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Fugitive Killed in Dramatic Standoff; Destroying Hamas Tunnels into Israel; Parents of MH-17 Victim Share Their Story; New Violence Silences Talks of Cease-Fire

Aired July 29, 2014 - 06:30   ET



MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Six-thirty on the nose in the East. Welcome back.

Let's take a look at your headlines overnight.

Israel launched air strikes on 70 sites in Gaza. Targets including Hamas command centers and weapons storage facilities. Hopes for a cease-fire are beginning to fade now. The Israelis are warning that a full-on fight the day after 10 soldiers were killed, five of them by militants, who came through those tunnels from Gaza.

A new Senate proposal on NSA reform reportedly clamps down on data collection and increases NSA transparency. Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont will introduce the legislation today. It does have White House support. This all comes on the heels of a scathing joint report by human rights watch and the ALCU that says NSA surveillance threatens freedom of the press.

A private drone trying to capture footage of a northern California wildfire briefly hindered fire fighter efforts to attack the flames from the air. Officials spotted the drone Sunday and immediately contacted the owners to have that unmanned aircraft grounded to avoid a possible mid-air collision. Firefighters have gained an upper hand on the blaze, which has scorched nearly six square miles and forced hundreds of people from their homes.

Southwest Airlines is facing a hefty government fine after allegedly failing to reply to repair orders for Boeing 737. The FAA is proposing $12 million in civil penalties, saying Southwest did not follow proper procedures for replacing fuselage skins on 44 of its aircraft. The case combines three earlier enforcement actions against the airline. Southwest for their part now has 30 days to respond.

Those are your headlines.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: During all that time they won't be making repairs either.

PEREIRA: Well, let's hope that they are, 44 of their planes --

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Have already done, right? COUMO: All right. So, let's turn to the takedown of a bad guy that

started with the episode of CNN's "THE HUNT" and ended in deadly gunfire. Thirty-two-year-old Charles Mozdir was on the run for more than two years on two molestation charges. A tip called in during John Walsh's show helped investigators crack the case.

Here's the story from Deb Feyerick.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The search for suspected child molester and fugitive Charles Mozdir ends here, the shootout at this smoke shop in a minute answer's busy West Village.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As he fired upon the officers at very close range and the officers returned fire.

FEYERICK: Members of the U.S. marshal's New York/New Jersey regional track force tracked Mozdir to New York following a tip that came into CNN's "THE HUNT" with John Walsh.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son sat me down, and he said, mom, I have something to tell you. And he proceeded to tell me that Charlie had touched him inappropriately.

FEYERICK: Mozdir had recently been profiled on the show.

(on camera): One of the officers went inside and identified Mozdir. He was alone, police say, inside that smoke shop, and can you see it, it's the white doorway just past the stop sign. When members of the task force entered, that's when the shooting began.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During the exchanges of gunfire the detectives and two marshals were injured.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Police say Mozdir had grown a beard and had no intention of being taken quietly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A .32 caliber handgun was recovered at the scene, and 20 rounds of additional ammunition were found in Mozdir's pockets.

FEYERICK: Alexis Green lives down the street from the smoke shop and took these photos after the shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What I noticed a rather large crowd and then some heavily armed police officers with helmets on, detectives, ambulance workers.

FEYERICK: One U.S. marshal shot in the leg and another injured in the arm. The NYPD detective assigned to the task force shot in the abdomen. None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Effectively you can see where the round entered, the round was recovered in the vest.

FEYERICK: Mozdir was last seen two years ago in San Diego offer being accused of molesting a friend's 7-year-old son. At the time police searched his home and found a cell phone with images of child pornography and bestiality. His abandoned car was found soon after in Georgia, his license plate removed and Mozdir seemingly disappeared.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


CUOMO: Disappeared until John Walsh's show "THE HUNT." Now, in the next hour, we're going to talk about what happened and how they ended up discovering where this man was with John Walsh, the host of CNN's "THE HUNT."

BOLDUAN: Unbelievable is real all can you say.

CUOMO: Why he does the show.

BOLDUAN: Exactly right, and it's much more than a show as what we can see.

PEREIRA: And a tip worked.

BOLDUAN: Unbelievable, unbelievable.

Let's turn to the weather now, if we can, please and get to meteorologist Indra Petersons with a look at the forecast.

It was a mess. Look at that.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Scary day, right, outside of Colorado, outside of Denver, Colorado, two reports of tornadoes in the region. One of them even closed down the airport for about half an hour.

And these were not the only incidents, not just Colorado but yesterday, even in Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, still reports of even another tornado, likely an EF-2 with winds of about 120 miles per hour.

Here's the scary part. Neither of those areas had the risk in the forecast yesterday, even better news today. We're going to be talking about conditions calming down. High pressure moving in and even milder air will be moving in.

So, it's going to be feeling a lot better. Look at the morning hour temperatures. We're talking about even 50s this morning and many of you talking about below normal temperatures as you start off the day which means as you go towards the afternoon, it's going to be feeling a lot better.

Even all the way down to the southeast we'll be seeing temperatures below normal. Not just today, even as we go through the middle of the week, these temperatures are going to be staying on the cool side.

There is one thing I do want to point out. Remember, it's hurricane season. We're going to be closely monitoring what's going on in Atlanta. About a 70 percent chance that this birthed in the next five-day track. Still taken out towards the Caribbean. It's going to be a while before we know who goes, where it comes from here. Definitely, all eyes on this hurricane season starts to seem to be ramping up already.

BOLDUAN: And started early already.


BOLDUAN: Thanks, Indra.

CUOMO: All right. Let's take a little break here on NEW DAY.

When we come back, an exclusive look at that network of Hamas tunnel that are allegedly conduits for terror and a prime target, to be sure, of Israeli missiles. Wolf Blitzer is going to take you inside.

BOLDUAN: Plus, the wife of a Minnesota man who tied from Ebola overseas. She is speaking out. This as two American doctors working in Africa are now fighting for their lives as they face this virus.

How much of a threat is the virus? A plane right away. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to will be joining us to talk about it.


BOLDUAN: Time now for a CNN exclusive.

The Israeli operation in Gaza that began in the air is now focused underground. The army is -- the Israeli army is hunting and destroying tunnels built by Hamas militants digging deep into Israel.

Our CNN's Wolf Blitzer got a look inside these tunnels and he's joining us now, of course, from Jerusalem with much more.

Wolf, it's a really fascinate look at one of the major goals of the Israeli operation. What did you see?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, THE SITUATION ROOM: It might, in fact, be the major goal of the Israeli operation right now, at least in the short term, to destroy these tunnels. The Israelis have known about these Hamas tunnels for years.

There was a whole network and still is basically going from Gaza into Egypt. Most of those tunnels designed to smuggle weapons, missiles, missile parts, rockets from Egypt into Gaza. They knew there were some tunnels potentially going from Gaza into Israel, but until recently, Kate, they had no idea how extensive that network was.


BLITZER (voice-over): This is priority number one for the Israel Defense Forces, finding and destroying dozens of Hamas funnels, underground escape hatches from Gaza used to infiltrate Israel and launch attacks.

I went to the front line near the Gaza border to see one of those tunnels with IDF Lieutenant Colonel Uzik Azuli (ph).

Israeli forces have uncovered more than 30 tunnels in this area.

(on camera): All right. Let's go in.

(voice-over): This tunnel is just under two miles long and about 45 feet below ground. It begins in the southern Gazan city of Khan Yunis and ends here near an Israeli kibbutz, along the border with Gaza.

(on camera): Let's go a little bit further in. This tunnel, I guess, the tunnel is built for relatively short people because if you stand up you're going to hit your head. I'm not that tall, but you see it's pretty -- pretty secure, this concrete. They spent a lot of effort building this tunnel.

(voice-over): Hamas boasts about its network of tunnels boasting this video, allegedly showing mass militants entering Israel. Before being targeted by an Israeli air strike, this video was released by the IDF.

Hamas never got to use the tunnel I visited.

(on camera): The Israelis found it. They destroyed a big chunk of it back there and they kept this part.

Lieutenant Colonel Azuli believes it took Hamas about two years to build this tunnel with concrete and other supplies that he says came from Israel.

(on camera): You say this concrete came from Israel. How do you know it came from Israel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found the bags.

BLITZER: The bags. Basically the concrete was provided by Israel to Palestinians in Gaza to build schools, hospitals, stores, apartments, but they used it, would you say, to build this tunnel?


BLITZER (voice-over): Hamas has other tunnels that lead into Egyptian territory and used to smuggle weapons and supplies into Gaza but the IDF says the underground passages into Israel have only one purpose.

(on camera): From what you know, what was the purpose of this tunnel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attack soldiers. They want to attack regular people, children, women, men.

BLITZER: They want to go and attack and kill Israelis and also kidnap Israelis.


BLITZER: That was one of the rationales that Israelis have suggested was one of the purposes of these tunnels.



BLITZER: And they are specifically terrorized to a certain degree, Kate, the Israelis by what happened a few years ago. There was an Israeli soldier, young Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Israel says he was kidnapped by Hamas infiltrators who came through a tunnel into Israel. They then took him back to Gaza through that detail. He was held for five years, eventually, he was freed and then returned to Israel after five years in captivity.

BLITZER: Eventually, he was freed as part of an exchange, in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners freed Gilad Shalit was returned to Israel after five years in captivity. What the Israelis are really fearful of is that Hamas infiltrators could come into Israel, kidnap an Israeli soldier or civilian, for that matter, take that person back into Gaza and then say we got 1,000 prisoners for Gilad Shalit and want another 1,000 right now. That's why Israelis are really, really obsessed, I think it's fair to say, with these tunnels.

BOLDUAN: Well and Wolf, I mean Israel said that just yesterday five Israeli soldiers were killed they believe when Hamas came through -- Hamas militants came through one of those tunnels and attacked them as they came right out. Those Hamas militants were also killed so it is a real problem, as we speak, not just before but also today. We had the foreign ministry on yesterday, Wolf, and the spokesman said that they have located they believe 36 tunnels taken out 16, but they have also said it's technologically pretty complex and challenging to do that. How are they going about this? When do they think they are going to be done?

BLITZER: They don't know, and Lieutenant Colonel Azuli flatly said we don't know what we don't know. He said they are looking for these tunnels. They have no idea how many more there might be. It looks like a relatively small area, this whole area from Gaza going into Israel, if you drive around there as I did yesterday and saw what was going on. You see a lot of tanks, you see a lot of Israeli armored personnel carriers, a lot of Israeli troops. They are looking, they are looking on the ground to see if there's any opening, any indications that 40 or 45 or 50 feet below the surface there could be another tunnel. But they are going through it methodically. They have no idea how long it's going to take to find all the tunnels and then destroy all the tunnels, but that is a critically important issue for them right now. Maybe even more important, they say, than finding all the missiles and the rockets. They want to destroy those, but they first and foremost want to get those tunnels.

BOLDUAN: Of course then, Wolf, it gets to the question if they don't know how many tunnels they're going to be seeking out, they don't know how long this operation, or they can't say at least, how long this operation will continue and when there will be quiet. Wolf Blitzer on the ground in Jerusalem. Great reporting, Wolf. Thanks for taking us inside.

BLITZER: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Alright, talk to you in a little bit. Coming up next on NEW DAY, two Americans now infected with Ebola. This is the wife of another victim who died from the virus. She's speaking out. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to be joining us.


PEREIRA: Personal stories of love and loss run far and wide after the attack on MH-17. Among them, Angela and George Dyczynski. Their daughter Fatima was on the plane.


PEREIRA (voice-over): She was one of the 298 souls on board. I had the opportunity to speak with her parents, George and Angela. George and Angela Dyczynski needed to see it for themselves. The crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Their 25-year-old daughter Fatima was a passenger. Their grief and pain drove them to visit Eastern Ukraine where the plane went down.

PEREIRA (on camera): I know that you knew it was a dangerous thing to do, but I know you wanted to go to where this all happened. What led you there?

ANGELA DYCZYNSKI, MOTHER OF MH-17 VICTIM: We really, really promised our daughter that we will go there and that we tried to really fulfill our promises.

PEREIRA (voice-over): So, while heavy fighting from the regional ground war blocked investigators from collecting evidence on Monday, it did not deter the Dyczynskis from going at their own risk to the crash site this weekend to search for their only child. George, tell us about what you experienced.

PEREIRA (on camera): Did you feel you were in danger when you were there? Did you have any contact with the military or the rebels there on the ground?

GEORGE DYCZYNSKI, FATHER OF MH-17 VICTIM: We have been always protected. I believe it was divine guidance. We went there to really get together some fact. A. DYCZYNSKI: To gather evidence.

G. DYCZYNSKI: And to inspect -- to make inspection of this place and how it unfolded, and we got a lot of information.

PEREIRA: What did you learn?

G. DYCZYNSKI What we learned --

A. DYCZYNSKI: Oh, the most important thing to make no assumptions and to build no hypothesis without having complex evidence.

PERERIA (voice-over): The Dyczynskis, both scientists, want evidence that their daughter, an aerospace engineer, was killed in the crash. Without it they believe she could have possibly survived.

G. DYCZYNSKI: From a realistic point of view, we only believe that if somebody survived and Fatima survived, it was only possible in the first hour when the people of Donetsk Republic came to the crash site to check what they saw, what they got falling from the sky. That if there had been survivors, they maybe took them.

A. DYCZYNSKI: Fatima can only be pronounced dead when the DNA is matched with her body, so if anybody says at the moment she is dead or all the other people.

G. DYCZYNSKI: It's not correct.

A. DYCZYNSKI: It's not correct.

PEREIRA: And they vow to keep on searching, taking inspiration from their daughter who, according to "The Sydney Morning Herald" wrote these words on her Facebook page before boarding the flight, "For this earth, galaxy and beyond, always remember don't let gravity hold us back."


PEREIRA (on camera): They really wanted to share the story of their daughter, young woman, 25 years old. She was leaving Germany to re- establish routes, rather to move to Perth where her parents are based now.

BOLDUAN: Her big opportunity.

PEREIRA: They both also went to Holland because they wanted to see the memorial that was set up at Schiphol. They found it really moving and it was important for them to be around the other family members as well.

BOLDUAN: Still they are holding out hope.

PEREIRA: They are.


PEREIRA: They are, they say they just want evidence. They have not been -- they have not been told that her body has been found.

CUOMO: It's going to take some time. Even if they had recovered their daughter, it would take some time unless she's in an obvious state of identification. But this is also an important thing to do because if you can't get to that scene, you can get there, I mean, you know, obviously, they showed that they can get there, but to stay there and have sustained effort on their ground is very dangerous when there's shelling going on within kilometers.

PEREIRA: It still amazed us that they got there. They were heavily guarded while they were there.

CUOMO: The question is who is doing it and so many different groups involved. Its definitely dicey. There's no question. You shouldn't take that they got there as proof that everyone should be there, but it also goes to the urgency. Until they get on the ground and they start working that crime scene, the chance that they found all the victims is very small.


CUOMO: Very small.

We'll follow up on their stories and the efforts to get to the crash scene. That's just one of the stories that we're following. There's a lot of news this morning so let's get right to it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Explosions rocking Gaza City.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Israelis and Palestinians have a responsibility to stop the fighting now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we've seen repeatedly from Putin is he tries to say the right thing in public but unfortunately he's playing a double game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut out for the third straight day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are sick and tired of being interrupted by gun fights, despite the fact that we have agreed that there should be a cease-fire

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The search for suspected child molester and fugitive Charles Mozdir ends here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mozdir fired upon officers at very close range, and the officers returned fire.


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY. We want to welcome our viewers in the U.S. and around the world this morning. We're following breaking developments in two major stories.


CUOMO (voice-over):Israeli air strikes in Gaza intensifying, making for another deadly day.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): And in Ukraine investigators once again try and fail to reach the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Let's begin though with breaking news in the Middle East conflict. Wolf Blitzer is on the ground for us live in Jerusalem once again. Wolf?

BLITZER: Good morning, guys. A major, major spike in Israel's operations overnight. 70 sites in Gaza targeted by the Israeli military. The Gaza Ministry of Finance among them. Also the Hamas-run TV station, the command centers, weapons storage sites, some of them concealed in mosques, all targeted, that's what the Israelis are saying. All this comes a day after ten people, including eight children, were killed when shells at a refugee camp near a Gaza beach. Hamas was quick to blame Israel but the Israelis later released what it says, or what they say, was radar proof that the rockets were launched from inside Gaza, launched by Hamas.

The fresh exchange of fire has effectively silenced talk of a cease- fire. Right now Israel is now warning of a prolonged presence in Gaza. These operations, they say, will continue and their priority right now is to destroy Gaza tunnels, Hamas tunnels going from Gaza into Israel. This is priority number 1 for the Israelis right now.

We're joined by someone who is intimately familiar with the challenges working on a peace deal in the Middle East. We'll be joined by former Senator George Mitchell in a moment, he's the former U.S. Special Envoy for the Middle East. We'll have an extensive conversation with him, but lets go back to Chris in New York. Chris, I have to tell you, I've been here now for almost three weeks. There have been highs, there have been lows. Right now it looks, at least to me, it looks like this operation is going to continue. I know there's a lot of international pressure to get some sort of humanitarian cease-fire, maybe even for a day. I sense it's not likely to happen any time soon.

CUOMO: Was that the politics or the practicalities of what they are trying to achieve, Wolf? What do you think makes the difference on the ground?

BLITZER: I think the Israelis are determined right now despite talk of a cease-fire. They sense there's an opportunity to do significant damage to Hamas' military capabilities, destroying those tunnels, destroying the arsenal of rockets and missiles that have been coming into Israel about, 2, 500 over the past two and a half, nearly three weeks, and going after other infrastructure targets. They really, the sense I'm getting right now, Chris, is that the Israelis would like to effectively neutralize Hamas. Politically I don't think they can, although they can cause, and they already have caused Hamas and a lot of other people in Gaza a lot of damage. I suspect the Israelis are going to continue for the time being unless international pressure, including from the United States, escalates dramatically, and then they will step back. CUOMO: Well, the question becomes for all the pressure where does it

lead? You know, what is the peace at this point? That's what is not what's understood and that's why the operations are continuing. We know you have been there a long time, you've been there to make sure that we get it right. Thank you for doing it, Wolf. We'll check back in with you soon.

BLITZER: Thank you.

CUOMO: Let's go from wolf to Eastern Ukraine. That's where MH-17 investigators are facing yet another setback. Intense fighting forcing the team to once again abandon efforts to reach the crash site. Meanwhile, the Dutch prime minister is begging Ukraine's president to help end the violence and provide investigators with safe passage. Let's bring in Ivan Watson. He's live from Kiev, Ukraine this morning. Good morning, Ivan.

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. That's right.