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Submersible Bluefin-21 Joins Search; Ukraine Deadline Passes; Separatists Attack Ukrainian Building; 3 Shot Dead at Kansas Jewish Facilities

Aired April 14, 2014 - 08:00   ET




ANGUS HOUSTON, AUSTRALIAN CHIEF SEARCH COORDINATOR: This is the best lead we have, and it must be pursued vigorously.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. Into the deep, the Bluefin dropped in hours ago to scan the ocean floor for Flight 370 as an oil slick is spotted in the area.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: On the brink, violence breaking out across eastern Ukraine. The government set to counter pro-Russia protesters with force as the U.S. and Russia trade accusations. Will Russia now move in?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: A mother's anguish. A gunman opens fire killing three outside two Jewish centers. Now, the mother of the teen killed is speaking out. Her emotional speech to the community.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

BOLDUAN: Good morning and welcome once again to NEW DAY.

New this morning, the search for Flight 370 entering a new face. A U.S. navy underwater vehicle, Bluefin 21 it's called, has been deployed to map the Indian Ocean floor. It may be the last, best hope for search crews to pinpoint the wreckage.

CUOMO: Australian officials say an oil slick was spotted in the search area. Sample was taken. Tests on that could take days.

But let's check in with CNN's Michael Holmes. He's live in Perth, Australia.

Michael, they say they got about two liters of the oil. That's unusual and promising, yes?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. As you say, they've brought it back to Perth. They're going to have a look at it. They don't -- I mean, they're exercising caution as always. They had to -- they saw the slick. They had to get a sample and check it out. We'll know in a few days whether it's related in any way to Malaysian Flight 370.

Now, those pings we reported on those four pings, they were hoping to get more pings to narrow the search area even further, but now day 38, the flight recorders were meant to last at least 30 days. We're now on day 38. So they've decided to try something new.


HOLMES (voice-over): A shift in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 -- after 38 days, Australian officials announcing they will begin searching the sea floor with this underwater vehicle.

HOUSTON: We haven't had a single detection in six days. It's time to go under water.

HOLMES: The crew aboard the Australian ship Ocean Shield will launch the unmanned Bluefin 21 to map out the search area using its side scan sonar technology. It will take the vehicle two hours to dive to the bottom, 16 more hours to search a roughly 16,000 square feet section of the floor, and two more hours to return to the surface. It then takes four hours to download and analyze the data collected. Meaning each mission will take at least a full 24 hours to complete.

HOUSTON: This will be a slow and painstaking process.

HOLMES: Investigators are also testing a two-liter sample of oil collected from a slick on sea around the area of the towed pinger locator. They are looking to see whether it's connected to the missing jet.

Meanwhile, the visual search for floating debris will wind down in the coming days.

Officials say the Bluefin 21 was to be deployed around 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time, although they cautioned raising hopes that the underwater vehicle would discover the wreckage of Flight 370, saying it might not.

HOUSTON: This is the best lead we have.


HOLMES: And, of course, with that Bluefin, it takes two hours to get to the bottom, all 14,000 feet or so. It spends the next 16 hours going at walking pace.

We're told that at that pace, it could take anywhere from six weeks to up to two months to cover the entire search area. So, this is another phase and it is a long, long process -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Michael, thank you so much.

Let's bring in David Soucie, CNN safety analyst and the author of "Why Planes Crash". He's a former FAA inspector. And also Mary Schiavo, CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general for the Department of Transportation to discuss further all of these latest developments.

Good morning, guys.


BOLDUAN: So, David, as Michael -- let's start with Michael just left off. They call it a slow and painstaking process, this new phase we're entering.


BOLDUAN: He said it could take between six weeks and two months to cover the area that they have narrowed this down to. What does that mean?

SOUCIE: Well, if you take all the square area -- that square mile area and just do the math, it comes out to that. Part of that as well is that each time the vehicle comes up, you have to evaluate the payload. If they found some evidence of anything that they have to evaluate, do we change out the payload from a sonar to a photography payload?

So, there's a lot of decision making. There has to be some analysis before they download the data and the put it back in the water, charge the batteries or swap the batteries and put it in the water. So, there's a lot of time in between.

BOLDUAN: They've also cautioned at the very same time, Mary, when they say they're entering this new phase, they cautioned that sending the UAV down does not necessarily mean they're going to find the wreckage. What are the chances? In your experience with how these searches go, albeit this one is completely atypical, what are the chances that they're going to come back with something?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, the chances they'll come back with something immediately are pretty slim, but the chances they will come back with finding the wreckage are pretty good. In most past accidents, most past investigations where they have clues -- in other words, where they have clues of where to look and they thought they were looking in the right place, they have come back with the wreckage or one or two of the black boxes including one in the Indian Ocean that was 16,000 feet under the water, the crash of South African Airways. That holds the record.

So, since they do have clues and they believe they're looking in the right area, I think they will be successful. It might take a long time. It may not be tomorrow, it may not be next week, but it's probably going to be within the coming weeks or months.

BOLDUAN: And it does work kind of at a walking pace, this Bluefin. It makes you wonder when you look at past wrecks and how it's been searched, and all the technology that is available around the world, is there any good reason that there isn't another submersible that's down there assisting in the search?

SOUCIE: You know, I suppose it would help. But at this point, we're not talking about a rush. We want to do a thorough and make sure it's accurate so that every bit of information -- you don't want to have some indication and find out later it was interfering with some other submersible in the area.

So, just -- I really like how chief air marshal Angus Houston is running the investigation, the way he's communicating, he's very clear, very concise. That's the way to run an investigation.

BOLDUAN: So, you're right. At this point, it is not a race against time. We're not looking for the pings anymore. This is a slow, arduous process.

SOUCIE: As much as we want answers.

BOLDUAN: Exactly right.

Mary, what do you make of this oil slick that was detected some three miles or so from where they're searching? Does this give you hope? Or there are a lot of oil slicks.

SCHIAVO: Well, there are a lot of oil slicks. It's awfully close to the search area where they believe the downed aircraft is. Overall, these 38 days, it would have dissipated far and wide. The currents would have moved it away unless for some reason it was just recently released from the wreckage, just some kind of equipment failure, et cetera.

But, you know the old saying, what is it? Delusion is the solution to pollution? They've had a lot time to dilute this and move it away from the area. So, I'm a little skeptical and it might even be from some of the ships working in the area. But they've got to check it out.

Angus Houston was right on again -- if they've got a lead, you have to follow it. That's what good investigators do.

BOLDUAN: That's absolutely right.

And once we hope we get to the pint of handling all the analysis of the black box, say, that we find it -- who is going to handle it? Who should handle it? How does this order of operation go?

SOUCIE: Well, ICAO rule annex 13 section 3 talks about custody of --

BOLDUAN: So, there actually are rules. This is written how it should go. Are they going to follow this?

SOUCIE: Well, Mary pointed out a few days ago about the ICAO rules don't have enough teeth to be enforceable unless the ICAO members Dwayne Werth (ph) is on that team, the ambassador for the United States on that team. And so, as far as whether they're going to enforce something, it's not the appropriate time to do that. For example, the 30-day report, the preliminary report should have been released by now?

I made a mistake the other day and Mary was write about the fact that it's not an enforceable thing, it's an agreement that they made. Unless they agree to enforce it and say we want to report today, they're not going to do that.

BOLDUAN: So, Mary, just want to get your final take on who do you think should be leading this investigation, that part of the analysis when it does come in?

CUOMO: I think the Australians. They're already there. They're on site. They have the capability. They haven't worked a number of huge accidents like the United States or the British or the French BEA have. But they're there, they're on site, the world seems to trust them. Let them go with it, run with it.

I think they will call in other officials, including -- they're already there, in fact, including the NTSB and others. So, don't change horses right in the middle of the stream. It seems to be going OK with the Australians.

BOLDUAN: All right. We'll see, first things first. Let's get this first mission under way as it is right now with the Bluefin-21 and see what comes up with this search.


CUOMO: All right, Kate. Thank you very much.

We want to go to some breaking news out of Ukraine, pro-Russia demonstrators attacking a police building as the threat of civil war grows. So, what happens first? An invasion from Russia or a war within?

Let's get the latest from the ground. Senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is live from one of the hot spots in eastern Ukraine.

Nick, we keep calling these people pro-Russian demonstrators? But what's the word on the ground? Are they just Russian troops in disguise?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Some of them are clearly obviously armed militants. It's not clear where they hail from. They're organized, have matching uniforms and often they spearhead attacks on police stations or administrations here. Holivka (ph), another town just in the last few hours have seen protesters, pro-Russians storming into the building and pushing police out of the way.

The real issue here, Chris, is this morning we were supposed to be seeing the Ukrainian army move in and an anti-terror operation if protesters didn't lay down their arms and clear out. We're still looking around for any sign of the Ukrainian government or police actually trying to reclaim authority here.


WALSH (voice-over): Across Eastern Ukraine, confrontation and violence are the new language of protests. But officials warning that the threat of civil war looms closer than ever. Overnight, an emergency meeting at the United Nations Security Council convening at Russia's request. The Russian ambassador calling the situation very dangerous, placing the responsibility for avoiding war on the west.

The Ukraine's second largest city Sunday, pro-Russian activists attacking those supporting the Ukrainian government. This amateur video captures severe beatings in the suburb. Further east, closer to the Russian border, militants are taking over government building.

This was the scene where the police station was stormed late Saturday. The captain tries to stop these men.

"I'm pro-Russia, an Afghan veteran," one policeman cries, but pushed aside.

Shots in the air.

Another station is occupied by militants surrounded by barricades.

Outside of Slavyansk, a Ukrainian security officer killed another injured in a shoot-out apparently with militants.

The pro-Russian groups well-armed, well-organized in uniform, and prepare to use their weapons. Ukrainian officials issuing an ultimatum to those occupying government buildings, even in the face of a full-scale antiterrorism operation. Moscow accuses Ukraine of fighting and declaring war against their own people.


WALSH: Now, what is remarkable is simply how we've seen the Ukrainian government fail to mount a response on the ground. But even the interim president holding out a possibility maybe of a referendum on the future of eastern Ukraine, which country would join potentially on the same day as president elections in May, giving vote to strange choice, choosing their president, but also, what would that president be president of? If that even happens, it would be a huge concession. We are seeing here a messy response from Kiev, the central government, and increasing organization, pro-Russian protesters on the march here.

Don't forget, Chris, the key reason why we're not seeing the Ukrainian army moving in, those 40,000 Russian troops that NATO and Washington are quite clear on the other side of the border and Moscow saying they reserve the right to intervene if their see their compatriots -- pro- Russian sentiment, in other words -- is under threat -- Chris.

CUOMO: That's a great point, Nick. It's exactly that inability to combat Russian troops one for one that makes the threat from the Ukrainian somewhat hollow.

So, let's bring in Fareed Zakaria right now. He's the host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS".

So, Ukraine can't do this by themselves. You know, I know they're posturing. I know the rest of the world is using them a little bit as an excuse. Well, let's see what they do. They can't do anything, can they? Let's be honest.

FAREED ZAKARIA, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": Russia spends about 20 times what Ukraine does on its defense budget. So, it's highly unlikely Ukraine could do anything if it came to Russian troops. But what I think they're trying to see, the rest of the world and we, is can the Ukrainian government find a way to deal with these protesters and the masked goons who are almost certainly Russian, either army people or in some way paramilitary or KGB-type operatives?

And part of it is the skill with which they can do it. Part of it is to see what kind of support these people have on the ground.

I think what Putin is doing right now, his first phase if you think of it, was testing Western governments to see how far they would go when he annexed Crimea. Phase two is now testing the Ukrainian government to see how much control they can actually assert over this part of eastern Ukraine. If he's able to foment enough instability, I think he will either try to make the case that this needs to become part of Russia or that it needs huge amount of autonomy so it de facto becomes part of Russia.

CUOMO: Let's look at his progress so far, Fareed. This is what we see. This is where the outbreaks are right now, right?

ZAKARIA: That's exactly right. It's all the eastern part of Ukraine. You can see very close to Russia. One part the map doesn't show you, this is a piece of Ukraine that has a lot of economic activity, a lot of heavy industry, a lot of mining, a lot of metallurgy. So, it's a part of Ukraine unlike Crimea which is an economic basket case, Ukraine can't afford to lose this piece.

CUOMO: Right. So, it's no coincidence that it's the economic center that is being attacked as well as the kind -- kind of the ethnic disbursal here is also relevant. You see the different languages here. It's showing that this is a different ethnic mix here that plays to Russia's advantage.

ZAKARIA: Exactly. So, you see it's darkest red in Crimea, almost 70 percent Russian speaking. But this is all pretty strongly Russian speaking. The key is Putin is trying to figure out as is the Ukrainian government, how much support is there in these Russian- speaking places in eastern Ukraine for closer ties with Russia, how much do they dislike the government in Kiev?

It's not entirely clear. What I hear is a lot of the younger people even in the Russian speaking part of Ukraine want Ukraine to be an independent country. They don't want to be a satellite of Russia.

CUOMO: I'm sure the shadow of communism is something they very much want to get away from, especially the younger generation looking for economic opportunity. Fair point that if Russia wanted to take over Ukraine, it wouldn't start here, it wouldn't tiptoe. It would go right to the capital. Any kind of optimism to be taken there?

ZAKARIA: No. Because I think what Russia wants to do is dominate Ukraine. I think they understand the attack on Kiev, first of all, this is fiercely anti-Russian, this whole area. They would fight, you know, as we well know, trying to occupy foreign countries is very difficult if the local population is against you.

So, what Putin is doing is much more clever. He's going to the places where he thinks there's Russian support.

CUOMO: He's doing it the easy way.


CUOMO: And, frankly, the West is making it easy on him. I do think there's something a little artificial, these sanctions are being planned. These sanctions -- are we overestimating the tolerance of Western European countries to put sanctions on Russia given how closely they're tied to the fuel and the investment that they do in Russia?

ZAKARIA: Well, the most important one is the fuel, and the most important country there is Germany. So look at these pipelines. This is all Russian gas going to Europe.

Now, the Russians can't really afford to cut this off either. But the Europeans can't afford to have no gas. I think Germany gets something like 30 percent of its natural gas from Russia. They shut down the nuclear power plants they had after Fukushima. So, for electricity, they rely increasingly on natural gas and increasingly on Russian natural gas.

CUOMO: And we can't replace that. The U.S. saying, you know, we'll supply them with natural gas. We don't have the infrastructure or capability to do that for many years. That's not going to be a cure to this situation.

ZAKARIA: No. That's a pipe dream, 15 years out. You have to invest in plants, convert gas to liquid natural gas and ship --

CUOMO: It's just not relevant to Putin or anything else in the situation. It's just politics, which is another part of the problem that you've spoken out very eloquently and we need to make a point now.

We do not see a "we" in the United States right now. McCain is saying give them light arms, the president has been too weak. No one is rallying to his side. Even back in Georgia in 2008, when that happened, you saw Democrats getting around Bush saying, hey, let's figure out how to do it the right way. That's not happening right now.

Is their resolve in the U.S. to do anything strong here? ZAKARIA: You know what, honestly, Chris? I think you're absolutely right. It's not just that you have a partisan bickering which you do and it's unfortunate. The polls show that the Americans want the United States to have almost nothing to do with this crisis. We're in an isolationist move. Let's face it. It's I think the product of two long wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, and even though this is a very serious crisis, here you have a great global power saying we're going to do annexation by force, something that really hasn't happened for a long, long time.

And yet, the American people are just I think very tired of the whole idea that the United States has to be at the forefront of all these kind of global policing issues.

CUOMO: It's very interesting. You've said that this is a throwback. Russia is showing that national interests come before global concerns. Right now, they're getting it the easy way. Putin doesn't have to do anything really. It's all coming to him very easily. We'll have to see what happens next.

ZAKARIA: It's a very sensitive moment because what he's trying to see is how far can he push and what happens in eastern Ukraine now will determine whether we end up seeing outright annexation, total domination or will he back off? Because he sees actually, there is some pushback both from Ukraine and the West.

CUOMO: And monitoring this situation as we leave this conversation, I've been seeing on social media people talking about blowing up the pipelines, what's going to happen when people start blowing up the infrastructure? Remember that happened in Iraq how that changed the dynamic of the war?

Fareed, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

ZAKARIA: A pleasure.

CUOMO: Let's get over to you, Nick.

PEREIRA: All right, Chris, thanks so much. Thanks, Fareed.

Let's take a look at more of your headlines at this hour.

Oscar Pistorius on the stand for a second week giving more emotional testimony during his murder trial in South Africa. Prosecutors spent much of the morning detailing what happened the night Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, aggressively questioning the athlete about the moments before the shooting. Pistorius stated for his part all along that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.

A Southwest flight was diverted to Omaha after a man tried to open one of the plane's doors. That flight was headed to Sacramento from Chicago. When witnesses say a passengers began to act strangely before he went to the back of the cabin and tried to pry open a door. Three passengers tackled the man, restrained him until air marshals were able to lead him off the plane in handcuffs. That flight continued on safely to Sacramento. You have a bit of a free show tonight, friends, courtesy of the moon. A total eclipse will turn it a coppery, gorgeous, luscious color of red. Experts say the best time to see the blood moon will be from 2:00 to 4:00 a.m. in the East, right around when we're up, and 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 in the morning in the West. Now, if the sky is clear where you are, you should be in for quite a show. And if you miss this window or there's supposed to be -- there should be a total of four blood moons.

CUOMO: I don't like blood moon.

PEREIRA: Well, I'm sorry. It's going to continue --

BOLDUAN: Then, you sleep in.

CUOMO: Isn't that foreboding? I'll miss the show. But isn't that foreboding, blood moon?

PEREIRA: No. I think it's actually beautiful.

BOLDUAN: We'll take video of it. We'll show you some video tomorrow and then you can judge. OK?

CUOMO: It's true. Blood, sanguine -- the word sanguine comes from blood. I guess you can be happy about blood. All right. I'll take it back.

BOLDUAN: Full circle, 180. I don't know what you've done.

OK. Let's take a break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, more on the deployment of U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 in the search for Flight 370. We'll show you how it will work on the ocean floor and what officials hope it can find.

CUOMO: Plus, unspeakable hatred. On the eve of Passover three people killed at two Jewish community centers. The man behind it an infamous anti-Semite. The question, why wasn't he stopped before it came to this?


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

The suspect in Sunday's deadly rampage at two Kansas Jewish facilities is due in court today. Police say a 73-year-old man opened fire at a Jewish community center and at a retirement home on the eve of the Passover holiday and killed three people.

Investigators believe the suspect has ties to white supremacist groups.

CNN's George Howell is in Overland Park, Kansas, with more -- George.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michaela, it was supposed to be another Sunday for people here, a group of teenagers, a lot of teenagers in this community center just auditioning for a play and singing competition, and at a nearby retirement home, people just enjoying the afternoon. All potential were targets for this man armed with weapons, filled with hate.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a guy with a rifle here shooting at people. I would leave.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why, is he still here?


HOWELL (voice-over): This man escaped with this window shattered by gunfire. Others warned to stay out of harm's way.

On the eve of Passover, a lone gunman opens fire at two different Jewish facilities near Kansas City.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no other word to describe it. It's panic.

HOWELL: Panic, fear and confusion.

Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, both gunned down at a Jewish community center, where many teens have been taking part in rehearsals and auditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We thought it was weather at first.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, there were people ducking down inside and people yelling at us to get inside.

HOWELL: Moments later, another victim is shot and killed at Village Shalom, a retirement community about a mile away.

Police arrested Frazier Glenn Cross at a nearby elementary school. As he's being taken away, he shouts a neo-Nazi slogan.


HOWELL: Cross now faces charges of premeditated murder. Police say the suspect also known as Glenn Miller has ties to white supremacists.

He apparently has his own Web site and the Southern Poverty Law Center describes him as a longtime anti-Semite.

A police chaplain was told by witnesses Cross seemed chilling, deliberate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's apparently an older gentleman, and was asking people if before he thought if they were Jewish or not. This sounds like very much a hate crime.

HOWELL: Last night, just hours after the shooting, this powerful moment at a vigil.

MINDY CORPORON, MOTHER/DAUGHTER OF VICTIMS: I'm the daughter of the gentleman who was killed and I'm the mother of the son who was killed.

HOWELL: You can hear the emotion in the crowd as she shares her last words with her father and son.

CORPORON: I got to tell both of them today that I loved them. I was the last person in the family who saw them and I appreciate you being here. It's very helpful to me. That's how I grieve, thank you.


HOWELL: There's people going about their day, forced to run for their lives, seek shelter, go into locker rooms, get on the ground and get out of harm's way. Three people killed in this situation.

We do expect to learn more about Cross today as he is said to be in court.

PEREIRA: That community and so many communities just reeling from this. When you think about the fact that these people were there for a recital, for an audition, families going about their normal day and when this kind of violence breaks out, no sense to be made from it.

BOLDUAN: As the congressman said earlier, he said you see these stories happen on TV and you never think it's going to happen to your community. Isn't that the truth? You never do, and then it does.

All right. Let's take another break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, sending in the sub. The new under water phase of the search for Flight 370 may be the most challenging phase yet. What are the chances the Bluefin 21 will succeed where other efforts have so far failed?