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Peace Talks to Begin Amid Cease-Fire; U.S. General Killed in Afghanistan; Ebola Patients Being Treated in Atlanta

Aired August 6, 2014 - 08:00   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: New details on how the shooter got so close, and also new questions now about the readiness of the Afghan army.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Massive hack. Russian hackers reportedly stolen more than a billion user names and passwords from popular Web sites. Companies now are trying to plug their security holes. What does it mean for your information?

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


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

BOLDUAN: Good morning and welcome once again to NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, August 6th, 8:00 in the East.

And a list of demands await negotiators as Israel and Palestinian factions try to find some common ground when they begin to meet in Cairo. Talks for a long-term truce are expected to begin today with a cease-fire set to expire Friday morning. Of course, they say they're going to need to extend that.

Discussions have yet to begin. Egypt will act as the mediator, since Israel will not speak directly with the Islamic jihadist committed to Israel's destruction.

CUOMO: Part of the complicating factor there, there is no direct talk mechanism going on. Now, there's word the State Department will get involved as well.

So, let's get right to Jake Tapper. He's in Jerusalem for more on that.

Good morning, Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "THE LEAD": Good morning, Chris. Good morning, Kate.

We're just learning that the U.S. State Department has sent a small team to the Cairo negotiations. It's led by acting special envoy Frank Lowenstein. A source tells me the group will be there strictly in a, quote, "supportive advisory and monitoring capacity." They are not there to mediate or get involved directly in the talks. Lowenstein and his team I'm told are scheduled to arrive in Cairo, Egypt, this evening. They have not yet arrived.

Let's go to Cairo right now. I want to bring in Reza Sayah from that city.

Reza, are there any signs that these negotiations are actually going to begin before the cease-fire ends?

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At this point, we know the two delegations are here, but the talks are not under way at this hour.

We spoke to a Palestinian delegate who was part of the Palestinian negotiating team here in Cairo. This team arrived on Saturday over the weekend, and he tells us that today they have yet to talk to the Egyptian government, that it expects to talk to Egyptian government officials sometime this afternoon. We understand from two Egyptian government sources that the Israeli delegation arrived last night.

Now, once these two sides get together, according to Egyptian sources, it's not going to be direct talks. This is not going to be a situation where you have Israelis and Palestinians sitting across the table from one another. The Egyptian and government sources tell us these are indirect talks, one location in Cairo, you're going to have the Israelis and Egyptians talking.

On another location in Cairo, you have the Palestinians and Egyptians talking and Egypt will be the go-between, the messenger shuttling back and forth between these two groups. Obviously, on the table a lot of issues, first and foremost this cease-fire, putting an end to this particular conflict, but, Jake, as you know, much of the world wants more. They want a lasting truce, and that's going to be on the table seemingly when these two sides sit down and talk.

TAPPER: Reza Sayah in Cairo, Egypt -- thank you so much.

Now, earlier today, I had the chance to speak with Israel's chief spokesman, Mark Regev. Here is a quick clip from that conversation.


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

MARK REGEV, ISRAELI CHIEF SPOKESMAN: We've accepted the Egyptian proposal. We accepted it three weeks ago, which was for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, unconditionally and all the issues can 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 re-start hostilities, so, of course, then, we'll be back to square one and Israel will respond.

TAPPER: Is Israel prepared to take steps to lift what is essentially a blockade on Gaza so that 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 obviously very difficult. I think to say before the war, it's horrific (ph), is an overstatement. But Israel is willing, of course -- in the framework of peace and quiet, of course, we're willing to discuss easing the restrictions.

TAPPER: What would Hamas need to do for Israel to sit directly across the table from them as right now you are unwilling to do?

REGEV: Well, there are U.N. benchmarks that were put on the table I think ten years ago by the then Secretary General Kofi Annan. He said Hamas has to recognize Israel's right to exist, which is something they refused to do. I mean, their platform says Israel should be obliterated.


TAPPER: But the Likud platform says that there should not be a two- state solution.

REGEV: But the prime minister has publicly endorsed that.

TAPPER: Uh-huh.

REGEV: So, they have to accept Israel has a right to exist. How can you be a partner in peace if you say one of the sides has to be destroyed, Israel?

TAPPER: I want to get some information about, there's been an announcement from the Israeli government, from the Israeli security services, that there was an arrest in the kidnapping of the three boys that in their small ways 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, because he's currently under custody. Apparently, he was trying to illicitly cross the border into Jordan but we got him in time.

TAPPER: About a month ago.

REGEV: His arrest will hopefully lead to further arrests, we'll get to the bottom line of the murder of the three teenagers.

TAPPER: And there's information that he says that Hamas had something to do with the kidnappings?

REGEV: He himself is Hamas.


TAPPER: That's our interview with Mark Regev, the spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel.

Back to you, Kate and Chris, in New York.

BOLDUAN: All right. Jake, thanks so much. We'll get back to you as well in Jerusalem.

Let's turn now, though, to the death of the U.S. Army General. It is a tragic reminder of the danger that exists even as U.S. winds down its mission in Afghanistan. Two-star General Harold Greene was gunned down in an apparent insider attack when an Afghan soldier opened fire on allied troops at a military training facility in Kabul. Greene is the highest ranking service member killed in a war since Vietnam.

CNN's Barbara Starr is live at the Pentagon with more details on this tragic loss -- Barbara.


What we know now is that General Green and several others were standing outside at this military facility in Kabul when the gunman opened up from inside at 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 body of Major General Harold Greene is expected back at Dover Air Force Base in Dover later today -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: The grieving process is only beginning for his family and for the military.

Barbara, thank you very much for those details. We'll get back to you soon.

Let's get over to Michaela with much more headlines we're looking at this morning.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, busy day on the news today. Why don't we start with this?

CNN is projecting that Kansas Senator Pat Roberts has beaten Milton Wolf in the state's GOP primary. Wolf is a distant cousin of President Obama. He enjoyed Tea Party support. Republicans need to win six seats in the midterm elections to gain control of the Senate.

Closing arguments expected today in the trial of Theodore Wafer for the fatal shooting of Renisha McBride on his porch. Wafer was cross- examined by prosecutors on Tuesday.

Now, during the questioning, Wafer said he shot before he knew whether it was a man or a woman at his door. He said he just, quote, "reacted" to seeing someone on his porch after being woken up by pounding on his door.

This is quite a story -- a woman described as a serial stowaway has been arrested after flying to Los Angeles without a ticket. Police say that Marilyn Hartman was able to get past security at San Jose International Airport -- remember that for a second -- and was able to board a Southwest flight to LAX.

Here is the deal: Hartman has been arrested six times this year for trying to board flights without a ticket, and this is the second stowaway incident at San Jose International Airport this year. You'll recall that in April we brought you this story, a 15-year-old boy flew to Hawaii by climbing into a departing jet's wheel well. He survived, which is quite a miracle.

Overnight -- you know how much I love this stuff? The Rosetta space probe finally caught up to the comet it's been chasing for more than a decade. Kind of sounds like a love story. Major milestone, it is the first spacecraft in history to rendezvous with a comet.

Rosetta's work only has just begun, though. The European Space Agency says the probe will spend another two years just merely observing the comet as it orbits the sun and it all goes according to plan, in November, they'll try to drop a landing craft onto the surface of the comet, whose name is known as Chury or Comet 67P.

Chury is kind of cuter. It's kind of a love story in a way when we think about it. It's been kind of chilling, chasing.

BOLDUAN: You know why that though? Why do you want to land on a comet?

PEREIRA: They want to learn, they're studying comets. They want to understand more about obviously the galaxy and specifically about this comet. But why --

BOLDUAN: Why not?

PEREIRA: Why not?

What I find fascinating is that this, this Rosetta had to hibernate for two years to reserve power, and then woke up in January and went on this mission. I think it's so cool.

CUOMO: I love how you're humanizing the comet and the --

PEREIRA: It's a relationship. Think about it, it's a metaphor.

CUOMO: -- the probe. You made one a boy, you made one a girl.

PEREIRA: Either way, it doesn't matter.

BOLDUAN: And their offspring will be Rosetta Stone.

CUOMO: That's right. Maybe that's what it's doing, trying to teach the comet Spanish.

PEREIRA: Exactly.


BOLDUAN: We took a whole direction.

PEREIRA: Yes, yes.

CUOMO: All right. Time for a break. Got to end on an up-note.

Two Americans are being treated for Ebola in Atlanta. We're going to check in with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He's on site at the hospital. He has the latest on their progress.

BOLDUAN: And it's being called the biggest security breach in cyber crime history. More than 1 billion users, user names and passwords, stolen. How do you know if your information has been compromised?


PEREIRA: Good to have you back with us here on NEW DAY.

Nancy Writebol, the second American infected with the Ebola virus, she's now receiving treatment this morning at an Atlanta hospital. Unable to walk on her own, she was wheeled in to Emory University Hospital by workers wearing these biohazard suits that look a bit like space suits. She's being treated in the same isolation ward as her colleague, Dr.

Kent Brantley.

I want turn to Dr. Sanjay Gupta live this morning from Emory University Hospital, where we should also mention he is on staff.

You know, it's been a very busy time for you and all of the staff there at Emory. Obviously, when you have the two key patients coming, you want to be on standby and you've been doing a great job for us.

What is her condition? What can you tell us about Nancy Writebol this morning?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, you know, when you watch that video, let me just say, Michaela, I think in some ways it was more surprising that Dr. Brantley was able to walk in as opposed to Ms. Writebol being wheeled in on a gurney. That's sort of what expected for both sides.

You know, she's a little bit older. She obviously got evacuated out of there a little bit late sore that could have played a role. Doctors say they're optimistic. They say she was settling in yesterday, trying to assess her condition in terms of her heart, her lung, her kidneys and liver. It has been a rocky several days.

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: And, Michaela, I should point out we first reported about this experimental serum, this experimental medication Monday morning. We now know -- that was the two doses she received in Liberia. We now know she's going to get that third dose here at Emory University. The doctors here have been talking to representatives from the NIH and the FDA to make that happen.

So, it would be the third and final dose for her we believe today, Michaela.

PEREIRA: I want to talk to you more about the serum in a second. But, first, you know, we've received word that Nigeria has now confirmed seven confirmed cases of Ebola in their nation, and they are quick to say, look, we didn't pounce on this fast enough, Sierra Leone struggling with getting their hands around this. They're asking for international aid.

What are you hearing from the sources you have, Sanjay, about the relief effort going on now?

GUPTA: Well, let me paint a little bit of a picture with regard to Nigeria. We know several days ago, a gentleman, Patrick Sawyer, flew from Liberia to Nigeria. We know that he -- now we know he had been exposed to Ebola while in Liberia. He'd been caring for a family member who subsequently died of Ebola.

When he arrived in Nigeria, he collapsed in the airport terminal, was subsequently taken to the hospital and he died there. We know that there were six, he plus six other people had Ebola in Nigeria. All of the other people who have been now confirmed to have Ebola were people who had primary contact with Mr. Sawyer. They're all health care workers. They're all people who were caring for him.

Now, keep in mind, Michaela, these are health care workers. But when he arrived in Nigeria and collapsed they didn't know he had Ebola. That wasn't the initial assumption, so they weren't wearing protective gear to protect themselves and that could explain this.

We also know one of the nurses that was caring for him has also died so there's two people who have died in Nigeria of Ebola.

PEREIRA: And that's a stark contrast to finding you at Emory Hospital, they are well protected, isolation units. The professionals there are protecting themselves. But I want you to highlight a little bit about the steps that are being taken to make sure the medical professionals there at Emory University are not getting sick or putting themselves in harms way, but then also are potentially transmitting this on. GUPTA: Yes, and, you know, again, they know who the patients are.

They have confirmed Ebola, so whenever they interact with these patients, they do take a pretty extraordinary precautions. They wear these so-called space suits, these Tyvek suits that you've seen. The goal is to cover every square inch of your skin so no bodily fluids from an infected patient, in this case, Dr. Brantly or Nancy Writebol, can get on their skin. That's the goal.

They use a buddy system, so people examine each other to make sure the suits are on properly, no skin is exposed. They check their temperature twice a day. That could be one of the earliest signs of exposure and infection. When you have a new case that suddenly appears in a country, a new patient, like Mr. Sawyer, the health care teams are taking care of him, they didn't know what he had.


GUPTA: There are so many things that are more likely to cause this, malaria, for example would be a common cause, typhoid fever. But when they realized he had Ebola, by that point, several health care workers in Nigeria had been exposed.

PEREIRA: Right. And that's such an important point to look at.

Also, I want to come back to the serum, you talked about Nancy Writebol is going to get this third dosage. You talked to us about -- on our air, about the difficulty in manufacturing that serum to begin with and the fact that it isn't widely available and that also it very specifically used. You have to have it in certain conditions to use it.

GUPTA: Yes. No, I mean, it's not widely available and when we talked about this Monday, we were reporting at that point that these were the first two humans in the world to receive this.

So, this wasn't -- it's a highly unusual situation, Michaela. Typically, you prove something is safe through a trial, you prove something is effective, and then you make it more widely available.

This has sort of changed the equation but it's all balanced by this fact which people realize that there are no other really good options. There are no medicines out there. There is no vaccine and the mortality rate is very high.

So, could anything be tried? This may be a difficult medicine to make widely available because it is stored frozen. It has to be you thawed out over eight to 10 hours, administered through an I.V. These are challenges anywhere but especially in remote areas where they may not have some of the capabilities to administer a medicine like this.

Could you make this medicine in a fashion more easily administered? Perhaps. I think that's what scientists are looking at now. Can you make enough and make it more easy to deliver? That's the challenge, that's the goal.

PEREIRA: And I'd argue that's where their efforts need to go, because there are a lot of people in harm's way and a lot of people that need that help immediately in West Africa.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, busy day for you, thank you so much for your expertise. We appreciate it, as always.

Take a short break here on NEW DAY.

Ahead, more than 1 billion passwords stolen by Russian hackers. Is your personal information among them? We're going to tell you what you can do to protect yourself.

Also, we're going to take a closer look at a world at war. Iraq, Ukraine, Gaza, Africa, all conflict zones. Why is this happening and what can be done to stop it?


BOLDUAN: It's being called the biggest security breach in cyber crime history. A gang of Russian cyber criminals has stolen 1.2 billion user names and passwords, unbelievable.

The security company that discovered the breach says the hackers raided more than 420,000 websites to steal this information. We got to talk about this.

Poppy Harlow and CNN technology analyst Brett Larson are here to discuss.

First, Poppy, how?

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How? And they flew under the radar for a long time.

This is a group of Russians who you know who discovered this, a security company, a cyber security company in Milwaukee and they'd been tracking them for a while, sort of monitoring their discussions. They found that this happened. They've been doing it because they were able to infiltrate some accounts and use an algorithm online and it automated itself, and they were able to do more and more and once they breached that initial wall.

Look, what's interesting and you find this interesting, they weren't digging into people's bank accounts and getting their financial data, and stealing their credit card numbers. They were using their e-mail addresses and some of their passwords and PINs and user names to send spam e-mails to sell things like weight loss pills.

BOLDUAN: That's what's confusing me the most. Why? Why do --

BRETT LARSON, CNN TECHNOLOGY ANALYST: It's so stupid. But don't ask me.

BOLDUAN: Be stupid, please, cyber criminals, but why is that a first step do you think, Brett?

HARLOW: It helped them fly under the radar, preparing for something bigger is the theory. LARSON: It helps them get that botnet to continue to grow, the zombie

computers. You stall this, unknowingly install this malware on your computer, that then is running in the background, and then your computer is part of this attack without you knowing. So, that's part of the reason why they do it.

Also the spams that you get, the Nigerian prince who has $1 million that he needs to get to your -- people still fall for that. There's still a very successful way of making money.

BOLDUAN: It still is lucrative. Have they fixed the problem?

HARLOW: No, in part. The answer is not fully. What is interesting to me not only have Fortune 500 companies been hacked. This firm has not released the clients, but small companies, too.


BOLDUAN: This is my problem with this whole thing. We know this is a big problem. My problem is the victims don't really know yet that they've been hacked.

LARSON: Right.

HARLOW: A lot of them don't and that is a huge problem.