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Air Algerie Wreckage Found; New Push For Middle East Cease Fire; U.S. Confirms Shots Fired From Russia; What Is Putin's Next Move?

Aired July 25, 2014 - 06:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It is Friday, July 25th, 6:00 in the east. Kate is on assignment. Alisyn Camerota joins us. Good to have you.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Thanks. Great to be with you, guys. You didn't scare me away yesterday, Chris Cuomo.


CAMEROTA: He does most people.

CUOMO: Lucky to have you here because there is a lot of news this morning. Your day will be filled with what's happening in the Middle East where the fallout is furious from the bombing of that U.N. shelter.

Let's get to Wolf Blitzer on the ground in Jerusalem for more. Glad to see you safe, Wolf, this morning. Significant developments. Secretary of State John Kerry says he has a peace plan, but is the timing right with all this rage?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Still very much up in the air in the Israeli cabinet, Chris. Getting ready to meet in emergency session. That security cabinet will meet in Tel Aviv. I assume they have this latest proposal seen as a two-phased proposal.

There is a lot is going on but that attack, that shelling of the U.N. school in Gaza, which had emerged as a shelter for so many Palestinians who had fled to that shelter thinking it is safe, that is causing widespread condemnation, and it's complicating the efforts to try to achieve a cease-fire.


BLITZER (voice-over): For those on the ground, a cease-fire agreement can't come soon enough. Gunfire in the west bank overnight. A massive protest of thousands of Palestinians near a checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah resulting in clashes with Israeli forces. Hundreds wounded, and one Palestinian man shot dead.

The anger stemming from this, a United Nations school in Gaza bombed. Sixteen killed, more than 200 wounded, including women and children from families who came to the school because it was being used as a shelter. Both sides of the conflict casting blame, with Hamas accusing Israel, and Israel saying the destruction could have been caused by a Hamas missile that fell short.

Outrage over the attack kicked cease-fire talks into high gear overnight. Secretary of State John Kerry, working around the clock in Cairo, presenting a deal to both sides. The two-stage plan would first call for a week long truce to stop the fighting, then focus on broader issues.

Meanwhile, U.S. flights to and from Israel's Ben Gurion airport resuming despite lingering anger over the FAA's ban including this statement.

YAIR LAPID, ISRAELI MINISTER OF FINANCE: Listen, LAX is ten times more dangerous than the Israeli Ben Gurion Airport.

BLITZER (on camera): How can you say that?

LAPID: Because the traffic there is so big comparing to us.

BLITZER (voice-over): Hours after the ban was lifted, CNN captured this.


BLITZER: A rocket attack from Gaza.

SAVIDGE: That one was right over the airport.

BLITZER: Senator Ted Cruz attacked the White House alleging ban was an economic boycott on Israel.

SENATOR TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Right now the facts we know suggest that this was a decision driven by the State Department and perhaps by the political operatives at the White House.


BLITZER: And the State Department says that charge by Senator Ted Cruz is ridiculous. They are angry at him for making it. They say that decision was made by professionals at the FAA in Washington and was not influenced by politicians, whether at the State Department or at White House -- Chris.

CUOMO: Wolf, I mean, you're so familiar with the issues here. You've covered it for so long. What is your sense of why there would be any motivation on the part of the U.S. to do something to hurt Israel at this point?

BLITZER: I don't think the U.S. wants to hurt Israel at this point. The Obama administration, as far as economic and military assistance, especially military assistance to Israel, has been very strong, $3 billion a year they propose, Congress approves it. Now the Obama administration has proposed another nearly $250 million in funding for Israel's so-called iron dome anti-missile system.

I assume Congress will go along with that. The military-to-military relationship and the intelligence community to intelligence community relationship between the U.S and Israel extremely strong. There are political differences between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

There is no doubt about that, but U.S. does not want to hurt Israel. Israel is a very close ally of the United States. There are some differences and there are some differences right now presumably on how to achieve this cease-fire. Secretary Kerry has a time limit. He won't stay in this region must longer.

The Israeli cabinet is going to consider his plan in the next few hours. We will see what they decide. Assuming the Israelis do accept the Kerry-Egyptian proposal, which is also supported, I assume, not only by Egypt but by others including Qatar, which has good relations with Hamas and Turkey which has good relations with Hamas.

Hamas has to still accept it themselves and the last time it was put forward a week or so ago, the Israelis accepted it. Hamas didn't accept it so it's a delicate dance they are doing right now and the stakes clearly, as you can see and the viewers can see here in Israel and indeed around the world, the images out of Gaza are awful.

So the stakes are really enormous right now. This is a make or break moment in trying to stop the fighting, at least short term.

CUOMO: It's good to have you there for it. Thank you for following it and explaining it to us this morning. Wolf, stay safe.

BLITZER: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Well, more victims of the MH-17 disaster are on their way back to the Netherlands today. These are believed to be some of the last remains recovered from the wreckage. International monitors are trying to secure the crash site so investigators can get to work there.

Also this morning, a public call to free one of our journalists who has been detained by the pro-Russian rebels. CNN's Phil Black is live in Ukraine with all of the developments. What's the latest, Phil?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, complicating the response further to this air disaster there has been continued sustained fighting between Ukrainian government and pro-Russian militant forces here at Donetsk and close to the crash site itself overnight.

Now the United States says it has identified a third active fighting and firing member of this conflict, and it is Russia.


BLACK (voice-over): Today, an already tumultuous situation in Ukraine becoming even more volatile. As the United States says they now have proof that Russia is actively firing into Ukraine. The evidence, these photos and data from U.S. satellite and radar.

MARIE HARF, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: We have new information that Russia is giving more heavy and powerful rocket launchers to the separatists forces in Ukraine.

BLACK: An eerie juxtaposition on the ground where a small group now scans for more destruction left behind. Monitors with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe accompanying investigators and diplomats from Malaysia and Australia and say they are surprised by two things.

(on camera): Firstly, the sheer size of the debris field and the fact that one week since the disaster. There is still no exclusion zone surrounding it. The crash site is in many ways a free for all. Investigators just now pushing into the surrounding forest and finding the largest single piece of the plane fuselage yesterday, and corpses of victims are still being discovered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to get to the bottom of this.

BLACK: The Dutch prime minister telling CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview that they are sending in more experts as more bodies could still be found?

MARK RUTTE, DUTCH PRIME MINISTER: It's extremely important to find out what happened and then to be able to bring to justice those who did it.

BLACK: Meanwhile one of our own crews, CNN freelance producer, Anton Skiba, remains in custody. Pro-Russian armed men took him on Tuesday here in Donetsk accusing him of terrorism. The U.S. State Department condemns it is all too common detention of journalists.


BLACK: Anton Skiba has just spent his third night in custody. We only worked with him for 24 hours, but he's well known other international journalists here, and they do not believe the allegations that have been made against him. The U.S. State Department is among those calling for his release -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Phil, thank you very much. Let's get some perspective from William Taylor. He served as ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009 and is now vice president of the U.S. Institute of Peace. Thank you very much for joining us.

The more the west seems to talk, the more Russia seems to act. They don't condemn the downing of the flight. They don't condemn the indignity of the dead. They continue to move weapons to militants and now evidence that they are firing at Ukraine positions from inside Russia. How do you view this?

WILLIAM TAYLOR, VICE PRESIDENT, U.S. INSTITUTE OF PEACE: With great alarm. Mr. Putin has two decisions. He has two options. One, he can do what he apparently is doing, that is double down, continuing to support these separatists, these terrorists in Eastern Ukraine led by Russians, supplied by Russians, equipped by Russians. He can continue to support them, or he can back off.

He can disavow them. He can try to come back to the international community. He can seal his border with Ukraine so that all of that support does not go from Russia to Ukraine. He seems to be making the first choice. That is a terrible mistake for him, and it's a terrible mistake for the international community.

CUOMO: Why isn't, you know, for all the talk that's going on about sanctions, and we'll discuss that in a second, I think the more immediate concern frankly is securing the crime scene because of the dignity of the dead that is still being abused. You still can't get close enough to it.

Why doesn't the west or the U.N. specifically put a pressure point on Russia and say help us secure the crime scene so we can get in and find the rest of the dead and find the wreckage so we can get the investigation you're calling for. Why not start there?

TAYLOR: The international community has started there, and in the United Nations Security Council, they passed unanimously with Russian support a resolution calling for exactly, that for support of investigating the crime scene.

CUOMO: No, but they didn't say we're going in, come in with us. We're going to go secure it.

TAYLOR: That's correct, and there's an attempt now by the Australians and the Dutch to put together an international force to go in and secure that so that the investigation can take place. That's absolutely necessary. We need to do that investigation, but we need to keep the bigger picture in mind, which is the Russian support for the rebels, which is the problem for getting into that crime scene. It's also the problem for stability and security in Ukraine. That's the heart of the problem.

CUOMO: Right, I understand, Mr. Taylor. It's just that that's been going nowhere for months and months and you have an exigent circumstance right now dealing with the dead that you would hope that in the interest of humanity, without ceding any political ground, Russia may become more involved. Because at this point do you believe that you can get Europe to tighten the screws economically enough on Russia to do any damage with all the ties that they have?

TAYLOR: I do, I do.

CUOMO: Why the confidence?

TAYLOR: Because for the past couple of months, we've all been concerned exactly the skepticism that you're expressing. Europeans have so many ties, economic ties, so many reasons not to turn those screws that you talk about, but my sense is that the international community -- that Europeans have now -- have come to the conclusion after this shootdown, after this tragedy, that this is much more serious than they had given it before.

And that is -- that's already started. We can already see changes that have the Europeans moving towards those sanctions. They have difficulty. They have political difficulties, but we've seen some movement over the past week and the past two days that the Europeans will be able to take some hard steps.

CUOMO: It is violent in East Ukraine, OK? That's an obvious statement. It's violent in a lot of places in the world where there's ongoing conflict and yet international organizations and western sovereigns are all on the ground here but not here. Why haven't we seen a stronger show of international force on the ground to secure the crime scene? It's been done before. Not here. Why?

TAYLOR: I believe the answer is the Russians, in the international community more broadly and these other instances that you talk about, there can be an agreement among the big powers, including the Russians, the Americans, Europeans and Japanese and others, and in this case, the Russians are stopping this investigation. They are stopping this work to try to resolve the dispute in Eastern Ukraine.

CUOMO: Ambassador Taylor, thank you very much for the perspective. Appreciate it. Look forward to drawing on you again because this will not end any time soon.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

CUOMO: Mich, over you.

PEREIRA: All right, Chris, 12 minutes past the hour. Let's give you a look at your headlines. ISIS fighters targeting a revered holy site in Iraq. Militants detonated explosives around Jonah's Tomb in Mosul. That's according to civil defense officials there in Iraq. The shrine is thought to be the burial place of the Prophet Jonah. ISIS is waging war against the government. Now controls several cities in Iraq including Mosul.

The head of Arizona's Corrections Department is disputing that a controversial execution this week was botched. Death row inmate, Joseph Wood, was never in pain during a prolonged execution. Wood died two hours after receiving a lethal injection. It's supposed to take no more 15 minutes. The state has now halted executions until an investigation is completed.

Another child has died after being left alone in a hot car. Reports out of Wichita, Kansas say a 10-month-old girl was found in a car last night. Police say she had been there for about two hours. Early reports say the car was parked outside the home of two men who were her foster parents. The men have been taken in for questioning by police. Temperatures reached 90 degrees in Wichita Thursday.

Talk about an epic, really a royal photo bomb, yes. That's Queen Elizabeth II, snuck her way into a selfie at the Commonwealth games in Scotland before a woman's hockey match. Two Aussie players were snapping a selfie when the cheerful queen appeared. That tweet has gone viral and we should point out Aussie players went on to win their match 4-0 so maybe a royal blessing in the form of a photo bomb selfie.

CAMEROTA: I like her mischievous smile.

PEREIRA: I don't know that I've known the queen to be. I really appreciate that.

CUOMO: I think that this is a false indictment of the queen of England. I do not think she photo bombed them.

CAMEROTA: You think she was PhotoShopped into there.

CUOMO: No. I think she was walking around doing what she does and they were taking a picture. You think she intentionally wanted to be in this picture.

PEREIRA: Zoom in. She's looking right at camera and she's grinning.

CAMEROTA: Yes, Michaela is right. She doesn't normally walk around with a smile.

PEREIRA: She is more reserved, you know.

CUOMO: I guess I'm defensive because is photo bombing a bad thing? It's a great thing to do. Look at her face.

CAMEROTA: That's adorable.

CUOMO: All right, I'm going the other way. I'm with you. I think it's funny now.

CAMEROTA: Wow, we have turned Chris Cuomo around.

PERIERA: You've got some power, Alisyn. Nice, thank you.

All right. Let's get over to meteorologist Indra Petersons keeping track of the latest forecast for us. He's photo bombing Michaela and me right now.


INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I have a new theory. I think they saw the queen and were trying to get her in the photo. People do that all the time.


PEREIRA: Go photo bomb Indra.

PETERSONS: Yes, exactly.

All right. Let's talk about what's going on. We have a huge storm real affecting the Northeast this week still making its way offshore, but the tail end still continues to produce showers right around Myrtle Beach. Finally, this guy will be the old news.

But another storm is out there. Bad timing. We're talking about the weekend, and it's already making its way in through Chicago as we speak, so here's the system. Already by this evening producing the strong storms in Chicago only getting worse as we go in through Saturday and making its way to affect all of us, right, all the way into the Northeast by Saturday night into Sunday. So, this system won't even have a severe weather component to it.

That's not good news for Indianapolis, Cleveland, Chicago, even St. Louis, about 40 million people will be affected by this threat for severe weather coming through on Saturday. Strong winds likely the big concern, but still can't even rule out threat for tornadoes.

Otherwise it's hot. Temperatures will be going back up. Look at all. 80s that are expected to be out there, not only into the Northeast and down to the Southeast but even the Midwest.

Look at these temperatures climbing into the 90s. I know there's going to be a lot of complainers out there. Don't do it because you'll be talking about that cold air diving down again next week. So, it's actually going to feel like fall just about a week away.

Photo bomb or me trying to get in your photo?

CAMEROTA: Now he loves it.

CUOMO: I love it now.

PETERSONS: I'm trying to figure out why he's sneaking up here. Like, what is he doing?

CUOMO: I didn't want you to hurt me.

PEREIRA: We turned him around on a Friday.

CAMEROTA: I know. He loves the photo bomb that much, he's going to do it to the rest of the show, looking good.

All right. Coming up next on NEW DAY, we do have some new details on what brought down that Air Algerie flight in Africa, killing all 116 people on board. That's the third deadly plane crash in one week. Is this a tragic coincidence, or is air travel somehow more dangerous than it used to be?

Plus, leaders from Central America set to meet with President Obama while he considering refugee status for some children to address this crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. We are live at the White House with the latest.


CAMEROTA: New developments this morning to tell you about in the Air Algerie crash in Mali. The French military has secured the crash site and no survivors had been found.

This was the third major airline crash in a week following the MH17 disaster and the crash in Taiwan. Is there anything we can do as passengers to ensure our safety?

Joining us is CNN's safety analyst David Soucie. He's also a former FAA safety inspector and author of "Why Planes Crash."

David, great to have you this morning. DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Good morning.

CAMEROTA: What's the latest thinking on what happened with this Air Algerie flight?

SOUCIE: Well, at this point, it's really still not clear at all. All we know it did divert for weather of the surprised we don't know anything by now. But, remember, it's in a war-torn area. No investigators there, just like MH17. No one that can get in there and really tell us what's going on.

CAMEROTA: But isn't the thinking more that it was a severe thunderstorm than this was shot out of the sky again?

SOUCIE: Yes. Well, there's risks associated with the flight and then after the -- when the aircraft crashes, there's risks associated with investigations. So they have to manage the risks whether you're in the air or on the ground, and that's part of the issue

CUOMO: You said something yesterday I think that's even more relevant today as the discussion continues. So, we all these different planes going down and you say no, there's more happening than use to be. It's not just the media paying attention.

You then said the airlines don't share safety information the way they could in the technology age. How is that true?

SOUCIE: Well, it's not necessarily that they don't, like something has changed. What's happened is the technology has advanced so quickly, and there's intellectual property rules and things about sharing information that are boundaries to information-sharing. You really can't just say I'm an airline and you're an airline.

CUOMO: Like what could they tell each other that they don't?

SOUCIE: Well, for example, it's not that they don't intentionally, but there's no communication network. There's nothing set up to openly share.

PEREIRA: A governing body.

SOUCIE: Yes, we did set up an information sharing system with NASA and NASA is that governing body. But they are a third party. So, they have to kind of redact things and take things out of what that information is, which makes it still available but it's just not everything. We need to have an open sharing community.

PEREIRA: But the thing that's interesting is that this was an MD-83, right?

SOUCIE: Correct.

PEREIRA: It's one of the McDonnell Douglas --

CUOMO: Now, Boeing now, right?

SOUCIE: It's Boeing now, yes.

PEREIRA: So, they may be different airlines but the makers of the planes are consistent throughout the airline industry.

SOUCIE: Right.

PEREIRA: So, wouldn't there be some kind of cohesiveness there?

SOUCIE: There is. But there's a separation between the manufacturing -- design and manufacturing the aircraft and the operation of the aircraft.

PEREIRA: So maintenance, et cetera.

SOUCIE: Correct. So we examine that. After the Air Alaska accident, we examined that because there was a breakdown there. But we did that through the certification process study that Nick Sabatini, who's the associate administrator at the time, said, let's look at process and see what's going on with this.

And so, we did, and through that the manufacturers have a great way of sharing that information. Now, we need to stretch that out into the airlines and the maintenance and other areas.

CAMEROTA: So, as passengers, you know, we're passive. We feel a little helpless. You put all of your faith into the hands of the pilots or airlines. Hope they are doing right by you.

But you say you can be more assertive as a passenger and you do some things before you get on a flight to ensure your safety like what?

SOUCIE: Well, I use something called fly safe, mostly for international travel. Within the United States, it's good to know what's going on with your flight, but you really don't have to worry so much about us because we know what our standards are and we have a very good system for maintaining the standards, where the risks come in and where we feel vulnerable is when we go into another country.

And how do we know they did it? The FAA does a lot of work to make sure the countries are safe and meet a category 1, is what they called it. It's a standard that they go out and look at the other countries to make sure they meet our standards.

So, they do that and do it very well. What happens is the countries change and everything is changing so quickly that a country might change from day to day.

CUOMO: So what do we do?

SOUCIE: We fly safe, an acronym I have on my own head, safe, s-a-f-e, search, do an Internet search. If I'm going to travel internationally. I do an Internet search. I say, what's the scuttlebutt, what's happening, check Twitter?

CAMEROTA: Where you're going, of your destination.

SOUCIE: Exactly, exactly, what's happening there, and the next thing is assess.

What you want to assess is the airline itself. On the Web site, we've got -- we've got some links that will tell people where to go to do what I do and where to go to get that information on the airline. What the current information on that airline is.

CAMEROTA: That's great because you can find out their safety ranking which you wouldn't otherwise know.

CUOMO: Or wouldn't even think to do.

CAMEROTA: That's right.

SOUCIE: That's right. There is a lot of good information on that on the FAA sites and other commercial sites as well.

PEREIRA: You can see the flight route but they changed the route sometimes, do they not?

SOUCIE: We're assessing it right now as just the airline so that's under assess. I'm going to try to stay with what I do.

PERIERA: Sorry, I moved to the "S."


SOUCIE: So, not only assess the airline but assess the country. There's great places on the State Department Web site to say what's this country up to? What's going on? They have alert and advisories and everything you need to know about what's going on in that country.

So, next thing, Michaela, is the flight, as you assess the flight. You don't know what route it is, but there are commercial sites. And remember, most of the flights that you take are still same flight. They're still an MH17 flying right now but just a different airplane.

So, if you check that flight out, you know what flight you're going on, it will show you the route and what countries you're going to be over.

CAMEROTA: Like and so you can see the flight route.

SOUCIE: That's where I go.


SOUCIE: The last thing is evaluate yourself, the last thing is evaluation. Flight that we just saw that crashed in Taiwan. Indra brought up a great point to me a moment ago and I actually forgot to put it in my list on the Web site, we'll add it to it, but it's weather.

You don't have control over refunding your ticket. You can't say I don't think it's safe to fly so give me my refund, but you do have as a person say, I don't feel safe with this. There's a category 2 typhoon here.

PEREIRA: I don't want to get on this plane.

SOUCIE: Getting on a plane, write that down and read it. That doesn't make much sense, you know?

PEREIRA: That's a very good point.

SOUCIE: But safe, fly safe and I hope people will look at this, and it will empower you as a passenger.

PEREIRA: As a traveler.

SOUCIE: And maybe hopefully feel, I feel a little less vulnerable when I do this.

CAMEROTA: That's great.

David, thanks so much.

And you can find out more about David's tips that he just talked about on our Web site,

David, thanks.

CUOMO: Let's take a little break. When we come back refugee status for some of those undocumented kids on the border. It's a move bound to bring more jeers than cheers, given the American disposition right now. Still, is that President Obama's next move? We'll get into it.

CAMEROTA: Plus, a doctor being hailed as a hero at a shooting at a Pennsylvania hospital. How he shot back. We have that amazing story, ahead.