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Pro-Russia Groups Demonstrate in Ukraine; Search Area Expands Again for MH370; Spieth & Watson Lead Field at Masters

Aired April 13, 2014 - 07:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Rosa Flores, thank you so much.


PAUL: All righty. You don't need to look at the clock, I'll tell you, it's 7:00 right now, you are on time, you've got a little breather space this morning. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. If you're out on the West Coast, it's 4:00, probably the end of your Saturday.

PAUL: Good Saturday, 4:00 in the morning.

BLACKWELL: Beginning of your Sunday, real good Sunday.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLACKWELL: Let's start with the breaking news this morning, out of Ukraine.

Ukraine interior minister's Facebook account says one pro-Russian activist has been killed in Slaviansk. And now, look at this -- these protest groups have been on a rampage this weekend. You see here, they're taking over government buildings, breaking out windows, climbing in. This is in eastern Ukraine.

Kiev is calling this an act of aggression by Russia and now accusing Moscow of helping them. Now our crews on the ground are not seeing signs of violence but we have details in a moment, we've got a live report from the region of what is happening there.

The search for Malaysian Airline Flight 370 is growing more desperate now. It's been five days since the search crews last detected those sounds, what they thought could be pings from the beacons of those black boxes of the airliner. But many fear the worst, that the batteries inside the beacons, the pingers, are dead and the jet may never be found.

PAUL: So, today, one of the big pieces of news is that the search area expanded yet again by 39 percent to 22,000 square miles. So that's about the size of Maryland and Vermont combined, but remember just yesterday the search area shrunk to 16,000 square miles which was the smallest size thus far. BLACKWELL: So, let's talk about the search today -- 12 planes, 14 ships, scouring the southern Indian Ocean. It is a dire attempt to find any sign of black boxes, any debris of the plane. And the search grows more complicated by the day because the currents in the Indian ocean can move a piece of debris up to 25 miles in a day.

Let's go to Will Ripley. He's there in Perth, Australia, live for us.

Will, do we know why the search area expanded?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, all along what we've been told is this a constant process of refining the search area. So, they go through one area. They scour the area and they're continually analyzing data. They're looking at currents.

You know, keep in mind now as we are now, you know, 37 days into the process and it's been a full week since the black box batteries were supposedly rated until. You know, the debris is becoming a very important thing. We need to find it. We need to find this debris field, but we just don't know right now, given the weather conditions, where this debris field may be moving and it's constantly moving in the Indian Ocean.

So, seeing the search area get bigger isn't necessarily a sign of a setback. It's increased by 6,000 square miles, to 22,000 square miles, twice the size of Massachusetts as you've been saying. But this just means that they're continuing to refine. They're continuing to search.

PAUL: We see it's dark there now. It looks like it, as it's 7:00 in the evening for you. When are we going to get our next update on the search efforts, Will?

RIPLEY: You know, all along, Angus Houston said he will only update, he will only call a press conference when he has something substantial to announce, that the search chief Angus Houston there. And so, you know, we've seen press conferences called with two hours' notice and gone several days without an update.

So, we really don't know when there will be the next update. I ran into Angus Houston for a brief time. He doesn't seem particularly -- you know, he was just kind of reading through the Sunday paper scanning the news, just like someone would do on a Sunday morning, didn't seem particularly any sense of urgency other than the search effort is continuing. So we could see an update this week at some point.

The big question a lot of people want to know is if we continue not to hear pings, when is the search going to be transitioned from the underwater listening to deploying that submersible? That's the big question and a lot of people are thinking this could be the week when we get the answer. We'll have to wait and see when they call their press conference.

PAUL: All right. Will Ripley, we appreciate it. Thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Will.

PAUL: And let's talk more about the investigation with Mary Schiavo, CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general with the U.S. Transportation Department.

BLACKWELL: We also have David Soucie, CNN safety analyst and the author of "Why Planes Crash". Also, Tom Fuentes, a CNN law enforcement analyst and the former FBI assistant director. Thanks to all three of you for joining this morning.

I'm going to start with Mary.

Just yesterday, the Australian prime minister reaffirmed his confidence in narrowing that the search was going in, zeroing on these black boxes.

Mary, do you find it I guess typical that the search area looking for the debris would expand, considering the literal and figurative fluidity of this area?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Sure. The search area on the debris is going to expand because the currents take it further and further away and I'm not surprised at this point, 37 days out, that they don't find debris. The fact that they're still searching for it in the far-flung corners of the Indian Ocean is really admirable but over time, things sink even if they floated initially and the debris is going to be very scattered. There was a crash in the Java Sea few years back, and in that case, they had to go out and offer rewards for people to turn in wreckage, and it was in much shallower water and a much more confined area.

So, it doesn't surprise me it's continuing to expand. But putting it on the what you have level and the factual level, the pings are the same, those locations are the same, they spread out about 17 miles, so that area still the find. It's no worse than it was two or three days ago. They just don't have anything to make it better. So, I really see they're pretty much in the same position and just waiting to put the submersibles in.

So -- and I expect that will come in a day or two.

PAUL: David, what about you? Do you think that's just a day or two away? And how confident with all this information that keeps changing and yet today, no press conference, because they don't know that there's anything significant to report -- how confident are you that they are going to find this thing at some point?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: I'm very confident. You know, we look at what the pinger is. I've been getting a lot of questions about the numbers I've been throwing out. So, I wanted to take a second to talk about that.

It's 37 kilohertz is what this pinger puts out. What is that? That's a dog whistle sound. It's between 25 kilohertz and 40 kilohertz, which is what a dog whistle would sound like. So, you can't hear it.

So, these simulations you've been hearing are just that -- simulations of what the sound is. It's also at 160 decibels. So, you think about how loud that is, it's really very loud. It's ten times louder than OSHA requires hearing protection for humans.

So, it's 160 decibels. It's about as loud as a gunshot. If you think about being in the mountains and shoot a gun or hear a gunshot, you have no idea where that's coming from, you hear the gunshot. But where did it come from? So, that's kind of where they're at right now.

But there is a region you have to stay within, and that's where that pinger did the first time, two miles, for two hours they heard this pinging sound. And so, I'm very confident that they found that, they had plenty of time to analyze the sound, make sure it was consistent at one second, one ping per second. So, I'm very confident and at least I'm confident in that two-hour stretch.

BLACKWELL: Tom, let's talk about the investigation and the conversation, interview with Sky News the acting transportation minister said in essence everyone is still a suspect. How would someone or I'll ask you, is it possible that someone on board who was not a pilot can get the training necessary to disassemble some of the systems on board, know where radar is, avoid it, going across Malaysia, going around Indonesia, without investigators knowing exactly how they got all that knowledge?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Victor, that might be pretty easy if you had a gun to the persons -- to the pilot's head and said do it. So we just don't know. There's no absolute proof that the cockpit was not breached. We haven't heard a lot about their normal cockpit security procedure to know if that would be very common for the pilots to invite guests up or just not really pay attention to keeping that locked and secure as much as they should. So, that's still -- that's still an unknown factor in this.

The fact that the radars have been so suspect or the analysis of the radar separate from the Inmarsat satellite that determined that the plane was in the Indian Ocean. But the radar is so inconsistent, the reporting has been so -- you know, in the absence of knowing one thing for sure, then we assume something else. We didn't see it go across Indonesia, or at least Indonesia say they didn't see. Therefore, it must have gone around. Disappeared off the radar for 120 miles, maybe it dipped down to 4,000 feet.

So, all of these are really theories. It's not proven. It's not positive information of what exactly that airplane did, how high it went, how low it went, left, right, otherwise. So, lot of it's being kind of guessed at based on limited radar data, you know, analysis of radar data that's changed or reporting of it that changed.

So, really, we just don't know. We want that flight recorder to say exactly where that plane flew. It won't tell us why or who directed it but it will be a better idea of what the plane did. PAUL: Mary, real quickly, when Nic Robertson tried to get an answer out of the transport minister there in Malaysia, when he asked, when did the military inform the department of civil aviation what they saw on radar regarding this, and he refused to answer, does it make you uncomfortable or suspicious in any way that Malaysia refuses to answer that question and possibly others, or is that just information that the public shouldn't be privy to at this point?

SCHIAVO: No, from my experience in government, in our own government, most of the time when the government refuses to answer a question, usually what's behind it is they don't know or they're confused. So, most likely what occurred, they aren't too sure what occurred, and when the plane dropped off radar they don't know what it did. So, they're just trying to fill in the holes.

And the problem is, they should have known what it did because that's their job. So, I think when they refuse to answer, they simply don't have all the answers and they don't want us to know that. That's usually when government engages in a cover-up.

BLACKWELL: Well, hopefully, we get those answers soon.

Mary Schiavo, David Soucie, Tom Fuentes, our thanks to you.

PAUL: Thank you so much.

So, breaking news out of Ukraine this morning -- tensions really simmering as masked gun men take over police stations, to look at this video we've gotten in -- took over police stations and government buildings in the eastern part of the country here. Now, reports just in to CNN, the new wave of violence has turned deadly.

BLACKWELL: And Boston ramps up marathon security after, of course, last year's deadly bombing. What to expect if you're headed to the course this week.


PAUL: All righty. We're going to show you what's happening in Ukraine. Just in the last few hours. You hear the gunshots there. You will also, if you listen carefully, hear cheers of "Moscow, Crimea, Russia." It's chaos, as you can see. That's what's on the streets of several cities now in eastern Ukraine this weekend.

It seems that they're crossing some borders here, folks. Ukraine's interior minister's Facebook account says one pro-Russian activist has been killed in Slaviansk.

And although CNN crews are not seeing any violence at this time, we're told, again, we are getting our first indication that there has been a death from this.

BLACKWELL: Yes, let's get you up to date on what's happened over the past couple of days. Pro-Russia groups wearing some hodgepodge mismatched combat fatigues stormed a police station, they seized hundreds of weapons. Look at the bottom left to your screen, breaking into the window and climbing in here.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is sending in troops to tackle the situation. We've got senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh on the phone with us from Slaviansk.

Nick, we're just hearing reports that separatist protesters have seized the office, the mayor's office in Mariupol there in eastern Ukraine. Tell us what you know about this.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): It's still early information coming out of Mariupol. But if that were the case at this point, we do have local media reports and I should say in the past 24 hours a lot of confusing information about what protesters have achieved in many of the different cities, where there have been claims of overrun buildings.

But if something is happening in Mariupol, it's significant because it's large and also, it's along the coast. If you look at where the incidents have been happening in eastern Ukraine, they seem to form of loose circle around the key city of Donetsk. So, those, of course, who accused this as being a coordinated plan which Moscow is involved will point to that geographical kind of tactic here, the way perhaps it's suggesting the outskirts of the Donetsk region where the messages are held is in fact being sealed off.

But going back to Slaviansk which you mentioned just a few moments ago, the interior minister, Arsen Avakov, quite clear this morning that he was going to launch an anti-terror operation to combat the pro-Russian militants inside that city. He later said civilians stay away from your windows, stay inside and said one of his soldiers had been killed and five injured in that operation.

We've just come back from inside Slaviansk and it's quite clear people are going about their normal business. They're not hiding indoors. There's no sense of violence having been on the streets. In fact, the only thing we noticed just really is the barricades around the Ukrainian security service building taken by the pro-Russian militants, very well-equipped, very well-armed and being reinforced and a strong crowd forming around the police station there.

So, on the ground, there's no sign of any battle having taken place. It may have been brief or elsewhere but there's also a distinct absence of any sign of the Ukrainian government inside that town. We saw one police car race through with its siren on and saw a helicopter pass across the skies above us. So a distinct lack of Ukraine authority and you're going to have many people asking what the interior minister's operation was meant to achieve and where it was -- Victor.

PAUL: Nick, how much opposition are you seeing? How many people in the towns, you're not seeing any Ukrainian forces formally, but is anybody else really fighting these people who are pro-Ukrainian? Or -- and to that second point then, the people that are pro-Russian, are these people who were already living in these towns or is this an influx of people from other areas? WALSH: It's very hard to kind of poll these protesters but the majority of them do seem local. I think it's also important to point out that when you see organized protesters bussed, it they seem bewildered of their surroundings. A lot of these people seem to know where they are and what they're doing. We have spoken to a number of them, and in fact, some of them are at the checkpoints on highways show me their IDs, showing that they were born locally.

So, the idea that everyone is being bussed in from Russia, I think (AUDIO GAP) we speak to individuals on the ground. But to your earlier point the remarkable difference -- absolutely few pro- Ukrainian voices on the streets. There aren't competing protests. It's very homogenous. They don't tolerate dissent. Some of them are, of course, are armed as well.

So, a marked difference here that is jaw-dropping in many ways is 24, 36 hours ago we were talking about isolated incidents of, frankly, people small in number in Donetsk, now we're seeing town after town after town similar demonstrations, armed men backing them up, storming these buildings and really even hearing (INAUDIBLE) a sense of the Ukrainian government simply not there -- Christi.

BLACKWELL: Nick Paton Walsh covering what's happening there around the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. We'll continue to check in with you. Nick, thank you very much.

All right. Changing gears a bit here, a lot actually.

PAUL: It's a big change here.

BLACKWELL: A big change. Big day for golf, former champion Bubba Watson is tied at the top of the Masters leaderboard. The final round just hours away. We'll see what happens when he tees off.


JOHN KING, "INSIDE POLITICS" HOST: Ahead on "INSIDE POLITICS", the woman in charge of the troubled Obamacare rollout now on her way out. We'll look at whether the departure Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gives team Obama an election year chance to resell the health care law. Also, why Democrats think taking a loss now could mean some wins in November. Plus, what Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush now have in common. Join us, coming up on "INSIDE POLITICS".

PAUL: That's a good tease.

BLACKWELL: It is indeed. Catch "INSIDE POLITICS WITH JOHN KING" in about an hour from now, coming up this morning at 8:30 Eastern, right here on CNN.

PAUL: All righty. They call this Masters Sunday, the final round of the 2014 Masters, first tee time ten after 10:00 Eastern.

BLACKWELL: You've got two Americans tied for the lead, including former Masters champion Bubba Watson, big drama building at Augusta National in Georgia. Joe Carter is here to set the stage for us.

PAUL: Why aren't you out there? They didn't send you?

JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's a question for the higher pay graded employees in this building.

BLACKWELL: He had to pause before he answered that question.


CARTER: There was concern. I mean, concern for viewers, concern for sports guys, I mean, Tiger's not in the tournament because of his injury. Phil Mickelson missed the cut. We haven't seen the two big stars out of the Masters in 22 years. So, not having that, people thought, is to going to be worth watching?

But I can you tell you, yesterday really proved that there's plenty of must-see TV left, good storylines. You got 20-year-old golf phenom Jordan Spieth against Bubba Watson, the 2012 Masters champion. Those two are going shot for shot and Jordan Spieth, if you didn't know, is just 20 and he's playing in his very first Masters. And I can tell you, he's been sensational so far, super, super clutch with his putter.

Last year as a teenager, he won the John Deere classic. He's already made the President's Cup team and is projected to be one of the best golfers on the planet and now, he's just 18 holes from golf history. A win today would make him the youngest Masters champion ever.

But obviously, he's going to have to outplay Bubba Watson. Do not sleep on the former Masters champion. He's been solid so far in 2014 and the last three months, he's won a tournament and finished in the top 10 three different times.


JORDAN SPIETH, 20-YEAR-OLD CO-LEADS MASTER: Today was a day to stay patient and try and get myself a later tee time, even than today, and that goal was accomplished and tomorrow is about seeing how I can control my game and emotions out on the golf course, you know, against guys that have even won here recently.

BUBBA WASTON, 2012 MASTERS CHAMPION: We joked about it on the range today when they were going to the tee, they said, "We'll see you in the last group on Sunday." I was like, you better play good. But obviously I should have played a little bit better.

No, it's fun, to be good. You know, he's a great player obviously, a guy like that, obviously has no fear, and he's just, his game is going to get better and better.


CARTER: He says they're friends, the two of them are friends off the course, they play golf together and stuff like that. But today, obviously, all bets are off.

Here is the leaderboard, 18 holes left. So, not only is Jordan Spieth playing in his first Masters, so is Jonas Blixt. He's just one shot behind the co-leader. So, a lot of unusual names there, obviously, except for Bubba Watson.

But those two -- two of the four leaders playing in their first Masters ever. I can tell you that Jordan Spieth the youngest. Freddie couples is only a few shots back, he would be the oldest Masters champion if he won today.

There is some drama and some intrigue minus Tiger and minus Phil.

BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you, Joe.

PAUL: Thank you so much.

CARTER: You bet.

PAUL: We're going to see you back here at top of the hour, 8:00 Eastern, for more NEW DAY. Right now, though, keep it here for a special edition of "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." reporting today from Africa.

BLACKWELL: Our good doctor heard about the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and decided to go there.

We'll see you at 8:00.