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Bluefin-21 Set to Search Again; Kiev Sends Troops to Eastern Ukraine; Boston Commemorates Year-Anniversary of Boston Marathon Bombing

Aired April 15, 2014 - 12:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Twelve months ago today, two bombs exploded 12 seconds apart near the Boston Marathon finish line. This hour, the city honors the victims and hails the heroes, showing the world what it means to be Boston strong.

Also ahead today, two of the deep ocean search for Flight 370 search teams battling the weather and hoping the robotic sub's second run goes a lot better than the first.

And the Ukrainian military on the move this hour, vowing to take on pro-Russian forces in the east. So did that Obama/Putin phone call do anything to calm the crisis?

Hello, everybody. I'm Chris Cuomo, in for Ashleigh Banfield. It is Tuesday, April 15th, Tax Day. Welcome to LEGAL VIEW.

Our top story this hour is the hunt for Flight 370. Let's start with the latest headlines. First up, with search teams preparing to re- launch the Bluefin submarine, crews are eager to send the underwater search vehicle back down for a second day, but bad weather is putting a damper on things at the moment. The drone's first mission almost three miles below the surface was cut short after the sub hit its maximum depth and aborted early with no significant data collected.

Plus, we're also waiting on results from samples of an oil slick in the search zone. They found a thin oil. They were able to collect two liters of it. So that's good. They want to see, obviously, if it's from the Malaysian airliner. It will take some time to get the tests done in western Australia.

And meanwhile, the air and surface search for plane debris in the Indian Ocean could end this week as the focus is shifting to the ocean floor.

Will Ripley is following new developments live for us from Perth, Australia.

Will, what are the chances that the Bluefin-21 is being re-launching today with everything we hear about the weather?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just within the past few minutes, Chris, we got some new information from the company that makes the Bluefin, Phoenix International. They tell us that the Bluefin is, in fact, back in the water right now. However, I just texted a source of mine who works for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and that source says that the Bluefin is not yet in the water. So we're getting some conflicting reports. The manufacturer says it is back, it's doing its job. AMSA, which is one of the agencies involved in this search here, says it is not. So we're going to try to work that (ph) to get some more clarification on that, Chris.

But we do know that efforts have been underway to try to reprogram the Bluefin to be able to get it to actually be able to do a full 20-hour mission under water. As you know yesterday, the mission got aborted early after seven and a half hours. It only got about 29 percent of its work done before it became -- the sensors on the Bluefin detected that the water was too deep and it could put the actual entire device in jeopardy. So it aborted the mission, came back up without finding anything of significance. They're hoping if they can reprogram, get it back and actually be able to do a full scan today, they could get some more info, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Will, thank you very much. If you hear anything changing about the weather and them moving forward, let us know so we can get to you and find out the latest.

Let's bring in CNN safety analyst and former FAA inspector Mr. David Soucie to talk about the difficulties facing this new phase of the search.

So, see if you can quite the criticisms that have come up here. Oh, the Bluefin-21, not up to the job. It's the wrong thing. It can't go deep enough. Is that fair?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: You know, it really is, but there was no -- in the defense of that, there was no way to really know how deep exactly it was down there in the first place. So there's no maps -

CUOMO: There's no map of this part of the ocean.

SOUCIE: There's no maps. There's nothing that they can set up ahead of time. And typically with the Bluefin, they start with the base map and then they plot on that base map so the autonomous vehicle can hit those points accurately.

CUOMO: And as you have taught me, the Bluefin is definitely right because it has the sonar. And when you can't see at this depth, it's dark, the silt layer making it cloudy, you have to judge by sonar, right?

SOUCIE: That's right. That's right. Because you can't -- the sonar can see as much as 100 meters wide on the bottom of the -- of the ocean, whereas visually you're only going to see not even between you and me unless you've got a really strong light.

CUOMO: So it's the right vehicle. Being safe is the order of the day, right, because if they break that thing -


CUOMO: They have bigger problems than they have right now.

SOUCIE: Absolutely. If you go below 4,900 feet, which is the absolute bottom depth of this thing, you're talking about an implosion on that aircraft (INAUDIBLE).

CUOMO: You know what made me think of David Soucie today, other than the sunshine and all other good things in life, is the word coming out of the Malaysian side that they are going to launch a team of international investigators to look at the integrity of the aircraft and all these other attendant issues. And the reason it made me think of you is that very often what seems like the immediacy of the moment, oh, it must have been the pilots or it must have been whatever speculation is coming out of the investigators -

SOUCIE: Right.

CUOMO: Often it comes down to the aircraft itself. So are you -- is that a sign of optimism for you in getting a complete answer?

SOUCIE: What -- the optimism for me in that is that they had the foresight to know that they needed to do that.

CUOMO: Uh-huh.

SOUCIE: You know, it's often in these investigations you'll go for years, even after the investigation is complete, and still not have these joint task force.

CUOMO: And that would be the worst thing here because the answers that are needed by these families, they can't go with an incomplete here.

SOUCIE: Yes. And not only these families, but the families of future accidents. This is where we're looking now with these types of task forces is, how can we improve the systemic failures that happen here, not just one event, but the whole system.

CUOMO: And when we talked about -- David, thank you very much, because if we're going to talk about satisfying the families of those who have been victimized, we've got to get to the topic of Boston. And again, today is the one year anniversary of what happened at the Boston Marathon.

Right now, a tribute marking the anniversary of those bombings is going on. And where the focus isn't going to be on the ones responsible for the attack. They want to be forgotten. But the victims need to be remembered. And certainly the survivors need to be remembered. Three people you'll recall were killed. At least 264 wounded physically. So many affected emotionally.

Three of the survivors are expected to give remarks at the Heinz Convention Center in Boston. Right now, you're hearing the Boston Pops. They're giving a performance of -- what is this song? Come to me, control room. All right. It's going to be "America the Beautiful" is what we're going to be hearing. Right now they're playing something else that's beautiful.

And we're going to bring you live coverage as we hear from former Boston Thomas Minito (ph). We have the vice president who's going to be there. We're going to have testimonials about the people who were lost. The Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick, will be there. So we'll take you through all the high points as it happens. The VP will be on at 1:00 p.m. if you're looking for that near the end of the ceremony.

There's also going to be a moment of silence scheduled for 2:49 Eastern. That will be a very solemn occasion. Something we'll want to check in on. We will bring you all the high points of that as they occur.

We also want to talk to you today about Ukrainian troops. Why? What's going on in the Ukraine? Troops are marching into potentially dangerous territory. They're going to the scene of ongoing clashes in a region dominated by Russian supporters. We take you live to the Ukraine to get latest on their mission. That's coming up.


CUOMO: All right. We're taking you to Boston., as you see on the bottom of your screen. This is the tribute for the Boston bombing victims, the one-year anniversary. It happened today on April 15th. The marathon this year is next weekend. That's going to be a joyous occasion. But today is a solemn one, remembering those who were lost, the three people who died, 264 others who were injured and so many beyond them affected. Families shattered because of this. We'll be taking you in and out of the high points as they occur throughout the ceremony. The VP will be on at 1:00 p.m. So you look forward to that.

We also want to talk to you this morning about the Ukraine. Ukraine has deployed hundreds of troops today to the eastern part of their country. That's because pro-Russian demonstrators have engaged in street brawls and forced their way into government buildings in at least 10 cities. Ukrainian officials say about 350 troops were sent as a, quote, anti-terrorism operation. For the latest, let's get to CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon. She's in Kiev.

Arwa, the Russian state media reports one town in eastern Ukraine has been surrounded by Ukrainian troops. Do we know what orders these troops have been given, what the situation is?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the government has been saying that they're not going to disclose any specific information about troop movements or ongoing military operations. That statement that you're referring to there is about the city of Slovansk (ph) where the pro-Russian leaning mayor put out a statement saying that the city had been surrounded, threatening that if Ukrainian forces tried to enter it, they would be taking actions to stop that. However, the CNN team that was on the ground there said that they saw no evidence of any sort of large-scale military operation, but events here have been moving incredibly quickly.

In another city also in the eastern Ukraine, the city of Kramatorsk, there the acting president of Ukraine announcing that Ukrainian special forces have managed to take over the airfield. This is an airfield that had been under the control of pro-Russian activists. The spokeswoman for the government, for the president, the acting president here, also pledging that very shortly she said there would be no more terrorists on Ukrainian territory.

Now, the government here has been promising for quite some time now that it would be launching a full-scale anti-terrorism operation. A lot of people in Kiev that we've been speaking to have been growing frustrated with what they perceived is being the government's passiveness when it comes - when it came to dealing with these pro- Russian activists in the eastern part of the country. But it seems that today, finally, the government making good on that promise to retake control, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Arwa Damon, let us know what happens. That could be a very volatile situation. Arwa Damon in Kiev, thank you.

Boston is coming together today, one year after the tragic bombing at the marathon there. An emotional tribute to the victims is being held right now. We're going to take you live to Boston and listen in, coming up.


CUOMO: We're listening to part of the musical tribute to victims of the Boston bombing that happened at the marathon, one year ago today.

We're getting ready for what's supposed to be a beautiful program of remembrances of those who were lost and hearing from the survivors and hearing from the leaders that helped Boston regroup so quickly after what was so terrible, four hours -- some four hours and nine minutes into the marathon last year when two homemade bombs went off.

Today, though, isn't going to be about who did the terrible thing. It's going to be about who survived it, an entire community that came under one banner of "Boston Strong."

And we are certainly there as CNN to cover this as we were a year ago to cover the bombings themselves. And we'll have you hearing in this morning to all the high points.

And up in Boston we have Brooke Baldwin, who's going to join me, taking you through what's happening right now. There's Brooke.

Brooke, it's good to be on this with you. What's the situation like up in Boston?

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR, "NEWSROOM": Chris, you remember, it almost feels like a lot of people -- we've been talking to, it feels like yesterday, what happened here a year ago.

Other people say it could have been 10 years ago. It's hard for a lot of these people to wrap their minds around from the fact that not even 50 feet from where I'm standing here on Boylston Street, as we look at the beautiful blue-and-yellow finish line erected here once again, that something so horrendous, something so heinous happened a year ago.

But I have to tell you, just being here the last couple of days, people remind me, and it's truly a privilege to be back live in Boston, this is a tough town.

And I was really sort of thinking this morning how to describe today, this feeling, and certainly inside of this tribute ceremony, yes, there will be somber moments, as we remember, of course, those four deaths one year ago.

But at the same time, it's support. When I got into town, there were people rallying around and crossing the finish line after a cross- country race. It's positive.

There was a wonderful article in "The Boston Globe" this morning, talking about the resilience of optimism. And that's what this city is about, Chris Cuomo.

Let me bring in my colleague Jason Carroll, who's been here with me the last couple of days.

And, you know, you've kept up with survivors over the year. I've kept up with survivors over the year. I think one point that's so important to make is, yes, we'll be hearing from survivors in this remembrance ceremony, but so many people were injured.

We focus on those with missing arms and missing legs, but people have lost hearing. People have lost sight. People heard the fireworks last Fourth of July and it brought them right back here a year ago.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Two things. More than 200 people injured, as you know, but one point that you hit on, which I thought really speaks to what's happening here, and that's the optimism.


CARROLL: I mean, when I heard of J.P. Norden and his brother Paul, these are two of the survivors, Each of them lost a leg. And when I asked them what it's been like for then, one thing really, really stuck with me, and that is what they said.

They said, It's been one of the worst years of our lives, but it's also been the best year.

BALDWIN: How? How is that possible?

CARROLL: How can it possibly be one of the best years of your lives? And they said, Because we've seen the best in people, all the cards that we received, the letters that we received from people.

Both of them said, when they were at their darkest point, when they were hospitalized, couldn't move, or that point when they were on crutches and they were frustrated because they couldn't walk the way that they used to, it was the cards and letters from all of the people from all over the world that they received that really brought them to where they are today.

BALDWIN: The lemonade stands of kids trying to raise money for the Boston One Fund, seeing Adrianne Haslet Davis who spoke with Anderson, and we aired that tremendous documentary, who will be one of the three survivors speaking on the stage, it's those moments of optimism that we really need to focus on today.

Looking at live pictures here, the governor here of this state here, Deval Patrick, Vice President Joe Biden being seated inside the Hynes Convention Center just up the way.

Also speaking today, the former mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, who we all remember the coverage last year he was such a central figure, hobbling around with a bad leg.

So, as everyone gets seated, Chris Cuomo, just a little bit about what I've learned, we know that inside this massive auditorium it's opening and closing with music. We mentioned some of the speakers, three survivors speaking, 3,000 people seated inside this auditorium, and these tickets, these tickets were specially appointed by the governor's office.

And so not just those in and around the Boston community, those who built the structures we're standing in here, those who have been involved with the Boston marathon for years and years.

And something around here that people are truly, Chris, excited to talk about, yes, today is about remembering, the police commissioner said tomorrow, you know, is about moving forward, and Monday is about racing one of the biggest marathons, if not the biggest this city has ever seen.

CARROLL: Absolutely.


CUOMO: Well said, Brooke. I was up there yesterday. I've got my "Boston Strong" One Fund bracelet on. It says "Boston Strong" on one side, "Our Heroes" on the other. And, certainly everybody's feeling that vibe of "Boston Strong," no matter where they're from.

Right now, we're listening to, I believe, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra with Keith Lockhart, conductor, "Hymn to New England" by John Williams. That's the opening song there. We'll listen in to different parts of it throughout the morning.

I want to bring in CNN commentator Mel Robbins, defense attorney, but she's lived in Boston for 17 years and has a lot of connections to last year's marathon. You had family running. You've run it yourself.


CUOMO: So, it was an intimate situation in this relatively small town.

ROBBINS: Yes, and, you know, you've got to remember Boston's only 600,000 people in the city proper, and it's the kind of town where it's not six degrees of separation. It's one. There's not a person living in Boston, Chris, that wasn't directly impacted by knowing somebody, by knowing a family that was impacted.

And one of the things, and Brooke was speaking to this, that I found to be so moving about the last year is tragedy either pulls you apart or it makes you stronger.

And in a town that was already -- had a lot of civic pride, thanks to the last decade of our sports teams, this was the kind of tragedy that made Boston truly unite around civic pride, around resilience, because you have terrorists attacking possibly the most important event that actually happens in Boston, which is the marathon.

CUOMO: That is the scary part, right? When people looked at the initial tragedy and they were like by scale it's not that bad. It was a handful of people. Yes, you had a few hundred injured, but it could have been so much worse.


CUOMO: But the point of terror is often to hit you where you live.


CUOMO: And that marathon is culture.


CUOMO: And it reverberated well beyond the actual impact of the bomb. And I remember as metaphor, Marathon Sports, where everybody buys their marathon gear --

ROBBINS: My husband just bought tennis shoes there yesterday.

CUOMO: That's the place to go, right?

So, the bomb hits right outside that store, blows out the window, becomes a triage center.


CUOMO: The workers are tying tourniquets. They're move things out of the way. There were all these barricades and stuff that were set up for the marathon.

And they are helping people survive. They literally help one woman who was bleeding out in front of the store. They helped her survive.

So the place becomes a metaphor for the resilience. They open up 10 days later. I remember the opening. We were there. People waited outside quietly. The workers walked out, many of whom were the people who had helped save people's lives. And they said, sure, come on in.

People have been flooding in that store. I went yesterday. Got hit up for this bracelet and all these T-shirts that we'll give out next week. And everything says "Boston Strong" on it -- ROBBINS: They now have just, as of yesterday, approved license plates --

CUOMO: Oh, yeah? "Boston Strong?"

ROBBINS: -- in the state of Massachusetts to continue. The One Fund was created just 24 hours, as you know, after the bombs went off. They've raised $61 million.

And, you know, me personally, I have a friend that I've known for two decades. We went to law school together. Her husband was running in it.

And I was here at CNN when the bombs went off. And I immediately, my sister-in-law was running, and my friend, you know, that's married to this guy -- my friend's husband was running. I got in touch with my sister-in-law but I couldn't get in touch with Bill. So it was hours before I could get my friend Jen to text me back. And when she texted back, she said, I'm fine, but my family's not.

And her niece was one of those folks that Brooke was talking about in the gray area, didn't lose a limb, but lost a hand-sized section to her calf, and talk about resilience, that family has now started the Stepping Strong Fund, which is raising money to focus on research for limb regeneration.

So that's the thing that comes out of this story for me, is that, yeah, you can set off a bomb, you can rob us of four beautiful people, but you will not rob us of our spirit.

CUOMO: And, in a way, it actually wound up doing the opposite of its intention.

ROBBINS: Correct.

CUOMO: Instead of making them weaker, it made them stronger. It made them show what they're all about.

ROBBINS: A hundred percent. And that's what you guys have been covering here.

CUOMO: And I think that's important. I think it's important to ignore the people who do the bad things, because you don't want to give attention to the rationale. You don't want to give attention to their existence. You don't want to give any sense of validation if you don't have to.

Plenty of people say their names. I've made a choice early on not to, because I knew plenty of others would.

And, interestingly, we met -- Krystle Campbell is one of the four people who lost their lives. I was saying three because that's the -- three lives were taken by the bomb, but Sean Collier, the police officer, campus security guard, was taken in a shoot-out with the assailants later on. The grandma of Krystle Campbell, and I talked to a few days after Krystle was lost in the marathon, talked to her again yesterday, had her on "NEW DAY" this morning.

And her message is, listen, we've got to move on. Whatever they do with the bad guy, they do with them. I just want them not to exist, and I want to remember how we move forward in Boston.

And John King made a good point this morning. It's not "Boston Strong. It's "Boston Stronger," because it was always strong.

ROBBINS: Interesting, my best friend is running the marathon this year. And she did a training run last week, Chris. And I called her in the middle of it, and she was in tears.

And she said, Lisa, what's wrong? And she said, Oh, Mel, I came through Wellesley, so she's about eight miles in, and there was a water stop. And there on the table was the picture of Martin Richard, the little boy that was killed. And when she looked up, Martin Richard's mom was there and gave Lisa this huge hug.

And so to think about what it's going to be like on the actual race day, they're expecting a million people to come out and watch this race.

CUOMO: And rightly so. It should be the biggest and the best ever.

Right now, speaking of best ever, you have to speak about America. And right now, we believe they're playing "America the Beautiful." Let's listen in. And we missed it because I was busy talking to you, Mel.

ROBBINS: I'm sorry.

CUOMO: There's going to be a lot of great music here this morning, and that is really -- the official beginning is that song.

We're going to have some opening remarks now from the Reverend Liz Walker, the pastor of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church.

And then there are going to be remembrances of those who were lost, and again, to remind you, Martin Richard, the young boy, Krystle Campbell, young herself, not even 30, Lingzi Lu, the exchange student, and Sean Collier, of course.

So, let's listen in to this. We'll hear a little of that later? You want to do that? OK. So we'll take a break right now and then we'll bring you back to the anniversary, much anticipation -- anticipated after a year, Boston and the victims impacted by the bombing, still struggling but moving on.

If you'd like to help, you can. You can get information about the survivors and the funds set up to assist them at Let's take a quick break, and we'll come back and take you in to the anniversary.