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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Israeli Soldier Still Missing After Fire Fight; Millions of Dollars of Annual Financial Aid from Iran Have Largely Dried Up Since Syria Uprising; One of Two Americans Infected with Deadly Ebola Virus Set to Arrive in the U.S.; Seventy Dutch and Australian Officials Scouring Malayisan Airlines Crash Site; New York Medical Examiner Confirms Chokehold Death Homicide; Israel Concerned about Whereabouts of Hadar Goldin, IDF Soldier Missed in Action; Egypt's Negotiating for Peace in Israeli-Hamas Conflict; Interview with Liberian Businesswoman Leaving Liberia Due to Ebola Outbreak; Frontlines Come Close to Crash Site of MH-17; U.S. National Hurricane Center Watches Tropical Storm Bertha

Aired August 2, 2014 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST OF "NEW DAY" SATURDAY: Thank you for starting your morning with us.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CO-HOST "NEW DAY" SATURDAY: And, our "New Day" Special Coverage continues right now.

PAUL: OK. So, moving from sports to some other really serious news this morning, and we just want to say thank you so much for being with us. I am Christi Paul.

MARQUEZ: And, I am Miguel Marquez in for the hopefully vacationing Victor Blackwell. We would like to welcome our viewers in the U.S. and around the world. It is 6:00 in the morning. This is "New Day Saturday."

And, we will begin with the crisis in the Middle East and at the center of the turmoil this morning. An Israeli soldier is still missing after a fire fight that shattered the cease-fire intended to last through the weekend.

PAUL: Israel assumed Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was captured. They assumed this. Pres. Obama is blaming Hamas saying, if the militant group wants to resolve this conflict, Goldin must be, quote, "Unconditionally released as soon as possible."

MARQUEZ: But, Hamas denies it has him and it admits it lost contact with fighters in the area where he was reportedly taken.

PAUL: In the meantime, Pres. Obama calls a mounting casualties just are heartbreaking. Congress approves another $225 million for Israel's iron dome defense system, meanwhile.

MARQUEZ: And, now, Egypt's president saying today that his country has ever to allow assistance into Gaza and to launch new negotiations could be the best hope for quelling the violence. PAUL: The Israel has historically taken the capture of its soldiers very seriously, gone to extreme lengths to secure their return, as you would expect.

MARQUEZ: As any country would, I am sure. Martin Savidge is in Jerusalem for us. He is anchoring coverage in the crisis in the Middle East. Martin what is the latest on this missing soldier?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Miguel. Good morning, Christi. You know, it was just 24 hours ago we had such high hopes I certainly did, with the humanitarian cease-fire that it would hold and we would move forward. That did not happen. It is gone horribly wrong. And, now, as you point out, we have this Israeli soldier missing with a great deal of questions about his disappearance.

So, for that, I want to bring in now the spokesperson for -- no. OK. Then we will wait. I was going to toss to the IDF spokesperson, but we are working to get him on the line. The concern is, of course, how did this soldier disappear? And, like so much in this conflict, there are conflicting accounts about his disappearance.

The Israelis maintain that after the cease-fire went into play, about 90 minutes, there was an attack on one of its units that was working in southern Gaza demolishing the tunnels that we have all heard so much about. They say at that time that the militants launched a terror attack. They used a suicide bomber that in that process, two soldiers -- Israeli soldiers were killed and another one missing.

It was thought that perhaps he had been captured. The Hamas has denying all of this. They are saying that there was no Israeli soldier that they capture. They are not holding an Israeli soldier. The reason that you have all of this focus is because that would be a great violation of the cease-fire and it is, after all, what Israel has maintained, you can not trust Hamas.

So, that is why all of this has become full-on efforts by the idea of in southern Gaza to try to locate their missing young man. Meanwhile, Hamas says it was not them. There were over 200 strikes by the IDF on Gaza yesterday and the casualties of civilians is said to be over 1,600.

I understand now that we do have Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner. Thank you, sir, for joining us. Let me ask you. Where do things stand as far as trying to locate your missing soldier?

LT. COL. PETER LERNER, IDF SPOKESPERSON: Thank you, Martin. We have currently not changed our goals of this mission, and we are still primarily focused on the tunnel issues. Indeed, the abduction of Hadar Goldin is absolutely paramount and indeed we need to be emphasizing and that is what we are doing in order to try and locate his position. We have forces on the ground. We have extensive intelligence activities in order to try and get that lead that will bring us to find him.

SAVIDGE: And, how do you know if he is alive, and how would you know if he is actually being held by Hamas?

LT. COL. LERNER: Well, this is a modus operandi of Hamas. Basically, what they are doing and what they have done and what they striven, and publicly announced their intention to abduct Israeli. So, I would say, that is primary indication --

SAVIDGE: OK. I am sorry. I have lost the Lieutenant Colonel now. So, thank you very much for joining us at this point. I guess I will pass it back to Atlanta with Miguel and Christi.

PAUL: All righty. Hey! Martin, thank you so much. Sorry about that audio problem, but we certainly appreciate all of the information coming from you out of Jerusalem right now.

So, we are obviously going to keep up on that story, and we will be talking to several people throughout the morning who are involved in this conversation between Jerusalem and Hamas.

MARQUEZ: And, it is interesting. The timing of all of this, between Iraq -- between Hamas and Israel and the back and forth as to what actually happened. I was actually very interested to hear what Peter Lerner had to say.

PAUL: We will hear from him, again, a little bit later in the show. So, you know, with so many fast moving developments in the fight between Israel and Hamas, it is really easy to lose the big picture here. The fundamentals of who these players are, what are their goals. So, we have a look for you at Hamas.

MARQUEZ: It is CNN's Paula Hancocks. She takes a look at how the group is formed and what it is exactly that they want.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Propaganda video, recruiting tools. Call it what you will, but Hamas wants Israel and the world to see its military might. Created in 1987, its name means Islamic Resistance Movement, formed specifically to fight the Israeli occupation. But, within the lawless territory of Gaza, it became so much more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Hamas began to expand its social and economic reach to include social welfare programs, subsidies and a variety of other educational and cultural programs for Palestinians in Gaza. So, it played and still to this day has a political dimension, an administrative and social dimension and, of course a military one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANCOCKS (voice-over): April 1994, Hamas carries out its first suicide bombing in Israel. A car bomb attack in a Northern City of Afula kills eight. It is just the beginning. Hundreds more Israeli citizens will be killed by Hamas, mostly in suicide bombings. A deadly pattern that leads the U.S. and others to label Hamas a terrorist group.

A moment of legitimacy for Hamas. 2006, winning democratic Palestinian elections in a landslide victory. It is one of the first Islamist groups in the world to win political office.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: This is a new beginning for Palestinians.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: It is the decision of the people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANCOCKS: But the west refused to deal with a terrorist organization. Experts estimate Hamas has a fighting force of some 10,000. Short and medium-ranged rockets handmade within Gaza, longer range projectiles smuggled into the territory of the U.S. as from Iran.

Millions of dollars of annual financial aid from Iran have largely dried up since the uprising in Syria, Cata, now financially supports the group according to Israel. But, little filters through to the civilians of Gaza.

Through at this, Israel tightened its hold on the territory controlling what goes in, restricting who comes out. It is this blockade Hamas wants completely lifted. A wish shared by 4 million Palestinians and human rights groups, a wish Israel says it cannot grant as long as the group on the other side of the border refuses to recognize its right to exist. Paula Hancocks, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: Now, today one of two Americans infected with the deadly Ebola virus is set to arrive here in the U.S., and that patient will receive treatment at a hospital right here in Atlanta. We will see how that hospital is getting ready for it.

PAUL: Plus, the first big group of experts arrive at the crash site of Flight 17. The job ahead is a daunting one. We will give you the latest from that region.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARQUEZ: Now, the first of two Americans infected with the Ebola Virus is expected to arrive here in the U.S. today. It will be the first time ever a patient with Ebola will be treated in the states. Dr. Kent Brantly and worker Nancy Writebol contracted the disease while working with the Christian Humanitarian Group in West Africa.

PAUL: It is not clear who is coming back first. But, both patients are expected to be treated at Emory Hospital in Atlanta. I want to show you the plane that is going to be carrying them. There it is. We know that it is equipped with a high-pod -- hi-tech, I should say, isolation pod, which is designed, obviously, to handle infectious diseases, but they can only transport one at a time. MARQUEZ: Which is also kind of amazing, when you think how big those

planes are. All this as the world health organization says the virus is spreading faster than its efforts to contain it, but the head of the CDC says Americans should not fear an outbreak happening here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS FRIEDEN, U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION DIRECTOR: I know that it creates a fear in people, but I really hope that people's fear will not outweighs their compassion. We have got a real challenge in West Africa, and what we have to focus on is stopping the outbreak there. We will be able to stop it. But, it is going to take supporting people and that means that if people who are working on that response get sick, we care for them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: He got such a good point. A lot of people are very fearful it is coming here. We have seen that on Twitter and Facebook.

MARQUEZ: Yes.

PAUL: But they are using some experimental treatments if they can do something with the patients here. Perhaps, it might be able to help the folks there in Africa; but treating the victims, it is not easy. Ebola is so infectious that it typically kills up to 90 percent of the people who catch it.

MARQUEZ: And, the symptoms of the virus, which is contracted through the transmission of body fluids. They start off very simply with the headahes, fever, muscle aches, weakness and then moves into much, much worse things.

PAUL: Now, there are obvious benefits to bringing an Ebola victim out of that hot zone and to a state of the art hospital. But, man, there are a lot of questions this morning.

MARQUEZ: First, can the patient even survive the trip and second, can they be transported without endangering the lives of the very people trying to save them?

PAUL: Yes. CNN's Tom Foreman takes us on a virtual tour of the hi- tech medical transport plane that is bringing those victims back to the states. Good morning, Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christi. Hey, Miguel. If you are going to transport somebody with a highly infectious disease there are certain pieces of equipment and certain protocols, which can make it safe by introducing at least three levels of protection. Let's explain what we mean here.

Inside an airplane for this sort of transport, what they would typically do is build a room or a tent. It is a framework covered with impermeable plastic, so nothing can get in and nothing can get out. There is negative air pressure. Meaning the pressure is higher outside than it is inside. So, if there is a rip, things will flow in but nothing will flow out.

Ebola is not an airborne disease. So, it does not make much difference, but this is a basic protocol. Let's get rid off the plastic. That is the first layer of protection. Second layer of protection is for the people who will work in here. Any doctors or nurses will wear full head to toe protection, so they are not exposed to the virus. That is the second layer of protection.

And, the third layer of protection is on the patient, because the patient will be enclosed in another tent here. This is also impermeable plastic. They will be able to take his temperature. They will be able to monitor his heart, his respiration, all of that. But any treatment, even if he starts violently vomiting or bleeding, which can happen with Ebola, they have to reach in through a special gloves here and work on him and keep everything inside the containment area including all of those bodily fluids because that is what contains the virus.

And, as much as they may want to save one life, they must have of primary concern keeping that virus away from so many other people where it could do so much more damage. Christi, Miguel?

PAUL: Tom, thank you. And, we are watching for that plane to come in. We will let you know what develops this afternoon. We are staying on top of the story. Later this hour, we are asking a business owner living in Liberia. How the outbreak has impacted daily life for them there?

MARQUEZ: An amazing story. The largest crew yet has accessed the Flight 17 crash site, but between rebels possibly destroying the plane and bodies left to degrade in the sun. The victims, left to degrade in the sun, will there be enough of the scene left to provide any answers? We will find out, coming right up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Only two of the 298 souls aboard crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 have been identified. And, Dutch officials warned, this entire process could take months.

MARQUEZ: So, sad. But, the investigation into the shoot down will take much longer. Seventy Dutch and Australian officials are now scouring the only recently accessed site still identifying human remains and cataloguing plane debris.

PAUL: CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes joining us now. We have been talking about this site; but on a broader picture, when it comes to who is responsible here, you said last hour, Tom that we may have the information we need to determine what took the plane down already. That it was a missile.

If we cannot determine who was at the control panel to do so, does that mean that this crash goes not only unanswered in terms of some sort of consequence, but that, you know, Putin or this rebel group that everybody is just off the hook? TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That is exactly what it

means, Christi, as far as I am concerned. He will be off the hook, and I think what Putin is counting on is that, you know, a few short months ago, the world was outraged when he took over Crimea. You do not even hear about that anymore. They have already given it up. He has Crimea.

And, I think he is counting on that a few short months from now in the future, who will think about the plane, who will care about it anymore? And, when it starts to get cold in Europe in late autumn, the people there will be thinking about their energy requirements more so than the debris lying in the Ukraine field.

PAUL: Wow.

MARQUEZ: Tom, with all the fighting near that crash site, and it only seems to be heating up, how much time at the very minimum, do investigators need in that area to get what they need, to figure out not only where the remaining victims are, but what exactly happened on that plane, or the best idea of what happened on that plane?

FUENTES: Well, I think in a way they will not need a long time to figure out the plane, the problem that brought down the plane. They may already have enough debris to do that with. But, the other problem is that the recovery of all of the victims is going to mean lifting heavy items of the plane, heavy sections of it, off the ground.

And, that is going to require heavy equipment, cranes and trucks to do that, because there is probably human remains under that debris. Under the huge pieces that will not be recovered until they lift the pieces off the ground.

PAUL: You know that these families are watching saying, somebody has to be held accountable. The U.S. has already imposed three or four rounds of sanctions. Do you know, Tom, of any sanctions that would actually rattle Putin?

FUENTES: I cannot think of any that actually would, and I think the problem here that we need to keep in mind is that the more sanction, and the more -- the phrase I have heard, as we must make the Russian people pay for this, so they will put pressure on Putin. It does not work that way.

The more harm that comes to the people economically, the more they stand by their leader and the more they believe that what he says is true. It is us against them. It is Russia against the rest of the world. So, in a way, the sanctions in a certain sense kind of backfire in the long run, at least politically, for Putin in his own country.

MARQUEZ: And, quickly, Tom, because of the situation heating up around that between the rebels and the Ukrainian army, do you think that this investigation is just going to be a -- a footnote at this point, and will not ever truly be investigated properly? FUENTES: No, it will not be investigated properly because in order to

do that, you do not just need to look at the debris and figure out the cause of the aircraft failure to stay in the sky. You need to find out who caused it.

And, in order to do that, that takes thousands of interviews of the people involved in this and, you know, there is every reason to believe that whoever pushed that button or the small crew operating the missile launcher, are probably in Russia.

Russia will never allow access to Western investigators to go into their country and start interrogating people as to what happened. It is just not going to happen. And, even if it did, the U.S. has no extradition agreement with Russia. So, we could not get them back even if they were charged in the U.S. with committing the crime.

MARQUEZ: So, frustrating.

PAUL: Tom Fuentes, we are so grateful for your insight. Thank you for making time for us this morning.

MARQUEZ: Thanks.

FUENTES: Thank you.

MARQUEZ: Answers in the controversial death of a New York City man. We got medical examiner's findings that are validating what protesters have been saying for weeks.

PAUL: And, I cannot believe I have to say this to you, but another story of a child left alone inside a sweltering car. Authorities say a family member is involved in this fatality.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Take a nice, deep breath. It is Saturday morning. It is half past the hour. Hopefully, you have a little time to relax and rest. I am Christi Paul --

MARQUEZ: In with the good.

PAUL: Out with the bad.

MARQUEZ: And, I am Miguel Marquez. Here are the five things you need to know for your new day.

PAUL: Number 1, the first of two American Ebola patients is expected to land in the United States at some point today. The first patient we know will be treated at Atlanta's Emory Hospital, which has a specially structurally isolation unit designed to treat patients with serious infectious diseases. One of only four in the country. The second patient is also expected to be treated at Emory. No time frame has been given yet for that arrival.

MARQUEZ: And, number 2, a New York medical examiner has confirmed what two protesters have said for weeks, the chokehold death of a Queens man busted for selling loose cigarettes is a homicide. The examiner's office said the chokehold administered by a police officer along with chest compression and positioning on the ground led to the victim's death. No charges have been filed yet, but the investigation is ongoing.

PAUL: Number 3, an infant in Hurricane City, Utah died after being left alone inside a hot car. Police say it was an 11-month-old girl. She was in her car seat yesterday with the windows rolled up for what they are calling "A substantial period of time." The investigation is ongoing, but detectives say a family member was somehow involved here.

MARQUEZ: Shocking. Number 4, in China, 65 people are dead after an explosion at an automotive factory earlier this morning. China State News Agency reports 150 people were also hurt. Investigators say flames may have ignited dust inside a wheel hub facility there. The factory supplies parts to U.S. automakers of General Motors.

PAUL: And number five, President Obama says the U.S. "Crossed a Line" when it tortured al Qaeda detainees after the 9/11 terror attacks. A Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA's controversial interrogation program is going to be released soon and the report says the CIA's treatment of terrorism suspect's amounts to torture. CIA officials have denied that allegation.

MARQUEZ: Back now to the crisis in the Middle East, and an Israeli soldier still missing after a firefight that destroyed a planned 72- hour ceasefire. Israel claims Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was captured by Hamas.

PAUL: Martin Savidge is in Jerusalem anchoring our coverage of the crisis in the Middle East there. Martin what have you learned this morning?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christi. Well, you know, of course, there's a great deal of concern inside of Israel for the whereabouts of this missing soldier, and I want to go back again to Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner who's joining us from Tel Aviv, he's with Israel's Defense Forces and this soldier is listed as MIA. In other words, missing not clear if captured. What is it that Israel believes happened to this young man?

LT. COLONEL PETER LERNER, ISRAEL'S DEFENSE FORCES: Well, in the midst of the cease-fire, Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was indeed abducted, and because basically what happened was terrorists came out with a suicide belt, carried out the suicide attack, with him a number of armed terrorists that shot at the forces and in the immediate aftermath, Hadar was missing. So, we know he went down into the tunnel. They took him back down into a tunnel and this is the reality that we're facing today. I would like to point out that we - our main mission, which is to deal with these tunnels - Yeah, sorry.

SAVIDGE: But I was just going to say, Hamas is maintaining that they do not have this soldier as a captive, and I'm wondering, why would they say that if it was not true?

LERNER: I don't know. Perhaps you should ask them why are they saying this, but we know that this is exactly the modus operandi. They've tried to do it at least five or six times during the course of this mission to try and abduct a soldier or soldier body parts. This is something they've been doing throughout the course of this operation. What it does go to show, though, our mission against these tunnels exemplifies specifically our concern. The easy access, the easy infiltration of Israel's borders via these tunnels, which gives these terrorists a springboard into our communities. This is why we are operating. This is what we are doing. You know, I was speaking to some soldiers just a few days ago, and they were clearly voicing their determination to deal with this problem. They understand the importance of the mission and they feel the support of the public in Israel.

SAVIDGE: And it was said prior to all of this that it appeared that Israel had pretty much discovered most of the tunnels and was affectively destroying many of them. Where does that stand, and does this incident change the thinking of how many tunnels there may be?

LERNER: Well, we're not 100 percent certain of how many, but indeed we have progressed, and exposed over 30 of these tunnels. Destroyed most of them. And just last night we detonated four more tunnels, and it is an extremely complex mission that we are continuing to do. You know, this is a -- a situation, which we need to be trying, be as positive as possible, that we have actually dealt with most of these tunnels, with most of this threat, so that they cannot use it in order to infiltrate Israel. Of course, there is no 100 percent, but we need to have a 100 percent effort.

SAVIDGE: Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, thank you very much for joining us this morning, and it is true that the tunnels here have really dominated, at least from the Israeli mindset, what this mission is all about. It was really only 24 hours ago that we hopeful there was going to be a humanitarian cease-fire. It actually had begun before all of this happened. And Egypt was key in all of this, because that was the next step where this process was going to go, where Palestinian representatives, Israeli representatives and Egyptian leaders would sit down to try to hammer out a long term ceasefire. Reza Sayah is there and I understand, Reza, the president of Egypt was talking about this process today. Does it look like it can still go forward?

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're optimistic behind the scenes but as this point, Martin, no indication that any talks are going to happen among the warring factions here in Cairo. A short time ago, Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi wrapped up a joint news conference with a visiting Italian prime minister. We were eager to see if Mr. Sisi would mention the U.N. proposed ceasefire that was supposed to be in effect today, but obviously fell apart yesterday. Many were surprised that he did not make reference to that specific U.N. proposed ceasefire. Instead he went back to Egypt's proposed ceasefire that was offered back in July 14th, you'll recall Hamas rejected it right after complaining that they were not consulted when it comes to that ceasefire. Hamas also complaining that Egypt did not include Hamas' demands in the ceasefire and only included Israel's.

Even so, today in the news conference President Sisi insisted that it's - Egypt's proposed ceasefire that gives the best chance to ending the bloodshed. It's not clear, Martin, why he didn't make reference to the U.N. -proposed cease-fire and went back to the Egypt proposed ceasefire that no one is talking about.

But again, behind the scenes talking to the foreign ministry and the spokesperson of the president, they say that they're still making an effort to get the warring factions to come to Cairo. Some Palestinian officials are reportedly coming, but Israeli leaders, no word that they have plans to come, and obviously, the fighting continuing with the Israeli soldier kidnapped, those are huge factors that are complicating matters as well.

SAVIDGE: Yeah, they're really driving circumstances forward. Reza Sayah in Cairo, thank you very much for that update. And we should point out as Reza just said, the conflict continues to grind on amidst all of the searching to find the missing soldier. Israel says it carried out 200 strikes against targets in Gaza within the last 24 hours. The death toll in Gaza is now over 1,600. Let's go back to Miguel and Christi in Atlanta.

MARQUEZ: All right, Martin, thank you to you and to Reza, and it's only getting bigger there. Isn't it? It doesn't seem to be going in the right direction.

International teams are spending a second day at the massive Flight 17 crash site. How much progress are they making, and could fighting between Ukrainians and separatists force them to leave yet again?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VANIA KING (SINGING)

Right now singing is just a love of my - for now I'll keep it that way.

(SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Singing has always provided Vania with the release. She, too, is the world on the tennis ...

KING (SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Admits her enthusiasm can get the better of her.

KING: Sometimes I have long days, and I get back to the hotel late. There are a few times where I started singing and then just suddenly got caught up in it and then were singing for like an hour and then I get a phone call -- front desk, and usually they're - usually, a bit perplexed. You know, they are like, somebody's been -- worried that there's somebody singing?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: Well, right now doctors in Atlanta's Emory hospital are preparing for the arrival of two Ebola-infected Americans. That disease is spreading so rapidly in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea that people are really on edge.

MARQUEZ: It is very frightening. The World Health Organization says seven hundred people have been killed, and more than 1,300 infected in recent weeks. Archel Bernard lives and works in Monrovia, Liberia. She owns a business there, but her company is closed due to the outbreak. How are you? Thank you for being with us. Can you just give us a sense of what life is like on the ground there right now?

ARCHEL BERNARD: Right now, life is so tense, it's kind of boring, actually, because the only thing that we can think to talk about is Ebola, how to prevent it, will there be a cure and when we can get back to the normal way of living our lives.

PAUL: So, Archel, was it your decision to close your business or was it mandated by the government?

BERNARD: It was my decision to close Mangorax (ph) just for a few days. Just to see how things played out. But now that I'm headed to America, actually, I think we're going to close until we can see that we get a handle on this situation.

MARQUEZ: And what are they telling you? What's the best advice can they give you? To close businesses, or do they want people just to remain aware and not go to areas where there might be infected individuals?

BERNARD: Well, the main piece of advice that we're giving is just to be careful. Take the necessary precautions. Any businesses that you go to now they have hand-washing stations set outside. Our business, outside, we have signs and posters for everybody to read about how not to get Ebola. So we definitely want to live as normal a life as possible, but we definitely have to take the measures to make sure that we're not spreading the disease.

PAUL: Archel, you mentioned that you're coming to America. Are you just trying to get out of the area for a while, and what is your intent?

BERNARD: Well, my main concern with being in Liberia at this time is that if anything else were to happen to me I would not be able to go to the hospitals for treatment. I don't believe that I will get Ebola. The numbers are very low, if you think about how many -- we're a country of 4 million people and we have about 300, 350 cases. So I don't believe I'll get Ebola, but in the event that I have a car accident or something else happens, I don't want to go to the hospital, because that is where I would potentially get infected.

MARQUEZ: Quickly, do you know anyone who's been infected and what are the precautions that the airlines will take before you travel to the U.S.? I know that there are precautions in effect for Europe, for example. BERNARD: Yes. I don't know anybody who has had - who has gotten

Ebola. I do know somebody who fell into a coma for something unrelated and was not able to receive the proper treatment in Liberia. The airlines are taking all the necessary precautions and we're not able to fly to Ghana, we're not able to fly to Nigeria from Liberia anymore. So, when we get to the airports they check us for fevers and any other Ebola related symptoms. And so, we're not able to board planes if we have Ebola related symptoms just because we don't want to spread the disease.

PAUL: Sure. Archel, are you traveling with anybody to America or do you see

BERNARD: Myself and other people who are concerned about the same thing.

PAUL: OK, so you're all -- and where -- where is everybody going when they travel? Are they ...

BERNARD: I'm going - I'm coming to Atlanta. Europe. Wherever. Wherever they can get a flight to.

PAUL: Wow. And -- tell me, so if somebody comes -- I mean, these two victims of this are coming to the U.S. now, what is it like there? You say that it's crazy and concerning, but if you come down with a cough or a cold, does everybody kind of go into hyperactive mode and quarantine that person?

BERNARD: Well, you take note of the signs, because a lot of these symptoms present themselves like malaria, Iike typhoid and now we're not just assuming that we have malaria or typhoid. We're assuming that it could be Ebola as well. So, it's not like a mass hysteria, like a zombie apocalypse, but we are just trying to be safe. --

PAUL: You know, Archel, a lot of people would not be able to afford to just close down their shops as you've been able to do. Can you help us understand how this has affected people economically where you are?

BERNARD: Absolutely. I can't necessarily afford to close down my shop, but I can't afford to be open and nobody is shopping either. So, it's just part of the precautions. A lot of businesses have been open. And like I said earlier, there are hand-washing stations everywhere. We're trying not to spread the disease. And so, we are just taking the steps, people are just putting the steps in place in order to not spread Ebola unnecessarily.

PAUL: Well, Archel Bernard, we thank you so much for bringing us a sense of what it's like there. Good luck with your travels, and thanks for taking the time ...

BERNARD: Thank you.

PAUL: ... to talk with us today.

MARQUEZ: Wow. BERNARD: Thank you. Thank you. PAUL: Sure. Take a good care.

BERNARD: An extraordinary situation there in.

A window of relative calm at the MH-17 crash site, but it may not last long. Will international monitors make progress on the investigation before fighting between Ukraine and Russian separatists force them to leave yet again?

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PAUL: Well, international investigators we know are back at the Flight 17 crash site in eastern Ukraine trying to recover the victims there and evidence while they can, but we do know heavy fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels made the site too dangerous earlier in the week, so the teams couldn't really even get started until yesterday. And who knows how long the window of relative calm could last. Here's CNN's Nick Paton Walsh.

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NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The skyline near MH-17's crash site didn't bode well for inspectors trying to work there en masse. The front lines changing so fast here. We drove into something extraordinary. The Ukrainian army just two miles from the wreckage. They'd been saying they're advancing towards the crash site for days, buts that is the first visual confirmation that the Ukrainian military is now two miles away from that crash site.

And then, ground rockets in their wake, the fighting consistent as we neared the crash site where so many souls have found so little dignity. But under the shade of the trees, gathered in a moment of respectful silence was a site so many had waited two weeks for. The full complement of Dutch and Australian inspectors finally here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are on a very special place, and in a very special time on this field of remembrance. A lot of grief is attached to this place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are expecting to have search dogs come to the same (INAUDIBLE) in the near future. Other technologies like UAVs and other things we will use to try to maximize our time and task.

WALSH: artillery, though, the backdrop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Into the padding, so if you step in to the padding, you'll be stepping into the areas that we're trying to work. So, let's (INAUDIBLE). We ask you not to do that. Guys, you'll get plenty of - authorize.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you hear the shelling?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Of course.

WALSH: The work slow, grim, detailed. With cameras, gloves and buckets. That vital.

The relatives of the 298 people who died on MH-17 waited over two weeks for this moment, for this work to begin in earnest. But one key question remains. How consistent, how thorough can they be here with the noise of artillery still on the horizon?

80 bodies could still lie out around here at the mercy of the elements, even fire. These pictures showing one piece of plane wreckage in a field scorched by fire just on Thursday. We don't know what caused it. Vital work has begun in these fields, but no answer it yields can undo the small and final indignities inflicted here.

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PAUL: All righty. We have Nick Paton Walsh on the phone with us now. Nick, can you give us an indication of what things are like there at this hour?

WALSH: We understand from a tweet from the OSCE military mission that's been arranging the access or for Dutch and Australian police that they've returned again to the site today. 70 experts and eight members of that monitoring team accompanied, it seems, by two sniffer dogs. They are there to try and assist in I have to say it, that sad task of finding more human remains that are still there. We know that on the first day, two days ago, when a small recon team reached the site, they were able to take 25 samples of DNA. We saw yesterday how the sad, tragic task of combing through that area and collecting what they can continued. There are refrigerated vans accompanying that group. That's the most urgent task, getting what remains of those victims from the field. Personal belongings, too, being taken away, and then the more broad and frankly, very complex task of the wreckage. What to do with it. What to document from it, or to leave it in place or return and trying piece the plane - together somewhere else to work out exactly, definitively what caused it to fall out of the sky.

Obviously everybody saying this was a missile that hit MH-17 at 10,000 kilometers, 10,000 meters height, but today also, the front line is changing, too. The feeling we got yesterday was that the Ukrainian military were increasingly close to that crash site. That seems to be the case. You saw there we actually saw them. The inspection team has relocated to the Ukrainian side of the line but I think the balance of probabilities are that they will eventually be work on entirely Ukrainian territory fairly soon. And that, increasingly under pressure, it's key access roads now, separatist militants are moving back towards the center from them. The word we heard this morning, gunfire, quite close to the center of the area. It's deeply tense inside that city. And I think many are wondering quite what comes in the days ahead. Christi?

MARQUEZ: All right. Nick Paton Walsh for us there. Thank you very much, on top of it as always. We'll be right back.

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JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi, welcome back to "NEW DAY". I'm meteorologist Jennifer Gray. We are watching Tropical Storm Bertha and we do have intense thunderstorms and very strong winds right around Puerto Rico. Winds right now, 50 miles per hour with gusts up to 65 moving to the west-northwest at 22 miles per hour. So moving quickly. Right now we do have tropical storm watches and warnings up all across Puerto Rico, portions of the Dominican Republic including the Turks, the Caicos and also portions of the Bahamas. Now, this storm is going to continue to push to the north and west. Of course, some of the forecast models have it producing anywhere from three to five inches of rain across Puerto Rico. One to three inches of rain in the Dominican Republic. This is an area that is drought-stricken. So this rain is definitely needed. Of course, too much rain could cause some flooding. So that will be a major concern, but the rain is needed. Forecast models have it staying away from the U.S. National Hurricane Center agrees, this is the forecast track. The official track from the hurricane center keeps it away from the U.S. Of course, we could see high surf and rip currents, guys, on the East Coast. So, that's something we'll be watching in the coming days across the East Coast of the U.S.

MARQUEZ: All right. Jennifer, thank you very much.

PAUL: Thanks, Jen. And thank you for starting your morning with us.

MARQUEZ: The next hour of your "NEW DAY" starts now.