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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  April 17, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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i'll turn you over to wolf blitzer. he's in "the situation room." >> thanks, jake. happening now, breaking news, a deadly gun battle in ukraine and the chilling warning to jews is. country now about to blow? flight 370 mystery. we're awaiting the start of a fifth deep water search and there are new questions on the missing plane. was it on autopilot when it went down? and a desperate search. mostly young students missing in a disaster at sea. we're learning of more confirmed deaths. are passengers trapped inside alive this capsized ferry? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin with the breaking news in ukraine.
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officials are calling the leaflets containing disturbing news to jews. we're live on four continents covering all of this news. very disturbing. >> this is the type of ethnic hatred and tension that many were afraid were break out. they've been stirred up for political gain but proving difficult to control, clearly empowering extremists on the ground and now it's exploding into the open. on a single sheet of paper, a frightening threat to jews. this leaflet turning up in donetsk, orders jews to register
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with the pro-russian government. secretary kerry attended meetings and expressed his disgust. >> after all of the miles traveled and the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it's grotesque. it's beyond unacceptable. >> reporter: news of the leaflets calls for russia to de-escalate calling for protesters to leave and the government to grant them amnesty. president obama warned, however, that words must be matched with follow-through by russia and supporters inside the borders of ukraine. >> we have put in place additional consequences that we can impose on the russians if we do not see actual improvement of the situation on the ground and we have to be prepared to
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potentially is potentially respond to what are efforts of interference by the russians in eastern and southern ukraine. >> reporter: so far, that progress is nowhere to be found. three people were killed as ukrainian forces attempted to retake one city and today russian president vladimir putin claimed the right to send russian forces inside ukraine if he decides. >> translator: i can remind you that russian's federation council granted the right to use armed forces. i hope i don't have to use that right. >> reporter: secretary kerry announced nonlethal response to ukraine and conceded that russian's actions could be part of a broader strategy, to reclaim former soviet territory for russia. >> i think we have to be alert to all possibilities.
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the actions of the russians over the last two months is not only irresponsible and violates sovereignty of a sovereign nation, but it's dangerously irresponsible. >> the president laid out some details of this agreement in geneva, this potential as he called it diplomatic path and includes assurances that ethnic russians in ukraine will have full protection of the law and said that ukrainian officials went out of their way to assure their counterparts of that but there are no guarantees, wolf, that russia this time will deliver on those promises. in fact, a number of times at his press conference he said he has his doubts and has to see actions along with the words. >> potentially very explosive despite maybe a bit of calming but a very dangerous situation. stand by for a moment. i want to go to eastern ukraine
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where the anti-semitic flyers were handed out. nick paton walsh is on the ground for us. give us a perspective of what you've been seeing, particularly from the jewish community. >> reporter: this is a limited instance, from what we're hearing. the chief rabbi is saying that he is not aware of it happening other than this one time. some jews came out of the synagogue during passover and the rabbi believes it is provocation. he doesn't blame the pro-russians. he said that's not even my handwriting on that document. it's clearly fake designed to provoke hatred here. i have to point out, we've heard a lot of claims and counterclaims putting pressure against ethnic russians and speakers here alleged by the pro
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ukrainian elements here, even homophobia and we don't hear much about anti-semitism when there are so many tensions here and it's quite a volatile situation here. >> stay with the u.s. ambassador to ukraine as well sounding an alarm. as far as the diplomacy is concerned, nick, the gentleman neef ye geneva talks, has that changed anything so far? >> not really, no. i spoke to dennis himself, self-declared leader of these protesters and he wasn't really listening to geneva. he wasn't aware of the joint statement that they put out.
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if you're pro-kiev, if you're pro-russian that could refer to people in kiev still. any side could misininterpret this at any time. we're also hearing social media traffic chatter around this region, potential for casualties and nothing has changed on the ground since that piece of paper came out. wolf? >> nick paton walsh, thank you. we'll talk about this with our chief national correspondent. now a senior fellow at the ucla center. joining us from little rock. julia, first to you about that pamphlet that was distributed. we don't know how. at the synagogue. that one synagogue in donetsk
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during passover. living on territories of donetsk peoples republic have to register. in case of noncompliance, the following will lose privileges of citizenship and will be deported. now, that sounds like a nazi kind of statement. what are you hearing about this? >> what i'm hearing, this was circulating in the russian language and ukrainian language internet for the last few days and it sounds like a few guys went to kinko and were distributing it. some people are connecting it to the pro-kiev forces in other parts of the region because the russian government has been accusing of har aboring neo-naz and it's got a lot of that historically. this seems like an attempt to
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smear the other side as having those kinds of ties as well. >> but still the secretary of state, u.s. ambassador to ukraine, they made a big deal of this today. >> i'm sorry to interrupt. but the u.s. ambassador to ukraine said we don't know what the origins are -- >> it's alarming. >> but we don't know what the origin is. >> it is hard and as nick paton walsh said on the ground there, he talked to people and various officials on the ground and they deny being involved but what it shows is you have a lot of different sides trying to stoke these tensions and take advantage of casting aspertions and that is very substantive. you've created these problems and it's very easy to carry that to ethnic and religious divisions. >> you saw it happening in crimea as well. there was a lot of graffiti
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popping up. >> what you're seeing is that the government in kiev is very weak. they haven't done anything to take control of the buildings and this is the stuff that they are resorting to. they are showing these guys talking and get instructions -- >> let me bring general clark into this discussion. general clark, you have a lot of history in europe, the supreme allied commander over there. when the president of the united states says as he did in the last hour or so, there are no military options in dealing with this cry cities, what say you? >> i think he's right. we're not going to send a delegation of u.s. forces there but, wolf , i was in ukraine a few weeks ago. and honestly, the stronger their capacity to resist, the greater the likelihood that russia will
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fall back on diplomacy in an effort to salvage something out of this as opposed to launching its military. so what i was presented with when i was in ukraine was the russian plan which was taken from russian fours forces and shown to be from the interim government and captured 12 russian teams which were released in order to be nonprovocative to the russians. the minister of defense told me that he had called his russian counterparts during the crimea crisis and asked them, please do not use violence on our troops. we'll just pull them out. the ukrainian government had received a lot of initial guidance that it shouldn't provoke and so it attempted to follow that guidance. but what i saw in the people -- that i spoke to was a tremendous determination to resist what they see as a clear russian strategy to take over ukraine.
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now, whether it's crimea, eastern ukraine, southern ukraine, or all of ukraine, remains to be did i bathed. at one point, the ukrainian generals were called by former colleagues who are now in other forces, russian and gave complete rundowns on the russian's plans. so that's a lot going on over there that is not being reported in the american media. i think the administration's policy is a smart policy. we want to drive this thing towards a diplomatic resolution but this is not just finger pointing on the ground and both sides are not equal. >> let me bring julia back in. julia, putin had this lengthy televised q & a that we all got reports of. what is going through his mind right now? is he really frightened by the prospect of tougher u.s.-led sanctions? >> i doubt it. whatever sanctions there are going to be, it seems that he's made the calculation that so far
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this is a cause that is he willing to bear in order to expand russia, to expand russian influence and project a force of russia that we're not somebody to be meddled with or taunted. >> what about the billionaires who are being sanctioned by the west right now? they are going to lose some money. >> you overestimate their independents. ever since the arrest in 2003 of the oil tyke tycoon, they have been hostage to putin. often they are called in the service of the state and putin says, hey, build this for me or donate x amount of money to this. >> is the administration right when it says it's not going to send lethal military equipment like weapons to ukraine? >> absolutely. the ukrainians don't need lethal military equipment. they need the diplomatic support that the united states is providing and that ukraine's neighbors should provide along
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with their own determined resistance. i think if russia were deciding to come in, it would be a tough fight and that's the element of deterrence that is needed to drive a diplomatic resolution. >> general clark, thanks very much. julia, thanks to you. jim will be back later. president obama spoke out about ukraine a little while ago during a white house news conference. he also released new numbers as far as obamacare is concerned and declared the debate over the affordable care act is now over. let's go to our white house correspondent michelle kosinski. she's got details. tell our viewers what the president president's message was. >> reporter: wolf, that's how we started this. 8 million americans are signed up and 35% of them are under age 35. that's important because the budget office says that 40% of the people within the system need to be young for it to function financially. and, yes, the president did get
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into the politics hitting out at critics who continue to call for a repeal saying that this is working and the debate now should be constructive. >> this does frustrate me. states that have chosen not to expand medicaid for no other reason than political spite. at no cost to these states. zero cost to these states other than ideological reasons they have chosen not to provide health insurance for their citizens. that's wrong. those folks should be able to get health insurance like everybody else. >> and what we still have not heard from the administration is how many of those signing up are previously not signing up but not just signing up but paying their premiums, wolf. >> michelle kosinski, thanks. up next, a rising death
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toll, hundreds of people still missing, some possibly trapped inside a capsized ferry. we're going live to south korea and live to perth. what is the new data emerging from the deep-water searches? that's a man interviewino.for a job. not that one. that one. the one who seems like he's already got the job 'cause he studied all the right courses from the get-go.
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off the coast of south korea, the death toll has riz risen to 25 and mostly students are still missing.
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kyung lah is joining us from jindo, south korea, where survivors are trying to recover. what is the latest that you are hearing? >> reporter: the latest that we are hearing is that this rescue is very much being treated as a rescue. they are operating under the belief that survivors are still aboard this capsized vessel, which is about 12 miles away from where i'm standing. you can't see it from where i am. there is this growing rage among the families that the captain somehow survived while hundreds of passengers were sinking on this ferry. images captured by the rescue team at the site of the sinking ferry, passengers desperately clinging to the rails so they don't fall off the boat. both the ship's captain and
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operator speaking for the first time. the captain and his head and face covered broke down in tears as reporters asked him if he had anything to say. >> translator: i am sorry. i am at a loss for words. >> reporter: but he offered no explanation as to what caused the ferry to collapse. >> translator: we deeply apologize to the families and i'm saying once again, we are really sorry. our company will promise that we will do our best not to lose any more lives. we're sorry. >> reporter: the ship's operator president admitting that they failed the passengers. >> translator: executives and employees have committed a grave sin. >> reporter: the apologies offered little comfort to families on the shore, many of them clutching their cell phones hoping for a text from the missing loved ones, many of whom
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are high school students. the south korean president got an earful from families, worried about the clock running out before hearing from their loved ones who may be gasping for oxygen. she promised to provide more rescue operations. rescuers are at the mercy of the elements. it's drizzling creating poor visibility. water currents are powerful, making for dangerous operations, even more frustration for families. >> translator: the civilian team went out there but the tides made it too dangerous so they came back. then the government says it's too dangerous for them, too. shouldn't i be angry about that? please rescue our families and our children. >> reporter: you can see how angry that father was. what you're being looki looking at is the search area 12 miles
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away, you can see these are the family members raising their fists in anger. their grief and frustration becoming angry they are angry about the captain. there are a lot of questions about why this ship capsized and they feel that there needs to be more done to try to save their children. wolf? >> so far, no answer as far as why it capsized. is that right? >> reporter: that's right. no answer. they are looking at whether or not the ship suddenly deviated off course, that that may be a high probability according to the maritime police as to why it capsized. there's been no clear answer about why the ship went under water. >> kyung lah on the scene for us, what a heartbreaking story that is. up next, we'll go live to australia for the search of missing flight 370. we're getting new information. and we're also getting a look at
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new information from the search for malaysian airlines flight 370. a high-tech u.s. drone has completed four deep dives into the indian ocean. its fifth expedition should begin any time now. as the latest findings are downloaded and analyzed, searchers' frustration is clearly growing. cnn's erin mclaughlin is joining us live from perth, australia, the headquarters for this multinational search effort. what is the latest there, erin? >> reporter: hi, wolf. they may be disappointed but they are certainly not discouraged. now, more leads may have been discounted, more dives may have turned up empty handed but officials here in australia so far are saying that they are confident that they are looking in the right place. the bluefin-21's operator tells cnn, three dives to the depths of the indian ocean have not turned up any trace of malaysian airlines flight 370.
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the fourth dive is now complete. adding to searchers' frustrations, preliminary analysis of samples from an oil slick discovered on sunday failed to show aircraft engine oil or hydraulic fluid. another possible clue scratched off the list. for now, the bluefin-21 remains the searchers' best hope. acting transportation minister revealed a bit of what it has discovered. >> visuals that we have managed to get from the bluefin-21 were very clear. not in finding what we were looking for but what the seabed looks like and that gives us a bit of relief as the next few days we are going to intensify the deepwater search. >> reporter: another bit of hopeful news, the operators found a way around and cut short
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to its earlier missions. it's only a small and acceptable risk to the depth of the ocean floor. even though it's deeper than the sub's 2.8 mile limit. as for the cost of a prolonged underwater search, it's in the ballpark of $250 million. even though the aerial heart is supposed to wind down soon, the search area may expand again if operations on the ocean floor don't pan out. the australians say searchers may go back to looking at the arc taken in by the partial digital handshake. a strip of ocean at least 370 miles long and 30 miles wide. no one is talking about giving up. >> the search will always continue. it's just a matter of approach. >> reporter: australian prime minister tony abbott saying that
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they will have exhausted their best leads within the week if still no wreckage found, they will need to rethink their approach. wolf? >> erin mclaughlin in perth for us, thank you. so even though the underwater search seems to be making some progress, are they in fact being looking in the right areas? joining us in "the situation room," our aviation expert peter goelz and tom fuentes. peter, they are completing four searches already. so far we haven't been told they got clear pictures but they haven't spotted any wreckage. are you surprised? >> not at all. i think this was always going to take weeks. it's a pretty big area even though it's been narrowed down. i think we're at the very initial stages of it. >> andy, you've been speaking to your sources. do investigators believe -- are they convinced they are looking in the right area? >> i definitely think so. my colleagues and i have done a story which basically says that
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this is their best estimate, of course, after weeks and weeks of analysis and it's based on some really cutting-edge science. it's based on the analysis that they had and sort of relooked at again and again and again and there is a bit of luck at the end. the reason they are so convinced that this is the right area is because for -- two weeks ago they managed to come up with an arcane, unusual, and quite intriguing technique and that is they were being looking at the differences in frequency of the signals between the satellite and the plane as viewers had heard about called the doppler event but they really added one more angle to it and that is, they looked at the temperature of the satellite and the temperature of the signaling equipment on board the jet and they were actually able to use these very sensitive temperature variations to look at the differences in the returns, the way signatures that they
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received and look at several other hundred aircraft that flew using the same system and that's why they are so convinced that with the latest analysis, they are very close to where they need to be. >> tom, i raised the question if they are convinced they are even looking in the right place because the malaysian transportation minister, he had some intriguing comments today suggesting, you know what, they may have to, in his words, regroup. let me replay the clip of what he had to say. >> there will come a time when we may need to regroup and reconsidering but in any event the search will always continue. it's just a matter of approach. >> because when he says that, they may have to regroup and reconsidering, if they come up empty handed with all of the bluefin-21 searches, what should they do? >> he shouldn't even be saying that at this point. they are at the early phase. all of the experts have told
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them this is going to take a while. they need to dial down the emotion and rhetoric and just do their job and search. >> they are obviously trying their best right now, peter, but are you 100% convinced that they are looking in the right area? and i asked the question because, as you know, this is the so-called black box, even though it's orange, the flight data recorder. this is the ping. it's supposed to emit them every second at 37.5 megahertz. but the actual megahertz that were heard was 32.2. some are wondering if it's really from the black box. >> they have applaud the investigators from the ntsb, really cutting edge work on this. this is their best estimate. are there some assumptions built in, they are. but they are going to give the bluefin some six or eight weeks
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to conduct the search and i think they are going to be successful. >> andy, you've done some reporting on this plane that presumably it was on autopilot when it disappeared and went into the indian ocean? tell us precisely what you're hearing. >> reporter: martin dolan, the head of the australian investigation bureau told one of my colleagues that in fact they believe the plane may have been on autopilot and actually may have been headed for perth but this was talked about in a general way. they haven't been able to confirm this. it's another theory that they are trying to work on. but to get back to your main question, wolf, the important point to remember is the australian, the head of the australian investigative agency calls this the sweet spot of the investigation and angus houston, the head of the search coordination committee said the data we've got is the data we've got. so i think what we're seeing here is the culmination of weeks and weeks of tweaking and analyzing and refining the data. the upside is that if they are right, they will be in the right place. they are close to the right
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place and they will find it in a couple of weeks or maybe longer. the downside is if their analysis is not correct, then i think we're being looking for a much longer search because they really have given this their best shot. there is not much more analysis and further refinement of the date tarks either from the satellite or from the fuel consumption of the aircraft or from the speed of the aircraft or from the radar data available. >> andy pasztor, thanks so much, also peter goelz and tom fuentes, thank you. this images are being used in the search for flight 370. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked.
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the search for flight 370 has brought unprecedented national cooperation but the planes and drones don't come free. brian todd is looking at the price for this kind of search. what are you finding? >> wolf, a sobering figure from a lead official involved in this. martin dolan, australian's top transportation official says that a prolonged search could cost $250 million if private companies are used. he cited $240 million, saying that's a ballpark rough estimate of an extended search. dolan said a later phase of the search could involve a search along a larger portion of the sea that was highlighted by the digital handshake between the plane and a satellite and said
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that arc could be about 370 miles long and 30 miles wide. one expert we have consulted, rob mccallum, an ocean search specialist, believes that figure is way too high. he says in the area that dolan is talking about, even with two towed locators working, he thinks the price tag's much closer to $15 million, wolf. so you've got projections on the far end of the spectrum but when all is said and done, it's very hard to project these figures. >> and the u.s. navy is projecting what it might cost the u.s. navy. >> that's right. it has budgeted $3.6 million just for its portion of this particular phase of the operation. and that covers the deployment of the bluefin-21, the towed pinger locator on board the "ocean shield," it covers the cost for ten operators which some of them are with phoenix international and plus transportation to and from the region. again, that's just the u.s.
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portion of this. that doesn't include the australian portion which is going to run into the millions. >> let's not forget, one boeing 777 costs 200 or $250 million. >> and the towed pinger locator, 3.5 million just to buy that. >> one locator. brian, thanks very much. let's get more insight now on deepwater searches. joining me now, colleen keller, with metron, a defense contractor who helped search for air france that went down in 2009 and gene raltson, an expert on the bluefin-21 being used right now. colleen, even if the first four searchers by the bluefin-21 emerge with nothing specific to show, no wreckage, it's still potentially beneficial as far as the overall search is concerned. explain why. >> well, wolf, it's what we've been calling negative information. when you search an area and you
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don't find something, you've learned something about that area and about the search area as a whole. you move on to new search areas but you always keep in your back pocket that you looked in that first place and didn't find anything, which increases the probability that you will find the target in the remained to be search areas. it's good to keep marking these things off. the key thing here is that you want to be spending your time in the highest probability areas. they've got several different locations where they have detected pings from the beacons, supposedly, and so they should have some idea of what is the best area to put this thing in and it's not clear, kind of looks like they are starting in one area and working their way across this area. i would hope that they are trying to focus in the highest payoff areas first because time is money and this thing is accumulating costs rapidly. >> certainly is. gene, you were nice enough to send up some images and i'm going to show our viewers the images from the side scanning sonar. the first one is a boat that was
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seen, a boat about 100 feet at the bottom of the lake. that's a pretty precise image that the sonar will show. the second one, a couple of cars found down about 30 feet under water. there you can see them right there. the third one was the f-18 that was found in the columbia river about 40 feet under the water. will that side scanning sonar be as precise as the images that we have just seen? >> yes, it will, wolf. the images depend upon the nature of the bottom, how much clutter there is that will hide the images. the bluefin-21 is programmed to fly at a certain altitude above the bottom and it will create as good of images if not better than what you are seeing there. >> are they using, gene, the best technology available right now in trying to find wreckage from this airliner?
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>> i believe they are. and the only thing that i would think would be somewhat better would be to have four, five, or six if they could afford them of the bluefin-21s or other autonomous underwater vehicles so they can search the targeted area much quicker. only having one or two units makes it much more time consuming. >> colleen, once they bring up the bluefin-21, it takes about four hours to review. walk us through what they do to see if they have spotted something. >> well, i would actually like to defer to gene because you're talking about image interpretation and often these images don't look like a photograph. and that's -- that's the key thing to understand. you're looking at returns of sound that is bouncing off the object and coming back and there are big shadows behind the object where the sound doesn't go and there could be -- those shadows could be hiding something. so what you have to do is you
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have to pick out something that looks manmade among natural objects and that's more art than science sometimes. >> is it that difficult, gene? >> it is, depending on the nature of the bottom, as i discussed before. if it's a hard, rocky bottom, things will tend to blend in as far as the deflected image. however, the shadows should still be there. there should be greater shadow detail on the bottom of the ocean there depending on any natural rock-outcrops or that type of thing that may be the same type of pieces of the aircraft. >> gene, i have to cut you off because we're out of time. thank you for joining us. gene ralston, colleen keller, helping us understand what is going on beneath the waters of the indian ocean. up next, a massive terrorist meeting shining a spotlight on al qaeda and a major terror trial now getting under way in new york. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪
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disturbing video of a huge al qaeda meeting seen first here on cnn. it's also drawing more attention to an extraordinary terror trial in new york city. our national correspondent, deborah feyerick, is there. >> reporter: abu has ma one-eyed appearance is distinctive. his hate-filled, anti-western rhetoric, combative. >> the collapse of the two towers, nothing but a demolition. >> reporter: and his trial in new york may prove to be explosive. nicknamed the hook, he once led london's thinsberry moss, preaching to the likes of fail
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shoe bomber richard reid and convicted 9/11 terrorist, zacarias moussaoui. >> at the time, he was referred to half joking as londonistan. and it's hard to forget him. he looks like a james bond villain with a hook in the place of a hand. >> reporter: when the mosque became more moderate, al masri was kicked out, taking his sermons to the streets. >> given that he had literally given parts of his body to the holy war, and for the younger man that sort of flocked to his sermons, he have the real deal. >> reporter: the real deal now charged with eleven counts of terrorism, some before 9/11. among them, a 1998 conspiracy to kidnap u.s. tourists in yemen. 16 were taken hostage and later used as human shields during the rescue. four were killed. mary quinn, an adventure traveler and former xerox
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executive, told cnn how she escaped. >> we were pulling at the gun and each screaming at the other, and then i just first tried to kick him and then i put my foot down on his head and it gave me enough leverage to get the gun out of his arms and make a run for it. >> reporter: court documents say during the incident, al masri talked to the kidnappers on a satellite phone he gave them. quinn later wrote a book about the kidnapping. in it, she describes how she confronted the cleric in london, allegedly getting him to admit his role in the attack. >> if she is, indeed, a witness, she'll be a very effective one. >> al masri has pleaded not guilty and may himself end up on the witness stand. he says he wants to testify in his own defense. >> they might also welcome the opportunity to cross-examine him, because there's obviously a lot of material out there to impeach him and impeach his credibility and paint him to be exactly what they say he is. >> reporter: and he wanted to
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give the opening statement. the judge said no. he is expected to testify in his own defense. his lawyer acknowledging that today. also on the stand, a man, a former colleague of the failed shoe bomber, richard reid. wolf? >> deborah feyerick, thanks very much. we'll take a quick break. much more news, coming up. [ male announcer ] when fixed income experts...
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happening now, the results are in, from the first complete underwater scan for wreckage from flight 370. stand by for the newest information about the search. and new hints about a backup plan. plus, a deadly new attack in ukraine. diplomats scrambling right now to calm the crisis as a stunning example of ethnic hatred surfaces that the united states is calling, quote, grotesque. and rescuers are working 24/7 to find survivors in a sunken ferry. nearly 300 people are still missing. some high school students may still be alive and trapped in the wreckage right now. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and
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around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this hour, the window is open to launch the fifth underwater search for flight 370. even as planes prepare to take off to scan the ocean's surface once again. we're learning new information about data downloaded by the "blue fin 21" drone and a potentially critical piece of evidence that's been ruled out. we'll go live to the staging area for the search in perth, australia. cnn's michael holmes is there. and we always have a team of experts here in "the situation room." they're following all the breaking developments. but first, the latest information from our justice correspondent, pamela brown. >> cnn is learning the underwater robot just finished its fourth dive a few hours ago, 15,000 feet down. and right now experts are studying are sonar images, hoping that this time the bluefin may find something.
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four days of searching underwater and still no signs of wreckage. >> the visuals that we managed to get from the bluefin 21 were very clear. not in finding what we were looking the for, but what the seabed looks like and that gives us a bit of relief as to the next few days, we're going to intensify the deepwater search. >> reporter: the underwater robot, bluefin 21, has been moving back and forth, searching the area where pings, believed to be from the black boxes were first detected. still, some officials now say if nothing turns up in the next few days, it may be time to switch gears. >> if we don't find the wreckage, we will regroup and reconsider. i think that has been our case from the start. >> reporter: expanding the underwater serge not only will take time, but also cost a lot
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of money. australia's chief air accident investigator says a long search and salvage mission could cost up to $234 million. today, more bad news for families searching for answers. tests from a suspected oil slick found on the water sunday show the oil was not from the missing plane. families still worry the investigators are searching in the right place. >> they're only looking in one place and they're putting all their eggs in within basket. they've really laid everything they've got on this one thing, hoping that they hit a home run. but what if they don't? you know, how much time have we lost? >> now, investigators do not find any aircraft wreckage in the area they're searching, it, of course, is a major setback, but they are back to square one. the next phase could be moving out along the arcs created by those satellite handshakes. the problem, of course, the larger the underwater search area, the longer it will take. >> huge problem, indeed. pamela, stand by. i want to go live to the base of
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the operations right now in perth, australia. cnn's michael holmes standing by there with more. what are you learning, michael? >> yeah, wolf, four dives now completed. that's a bit of a good development. the third dive was particularly successful, they say, in terms of what it covered. bluefin 21 has now searched about 120 square kilometers. that's nearly 50 square miles over those four trips above the ocean floor. depths of between 3,200 and 4,700 meters. the third trip, as i said, that was about 19 hours, they have analyzed the data on trips one through three. didn't find anything, but they say at least bluefin 21 is working well. their getting good images down there. mission number four, as we said, is now over, but we don't have the data on that yet. we hope to get it in the next hour or two, if we're lucky. and also waiting on word that trip number five has started. as pamela said, this is a very
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slow process. they're already looking at where they might look next, if they don't find anything in this concentrated search area they're working on now. but we are hearing that there is a level of confidence. no real detail on why, but there is confidence among those searchers, wolf. >> as far as the air searches are concerned, looking the for debris that may be floating on the surface of the indian ocean, i suspect, based on what we've heard from some of the organizers over the past few days, they're getting ready to wrap that up, right? >> reporter: yeah, that's right. angus houston, the man sort of heading up this search effort, he said at the beginning of the week that he thought that that aspect of the search, the air and surface search, would be wrapping up, in his words, in the next few days. well, it hasn't, and we do know that planes are going to be going out again this morning. the ships, we know, are still out there. so they're still searching in that area they looked a couple of weeks ago. so they obviously haven't given
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up on that yet. we kind of expected it to be done by now given the guidance we were given by angus houston, but no sign of it ending yet, wolf. >> michael holmes in perth, we'll obviously stay in close touch with you. if you get some more information, let us know right away. let's bring back our panel, and our law enforcement analyst, tom fuentes. peter, they're suggesting they may have to expand the search area if the bluefin 21 keeps going down, comes up with nothing of substance, other than nice pictures of the ocean floor. let's say they don't find anything. the pinger batteries are clearly dead by now. where do day go from here? >> i think they go back along the arc. but that's not going to happen for at least six weeks. they've got a lot of territory to recover. they're doing it methodically. if that fails, then they're going to have to reassess and plan for the long haul, which means tracing it back along that entire arc. >> that -- if they do that, tom -- because they haven't found any debris at all over the
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past month. but if they have to start going along that arc and just looking and looking and looking, that's going to delay this for a long, long time. >> it will get into the time where people have said before, it might take weeks, months, years, now we could be looking at the months and years aspect, if that happens. >> you're talking to some of these investigators, your sources, pamela. are they losing hope? are they very frustrated? or are they still pretty confident that they're at least looking in the right area? >> i think they're cautiously optimistic, wolf. so far, the bluefin has covered about 46 square miles of the education to floor. and this is really their best bet, this concentrated area. and as we heard michael say, they are confident that this is really they need to be focused on. and just remember, we're four days in. no one thought we'd be finding any wreckage just a few days into the search. this is a long process and we just need to exercise patience. >> four days with the underwater search, if you will, and 40 plus days overall search. they finally came back to us and told us that the oil that they took, there was a little oil
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slick there, had nothing to do with the plane. they brought it to perth, they put it in a lab, it's not any lubricant or any oil from the airliner. >> yeah, that was always a long shot. i mean, the idea that there would be any fuel or lubricants left on the surface from this aircraft is just, it's just not going to happen. but they were obligated to test it. i'm sure if they come across another oil sheen, they'll have to test it. but that's going to be highly unlikely that that's going to test positive. >> there was some hope, but obviously that didn't pan out. stand by, guys, because jeffrey thomas is joining us once again. he's the editor in chief of airli he's in perth, australia. any new information you're picking up over there, jeffrey? you're pretty plugged in. >> look, nothing specific, wolf, but there is a very high level of confidence that they are looking in the right area. i mean, let's not forget, this is where they got four solid
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pings, two fadeout pings. this is the area where immarcet said, this is where you need to look. this is the spot where the last partial handshake occurred. and, yeah, absolutely. we didn't expect to sort of go down and find it mission one. and we're only four days in. there is, on the ground, a high level of confidence that this is the right spot. and at the same time, while we thought the air search would be wound down, it's proceeding at the same level, 13, 14 aeroplanes going out today. so this area that they've searched about almost 2 1/2 weeks ago, they've gone back out there over the last few days and they're continuing to do so. so there's a -- you know, there's strong optimism that they're going to find something. >> and how do they explain the frequency, when those pings were detected, especially that two-hour ping from the black box, which is really orange, as
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all of our viewers know by now, that it's supposed to be 37.5 megahertz, but it was really only about 32 megahertz. how are they explaining that discrepancy? >> as explained to me, there is, because of the depth, of course, the ocean layers, the -- all the dynamics of that, there is a range of about 10%, either way, that is acceptable and still believed to be from the black box. let's not forget that one of the world's most famous recons, david moons said, as far as he's concerned, they've found it. from those pings. that's how positive he is that they're on to the right location. >> peter golds, you worked at the ntsb for a long time. are you positive they found the right location? >> i'm optimistic. these guys have worked hard, they've used cutting edge
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analysis. they believe they're on the spot. >> i suspect they also have confidential information, secret information that they are not sharing with us, why they think they're pretty optimistic that this is the location, tom. >> well, we're hoping that's the case, to support it. >> it would make sense. one thing, because i know you were checking with some of your former colleagues at the ntsb. if they find this black box, the ntsb really does want to be the first to inspect what's inside. >> well, i've thought about that and i've talked to a number of people, and they actually are the most qualified to get it. not only do they have the most advanced equipment, they've got the boeing corporation here, and they've got the maker of the black box here as well. so this would be the best place to take care of the downloading of the data. >> the malaysians, jeffrey, would have to agree to that, to let the u.s. get first crack at the black box, the australians, presumably, would have to agree to it. what are you hearing there, if they find that black box, who will inspect it first?
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>> well, really, wolf, it's up to the malaysians. they are leading the search, as is their right. they have included the australians, as a party to the full investigations. i'm sure the australians would be very happy to work with the u.s. and the ntsb on this. i mean, the bottom line is, we want the very best equipment to study the black box and if the very best equipment, if the very best brains are in washington, d.c., well, then, why not? and it's not as though it's a secret thing. we all share this information. we're all part of the investigation. and i would imagine there would be australian inspectors going with the black box to washington, d.c. to work with their colleagues at the ntsb. >> assuming the malaysians agree to that. and it's nice to believe, tom, that there would be this kind of cooperation. but there could be a fight about it. >> i don't think there's going to be any fight between the u.s. and australia. >> no, i'm talking about with
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malaysia, maybe. >> well, i think malaysia is going to be feeling the pressure to get this to the best experts in the world, or they're going to continue to face the kind of criticism that they've put themselves through for 40 days. >> what are you hearing from your sources, pamela? >> honestly, just reflective of what tom just said, i think once this black box is found, i think everyone is going to want to work together to figure out what happened here. and the sources i'm speaking with are saying basically right now it's a waiting game. that in many ways, they're not getting the answers they need from the investigative standpoint, looking at the passengers and the crew, so they're really waiting on pins and needles for this black box to be found and to provide the proof they need. >> pamela, thanks very much. peter and tom, thanks to you guys. geoffrey, we'll check back with you tomorrow as well. still ahead, a leaflet threatening jews. it's a new provocation of the crisis in crew cayukraine along deadly attack on a military base and it's all prompting some very strong words from the u.s. including president obama.
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cross fire won't be seen tonight so we can bring you more of the coverage of mystery of flight 370 and other news. more on that in a moment. but first, another urgent story we're following here in "the situation room." the crisis in ukraine is turning deadly. three pro-russian militants were killed overnight during a raid on a ukrainian military base. these photos of the attack are just coming into "the situation room," as many requequestion wh the powder keg that is east ukraine is about to explode. let's begin with nick paton walsh. he's joining us from eastern ukraine with the very latest. what are you seeing, nic? >> reporter: wolf, despite this geneva agreement, which is a road map, effectively, between
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these foreign powers, who aren't really in presence much on the ground here, suggesting there could be a ray of light, have seen very little change on the ground here at all. catastrophic news, this morning. as you said, the first three deaths hmong the pro-russian protesters, miraculous, very few of them killed or hurt in the past week or so. 63 of them arrested in apparently a moment -- >> i think we lost our connection, unfortunately, with nick paton walsh. we're going to get back to him in a moment. the pentagon, obviously, is also closely monitoring the situation on the ground. troubled by those reports of anti-semitic leaflets that are distributed outside a synagogue during passover in one town in eastern ukraine. the u.s. getting ready to step up some aid to the ukraine at the same time. let's go to barbara starr. wl what are you learning? >> what the pentagon is telling
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me, regardless of who was behind these leaflets, which the u.s. is now calling disgusting, whoever was behind them, it's a provocation and it's very unsettling and it destabilizes further the political and military situation in eastern ukraine. that's what the u.s. does not want to see at this point. now, i spoke to a senior rabbi in eastern ukraine just a short time ago, to ask him how things were going directly. he said, it's very peaceful that people there generally get along. they're upset about these flyers, they know that they're not true, nobody's obeying these instructions in the flyer to register, but what he said that was so interesting is that people in the region are worried about war. when what they're worried about is a russian invasion. that's what their top worry is. and many of them are the elderly people in eastern ukraine, who remember the terrible years there of world war ii. so it goes back to the point of russian intimidation, russian provocation. and today the top u.s. general
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in europe and he's also the military chief of nato, had a very extraordinary statement. general phillip breedlove, i want to read a little bit of it to you. general breedlove saying, quote, it's hard to fathom that groups of armed men in masks suddenly sprang forward from the population in eastern ukraine and systemically began to occupy government facilities. it's hard to fathom, because it's simply not true. general breedlove, very directly going on to say that he believes and nato believes russia is behind some of these provocations that we are seeing in the region, some of the violence taking over certain areas. the pentagon believes that russian special forces are very much in eastern ukraine right now and they say they don't have total proof, but they look at the pictures of the people fighting there, their uniforms, their weapons, their discipline, how they are acting, how they
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are operating, and the u.s. has come to the very firm conclusion at this point that russia is behind much of the provocation in the region. wolf? >> and explain, barbara, what the defense secretary, chuck hagel, meant today when he said the u.s. would start providing some non-lethal military equipment to ukraine. >> what he's talking about, wolf, is things like medical supplies, uniforms, generators, water purification. anything put weapons. some of it will go to the ukraine army, some of it will go, interestingly, to the ukraine state border guard, because they certainly are trying to keep their borders secure at this point. the pentagon has made a decision, this is not the time for lethal weapons, not the time for weapons to go to ukraine. they want this situation to calm down. wolf? >> barbara starr is at the pentagon. thank you. let's go over to the white house. president obama is addressing the crisis. he's calling for diplomacy to de-escalate the situation. our white house correspondent, michelle kosinski, is joining
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us. she's got more. what's going on there? >> reporter: the president addressed this directly today. and on this, the first day in many weeks that we've seen so much as a glimmer of progress on crisis, he did not sound very optimistic. the president's reaction to vladimir putin's four-hour-live television q&a today and the agreement, at least, by russia to start ramping down the ukraine crisis? >> i don't think we can be sure of anything at this point. i think there is the possibility, the prospect, that diplomacy may de-escalate the situation. >> reporter: while russia's foreign minister showed a willingness to engage in constructive dialogue, putin didn't miss any chances to launch digs a to the u.s., covering everything from his right to roll troops into ukraine, if he decides he has to, emphasizing that russia doesn't spy on its citizens communications, after a question posed by none other than edward snowden. still living in asylum in russia. but putin kept a little window
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open to the now tattered u.s./russian relationship. >> translator: i agree that a lot of trust has been lost. why is that happening? we consider this not our guilt. russia is interested in developing relations with the united states and will do what it can to restore this trust. >> reporter: that relationship, though, continues to spiral downward, even as putin keeps calling p ining president obama possibly, possibly will move forward on ukraine instead of backward coming you have to meeting in geneva today. >> we're not going to know whether, in fact, there's follow-through on these statements for several days. >> reporter: for all of the ugly, at times, back and forth we've heard, especially from lawmakers on both sides, today during his ramble, putin at one point called president obama decent and courageous and said he thought that if putin were drowning, that obama would save him. but no word on the white house on that, wolf. >> michelle kosinski with the latest from there, thank you. i want to go back to eastern ukraine right now.
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nick paton walsh is on the scene for us. we were interrupted a few moments ago, but when ukrainians hear that the u.s. is ready to start providing some nonlethal equipment, medical supplies, water purification, to ukraine, is that simply symbolic support or do they see it as much more significant? >> reporter: no, i think people we spoke to in a pro-ukrainian protest here were quite clear they want to sort it out themselves. but barack obama said very clearly that the military option is off the table here. there is no concept, really, of future u.s. no. imminently, unless the game change enormously. but this geneva agreement, while it is a piece of paper that russia, the u.s., ukraine, and the eu can all put their names to, it's a complex, messy agreement document. it calls for further talks of observation missions here, but it also says all illegally occupied buildings and all
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illegally banned groups should disband immediately, and they consider that to be the protests in kiev backed up by a far-right militant and those in kiev say it means the people here backing them up. so that could fall apart quite fast. the people in the occupied administration building behind me here in day nesk, they don't even say anything. we're hearing reports of continued clashes around the region, unconfirmed because of the massive amount of information going around. but it seems on the ground, geneva has made very little difference, momentum so squarely behind those pro-russian protesters. >> nick, those anti-semitic leaflets that were distributed outside a synagogue there in donetsk where you are in ukraine, you've been speaking to jewish community leaders and others, give us some perspective on what's going on. >> reporter: well, they're not overly concerned if chief rabbi here, you would have thought if
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he was deeply troubled, would have taken this moment to express fierce about anti-semitism, but he didn't. he said that these leaflets left outside the synagogue by three men after a passover service were actually aimed at provoking tension between the jewish community and the pro-russian donetsk protest and the donetsk community as a whole get along fine, let's just stop talking about this. plus, the guy who has supposed to have signed these leaflets, these posters, the chairman of the self-declared donetsk's people of republic in the occupied building behind me, i spoke to him. he said it wasn't his handwriting on it, wasn't the title he uses for himself, called the whole thing a fake, an unprofessional one at best, and also said this is designed to provoke hatred here. ou on the ground here, people are trying to push this aside quickly. there's so much tension, they don't want anti-semitism to come into the mix. it's not been part of the protests or part of the motivation, but so many accusations between both of these sides, calling each other
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fascist, remarkable that john kerry chooses to focus on this, of which there's not too much of in reality on the ground. >> nick paton walsh on the ground for us, thanks very much. let's continue the conversation. the u.s. ambassador to the organization for security and cooperation in europe, daniel bear is joining us now. do you want to give us your perspective on those anti-semitic leaflets? we heard john kerry say they were disgusting and chilling. what do you know about this, ambassador? >> well, i think as nick said, you know, the question remains on the ground whether where they came from, who they came from, et cetera. no matter where they came from, they're offensive and disgusting, and i think it underscores the fact that there's a lot of unknowns right now, and that tensions are very high, and anything like this can and should be seen as a provocation and rejected for the
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disgusting hate it represents. >> are you confident, upbeat, worried? give me an analysis of this deal that seems to be emerging in geneva right now. how confident are you that it will really de-escalate all those tensions? >> well, i think i'm, you know, i'm confident that the recipe there is one that can be one step toward de-escalation. the handover of buildings, the disarming of illegally armed groups, you know, that's an important step forward, and obviously, the discussion in geneva today underscored the role that impartial international monitors through the osc could play in actively facilitating that. but overall, the situation remains very grim, as we've heard earlier in the broadcast, there's strong evidence that russia is behind the illegal armed takeover of a number of municipal buildings in the eastern ukraine. these were coordinated efforts.
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this is not grassroots activism. this is russian organized criminality. the guys who are taking these over are operating in a professional way, professionally armed, with equipment that would cost many, many months salary in eastern ukraine. so the situation remains very grim. we've said all along that there needs to be a diplomatic way forward, and that includes engagement between russia and ukraine, and the use of international monitors. and obviously, part of what was discussed today was how those monitors can play a role going forward. but we're very much still in a test and verify, not in a trust and verify zone right now. >> let's talk about the role that the organization, you're the u.s. representative to the organization, for security and cooperation in europe. they want monitors from your organization to go there. walk us through how many are going to go there, what their role will be, will they be armed? give us a little perspective on these international monitors that are about to head over into this area where it's very tense
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right now. >> so the monitors, the monitoring mission began with 100 people. it will scale up likely to 500 people. that's in the process right now. and they are actually already on the ground. they've been on the ground, they reached their full force of 100, the initial 100 this week. but they're on the ground in donetsk and other cities in the east and have been reporting this week. so they are on the ground and ready to help facilitate the handovers of buildings, the disarming process, etc. and we'll offer their good offices to do that. the other thing that they're prepared to do and that we hope that they will do is as people thoughfully will realize that taking over municipal buildings is maybe a short-term, tactical win, but not a long-term success in terms of addressing grievances, we hope that the ose monitors can play a role in facilitating dialogue,
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facilitating town hall meetings, et cetera. the ukrainian people as a whole have a real chance coming forward next month. they'll have presidential elections on may 25th. and this is a real opportunity for the ukrainian people to turn the page on the yanukovych era, to move forward together, to start a new era with not corrupt government, with good governance, that can protect the rights of all ukrainians. and i think that's what we're looking to -- and we should keep that goal in mind. >> let's hope it works. ambassador danielle bear joining us. he's the u.s. representative for the organization for security and cooperation in europe. that's what they need a little bit of right now, security and cooperation. especially in eastern europe and eastern ukraine, specifically. thank you very much. just ahead, we'll have a live update on the desperate search for survivors inside that sunken south korean ferry. time may be running out and the weather isn't cooperating. the u.s. navy is now involved in the search. i'll talk to a top u.s. navy officer who's at sea right now. she's going to tell us what she knows about the rescue operation
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the death toll is rising in south korea after yesterday's ferry disaster. we're getting brand-new video of some of the passengers' families. they're enraged that the captain of that ferry abandoned the ship and survived. south korean coast guard now
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says at least 25 people are dead. 276 people are still missing. they're believed to be trapped aboard the ship. so many of them are high school students. cnn's kyung lah is at the scene for us. she's joining us with the very latest. kyung? >> reporter: well, wolf, i can tell you that certainly the mood here is distinction to shift after what has been a 24 hours of frustrating search, because of, primarily, the weather. i want you to take a look over my shoulder. what you're seeing over there is a gathering of parents. this is the dockside where they're waiting for news. the search is actually 12 miles away from here. and take a look at this video. this is something we shot just a short time ago. and what you're seeing are parents who not only are grief stricken, but now, they are also enraged. they want answers. they keep chanting, captain, come out. they want to know why the captain survived while their children were aboard this
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sinking vessel. they are still grieving. they feel that the news is not coming out quickly enough from the government. so what we're seeing here is this, as conditions get more desperate, as the death toll begins to rise and is expected to grow, the families are becoming increasingly enraged. wolf? >> are they giving up hope, or are they still maybe a little bit upbeat that their loved one might still be alive? >> reporter: they're not giving up hope, completely, but certainly, we are sensing a different mood. they are becoming more desperate. they feel that the information, especially because the last 24 hours, were so dismal, that they don't know what to think. there was not oxygen pumped into the capsized boat, as they had hoped. there were no survivors pulled out over the last 24 hours. you can see them clinging to cell phones. they want answers. they're hoping for some texts.
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they're praying their children have found a dry air pocket aboard this capsized ferry. but the facts are against them. hypothermia sets in after just two hours. we're now into the third day. so they haven't given up hope. i can't say that we've spoken to anybody where you get that sense, but they are increasingly more desperate. >> and the notion that there were -- the captain survived, the captain got off, but so many others are still trapped, that must be fueling a lot of outrage? >> reporter: fueling a lot of outrage, certainly. they want to get this captain in front of them. that is certainly the sense you're getting, from at least today. they're also very upset about the issue of the lifeboats. there were so many lifeboats aboard, that local news reports that only one of them was actually deployed. there were dozens of them on the ship. so why weren't they used? why were the children, and i'm going to call them children, because there were so many high
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school students aboard this capsized ferry, why were they told to stay in their rooms, to stay below the top deck? those are a lot of questions that these parents are asking and they want answers. they don't feel it's coming quickly enough from the coast guard or from the government or the ship company or the captain, frankly. >> kyung lah, thanks very much. let's get some more now on the search efforts. commodore heidi aidy is joining us, what is the role of the u.s. navy, commodore, right now, as far as this rescue operation is underway? >> wolf, the capability that we bring to this effort is search and rescue. we are doing everything that we can to continue the effort to search for survivors. >> so what are you specifically doing? how much equipment do you have there? how many people are involved in this operation?
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>> our contribution has been hampered by the visibility in our area. we have two very capable mh-60 search and rescue helicopters out with radar that can tell if there was a warm area in the water. we were able to employ them for several hours yesterday morning, but the weather, the fog moved in for the majority of the day. we couldn't see the bow of our ship. and we were not able to fly in that weather. it is still foggy this morning. as soon as the weather clears, we'll put the helicopters back in the area and continue. >> any indication -- we have some video from your ship about these bad weather conditions. there you see some of them. it's pretty dangerous to start flying over there, given the fact that the weather is that bad. is that right? >> that's absolutely correct, wolf. and we have weathermen that we
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live by as professional mariners and aviators, and sadly, we were not able to contribute but a few hours later. >> is this a real international operation, or is it the u.s. and south korea basically in charge? >> south korea is definitely in charge. and we are assisting. to my knowledge, we're the only other country that is contributing. the south korean coast guard and navy are heavily involved. our counterparts on their flagships, we've recently worked with during exercises. and our deepest condolences go out to the family and the crew and our thoughts and prayers are with them as they struggle through this. >> do you know, commodore, what happened, why this ferry capsized? >> sir, i am not privy to that
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information through official channels and i would hesitate to say anything. the only information i have is what's been given in the open press. i would assume it is a matter under investigation by the south korean maritime agency. >> and reaching those air pockets, if, in fact, there are air pockets in that capsized ferry, where individuals may still be alive, how difficult of an operation is that, commodore? >> extremely difficult. there are heavy currents in this area, the ship itself is not stable in the water. so you are, by default, putting a diver at risk, as the divers that have been assisting have been very frayed and very forward in their approach. the water temperature is in the very low 50s. so you're in immediate hypothermic conditions, so requiring dry suits to spend extended time in the water.
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the water is very murky, so there are many things that are working against them. and to add to that, we have a period of bad weather that's moving in over the weekend, where we're expecting continued reduced visibility and higher winds, up to 30 knots an hour. >> have you ever seen anything like this before, commodore? >> wolf, i have not. this is just tragic. it was a distress call that we responded to immediately and will continue to stay on scene as long as the koreans need us to be here. >> captain heidi agle is the commodore of the u.s. amphibious squadron 11 joining us from aboard the "uss bonhomme richard." good luck to all the u.s. marines and navies and good luck to the south korean military. let's hope they find some people alive. just ahead, some very dramatic evidence that passengers may, indeed, be alive
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in that wreckage of the sunken ferry. it's actually happened before. hey. i'm ted and this is rudy.
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what's your policy? it's the best hope right now for the families of the missing passengers involved in a deadly ferry disaster. it is possible that some of them may still be alive trapped inside the sunken wreckage. so how likely, brian, that? >> well, the odds are decreasing with each passing hour. but experts say if there are air pockets inside that vessel and if the passengers can get to them and use them effectively, there could be a shot. rescuers in south korea are in a calculate bud furious scramble. they're working under the assumption some passengers aboard the sunken ferry may still be alive. past accidents tell us it's very possible. november last year, an overcrowded double-decker ferry
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sank off thailand. about 200 people were rescued. february 2006. an egyptian passenger ferry sank in the red sea. more than 300 were rescued there. there were even underwater rescues after the costa concordia" cruise ship capsized. how can one survive when it is capsized, even completely underwater? there is no more dramatic example than this. >> he is alive. he is alive. >> reporter: may of last year after a tugboat capsized off west africa, a rescue driver thought he found the hand of a corporation. but crewmember harrison had been alive for two and a half days inside a four-square pocket. his boat had come to rest upside down about 100 feet below the surface. >> just reassure him. pat him on the shoulder. >> reporter: the supervisor talked him and the rescue diver through it. >> put your head underwater and breathe comfortly. >> reporter: in less than that 20 minutes he was brought out safely. if there are survivors they
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could take steps to help themselves, though they probably don't know it. >> they need to find a watertight door such as this one, that they would close and seal it. >> reporter: former navy diver bobbi seeley showed us where air pockets can be found and how potential survivors could use them. >> when they're in a small compartment like this with an air bubble, they really have to stay calm and breathe shallow and conserve the oxygen in that space. >> reporter: there was an effort to pump oxygen into the korea vessel with the hope that it could create air pockets. but that attempt failed because of bad weather. given those conditions, the cold temperatures and the time elapsed since that ferry went down, the odds for survival here are decreasing, wolf. >> there are other dangers involved in pumping air into a vessel like this. >> this sure are. that navy diver bobbi scully says if a rescue team drills a hole into a compartment that already has air in it, there is a risk of letting air out of that compartment and having the vessel sink even further than it is now. and that could put 2 survivors
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in there, if there are any, any greater danger. south korean rescue team nose this. they're very good. >> let's hope they succeed. thanks, brian. thank you very much. just ahead, a different story we're following. the clinton family's life-changing announcement.
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now a wonderful announcement by the clinton family. it has absolutely nothing to do with hillary clinton's presidential prospects. let's bring in our senior political correspondent brianna keelillo keillor. >> the clintons are finally getting a wish they wanted. coming this fall, a brand baby.
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>> i have one more thing to say. very quickly. i also want to thank all of you for being such an inspiration to us. and to me in particular. mark and i are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year. and i certainly feel all the better, whether it's a girl or a boy that he or she will grow up in a world full of strong, young female leaders. so thank you for inspiring me. and thank you for inspiring future generations i just hope that i will be as good a mom to my child and hopefully children as my mom was to me. >> so in october, chelsea clinton told glamour magazine that she and her husband had decided that 2014 was the year of the baby. so not totally unexpected here. but wolf, she certainly kept it under wraps until now. it really came as a surprise
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today at this event. there were quick congrats from her mom and dad on twitter. hillary clinton saying my most exciting title yet, grandmother to-be. bill clinton excited to be grandfather-to be. and of course the political question. is this going to be whether hillary clinton runs for president? i've heard it argued both ways by those close to clinton who want her to run in 2016 that she might not want to miss out on being a grandparent. as you know, campaigning takes so much time. but conversely, the possibility of being the first female president is certainly an alluring legacy to leave for a grandchild. >> very, very exciting time for the clintons. we want to wish them happiness and only, only the best. thanks very, very much for that. remember, you can always follow us on twitter. you can tweet me. go ahead, do it right now, @wolfblitzer. you can certainly tweet the show @cnnsitroom. be sure to join us tomorrow in "the situation room." you can watch us live, of course. you can also dvr the show so you won't miss a moment. that's it for me.
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thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the sways room. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. next, a major blow to the investigations into the missing malaysia airlines flight 370. and breaking news on the sunken ship off the coast of south korea. we're going to go there live. it is race against time, praying for air pockets to save nearly 300 people, most of them children missing. and chelsea clinton makes a big announcement. let's go "outfront." well, good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett "outfront" tonight. a blow in the investigation of missing malaysia airlines flight 370. search airplanes taking off at this instant. they're still trying to find any kind of visual proof. investigators saying tonight the oil slick that they discovered, the results are in. it is not a plan