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New Pings Look Promising; One-on-One With Hagel; At Least 11 Students Stabbed in High School

Aired April 9, 2014 - 08:30   ET



We have some headlines that you're going to want to know before you leave the house. Let's get you right to John Berman, who's in for Michaela, with the five things you need to know for your new day.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Chris.

Number one, two new pinger signals have been detected, raising hopes that search teams are zeroing in on the wreckage of Flight 370.

Deadline, Ukraine. A government officials say the pro-Russian protest in eastern Ukraine will be resolved in 48 hours, either through peaceful negotiations or the use of force.

More dramatic turns in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. Prosecutors challenging the blade runner's story under cross examination. At one point today, they even showed a graphic image of Reeva Steenkamp's head wound.

President Obama and the first lady heading to Texas today for a memorial service for the Fort Hood shooting victims. Three soldiers were killed, 16 wounded, when officials say Specialist Ivan Lopez started firing.

And a baby girl who fell ill while her family was stranded at sea arrives in San Diego today. Her parents have faced criticism for attempting to sail really around the globe with their two very young children.

We're always updating the five things you need to know, so go to for the latest.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, John.

Officials hope the detection of new signals in the search for Flight 370 will lead finally to the wreckage. And there they say they hope in a matter of days. Let's bring in our experts. Mary Schiavo, CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general for the Department of Transportation, and David Soucie, a CNN safety analyst and the author of "Why Planes Crash," also a former FAA inspector. A lot to get through, as always, both of you.

Mary, I want to ask you, the two latest signals, when you put them with the - when you put all four pings together, if you will, they say it's a range of about 15 to 17 miles. Is that not narrow enough? Why do they still want to get more pings before they head under the surface?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, because even with 15 to 17 miles, that's many days if not weeks if they have nothing more than those submersibles going under water and just literally square mile by square mile mapping out the ocean floor. And that's a slow, painstaking process.

Where if they can marrow it down, maybe get it within just a couple of miles, then when they put the submersibles down to do the side scan sonar and actually try to get, you know, sonographic pictures back up to the surface, they'll be right on it. It will only be like a few days as opposed to a few weeks. So they're really trying to just milk every last bit of that battery out of those pingers.

BOLDUAN: And, David, the way I understand it, as you said earlier, you -- they want to keep working to get more pings throughout the battery life. When that runs out, then they can send a submersible down. You don't necessarily need the ping to be pinging continuously as you go down to locate it.

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: That's correct. That's correct. Because the idea, again, is to get it narrowed down, as Mary was saying, because at 17 miles, if you calculate the circle of what that could be, you're talking 33,000 square miles of places to go. But then the Bluefin only goes about eight (ph) miles an hour --

BOLDUAN: Give me one second, David, we've got a mic problem that we're going to be working on. Stand by with us.

Mary, let me get your take on this. As we're talking about narrowing the field, they seem more optimistic than I have ever heard through this entire month-plus of searching for Flight 370. Is there any room for doubt still or do you think they have found it? They say, we're in the right place, we think.

SCHIAVO: Right. Well, I agree with that. I think they have and I think their optimism is justified. But if I wanted to play devil's advocate, I guess the biggest concern for me is that the frequency is not exactly 37.5, which is the pinger frequency. It is 33, 33.5.

However, the investigators have explained that by saying that it is -- the signal is degraded by the ocean refractions, the problems with the currents and the fact that the battery may be dying. So they're not bothered by the 33.5. And I guess that's the biggest discrepancy that I see. Now it's just a matter of time and work and narrowing it down so they can use those submersibles and really get right on top of the wreckage.

BOLDUAN: Do you think there's any room for doubt, David, or do you agree with Mary? SCHIAVO: No, I don't have any doubt about it. in fact, after the -- Flight 447, they placed six pingers around it at about a thousand meter depth and those pingers brought back signals of 34.1, 34.4. They weren't as low as 33.1, but it - we're talking about a much greater depth. And the pressure on that cylinder can affect the ability for the pinger to put out exactly the right frequency.

BOLDUAN: Can you walk me through real briefly, Mary, I'm hearing from some experts that if they -- when they locate this black box, that's just the beginning of the next chapter of this search.


BOLDUAN: What is the most immediate what's next?

SCHIAVO: Well, the most immediate, once they locate them, is then they're going to have to get the submersible down with the claw, with the hook and they're going to have to get the black boxes up to the surface. They're either going to have to extract them from wreckage and at this point, of course, they have no way of knowing what the wreckage field looks like.

It could be in very big parts of the plane or it could be very small parts. And they're going to have to get that up. There's a very special way they have to do that. They have to bring it up, keep it in saltwater, then transfer it to fresh water before they finally dry it out and play the data. And that will be the next step.

And then they will discover on the flight data recorder really what they're dealing with and how much of the wreckage they really have to bring up to solve the mystery. So they'll be making some decisions after they get the data off the black boxes.

BOLDUAN: When you're dealing at a depth of almost three miles, potentially, that just complicates everything. We'll continue to talk about the challenges that the seabed will offer in the days to come.

Mary, David, thank you so much.


CUOMO: All right, Kate, we're going to take a break now on NEW DAY. When we come back, we have a CNN exclusive. The question is, are there 40,000 Russian troops about to invade the Ukraine. And if they do, what can the U.S. do to stop it? CNN speaks exclusively to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel when NEW DAY continues.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

We have a CNN exclusive for you. This morning, some 40,000 Russian troops are massed along the Ukraine border, but Moscow is telling Ukrainians and the west that it's no cause for concern. Our Jim Sciutto caught up with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who's traveling in China, and asked him if Russia is looking for any excuse to go in. With that, Jim Sciutto joins us live in Beijing.

Hey, Jim. Big interview to have, especially right now.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: No question. And, you know, we had a lot to talk about because there's a lot of news, but particularly in Ukraine. and, you know, I pressed him, because I said, you know, there is an impression that the U.S. and the west have, in effect, granted Crimea to the Russians, you know, without a cost.

And he said - he said, no, that's not the case, that the U.S. and the west are going to impose these costs on Russia over time, that they're, in effect, playing the long game here and that Russia's going to feel that as well. But also he knows, as well as you and I do, that those troops, those 40,000 troops, are still there on that eastern border, that they have not come down, that the U.S. is focusing on de- escalating, but there's no sign that the Russians are. So here's how he answered when I asked him about his level of concern today.


SCIUTTO: Are you more concerned today than you were, for instance, last week, that Russia will take the next step and go into eastern Ukraine?

CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We're always vigilant and we're always looking at the options that we need to take. As you know, General Breedlove, who is our supreme allied commander, has been tasked by NATO to come up with new and additional measures and options. He will be reporting those options back to me, as well as to NATO. So we don't take anything for granted.


SCIUTTO: So those options that he's talking about, to be clear, Chris, those are military options. Not military attacks, say, on Russia, but the movement of military resources in that area to send a message to Russia. And he says already one of the costs that Russia is suffering is international isolation. That the world effectively is united against their move. The question, of course, is whether that's going to change Russia's behavior. To this point, it doesn't appear that it has.

CUOMO: And, interesting, he's in China. And, of course, you have all the Chinese that were on Flight 370. So it wound up entering into the cycle of his existence there as well, right? What was his reaction to what's going on with the search?

SCIUTTO: No question. And there was news today as well, as you know, in that search. Those pings reacquired. And, of course, that, as he mentioned to me, you know, is American equipment, the pinger locator being towed behind the Ocean Shield. And this is the way he described it to me. He said, listen, this is a good sign. He considers it hopeful.

But in effect, he doesn't want to get ahead of things here because he, in his words, he said, you know, the task is immense. And he said specifically that he doesn't want to raise the hopes yet of family members that they've come to a conclusion here, that they want to confirm that those pings are, indeed, coming from the -- those lost flight recorder and cockpit voice recorder. And he said there's still work that needs to be done.

But, listen, when I talked to U.S. officials, they are confident that they've taken a big step forward here. But I think that, in public, they're going to be very measured in how they describe that step.

CUOMO: And also a very important basis of cooperation for Chinese and American interest right now as the search goes on and both are so heavy involved.

Jim Sciutto, thank you for bringing us this big interview. Appreciate it.

There's a lot more of the interview that Jim Sciutto did with the secretary of defense. And you will get to see it today on "The Situation Room" at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

BOLDUAN: All right. Coming up next on NEW DAY, the search for Flight 370 takes a dramatic turn. If new signals are from the plane's black box, how hard will it be to recover the wreckage? What's the next step?

We're going to with the man who led the search effort to find Air France 447.


CUOMO: All right. You are looking at Franklin Regional High School in Pennsylvania, about 15 minutes outside of Pittsburgh. CNN has been told that eight students were stabbed there.

There were reports from students that someone just came into the school with a knife and started slashing people including friends of at least one witness. We know that there are three medical helicopters on scene and that people have been injured enough -- students have been injured enough to wind up at the regional hospital. So Forbes Regional Hospital Trauma Center is where the kids have gone.

The doctor in charge there is Chris Calfman. He's on the phone with us. Doctor, can you hear us?


CUOMO: What do we understand?

CALFMAN: We understand exactly that you said that there was a multiple victim stabbing at Franklin High School. Eight of the patients came here to Forbes Hospital Trauma Center. Additional patients were either life-flighted to our sister hospital downtown or taken to another trauma center in the area. I believe there were a total of 11 that we're aware of so far, with eight of those patients coming here.

CUOMO: We're told the person who did this is in custody. What do we know about the types of injuries? How bad are these?

CALFMAN: These are significant injuries. We had two patients who went immediately to the operating room. The third person is being taken to the operating room now out of the eight patients we have. There are additional patients getting imaging, x-rays and cat scans and ultrasounds that may require interventions later on as we discover internal injuries in these patients.

At present point these patients are what we call hemodynamically stable and allowed for imaging. The two patients that went to the operating room were not stable. They had low blood pressure and significant bleeding from their stab wounds.

CUOMO: Do we know what was used to do this? What was being used to stab them?

CALFMAN: I don't. But the wounds were large, approximately two inches plus. So this to me seems like it must have been a large penetrating instrument of some type.

CUOMO: Do you feel that you've seen the full number of people? Are you expecting more in this situation?

CALFMAN: I am told that we have seen the patients that we are going to see. But we're still on standby should there be additional patients coming our way.

CUOMO: I know it's early but do you have confidence that these kids are going to make it.

CALFMAN: We have to (inaudible) they really have some serious injuries and some of these patients are likely going to be hospitalized for some time, getting over this assault.

CUOMO: All right. Doctor, I want to leave you to it. I know you have a lot of work in front of you. Thank you for taking time to fill us in.

CALFMAN: Thank you.

CUOMO: Good luck going forward. We'll check back with you.

CALFMAN: Thanks very much. Bye now.

CUOMO: Very unusual that it would be a stabbing.

BOLDUAN: I know.

CUOMO: Almost always it's a shooting. You think it would be less severe but you're hearing these injuries are very serious, kids are in surgery, almost a dozen of them -- the doctor said 11. So this is --

BOLDUAN: And we don't know yet who that person was, obviously, a student or someone else that came in to the school and started all this.

CUOMO: Authorities say one is in custody. So we're going to have to pick up that part of the story and find it out. But a very urgent situation there. We do hear that the kids are being released to families. So a lot of worried parents there for sure.

BOLDUAN: We're obviously going to continue that to cover that breaking news throughout the show.

Let's take another break though.

And also coming up on NEW DAY, two more pings detected, officials hopeful that this could be the plane's black box but challenges remain. We'll have all the details on the search for Flight 370 after the break.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Welcome back everyone.

We're following a breaking development in the search for Flight 370. Two new signals were detected by the "Ocean Shield". So could these be pings from the missing plane and those black boxes.

Let's bring in David Gallo co-leader of the search for Air France Flight 447 and director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. David, thanks so much for being with us.

For so long we've been calling this a race against time. They had 30 days or so to get close to the wreckage of this plane before the pingers on those black boxes ran out. My question to you, is this race against time now over? They've detected four pings. Do they have the luxury of stepping back now and being meticulous before they put that blue fin submersible in the water right now?

DAVID GALLO, WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION: I think John, in this case meticulous is being careful. They don't want to commit that high tech expensive piece of gear without really knowing what's there on the bottom and if they have the right location. So I think they're going to err on the side of caution before they go ahead and start mapping.

BERMAN: Based on what officials are saying now, they are saying that they believe that they are hearing the pings from the flight data recorder. Now, does it concern you they do not believe they're not hearing the cockpit voice recorder, and if they are only hearing one of them, is it better that it is the data recorder, not the cockpit voice recorder?

GALLO: I don't know if it's better. Well, you know, the cockpit voice recorder supposedly wrote or was rewriting over itself every two hours. I think to solve some of the mystery with the plane, the flight data recorder is better, but I'm not surprised that they can only hear one or the other. The oceans play a lot of games with sounds. So I'm not surprised about that at all. BERMAN: The depth of this is about at the limit of where the blue fin sub can reach. If that cannot get to where they need to go, what then will they use?

GALLO: Well, I don't want to second-guess the team out there. They're very competent at what they do. There are ways that they can fly high above the terrain. They may choose to bring in another piece of equipment or they may have something else on board "Ocean Shield" that we don't know about yet.

BERMAN: David Gallo, great to have you with us. Thanks for bringing us up to date on all the developments in this story. We'll come back in a little bit.

Chris, Kate, back to you.

CUOMO: All right John. We're going to go from that story to the "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello. A lot of breaking news, not just on the flight but this situation down in Pennsylvania. Carol, we know the numbers are on their way up. Take it away.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, 20 students now stabbed at a Pennsylvania High School. I'll have details in just a bit.

"NEWSROOM" starts now.

Happening now in the "NEWSROOM", breaking this morning: two new pings.


ANGUS HOUSTON, HEAD OF JOINT AGENCY: "Ocean Shield" has been able to reacquire the signals on two more occasions.


COSTELLO: New signals buoying hope.