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Three Americans Killed In Kabul Shooting; Obama: Russia Sanctions Are "Teed Up"; Bluefin-21 Mission Over 90 Percent Complete; Stowaway Endured Diminished Oxygen Levels

Aired April 24, 2014 - 06:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. Breaking news this morning out of Afghanistan, three American volunteer doctors have been killed in a shooting attack outside a children's hospital in Kabul. Another American also shot being treated for her wounds. We're told the shooter was a hospital security guard.

Joining us on the phone from Kabul is Jeremy Kelly with the "Times of London." Jeremy, if you can hear us, what can you tell us about the situation?

JEREMY KELLY, "TIMES OF LONDON" (via telephone): Well, this morning shortly after 10:00 a group of foreign doctors and medical staff were entering a hospital run by U.S.-based charity. At that point a guard either stationed at the hospital or near the hospital opened fire on the group killing, according to the U.S. Embassy, three American citizens and wounding one more. The gunman, according to Afghan officials, was then himself shot by other police officers. He's now in custody and undergoing treatment in hospital. The condition of the fourth American is described as stable.

CUOMO: What do we understand about why this supposedly happened? We're hearing it was the security guard. Do you think he was an implanted insurgent or do you think this is somebody having a psychotic break? What do we understand?

KELLY: Well, it's too early to speculate on a motive. Afghan officials say -- are saying today that the shooting was unprovoked. It just happened and then he was himself shot. I'm sure they will be investigating that more as he regains consciousness and can be questioned. But we've had a few incidents like this in recent times. And the motives have varied from either, as you mentioned, an insurgent planted into the security forces or someone who has had other mental or emotional issues that has forced them to act this way.

CUOMO: Obviously the concern is going to be that these Americans were specifically targeted, non-combatants. Any indication that they were picked on purpose? I know you're saying it's early in the investigation, but in any of the other incidents that we've had that are like these, were non-combatants targeted?

KELLY: They've obviously been targeted today for reasons we're not quite clear of at the moment. We had a shooting of a German photographer last month from an Afghan policeman. He told colleagues he was upset that a U.S. air strike that happened in or around his village some months earlier.

CUOMO: All right, Jeremy, thank you very much. I'm asking because we've been hearing reports there's a new strategy there on the insurgent side that not just going after defense troops necessarily, but non-combatants as a way of sending a message of fear. Thank you for the reporting. Please stay safe yourself there. Appreciate it this morning -- Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Also happening at this hour, President Obama is attending a state dinner in Tokyo, but he's also focusing on the crisis in Ukraine no doubt. The violence and rhetoric are ramping up and both sides are using some of the strongest language to date. The Russians with a thinly veiled threat saying they will use force in Ukraine if they believe their interests are in danger. And now president is warning more economic sanctions are ready to go if needed.

CNN's Michelle Kosinski is live in Tokyo traveling with the president with much more -- Michelle.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, inevitably this topic came up right away. We know that additional U.S. sanctions against Russia are tee'd up, ready to go and eminent. Today President Obama said we're looking at days not weeks of continuing to wait and see whether Russia would live up to the agreement signed one week ago in Geneva to take concrete steps to de-escalate the situation.

Well, today President Obama said he himself was not overly optimistic, not hopeful that this would actually happen. He even said it wouldn't take much for Russia to avoid further sanctions. Basically to step up and say that it would do what it agreed to do or call on militants to put down their arms, give up those government buildings that they've seized across Eastern Ukraine.

So far there hasn't been progress there. The president acknowledged though that additional sanctions may not in fact change the calculus of Russian President Vladimir Putin in that region -- Chris.

BOLDUAN: I'll take it, Michelle. The president having to do with ramped up rhetoric coming from North Korea. Lots going on in the region as he is there. You will continue traveling with him. Thanks so much, Michelle.

We also have sobering new developments this morning in the search for Flight 370. A piece of metal we had been talking about described as an object of interest by authorities there. It was found Wednesday on Australia's coast. They now say it is not connected to the missing jetliner. Also, the Bluefin-21, the underwater drone, has scanned, they believe, over 90 percent of the search zone and still with no signs of the plane.

Let's bring in Erin McLaughlin live from Perth, Australia, with the very latest -- Erin. ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. Authorities here in Australia really treated that object of interest with caution as they would any other lead in this investigation as something either needed to be ruled in or ruled out. And overnight the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau ruling that object out as being connected to missing Malaysian Flight 370. They're not exactly saying what it is that they found.

Though it would seem to be just simply a piece of sea garbage, the kind of garbage that has so far really muddied the waters of the visual search. So the focus now goes beneath the water and the efforts of the Bluefin-21, as of this morning, completing its 12th mission, having traversed 90 percent of that very narrowed search area and finding no objects there of interest so far, which has Malaysian and Australian authorities considering next steps.

They're currently we understand hammering out a new agreement about a possible next phase, possibly broadening out the search area and introducing more capable, more powerful submersibles into the mix. We are hearing that they could have that agreement complete as early as this week -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Erin, thank you very much. It's time to put some heat and light on the problem of disclosure going on in this investigation. Joining us David Gallo, one of the co-leaders of the investigation to the Air France 447 crash and Ms. Mary Schiavo who knows all about investigative disclosure from her time with the DOT.

So items of interest. No debris has been found. Object was unrelated. Bluefin searched 90 percent. Will take a long time to do the final 10 percent because it's deep and unmapped. We get all that. There are two issues that are developing that we don't understand as well.

David, the first is for you. Fatigue. I keep being told by military sources you're not paying enough attention to how hard this search is for those doing the search. Not a call for sympathy but practicality. They're pushing it too hard we are told. How can that be?

DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: I don't know if you're pushing it too hard, but they're sure getting some fatigue. They've been out there a long, long time. It's 24/7. You're limited on that ship with how many people there are. It's not like you can bring in fresh people all the time. They're probably at -- usually after a month you're ready to come in for a quick break.

CUOMO: Now, they are probably not exposed to all the media that's on this which is probably a good thing, but in your search for 447, even though you were given 90 percent chance of knowing where it was, you dealt with fatigue and it changed the dynamic and timing of the search. How so?

GALLO: We spent two months in an area that was retro-drifted from all that debris we talk about for Air France 447 in a place where the plane was and we were told it was. On board the ship every single day people expected us to find that aircraft. Every day there was more pressure on the team and some leaked through on board the ship. You knew the outside world was watching and it gets to you after a while.

CUOMO: Now Mary, we're being told a lot of the equipment that you and David introduced us to, the side scanning sonar and some of the equipment that that go deeper, probably going to introduce that now. What does that mean and how helpful do you think it can be?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, what it means is that really vastly more resources. Each one of those pieces of equipment needs its own support ship. You're going to send down additional submersibles, underwater autonomous vehicles, each one has to have a crew and ship so there's more there.

Some can go deeper and provide more and different pictures than the Bluefin and for the 90 percent that's done that was good for the Bluefin, but for the 10 percent that's left you really do need these vehicles that can go deeper and provide the pictures of the ocean floor that's beyond the capability of Bluefin-21. If anything it means a ramping up of resources and more ships, more equipment, and more expense.

CUOMO: All right, so the question of how is pretty well covered here. They got a lot of equipment and they know how to use it. The question of where is getting increasingly confusing for good and bad reasons. The good reason is, they just don't have a lot of data points. The bad reason is, that they're not sharing information here. That's becoming a big concern. Not about a speech from me, it's about insight from both of you. This preliminary report on top of not answering the questions today family, on top of not being consistent with the flow of information, is this how it worked in your search?

GALLO: In our case the French were very careful about what got out and what didn't. It was a criminal investigation from the get-go so they were good about keeping people informed, but there wasn't a constant stream of information coming out. It was tighter controlled than this.

CUOMO: Tighter controlled, but this is tight control, they won't answer the family's questions about things that have nothing to do with an investigation.

GALLO: It's different because in the case of the Air France 447 there was scheduled press conferences so they knew what was coming.

CUOMO: They come out with this preliminary report. Mary, is there stuff that's good, tracking planes differently, we like to hear it. They say we're not going to make it public. We're going to give it to the international civil aviation organization, ICAO, that's nice, but the people who really want it are the media, the families, and all those ancillary interested parties who also want the Inmarsat data to see if they can crunch numbers here. Why isn't that happening?

SCHIAVO: Well, that's a good question because almost always the preliminary reports are made public. And you can't -- they're not really a huge report. The preliminary reports just basics. Just the facts. The Jack Webb stuff, just the facts man. It tells you what happened, what we know, where it is so far. Kind of the preliminary high post cease, what they're looking at, not more. Just the basic data. There's not a thing in there that could compromise any criminal investigation because it's what we know so far. For example, the NTSB posts those on the internet.

There are thousands posted by the NTSB. Usually they don't have recommendations. This is different. You wait until the end to make your recommendations. Here they came forth with some already which is good, but there's no reason not to make that public. And certainly not to give it to the family members. That always happens in NTSB investigations.

CUOMO: It seems like they are choosing consistency over what would be seen as more rational and effective in this situation. That's what it seems like at least from an observational standpoint. And no less than the U.S. Navy once was having a hard time dealing with data and they opened it up to anybody to who could help with it and got a solution from somebody who had nothing to do with the investigation. Just a point of word. Mary, David, thank you for the perspective. Hopefully more information starts coming out -- Micky.


Let's look at more of your headlines. Authorities in South Korea widening their investigation now into the ferry disaster as divers bring more bodies to the surface. At least 171 people are now confirmed dead with 131 still accounted for. Investigators raided the offices of the ferry company as well as the home of the wealthy reclusive owner. Overnight the number of crew members criminally charged rose once again to 14 now. That includes the ship's captain.

The Middle East peace process has been thrown into disarray after long feuding Palestinian groups agree to form a unity government. The groups including Hamas say they will reconcile and form a unity pack within weeks. U.S. and Israel condemn the deal coming just days for both sides to agree to a framework for peace.

Breaking overnight, the Food and Drug Administration set to propose the first regulations on e-cigarettes. The agency wants to ban sales to anyone under age 18. Manufacturers would also have to report ingredients and produce scientific evidence before claiming e- cigarettes are healthier than cigarettes. It would also cover pipe tobacco, cigars, and hookah, which has managed to avoid regulation.

See this? Whoops. Caught in the act. No, that's not ketchup from a hot-dog. That was pine tar, friends. He was ejected in the second inning of last night's game against the rivals Red Sox. He had pine tar on his neck and we know that is against the rules. He did apologize for the incident. In fact, he got quite emotional about it. He says it will not happen again.

This isn't the first time it's happened though. Two weeks ago cameras spotted pine tar on his pitching hand in another game against Boston looking like he's pretty likely to face suspension. Quiet from the Yankees sector from the desk.

BOLDUAN: Apologize and say it won't happen again. Oops, I slipped. PEREIRA: He was having a hard time holding on to the ball and he wanted to get a better grip on it. It wasn't malicious, he says. He says.

CUOMO: The conditions were horrible.

PEREIRA: They were. It was a cold night.

CUOMO: Many would argue that the game shouldn't have been played or cut the --

BOLDUAN: Man gives no one any slack.

CUOMO: However --

PEREIRA: Is that a man card violation right there?

BOLDUAN: Trying to keep a straight face. Do it.

CUOMO: Here's my only concern.

BOLDUAN: Sell me on it.

CUOMO: My only concern is this. Did we see the umpire actually touch the pine tar?




CUOMO: No, he pointed at it.

BOLDUAN: He touched it.

CUOMO: I didn't see him touch it. I saw him go with a black glove and pointed at it. Did they test it? Just because this man decides to be what a Yankee is, which is better than the game itself and just decides to jump on the grenade and say, fine, in the interest of having the game go on, we don't know that it was pine tar.

BOLDUAN: In my best baseball experience, which we know is gigantic, not so best, pine tar has a distinct me smell, distinct touch, it's very obvious, you do not need an analysis.

CUOMO: You were poking me. I don't know that they tested the pine tar. I think the whole thing is under protest.

BOLDUAN: We will leave it there.

PEREIRA: Wouldn't you like to know what the weather is like today?

BOLDUAN: But we know that I'm right.

Let's get to Chad Myers in for Indra Petersons for a look at he forecast.

Hi, Chad.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Chris, you've got a little something right there.

CUOMO: Yes, it's called -- it's egg, it's egg.

MYERS: Three things going on today. Windy conditions across the Northeast, 7 million people on the way of severe weather in the plains and more mountain snow here. Heavy rain they just don't need out there in the Pacific Northwest. That could cause more mudslide problems out there.

Here are the wind gusts today, Boston, 42 miles per hour. New York City, 23. That could slow down airplanes because you can't use all the runway it is you have to take off and land from the same runway or the same direction.

Little Rock, Memphis, Paducah, St. Louis, severe weather. Pleasant windy day I cross the northeast. Winds in New York City across the buildings through midtown could be howling at about 40 miles per hour. Hang on to your hair.

BOLDUAN: I was just thinking of that. Thanks, Chad.


CUOMO: Good thing mine is stitched in.

Coming up on NEW DAY, we've waited to hear about the story from the stowaway's point of view. Why did he do this? What was going on with his life?

We're starting to get it. The father of the teenager is speaking out about why his son may have wanted to flee from home.

And a doctor is going to explain how he could have survived in that wheel well subzero temperatures, very little oxygen, almost never heard about this before.

And still, we also have this ahead. Still no sign of Flight 370, that underwater drone failing to find the missing plane, about 90 percent of the search area has been scanned. So, what kind of technology will search teams be deploying, next?


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY once again.

The father of the 15-year-old boy who flew from California to Hawaii inside the wheel well of a 767 is speaking out. He said he was shocked when Hawaiian police called to tell him he has his son and he said the teen may have fled home because he was having trouble at school. But it's still not clear despite so many questions remaining, why he did it, how the boy survived the 5 1/2-hour trip in freezing temperatures with very little oxygen.

To discuss this further joining us is Dr. John Boockvar, a professor of neurosurgery and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Doctor, it's great to see you again.


BURNETT: We talked before. But to talk once again just about real let's one of those medical miracles that we probably won't fully understand unless you could actually see the patient. But to start off, talk to me about the affect on the body these two factors have. The assent, this type of altitude, 38,000 feet. We have a point of comparison how high Mt. Everest is just to give you perspective.

And then also the temperatures that we're talking about, the air temperature out there he could have been experiencing.

BOOCKVAR: There are really two main body functions that happen here in response to these altitudes. One is hypoxia where our body oxygen requirements are such that the oxygen is so thin that we develop the hypoxic state and the other is hypothermia where our body cools to such an extent, and you can see that here where we're above the Mt. Everest where the cold air is really going to cause us hypoxic state.

BOLDUAN: And hypoxic state, what does it do to the body? Like what would I experience if I was entering -- if I was suffering from hypoxia?

BOOCKVAR: So, as we enter this hypoxic state, all of our body organs, the most important organs, meaning the heart here and obviously the brain up here, all of our blood is going to be shifted to those main organs. In fact, taking blood from the extremities, the fingers and toes, and putting it toward the main organs. And that's the survival technique (ph) --

BOLDUAN: So, your body is adjusting to survive the condition.

BOOCKVAR: Absolutely. That is essential like a hibernative state, where any animal in deep cold will slow the metabolism of the heart and brain to save those organs.

BOLDUAN: And that's the affect of same thing happening with the body does to react to the altitude, the lack of oxygen, and the low temperature?

BOOCKVAR: Both. And those are adaptive mechanisms that we've all adjusted to, to keep us alive in those extreme states.

BOLDUAN: So as you say, seems to be a medical miracle that he survived this and walked off the plane. It's not the first time we've heard of people surviving these extreme conditions, a couple of examples that I wanted to get your take on and how it actually worked. A woman, Marcia Page, she survived a skiing accident. She fell off a 65-foot cliff.

She laid in the snow for 45 minutes at 6,000 feet. Her body temperature dropped to 90 degrees. When is it dangerous? How low does your body -- when your body temperature reaches at what point is it going to be a problem?

BOOCKVAR: Well, that's what's amazing about this case. We don't know exactly how low his body temperature got.

BOLDUAN: Great point.

BOOCKVAR: And in these cases we do. We don't have an answer to exactly how low each individual's body temperature can go before these states become deadly. In these kinds of cases, we've seen survival. In fact, as a surgeon we attempted to harness these adaptive mechanisms to keep our patients alive sometimes.

BOLDUAN: How do you do that?

BOOCKVAR: Well, for example, in a patient who has an injury or a stroke or a trauma, we'll actually lower the body temperature to save the brain, the kidney, and the heart.

BOLDUAN: In another case, there's an interesting procedure I wanted to get your take on. This man is 63 years old. He spent the night in a snow bank. He had no pulse for 30 minutes. He survived. His body temperature dropped to about 75 degrees. And they used a procedure to gently re-warm his blood and his organs because it would be such a shock to the system to do it quickly?

BOOCKVAR: That's exactly right. There's a technique called the Arctic Sun which is unusual but we slowly warm the body, to essentially thaw the body when it gets to these temperatures. Again, we're not going to stress this body that has been cooled so quickly. But warm the body slowly so we can preserve that heart and brain.

BOLDUAN: Doctor, quickly, taking these examples of survivals aside and this 15-year-old boy. What would be your biggest concerns of long-term effects here? Neurological problems, frostbite obviously is one key question, of course.

BOOCKVAR: Right. Well, this is the hard part to explain. And most of the medical community is scratching their heads about this particular case. Why did he walk an hour after landing after 5 1/2 hours in this hibernative state?

And that we can't explain because he technically should be comatose in a slow warming phase. And so, there's no frostbite, there's no evidence of damage. So, because his neurological exam was so good an hour after surgery, he may make a complete recovery.

BOLDUAN: Which is shocking because in these examples, neither of these examples walked away from what they were doing. They survived later but they were completely unconscious when they were found.

Doctor, it's great to see you. Thank you so very much for trying to help us explain this. It's really unexplainable at this point, that's right.


CUOMO: All right, Kate, let's take a break here.

When we come back, better than the Bluefin. No still sign of Flight 370, but better equipment on the way. We're going to introduce you to the powerful new technology.

And the crisis in Ukraine is hitting close to home, an American journalist taken hostage. The pro-Russian militants are holding him saying he's a spy. So, what's the U.S. going to do to free him?


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Let's take a look at your headlines starting with breaking news. Three American volunteer doctors were killed during a shooting attack outside a children's hospital in Kabul after a security guard reportedly opened fire. Another American doctor was also shot but survived. The guard who is also wounded is currently in custody.

President Obama is in Japan this morning and attending a very formal state dinner with the emperor. Overnight, the president made comments on several key issues, including Russia's involvement in Ukraine, promising new sanctions if Moscow doesn't make changes. He also weighed in on the island dispute between Japan and China, saying the U.S. would defend Japan but urged both sides to resolve.