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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Secretary of State John Kerry to Deliver Remarks on Cease-fire; Dutch and Australian Officials Attempting to Negotiate Access to MH-17 Crash Zone; Ali Shahi Suspect in Bomb Threat; Obama Met with Presidents of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador; Israeli Claim Small Casualties Due to Iron Dome
Aired July 26, 2014 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: Good morning and a very early hour. 5:00 a.m. here in the east, I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: I'm Victor Blackwell. This is a special early edition of NEW DAY SATURDAY.
Breaking overnight, the guns, warplanes and rockets over Gaza and Israel have gone silent for the first time really in days.
PAUL: Yes. That's because we're in the middle of a 12-hour cease- fire right now. But this is what it were to look like just before it took effect, explosions hitting Gaza. The truce began four hours ago, and there is hope this morning, we hear, that this is going to extend.
BLACKWELL: Yes, a top Palestinian parliament member and chief negotiator said that the militant group Hamas is willing to sign on to a seven-day truce that's been pushed by America's top diplomat secretary of state John Kerry.
Now, we know that lives hang on the balance here. More than 900 people now, most of them Palestinian civilians have been killed in the weeks of bloodshed.
PAUL: Now, secretary of state John Kerry, by the way, is leading this diplomatic push, as Victor just mentioned, to get Israel and Hamas to agree to a longer one-week cease-fire.
BLACKWELL: Yes. CNN's Atika Shubert joins us now on the phone from the Israeli side of the border there with Gaza.
Atika, as Christi said, we're now four hours into this. Has the cease-fire held? Have you heard any air strikes there?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via phone): So far, the cease-fire seems to be holding. We haven't heard any rockets coming over since the cease-fire. And we haven't been hearing any artillery being fired from here into Gaza. So far so good. Having said that, just before the cease-fire, we did hear several rockets being fired and there were a number of explosions inside of Gaza as well. So we have a while to go with a 12-hour cease-fire that we're hoping to get through here. Then possibly, they could have more discussions on a longer week-long truce. But for now, we're sort of in a wait and see mode and see what happens next.
PAUL: I know you said you're in a wait and see mode. From your estimation of being there, how likely is it that both sides may agree to a one-week cease-fire?
SHUBERT: Well, it's possible, but I think what's happening is there's quite a few sticking points and the main sticking points on the Israeli side is the tunnels. This is they say they've been trying to dismantle the tunnels that Hamas has built to infiltrate into Israel to conduct the attacks.
And so, they want the opportunity within that one-week truce to dismantle the tunnels. In the meantime, Hamas and Gaza said they need to have access and by that opening the borders to allow more humanitarian in and out of Gaza. Because it's sealed off on three sides by Israel, one border by Egypt. And right now, there is really not much coming in and out. So these are two sticking points that they're going to have to figure out how to move towards within that one week-long truce. But again that's been presuming that the next eight hours or so to hold.
BLACKWELL: Atika, the reports from Gaza on the death toll, the numbers now above 900, can you give us an idea of how the hospitals are responding and just how strapped that area is for resources, for the civilians?
SHUBERT: Look, in Gaza -- they're incredibly short of everything, every kind of medicine, every kind of aid you can imagine. As it is, even without a conflict going on, it's being described as an open air prison because very little comes out and hardly anything gets in.
And in a conflict situation like this, it really is sealed off. And the hospitals are strained to capacity. Not only because they're getting so many injured. I mean, we're talking hundreds and hundreds of people injured and then dealing with these more than 900 people killed. But they're also dealing with the fact that the hospitals have effectively become shelters for people that are trying to escape the fighting and find a way to be safe.
At hospitals, they hope are one of the places they can be. But as well we know, hospitals have also been hit. So we're talking about hospitals trying to be everything to everyone and still becoming targets in the conflict.
BLACKWELL: All right, Atika Shubert reporting there from the Israeli side of the border with Gaza.
Atika, be safe and thank you very much.
BLACKWELL: It's now been more than a week since that crash in Ukraine. And victims are still lying under the wreckage of Malaysia airlines flight 17. The crash site in eastern Ukraine is far from secure. And a proper investigation has not begun yet. But now rebels who control the area, apparently, they've had just about enough.
PAUL: Yes. An international monitor said pro-Russian rebels are pressing them to get experts to the scene soon and to suggesting they may only have another week for the patience for the tedious process to wrap up. Now, these are the same rebels, remember, that the U.S. accuses of shooting the airliners out of the sky nine days ago.
BLACKWELL: Well still, Dutch and Australian officials are trying to negotiate access to that crash zone. Meantime, victims' relatives are keeping vigil again today. As another 38 coffins due to arrive at a military base in the Netherlands.
PAUL: You know, for one family, and you can imagine this to some degree, the wait for their lost daughter and answers to what happened to flight 17 is almost unbearable.
BLACKWELL: Yes. So a mom and dad, they took matters into their own hands rushing to the other side of the world to find their child.
Kyung Lah has their story.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): George and Angela Dyczynski, they can almost feel their daughter, they're that close, but they can't get there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, please.
LAH: These men are local Ukrainian officials urging these parents to not enter the pro-Russian rebel-held territory of Donetsk. The Dyczynski flew by themselves to Ukraine from Australia with nothing other than shock and grief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are battling around us.
ANGELA DYCZYNSKI, MOTHER OF THE FLIGHT 17 PASSENGER: We know. We have to go, there's no other way.
LAH: Their 25-year-old daughter Fatima was aboard the flight 17 flying Australia to see them.
GEORGE DYCZYNSKI, FATHER OF TH FLIGHT 17 PASSENGER: Yes, 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 Dyczynski have chosen to grieve with denial.
A. DYCZYNSKI: We believe she's alive. Every second counts.
G. DYCZYNSKI: And our purpose is to find Fatima. We don't want us to be angry.
A. DYCZYNSKI: I need to see that we are set, so that's why we can. Besides our daughter promised we will find her, as mom and dad. So this is 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 to help bring stability to earth.
FATIMA DYCZYNSKI, FLIGHT 17 PASSENGER: Experience of spaceflight is a life-changing event.
LAH: How can you let a child like that go?
A. 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you chance to come, you com there.
LAH: And these government reps get embassies on the phone to talk to them.
A. DYCZYNSKI: You have not sorted this out. Please do not contact me anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we are running out of time.
A. DYCZYNSKI: So the risk we know. No worries.
LAH: Finally, they're told to go at their own risk.
This private car promises to drive them through the battle lines of rebel-held territory where a parent's love has no boundaries.
PAUL: Vic, Kyung Lah joining us now from the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.
Boy, you just feel with all of these people, that really brings it home. But we're wondering what happened after they got past that check point Kyung?
LAH: What we know is that it's a very long drive to the rebel-held territory. It's precarious. It's three hours to get to it that border. Then you step into that border. If you make it past the checkpoints, you're talking about molders (ph) falling. There is gunfire. The couple made it to Donetsk. That's what we understand. Whether or not they've been able to get to the plane crash site, we don't know. Their intention, though, Christi was to try to make it there this morning, Ukraine time.
BLACKWELL: You know I was going to start by saying any parent would understand. But I think any child, any brother, sister, husband or wife would understand this couple's flight to find their loved one. Do we know, or do you know if there are more people who are planning to make this journey to get to that crash site or as close as possible?
LAH: Well, if you speak to investigators they are preparing for it. But here is what they are telling us, international observers who are at the site tell us, stay away. This is a war that is happening between these people. And what they don't want is to put anyone there on the ground at risk. It's already difficult enough for the official governments, for the military people to get through and try to contain this. Remember, there has been no control over this crash site. That to then have civilians come in, it just makes it even more dangerous for everyone. So they are urging families, no matter how difficult and gut-wrenching it may be, to not be able to go there for your own safety. For the safety of others, stay away.
PAUL: Alright. Kyung Lah in Kiev. Thank you so much for that story, Kyung.
BLACKWELL: All right, now to another really frightening incident aboard an international flight considering all that's happened over the last week, week and a half. This one began on an angry threat aboard a plane headed to Panama from Toronto. A witness tells CNN affiliate CTV that a 25-year-old Canadian citizen said he wanted to bomb Canada.
PAUL: Yes. And so, that, of course, forced the plane that was packed with 189 people to turn back, escorted by U.S. fighter jets. You can imagine being in that plane? And then you get to the tarmac and there was chaos and fear as it was described as SWAT team stormed the Sunwing flight. This was all captured on cell phone video. So, as you watch this, keep in mind, this was not a drill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heads up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heads up! Hands up! Heads down!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heads down! Hands up! Show me your hands! Heads down! Heads down!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heads down! Heads down! Heads down! Heads down!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Yes, imagine being on that flight. This is the young man, 25-year-old Ali Shahi, is due in court this morning for a bail hearing. According to CTV, his demeanor completely changed after in handcuffs saying he was sorry and he loved Canada. Well, the plane was searched nothing was found. And authority say Shahi faces four charges including endangering the safety of an aircraft. Of course, we are going to talk more about that throughout the morning.
PAUL: All right. But well, you know, between that dramatic scene, the recent spike in air disasters, I'm sure you are feeling the tension especially if you are headed to the airport. How safe are we when we board those planes?
BLACKWELL: And we talked about two aviation incidents thus far, but there's also the wreckage the Algerie jet that went down in Mali. It's been described as disintegrated. The French president said that we are ruling nothing at.
PAUL: Malaysia airlines flight 17 blown out of the sky nine days ago over a war zone in eastern Ukraine killing 298 people. And then this week, we've got an Algerie jet crashing in stormy weather in northern Africa, 116 people aboard that, dead. It's has been a frightening week at the end of the day.
BLACKWELL: So you have got those two, then, you know, look at this, the dramatic cell phone video we showed you just a minute ago about the SWAT team here storming a plane in Toronto after an alleged bomb threat. Thankfully, no one was hurt. No evidence of the bomb was onboard. But you have got to ask, is this a dangerous era for aviation.
Let's bring in aviation safety consultant Chris Yates and CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes.
Good to have both of you. Let's look back over the first few months of the year. 2014 is reportedly shaping up to be the deadliest year in almost a decade in airline travel. Does this signal a security problem?
Let's start with -- let's start with you, Chris.
CHRIS YATES, AVIATION SAFETY CONSULTANT: It signals a particular problem in so much as various of the aviation incidents that have happened have just caused a heck a degree of consternation amongst the traveling public I would suppose. And the fact of the matter, though, is that last year, something like five billion people traveling on 34 million flights, and only a small percentage of them, of course, have any degree of an issue.
PAUL: So, Tom, I want to go to you because I know that people are watching this. And we've also had this brief ban on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv we want to point out because of the exchange of missile strikes with Gaza, obviously. But if somebody is getting ready to board a flight, particularly an international flight, what would you say to them about any, you know, fears or concerns that they might have?
THOMAS FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Christi and Victor good morning.
I think I wouldn't say much to them, other than, you know, we all hope that the authorities around the world are monitoring it and that the airlines are getting information about whether or not to fly a particular route, whether it might be weather-related or whether it might be, you know, flying over a war zone, particularly in a place where people have the kind of weaponry that we see in the eastern Ukraine area to bring a plane down at 33,000 feet altitude.
So I think that, you know, you hope, and I fly, you know, thousands of miles internationally every year myself, I hope when I board that that's the case, that you're going to be secure.
PAUL: Tom, is there any place right now that you would not travel? FUENTES: No, I don't think so. I wouldn't stake an excursion over
eastern Ukraine as we just mentioned. But I think for the most part, there's not too many places that I would have a particular worry. And to be honest, I'd be more worried about the surface-to-air shoulder- held missiles that could take a plane down taking off or landing up to 14,000 or 15,000 feet altitude. A person could sit out in the perimeter of any airport. And that could happen anywhere in the world anytime. I'm surprised hasn't happened more. It may in the future.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Before the downing of MH-17 that was the primary concern. No one, I think, really was considering these boot missiles would take down a plane especially in that region.
Let me go back to you, Chris. New York congressman Steve Israel has reintroduced legislation that would require the defense department to install anti-missile technologies on U.S. commercial airliners.
Two questions, is that a good idea and one the airlines would go for? And is it really feasible? It sounds expensive.
YATES: Well, it does sound expensive, (INAUDIBLE) expensive, of course. And it seems like it's not going to be, if you'd pardon the pun, an option that would actually fly. The fact of the matter is we need to be diverting routes when a particular incident happens on the ground. So, we need to be choosing our routes carefully. We need the intelligence being fed in directly to the international authorities. The aviation bodies responsible for approving flight plans. And only when it's clear to flight over a particular area, should we be allowing civil aviation aircraft to fly those routes.
PAUL: All right, Chris Yates and Tom Fuentes, gentlemen, thank you so much for the input. We appreciate it this morning.
Listen. I want to show you some pictures we're just getting in as we are just getting word that there is a possible news conference and we hear shortly, from secretary of state John Kerry. He will be speaking from Paris. And you can see the live pictures there as we await that happening. We will bring that to you as soon as it comes. Stay close.
BLACKWELL: All right. Live pictures here in Paris. We're waiting some comments from secretary of state John Kerry who is practicing this, as it's known, shuttle diplomacy, where he's flying between Jerusalem and Cairo, now in Paris, to try to broker some cease-fire between Hamas and Israel as this conflict now goes on for weeks. We know more than 900 dead, the civilian count from Gaza, dozens dead there in Israel. So we'll continue to watch this, as soon as he begins to deliver those remarks, we'll bring it to you live.
You know, the French families of those on board the crashed Air Algerie flight are hoping to get some answers today from their government.
PAUL: Yes, 116 people were killed when the plane crashed Thursday in Mali, 54 of them were from France. And what you're seeing here are some of the new images we're getting from that crash site. Boy, if you can spot parts of that plane broken apart, there they are. That's about the biggest they are. But people there saying they're burned nearly beyond recognition.
French president Francois Holland described it as disintegrated, in fact.
Journalist Katerina Hoije (ph) joins us by phone from (INAUDIBLE), Mali.
Katerina, thank you for being with us. What do you know about this hour, about the investigation, as to what brought that plane down?
KATERINA HOIJE (ph), JOURNALIST (via phone): Well, as you know, we haven't found out that much in the first investigators arrived in the scene last night, and we have more people coming from France today. The plane went down in a troubled area where you still have five people unarmed and Islamist (ph) groups on the ground which is why it took so long for the people to reach the actual site.
But what we know so far and what the people working on it that the plane hit some bad weather. The pilots have asked to change the route because of the headed storm over Gul, the northern town where they lost control of the plane. And indeed, we have had bad weather even here (INAUDIBLE) with heavy rains and the planes having trouble landing.
Now, with that said, knowing the region that is where in 18 months ago French national forces drove them out of this area and there have been speculation about a terrorist attack. But what we know so far is that the people working on it that that plane came down in a heavy storm.
BLACKWELL: Katerina, there have been discrepancies in the number of people on board. And number of citizens who perished from each country. What do we know about the number of people and the discrepancies? Why is this happening?
HOIJE (ph): Well, the last numbers, there were 110 passengers, almost half of them French and six crew members. They were flying from Burkina Faso, many of them were humanitarian (INAUDIBLE) workers in the region. A lot of them had connecting flights from (INAUDIBLE) back to Paris. As far as we know, there are no suspects on the ground and no people that would have made this into a terrorist attack or that the plane could have been attacked because of people on the passenger list.
PAUL: All right. Katerina Hoije (ph), boy, we appreciate the update. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: We've got more on the breaking story on the cease-fire in Gaza now, about four and a half hours with live to Jerusalem for the new developments there.
PAUL: Bottom of the hour right now. Welcome back. We're so glad to have your company. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.
And breaking overnight, U.S. secretary of state John Kerry is leading an international push to stop the bloodshed in Gaza and Israel. We got a live look here in Paris. We're waiting the secretary to speak there about trying to broker a cease-fire.
PAUL: And you know, what kind of progress they may have made so far or they have all may have made. But we know that a 12-hour cease-fire between Hamas and Israel is now in hour number four. Just before it took effect, smoke was blowing over Gaza as the fighting continued until the very last minute. But so far, it seems it's been quiet.
BLACKWELL: Yes. But the death toll thus far has risen to 900. And most of those killed are Palestinians and civilians. And there were reports that dozens of bodies have been found today in shelled areas that searchers could not get to during those air strikes.
PAUL: So while the tanks and the rockets and the warplanes are silent at the moment, we talk about secretary of state John Kerry being in Paris trying to broker this longer lasting truce. And again, as soon as he steps up to the mic, we'll bring that to you live.
BLACKWELL: Yes. CNN's John Vause joins us now from Jerusalem.
John, does it look like that this will, I guess, be transitioned into a seven-day cease-fire?
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, the problem for the Israeli players if you like, are the tunnels. And any longer cease- fire, longer than 12 hours, if you like, it does not include a provision for the Israeli military to continue to work, to destroy and find that tunnel network which Hamas has dug under Gaza city.
I think it's pretty much going to be a nonstarter. Because if you look at the cease-fire right now which is in place, the air strikes have stopped, the shelling has stopped, the Navy has backed off from the coast, but the soldiers are still on the ground and they're still there searching and destroying those tunnels.
The bottom line, as far as the Israelis are concerned you can build a war to stop the suicide bombers, you got the Iron Dome, it's a defense system to stop the rockets. But to destroy the tunnels, you've got to be on the ground, you got to have soldiers in there. The Israelis say they're kind of halfway through that and they want to finish the job.
PAUL: Of course, the Israeli cabinet who said that proposed of seven- day truce earlier. We're waiting to hear from secretary of state Kerry, but he has said the door is still open to a deal. Do you know what might be prompting that statement?
VAUSE: Well, I mean, John Kerry is living in hope. He's continuing to talk all the sides. This is a dire situation. They still have to try and find some solution to this. You've got 900 dead Palestinians, most of them are civilians and many of them are children. Almost 6000 people wounded in Gaza. A health system which can't cope with it. So they need to find some kind of compromise here.
The problem you have, John Kerry spent countless days. He made countless phone calls, he shuttled between countries, he invested his own time, he's now in Paris continue with these negotiations, but so far the only thing he has to show for it is a 12-hour lull in the fighting. That just shows you how difficult it is to get the two sides to stop fighting.
BLACKWELL: And we are seeing some of the dignitaries walking in on the right of your screen here as we await Secretary Kerry, his remarks on the efforts to broker that seven-day cease-fire. But as we await those comments, let's stay with you, John.
Do we know how committed Hamas is to this cease-fire? We know that the claims, at least, have been that any cease-fire for humanitarian reasons or any reasons thus far, Hamas has brokered that deal by sending rockets over the border?
VAUSE: Well, look, at the moment, actions speak louder than words. In Gaza there have been no Hamas rockets for four and a half hours now. So they are committed at least now for this humanitarian cease- fire. As far as the longer-term one, I mean, we're talking seven days here, it's not exactly a long time, is it? But as far as the cease- fire, what we're hearing over and over again, is that Hamas needs to walk away from this with something to show. They need to show the Palestinian people, that the last 19 days were worth it. That 900 dead Palestinians, the thousands of homes who should be in damaged or destroyed, that it was worth it.
And the bottom line on that is that they need some kind of concessions that will have their borders reopened. Not just the Israelis though who are reluctant to open those borders, the Egyptians are as well. I mean, there's a border between Gaza and Egypt. It's known as the Rafah crossing and that is control by Egypt. They don't want to reopen it because the new government in Egypt with President Fattha el-Sisi here through the Muslim brotherhood and outlaw them.
And as far as al-Sisi is concerned, Hamas is just a Palestinian version of the Muslim brotherhood. So they're reluctant as well to open those border crossings.
So this is the problem for Hamas that they're facing. And as far as the Israelis are concerned, they don't want to give anything to Hamas so they can say they've had a victory here. There's a visceral reluctance among the Israelis to give Hamas any kind of victory at all. So again, it's a very difficult position for John Kerry to try and find some kind of compromise.
PAUL: All right, John Vause, boy, so much going on there. And we thank you for breaking it down for us and giving us some clarity.
BLACKWELL: Thank you, John.
PAUL: Rebels controlling the flight 17 crash site say that they are losing patience as international investigators continue their push for access there. We have the latest for you on the tug-of-war in Ukraine.
PAUL: More than a week after Malaysia airlines flight 17 was shot down, the crash site in Ukraine is, let's say, far from secure.
BLACKWELL: Yes, international monitors say pro-Russian rebels accused of downing the plane, they just appear to be fed up with the probe. And have suggested they may only have another week's worth of patience. Now investigators we know are also continuing to phase pushback around the rebel-controlled site.
PAUL: This morning, Dutch and Australian officials are pressing for more access. So a proper investigation, obviously, can begin.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the victims, though, because that's what's at the heart of this tragedy. Another 38 coffins are expected to arrive at a military base in the Netherlands today.
PAUL: So the question is, will investigators be able to secure that crash site despite days of continued rebel pushback?
Joining us now to discuss this is former pilot Alastair Rosenschein.
BLACKWELL: We also have Michael Bociurkiw, he is the spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is helping to monitor the crash scene.
Good to have both of you. I want to start with you, Michael. The idea that the patience is running thin with the rebels, do you feel that there is a physical threat to the OSCE workers who are there?
Do we have Michael? OK. Alistair -- do we have Alistair --
ALASTAIR ROSENSCHEIN, FORMER PILOT: Yes.
BLACKWELL: OK. Good. Then, I will start with you, Alistair.
My question for you is there were reports this week that, you know, parts of this plane have been sawed off. That it appears that they've taken a diesel saw to cut some of this off. If we know about the bud missile system that splatters, the shrapnel, and there the holes in the fuselage part of the plane, what could they be cutting away here?
ROSENSCHEIN: Well, it is -- I mean, that's not good news, if that's what's been happening. I mean, you know, are we talking here about souvenir hunters? Or are we talking about people trying to cover up evidence of what happened to this aircraft? Clearly, that will compromise the investigation.
There are reporters have had access to the site and will have taken photographs. And certainly, I've seen a photograph of the left-hand side of the cockpit skinned from the outside. And in those photos you can fairly clear that there's been an external explosion that has peppered the cockpit with shrapnel. PAUL: So, Alistair, you know, I read that experts are analyzing that
flight data recorder. But I'm wondering, considering the belief that the rebels have tampered with so much evidence there, even if there's nothing on those data flight recorders, if they don't tell us anything, then, where do you go?
ROSENSCHEIN: Well, I think is highly unlikely that all traces of this accident, I mean, if it was an external missile explosion, we're talking about SA-11 or a Buk missile, it is highly unlikely that they will be unable to cover up all of the evidence. And in addition to that, the bodies themselves, sadly, I will have to say, will also carry evidence of what has happened to this aircraft.
So it is -- you know, unlikely that the investigators will be thwarted in their attempts to find the cause of this accident. But, you know, it's very important that as much evidence as possible is collected. And the aircraft and its parts are reconstructed somewhere outside of this war zone.
BLACKWELL: I'm told we have the spokesman for the organization of the spirit of cooperation, Michael Bociurkiw is back with us.
Michael, at the top, we talked about the report that the pro-Russian rebels said they're almost fed up here, maybe a week's worth of patience. Do you believe there is a physical threat against the OSCE workers there at the site? I hear something, but you can hear me, Michael?
MICHAEL BOCIURKIW, SPOKESMAN, ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (via phone): Yes, I can hear you.
BLACKWELL: OK. One more time do you believe there's a physical threat against the OSCE workers there after this report that the rebels are running out of patience?
BOCIURKIW: Absolutely not. We've had very, very good access for the past seven days. The first day was a bit tricky. But, no, the accesses are good. With the amount of time spent is there in terms of their (INAUDIBLE) geography, we've been able to cover in terms of the amount of debris, we've been actually able to look at closely. And I must say that, you know, the Malaysian delegation was with us the longest. And they collected a lot of it. And they said that they not only had internal (ph) access but they also felt quite safe and protected. So that gives us a sense of where we are at this very moment.
PAUL: Michael, you reported earlier that passports and other personal belongings had started appearing at the scene and those were things that were not there the first time you walked through. We're going to get back to you -- OK, I'm sorry, we're going to stay with us. We thought maybe we saw John Kerry coming in. But we are going to continue to monitor that.
Michael, I'm sorry, let me get back to you. How have you seen things change at the scene in terms of something that maybe was thought there initially, like these passports and other belongings that are there now? Can you help us understand what may or may not have been compromised?
BOCIURKIW: Yes, is this what we record last night to our 57-member after spending wide safe (ph) states, is that on our patrol yesterday at the crash site, our special monitoring mission members noted the presence of documentation, such as plastic and national I.D. cards. Passports that looked quite fresh and kind of not dirty or anything like that on them, on areas that we have traversed quite a few tiles on previous days. So were haven't to draw any conclusions from how it actually ended it up there. But we are quite certain that those items were not there previously on our previous patrols.
BLACKWELL: Michael, and I want to let the viewers know that we may have to cut you off to go to secretary of state Kerry in Paris, but we know there are police being sent into the area. Some of them armed. Do you think that will exacerbate that really tense situation there? Or do you believe that having armed police there with these rebels will actually make things safer?
BOCIURKIW: Well, my understanding is they will not be armed, number one. Secondly, there are some logistical elements, if I can put it that way, that happened overnight. There was heavy fighting here in Donetsk. In fact, you could hear them in cities (INAUDIBLE) period overnight. And consequently, some of the rail links in and out of here have been disrupted. And it's a crucial, crucial link because there is no airport anymore. It has been quite nearly bombed. So, when new -- and the experts will arrive have yet to be seen, but I think well, what we were told yesterday by one of the individuals that escorting us from the rebel group is that they appear comfortable with a group of about 35 individuals, experts. And they would expect, that group of experts assist or guide them in collection of the debris for eventual transport out of the region. So that is the latest of what we heard yesterday from them.
PAUL: All right. Alistair Rosenshine and Michael Bociurkiw, so appreaciate your insight. Thank you, gentlemen, for being with us.
BLACKWELL: Thank you very much.
Now, we heard yesterday from prime minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, he said that, I'm going to quote here. "Australia is close to finalizing the agreement with Ukraine for the deployment of Australian police, some of whom could be armed," a direct quote from the prime minister.
We will see if they indeed send them in. But we've heard from Michael Bociurkiw here that they will not be. We'll see actually what is going to happen there on the ground.
We'll take a break. We'll be back.
PAUL: We want to give you a look at some of the other news this morning in for you.
BLACKWELL: Yes, these are some of the stories making headlines.
President Obama is pressing Central American leaders to address the recent immigration surge along the U.S. border. On Friday, he met with the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in Washington. They say a comprehensive plan is in the works, of course, to address the underlying cause of why so many immigrants are leaving their home countries.
PAUL: A Kansas man is arrested following the death of his 10-month- old foster daughter after she was left in a hot car after more than two hours. The man who was in the process of adapting the baby girl was in (INAUDIBLE) says he forgot about her after picking her up from the babysitter's house. The couple's six other adopted and foster kids have been removed from home pending an investigation.
BLACKWELL: The (INAUDIBLE) watch firm used by Target after the hack attack last year is acknowledging a data breach of its owned. Well, CNN has learned Experian, unknowingly sold personal information like Social Security numbers, birthdays as wall to a scammer in Vietnam. Experian say the leak has been resolved and there was no effect on Target's customers.
PAUL: And listen to this. Scientists are shedding new light on a solar storm that came close to impacting earth two years ago. It was the largest solar storm in reported history. And it could have done catastrophic damage to electrical systems and other technology worldwide. One study estimated it could have had an economic impact of more than $2 billion.
BLACKWELL: So far Israel and Hamas, they're holding their fire. A 12-hour cease-fire is in effect right now after weeks, of that deadly conflict. Again, just a 12-hour pause. But the U.S. is leading the push for a longer lasting truce.
We're going to take you live to Israel and Gaza at the border there on the top of the hour. But of course, we're waiting for the news conference in Paris. Secretary of state John Kerry will deliver the remarks on the effort to at least get seven days. A seven-day cease- fire agreed upon by the parties. Stay with us. We'll bring it to you live.
BLACKWELL: Well, as we've reported, there have been far fewer casualties on the Israeli side in recent violence in the Middle East. Israelis claim it's all due to the efficiency of their Iron Dome missile defense system.
PAUL: Yes, it basically intercepts and destroys missiles sent by Hamas. But CNN's Tom Foreman takes a look at how this thing works.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey Christi. Hey Victor.
Just as Hamas is getting better getting further range out of the rockets at fires out of Gaza toward targets like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, so, too, Israel has substantially improved its Iron Dome missile defense system. So much so that they're now claiming 90 percent effectiveness in neutralizing the rocket effect out of Gaza.
So how does this work? Well, there are three key phases, anytime something is launched headed toward Israel, automatically very high- tech radar and camera systems start tracking it. And they start to figure out, how big is it, how fast is it going, where's it going? That's the detection phase.
Next comes the analysis and targeting phase. What that means are those same computers sort of saying, look, if one of these rockets is going off in the water, or is going to some of the rural place where there is no one to hit, they just let them go.
But if one of these is headed towards a real target where people and property can be hit and hurt, then the third phase kicks in, the destruction phase. In that phase, the same computers communicate with batteries up to mirror missiles. Each one is about ten feet long. They weigh -- they carry about 24 pounds of high explosives. And those missiles are launched toward the target. They are guided right to it, and then they blow apart, everything in that airspace with great efficiency.
This is not cheap. The United States has kicked in about $235 million to this system which is recently developed by an Israeli company. And each individual defensive missile cost about $62,000. But undeniably, the Israeli authorities will say, it is money well spent for a system they now consider essential. Christie? Victor?
PAUL: Are you up bright and early? Because we have an awful lot to talk to you about this morning.