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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
"Disintegrated" Plane Found with No Survivors; Hamas Agrees to 12-Hour Cease Fire with Israel; Passenger Threat Causes Canadian Flight To Divert, Return To Toronto; How Much Is Too Much Video Surveillance?
Aired July 25, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next, breaking news the first images of the Air Algerie plane crash that killed 116 people. But what caused that plane to go down.
Plus more breaking news in the Middle East, Hamas and Israel agree to a very temporary ceasefire and new details into the investigation on who shot down MH17. U.S. officials tonight saying, Russia could be sending more rocket launchers across that border to Ukraine as early as right now. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with breaking news, two U.S. fighter jets escorted a Canada to Panama flight back to Toronto after the passenger allegedly threatened the plane, which had 181 passengers and six crew members on board.
It was a Sunwing Airline Flight 772. It left Toronto's main airport, Pearson International, this morning and was over West Virginia when and I'm going to quote the detail that we have here, "an agitated customer made a direct threat against the aircraft" about 45 minutes into the flight to Panama City.
That's what the Canadian carrier is telling us at this moment. We have much more on this story in the hour as we learn more pictures of what happened on board that plane. As soon as we get that, we're going to bring that to you.
But we have more breaking news, on the Air Algerie flight that officials say disintegrated over the Western African country of Mali. This is the first video of the plane, 116 souls were on board and there are no survivors. The earth scorched from where the plane went down.
The area as we have reported on this show when we travelled there is a desolate, difficult terrain. It is home to al Qaeda-linked militants, which is a major concern for investigators now on the ground.
Tonight, officials have been able to recover one of the black boxes, a crucial piece of debris that should help investigators discover what actually brought this jet down. Was it weather or was it terror? Joe Johns is OUTFRONT.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first pictures from the scene show a trail of charred debris out of place on the African landscape. An understated official described the plane as in a disintegrated state. To preserve evidence, military units from France and Mali restricted access to the area.
There was seemingly not much to work with for investigators as they tried to determine the identities of the victims and what caused the crash. There were more citizens from France on the plane than any other country, French President Francois Hollande.
PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, FRANCE (through translator): There are hypothesis including weather conditions, but what we are not putting any of them aside because we want to find everything that happened.
JOHNS: Investigators say shortly before the crash the pilots radio to change course because of a dangerous storm, but there are questions about whether an act of terror was responsible. The French interior minister telling RTL Radio --
BERNARD CAZENEUVE, FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTER (through translator): Terrorist groups are in the zone. We know these groups are hostile to western interest. Though authorities were skeptical that Islamist rebels in the vicinity had the technology to bring down a plane at high altitude.
Meanwhile families still in shock wait for details. Among the missing, the wife and two sons of Mamadou Zougrana of Quebec in Canada. He bought tickets for them on Flight 5017. They were headed from Burkina Faso to join him after two years apart. When he spoke here, the airline had not confirmed whether they had boarded the ill- fated plane, but he hadn't heard from them.
My wife said she'd prefer to come sooner. I didn't want to change the flight. I said, it will be OK. Authorities also said ten members of the same family from France perished in the crash include four grandchildren. They were on what was described as a trip of a lifetime to celebrate the wedding of a relative in Africa.
BURNETT: Joe, these stories are just so horrible. I mean, do you know anything at this point? Were there issues with the plane itself? Anything that might give them an indication of what went wrong.
JOHNS: On the plane, the answer is no, though, the MD-83 is an older plane, Erin, and some of the aviation analysts who talked about it have pointed to that as something at least worth looking into Boeing, which happen to inherit the MD-83s after a merger with McDonald Douglas issued a statement today and they stand ready to give technical assistance to the government authorities who are investigating the crash -- Erin.
BURNETT: Joe Johns, thank you very much. And OUTFRONT now, our aviation analyst, Miles O'Brien and our safety analyst, David Soucie, and out Tom Foreman. Miles, let me start with you. I know lately we have been covering multiple plane crashes and you see these human lives and you see that wreckage. And it's just so hard to -- understand. And I know we're just getting a first look at the wreckage here. From your expertise, what does it look like might happened?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, you know, you have to take the caveat that we have to keep the blinders off here. But almost everything I've seen on this leads to the almost inescapable conclusion that this was an aircraft that flew one of the worst thunderstorms on earth in this Inter-tropical convergence zone.
And with huge towering thunderstorms, 49,000 feet at the top, a lot of heavy precipitation, hail, heavy turbulence, all of those things conspire to bring an aircraft down. What upsets me the most, Erin, is this is the same kind of weather that Air France 447 flew into in 2009. What's bad is when we don't learn the lesson.
BURNETT: It's shocking. I'm thinking of a time I was flying around 50,000 feet around this very area and the plane just nosedived and the pilot said we just hit something we never hit before, and it took three hours to go around that storm. They are huge and they are terrifying. The weather must have been horrible from what anyone could see.
There were a group of herders in that area. That's what most people around that area do. They are outlaid at night. They claim they saw the flight crash after being struck by lightning. So you have been looking into that. Is that possible?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is possible. It is not common, Erin. Take a look at this, if you look at what can happen to a plane when it is hit by lightning, these planes are made to resist it as much as possible. But there can be damage to the airframe itself. It can warp pieces of metal and mess up hinges. It can affect the airframe. Usually not.
But when an airplane is hit from the outside, one-third a half the time there is some sort of damage to the outside of it. Beyond that, there is a question of the electronics on board. These are all shielded, but even if you have a strong electrical current outside and it doesn't penetrate into the cabin, it can make this flicker for a while. There are miles of wire in here, which could be affected by the transit of electricity.
It can flicker. It can knock some systems out. They have redundant systems, but there is always a danger, and the last thing you have to consider in all this, the really important one is fuel. When a plane like this is packed with fuel out on the wings, in any way, shape, or form, as protected as that fuel is, a spark gets into it, you have the makings of a catastrophic event happening there.
And one of the concerns has always been, older planes have had more times for things to get loose, for things to corrode despite a lot of awful of maintenance -- Erin. BURNETT: It's frightening because, you know, I feel like I've heard it before. Being on an airplane, it can get hit by lightning you are going to be safe, it's padded and it's protected. And planes get hit by lightning, they fly through storms. This could happen and it could bring down a plane. It's terrifying and today a jet was forced to make an emergency landing in Spain because it was hit by lightning. I mean, what is the risk?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN AVIATION SAFETY ANALYST: The one in Spain was a precautionary landing and that happens quite a lot. I have been in lightning storms several times in the cockpit. You can see the lightning go through and the St. Elmo's fire down the middle of the aisle. But in every one I investigated that the lightning strike coming in was about that big.
Lightning strike going out was about that big. Not very big because these aircraft as Tom has mentioned are very grounded and that lightning is going to go right through. It's not grounded. You have heard standing in water is more dangerous than the rubber. That is true. There is nothing that this aircraft is grounded to. The only danger is when it is not well grounded and you have a space where it jumps across something.
BURNETT: So you are saying it's just the one in a very small chance. But that could happen to anything. As opposed to a plane that might have been old or something like. I'm just saying, Miles, so does this change, again, how people should think about this whole concept for pilots and for air traffic controllers. They are under all this pressure with thunderstorms around the world. Get the planes out, fly, do another route. I want to get where I'm going. Does this change that?
O'BRIEN: This is the nub of the issue, Erin. You know, a prudent, safe pilot does not fly through a thunderstorm, period. I wouldn't put lightning at the top of the list of concerns, turbulence, hail, heavy rain, icing are the big concerns. But a prudent pilot doesn't fly in because of all those things. When you have a storm that is 100 miles across that's a big decision.
You might not have enough fuel to get to your destination and you are under all kinds of pressure in management. You have to have the authority as a captain to do that and face no recriminations and sadly I don't think that is the case.
BURNETT: It's scary, Tom, and you have been looking into how planes are equipped to handle this. So how are they?
FOREMAN: I want to talk about something that David just mentioned a minute ago there. The modern defense of these planes against lightning is based on a concept that came out of the 1800s called the Faraday cage. What that basically means is just what David is describing. If lightning comes in and hits this plane, the metal skin of the plane is designed to make is track along that skin and then dump off somewhere from the wing or tail.
So it doesn't penetrate into the plane. That's the real value of this, but one thing we are going to have to watch for in this investigation is a rare phenomenon called positive lightning. Most lightning is negative lightning. Five percent of the time it's positive lightning.
And that can occur, five, six, seven, ten miles away from the storm front and is it much, much more powerful than normal lightning, up to a billion volts. That's something that may be considered in this case even if they were trying going around the storm.
BURNETT: All right, thanks very much to all three of you. Five percent is a very high chance.
OUTFRONT next, breaking news, Hamas and Israel just moments ago agreeing to a 12-hour ceasefire. We are live in Gaza tonight.
Plus last night on this program, Israel's ambassador to the United States accused CNN of biased reporting. We fact check those claims and we are going to play it for you.
Vladimir Putin continuous to support the rebels who are accused of bringing down Flight 17. American officials say he could be sending more rocket launchers like those BUKs across the border tonight.
BURNETT: Breaking news on the crisis in the Middle East, Hamas agreeing within the past hour to a 12-hour ceasefire starting Saturday morning. Now this is a humanitarian ceasefire. Earlier today, Israel's security cabinet rejected a proposed one-week ceasefire with Hamas and the situation on the ground is dire. Deadly protests erupted in the West Bank today and what Palestinian leaders called a day of rage.
That's reminiscent of the Arab's spring terminology. The protests in response to the shelling of a United Nations shelter in Gaza yesterday. At least 16 people were killed, more than 200 injured after explosions hit a refuge for families escaping the ongoing violence. It's still unclear who is responsible.
Karl Penhaul is OUTFRONT from Gaza City. Karl, what is the latest on the ground tonight?
KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, as you say in the last hour or so, both Hamas and Islamist Jihad, that's the other main militant faction here in Gaza, sending SMS or text messages to Palestinians across the Gaza strip saying they had accepted this 12- hour what they are calling a humanitarian pause, but effectively a ceasefire from the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. according to Hamas.
That is a little bit of than hour's difference from the Israeli proposition, but a commitment they will not fire rockets into Israel or engage in ground to ground combat with Israeli troops during that time. We really do have to see if that holds because this will be a vital window for civilians to gather themselves, to get out of the combat zones and danger areas. Of course, what the Israeli military will be keen to do is not give enough time to the militant factions to regroup and reorganization and plan more ambushes and future attacks on the Israeli military as soon as that ceasefire ends -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Karl, thank you very much. I know that very concern is a very big concern of the former ambassador to Israel, who is our guest in a moment. We're going to be coming back to Karl in a moment. I want Karl to weigh in on the coverage of the crisis. I spoke to the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer. He criticized Karl and this network's reporting. I want to play that exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON DERMER, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: I think it would be a disservice to your viewers for a reporter from Gaza not to mention in the last week we had two different schools where we had actually rockets found in the schools and handed over to Hamas. I also think it's a disservice --
BURNETT: These are two different U.N. schools, you're saying?
DERMER: That's correct. That's publicly available information. It's kind of an important fact for your reporter to mention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: We agree. It would have been a disservice for CNN not to have mentioned that rockets were found in schools. And Karl Penhaul along with other CNN correspondents did report that information on CNN yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENHAUL: On the Hamas militant side also in the last few days, the United Nations has accused the militants of using at least two schools to store weapons and to store their rocket arsenals in as well.
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The U.N. has also said, though, on the other hand they have seen twice Hamas rockets stored in U.N. schools.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: We asked the ambassador to come back on the program and talk about this. He wasn't able to come on tonight, but in Tel Aviv is the former Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. He is also a CNN Mideast analyst. Karl, of course, still with us from Gaza City, and Paula Hancocks is here in New York. She's covered the Middle East for CNN for seven years.
Karl, I want to start with you, though, you have been to that school that got bombed. You've been reporting on this conflict from the ground. Does it surprise you to hear an accusation like the one you just heard? PENHAUL: It doesn't surprise me, Erin, not in this conflict or any conflict where there are go warring sides. Each side has its version of the truth. What our jobs as reporters is try to cut through opinion and cut through also propaganda and the messaging from the various factions and try and drill down the facts and the facts of that were that we throughout the course of the day.
And these past few days have reported that the United Nations on two occasion has accused of Hamas of storing weapons in its schools. We should also remember is that the United Nations has accused the Israeli military of shelling two other U.N. schools used as shelters twice in the last three days.
Those are also important facts because the U.N. is accusing both of the warring sides in this conflict of ignoring the neutrality of civilians and ignoring the neutrality of internationally recognized symbols like the United Nations. But since messaging began we know propaganda is part of the war -- Erin.
BURNETT: And Michael, you know, Ambassador Dermer made some other charges about CNN's coverage and because he made that live on our air, we wanted to fact check them for our viewers. I wanted to play this one for you, Sir.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DERMER: Do you not think it's relevant to report on CNN that the secretary general of the United Nations yesterday warned against the use of U.N. schools and shelter for rocket missile depots of Hamas?
BURNETT: Ambassador, it is relevant and let me ask you this --
DERMER: Erin, I have been listening for two hours of reports on CNN. I have seen split screens, horrible pictures, horrible pictures that any decent human being would be horrified by. I have not heard a single person say what I just said to you now. I think that does a disservice to your viewers to not give them the context they need to make this judgment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Michael, as I said to the ambassador, it is relevant. Wolf Blitzer was actually on the air for the two hours before the ambassador appeared on our show in the timeframe he referred to and here's what Wolf said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": A day ago, the United Nations secretary general demanded that the militants stop endangering civilians by placing weapons in U.N. schools.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Michael, do you think the coverage has been fair? MICHAEL OREN, CNN MIDDLE EAST ANALYST: I think that first of all (inaudible) Ambassador Dermer is doing his job. It's tough for all of us. We are paying (inaudible) which is not only killing (inaudible) --
BURNETT: We're going to work on this connection. You are coming in every other word and given what you are talking about it is only fair for every word to be heard. Let me bring you in Paula. So we can get that connection clearly. The U.N. says Hamas puts weapons in schools. Israel says we give advance warning when we are going to bomb in civilian communities.
We warn the civilians to get out. The question of whether a warning followed by a bombing that ends up killing innocent civilians is enough is the question that the international community is debating. And I asked the ambassador about. That I wanted to play that for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: You did reach out to the U.N. three days ago and told them to evacuate the school because of what you just said. Would Israel have taken the time to confirm that those children were out of the school before you fired? Send someone in to look or do you think it's OK you issued the warning and fired?
DERMER: I think you have no basis for making the statement you just made. Of course, we wouldn't fire directly, but I don't know what happened in that school. We gave people days to get out of that area.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This is the big issue.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And Israel, does give some warnings in many of these occasions. But the thing you have to understand is Palestinian civilians are being given time to move to another area. Where do they go? Yes, there are certain areas in Gaza that are seeing more ferocious fighting than other areas.
But we have had our teams on the ground speaking to some people who have moved and moved again and they have still been caught up in the fighting. The fact is they cannot leave Gaza. There is a blockade on Gaza at this point, not just from Israel curtailing the borders and controlling the borders.
Also it's worth noting by Egypt, many of these people are not able to leave. They go to the one place that they think they are safe, which is a U.N. school, the only place in Gaza they think they are safe. And yesterday just proved that even that is not a safe place. There is nowhere within Gaza that Palestinian civilians can be safe at the moment.
BURNETT: Michael, I want to get your response directly to that, but first I want to give you a change to respond to the question I asked you before some people could hear your exact answer and that is, do you think the coverage here has been fair?
OREN (via telephone): I think it is an intensely complex situation. Israel is facing an enemy in Hamas, which has not only military tactics, but it has a media strategy. The media is very much part of this complex. Hamas knows that it can't destroy Israel by rockets and tunnels. Israel is not going to be wiped off the map by Hamas.
What Hamas does want to do is drag Israel into a complex in Gaza to get Israel to kill large numbers of Palestinian civilians. Journalists quite naturally will want to capture those images. The images are tragic. They are lurid but also make headlines. Hamas has no compunction of putting the images of dead children on air. Israel doesn't even allow the photographs of injured Israelis to be broadcast.
If you see pictures of Israeli soldiers being brought up helicopters, there is always two women soldiers running with two sheets to prevent their faces from being photographed and we just don't do that here. It's an ethical issue for us. Hamas hopes there is a reason for this.
The reason is that translates into international pressure, riots on the street of Europe and it ends up in the Security Council and the human rights commission and Israel gets condemned and sanctioned and Israel can't defend itself. That is the ultimate goal of the tactic.
BURNETT: Karl, you were shaking your head there in response there to Michael.
PENHAUL: I think any reporter and I think any of our colleagues would believe that it was obscene to suggest that we are showing the bodies of wounded, the dead and the dying to make headlines. That I don't believe is the case with any of the CNN teams or with any of our journalistic colleagues in this region.
Certainly at no time have we received any instructions from any of the militant factions here in Gaza telling us what we can take pictures of or what we can't take pictures of. Occasionally, if we are in hospital sometimes there is an instruction not to film a particular patient. That we understand is because they may be a militant fighter. That is for operational security reasons, not our choice.
But certainly we are under no pressure either to or not to film any patients, to film children or not to film children or men, women, or children we have been wounded or killed in these strikes. We also know that regardless of any warnings that have been given by any of the warring sides for civilians to move out of their homes there is a set of rules of war. Those are called the Geneva Conventions.
And we know that Article 57, additional protocol number one refers specifically to the protection of civilians, especially where there are military targets or possible military targets nearby. We know that because of the densely packed urban nature of the Gaza strip this was going to be an urban war.
We know it is an asymmetrical war. Hamas operates although yes it is listed as a terrorist organization it also operates as a guerrilla force. It's an asymmetrical guerrilla war, but we are not under pressure to report any particular detail of this -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, well, I appreciate you all three of you talking about this and giving your honest opinions and we're going to continue to talk about this issue. Thanks to all.
Well, next, U.S. officials say Vladimir Putin continues to aid rebels in Ukraine, but it's up the ante big time sending another shipment of those rocket launchers across the border. More on our breaking news.
Two U.S. fighter jets escorting a flight after a passenger threatened the plane. We have a cell phone video of what happened and we'll show that to you when we come back
BURNETT: Returning to our breaking news that we have just brought you, about two U.S. fighter jets escorting a Canada to Panama flight after a passenger allegedly threatened the plane with 181 passengers and six crew members.
We now have video from inside this jet. It was a Sun Wings Airline plane. You can see the chaos and the yelling, the commotion. Just wanted to play so you can hear the screaming that is going on there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Head's down. Head's down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hands up.
BURNETT: A report that a man who was an agitated customer who was shouting for the passengers and the crew to put their, quote, heads down and hands up. So that's that voice you hear there, "heads down. Heads down." You can hear that.
Susan Candiotti is Outfront. And Susan, what are you learning?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, what a frightening flight this had to have been for the people on board, as you said.
Everything started off normally when the plane took off at 7:00 in the morning from Toronto heading to Panama. About 45 minutes into the flight, this passenger allegedly makes a threat to endanger the aircraft in some way, makes that threat directly to a member of the crew. The crew then notifies the pilot, the pilot notifies the FAA and Canadian authorities and the plane turns around, but not before NORAD gets involved, scrambles a jet and escorts the this plane back to Toronto where it lands safety.
And that video, very dramatic as you heard and see. As you mention, the commotion aboard that plane when you hear the words "heads down, hands up, heads down, hands up in the air." And you see that happening. You see some
apparently flight attendants there.
As there is a second video that we also I believe are trying to show to you where you see members of a SWAT team boarding the plane armed to the hilt with weapons and trying to take the situation under control.
Of course the suspect is taken into custody and authorities identify him as Ali Shahi. He is a Canadian citizen, 25 years old. He is being
charged with a number of things, including mischief to property, interference with a flight crew and endangering that aircraft.
He will appear in court tomorrow. More to come.
BURNETT: All right. Susan, thank you very much with the latest that we know.
David, this is just adding to the frightening, you know, over the past week, series of crashes and frightening situations in the air.
DAVID SOUCIE, FORMER FAA SECURITY INSPECTOR: And passengers are losing control like that. This happened several times recently. And I think part of it is that there is all this going on with the aviation. And people get on board and they're nervous and they don't know what is going on. You know, it's time to...
BURNETT: The planes are oversold, seats are small, quick turnarounds.
SOUCIE: Exactly. Take the time to breathe, get on board, because this stuff does happen and to the most unsuspecting people. The last guy who did this had no previous history of anything like this, it just it got to him and he broke out.
But the last thing you want to do is get accused of endangering the safety of an aircraft.
You people joking about it, some movies even joke about having a bomb on board the aircraft, that is something that is now a federal offense. He will be going to jail for a long time.
BURNETT: He'll go to jail. And I think a lot of people would support that and completely understand that.
Miles, we don't yet know whether this was just an empty threat, whether -- we don't know the full situation in this case.
But to David's point, this has happened several times recently. You had a co-pilot of one plane saying that the plane was going down and rushing back and luckily there was a security conference, the plane was on its way to Las Vegas and people were able to tackle him.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think this points out kind of the unsung last line of defense that we all have right now in the sky from Shanksville, Pennsylvania to the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, to the incident you just mentioned -- passengers are ready to take matters in their own hands. And we shouldn't underestimate the value of that in the whole safety chain that is important.
One thing I want to point out, though, I find it very interesting given what was going on in the aircraft now. Maybe they had him subdued, but why didn't that captain make a decision to land sooner and quicker? Cincinnati was nearby, Dulles was nearby, any number of airports. Instead he turned around for 45
minutes and flew back to Toronto where they are based. Maybe he had too much fuel to land. He was too heavy. Maybe he wanted Canadian jurisdiction, I don't know. But that is interesting to look at.
BURNETT: It is.
And David, I want to just play, we do have the new cell phone video. You heard Susan just reporting that we had this. This is the video. This is when a SWAT team boarded the plane. You can see heavily armed as that plane landed. This is footage of that SWAT team. As I said heavily armed, David, boarding the plane.
Yeah, and we're not actually playing the audio on it.
SOUCIE: OK, but that's what happens when they get on board, because you don't want to say anything or do anything and people stop.
BURNETT: People stop. And there is that moment of fear.
Now they were obviously taking this threat very seriously. There was a fighter jet escort. Does that show how seriously they took the threat or is the response from the government also linked to these other horrific incidents that have happened in the past week?
SOUCIE: No, this is a matter of protocol. And that aircraft is an international flight. It has to go back to that country if at all feasible. So that's why those fighter jets were dispatched to get it back out of this country. It can't be in the country at that point. Even if it puts a little bit more risk to the passengers, they're international passengers.
BURNETT: Wait, so you're saying even if there is a more risk to passengers that they could blow up and die, they are going to tell them to try to go to their own country?
SOUCIE: No, no. The risk is assessed. If they don't think that it is a credible threat then they can make that decision. If it is deemed a credible threat at that point, then they would have taken action against it. But the fact that the protocol is that this aircraft has to be escorted back out of the country to ask it to land in the country would have been a violation of international protocol.
BURNETT: All right, thanks to both of ou. We appreciate it. We're going to continue as we get more information on this. Of course, we're going to bring it to you.
But Outfront next, accusations that Vladimir Putin is sending more rocket launchers to rebels in Ukraine. So the world says don't do it, we're going to punish you and he does it even more.
A couple whose child died on flight 17 is trying to make sense of it. Tonight, CNN follows their journey. They are going to the crash site.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Breaking news in the investigation into who shot down MH17. The latest intelligence from the United States says that Russia could be sending powerful rocket launchers across the Ukraine border as early as today, far from pulling back.
Yesterday we showed you these images that satellite intelligence sources believe were Russian artillery pointed toward Ukraine. U.S. officials claim to have classified photos showing weaponry again on the Russian side of the border with burn marks in the grass indicating that the artillery was fired.
Again we haven't seen those.
Meanwhile, Russia called the latest U.S. accusations of Moscow's involvement a baseless smear campaign. The Russian foreign ministry saying Washington, quote, shares the responsibility for the bloodshed.
Joining me now to discuss this is retired army general Wesley Clark. General, good to see you.
Look, the United States says it's classified that they have imagery showing weaponry with burn marks on the Russian side of the border, as I just mentioned. If that's true, that would show Vladimir Putin is clearly upping the ante.
So either he is positive that the whole world is full of baloney and is going to do absolutely to stop him, because they're a bunch of eunuchs, or he's losing power himself and the situation is beyond his control. That could be much scarier. Do you have a sense of which it is?
WESELEY CLARK, RETIRED ARMY GENERAL: I don't think the situation is beyond Putin's control. I think he is very much in control of it and these weapons are being fired across the border at the Ukrainian forces because Putin is very surprised at how effectively the Ukrainians are fighting to regain control of their own territory.
This is warfare. And he sent his leadership in to seize Donetsk and Luhansk. He is supplying them with heavy weapons. They're getting guidance from Moscow on what to do. And he is prepared to continue to escalate as Ukraine fights.
Now, what we have got to do is convince Putin that he's not going to win through continuing military escalation. So, the Ukrainians have to fight and then the Europeans have to join the United States in putting some tough sanctions on him.
BURNETT: But so far they've said they're going to do, but actions speak louder than words and there really hasn't been much of that.
But -- and let me ask you general about this issue of what Vladimir Putin is willing to do and whether the world is willing to stand up to him. Because it's a big question and history has shown that a lot of times the world says things about leaders nobody likes and they don't follow up with action. The former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spent time with Putin. In an interview with Fareed Zakaria she said some interesting things about him today. And I wanted to play it for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FRM. U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, he is very tough. He is a very arrogant person to deal with which I think is a combination of this vision of Russia and some fundamental insecurity because when you are dealing with him he often acts as though he could care less. He acts bored and dismissive.
So he has a lot of personas that he pulls out if he wants to stare intently at you with his very bright blue eyes because he wants something from you or he wants to convey a message to you, he can turn on the charm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: How much of this, general, is about Vladimir Putin personally whether it's a personal insecurity or arrogance or personal anything?
CLARK: Well, he has harbored a dream for many years that he would rebuild the Soviet Union. He's called the disintegration of the Soviet Union the greatest political tragedy of the 20th Century. And he's tried to rebuild it. And many east European government officials came to me when I was a NATO commander and warned that when Putin became -- that he was prime minister, then he became president that this was the game plan.
So he's done it by a variety of means, mostly covert, but now he is rebuilding Russia's armed forces and he is more willing to use force. And, yes, the west has to stop this.
Nations in NATO from north to south, Bulgaria, Romania, the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, are all very concerned. They know that if we don't stop this aggression in Ukraine, they're on the front lines. We don't want that.
BURNETT: Well general, thank you very much. And I should say that while the world so far as not upped the ante on sanctions fully, they have hurt the Russian economy to the extent that today the Russian government had to raise interest rates, raising the cost of borrowing because of the impact of sanctions.
And don't miss Fareed Zakaria's full interview with Hillary Clinton. It is Sunday morning at 10:00.
And still to come, the parents of a passenger on MH17 are going to Ukraine. They believe their daughter is alive and we are with them on their journey to the crash site.
And our story of big brother watching you. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BURNETT: This week we brought you the story of 25-year-old Fatima Dyczysnki, an aerospace engineer. She was on Malaysia Airlines flight 17 when it crashed last week in Ukraine. And when I spoke to her parents, Angela and George, they believed she survived the catastrophe. They said she had the training, that she could have. And now they are in Ukraine trying to get answers and our Kyung Lah is with them.
ANGELA DYCZYNSKI, DAUGHTER WAS ON MH17: Go, go, go.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: George and Angela Dyczynski can almost feel their daughter, they are that close but they can't get
there. These men are local Ukrainian government officials urging these parents to not enter the pro-Russian rebel held territory of Donetsk.
The Dyczynskis flew by themselves to Ukraine from Australia with nothing other than shock and grief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are battles around those places.
ANGELA DYCZYNSKI: We know. We have to go. There is no other way.
LAH: Their 25-year-old daughter Fatima was aboard Flight 17 flying to Australia to see them.
GEORGE DYCZYNSKI, DAUGHTER WAS ON MH17: We go because -- yeah, we go...
LAH: With an outrageous disregard of the crash scene from the very beginning and only black bags and unmarked coffins coming out, the Dyczynskis have chosen to grieve with denial.
ANGELA DYCZYNSKI: And we believe she's alive. Every second counts. Every second.
GEORGE DYCZYNSKI: And our purpose is to find Fatima...
ANGELA DYCZYNSKI: Exactly.
GEORGE DYCZYNSKI: ...so it doesn't help us to be angry, but it helps to go...
ANGELA DYCZYNSKI: I need to see that the real fact. So that's why we came. Besides that we, our daughter promised we will find her (inaudible). So this is the mom and dad.
LAH: They poured their lives into their only child. She was an aerospace engineer who dreamed of being an astronaut. She believed space exploration could help bring stability to Earth.
FATIMA DYCZYNSKI, ON MH17: The experience of space flight is a life- changing event.
LAH: How could you let a child like that go?
ANGELA DYCZYNSKI: There is an urgency because my, my belief that she is alive cannot be sustained if this takes 30 days.
LAH: Frustration mounting as the minutes tick by.
GEORGE DYCZYNSKI: No chance to come, we come back.
LAH: And these government reps get embassies on the phone to talk to them.
ANGELA DYCZYNSKI: You have not sorted this out, please do not contact me anymore.
GEORGE DYCZYNSKI: Our daughter is -- we are running out of time.
ANGELA DYCZYNSKI: So the risk we know, no worries.
LAH: Finally, they are told to go at their own risk.
This private car promises to drive them through the battle lines of rebel-held territory, where a parents' love has no boundaries.
LAH: The Dyczynskis reached out to us tonight. They say they managed to make it past all the rebel checkpoints and they made it to the town of Donetsk. This weekend, they plan on trying to make it to the crash site, Erin.
BURNETT: So hard to watch. So hard to watch.
Thank you, Kyung.
And we're going to be following their journey on this program.
Still Outfront big brother, the city of tomorrow.
BURNETT: Did you know that on buildings, bank machines, traffic lights, parking lots, security cameras are watching you. They're everywhere.
Here's Jason Carroll.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are literally cameras all around us.
You walk outside your door and there is this expectation of privacy even when you are out in public, that's not the reality. As you're out here taking pictures of tall buildings and electronic billboards, you probably don't realize the picture is actually being taken of you.
There is some 6,000 security cameras throughout the city the New York City Police Department has at its disposal, but the question is, how much is too much?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a good question.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not in my house.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they came to my home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I had cameras in my private home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It depends on what they're actually doing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to walk down the street knowing that somebody is watching me kind of makes me uneasy.
CARROLL: Let's say instead of standing in Times Square, you were standing ni front of Big Ben in London. They have got a security system called the Ring of Steel, there are security cameras practically everywhere in London.
But let's say if you walked from one end of the city to the other, chances are you would be captured by security camera there some 300 times.
What are they doing with all that information that they collect?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are they doing? They are looking for crime.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's the scary part.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of it just goes to waste.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watching patterns.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Terrorism.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think they know what they are doing with the information they collect.
CARROLL: So here is the question that a lot of people I think are going to be asking themselves as we go forward, how much of your personal privacy are you willing to sacrifice in order to be safe?
BURNETT: That's the question. This weekend, we're going to take you to the city of tomorrow Saturday afternoon at 2:00 right here on CNN.
And before we go, please go to cnn.com/outfront. Tonight, we're going to have more coverage of the Air Algerie crash and aftermath, including a very important interview with Kieth Breedlove, he's a friend of Richard and Paulina Julia (ph), they were running a hotel before they boarded that ill-fated flight to see their children. You'll hear their story.
Thank you so much for joining us.
AC 360 begins now.