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Peace Talks To Begin Amid Cease-Fire; U.S. General Killed in "Insider Attack"; Ebola Patients Being Treated in Atlanta

Aired August 6, 2014 - 06:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, August 6, 6:00 in the east. Here's the good news. The Israeli and the Palestinian factions are in Cairo this morning looking for what has alluded them for generations, compromise. The concern is whether this is as good as it gets as the two sides are very far apart on acceptable conditions for a permanent peace agreement.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: The process is off to a slow start though and face-to-face talks, they aren't even expected since Israel will not speak directly with Islamic Jihad. Two days remain in the cease- fire between the multiple sides, the two sides really, I guess.

For more on this let's get to Jake Tapper, who is live in Jerusalem on the ground for us with more. Jake, what are you seeing?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "THE LEAD": Good morning, Kate. The clock is ticking to the end of this 72-hour cease-fire, which is set for Friday morning local time. Now a report out of Lebanon says that Egyptian officials are suggesting an extension until Sunday morning to allow more time for talks.

There's still a question about whether or not the Israelis have even arrived in Cairo despite the fact that many in the media have reported that. Let's bring in Reza Sayah from Cairo where the negotiations are set to take place.

Reza, what are you hearing about whether or not the Israelis are there, and have any talks actually started yet?

TAPPER: The Israelis are here, Jake, but full-scale talks have not gotten under way. We just spoke to a Palestinian delegate who is part of the negotiating team in Cairo, and he tells us they have yet to make communications with Egyptian officials today.

He expects that to happen sometime within the next several hours. The Israeli team did arrive here last night and the cease-fire seems to be holding so the stage is set for these two sides to start negotiating.

We do have some information about the format of these talks. These are not going to be direct talks. In other words, this is not going to be an arrangement where you have Israelis and the Palestinians sitting across the table from one another. These are going to be indirect talks when in one location of Cairo you'll have the Israelis talking to the Egyptians and then in another location in Cairo, you're going to have the Palestinians talking to the Egyptians and Egypt is going to be the messenger, the go-between.

Obviously anxious hours ahead. The cease-fire is to last until Friday morning 8:00 a.m. local time so technically, Jake, they have a couple of days to make something happen. If not, one of the options is extending this cease-fire -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Reza, thank you so much. Joining me now here in Jerusalem is Mark Regev, the chief spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr. Regev, thanks for being here.


TAPPER: First of all, the Israeli delegation, whenever they arrive in Cairo, are they empowered to discuss anything in terms of a long-term truce?

REGEV: We've accepted the Egyptian proposal. We've accepted it three weeks ago, which was for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, unconditionally and then all the issues could be raised by the parties through the Egyptians.

We've accepted that process from our point of view the cease-fire can be ongoing. The ball is in Hamas' court. If Hamas wants to restart hostilities so of course, then we'll be back to square one and Israel will respond.

TAPPER: You have no problem with what Reza just reported in terms of the Egyptians wanting to extend this until Sunday or even beyond. Israel says extend it as long as you want. We want peace.

REGEV: Our goal in this operation was peace and security for our citizens and an end to rocket fire on Israel and into those terror tunnels bringing death squads into Israel. If that can be achieved diplomatically, all for the good.

TAPPER: There is a poll out today in "Haaretz" newspaper suggesting that despite claims that the operations was a full-throated success in terms of delivering a crushing blow to Hamas and destroying the tunnels the Israeli public is not entirely sold on that.

They think it was something more of a tie and they think that the objectives were only partially achieved. What's your response?

REGEV: Well, the jury is still out. Will Hamas, in fact, abide by the cease-fire? I think all of us can be a bit skeptical. Hamas has proven over the last three weeks when they violated a whole series of cease-fire proposals put on the table by the United Nations, by the Red Cross and others.

And so skepticism is in order. What did Ronald Reagan said, trust but verify. I think when we talk about Hamas distrust, verify and then verify again.

TAPPER: Even before the conditions in Gaza were difficult is Israel prepared to essentially lift a blockade on Gaza so the citizens there can rebuild their lives and have some sort of hope so that many of them do not seek the leadership of Hamas?

REGEV: I think today the situation in Gaza is very difficult. To say the word is understatement. Of course, we're willing to discuss easing restrictions. The restrictions were only put in place because of the violence. How can a government in Gaza come to Israel and say we want normal relations, trade and open borders?

And at the same time shoot rockets at the people or send terrorists across the frontier to murder our people. It can't be done. If Gaza wants a more normal relationship with Israel, Gaza has to cease its hostilities towards Israel.

TAPPER: Former President Jimmy Carter has an op-ed in which he says that the west needs to recognize Hamas as a legitimate player. What would Hamas need to do for Israel to sit directly across the table from them as right now you are unwilling to do?

I understand you and the United States consider, and many other countries consider Hamas to be a terrorist group. What do they need to do to change that?

REGEV: There are U.N. benchmarks put on the table I think ten years ago by the then Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He says Hamas has to recognize Israel's right to exist, which is something they refuse to do. Their platform says Israel should be eliminated. They have to accept the right that Israel should exist. How can you be a partner in peace when one side has to be destroyed, Israel?

Second, Kofi Annan, the U.N. secretary general, they have to renounce terrorism. As long as they said every Israeli civilian is a target, as long as they say we'll conduct these terror operations building tunnels and so forth to send death squads into Israel, as long as that's their behavior that's a problem as well.

TAPPER: I want to get some information about there's been an announcement from the Israeli government and from the Israeli Security Services that there was an arrest in the kidnapping of the three boys that in a small way was the precipitating factor for this entire horror. Who was arrested and what has he said in terms of his relationship to Hamas, if any?

REGEV: First of all, he is a senior member of Hamas and the police are talking about this. Apparently he was trying to illicitly cross the border in Jordan. but we got him in time.

TAPPER: About a month ago.

REGEV: His arrest will hope lead to the further arrest and we'll get to the bottom of the murder of the three teenagers.

TAPPER: And there is information that he said Hamas had something to do with kidnappings.

REGEV: He himself is Hamas.

TAPPER: All right, Mark Regev, thank you so much. Back to you in New York.

BOLDUAN: All right, Jake, thanks so much. We'll get back to you in Jerusalem in just a few minutes. Thanks for that update.

CUOMO: A lot of news this morning so let's get right to Mich.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. CNN is projecting that Kansas Senator Pat Roberts has beaten Milton Wolf in a GOP primary. He's a distant cousin and had Tea Party scored and the Republican establishment scored another primary win in Michigan. Lawyer Dave Trott beating Congressman Bentivolio. Bentivolio was the Tea Party backed incumbent.

Developing overnight, the United Flight from Newark to Brussels in an emergency landing in Nova Scotia, Canada, after a small fire on board. A spokeswoman for airline says the crew put out the fire in the gallie oven before the plane landed. The 239 passengers and all 14 crew are all doing fine. A new plane was flown to Halifax so they can complete their trip now to Belgium.

Some of the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boca Haram earlier this year may have been spotted. The "Wall Street Journal" reports that on two separate occasions, U.S. surveillance flights over Northern Nigeria spotted large groups of girls gathered together in a remote field.

Now it's raising hope that some of them are the abducted girls. Officials say the surveillance suggests at least some of them are getting special treatment and are likely being used as bargaining chips for release of Boca Haram prisoners. We'll keep on that story for you.

Got to show you this heart-pounding rescue caught on camera. Watching that flash flooding out near Las Vegas. Cars are swept away which flash floods. Take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out! Get out! Hurry!


PEREIRA: Shocking to see it's Las Vegas, the desert. An elderly woman was stuck in her Prius. Can you see the other groups rushing towards her? She's pulled to safety just as they got her out. One of the guys had to be rescued himself from the fast moving muddy water. Fortunately, it's kind miraculous no one was injured in this situation. Thank goodness those people were there.

BOLDUAN: Look at how fast that muddy water is running.

PEREIRA: Indra has told us time and time again it doesn't take much water to move that quickly.

BOLDUAN: Is that in road or side of the road?

PEREIRA: In between the lanes.

BOLDUAN: It's not just water.

CUOMO: All sorts of debris so it has more density and power and that's why it's able to push the car back and why it can hurt you.

PEREIRA: Even if it's just water, it can carry. Moves fast.

BOLDUAN: They thought fast.

CUOMO: Once again people stepping up in the face of danger to help somebody else.

BOLDUAN: Let's take a break. Coming up on NEW DAY, an Army general gunned down in Afghanistan raising new concerns obviously about the safety of American forces as the U.S. mission winds down there. We're going to go live to the Pentagon for new details.

CUOMO: Plus a second American is back in the U.S. being treated for Ebola. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the latest on her progress. The other American who is being treated, and whether there are any other cases here.


BOLDUAN: The U.S. Army mourning the death of two-star General Harold Green this morning. He is the highest ranking service member to die in a war zone since Vietnam. He was gunned town in an apparent insider attack when an Afghan soldier opened fire in a military training facility in Kabul.

The afghan military and international forces, they are now investigating. CNN's Barbara Starr has more breaking details on this. Barbara, you have a family grieving the loss of their father and their husband, their son. But you also have the Pentagon trying to figure out how this happened. You've got new details.


As with all deaths in the war zone, it is now the subject of an investigation, whether it is the most junior soldier or senior general. The Pentagon takes a look at all the deaths in the war zone, but what we now know from an official with direct knowledge of the incident. The group came under attack from a shooter -- they were outside and they came under attack from a shooter standing inside a nearby building.


STARR (voice-over): U.S. Army Major General Harold Greene was killed and several others wounded, some seriously, when the gunman opened fire at Marshal Fahim National Defense University, a training facility in Kabul.

The shooter dressed in an Afghan military uniform used a Russian-made machine gun. He was shot and killed by others on site.

DAVE SWANKIN, GENERAL'S NEIGHBOR: It's bad enough to be shot, even in the battlefield, but the way that happened, somebody pulled a gun that was supposed to be on his side. Just terrible.

STARR: The general was the highest ranking U.S. officer killed at the hands of an enemy in a war zone since Vietnam. He was the deputy for all U.S. training programs in Afghanistan.

LT. COL. JUANITA CHANG, GREENE FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: He really believed in what he was doing over there, and was really proud to serve.

STARR: Pentagon officials say they believe the shooter was an Afghan soldier who had been with his unit for some time and had been rigorously reviewed to make sure he was not a Taliban sympathizer. By all accounts, he passed the seven-step review process. The Pentagon well aware that the so-called insider threat, death at hands of Afghan troops, is almost impossible to stop.

REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: The insider threat is a pernicious threat and it's difficult to always ascertain, to come to grips with the scope of it, anywhere you are, particularly in place like Afghanistan.

STARR: After peaking in 2012, coalition deaths from such attacks dipped last year in part due to new security measures and reviews, but the risks remain.


STARR: And the general's remains will be on their way back to Dover leaving Kabul later today, we are told -- Kate.

CUOMO: All right, Barbara, I'll take it. Thank you very much.

Let's bring in Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona to discuss this. Now, he actually survived a similar insider attack while serving in Iraq. We'll get to that.

But, Colonel, it's always a pleasure.

Context is important. You heard what Barbara was reporting there. People will say we can't stay in Afghanistan. Look, they can't be trusted.

These types of attacks called "green on blue" have been happening less and less. But why do they happen?

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, when you're dealing in a country that's this fractured, has this many tribal loyalties, different ethnicities, there's always going to be rivalries and competition among groups and that spills over. And now, we're a foreign power in there, us and the other NATO forces, and -- and can be seen as occupiers, as invaders, and, you know, the Afghans have this long-standing history of resisting anyone from the outside.

So, who knows what was going through this young man's mind when he decided to do this. He may have had a family problem, another issue or we don't know yet. He may have actually been recruited by the Taliban.

CUOMO: The investigation matters because those are two very different scenarios. The one is whatever cultural sympathies overwhelmed him, it happened over time and that's why he passed the vetting, or this showed the Taliban's ability to get someone this deep inside, and if it is that second scenario, it's much more troubling.

FRANCONA: Yes, that's a much bigger security issue that we have and I'm sure the counterintelligence and counterterrorism people will be looking at that. Although the Taliban has not taken credit for this, and normally they would. So, we'll have to see where this goes. They may not yet but in the future might.

This is a good scenario for them. They know where there's going to be a gathering of senior officers. That's a good target. That's something that they would go after and finding a recruit inside of the Afghan military is the gold standard because he's already been vetted and he can get on to the base.

CUOMO: What do you make of this suggestion that the shooter was 100 yards away? Does it make it seem less likely that he was targeting a high-ranking officer or do you think it's just --

FRANCONA: I don't think this plays into that yet. We'll see as the investigation comes out because, you know, these guys would come in a motorcade, there would be many of them and they would have security, and maybe 100 yards is as close as he could get, or maybe he was waiting in a hide to see where he could get them. He may have scoped out where they were going to be. So, we'll have to see how this plays out and the army criminal investigation division will do a pretty thorough review of this.

CUOMO: Your response to the pushback that this is proof we should not be there. If you're going to get out, get out. You're just setting your fighting men and women to be picked off by these people.

FRANCONA: That's a consideration. You know, as we true down the force, the potential for this to happen increases because we're -- where we're going out with the Afghans, half Americans, half Afghans, that ratio is going to change. There are going to be less Americans with more Afghans. So if there's a problem with an individual or in a particular unit, the potential for this increases, but that's the mission we've been given. So, that's what the troops will do.

CUOMO: Whether that's the right mission or wrong mission, that's a discussion of a different day. Now, you lived through something like this, involved a bomb -- big bomb, put a 30-foot hole in the ground. You survived because you got lucky really. You hit behind a wall that was able to sustain the blast. FRANCONA: By no -- just luck on my part, I happened to be in the one

sandbag building in the compound when this explosion went off and had I not been in that room, we wouldn't be talking.

CUOMO: And, look, for your family, you know, I'm sure you find a way to deal with it, but for your family, it's so frightening and it affects -- it has to affect, no matter how mature you are, it has to affect the morale and the trust you have for working with people around you. What does this do?

FRANCONA: It's the trust issue that's really important here, because right after that happened, I noticed -- you tell yourself, OK, empirically, this is statistically not important. But as you go about your business, you're looking at other people there in that same unit with us, because it was one of the guys that was with us that turned, and you would proceed the next couple of days always looking and, you know, checking your back and you don't want to get too that syndrome, but you almost think if the guy is not an American, I'm not going to trust him.

CUOMO: You have so many barriers already. So, few us -- you know, you know, you happen to speak the language, but so few of us speak the language, the local language there, and, you know, the cultural obstacles and the difficulty of the mission and on top of it, when there's a real risk to your own life makes the mission very, very hard.

FRANCONA: Yes. And as one of the commentators said, you understand when you're fighting the enemy and you take casualties, not that it's any less traumatic but you can understand it.

But when it's someone that you've put your trust into, it really plays on your mind.

CUOMO: Well, I'll tell you, when I was reading this story about you, we think about the major general's family now, he was so dedicated to serve, traveling everywhere, just trying to help make things better and now, they have to deal with this.

FRANCONA: Yes, and this was a fine officer. He deserved better than this.

CUOMO: Colonel, thank God you made it. Thank you for helping us here.

We're going to take a break on NEW DAY, and when we come back the two Americans with Ebola are being treated here in the U.S. And is this the least of our worries?

We don't want to spread any panic. We don't want to be alarmist, but this disease is spreading in Africa, we know that. The U.N. is getting ready for an emergency meeting. How are they going to stop it?

We're going to get an update from Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Plus, 20,000 Russian troops piled up on the border with Ukraine. So

much for sanctions. Is Moscow preparing for a full-scale invasion? What can we do in this situation? We'll take you live to Donetsk.


BOLDUAN: Back on U.S. soil and on the road to recovery, hopefully.

Missionary Nancy Writebol infected with the Ebola virus is receiving treatment this morning at an Atlanta hospital. Writebol arrived Tuesday on a stretcher, you are seeing some video of it right here. She was unable to walk on her own into the vicinity. She's being treated though in the same isolation unit as her colleague, Dr. Kent Brantly.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is live outside Emory Hospital where she is being treated and also where Sanjay is on staff.

So, Sanjay, you've been following this so closely, getting updates kind how she has progressed in her travels from West Africa to Atlanta.

What's the latest on Nancy Writebol's condition that you're hearing?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, let me just say we saw her coming in on gurney and we remember Dr. Brantly actually walking in. I'll say that the fact that Dr. Brantly walked was probably more of a surprise than Ms. Writebol coming in on that gurney. She's a little bit older. She was obviously evacuated later, but doctors are pretty optimistic about her overall. It's been a rocky few days though for her, Kate. Take a look.


GUPTA (voice-over): This morning, Nancy Writebol is back in the United States, being treated at Emory Hospital in Atlanta. Just days ago in Liberia, Writebol and her family had to face a grim possibility, the end of her life.

Bruce Johnson quotes Nancy's husband David in a statement.

DR. BRUCE JOHNSON, PRESIDENT, SIM USA: A week ago he said we were thinking about possible funeral arrangements. Yet we kept our faith and now we have a real reason to be hopeful.

GUPTA: On Monday, days after receiving an experimental Ebola serum, Writebol, still weak but better, boarded a medical plane specially designed to transport high-risk patients.

It was the same plane that picked up an infected colleague, Dr. Kent Brantly just two days prior. It was just after 1:00 in the morning Monrovia time. Writebol ate some yogurt before boarding and reportedly stood up with some assistance. But her condition was still tenuous. As Writebol crossed the Atlantic, her family and Brantly's family prayed for her safe return. By 8:45 in morning Tuesday, after making a stop in Maine, the air ambulance carrying Writebol took off on its last leg.

About three hours later, her plane landed just outside Atlanta, and just before 1:00 p.m., Writebol was wheeled into Emory by workers in hazmat suits. This time, she did not stand but was home, closer to her family, cloaked in their hope and prayers.

JOHNSON: We still have a long ways to go, but we have reason for hope.


GUPTA: Now, Kate, part of that hope, again, may come in the form of this experimental therapy that we've been talking about. We know now that she got two doses when she was over in Liberia, it's usually a three-dose regimen and that third dose is now going to be given today. This is something that the Emory doctors here have been talking about with the NIH, with the FDA, to coordinate that.

And keep in mind, Kate, she would be the second person in the world to ever receive this. Her colleague, Dr. Brantly, being the first.

BOLDUAN: And, Sanjay, I wanted to ask you more about the experimental serum ZMapp. You broke the story on the details of this serum that they received. So, it's likely that they'll be receiving more. But as you have pointed out, one of the problems with this is in the only has it ever been given to humans before, but also, they are in short supply of this serum as well. Do they have enough?