you know, President Obama isn't outright blaming Russia, but he says it does share responsibility for what happened on this flight. We're going to have more on that for you.


PAUL: Thirty-one minutes past the hour right now.

President Obama says Russia bears some responsibility for the crash of flight MH17.

BLACKWELL: He said pro-Russian rebels could not have operated this BUK missiles system believed responsible for the crash without, quote, "sophisticated training."

Let's bring in CNN's Erin McPike.

Erin, what else did the president have to say?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, he attributed the violence going on at the border of eastern Ukraine and Russia largely to the Russians for encouraging those pro-Russian separatists. And he once again encouraged the Russians to take the lead in defusing this situation.


PAUL: Erin, I don't think we have that sound ready. We apologize, obviously having a technical problem.

Go ahead and kind of let us know what was said and talk to us about the conversation that we know the president had with President Putin.


MCPIKE: Well, essentially, Vladimir Putin said to president Obama that he wasn't happy obviously with the crippling sanctions that the United States has imposed on Russia over the past few months. Those sanctions have been getting more and more crippling.

Now, President Obama said he has gotten some encouraging language coming from the Kremlin in recent weeks, but obviously, it has not gone far enough in stopping the violence. And while he didn't directly blame Russia for this tragedy, he certainly said that it wouldn't have happened if Russia hadn't been assisting those separatists.

PAUL: All right.

BLACKWELL: So, we also know that Ambassador Samantha Power to the U.N., she addressed this situation. But she took a different approach. Tell us about that.

MCPIKE: Well, Victor, she said, actually, much the same thing, that they couldn't rule out the assistance of Russian personnel. And because the systems are so technically complex, that it really strains credibility to say that Russia wasn't involved in some way at some part of the process. She also said that the violence that's going on in the border, that many members of the international community have said something devastating would happen. And lo and behold, here we go.

PAUL: Erin McPike, thank you so much for the all the information. We appreciate it.

And to Samantha Power said yesterday, which I think really hung with a lot of people, she said this war can be ended. Russia must end this war.

She was very firm, very terse with that whole thing.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in now CNN foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty for the latest on what's going on in Russia and Ukraine.

PAUL: Yes, Jill is our former Moscow bureau chief.

Jill, good to see you this morning. I know you're going to continue research on Russia this fall as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

But talk about Ukraine and Russia. They're pointing fingers at each other, essentially blaming each other. It seems the overwhelming evidence connects Russians to this disaster.

What do you think Putin is going to do with all of this?

JILL DOUGHERTY, FORMER CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think it's going to be very difficult for him to deny this objectively. But that doesn't mean he's not going to try to. And it doesn't mean that he's going to try to change the narrative as quickly and as sophisticatedly as he can.

I mean, right now, where it stands, have all of this evidence, at least the appearance of evidence coming from the United States and from the West about what happened. And that places the blame on those rebels and the separatists who are in eastern Ukraine.

Coming for the Russians, they continue to say that the Ukrainian government, and the Ukrainian military were the people who are at fault. Now, more and more, the pressure, I think, is drawing on Putin, because of the number of people who were killed in that accident, or that shot down, who were from many, many countries.

And they are having -- it appears, to take a relook at what's going on. And take some action. That said, there's no guarantee that they will.

So where you have President Obama I think is saying, look, Mr. Putin, you have been saying that you want peace. But your actions completely deny that. You are continuing to supply heavy weapons. You are continuing to train these separatists.

And whether they did it, the separatists did it, being trained by Russia or whether, perhaps, Russians themselves aided physically there on the ground, in a sense it doesn't make any difference, that the culpability lies with Russia. And that is a position of President Obama.

So where does Putin go? I don't think he's going to back down at this point at all. I think domestically for him and the Russian people, it would be extremely difficult just to turn on the dime and say, oh, I'm sorry, our rebels did it. And we have to stop supplying them.

How he's going to get out of it, I honestly don't know. I would presume there would have to be some type of turning, if he even gets that far. But it will be with a lot of caveats and a lot of explaining.

So, at this point, I think he's in a real pickle. I really think he is in difficulty. And I think that the Kremlin is worried about how they get out of this.

BLACKWELL: And another question that many are asking, what will be the U.S.'s response, the international response, to Russia?

There's a piece in "The Washington Post" this morning, the editorial board, they have this opinion piece, let's put some of it up on the screen here. They talk about the president's words on Friday.

"Mr. Obama said that the Malaysia Airlines tragedy should be a wake-up call about the consequences to an escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine. He was speaking about the Europeans, but the message also applies to the White House." They go on to say, "The half-steps and symbolic gestures will not stop Russia's aggressions or the atrocities it produces."

What will work here essentially? There have been sanctions in place for some time. What is the next step that I guess the editorial board at least thinks is the full step?

DOUGHERTY: I'm not quite sure what they mean. I mean, you can continue to escalate sanctions. You can really make them hurt. But most importantly, you would have to get everybody else, all the other countries on board.

Then there are things, you know, you can close your airspace to Russian plane, et cetera. But I'm not quite sure. But really the decision resides with Vladimir Putin. And that's what you saw pretty dramatically, although the president, President Obama yesterday, was very careful in the way he said it. It is an ultimatum to Putin to put his actions where his words are, and to do something.

But I think that, you have to say at this point the trust on both sides is completely gone. There is no trust left for Vladimir Putin. It's how do you contain him. How do you stop him from this action?

And I have to say, Victor and Christi, sometimes, I am not saying that Vladimir Putin wanted this to happen at all. That's not the point. The point is when you start fuelling a conflict like this, these things can happen.

And this came out of the blue, literally out of the blue. It is a game-changer and a very important one. And there can be other game- changers, too. There can be very dangerous things that are setting train by taking these actions, that nobody intended. And can have devastating consequences.

BLACKWELL: Game-changer indeed. Jill Dougherty with us this morning. Jill, thank you so much.

PAUL: Thank you, Jill.

Well, let's talk about Gaza because they are facing a true humanitarian crisis here. Not even children are spared as war is waging between Israel and Gaza. So, we're going to talk to a U.N. agency about what is being done to bring relief.


BLACKWELL: You've got to remember, even with the political turmoil, the conflict in Gaza and Israel, there are children involved here. Civilians at the heart of this, paying the price for war.

PAUL: And it's hard to look at this, I know. In the morning, or at anytime, but we need to be real, and be truthful about what is happening there.

And these images bring that to us. Buildings reduced to ruins. We see here. Tens of thousands of people are not in their homes. They've been forced out, as Israel and Gaza fire upon each other.

BLACKWELL: Gaza has taken the brunt of the damage, both in casualties and in decimated infrastructure. Israeli air strikes destroying water lines and sewers, leveling hospitals. Residential buildings as well we see here. PAUL: We need to discuss the humanitarian crisis. And to do so,

we're joined by Christopher Gunness. He's the spokesman for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, joining us Skype.

Christopher, thankful that you can be with us here.

What is priority number one for you in Gaza?

CHRISTOPHER GUNNESS, UNRWA SPOKESMAN: Right now, the number of displaced people seeking sanctuary is above 50,000 people. That's the same level of the Gaza fighting five years ago.

So, our main priority is to accommodate them, to bring shelter, to bring food, to bring water, hygiene, all the facilities at that number of people in just 44 schools in Gaza will need. Of course, the other major priority is the security of civilians. We call on all of the parties to respect the inviolability of U.N. premises and property and also the sanctity of civilian life, because in the round of fighting years ago, UNRWA installations were hit.

We've also had a situation recently where we discovered 20 rockets in an UNRWA school which wasn't being used. It was close to the summer.

We strongly condemn the group or the groups who did that because civilian infrastructure must be respected at all costs.

BLACKWELL: We know your volunteers are going in doing amazing work. How do you secure their work area and make sure they are safe, that you are safe?

GUNNESS: Through moral authority. We have unarmed humanitarian workers. We have 13,000 staff in Gaza. As far as I'm concerned, they're all humanitarian heroes doing extraordinary work amid the conflict, amid the fire. So, that is why we have also launched a $60 million emergency appeal.

Starting tomorrow, we will not have enough money to procure blankets and other nonfood items. So, we are appealing with emergency, a flash appeal for $60 million. One month of the sort of emergency work that we're doing now, which will start once the fighting stops with the inspector general on wait to the region we hope will be soon. And then three to six months, this is the $60 million appeal which will fund worker in the recovery phase for rebuilding shelters, and cancelling the thousands of traumatized children, emergency food, emergency medicine -- all the things you that need in a three to six- month recovery after a conflict like that.

We need the government to come forth now. Further information can be gotten at Twitter @ChrisGunness.

Please, we need government, we need institutions, we need foundations, we need all sorts of people to start giving, because UNRWA is leading the international humanitarian response to the crisis of the displaced people, with 50,000 people and rising. We urgently need assistance.

PAUL: All right. And we certainly hope that you can get the assistance you need doing such important work.

And, you know, he brings up a point, too. Remember, they need psychiatrist help as well to help people. This is not just physically helping people get through this. This is emotionally and mentally helping people as well.

Christopher Gunness, we appreciate it. Thank you very much, and best of luck to you in your efforts there.

GUNNESS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: There are always the scars you can see and the scars you cannot see.

PAUL: Cannot see.

BLACKWELL: A massive tropical cyclone bearing down on southern China is weakening but it's claiming more victims. Meteorologist Jennifer Gray is tracking the treacherous path of typhoon Rammasun and where it's headed.


JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And good morning to you. I'm meteorologist Jennifer Gray with the remnants of super typhoon Rammasun.

This has made landfall yesterday afternoon. It claimed almost 90 lives in the Philippines and about eight or nine more in China. This was an incredible, incredible storm. This is its path as it went through early Friday morning. You can see the eye and this packed winds of about 155 miles per hour, with wind gusts almost at 190 miles an hour, roughly at 185 miles per hour and its second landfall in China.

This will go down in the books as one of the strongest typhoons China has ever had. And so, this one is making history. It is now weakening. It will cause a lot of rain, flooding rain, and we are already looking to our next typhoon that is already to the east of the Philippines, again.

You can see making landfall right around 2:30 local time, winds of 155 miles per hour with gusts of over 185 miles per hour. That is right on the cusp of what we call a category four to a category five storm on that cusp. Here is the visible satellite as it was making landfall. You see the eye with multiple vortices.

Incredible pictures, here's the satellite with those coldest highest cloud tops, the white you can see, and those winds at about 185 miles per hour right around that eye, right around the center. So, just incredible images.

Already looking at our next storm, Matmo. This one looks like it will trail off to the north. It doesn't look like it's going to make a direct impact on the Philippines. But it could in fact hit Taiwan in the coming days as possibly category three, maybe category two. So, we'll be watching that very, very closely.

We'll be right back with more NEW DAY after the break.


PAUL: Well, this morning, families around the world obviously -- I mean, hearts are heavy for the victims of Flight 17. We are talking about 298 people, not just a number, but people on board there. Passengers came from at least 11 different countries, included scientists, athletes, even a family on vacation.

One of those passengers was Karlijn Keijzer, a champion rower from Amsterdam who was studying from Indiana University.

CNN's Ted Rowlands has more on her life and the legacy she lives.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twenty-five-year-old Karlijn Keijzer made the same impression on everyone she met.

DOUG CRANDELL, FRIEND & CLASSMATE: Her smile, she was probably the happiest person. She could brighten anybody's day. She is just full of energy and so bright and thoughtful and kind.

ROWLANDS: And talented. A former member of the rowing team, the fourth year doctoral student at Indiana University was studying computational chemistry and teaching under graduate chemistry, which department chair David Giedroc says she was fantastic at.

DAVID GIEDROC, CHEMICAL BIOLOGY PROFESSOR & CHAIR, INDIANA UNIV.: She's very outgoing and very straight forward. She smiles a lot. She smiled a lot.

ROWLANDS: The Dutch citizen was taking a few weeks off from studies to visit family and travel. According to her friends, her father posted the news on Karlijn's Facebook page, saying, "Our brilliant, lively beautiful daughter Karlijn was in the plane that crashed together with her boyfriend Laurens. We grieve for three reasons: for Lijn, for Lau and for the splendid future they had together."

RACHEL WEIGLER, FRIEND & FORMER ROOMMATE: One of the things about Karlijn is she is a genuine person. You don't really meet people like that anymore. She always was honest with you, even if it was something you didn't want to hear. But she -- you could always tell that she cared very much.

GIEDROC: This, to me, is an act of cowardice and terrorism. You don't expect to get blown out of the sky as a civilian. It's unbelievably stunning.


ROWLANDS: And people here are shocked because she had such a bright future ahead of her. She was supposed to graduate with her PhD next year, but also because of the senseless way she had her life cut short -- Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right. Ted Rowlands reporting for us. Ted, thank you.

First this hour, there's been gunfire and explosions near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

PAUL: This is happening as remains of some of the crash victims we're hearing are being put in body bags and left by the side of the road right now.