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New Evidence may Locate Missing Malaysian Plane; Writings of Fort Hood Shooters Released; Oscar Pistorius Testifies at Trial; Mickey Rooney Has Died; Republican Candidates for 2016

Aired April 7, 2014 - 07:00   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's start our coverage this hour with Erin McLaughlin once again, live in Perth, which is about 1,000 miles from where that signal was picked up. Erin, what are you learning?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, here in Perth, they're saying this is an extraordinary find. The Australian vessel Ocean Shield detected not one, but two separate acoustic events, the first lasting some two hours and 20 minutes, the second lasting 13 minutes comprising of two signals. Both signals officials here are saying consistent with the characteristics of the flight black boxes.

While authorities here are saying this is promising, they are nudging caution saying more work needs to be done to verify this. And to that effect, the Ocean Shield is still out there searching, trying to detect a third acoustic event in the hopes that they'll be able to narrow down this search area so that they can deploy an underwater drone provided by the Americans to try and find some sort of signs of wreckage. Only then, they say, will they be able to verify that this is in fact from the missing plane, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Erin, thank you for that update. A third location, a third event is what they need right now. Let's talk about where to this point. First, let's show where these two ping locations have been placed. And I want to ask you why they're significant. First down here, the one that's more south, we'll say, that's where the Chinese picked up their signal right?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: If you look, it is on the arc of the southern corridor which, of course, we've always known it has to be. It's on the upper end of lower part, if that makes sense. And Angus Houston last night in Perth in that very late news conference, he said that is where Ocean Shield had discovered the first which lasted two hours, and the second which latest about 13 to 14 minutes. That is about 300 miles away from where Haixun 01 has been doing its work.

BOLDUAN: So in the grand scheme of things, 300 miles when you take into consideration what all we've been looking at, Australian officials are saying it's unlikely the source is of these two pings that were picked up are the same. What do you think?

QUEST: Yes. I mean, some people are dealing diplomatically courteous and suggesting that maybe the event here could be the same or could have traveled through the ocean waves through the deep water channel and the sound travel. But Angus Houston sort of discounted it. They do seem to be different events. The focus of attention is on Ocean Shield and what Ocean Shield heard, those two acoustic events late last night.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about Ocean Shield and what they're dealing with next. Show this pinger locator and how it is going about its business underneath the surface. When we talked to Commander Carks, Chris did earlier this hour, he's talking about the various depths that they had put the pinger locator to pick up the signals. It was first at 1,000, then some 4,600 feet, and then 9,800 feet, various different depths, and they still picked up the signal.

QUEST: Right. You're in depth, I'm in meters. They first of all heard is at 300 meters. Then once they heard it at 300 meters, they then lowered the TPL because they need to get further down. The further down you go the better the acoustic sound that you will here. They went to I think about 1,400. And then they went to the ideal depth, which is 3,000 meters, and at that, they were able to still maintain it for two hours.

And it's that two hours that Houston kept saying is the important thing, because what you want to hear from different from Haixun 01. You don't just want bursts. You want to have consistency. Now, as you take a look again at what they've been showing, once they've managed to accumulate enough evidence that it is there, they did deploy the underwater submarines.

BOLDUAN: But it's that evidence that we should also be cautious with, because there's still limitations that they're dealing with in hopes of picking up that signal again, right?

QUEST: Imagine driving your car with several hundred if not 1,000 feet of rope with something tied on the back of it, and you're going down. And you're driving along, and then you suddenly got to turn around. And the way you do, of course, you bring it in. it that takes about three-and-a-half hours.

BOLDUAN: I'd crash into a bunch of people.

QUEST: They will turn it around very slowly.

Now, what else could this be? Lesser minds might talk about things like seismic air guns and the like. But the reality is they are fairly confident that what they have heard is, because it is consistent, and this is the phrase he uses consistent with it being a black box. And the commander said it, the former marshal said it, consistent with this being a black box.

BOLDUAN: They couldn't be more careful, if they weren't as confident as they seem to be, they couldn't be more careful with their language, which to me implies that they do have a pretty good lead.

QUEST: It's exactly where it should be. The plane started in Kuala Lumpur, went up over, round the tip of Indonesia --

BOLDUAN: Show that animation, actually, because that's another big part of the news that we've been talking about today is this new flight path that Malaysian officials have said to CNN, is that not only when it made that sharp left turn, it then skirted around the tip of Indonesia.

QUEST: I'll show you what they're talking about. So it starts up here, it comes around the top. And this is the area where everybody is focusing on, because the plane appears to skirt around the tip of Indonesia.


QUEST: Now, many people will suggest the reason it did that was to avoid radar.

BOLDUAN: Many people are suggesting that. But what I hear from you that might not be the whole story?

QUEST: I think -- depending on the theory that you hear at any given moment, I think what it suggests more, rather than just radar, because radar -- most pilots will tell you, they don't know where radar starts and where radar finishes. But they do know where airspace starts and finishes. Therefore it could well have been trying to avoid going over Indonesian airspace itself, right across the country. What Indonesia has said --

BOLDUAN: Go in tighter on that animation while Richard finishes his thought.

QUEST: What Indonesia has said is that there is no sign and no evidence of MH-370 being picked up by Indonesian radar, none.


QUEST: Now, what is interesting, when you look at this, you've got to ask the question, how could they not? Thailand picked it up. Malaysia picked it up.

BOLDUAN: So you think this is not the whole story?

QUEST: I don't know. I would hesitate to say that, but I think you have to raise an eyebrow as to why -- look at the way it went. It went vastly up around the northeast part, around the tip down to the side. And Indonesia says there's no sign of it on Indonesian radar. And we've asked them that several times concerning that issue. It then comes down, and what you end up with down here is exactly what, to use the polite parlance of running out of fuel, that is exactly at the end of the endurance.

BOLDUAN: And that is where the focus is definitely going to be today as they try to get the ping from where the Ocean Shield picked that up with the pinger locator. Richard, thank you so much. Back over to Michaela now.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Kate. Thank you so much, Richard. We're learning more about the Fort Hood shooter and what may have triggered his violent rampage killing three people before taking his own life. Members of the Fort Hood community attended a prayer service Sunday to honor the victims. CNN's Ed Lavandera is live in Dallas.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Michaela. While investigators continue the work of trying to piece together how all of this could have happened, and they're taking a much closer look at the writings of Ivan Lopez.


LAVANDERA: Specialist Ivan Lopez took to Facebook to vent about a range of subjects. In early March around the time he purchased the 45-caliber handgun he eventually used in the attacked, he posted, quote, "My spiritual peace has just gone," and wrote that he was full of hate after allegedly being robbed. Perhaps the most chilling is what the Iraq war veteran posted about Adam Lanza, the 20 year old gunman of the Sandy Hood Elementary School massacre. "It is stupid to me that anyone could have access to a powerful weapon without being mentally evaluated."

MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORENSIC BEHAVIORAL CONSULTANT: Most of these mass shootings that you have individuals who are very multidimensional. They have mental health issues, but they're not debilitated by them. They can actually function.

LAVANDERA: Fort Hood officials say Lopez was being treated for mental health conditions including anxiety and possible PTSD. Doctors prescribed the 34 year old Ambien and anti-depressants.

JOHN MCHUGH, ARMY SECRETARY: He was seen just last month by a psychiatrist. We have no indication on the record of that examination that there was any sign of likely violence.

LAVANDERA: The most significant clue may be what transpired moments before Lopez opened fire. That afternoon he stopped by the post human resources office to request a temporary leave form. Jonathan Westbrook was a soldier manning the office. His father says that Lopez was told he'd have to come back later. Then Lopez snapped, coming back and opening fire, shooting Westbrook four times.

THEODIS WESTBROOK, FATHER OF WOUNDED SOLDIER: First guy he shot right in front of my son was killed. Then he turned the gun towards Jonathan, aimed it, and fired.


LAVANDERA: And as the investigators continue their work this week, Chris, a memorial service is planned for Wednesday. And president and Michelle Obama will be attending that on Wednesday, Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: No small irony in that that the shooter himself was recognizing the confusion of someone with mental health issues getting a gun the same way as somebody without them. Really no small irony in that.

All right, we're going to turn from Fort Hood. We also have breaking news in the Oscar Pistorius trial. This morning, the blade runner is testifying in his own defense. With Reeva Steenkamp, the victim's mother, looking on, he broke down as he apologized to her family and also talked about his constant fears of crime in South Africa. Take a listen.


OSCAR PISTORIUS: I'd like to apologize and say that this moment, and there hasn't been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven't thought about the family. I wake up every morning, they're the first people I think of, the first people I pray for. I can't imagine the pain and sorrow that I've caused you and your family. I was simply trying to protect Reeva. When she went to bed that night, she felt loved. I tried to put my words on paper many, many times throughout to you, but no words ever suffice. I'm scared to sleep. For several reasons I have terrible nightmares about the things that happened that night. I wake up where I can smell I can smell blood. And I wake up to being terrified.


CUOMO: It's very emotional testimony. One quick note, he is audio only by choice. In South Africa, you get that choice. You have emotional, you have procedural, and you have the practical here. The emotional is what we just heard. The procedural is, in South Africa, unlike the U.S., defendants often take the stand, and when they do, they go in early in the case. It's very unusual. It almost never happens here.

Now to the practical -- he's the best witness for the prosecution. Even more so for himself, if you think about the defense, the same rules apply there. He doesn't have to take the stand. He really is the only one who knows what happened there. So while he is laying out the groundwork for, I have a vulnerability, I'm afraid of this, my mother kept a pistol in a bag in her pillow every night --

BOLDUAN: That also gives the defense all sorts of territory to come at him?

CUOMO: Correct. It gives the defense to say this is a reasonable set of actions that night based on his fear. It gives the prosecution equal opportunity to question those reactions.

BOLDUAN: It's emotional and difficult to listen to as an outsider. You can only imagine what Reeva's family was going through listening to that in the courtroom, not something that should be forgotten.

CUOMO: That's what it's all about. The whole trial is giving justice for what happened to the victim and giving some solace to the family.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

CUOMO: We'll keep watching that as we sure it's going to be going on throughout the morning. We'll bring to you as developments require.

Right now, though, we'll take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, the big question, have searchers found flight 370? We do know they have two separate signals that are consistent with black boxes that were detected overnight by a U.S. Navy pinger locators. Officials call it their most promising lead. We'll take a look at it and see if it's all it's cracked up to be. We'll take a look.


CUOMO: Welcome back to our breaking coverage of the search for flight 370. Here's what we know: pings detected in the Indian Ocean could be from the plane's black box. So the bigger could is, could this actually be where the plane came to rest. A lot of questions here, information, speculation. All of it needs testing. Let's do it right now.

We have Mary Schiavo, CNN aviation analyst, former inspector general for the Department of Transportation and Mr. Miles O'Brien, CNN aviation analyst and a science correspondent for PBS news hour. Happy Monday to both of you.

Mary, I start with you. Make the case for why we should all have great confidence in the pinger locator possibilities?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Sure, because the sounds that they hear are the right megahertz. And they're the right frequency and repetition of the pings, every second. They're three point -- 37.5 megahertz.

They were found not once or twice, but repeatedly and over for a long period of time, in one case, over two hours. So if it was a sporadic event like the seismic air hammer, it wouldn't keep going for over a two-hour period.

It's in a place where the Inmarsat satellites have told us is the place to look. And they've been able to not only hear it for the first for the two hours, but then to turn around and repeat it and find it again.

It looks very promising, and it is not the sound of marine life unless they happen to be wearing watches. So I think this is very promising, very well may be it.

CUOMO: Miles O'Brien, do you echo those concerns, no pun intended? It is not a whale with a wristwatch. It is not the seismic air gun, a.k.a. Richard Quest. It is not some type of bentic (ph) distortion. You believe if they're hearing anything, they're hearing what they say they think is, which is the pinger?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: No, when I hear that they have a two-hour fix on this pinging noise, that inspires quite a bit of confidence. The problem is, it's in a very deep location of the ocean, so it's right at the ratty edge of the capability right now for the equipment on scene. The question is, can they get to the wreckage that is there with what they have there? Or do they need to bring submersibles that can go deeper? And that could delay the search for the wreckage.

CUOMO: So cautious optimism demands we make allowances for time. Even if they're on the right track, this is going to take a long time. It takes several hours just to turn the ship around and begin a return course on the bearings, we have to be patient. But at least they believe they're following something that could be promising.

That takes us to the other breaking news of the morning, this now, let's call it a confirmation of the flight path. And it takes it around the hub there of Indonesia.

Mary Schiavo, I'm very questionable, I'm very skeptical about all of the rationales being offered for why this happened. I believe the only thing we now know is a more certain flight path. I believe we know nothing about why it took that. What is your take?

SCHIAVO: Well, I don't actually think we have any additional information. All we have is what we had before, is that there were no radar tracings over Indonesia. And we've known this since day one. What we heard is they didn't provide it or for some reason, they didn't see it.

So now, they say they don't have any. And what we're doing, not us -- but what authorities are doing, is trying to explain why that might be. That doesn't mean they have additional information. It means there's no radar evidence from Indonesia. They didn't pick it up. And so, people are surmising that perhaps that's because you were intentionally, or someone was intentionally skirting it.

So it's what you do in an investigation. You put out a hypothesis and see if you can then find evidence to support it. So it's a good hypothesis, and it fits -- if they found the plane, it fits with where they're finding the plane..

CUOMO: Miles, what do you make of this idea of the authorities coming forward and saying, "We think this was done intentionally, and we think it was done to skirt radar"?

O'BRIEN: Well, you know, we've seen a similar flight path before. This confirms a lot of what we've been talking about. Clearly, there's nothing about that flight path that would indicate you had a flight crew dealing with an emergency. This is someone who is deliberately avoiding specific airspace. It's impossible to come up with another scenario at this point.

So, the question is what will those -- you know, if they do in fact recover these flight data recorders, and there's a lot of optimism about that, what will it tell us? It's very likely the cockpit voice data recorder, which only captures the last two hours of time, will not shed much light on things. The flight data recorder, which captures 80 parameters (ph) of flight, which is every aspect you could hope to find in this case. I mean, there's some newer ones that do more. But this would be enough -- could really conclusively rule out a mechanical failure. So then you're left with, well, what really happened? And unfortunately, human beings don't have black boxes, so we won't be able to really get to that without some further investigation.

CUOMO: I just feel when you have these families who are desperate to know what happened. And you do have the families of pilots here. And the pilots have completely been put in the box of having done something intentional to destroy this airplane. I just feel like you'd want to have better information to go on it.

Mary, is it true that when you're trying to avoid radar it's not really about calculating the outer distance of the radar, assuming you'd even know that a pilot, but that it's about you altitude. Wouldn't you want to know what altitude they were at?

SCHAIVO: Exactly. And that's been a mystery all along. We've had so many different reports of altitude. At one point, as high as 45,000, and then at one point, there was a report they went down to 5,000. to avoid radar, which wouldn't work anyway. Radar -- when you're landing, air traffic control can follow you down almost to the runway.

So the altitude would be very, very important. And really what I think they were saying is, they went out and around to an area where Indonesia just wouldn't be paying attention to them. They wouldn't send the military planes, for example, if they're outside of the Indonesian, you know, active monitoring airspace. But they could still pick them up.

CUOMO: You know, at least it allows us to check a box. It also checks on is the Indonesia telling the truth box, right? Because people were skeptical. Thailand saw it their radar. How did Indonesia not? Are they not sharing information? We heard a similar thing about Chinese when they started releasing information about finding their search. Cooperation is a big key here. At least we know there's a reason that Indonesia wouldn't have seen it.

And hopefully, we get more good information about the pingers. When we get more information, we'll come back to you, Mary, and you, Miles, So that you can to help us understand it. Thank you to both of you for being with us this morning. Appreciate it.


BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, we're going to dig more into the search for flight 370. We're going to talk with a top law enforcement officer about these new findings to learn more, what it means.

Plus, also ahead, President Obama is working to close the gender wage gap. We're going inside politics to see if his new executive actions will get the job done.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Let's take a look at your headlines at almost at the bottom of the hour. An American pinger locator has picked up two signals from the Indian Ocean, consistent with ones emitted from black boxes. Once the location is narrowed down, unmanned subs could be sent down to see if is, in fact, from Malaysia flight 370. Officials are calling this a promising lead and hope for more developments soon, but stress that nothing yet has been confirmed.

Pro-Russian protesters have seized government buildings in three cities in eastern Ukraine. Russia media reports that one group of demonstrators has formed their own republic and is asking Russia to send in peace keepers. The group says it will hold a referendum to decide whether or not to join Russia. Ukraine's prime minister says the protest are part of Moscow's plan to destabilize the country so it can send in troops.

Also new this morning, Ukraine's defense ministry says a Russian soldier shot and killed a Ukrainian naval officer in Crimea.

Despite threats from the Taliban, voters in Afghanistan turned out in droves this weekend to elect a new president. There were reports of violence and bloodshed; however, up to 7 million people were able to successfully cast their votes. So far, the elections are pointing to a runoff. Preliminary results will be announced at the end of the month.

And breaking overnight, Mickey Rooney, legendary star of stage and screen has died. Rooney had been in poor hit for some time now. He had one of the longest show business careers ever, first starring as a teenager in the Andy Hardy movies. In all, he appeared in more than 200 films in a career that spanned almost 90 years. Mickey Rooney was 93 years old. What a tremendous life and a career, eight wives. He certainly fell in love, and we fell in love with him on the screen.

BOLDUAN: He lived life.

PEREIRA: He sure did and always had that smile, too.

CUOMO: Oldest kid in the world.

BOLDUAN: Yeah, that's a good way of saying it.

CUOMO: He'll be missed. He'll be missed.

All right. Let's get inside politics on NEW DAY.

Mr. John King, happy Monday, John King.

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Happy Monday, Mr. Cuomo, Kate, Michaela.

A lot to do going Inside Politics this morning, so let's get right to it. With me to share their reporting and their insights, Julie Pace of the "Associate Press," David Macklmore (ph), of the "Washington Post."

All right, so if it looks like a candidate and talks like a candidate, is it a candidate? I'm asking about this guy, Jeb Bush.


JEB BUSH, (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: We need to elect candidates that have a vision that is bigger and broader and candidates that are organized around winning the election, but not -- not making a point.


KING: Not making a point. At the end there, Julie, I take that as Jeb Bush, son of a president, brother of a president, thinking about running himself, says he'll decide by the end of the year. He's looking back at 2012. Is that a message? We don't need Michele Bachmann? We don't need Herman Cains? What's that about?

JULIE PACE, "ASSOCIATED PRESS": I think that's what he's signaling. I mean, there's been a lot of conversation around Jeb Bush over the last couple of months, particularly as Chris Christie's star has fallen.

And the conversation has really centered on the idea that this is a guy who is electable. And I think that is the message that he was trying to project there. "I am electable. I'm someone who will not have huge ideological lines on every issue."

So he's going to be testing the waters over the next couple of months. This is certainly not a sure thing, but that was a lot of insight into what his message would be if he does choose to run.

KING: Testing the waters, David, and also wandering into what has become quicksand for Republican candidates in recent years, the immigration issue.