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Gaza Under Siege; New Sanctions for Russia

Aired July 30, 2014 - 05:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news this morning, Gaza on fire. Israel hitting the streets with bombs escalating its attacks as Hamas refuses a cease-fire. This as a new poll reveals a peace may not be what the people of Israel want, not now. Live team coverage on the ground in Gaza and Israel, ahead.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Russia paying the price this morning. World leaders slapping the country with new sanctions for supporting separatists in Ukraine. The cost could be billions. This as fighting between pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine keeps investigators from reaching the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Victims there still left unclaimed in that field.

Live team coverage ahead.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Thirty minutes past the hour right now. We want to welcome all of our viewers here in the United States and around the world. A lot of news this morning.

Israel stepping up its efforts to bring Hamas to its knees. Breaking overnight another U.N. school shelled. Killing 19 people, wounding more than 120 others. This is after the United Nations has just confirmed a stockpile of missiles have been found in another one of its schools.

They've -- this ramped-up airstrikes also leaving Gaza's only power plant in flames. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians now without electricity and this morning, there is also this video showing five Israeli soldiers being shot by Hamas gunmen who infiltrated the border and videotaped this deadly attack. They used helmet cams to do this.

Israeli officials insisting that the only way to end this conflict now is to ramp up the onslaught.


RON PROSOR, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: We're dealing in essence not with a country. We're dealing with a terror organization that doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist and basically has a clear goal, and that is the eradication of the state of Israel.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: John Vause joins us now live from Gaza this morning.

John, give us the latest from the ground there.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, yes, Israel now investigating yet another incident at a U.N. school. The IDF saying right now it's just not clear exactly what happened. The U.N., though, U.N. officials here in Gaza say they have a pretty good idea. They say around 4:30 this morning, five Israeli tank shells hit that school in the Jabalya refugee camp. Many people were just getting out for morning prayers. Nineteen people killed, 126 others were in fact wounded.

And as we say Israel is still investigating but they're also investigating another incident here. The power plant, you say, it was hit. The Palestinian say it was hit by an Israeli artillery rounds. Israel saying it was not on that list of targets to be hit so all of these investigations continuing at the same time.

While the Israeli airstrikes continue, the artillery shells continue to be fired especially in these areas like the Shijaiyah neighborhood which was flattened about a week or so a week ago and Jabalya refugee camp. That Palestinian death toll continues to climb. And what we're seeing here is that this shattered Gaza infrastructure which was shaky and not very good at the best of times is now taking a pounding -- John.

BERMAN: John Vause for us inside of Gaza. Thanks so much for your reports.

ROMANS: All right. Despite dozens of Israelis death a new poll released in Jerusalem say 86 percent of the Israeli people don't want a ceasefire. 86 percent don't want a ceasefire until victory is achieved and Hamas surrenders.

It's triggering a backlash in Latin America this morning. Chile, Peru, Brazil and Ecuador all pulling their ambassadors out of Tel Aviv to protest the offensive in Gaza.

I want to bring in Sara Sidner live from southern Israel.

Sara, bring us up to speed on the move there.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, you were just mentioning the big support, and that support coming from Israeli Jews who were polled this past week. There were two polls, one showing 86.5 percent, the other showing 87 percent of Israeli Jews support this war effort and they do want to see Hamas crushed. They want this to stop, these rockets from coming over for good.

We do know there have been more than a dozen rockets that have been shot towards Israel. According to the Israel Defense Forces saying that many of those actually, about half, have actually fallen in Gaza today. And that is according to their information at this time.

We have also been hearing here on the Israeli/Gaza border, a lot of artillery fire, coming from Israel into Gaza. And also those sort of deep baritone sounds of Israel's pounding away, at trying to get rid of the tunnels. And that is one of the main objectives of this operation, is to try to and get rid of the tunnels. The people here in Israel very afraid of the city of tunnels that have been discovered under Gaza that come up in Israel. People afraid that one day those militants will come through those tunnels and up into their homes, up into their neighborhoods.

There is, you know, fear here with the sirens also going off. We heard those quite a bit last night. Had gone across Israel. Several of the areas very close to the border, hearing those sirens and having to take cover. But at this point in time, we're seeing plumes of smoke in Jabalya neighborhood in Gaza. From our vantage point, the fighting certainly nowhere near the end -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Sara Sidner for us this morning in southern Israel.

Thanks, Sara.

BERMAN: I want to turn now to another world crisis, the bloodshed and violence in Ukraine. And the new round of serious sanctions being slapped on Russia. The European Union hitting Russia's banks among other things lilting their access to capital markets. United States quickly following suit announcing new sanctions targeting key sectors of Russia's economy.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a choice that Russia and President Putin in particular has made. There continues to be a better choice, the choice of de-escalation, the choice of joining the world in a diplomatic solution to this situation.


BERMAN: The question now, will these sanctions work and what will Vladimir Putin do about them?

I want to bring in Nic Robertson now live from Moscow.

Nic, what has been the Russian response so far?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest that we've just heard from the Agriculture Ministry here, the details just coming into us, John, is that they've said that they will ban fresh food imports coming across from Poland into Russia. They're not saying that this is directly linked to these new sanctions but the timing, of course, very interesting.

And Poland, of course, one of those 28 E.U. members that upped the sanctions on the military -- weapons building on the energy sector. The oil in particular and also on the financial sector here. But pretty much, I mean, the political message that we're hearing as well from here is this is essentially water off a duck's back, if you will. The deputy prime minister saying that the sanctions targeting the arms industry here just showed how worried the West is about the growing Russian navy.

The Moscow bank here, one of those as being targeted that will be impacted will it get financial loans from Europe. It has said, well, it won't be affected. However, the reality is that one of the banks targeted. Their VTB Bank has seen its shares drop by almost 2 percent when the markets opened this morning. They dropped a further 3 percent now.

So there is an impact. There is a reaction. But is it a reaction that's going to cause President Putin to change course? Really, that seems unlikely at the moment, since the fighting broke out east of Ukraine, this popularity has only grown at the moment -- John.

BERMAN: Interesting to note that whatever pressure, whatever pain this is causing it doesn't seem to be domestic political pain on Vladimir Putin just yet.

Nic Robertson in Moscow for us, thanks so much.

ROMANS: International investigators won't be reaching the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 anytime soon. There's heavy fighting in that area. The Ukrainian military trying to seize bag the region from pro-Russian separatists. Defense officials in Ukraine insisting investigators will be allowed back to the crash site only when the area is safe and back under Ukraine's control. Those dashing hopes of recovering the remains of more victims soon.

Ivan Watson tacking the latest throughout and is live from Kiev for us this morning.

So even more intense fighting in that region than we've seen in the past few weeks?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I was just monitoring a briefing by the spokesman for the Ukrainian military in which he was accusing rebels in around the separatist-held city of Donetsk of opening fire on a bus full of civilians trying to flee last night and killing a child there.

Accusations between the Ukrainian military and the pro-Russian separatists of the killing of civilians in this conflict are going back and forth daily. The United Nations saying that more than 1100 people have been killed since April as a result of this conflict in eastern Ukraine. Local government officials in and around the area of Donetsk saying at least 13 people killed in the last 24 hours.

So clearly that has been an obstacle to the more than 50 Dutch and Australian investigators who are now waiting for their fourth day to try to leave that same city of Donetsk, controlled by the separatists, to make their way, about an hour and a half drive to the sprawling debris field of Malaysian Air Flight 17.

The Dutch, the Australians, they have expressed frustration at the fact that they have not been able to get to that place to begin the process of recovering some of the dozens of bodies of victims believed to still be missing in the farms and fields around there. International monitors saying they're still trying to reach a chicken farm, for example, where they believe that debris rained down some 13 days ago.

And that they also believe some bodies, remains could still be there. But they're blocked by fierce fighting, the Ukrainian military trying to capture several key towns on the road to the debris field and also trying to capture the debris field itself. At which point, if that day comes they say that the road will be open

for the international investigators to try to reach that field. The Ukrainian military source telling CNN, Christine, that a cruise missile was fired on Monday against a strategic hilltop about 20 miles away, as the crow flies, from the debris field, again, on Monday, showing the escalation and the use of weapons that have been fired in this increasingly deadly conflict. Of course, Malaysian Air Flight 17, it's debris. Its victims in the middle of this brutal civil war -- Christine.

A brutal little civil war that has really caught the attention of the entire world. Nic -- Ivan Watson, thanks, Ivan for that.

All right. New fear this morning. The deadliest Ebola outbreak ever could leave Africa. Airlines cancelling flights. We learn just how close the deadly virus came to reaching U.S. soil. That's next.


BERMAN: The latest now on the Ebola crisis spreading across West Africa. ASKY, a major airline in this region has stopped flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone. This is amid growing fears about this virus spreading.

New figures put the death toll now at 672. Among those dead is Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan. He had been leading the charge to fight the outbreak until he contracted the virus himself. And he's the second doctor to succumb to Ebola in the last few days.

It does seemed the U.S. may have done something with Ebola here. We have learned that an American citizen who died of Ebola was on his way back to the United States. Patrick Sawyer had flown to Liberia to Nigeria where he was to attend a conference but he got sick before his scheduled flight back to America.


PAUL GARWOOD, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: He apparently arrived in Lagos, I understand, by plane. He left -- he departed on the plane initially with no symptoms. He reported being symptomatic on arrival. So I understand he was vomiting, and he then turned himself basically over -- he made it known that he wasn't feeling well.


BERMAN: Now there is no known cure for Ebola which is transmitted through bodily fluids.

ROMANS: Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Our friend Chris Cuomo joins us now.

Hi, Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: How are you, Christine?

ROMANS: Great.

CUOMO: Good to see you, John. Always a pleasure.

We're going to be following the latest on the deadly Mideast crisis, that breaking news overnight you've been hearing about this morning. A U.N. school in Gaza shelled, nearly 20 people killed. This as Israel continues to bombards dozens of Hamas targets. And the militants reject a ceasefire. So the question is the obvious one. Is there any end in sight to the conflict?

We have Wolf Blitzer live in Jerusalem as he has been from the beginning asking the right questions.

We're also going to cover the latest on the dangerous Ebola virus as John and Christine were just talking about. There are growing fears that it could reach the U.S. How do we stop that? What do we do if it happens? We're talking to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and he'll tell you everything that you need.

And we're going to be joined by the widow of an American man who died from the disease in Africa and was planning to board a flight to America just next month.

So obviously, guys, the fear is what happens if it gets here. Would we be able to deal with it?

John, as you just said, no known cure so how do we prepare.

ROMANS: Yes. And is Ebola just a plane ride away.

BERMAN: There's a lot of news going on this morning.

Chris, lucky we have you here on. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: All right. Water rescues in California as 10 million gallons of water shoot up from the ground. Flooding the streets for hours. Look at this. Cameras capturing it all. We'll show you when we get back.

BERMAN: You've got to see this.


ROMANS: This morning, crews are trying to repair the damage from a massive pipe rupture that flooded the campus of UCLA and the surrounding area. Look at these pictures. The break in the 90-year- old main sent a geyser shooting 30 feet in the air. Made a raging river out of Sunset Boulevard. Fire and police officials trying to stop people from playing in it.


JAMIE MOORE, LAPD PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER: This is extremely dangerous. And this is exactly what we're afraid of. We actually had some who was in the -- were in the water. They got swept off their feet and with the current that was pushing, they got trapped underneath their car. Our swift water rescue team pulled them out and rescued them.

So this isn't something we want to go and play and have a good time in the water. There's a lot of debris there. The ground has been undermined. It's very, very dangerous.


ROMANS: Millions, millions of gallons of water flooding UCLA's athletic facilities, its parking structures which took the brunt of that damage.

BERMAN: All right. Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords actively opposed the death penalty for Jared Loughner. That is the man who killed six people and shot Giffords in the head in Tucson back in January 2011.

In a new book Giffords revealed she lobbied prosecutors for consecutive life sentences in exchange for a guilty plea from Loughner. She says that being locked up for the rest of his life would be a worst punishment than execution.

ROMANS: Same-sex marriage is on hold in Colorado. The state's Supreme Court ordering a Boulder County clerk to issuing marriage license to gay couples while the justices consider an appeal from the attorney general. A federal judge struck down Colorado's ban on same- sex marriage but stayed his decision, pending a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

BERMAN: Mississippi's last standing abortion clinic will remain open. A federal appeals court ruling that a 2012 law that requires all abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital cannot be used at this point to shutter the only clinic in that state.

ROMANS: The NCAA has received a preliminary settlement in the class action suit over head injuries. A group of former college athletes suing the NCAA over concussions suffered while playing college sports. The settlement provided $75 million for medical testing and research and revamps safety measures in all college sports. The settlement contains no financial awards but does allow athletes to sue for damages individually.

All right. Twitter on fire. Why is that stock soaring before the Opening Bell? I'm going to tell you why, next.


ROMANS: All right. Let's get an EARLY START on your money this morning. European shares mixed right now. Remember, the U.S. and E.U. announced tougher sanctions against Russia. Futures, U.S. stocks futures are leaning higher. For the week, you know, stocks had barely budged in the early part of this week but news on second quarter economic growth could change that today.

CNN Money predicts the economy grew at a 3 percent annual pace in the second quarter. That would be a huge improvement from the first quarter. You see that red bar, that's a 2.9 percent contraction. That report, 8:30 Eastern Time, could be a big mover for stocks so watch it.

Another big mover to watch this morning. Twitter, the company still doesn't make any money but shares, that does matter. Shares are up 26 percent this morning in premarket trading. Twitter reported strong user growth last quarter especially in mobile. That's good news on what's otherwise been a tough year for Twitter shares. Shares down more than 40 percent this year, thanks to slow growth.

Now potentially a big win for low-wage workers. The National Labor Relations Board decided Tuesday that McDonald's is a joint employer with its franchise owners. McDonald's has always hidden behind his franchises claiming they operate as independent businesses.

Now McDonald's, the parent, can be held responsible for labor violations at those restaurants. That includes claims that employees have been disciplined for protesting low wages. McDonald's promised to fight that ruling.

BERMAN: I, of course, am hungry now.

Let me ask you one question about Twitter.


BERMAN: How long can a company go before they need to be profitable? When will investors start to run away when the company is not profitable? I mean, I know these tech companies can go for a long time. But when are people going to say, Twitter, you need to make money?

ROMANS: The key here for Twitter is mobile. Growth in mobile. Everyone thinks that profit is eventually going to come from mobile. And how that is changing, you know, how we view -- how we communicate and how we view data and communication. So as long as they're showing growth in mobile, that's going satisfy -- that's going satisfy investors all the time.

BERMAN: Keep their fingers crossed at point, there's money there.

All right. Thanks for watching us this morning. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, another school in Gaza hit. At least 19 reportedly killed. More than 100 injured. This as Israel hits more than 75 targets overnight. Another offer of ceasefire rejected.

Wolf Blitzer live in Jerusalem. ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Under pressure. The U.S. and Europe

slam Russia with the toughest sanctions since the Cold War. But there's still more fighting in Ukraine today. And investigators are again unable to reach the MH-17 crash site.

We have the latest.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Campus under water. Check out this video. A water main breaks near UCLA in Los Angeles, streets, buildings all flooded. The desperate effort to stop the water. Didn't happen fast enough.

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY, with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, July 30th, now 6:00 in the East. Kate is on assignment and we have Alisyn Camerota joining us.

CAMEROTA: Great to be with you guys.

PEREIRA: You came back.

CAMEROTA: I did, against all odds.

PEREIRA: You are brave.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I did.