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Microphone and Robot Join Flight 370 Search; Private Sector Has Recovered All Jobs Lost in Financial Crisis; Two AP Journalists Shot, One Fatally; Mourning at Fort Hood

Aired April 4, 2014 - 11:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN CO-ANCHOR: A microphone and a robot join the hunt for Flight 370 as the search goes underwater, so could they succeed where the satellites, the planes, the ships have so far all failed?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CO-ANCHOR: It is official. The private sector finally recovered all the jobs lost in the 2008 financial crisis.

But does the milestone mark a turning point for workers and wages?

BERMAN: And new details on the soldier that opened fire at Fort Hood, killing three, those who knew him, now speaking out.

Also, the moments before he set off on his rampage, could that now shed light on his motive?

Hello, there, everyone. I'm John Berman.

PEREIRA: You left me hanging. We do that every time we start the show.

I'm Michaela Pereira. It is 11:00 a.m. out East. Good morning, West Coast. It's 8:00 a.m. where you are.

Those stories and much more, right now, @ THIS HOUR.

BERMAN: And I'm already in trouble.

PEREIRA: Yeah. We're starting on a good note, aren't we?

We're four weeks in, we know this, after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared. The search turns now in another direction, this time below the surface. Crews have dropped a pinger locator in the water. It's trying to pick up the chirps from the missing jet's flight-data recorders.

The locator can pick up sound from about two nautical miles away, and even if the boxes are 20,000 feet under the water, the technology should detect the pings.

BERMAN: Yeah, this, of course, all assuming that those beacons are emitting any signals at all, serious questions about whether they are. The batteries could already be dead.

There is also an underwater robot getting ready to go, right now. It will search the seabed for wreckage if the ping locator picks up any signals.

But the crews can only guess where the plane might have hit the water. Their equipment could very well be going in the wrong direction for all we know, searchers basically taking a shot in the dark and in the deep.


ANGUS HOUSTON, JOINT AGENCY COORDINATION CENTER: The best area of highest probability as to where the aircraft might have entered the water is the area where the underwater search will commence. It's on the basis of data that only arrived very recently.


PEREIRA: Above the surface, meanwhile, 14 aircraft and nine ships have been patrolling the search zone.

Let's bring in Paula Newton, who's in Perth, Australia. We now know the pinger locators are listening underwater. I suppose this is giving searchers a little bit of hope.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hope, and they are hoping for luck, Michaela. At this point, they say it will take a lot of it to find them, but they have a lot of confidence in that equipment.

It is very sensitive. The weather is good, which does make a difference. The terrain underneath, not that difficult, it's not steep. They say it should, if the pingers are there, if they can hear the pingers, if the black boxes are there, they will hear them.

At the same time, you're talking about 150 miles. That's not bad. They will continue to be scanning this area, and then, if they don't find anything, others, they'll be added at least 10 to 12 days, again, a good question as to whether or not those pingers will even be emitting any kind of a sound.

Of course, no one can know that in advance, but they are going to give it a shot.

And that is progress in this investigation when all they have been doing is looking on the surface and not finding anything of note. They are hopeful going below the surface will yield some results.

BERMAN: There's no one watching this more closely than the families of the people on board Flight 370. We're now hearing from the wife of one of the passengers there. How is she holding up?

NEWTON: Yeah, Danica, she's just extraordinary, I mean, so strong. She has two little boys around her in the house, and she's really -- says she's trying to keep strong for them.

Her husband, Paul Weeks, is an engineer on that flight, on the way to Mongolia. She is stunned by how close this search has now come to her home. She only lives 10 minutes from this base. She can hear the search planes taking off in the mornings. She says she is very confident at this point that, if there is something there, they will find it. Take a listen.


DANICA WEEKS, WIFE OF FLIGHT 370 PASSENGER: I've got all confidence in the search. If it's there, they will find it, but are they in the right place? It's all calculations. It's all guess work.

There's science behind it, obviously, but all they have are some pings to go on.

Just as a general, normal person or household wife here in Perth, I just assumed obviously wrongly, that they always knew where planes were. I thought that just went without thinking about it.


NEWTON: You know, so much at stake for her and her family during this search, and yet, her questions are just like yours and mine. Are they searching in the right place? That's still something that nags her every hour.

BERMAN: All right, we're going to talk more about that ahead, because it is such an important question.

Paula Newton in Perth, remarkable to hear the strength of that woman, still four weeks into this search.

PEREIRA: Even what she said about, we've always assumed that we knew that planes were easily located wherever they were, wherever they travel, I think we all falsely believed that.

BERMAN: I don't think we're ever going to assume that again after this.


BERMAN: Some other news now, the job market hit a milestone as the private sector finally recovered all the jobs lost in the 2008 financial crisis, all these years later.

This is according to this morning's new jobs report that says the U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs last month. There was no change in the actual unemployment rate, which stood at 6.7 percent.

The job gains came entirely from the private sector as government jobs were flat.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 opened at record highs following that report.

BERMAN: Some severe weather to tell you about, you may be experiencing it. Cars, trees, and hundreds of homes were no match for tornadoes that tore through parts of Texas and Missouri, rain and hail the size of baseballs, we're told, slamming cities across the central U.S. causing severe damage, but no known fatalities. @ THIS HOUR, that severe weather is headed east, now. The National Weather Service warns of dangerous thunderstorms and winds extending from the Gulf Coast up to the Ohio Valley.

BERMAN: We've got a tragic story to tell you about, right now. Two Associated Press journalists were shot in Afghanistan, one of them fatally.

The women were in their car, traveling with a convoy of election workers. Authorities say an Afghan police officer opened fire, then surrendered.

Anja Niedringhaus was killed instantly. She was a Pulitzer Prize- winning German photographer. She did wonderful work.

AP reporter Kathy Gannon was wounded. She's in stable condition.

This again, a reminder of how important the jobs that some journalists around the world are doing, their jobs are crucial, and how dangerous those jobs are. Our thoughts are with them and their families.

PEREIRA: Veteran journalists, yeah.

Meanwhile, authorities are trying to piece together what may have led an Army specialist to open fire at Fort Hood, killing three people before taking his own life.

We are learning that Ivan Lopez may have argued with someone before the shooting. We also know he had a history of depression and anxiety. Lopez was being evaluated for possible post-traumatic stress.

We'll have a live report for you from Fort Hood, ahead

BERMAN: Back to the search for Flight 370, right now, searchers looking underwater, an Australian Navy ship, the Ocean Shield, is dragging along a towed pinger locator, or TPL, for short, in the hope of hearing pings that would lead them to the flight- data recorder.

PEREIRA: So let's break down what this TPL does. It can detect pings from two nautical miles away. However, it is towed very slowly, very slow speeds, which means it will take quite a bit of time to cover that search area.

It can go as deep as 20,000 feet, which is beyond the necessity in this search area. I think the biggest is about 13,000 feet.

And apparently, its sensor looks a bit like a yellow stingray.

CNN aviation analyst Jeff Wise is here with us today. We now know more about a locator, a pinger locator, than we ever thought we wood.

Jeff, good to have you with us. We talked about its capabilities and what it can do, but it also has some limitations.

JEFF WISE, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Right. As you were saying, it goes very slowly, and you're really -- you're committing an entire ship to this search, because the ship is pulling this thing behind it.

And it's going -- basically, it's like mowing the lawn. It's going to go back and forth, back and forth, and very slowly eliminate what part of the seabed it might be on.

There's a big "if" implicit in all this -- if the pinger is working. As we've heard many times, in the case of Air France 447, the pinger turned out not to have been working.

And so they searched the area and didn't find anything. And they excluded that area then they had to go back later and revise their assumptions.

BERMAN: The TPL is just one of the tools that they could be using soon. They also have this Bluefin autonomous underwater vehicle. What can the Bluefins do?

WISE: Right, so these can do something -- I mean, you could -- the vehicle itself could be equipped with either an acoustic locator to locate the ping or you could equip it with a side-scan sonar, which is basically kind of underwater radar.

And you can, again, mow the lawn, go back and forth, either listening or scanning the seabed and kind of creating through, like bats can see with their pings, you can paint a picture of the bottom of the ocean.

BERMAN: It's almost like mapping the ocean floor, right?

WISE: Well, it is. You -- and that's ultimately -- if the pinger is not working, then that's how you're going to find the plane, by going down and sort of imaging the bottom.

PEREIRA: Because the fact remains, we're on Day 28 of the search. Worst-case scenario, two days left. Best-case scenario, 45 days left, if the pinger beacons are still working.

WISE: Is even working in the first place.

PEREIRA: But that tool will be helpful if those pingers are not emitting beacon sounds.

WISE: If we don't find wreckage on the surface, if we don't hear the pinger, ultimately what it's going to come down to is this truly herculean task of going down and painting like with a fine, fine brush the entirety of this -- it's a huge arc, which is on the scale of the continental United States. It's vast.

BERMAN: All right, we're going to talk a lot more about this, because we have some serious questions about whether this is feasible, practical --


BERMAN: -- advisable, at this point, so, Jeff Wise, stick around with us. PEREIRA: Those are some of our questions. We know you at home have some questions, so don't forget to tweet those questions to hash tag 370Qs, and don't forget to look us up on Facebook/AT THIS HOUR.

Ahead, @ THIS HOUR --

BERMAN: Analysts say the search for Flight 370 is being based on some very educated guesswork -- guesswork.

Is that accurate enough at this point, 28 days in? That's next.



BERMAN: At this point, you said it's just the best we can do. To be blunt here, are you hoping to get lucky?


So, you know, the area is still hundreds of miles big, and we fly every day our P-8 and even back to the P-3s. We've flown 300,000 square nautical miles of coverage. Until we get conclusive evidence of debris, it is just a guess.


BERMAN: Just a guess, hoping to get lucky at this point.

Yeah, the search for Flight 370 is really now just based on educated guess work, that's according to Commander William Marks, whom I spoke with overnight, such an interesting discussion.

PEREIRA: It really is, and searchers, we know, are in a race against time to find the flight-data recorders before the pinger dies.

CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo and Jeff Wise are here. Good to have you. And let's talk about that, Mary.

We are four weeks in. Major Commander -- or Commander Marks, rather -- is one of the major players involved, and he is saying that what we do have to go on is luck. That's all we can rely on.

Do we have to manage our expectations about what is realistic at this point?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, we do. I remember, I think it was Lefty Gomez of the Yankees said he'd rather be lucky than good. I suppose some of the searchers and the Australians are feeling that way. But, you know, the good part comes in from the data and the research. And, you know, it's half-full, half-empty. Without those satellites, whose -- you know, whose job it wasn't -- to find the plane, but they did the job anyway and with calculations and satellites. They truly would have nothing. So they've got the educated hypotheses, and I will call them those instead of guesses. And then, you know, truly then, you know, to borrow from Gomez, they're gonna need some luck. Because it is a very big area to search.

However, if the plane -- if the thought now is that the plane did not break up into literally thousands of pieces and is a big item on the floor of the ocean, then, you know, even without the pinger, the side scan sonar will have a much better chance of finding it.

BERMAN: Jeff, what about what Mary is saying right there? What if the plane didn't break up? How likely to you think that is? How would that have to transpire and what are the implications?

WISE: Well, you know, this is such an unusual case. I mean, and I can't recall any case where a plane as large as a 777 has impacted the water and remained in such good shape that there is no -- you have 400 seats that are also flotation devices and galley carts, for instance, float. A lot of this stuff should be floating around.

BERMAN: If it broke up and fell out.

WISE: Yeah, right. But, you know, you can't just -- it is not like a Piper Cub or something that can land on water. And it's a relatively low-speed, light-weight thing.

You've got -- you're talking about truly massive -- this is just one step down from a 747, a huge thing, hitting at, you know, 100, 200 miles an hour, at least. So massive, and these things are not designed to withstand that impact.

BERMAN: But if it did, if it landed like Sully landed on the Hudson there, would it then sink intact?

WISE: Most likely not, as I understand. And, you know, the other thing to bear in mind is that if we don't find any wreckage, we start to ask some really fundamental questions.

What -- you know, one of them is, is it on the bottom intact? Or is there another explanation? Because really, the only reason we think it is on the southern arc and not the northern arc is because of this analysis done by Inmarsat, which they said it is more likely that the model of the southern arc was better than the model for the northern arc.

They have never -- they have never ruled out the northern arc. So that -- you know, there is an entire another set of scenarios that comes in. Because if you don't find any information, if you don't find any debris or wreckage, then you start to have to -- what researchers do is, when a search area fails, you have to go back to your initial --

BERMAN: Go back to the math, get back there with the computations, which I'm sure they are doing nearly every day.

Jeff Wise, Mary Schiavo, stick around because we have a lot more to ask you. And I know the public has a lot more to ask you as well. Please, tweet us your questions to Mary and Jeff. The hashtag, #370qs. We're also on Facebook/atthishour.

And ahead @ THIS HOUR:

PEREIRA: Families, couples -- pardon me, a family struggles to cope with the death of their loved one, a victim of the Ft. Hood shooting. We have a live report from a community reeling after another tragedy.


BERMAN: Turning to the deadly rampage at Ft. Hood as that community grieves. We are learning more now about those killed in this shooting. Among them, Sergeant First Class Danny Ferguson, Sergeant Carlos Rodriguez and Sergeant Timothy Owens.

PEREIRA: Thirty-seven year-old Owens worked at -- as a counselor at the post. He was a husband and father of two children. As news broke of the shootings, his mother tried frantically to get in touch with her son.


MARY MUNTEAN, MOTHER OF SGT. TIMOTHY OWENS: He didn't answer the phone. So I left a message on his phone, "Son, call me so I know if you're OK or not." Well, never got no call from him. I thought, oh, God, please don't let it be.


PEREIRA: Heartbreaking to hear that. She says her son just loved the Army and had signed up for another six years.

BERMAN: It was going to be his career.

All right, we are also learning more about the shooter, Army specialist, Ivan Lopez. Investigators piecing together his past, including his military records and his struggles with mental health.

Lopez may have had an argument with a fellow soldier just before the shooting. And we are also getting information about what investigators have turned up at his house.

Joining us here in the studio, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Dr. Gail Saltz.

PEREIRA: And joining us from Fort Hood, Texas, our George Howell.

George, why don't we begin with you? Bring us up to date on the latest and what they have discovered in the investigation.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are still looking through. The investigation is still on going, but now new information discovered from the home.

And also, we have some information as far as the victims. Remember, there were 16 victims, people who were injured. Three of them were in critical condition. We now know that those three have been upgraded to fair condition. So, you know, the good news here, none of the 16 died from this shooting. But, again, we don't -- do know that the three names now of the people who were killed.

Again, those names, Sergeant Timothy Owens, a counselor, as you mentioned, here on post, Sergeant Danny Ferguson, according to CNN affiliate, WTSP and then Sergeant Carlos Lazaney Rodriguez killed here in the shooting.

BERMAN: George, we are also hearing more now. We heard it from General Milley yesterday that they were looking into the strong possibility that there had been some kind of altercation or verbal fight before the shootings. Are we learning anything more about that?

HOWELL: And we do plan (ph) to ask that. We're expecting -- looking for another news conference later today. At this point, that's the latest that we know, all that -- that there was an altercation, a verbal altercation that took place before the shooting occurred that could play factor.

And also, keep if mind there several other factors that they are looking into it. They're looking into his treatment, mental health treatment, looking into the medications he was taking. We know that he was taking antidepressants. We know that he was taking the drug Ambien, a sleep medication. They are looking into all of that to understand how that might have played into it.

PEREIRA: And emerging in the course of this investigation, Gail, there has been this report that came out saying he was grieving the loss of his mother who had died of a heart attack suddenly and that he was only issued a 24-hour pass to go to her funeral. He would have had to travel, I believe, to Puerto Rico to be there. It was then changed to two days. Could something like that, when somebody is grieving, cause -- and has some of these issues, could that cause somebody to snap?

GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST: It could cause someone to become very distressed. Certainly, the loss of a parent can cause someone to be depressed.

PEREIRA: Absolutely.

SALTZ: The frustration about being able to do what they feel they need to do could cause them to be very angry. But do we see that as a cause of murder? No. I would say, you know, that would be highly, highly unusual.

Really, the truth is, that most people in the military who are returning with depression or PTSD, they are at a much greater risk of harming themselves. And there is quite a high suicide rate, which is very concerning and growing. But committing a violent act against others is really extremely rare.

BERMAN: You use the word anger and frustration as a phrase that I don' think I'd heard before being used over the last few days. Angry depression, what is that?

SALTZ: Really, I think probably what is being referred to, is there are different mood states that can take the fore (ph) in depression. So we speak of agitated depression, which is sort of a mix of anxiety and depressed where people become very -- they're very, very anxious, yet they're depressed.

And then, particularly in men, you may see a high irritability as the main feature of depression. And so, sometimes it is tough to diagnose depression in men because what they appear is just angry.

BERMAN: But still not necessarily violent.

SALTZ: Definitely still not necessarily violent. They may be irritable, like verbally snappish and responding in such a way, but not necessarily physically violent. Or they may even be -- they may have a tendency to get into a fight when they are depressed and irritable but not go out and plan a mass shooting.

PEREIRA: And again, there's some reports emerging there might have been some sort of altercation prior to this shooting.

Dr. Gail Saltz, thank you so much. And also our thanks to George Howell for that report from Fort Hood.

Ahead @ THIS HOUR, more frustration for the flight 370 families. Four weeks now after the plane disappeared, we are going to tell you what the Malaysian government does not want them to hear.