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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  March 8, 2014 12:00pm-1:31pm PST

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aunt pentrepreneurs and the peo building the technology of tomorrow. >> fascinating approach. laurie austin, thank you very mu much. it's 3:00 p.m. eastern, welcome to the "cnn newsroom." i'm fredricka whitfield. officials in vietnam believe a search plane found a significant clue to the mysterious disappearance of that malaysia flight 370. the boeing 777 disappeared not long after takeoff from kuala lumpur malaysia more than 26 hours ago headed to beijing with 239 people onboard. traces of oil have been spotted in areas over the search area. the slicks between six and nine miles long, found about 90 miles south of vietnam's tochu islands. the passengers are from all over
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the world. 14 countries in all, in fact. but more than half of them are from china, and at least three are americans. u.s. intelligence officials are following reports about the two passengers who may have been traveling on stolen passports. they tell cnn, "we're aware of the reporting on the two lost or stolen passports. no nexus to terrorism yet, we're still tracking that intelligence source." we have correspondents and analysis covering this story from all angles. cnn analyst tom fuentes in washington and andrew stevens in beijing. let's begin with tom. how are we going to find out the identities of these people who may have been indeed traveling on stolen passports? >> again that could be a slow process, but the first thing they'll do is going back over the videos of when they checked in, and see if there's video coverage of that at the ticket
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counter in the malaysian airport. see that would be, you know, probably the first clue to try on that. i should add something to my earlier reporting about visas for china. you can enter about seven cities in china and if you stay less than 72 hours, you basically come in, play tourist, go shopping, and leave, you don't need a visa. it's considered that you're in transit. so the malaysians and china southern airlines, the flight that they booked it through, will be able to say if they had round-trip tickets to leave china less than 72 hours, they would not need a visa. but a lot of this is going to go back to the circumstances of when those passports were stolen. see if there's any information to be learned at that point, d and, also, comparing the videos with when they checked in, where they were going, in addition to beijing. were they coming back to kuala lumpur? were they flying on to another country and, therefore, did not need a china visa?
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did they check luggage? what kind? how big was it? any of those pieces of information will be important, and, again, videos in the airport will hshow them hopefuly as they approached the ticket counter, what kind of luggage, or how big the luggage is they brought in, and get clues from that. >> if those passports, one from austria, the other italy, were indeed stolen, misplaced and reported, and those citizens who own the passports have since been given replacements. why wouldn't these old passports not set off alarms? how could they be valid for travel? >> they may not set off any alarms. those passports were used to get boarding passes in the airport in kuala lumpur, and the malaysian authorities did not make an inquiry with the database of interpol headquarters in france, they would have in knowledge that
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those passports had prevently been reported stolen. now, if they were leaving through the united states, passports coming and going, does require the database to determine if a passport or other travel document being use had been reported stolen, and is in the database ant interpol in re-on- >> tom fuentes, thank you very much. rin rene maersh joins us by phone. it's very unusual a plane would disappear at this cruising altitude. >> reporter: absolutely, fred. i've been talking all day with people within the industry, and they all seem to agree. we really are not in a good place here. here it is, it's more than 24 hours since we've heard from the crew on this plane, and the search and rescue teams have,
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really, don't have anything. i mean, we've talked a little about those oil slicks that have been spotted in the water or around the area where they lost contact with the airplane, but it could be a situation, as one person pointed out, may be connected -- may not be connected -- may have not nothing to do with think, but as i speak to you, the plane is still missing, still not a lot of answers. we're talking about a plane that is high-tech. we're talking about a captain who was in the cockpit who was very experienced, and we have a situation where we don't know where this plane is. so many people just -- they're baffled. they don't understand what -- how could this be and what exactly happened here? and ittake -- we don't have one shred of evidence as far as anything. we don't have recorders. we don't have accounts from
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passengers. we don't have the benefit of an interview with the pilot. so at this point, more questions than answers, fred. >> and then what do you suppose might be next? what's the next layer in this investigation, in addition to trying to locate any remnants of this plane? >> reporter: right, so pushing forward, the question is, who will be looking in to this, who will take the lead here? we have brn in touch with the ntsb and they tell us officially they're monitoring the situation. no word of them actually send a team there at this point and they're not officially saying that they are investigating. that being said, we do believe that they will be part of this investigation. especially when you consider two factors. the plane was manufactured here in the united states, the boeing 777. you had american citizens onboard of the plane. so they're interests there, in which we believe the ntsb eventually will participate in this investigation, fred.
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>> rene marsh. thank you so much. so the passengers' families are getting increasingly worried and frustrated. andrew stevens joins us now from beijing where relatives of the 154 chinese nationals are onboard, gathering at a hotel complex. andrew, what are officials telling them? >> reporter: well, it's very difficult for the officials to tell them any concrete facts at the moment, fredricka, because they don't have any. what they are saying is that their priority, the airlines priority to give as much assistance to the people they need. all the next of kin have now been contacted. all next of kin of the passengers who were on that plane have now been contacted and malaysian airlines, and i guess this is a way of saying they are expecting the worst. they have said, they've told the passengers as soon as the plane is found, they will fly them to where that -- where the plane is. now, we can only assume that that plane -- it will be
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wreckage. we don't know at this stage, as we just heard. there's no solid evidence, nothing to link the oil slicks we've been hearing reported about from vietnam in the area in the south china sea. nothing to firmly link those to the disappearance of mh 370. although most of saying it's highly likely that the two are linked. very, very difficult time for everyone at the moment, because there's so many concrete information to go on. you can imagine the frustration, the heartbreak which is surrounding so many people. not just here in beijing, also in kuala lumpur, in countries around the world. 14 countries, nationals of 14 countries, are said to have been on that plane, fredricka. >> all right, sad. very sad. thank you so much, andrew stephens. appreciate that. all right. new developments in the crisis in ukraine. secretary of state john kerry talks tough with russia's foreign minister. what he said, next. and new video of the mother who drove her minivan into the
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president obama called several european leaders today on the crisis in ukraine. those discussions coming as the standoff of crimea is heating up. pro and anti-russian demonstrators both demonstrated in different regions of ukraine and an unmarked convoy moved through crimea's capital city. live at the white house, erin mcpike what do we know about the phone calls being made?
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>> reporter: president obama held two sets of calls this morning and really all of them were basically designed to amp up the pressure on russia. he first had individual calls with three european foreign leaders. british prime minister david camer cameron, italian and the french president francois hollande. i want to read twa comments from a senior official about these calls. they show how many pressure they trying to put on russia. leaders reiterated grave concern over russia's clear violation of international law and the leaders made clear russia's continued violation of international law will isolate it from the international community. now, one significant detail i also want to point out about those specific calls are that these leaders rejected the referendum proposed for next sunday, that would allow crimea sow secede from ukraine, against the constitution and insisted all decisions made here include
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the government in kiev and ways to provide assistance to ukraine. the other set of calls was really just one conference call with the presidents of the three baltic states. estonia, latvia and lithuania and basically president obama was reaffirming the united states military support for those countries and they were grateful for the assistance being provide. we know the united states has sent half a dozen f-15 fighter jets to help the nato air policing exercises going on there, fred. >> thanks so much, erin mcpike there at the. another critical phone call between u.s. secretary of state john kerry and russia's foreign minister. kerry and lavrov met last week in rome and had ongoing talks about ukraine including today's conversation. a senior administration official released some details of the call saying kerry told lavrov the u.s. is ready to facilitate dialogue, but the official also
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said, at the same time, kerry made three that continued provocation in crimea or elsewhere in ukraine along with steps to annex to russia would close any available space for diplomacy and he urged utmost restraint, unquote. barbara starr joins me now from the phone from washington. so, barbara, that statement, what about that statement, rather, stood out to you? do you think is particularly pertinent. >> reporter: yeah, fred. i've got to tell you, john kerry's words that he made clear continued military escalation, that was a big concern. this is escalation russian-style that the u.s. is so worried about right now. you know, there's no signs at the moment that putin is authorizing or orders enforcements in the thousands to cross in to kra miya, but look at the drip, drip, drip of the
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last several days. we've seen continued localized violence. we've seen troops associated with the russians all over kra miya, at strategic points, roads, roadblocks, the taking over of military bases. controlling things that appropriate's control we have, and we are also told that the u.s. is seeing some small numbers of additional russian troops going in. so putin, you know, is achieving escalation in a very, as i say, drip, drip way. you know, you add a little bit here, a little bit there, and he's beginning to achieve his goals. he doesn't need thousands of troops. he doesn't need to authorize a thankful -- military action in terms of firing weapons, but the problem, fred is what the u.s. is so concerned about as this standoff goes on day-by-day, at what point does one side or the
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other out there blink? at which you have an incident pro terribly erupt into conflict. it's very bad for the administration. >> barbara starr, thank you so much. on to other news. in florida, making her first court appearance, the mother charged with attempted murder after driving her minivan into the ocean with her kids inside. here what she allegedly terrifying moments and about her mental state. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work.
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all right. new developments today in the xas of a pregnant mother accused of trying to kill her children by driving her van in to the ocean with them inside. this is the first video we're seeing of ebony will kkinson si charged with three attempts of third-degree murder. nick valencia has more. >> reporter: fred, ebony wilkinson made her first court appearance earlier today. the judge set bond at $1.2 million. s 3ds 00,000 for every count. first degree attempted murder, $100,000 for every count of child abuse. >> she definitely tried to kill her children from everything we have seen. >> reporter: the volusia county
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sheriff's office says new details in the investigation so this was not accident. >> she actually told them to close their eyes, go to sleep. she was taking them to a better place. >> reporter: on turks ebony wilkinson drove her minivan with her children into the atlantic ocean. the drive on daytona beach caught on tape as kids inside cried for help. >> we thought it was a joke. hey, they're having a good time. >> reporter: eyewitness tim tesseneer found out quickly the situation was serious. tesseneer and another onlooker stacy robinson who helped rescue the family. >> didn't know there was kids in the car to begin with. then the back window's rolled down and we heard kids hollering a little and then i thought i heard a faint "help." i was like, did i hear a faint help and then it come clear. they were screaming for help. >> reporter: the children's mother charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of child abuse. relatives says wilkinson was in "an abusive relationship with her husband and had come to
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florida to get away." relatives said the pregnant mother of three had no history of mental illness but a 911 call made by a concerned family member just two hours before wilkinson allegedly tried to kill her kids. >> hi. i need wellness, like she's having psychosis or something, or postpartum. >> reporter: police say they did respond and evaluated her about 30 minutes but said there was no legal right to detain her. >> the children weren't in crisis. the woman said i'm going to a shelter and she showed nothing that was no display she was a danger to anyone at that time. >> reporter: if convicted wilkinson fises a maximum of 30 years in prison. fred? >> thanks so much, nick valencia. waiting and wondering about the fate of loved ones. that's the excruciating experience happening right now to the families of the 239 people onboard that missing malaysian jetliner. the latest on the search and the
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all right. bottom of the hour now. welcome back. i'm fredricka whitfield. cpac, the conservative political action committee, announcing the winner of its straw poll in about two hours from now giving the gop an early idea who can serve as favor for president in 2016. on the other hand, none of the past three winners did that well. rand paul and his father ron paul never even got the nomination and we all know what happened to mitt romney in 2012. young libertarians tend to dominate cpac. the convention is hearing from most of the party's big guns hoping one will emerge as the person to carry the republican banner into 2016. but it comes way warning from newt gingrich. don't just be the party of no,
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if the party wants voters to say yes. >> and i also came to issue a warning. if our movement is primarily anti-obama, we will, in fact, reduce the number of victories we should win this fall. if we spend the next three years being primarily anti-hillary, we will virtually guarantee her election. >> all right. let's bring in "time" political reporter zeke miller at cpac and in national harbor, maryland. all right. so is there a way in which to look in the crystal ball? are you getting a sense from people there as we draw upon this straw poll? you know who might be the favorites? >> well, it's not so much a race for number one right now. that is going to be kentucky senator rand paul who won last year. it's really a race for second or multiple different races between the different branches of the republican party right now who will be sort of the elite
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establishment candidate who will be the lead social conservative candidate. all these different little signs, but number one is pretty much pre-determined to be rand paul. >> newt gingrich. what were the rumblings in the room? you can't be the party of no. you have to say grow some things. any sentiment that was audible? from the crowd? >> reporter: not -- nothing in the sense of, you know, a little bit of applause here and there. that's really a message we've heard over and over again during this three-day conference. rick perry saying they need to be the party of ideas. something that paul ryan has said. really there's a sense within the republican party, grass roots, they can't be just against the president, just saying no to things. really, the question is, they haven't found a way to agree yet in terms of what they want to be for. >> okay. and among those who it was expressing an opinion about who they don't necessarily want to see in the white house, representative michele bachmann saying, oh, yeah, there's going
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to be a female president but it's not going to be hillary clinton. >> yeah. that was really the most overt shot we've seen taken against sort of the potential 2016 democratic candidate, former secretary of state, you know, really, sort of kind of surprising we've seen a bunch of attacks at her husband, former president bill clinton, over his womanizing while in office what that says for democrats associating with him in the mid-terms this year. certainly, that was a surprising development, a direct attack against a potential would-be candidate, and really coming from michele bachmann who ran for president herself last cycle, really it resonate within the room here. >> zeke miller of "time" magazine there, national harbor, maryland, thank you so much. >> thank you for having me. still ahead, the latest on that search, an investigation of that missing malaysian jetliner. the families of the 239 people onboard are waiting for answers. all that, straight ahead. i always say be the man with the plan
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rescue crews are scouring the south china sea out in looking for signs of pla lamala flight 370 after a jetliner disappeared. officials say oil slicks found are between six and nine miles
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long. the boeing 777 disappeared not long after taking off from kuala lumpur malaysia, headed to beijing with 239 people onboard. most of them chinese nationals. at least three americans are among the passengers. malaysia airlines lists one austrian and italian passenger on the man test but austria and italy deny that saying the citizens in question had their passports stolen. a u.s. intelligence official tells cnn, "we're aware of the reporting on the two lost, stolen passports. no nexus to terrorism yet, although that's by no means definitive. we are still tracking." joining me now on the phone, aviation expert jim tilmon. let's talk about these out slicks on the south china sea. what needs to happen next to find out if indeed a plane went down there? earlier we spoke, it's a matter of trying to understand what kind of oil we're talking about. >> yes. and you don't have to be a
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chemist to figure that out. jet fuel has a very distinctive aroma of alcohol on it, and a novice would be able to just sniff his way through an analysis to come up with, yeah, that's jet a. n >> no, there was no distress call as far as we know, and that it would simply disappear after radar one hour to two hours after takeoff, what are some of the scenarios that that sort of describes for you? >> well, the one that seems to stick out is the one that none of us wants to admit. and that is, that whatever happened was so catastrophic and so -- so unexpected at all, that the crew had no opportunity to send a distress signal of any kind. there are, while speculation surround this in terms of how
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this could happen, my feeling is most likely, something happened that would incapacitate the crew and disable the airplane all at once. and whatever happened after then was just a matter of the airplane falling in to the sea, and it sounds like it -- it has all the makings of a breakup in the air, for some reason. so that you might find the debris my be over a wide area. >> and then tell me about the ping that investigators will be listening for, if that debris is, indeed in that south china sea, and that i understand it's fairly shallow. so it's conceivable that investigators would be able to hear the ping versus some other aircrafts in the past who have gone down in deeper water? >> that's accurate. i mean, it's the -- if the water is relatively shallow there it will simplify a lot of things. one, we certainly should have no
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difficulty in listening for that ping, but this is a matter of putting some kind of sonar device underwater and just listening. and the first time we get a ping, we know for sure that we are in the right place and looking for the right aircraft, but that ping is very definite, and we have very, very sensitive instruments that can determine that it is, and where it is. >> and how could the ntsb help in this investigation? >> oh, the ntsb is the premiere investigative source in the world. they have more experience and have more, better equipment and everything else that you can imagine, than anybody else in the world, and they're sought after by every nags when they have an event, because other nations respect just how good the ntsb is, and it's analysis after an accident. so they're going to lend a lot
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of information to this. once they find the black boxes i suspect they're going to send them back to the us for the ntsb to put them on their table and determine what happened. >> jim tilmon, thank you so much. match an clock that would never lose a second. the science behind a pentagon project coming up in a few minutes. first, the 2414 winter paralympic games are happening now in sochi. one of the athletes competing was born in russia and adopted by an american family. now she is preparing to compete in a wheelchair race representing the u.s. sang sanjay gupta her her story. >> reporter: overcoming obstacles is not problem. she was born with spina bifida, prevents the spinal cord from closing while in the womb. in russia, tatiana was immediately sent to an orphan of
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after surgery i. didn't have a wheelchair. my legs we atrophied behind my back and i walked on my hands all the time. >> reporter: six years later a transv chance visit by an american to the orphanage changed her life. >> i immediately knew she was my mon. >> reporter: adoption gave tatiana an instant family. her mom pushed her to get involved in sports. >> getting involved in sports saved my life. i wrote down goals and said i really want to be a paraathlete. >> reporter: the youngest member of the athens pair liralympic g and in london finally won gold. in 2013, mcfadden won the grand slam title for marathon wheelchair racing and traded it for a sit ski. now she's back in russia where she's competing in the sochi paralympic cross-country nordic skiing event. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn reporting.
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four fishermen lucky to be alive this day after spending
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ten hours in the water. they were thrown overboard in the water off key biscayne florida. the photo on twitter shows their capsized boat right there. one of the men was able to swim ashore. and get help. the coast guard says they're alive because they were wearing life jackets. all right. time now for the science behind where we look at the why behind the what. today the science behind the time and the push for a perfect clock. here's barbara starr. >> reporter: okay, fredricka. so it's daylight savings time. but what about your wristwatch? what about your cell phone? what about what these devices say? ♪ does anybody really know what time it is ♪ >> reporter: chicago asks the age-old question and the pentagon is looking for the answer. this high-tech lab of lasers and
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mirrors measures the movement of atoms, 429 trillion atomic vibrations add up to just one second. >> that vibration is sort of the smallest unit of time we can actually measure. >> reporter: they're goal is to make the most precise clock in the world. currently the source for precision time is gps satellite, which contain atomic clocks used to synchronize clocks on the ground, but the pentagon worries the satellites could be jammed, so they want an even more accurate alternative. your wristwatch loses a second every 30 days. clocks on gps satellites lose a second every 30,000 years. this program is aimed at building a clock that wouldn't lose a second for a billion years. >> i don't care what your watches say. mine say they should have gone three minutes ago, so send them. >> reporter: synchronizing time has always been vital for soldiers, but now it's more
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important than ever. >> we've got all of these high-speed aircraft, precision guided munitions, cameras, radars, sensors operating simultaneously. you need that synchronization much more precisely. >> reporter: so if gps goes down, troops will face more dangers. >> lose a couple billions of a second, positioning gets often by about a meter. you lose a few more billions of a second, you're starting to get off by several meters. >> reporter: and your life won't be so smooth either. gps time is in everything from power grids to your cell phone, to the atm you use to get cash. without precision time, that atm would eventually stop. if we can tell time more precisely, you still may be late for work, but now you'll know exactly how late you are. keeping precision time for a billion years? well, it just means that wristwatch and that cell phone
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have to last. fredricka? >> all right. thanks so much, barbara starr. don't forget, daylight saving time starts tomorrow morning. 2:00 a.m. set your clock ahead one hour before you go to bed tonight. and then you'll be on time tomorrow. all right. what can experts tell from russian president vladimir putin's body language? maybe a lot. that's why the pentagon is analyzing every move. but first, in the los angeles public schools, nearly one in five kids drops out of before graduation, but this week's cnn hero is helping teenage girls find their voice and their future. meet karen taylor. >> i blossom with each pen mark. >> i found myself in the words. >> every girl has a story to tell. >> some of our girls are facing some of the greatest challenges, teenagers could ever face. pregnancy, incarceration, violence in their family, at
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school. those girls need a mentor. >> they need to be inspired about their own voice. >> life in the light can be so bright, nothing can be so pure. >> writing and self-expression can give them a tool for moving forward. >> say something that nobody else has said before, because you have your own way of saying things. >> we match underserved girls with professional women writers for mentoring and group workshops. >> i want to match you, christa, with kristy. >> the moment you ask a young person to tell me about something you're passionate about, the writing and the ideas just flow. >> you know you're going read today? >> i was kind of scared. like, i'm really quiet, and i keep to myself. and emily, i met her and she's so excited and enthusiastic about writing and i absolutely love her. >> writing gave me that position in life, like, i am a girl and i have a story to tell. >> their senses are diluted by the sparkly things that cross
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their eye. thank you. >> we need to help girls see that their voice matters. >> a lot of good stuff here, and what i would like to hear more about is you. >> to whatever challenges she's facing. what's better than that? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ told ya you could do it. (dad vo) i want her to be safe. so, i taught her what i could and got her a subaru. (girl) piece of cake. ♪
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to nbcuniversal's coveragens of the biggest loserur money olympic winter games ever, with the most coverage of the most events on every device. and the most hours of streaming video on the nbc sports live extra app, including the x1 platform from xfinity. comcast was honored to bring every minute of every medal of nbcuniversal's coverage to every screen. so what's next? rio 2016. welcome to what's next. comcast nbcuniversal. some new developments on ukraine. president obama called several european leaders today on the crisis in ukraine. those discussions coming as the standoff over crimea is heating
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up. pro and anti russian protesters demonstrated today. another phone call today between u.s. secretary of state john king and russia's foreign minister. a senior administration official said, kerry told serge lavrov the u.s. is ready to facilitate dialogue. they recently met in rome and have been having talks on going about ukraine, including today's conversation. and russia's president has the world wondering about his next move in ukraine. his unpredictability even has the pentagon studying his body language, hoping it might give something away. the technique is called movement pattern analysis. earlier this morning, joe johns talked with a body language expert. janeane driver teaches her skills to the fbi.
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so what is putin's body language saying? >> what they're looking for right now, the team they're using in the pentagon, they're trying to determine most likely how quickly is he going to take action. is he gathering research, is he going to spend a lot of time doing pluses and minuses on invading the ukraine, maybe taking that peninsula, how quickly will he pull the trigger? general body language, we're looking for all of the nonverbals. my specialty is detecting deception, which we have loaded with putin, a lot of deception that we can prove. on the ukraine at a press ilence conference earlier this week. what did you take away from his body language while he was defending his actions and blaming western powers, especially if united states, for causing i think he called it an anarchy and armed coup in ukraine? >> you see with his right hand
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he did just a second ago a zero. this is how he feels about the united states of america. then he does a chop. that chop with his hand is very aggressive. it's like a karate chop. we used to see with bill clinton, they did the thumb of power, america, i want you to listen. he's not using his little thumb. the thumb of power is a combination of pointing and chopping. putin is not taking the softer approach. he's taking, this is who america is, he's calling us lab rats, we're doing experiments. we're a big fat zero in his book. he's trying to intimidate us. >> what about deception, what are the signs of deception that helps him, for example, perhaps with a liar? >> it's interesting that you're asking me that. one sign is contempt, which is moral superiority. it looks like this. it's a smirk on the face. and shoulder shrugs indicates
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uncertainty. with putin, we see none of that. we know he's lying about his soldiers. he's trained those soldiers. he's in there with a huge presence, thousands of soldiers. he's saying those aren't his soldiers. we know he's lying but we're not seeing those nonverbal tells. that makes him a very scary leader. here's a guy that is so controlled with lying. why is that, joe? powerful liars literally focus on the rewards, not the consequences. powerful liars have a decrease this that stress hormone. a powerful liar has that decrease and this increase in happiness. they are so good, when one lie doesn't work, oh, you misunderstood me. what i meant to say was this. they have an increase in their cognitive function. putin is a pro at it. it makes him a very dangerous threat. >> all right.
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that conversation there pretty enlightening. the pentagon started studying vladamir putin's body language well before his moves on the ukraine. here's a quick look with what's ahead with dr. sanjay gupta. >> we're going to have a preview about my documentary on medical marijuana. i've talked to dozens of scientists and hundreds of patients. we have a full show, 4:30 eastern. >> thanks so much. tonight, cnn's newest original series "chicagoland" explores how politics and social issues collide in that city. mayor rahm emanuel's controversial proposal to close down certain schools has several detractors, including a third grader concerned about safety. >> the mayor is taking a risk with his bold school plan. while it might make sense because of the budget crisis and declining enrollment, many
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parents fear it puts their kids at risk because they'll have to walk across dangerous gang lines. >> rahm emanuel thinks he can come into our schools and move all our kids, all over gang lines and just say oh, we can take this school out. we don't care about these kids. but there's kids in there. they need safety. >> asean is speaking out for the 30,000 kids affected by school closings. >> you should be investing in these schools, not closing them. you should be supporting these schools, not closing them! we are going. we are not going down without a fight! >> you can watch "chicagoland" right here on cnn tonight, 8:00 eastern, 7:00 central. that's going to do it for me. much more of "the situation room" straight ahead with jim sciutto in washington. jim, lots to continue to talk about. the crisis in ukraine, of course this mysterious disappearance of this airline jet.
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>> no question. we're watching it very closely. thank you very much to fred. i know you'll be back tomorrow. >> yes, indeed. ♪ >> you are in the cnn "newsroom." i'm jim sciutto in today for don lemon. some oil slicks floating on the water, that's the only clue searchers have right now ooze they frantically try to find any trace of a commercial airliner that simply disappeared. here's the best guess as to where the malaysian airlines boeing 777 was during its last contact with air traffic controllers. it never arrived at the scheduled destination in china and the crew never radioed any trouble during the flight. malaysia flight 370 to beijing was almost fully booked, 239 people on board. that is passengers and crew. more than half of them chinese. at least three americans, one of
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them an infant. and something rather odd is worrying officials at this early stage in the investigation. two people whose names were on the passenger manifest were not on the airplane at all. they say their passports were stolen months or years ago. that means two people were on the plane with passports not issued to them. >> if those passports were used to get their boarding passes in the airport in kuala lumpur and the malaysian authorities did not make an inquiry with the database in france, they would have no knowledge that those passports had previously been reported stolen. now, if they were leaving through the united states, the united states' passport control coming and going, does inquire to that database to determine if a passport or other travel document that's being used has been reported stolen. >> it's a mystery now. i know that u.s. intelligence officials are following that detail very closely.
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right now in malaysia and china, the loved ones of the people on that flight are still waiting for confirmation of their worst fears. every analyst we talked to says the outlook for this flight is not good. cnn's andrew stevens is live with me right now. andrew, after 6:00 in the morning where you are, a difficult night for all those family members. i know there was a lot of frustration early on, they weren't getting any information. what is the malaysian airlines passing on to families now? >> reporter: what they're saying to families is we are here to support you. what they can't say is what happened because they just don't know. they're saying they can't rule out. but they're being very cautious about what they are saying. they've told a news conference about two hours ago that they have got in touch with the next of kin of everybody on that plane. and they're offering to fly them either to kuala lumpur or here
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to beijing. they've got nearly 100 people up here now from malaysia looking after the people, 154 chinese nationals were on that flight. they are in a hotel. they're being looked after by malaysian airlines. they've been kept away from the press. there's an enormous press pack outside that hotel. there was frustration earlier. obviously that comes from just the sheer helplessness of not knowing what has happened to their loved ones and the despair that as each our ticks on it's less likely the result is going to be anything other than -- at the moment, they are in their hotel. it's just beyond 5:00 in the morning. they're waiting for news as is the world is waiting for news. this is not just malaysians and chinese, there were 14 nationalities on that plane. >> i was looking through that manifest and it's always heartbreaking to see the details. 12 crew members, i believe five
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toddlers on board, an american infant, a buddhist travel group. in a situation like this where there is no hope, i think just the one sign you have is that oil sick. how long do they wait to call this an air accident. what is the protocol in this situation? i know it is famipainful and th want certainty at this point. >> reporter: absolutely. they want to know exactly what has happened. the vietnamese press and the first reports from -- about this came from vietnam and they were linking it to this flight. but malaysian airlines is being much more cautious saying we can't identify that slick and link it directly to this flight. so we are erring on the side of caution. there will be a team heading out
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there today. all we've heard so far is reports of rubbish on the water in the area. that's a big difference from saying debris or anything which would be linking it to the airline. so there is a team from china. incidentally, china has given this top priority, saying that china must go all out to a, help the people, the chinese nationals and their families and b, find out exactly what happened. so they are sending a salvage team into that area where the oil slicks are. the one piece of news which may bring a speedier conclusion is that part of the south china sea is quite shallow. if you compare that to the 2009 crash of the air france light in the atlantic, that was in deep, deep water. here, it's much shallower. >> no question. that's a good point. it took more than two years to
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find that air france flight. thank you very much, andrew, standing by in beijing. we're going to continue to bring you updates as we learn more. meanwhile, the ukraine crisis is getting more volatile with fresh rounds of bullying from pro russian forces inside crimea. meanwhile president obama spoke today with six key leaders, all of them agreed that russia needs to immediately roll back its military advances inside crimea. the president spoke individually with the british prime minister, france's president and italy's prime minister. and obama hosted a conference call with three baltic leaders. secretary of state john kerry issued a warning to his russian counterpart, serge lavrov. kerry made clear that russia's
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continued military escalation they close any available space for diplomacy. in crimea, masked troops seized control of a military office in the region's capital. this video shows unmarked military trucks enroute to the city, bringing more russian forces inside crimea, it is believed. cnn is covering every angle of the escalating crisis. let's take you to the center of it all where matthew chance visited the scene where masked troops took control of a military office. matthew, we've been seeing a lot of cases like this where you have troops of uncertain control, some of them uniformed, some not. russia denying that they're their own. how did that scene manage to be calmed down? >> reporter: well, it was over pretty rapidly. it's the military recruitment center in the center of the main city here in crimea.
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it was taken over by masked men carrying we pops. they burst into it. they evacuated everybody from it and they brought in a coach load of other people in civilian clothes to essentially take it over while posting armed guards on every floor of that government office. that was over relatively quickly. when we got there, they were already standing guard outside the gates. they had taken the ukrainian flags down and painting russian flags on the gates. so clearly this is another example of the pro russian forces taking control of this province of ukraine, little bit by little bit. so very disturbing. >> a stealth military takeover, and we've seen that happen in volatile situations because you have guys with guns. i wanted to read you a tweet that i saw earlier this morning from the swedish foreign minister, because he said something in no uncertain terms
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that other officials haven't been willing to say. he mentioned the military observers were prevented from entering crimea. then he says, large russian troop movements on served, preparations for southern ukraine, he asks? that's an alarming possibility that those troops might be massing in effect to go across the border into southern ukraine. do you see any sign of that and have you spoken to officials that share that concern this>> reporter: it's possible, of course. remember, we are already in southern ukraine. there is no border between crimea and the mainland of ukraine. we have seep lots of troop movement. i think it's more likely personally that as we build up toward the referendum that will be held here in crimea, where the people are being asked whether they want to join russia
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or want autonomy within crimea, they're building up slowly but surely in order to assert their control over this entire province if the referendum comes through and says we want to be part of russia. i think that's very much the expectation. the idea that they're going to expand into southern ukraine and possibly into eastern ukraine as well, it is a possibility. but i think the immediate concern is what happens here in crimea. >> and if they moved out of crimea, that would be seen as an escalation by western officials. coming up, new information about a pregnant woman trying to drown her children by driving her minivan into the ocean and get this, police had a warning about her behavior.
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welcome back. i'm jim sciutto in washington. the pregnant woman accused of trying to drown her children by driving her van into the ocean appeared in a florida courtroom today. a judge in daytona beach set her bond at $1.2 million. he faces three counts of first degree murder. police stopped wilkerson earlier that day and suspected she might be mentally ill, but they couldn't legally hold her. she had checked herself out of the hospital earlier in the day. her sister urged her to seek help, worried she could be a danger to herself and her children. she faces a maximum of 30 years in prison if convicted. and police in michigan are piecing together a story, how could a woman go missing for more than five years and not a single person notice?
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cnn's alexander field joins me now from new york with more. i have to say this has been a mystery to all of us. are we learning anything more about this woman, particularly to understand why no one would notice that she had been gone for five years or disappeared for five years? >> reporter: this is raising so many questions for so many people, just a really disturbing story in the sense that she was gone for so long and no one noticed it. we know from the sheriff's office that dental records will be needed to positively identify the woman. how could it be that six years later somebody finally discovered her? the oakland count y sheriff say there were a number of factors. she was last seen back in september of 2008, around the time when she stopped working. so there wasn't an employer looking for her. her mail was being delivered to the post office, so nobody noticed it piling up.
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she did have a relative on the east coast, but they had been estranged. so that person wasn't looking for her. and she had tens of thousands in the bank, and it's that money that really kept people from noticing that she was missing for so long. here's what the undersheriff said about that. >> i don't think we have that bite. but if you could paraphrase what he said on that point and also, alexandra, if there's any mention at this point of foul play. >> reporter: essentially what the undersheriff said is there was $54,000 in the bank and most of her accounts were paid through an auto account. so the bills were being paid, no one was coming after her until that $54,000 ran dry and it took about six years. the house went into foreclosure. the bank sent a contractor to the house. the contractor then discovered the body. as far as signs of foul play, the sheriff is saying there was nothing in the house, the car or
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garage that would immediately indicate the cause of death. to it is going to take some time to figure out exactly what it is that happened here. >> incredible that it would take that long, really just the money was the signal in the end. thank you very much to alexandra field in new york. you know the saying a picture says a thousand words. take a look at this one. this was taken during the c-pac panel. the story behind this photo right after this. could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.s everybody knows that. well, did you know that when a tree falls in the forest and no one's around, it does make a sound? ohhh...ugh. geico. little help here. i need>>that's my geico digital insurance id card - gots all my pertinents on it and such. works for me. turn to the camera. >>ah, actually i think my eyes might ha... next! digital insurance id cards. just a tap away on the geico app.
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hey sweetie...cancun, yeah no, you'll be spending spring break with your new chemistry book. with citi popmoney it's ea to se mey to just about aone, anytime. t yo visi lal branch or to learn more. welcome back. i'm jim sciutto in washington. well, conservative political activists from around the country are wrapping up their annual conference in washington. but before they leave they're holding a presidential straw poll that always gets a lot of attention in the political world. it is not scientific. it is not binding. but it does tell us how some of
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the republican party's most active supporters are leaning for 2016. we have peter hamby, cnn's national political reporter, standing by for us right in the middle of it. we can hear the speeches in the background. when are we going to find out who won and who is the money on? what is the handicapping set at? >> reporter: the smart money is on rand paul. this is increasingly becoming a libertarian dominated conference. rand paul gave the biggest, most rousing speech here yesterday, railing against the president, railing against the national security agency, multiple standing ovations. the libertarians are good organizers at these things. we are expecting the results, jim, at the end of the 5:00 hour. so very, very soon they're going to announce it on the stage behind us here. >> great. we'll bring that to our viewers. i was just looking through past
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winters back in 2012. so mitt romney won and back in 2008, he won but only narrowly beating out john mccain who went on to become the nominee. so not a bad predictor of the eventual, is it? >> reporter: well, it depends. those two years you mentioned we were already in the thick of mitt romney's -- in 2012 when mitt romney was about to win the nomination. that was the consensus in 2008. there was a fracturing between mccain and romney. at the time in 2008, mitt romney was actually the conservative favorite. that role has flipped obviously in 2012. but you nailed it a minute ago. this is a snapshot of how the die hard conservatives are evaluating the 2016 field. there are 25 names on this ballot, from donald trump to
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sarah palin, to dr. ben carson and chris christie. if you look at the history of nonincumbent midterm years, go back to 2006, george allen, the former virginia governor won the straw poll. in 1998, steve forbes won. in 2010, ron paul won. none of these people became the nominees the. but if someone outperforms expectations, they'll get some good buzz, that's for sure. >> i want to show a picture we teed up before the break. it shows a cpac session on minority outreach. huge room, totally empty. is that the story behind this photo? >> reporter: i don't think so. democrats tried to make hay of this when it happened. it was during a lunch break frankly. and really the room here is really big, it hasn't been full
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throughout the whole event. but there are big speeches here. people flood the room for big speeches and tend to leave during the panels. so i think it's a bit of an exaggeration to say that this was an example of the party not caring about minority outreach. we just saw a presentation behind me from a republican pollster urging republicans to reach out to hispanic voters. this is a priority for the republican national committee. yes, they do have a brand problem with minorities, but i'm not sure this was an example. >> thank you for debunking that political myth this early in the campaign. coming up, new information about those two people whose names were on the passenger manifest of the malaysia flight to beijing but were not on the plane at all. [ male announcer ] this is the cat that drank the milk... [ meows ]
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welcome back. i'm jim sciutto in washington. right now, hundreds of families are waiting to hear any word about a commercial jet that just
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disappeared more than 24 hours ago now. most of the 239 people on board the plane are chinese. the flight was headed for beijing, originating in malaysia. i want to bring in our law enforcement analyst. tom, while we wait for word, there's something about this passenger manifest. we now know that two of the passengers on that plane were apparently traveling on stolen passports when they went to the austrian and italian governments, it turns out the two passengers that were supposed to be on the plane were not. can you tell us about that? and how could they get on the plane with stolen passports? i would imagine interpol would have a list to prevent this. >> first of all, you're right. of the two passports, only one was actually reported in interpol's database. the italian passport was listed as stolen at interpol head quarters, but no inquiry was
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made by the malaysian authorities or the airlines. but it's not the job of the airlines to do it. no inquiry was made to determine if any passports were stolen. interpol's database has 39 million records of stolen travel documents. at the present time, 1 billion passengers we are year board international flights where there's no inquiry made of that database. >> so it leaves an opening. very quickly here, i've been told by a u.s. official no nexus to terrorism, but is that a warning sign to you? >> certainly it's a warning when you're allowing 1 billion passengers to board annually where no inquiry is made. in the u.s. systems and several countries, the inquiry is made. interpol has a pilot project to have it so that the airlines can make a inquiry to that database,
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it's called i check it is the flame of that project. right now two airlines -- >> tom, hold that threat. we're going to come back to this. i'm jim sciutto. cnn "headline news" continues at the top of the hour. our own dr. sanjay gupta right now on cnn. three big names stopping by today to talk about parenting, sex, drugs and hip-hop. we'll explain. but first, i want to talk about medical marijuana. as you may know, this is something i've been reporting on. yet there's a question that kept coming up, would this drug be more effective if it were produced and packaged like a traditional medicine. there is one company in the world that has a big head start on this. they're based just outside of london, and they gave me an