Return to Transcripts main page
NEW DAY SATURDAY
Twenty Hostages Dead In Dhaka Cafe Attack; Officials: "Akhmed One-Arm" Likely Planned Attack; Turkish Media: 24 Arrested In Investigation; Lynch Regrets "Shadow" Cast On Investigation; Toxic Algae Prompts Florida State Of Emergency; Soft Targets on Alert Post Terror Attacks; Man Killed in Tesla Auto Pilot Crash; Mayor Tours Destroyed Town, Help Rebuilds. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired July 2, 2016 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[06:00:13] UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: We heard three really loud gunshots.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: People were saying there was an attack on the restaurant.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: This neighborhood is one of the most if not the most secure neighborhood in Dhaka.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: There was a huge bomb blast which we heard.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: It's a very posh neighborhood. Everyone is stunned that something like this could happen here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. So grateful for your company as always. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell.
Breaking news overnight, an hour's long standoff in the capital of Bangladesh ended just a short time ago. We're learning 20 hostages were killed, all of them foreigners. This started when gunmen seized the cafe popular with westerners in the diplomatic zone of Dhaka. The site of this siege just one mile from the U.S. Embassy.
PAUL: An Army official says at least 14 hostages were rescued after police stormed that restaurant just a few hours ago. Six attackers were killed in the operations and the siege. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
But some U.S. officials are casting doubt on that claim, one cafe worker who escaped the initial attacks said the gunmen tossed 10 or 12 grenades during the standoff and the entire building was shaking from the explosion.
I want to get straight to CNN international correspondent, Sumnima Udas. She's got the very latest for us. Sumnima, thank you for being here. What are you learning?
SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The latest we are getting is that really, 20 civilians were killed. All 20 were foreigners that were killed at the most part were shot. We don't know their nationalities at the moment. It's not been revealed to us by officials.
We do not know why they were killed, when they were killed, did it happened before the security personnel, the commandos entered the restaurant, did it happened after all of that, still a big question there.
But the prime minister of the country has said that 13 hostages have been rescued. Three of them are believed to be foreigners. Out of those three one is a Japanese, two Sri Lankans.
Now, the Japanese who has been rescued, he's been treated. He was injured but he's in a safe condition. He's believed to have been with seven other Japanese colleagues in that restaurant at the time. We do not know the fate of those other seven Japanese nationals -- Christi.
PAUL: Sumnima, we had heard reports, and I'm wondering if you could clarify for us if there is indeed one of these terrorists, I suppose you would call them, that was captured, that was not killed? Do we know if that is the case?
UDAS: That's what the prime minister said in the press conference. That one of the terrorists has been captured, six of them were killed. Now, that is -- that is hugely helpful, of course, for authorities in Bangladesh because that would give them some indication, of course, once they're able to question him, as to who's behind it, why they did it.
Of course, earlier on, when the police were trying to negotiate with them, we understand that the attackers had made no demands. So, we do not know still who is behind it. Of course, as you said, ISIS has claimed responsibility.
They claimed responsibility very early on, pretty much an hour after that attack began. That hostage situation began. But very soon after, quite a few analysts and security officials in the United States have questioned that because ISIS really doesn't voluntary much of a presence in Bangladesh.
In fact, the government has long denied that ISIS is present in Bangladesh and in fact, al Qaeda has more of a presence here. So, again, we do not know who's responsible. There have been a number of attacks in the past against individuals, bloggers, writers, intellectuals, and people from the minority groups.
A lot of time ISIS has claimed responsibility for that as well, but every time the government has denied that ISIS is actually present in Bangladesh.
PAUL: All right, Sumnima Udas, we appreciate it so much. Thank you. BLACKWELL: The siege lasted about 13 hours and police say the attackers entered the popular cafe armed with guns, explosives and this is their characterizations, a lot of sharp weapons. Our Andrew Stevens has more on what happened next.
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An unidentified man carried from the scene, teams of police and bomb disposal experts and ambulances lined up waiting for the worst.
[06:05:06]UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Warning shots were fired in the air so that initial three shots which I heard, and then I heard an explosion.
STEVENS: The sounds of terror rocking the streets of Dhaka. Gunmen targeting a cafe frequented by foreigners in an upscale diplomatic quarter, some inside were lucky enough to escape others were taken hostage.
SHAMA HUSSAIN, EYEWITNESS (via telephone): My cousin actually has four friends who are inside being held hostage right now. So it's very tense. We're very worried. You have to remember, this is also Ramadan so this is the time when people go out to eat, especially on a Friday night. So the restaurant would have been more crowded than usual, I would think.
STEVENS: The siege went on through the night, hour after hour, with no word what was happening inside the Holey Artisan Bakery and then this.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: It woke me up and within 5 minutes, I started hearing the gunfire.
STEVENS: A gun battle followed by an eerie silence. That silence broken not long after by explosions as security forces swept the restaurant. The military said troops rescued more than a dozen hostages shooting dead six gunmen and capturing at least one alive.
But then the shocking news that the military had also found 20 bodies in the restaurant all hacked or stabbed to death. ISIS claimed responsibility even before the siege had ended, but U.S. officials say there could be other players involved.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's happening in Bangladesh is disturbing because effectively it's become a battleground for the ISIS-affiliated group and the al Qaeda-affiliated group.
STEVENS: Terror has struck Dhaka in the past. Secular bloggers and minority religious leaders have been hacked to death by Islamic extremists. The government recently launched a nationwide crackdown, but authorities haven't placed anything like the scale of this terror on Bangladeshi soil before.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I think we've seen a rise in radicalism in this country. It's so close to home and no one really expects to see something like that takes place. STEVENS: Andrew Stevens, CNN.
BLACKWELL: Islamic extremists are targeting secular and minority groups as you heard there from Andrew's piece with alarming frequency and leaving behind this trail of bloodshed and protests.
PAUL: There's been at least 35 hacking attacks carried out in the country in just 14 months. This is according to the U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh. Of those, 23 attacks have been claimed by Islamic terror groups. Reports of hacking deaths go back to 2013, though, most targeting bloggers and those considered people who go against Islam.
BLACKWELL: And this morning, we're also following developments in that terror attack in Turkey. There are new details about the men who carried out a series of those suicide attacks at the Istanbul airport.
PAUL: Two of the bombers, two of the three have been named. We are learning more about the alleged mastermind now, a man named "Akhmed One-Arm." CNN senior international correspondent, Nima Elbagir, has more.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The men who orchestrated this horror and unleashed it on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport Tuesday may now be known. The two of the suicide bombers who carried out the plots are being named by Turkey's state news agency.
Citing an anonymous prosecution source, it Rakim Bulgarov and Vadim Osmanov carried out the attacks. As for the man who directed the operation, U.S. officials tell CNN Akhmed Chatayev, an ISIS lieutenant from Chechnya is likely behind the plot.
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE MCCAUL (R), TEXAS: He travelled to Syria on many occasions and then became one of the top lieutenants to the minister of war for ISIS operations.
ELBAGIR: Chatayev is notorious within terror networks, going by the nickname "Akhmed One-Arm."
JILL DOUGHERTY, KENNAN INSTITUTE ADVISORY BOARD: He's missing one arm. Used that, reportedly used that fact to argue when he went to Europe to get refugee status. He said, I have been tortured by the Russians. The U.S. placed him on the terrorist list just last year, but he's been around for a long time.
ELBAGIR: Investigators are digging in, trying to find out more about the men running through the terminals, ravishing weapons and detonating suicide bombs. Turkey's president condemning their actions and vowing to fight.
TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): Terror and terrorists do not have religion, do not have nations do not have a motherland. We are going to fight them with our soldiers, with our police and with our village guards.
ELBAGIR: Twenty four people including 15 foreigners have now been detained according to Turkish state media. Police are also asking local residents about the security image showing the three men believed to be suspects. Turkish authorities told us they believe the three attackers holed up for months in an apartment in Istanbul.
[06:10:05]The three men, they say, came directly from Raqqah. As the investigation unfolds, families are burying their loved ones. They knew ISIS all too well. His son joined the group as a medic last year. The family friend said he had been in Istanbul to help negotiate his son's rescue from a terror group only to have extremists to take his life instead. Nima Elbagir, CNN.
BLACKWELL: There's a big problem that's bubbling up along the Florida coast. What's causing a toxic green algae to bloom in the water? People say yes, it looks bad, it smells worse.
PAUL: Also, wicked weather out west, and this is rare, a tornado warning in a major city in the middle of the desert.
BLACKWELL: And Loretta Lynch doing damage control after her meeting with Bill Clinton, but did she make a mistake by talking to the former president while her department is deciding whether to indict his wife and what happens next?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I certainly wouldn't do it again because I think it has casted a shadow over what it will not, what it should not touch. That's why I think it's important to talk about how this matter will be resolved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYNCH: And I certainly wouldn't do it again. And, you know, because I think it has cast a shadow over what it should not, over what it will not touch. That's why as I said, I think it's important to talk about how this matter will be resolved and how the review and determinations and decisions will be made.
You know, I can say, as I have said, it's going to be handled by career people. And we can make an announcement as to what it is but unless people have some insight into that process, they're not going to be able to evaluate that.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: Attorney General Loretta Lynch offering regret over her airport meeting with former President Bill Clinton earlier this week saying she will accept the findings of the FBI and career prosecutors as they investigate Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server when she was secretary of state.
[06:15:12]But Donald Trump says he's not buying Lynch's explanation that the meeting was purely social.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To have a thing like that happen, it's so sad. As you know, Hillary is so guilty. I think that he really -- I think he really opened it up. He opened up a Pandora's box and it shows what's going on. And it shows what's happening with our laws, and with our government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Well, let's talk about it. We're joined by political editor for rightalert.com and Trump campaign surrogate, Scottie Nell Hughes along with former chair of the D.C. Democratic State Committee and Hillary Clinton supporter, A. Scott Bolden. We've got Scott and Scottie this morning. I'll try to annunciate.
So you know, who I'm asking the question. Good morning. Good morning. So Scott, let's start with you. The Clintons have a very long history with Loretta Lynch, dating back to when Bill Clinton appointed Lynch to the U.S. attorney position in 1999.
Considering now the shadow cast, to use the characterization by the attorney general yesterday, should she fully recuse herself from this investigation?
A. SCOTT BOLDEN, FORMER CHAIR, D.C. DEMOCRATIC STATE COMMITTEE: No, probably not, actually. You know, listen, Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch go back a long way. They were both thinking socially and not politically. They weren't thinking about perceptions.
And this happens all the time, at least in Washington. Lawyers and judges will communicate socially. It's not ex parte communication unless you're talking ex parte about the investigation.
Certainly didn't make the case or that wasn't the case here. Loretta Lynch has fully disclosed. Like any other investigation, she's going to listen to the FBI, listen to career prosecutors and the decision should be made.
I think this is more the makings of the media or Republicans who say, uh-huh, there's some conspiracy or sinister piece of this when in reality it was Bill Clinton being Bill Clinton. I think he regrets that, both do, but it happens especially in Washington.
BLACKWELL: All right, so Bill Clinton being Bill Clinton. Scottie, let me come to you, on Friday, Donald Trump tweeted about the meeting. He said this, "Does anybody really believe that meeting was just a coincidence?"
But we know and this is the reporting from "New York Times," that Bill Clinton has had similar tarmac meetings with Senator Orin Hatch, Speaker Ryan, Senator Cruz and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The optics are bad. I think everyone involved would admit that, but could this have not just been one of those meetings?
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CHIEF POLITICAL EDITOR FOR RIGHTALERTS.COM: It could have been and you're right. They've been a long, long term friend. However, I hate the point, the damage has already been done to the Clinton campaign. This is very bad.
Remember Harry Gates from '93, when Bill Clinton sat down on the tarmac for two hours, remember the big media attention. Bill had to have better sense to know not to sit there and go upon a plane with a woman who is investigating his wife and by conflict resolution, also investigating him because it involves the Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation.
But the damage has already been done to the Clinton campaign. This story could go away tomorrow, but people have confirmed a message that Mr. Trump has that you cannot trust the Clintons. You cannot trust Washington, D.C. Even if you do find wrongdoing, it's only going to be covered up by more wrongdoing.
BLACKWELL: So you say, I'll stay with you, Scottie. You say that the damage has been done. Senator Cornyn has called for a special council in this Clinton e-mail case. He called for it before the meeting and after the tarmac meeting.
Has the investigation been tainted? So far whatever the outcome, those who believe that Secretary Clinton should be indicted will point to this meeting?
HUGHES: Absolutely, Victor. And let's remember, the only reason we're talking about this is because one reporter defied the rules and actually came out and said, by the way, did you know Bill Clinton walked over and got on Loretta Lynch's plane.
This was something that we've been told, the FBI and others, told reporters, don't take pictures. Don't mention this. That's been widely reporter. The only reason we're mentioning this. This wasn't on any sort of agenda. Nobody knew this meeting was going to happen.
So it was not previously planned or previously announced. You're right, it's one of those, now, the damage has already been done and now we're all getting down to the nitty-gritty logistics of it. But people -- it's installed that factor of mistrust once again into the Clinton campaign.
BLACKWELL: Scott, go ahead.
BOLDEN: Yes, absolutely. You know, listen. I'm a former prosecutor. I've done these investigations. This is a nonstory. Whatever Mr. Trump is talking about or my colleague Scottie is talking about it's a hope and a prayer. It's pure conjecture. This investigation that has been going on for at least a year or two, there's nothing tainted about it because the husband of a presidential candidate, who is the subject of that investigation had a social conversation with the head of DOJ. What happens wrong with that? It happens all the time.
[06:20:02]Now, if you distrust Bill Clinton and you don't believe what the report said and including the attorney general, then maybe you don't want this to go away -- maybe you don't want a decision until after the general election.
But again, that's all conjecture. Career prosecutors and the FBI deal with facts. There's nothing wrong with this meeting other than the public perception. The media and Republican critics are making more of it than what is reality.
BLACKWELL: Final words to you, Scottie, in 20 seconds.
HUGHES: It's interesting that you actually pointed out waiting until after the election. Because 48 hours on Wednesday, the Department of Justice filed a motion to have all these e-mails not release for 27 months after the election and probably into the second year -- the timing once again just looks very conspicuous.
BOLDEN: Mrs. Clinton doesn't control that and neither does Bill Clinton.
BLACKWELL: Scott and Scottie, thank you both for being with us this morning. This will fall into the category of many things that have happened over this cycle. If you support Secretary Clinton you will see nothing here. If you do not support her, you will likely see everything here. That pile is getting higher and higher each day. Thank you both -- all right, Christi.
PAUL: All righty, this is a tough situation to have on the July 4th weekend if you're headed to the beach, particularly in Florida. A green slime blooming along parts of the Florida gulf coast. Can slime bloom? In this case, it can, Allison Chinchar breaking it down for us.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's right. We are taking a look because this is a very popular destination for tourists this time of year. But they're going to have to dealing with some closed beaches. We'll tell you why -- coming up.
PAUL: Well, toxic algae is blooming. That's what we're looking at there, and it isn't pretty, is it, when we talk about bloom? It's just blanketing several Florida beaches which makes it impossible for any 4th of July plans to go for if you want to get in the water. CNN drones flew over all of this to give us this view. It looks nasty and they say it's dangerous at the beaches right now.
BLACKWELL: And smells terrible. This famously pristine blue water, it's gone. Several counties along the state's treasured coast are under states of emergency.
[06:25:02]A nonprofit environmental group say the algae covered water is caused by improperly regulated pollution across the state. But Governor Rick Scott says it has more to do with limitations on water storage.
PAUL: CNN meteorologist, Allison Chinchar is joining us now. Strange phenomenon, no doubt about it, but do we have any indication how long it will stick around?
CHINCHAR: Honestly, guys, it would be the rest of the summer because there's a lot of factors that go into play here. Let's take a look at the area of concern. Notice, it's Southern Florida, I'm not talking about the panhandle of Florida.
So if you have vacation plans there, you should be OK for this week. We are talking about Martin County, St. Lucia County, Lee County and Palm Beach County. Where the "w" is in West Palm Beach, that's Lake Okeechobee.
You got the rivers and streams that blow outwards. That's why these are the counties that are having the big issue. This is a lot of times all the way up to the beaches where vacation there. The reason why, the breakdown of the algae blooms.
Take a look beneath me and this gives a breakdown. What you have is urban runoff, things from homes, businesses, and stuff like that. You as have the agricultural runoff, pesticides, fertilizers, things like that are also flowing down into this.
The sun above kind of heats all of that up and that is perfect fuel for a lot of these algaes to really kind of buildup in a lot of this area. Again, this is why we're having a lot of these issues.
The unfortunate part is even though they're starting to lower the amount of water that's being released out of Lake Okeechobee, it's a delayed effect so you'll continue to have these problems for maybe another week or even several more months before this finally can clear back up along a lot of the beaches.
Guys, unfortunately, that's not good news. Not just for the tourists, but also the people in the tourism communities that are relying on the money from the tourism.
BLACKWELL: Governor Scott described it, just to give you an idea of what it is, is guacamole thick. You can imagine that -- if you think about guacamole floating on the water. It's quite descriptive. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.
PAUL: And the thing is, you know, when you think about this, we know what it looks like and sounds like to the people who are there, but think about the sea life. It's one of the things that I was thinking about.
Take a close look here, if you would, please. This screen. That is a manatee in the water there, obviously just trying to get to some sort of fresh water if it's remotely possible. It does seem that he's struggling.
This is in a canal here. There he is, and the fresh water that he's getting is from a garden hose. The man who shot this said the water is very thick and it smells like something died.
So it's bad enough if you're outside of it, but there's going to be poor creatures who are swimming in it.
BLACKWELL: Yes, we'll talk more about this throughout the morning. Let's get back to the breaking news out of Bangladesh. The bodies of 20 people found inside a cafe in that country's capital. The victims of another terror attacks.
Plus, after the attack at this cafe and the attack at the airport in Istanbul, we're talking more about soft targets on alert. We'll take a look at the ramped up security across the U.S. this holiday weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What has been shown in Brussels and Istanbul is that even if you fortify a soft target, there will always be another soft target.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[06:32:01] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. We're so glad to have you with us. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell.
31 minutes after the hour now. Top story this Saturday. Terror in Bangladesh.
The stand-off at a cafe is now over, but with 20 people left dead. All of them foreigners. At least 13 hostages were rescued. And this happened, as you heard in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, just a mile from the U.S. Embassy.
Seven terrorists attacked the bakery in one of the city's upscale neighborhoods. They targeted -- they target, rather, on Friday, the holiest day of the week in Islam, at a time when Muslims would be breaking their fast to Ramadan. Six attackers were killed with one taken alive.
PAUL: A terrorism expert Sajjan Gohel joining us now from Tokyo.
So, John, as you are watching this whole thing unfold. We know that ISIS has claimed responsibility. But officials, especially here in the U.S. have some real skepticism about that. Do you have that same skepticism and why?
SAJJAN GOHEL, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY DIRECTOR, ASIA PACIFIC FOUNDATION: Well, Christi, it's interesting as to the potential culprits. Because al Qaeda, ISIS, they compete for recruitment, for resources, even the ability to orchestrate attacks.
And in Bangladesh, over the last year, they have been literally fighting hard with each other who can kill more in this very war, the game of terrorism.
Now both have a presence in Bangladesh, through the affiliates, their proxies that operate there. They've all carried out various attacks on a small scale. Whoever has done it this time has raised the scale substantially in terrorism. We'll have to wait and see. ISIS is claiming responsibility, but that could be opportunistic.
PAUL: Well, if al Qaeda -- if this is the work of al Qaeda, wouldn't al Qaeda want to claim responsibility? Or, would they allow ISIS to claim responsibility, thinking, OK, now the retaliation is on them?
GOHEL: That's a really important point that you raised. Ultimately, if an al Qaeda affiliate has carried out this attack and they feel that the lime light has been taken away by ISIS quickly trying to seize the narrative, then al Qaeda will come out very strongly to say that they were behind this.
It's interesting how ISIS claimed responsibility. They did it through their news agency, Amaq. That tends to be used for the spontaneous, inspired attacks that take place.
So, for example, the Orlando nightclub shootings or the incident in France where the French police chief was killed. Usually when ISIS directs an attack, they do it through their telegraph accounts to claim responsibility, not through Amaq.
PAUL: You just mentioned Orlando. Just in the last three weeks, we've had Orlando, Istanbul and now this. Do these attacks inspire more attacks? Is this what we should be expecting in the next several weeks, months, years?
[06:35:03] GOHEL: All of these attacks have taken place during Ramadan. And if we look at ISIS in particular, the head of their external operations, Abu Mohammad al-Adnani call for his followers to carry out during Ramadan wherever they maybe. And in addition to Orlando, France, Bangladesh, also Turkey and Jordan and Yemen, we know that ISIS has been trying to thought as many terrorist attacks as it can, while at the same time, it loses territory in Syria and in Iraq.
So almost as an act of desperation, they try and call their way back by seizing the narrative.
And also, we should not forget al Qaeda, too. They have a strong presence in South Asia especially in places like Bangladesh.
PAUL: Sajjan Gohel, we so appreciate your expertise here. Thank you for sharing.
PAUL: And we're going to continue, of course, to bring you some new images that we're getting and the video from that hostage standoff in Dhaka.
Check out the latest on our Web site CNN.com.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Two dozen people are now in police custody as investigators try to learn more about the Istanbul attackers.
Turning to that attack now, a Russian terrorist has been identified as the man who directed the attacks. Ahmed Chatayev has been tied to Jihadist activities before, but officials are not sure where he is now.
44 people were killed. Another 230 injured. The attackers opened fire at the airport and then detonated suicide vests.
The attacks on the airport in Istanbul this week and Brussels, back in March, I should say, will be on people's minds as they pack up and catch their flights this weekend. But U.S. officials say security has improved the travel hubs this year.
This is the size of the security machine at our nation's busiest airport, Atlanta, 178 armed police officers. That's just at Hartsfield-Jackson. O'Hare in Chicago, same number of armed airport cops, and to that 260 unarmed airport police, their presence there huge.
And here's L.A.X., more than 570 armed officers assigned to that airport.
Now the secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson at a Senate hearing this week said security is beefed up all over the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Since Brussels, we have enhanced security at airports around the nation. Since the Brussels attack in March, our TSA Viper teams have been more visible at airports and at transit centers, generally.
The American public should expect to see this July 4th weekend, an enhanced security presence at airports, train stations and other transit centers across the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And it's not just travel centers as well, where you're going to see more security. Other soft targets like amusement parks, stadiums, they are all going to be encompassed in all of that as well.
BLACKWELL: Yes. And we're into the holiday weekend now.
Rene Marsh is taking a closer look at airport security following the recent terror attacks abroad.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The threat to so-called soft areas at airports make the long wait time seen across the country not only an inconvenience, but a security concern.
Following the Istanbul attacks, some U.S. airports have ramped up security at their perimeters.
In New York and New Jersey, officers are equipped with tactical weapons. In Miami in Atlanta, there is an increased police presence.
In the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for airport checkpoints. CNN has learned the agency has discussed options to extend its security reach.
The idea is widening the security presence that could begin at the entrance or even the parking lot. But former DHS official, Juliette Kayyem, says that would not be effective.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER DHS OFFICIAL: Certainly you could extend the security ten miles away from an airport and guess what, the vulnerability will be at mile 10.1. And so you know, at some stage, we just have to accept a level of vulnerability given the threat that we have today.
MARSH: Because Istanbul's airport has several direct flights to and from the United States, DHS requires strict screening procedures comparable to U.S. standards. The head of the TSA told CNN in May if those rules are not followed flights could be prohibited.
(on camera): How often do you go over to check up on these airports?
PETER NEFFENGER, TSA ADMINISTRATOR: If we have a reason of concern, it can be as frequently as every week and then if you got a reason that you trust, it can be less frequent than that.
MARSH: But regardless of the standard and police presence, it is impossible to eliminate all airport vulnerabilities.
Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.
[06:40:05] PAUL: All right. In our next hour, we're checking in with Sara Ganim. She's live at New York's Penn Station, another area that people are a little bit concern about security this weekend.
BLACKWELL: Sure. Sure. A lot of people hitting the roads. And listen to this, autopilot gone terribly wrong. Investigators now looking into a deadly crash.
Next, why autonomous driving is now under more scrutiny.
Also, record flooding is prompting record spending. Look at what is left in West Virginia. Homes washed away.
New details, we've learn now, about the multimillion-dollar cleanup of those devastated communities.
PAUL: Can you imagine getting a call like that in your neighborhood in the middle of the night? A gas line exploded about 3:30 this morning outside Detroit. And that is the result.
Fire and flames shooting into the sky. The fire department in Melvindale evacuated the North West side of the city. Now we are not aware of how many people in the town of 10,000 were told to leave their homes. We just know they were evacuated. Our affiliate reporting now that it happened after a car smashed and hit a gas main. But we do understand that fire is now out.
BLACKWELL: So federal authorities are now looking into a fatal crash involving a Tesla autopilot. Regulators are now trying to figure out what went wrong here.
PAUL: Yes, take a look from last year. This is, I believe, you're going to see here, Joshua Brown. He's the man that was killed in that accident. There he is. He is giving a demo of how the autopilot works here.
Christina Alesci has the details on Brown's crash. And the questions that are being raised now.
CHRISTINA ALESCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Christi, a cloud over autonomous driving. We've heard warnings about the dangers of this technology and more importantly how it's used for years.
This makes it real. Here's what happened. A tractor trailer was making a left turn in front of the Tesla and the autopilot system didn't recognize the trailer because of its height and the white color against the bright sky.
Now the system never triggered the break and neither did the driver. The car slid under the trailer killing the driver.
Now Tesla is taking this very seriously. Expressing sadness.
40-year-old Joshua Brown died in the accident. And he was a Tesla enthusiast. He made YouTube videos while driving the car.
Here's one of him showing how autopilot works.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[06:45:00] JOSHUA BROWN, TESLA ENTHUSIAST: If you don't take control, the car starts to brake and stuff. I've already done some testing with that, and yes, it definitely starts to abruptly slow down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Now Tesla wants to put this all into contacts saying it's the first fatality in 130 millions miles of using autopilot. It's also making the point that drivers really should keep their hands on the wheel at all times, but the software does not require hands-on constantly.
Now Tesla says that it tells customers the technology is still in Beta, which means it's in development. But experts are already taking issue with the company. They're saying if the system has any kind of blind spot, drivers should not be allowed to use it especially at high speeds. It's one of the reasons the government is now investigating the accident.
And the main issue for many critics, at the end of the day, is that these features lull people into a false sense of security. After all, it's easy to reach over and get something from the backseat or to check your text messages really quickly.
Just to put this into context for the industry, the quest for self- driving cars has been a race for automakers in tech companies. They believe firmly it will improve safely and reduce the number of deaths on the road.
And, also, by the way, they really want to get people excited about buying new cars. In fact, the government is planning to release rules for testing autonomous vehicles on public roads just this summer. And it's unclear how this accident will impact that process.
BLACKWELL: Thanks so much.
You know, we were watching that and Tesla says you should keep your hands on the steering wheel during the autopilot. The question then is, what is the point, if you hold on to the wheel? And I'm sure someone at home said it, too.
We're going to have an expert on later this morning who has driven the car, understands the autopilot feature and can answer that question for us. So stay with us for that.
PAUL: Yes, we'll have that conversation later.
BLACKWELL: So, one week later, the devastating flooding still impacting West Virginia.
Look at this.
It's going to take a long time to clean up after this. The damage in the tens of millions. And that doesn't even cover all of the repairs. We've got details on the state's recovery. That's coming up.
[06:50:00] PAUL: Remember these devastating images? Historic flooding pummelling West Virginia and it racked up millions of dollars in damages. We're finally getting the numbers here from last week's floods. And remember, more devastating, it killed 26 people and 1600 homes, we understand, washed away. Another 4,000 suffering severe damaged. 125 businesses destroyed. The grand total for repairs -- more than $36 million. And that just covers road damage.
Now the state has to rebuild, obviously.
BLACKWELL: Yes, both temporary employees and volunteers are helping local rescue and emergency teams clean up the debris. And the mayor of one community is helping to pick up the pieces and keep her town together.
Here's Martin Savidge.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's a 69-year-old, 5 foot powerhouse. Most folks in Rainelle, population of just 1500 call her Andy, or for the last 5 years, mayor.
MAYOR ANDREA PENDLETON, RAINELLE, WEST VIRGINIA: She's my right-hand man when I made something, right, Lt. Boriam (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I am.
PENDLETON: Oh my gosh.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's the mayor. That's for sure.
SAVIDGE: She is definitely in charge. The flash floodwaters went right down Main Street, wiping out her town's commercial district. Ask her how many businesses were lost, her math is simple.
PENDLETON: I just know it's every business.
SAVIDGE: It's every business?
PENDLETON: It's every business.
SAVIDGE: Now at gas station, on the edge of town, is the police department, fire department and town hall. The parking lot next door, the medical center.
(on-camera): I see tetanus shots, how many have you done of those?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 2,000 so far.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): At the Pizza Hut, they are handing out food and cleaning supplies.
You get donated clothing at the old Magic Mart.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you volunteering today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, ma'am. SAVIDGE: Five people died in Rainelle. She knew each victim, personally.
Even before the flood in the town, it had seen better days. Factory and coal mining jobs are memories.
(on-camera): This town was already, what, down on its luck?
PENDLETON: Yes. Not down, you know, just didn't look good.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): After a disaster like this, the town can usually fall apart. You realize Mayor Andy is the glue keeping it together.
Helping a woman track down a missing family member.
SAVIDGE: Or getting medical help for another person suddenly taken ill.
PENDLETON: Call 911. She's passing out.
SAVIDGE: She gives orders and hugs in equal amounts.
And seems an unstoppable optimist, until the walk in the ruins of the town she's lived in and loved her whole life.
PENDLETON: You get me down here, and I'm not quite as positive as I am up there.
SAVIDGE (on-camera): Why is that?
PENDLETON: Because it looks so bad, doesn't it?
SAVIDGE (voice-over): At the last business flooded, the town's funeral home, she asked a young woman to pull a picture from the ruins. A photo of the town from better days.
(on-camera) So what do you feel looking at that now?
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Andy was a businesswoman before she was the mayor. She knows how hard, even impossible it may be for many businesses here to rebuild.
PENDLETON: We're taking donations.
SAVIDGE: But there's no time for sorrow, she's off again. A mayor on a mission, bound and determined to see her town survive.
PAUL: I have the feeling that woman can do it. BLACKWELL: Yes, yes. She says there's no time for sorrow. Got to get back to work. And that's an amazing slogan there. A town built to carry on.
PAUL: Yes. Wishing them the very best.
BLACKWELL: Thank you, Martin, for that story.
PAUL: Well, yesterday, it was payday for some highly sought after NBA players.
PAUL: Well, I'm betting you would like to have one of their chances.
BLACKWELL: Yes. One of their chances will be great.
PAUL: Well, Rashan, talking about the free agent frenzy.
RASHAN ALI, CNN SPORTS: Yes. Well, team honors it more than $1.5 billion of talent yesterday, including the richest deal in league history. But the two biggest names on the market still don't have contracts.
[06:57:05] BLACKWELL: Well, the wheeling and dealing is under way in the NBA.
BLACKWELL: (INAUDIBLE), please.
BLACKWELL: Tell me, it wasn't written to rhyme. I hate rhyming on TV.
PAUL: Maybe you should write your own.
BLACKWELL: I know. Burn. Burn.
PAUL: OK, what we're talking about are incredible amounts of money. Maybe if we were unscripted, we'd make one. I don't know. We do actually write.
PAUL: We do some things. However, Rashan Ali is here in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Just talk about some money. Most of us can only dream about.
(CNN SPORTS NEWS)
PAUL: And listen, there is an awful lot of news we're talking about this morning.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now.
CNN ANNOUNCER: This is CNN "Breaking News."