issue, they believe, without going into farther specifics. all of that will be further investigated here. >> thanks, will ripley, reporting from south korea. let's go to ukraine right now. a new pledge from the vice president of the united states, joe biden, while meeting with ukrainian leaders in kiev, he offered another $20 million in security aid, offered this rebuke for russia. >> no nation should threaten its neighbor by amassing troops along the border. we call on russia to pull back these forces. should sow instaby in its neighbor's country. we call on russia to stop supporting men, hiding behind masks in unmarked uniforms sowing unrest in eastern ukraine. >> vice president biden is referring to reports and those
pictures we all saw yesterday involving russian troops in generic uniforms. let's turn to our arwa damon. she's joining us from eastern ukraine. where do we stand with intelligence, with the pro-russian militants holding building in eastern ukraine? >> reporter: exactly where we always have been. fortifying some of their various locations, as well as the u.s. vice president was saying they haven't seen any concrete measures by russia to try to convince these russia protesters to surrender the buildings, laying a fair amount of blame on russia as to why there haven't been any sort of progress. and there is quite a lot of this blaming, counterblaming, going on here, because the russians also and these pro-russian
protesters are saying the government itself is not upholding its side of the bargain. they are still meeting with various protests here, but at this stage, making no significant progress. >> arwa, there was news today over the weekend, a shooting at a checkpoint, pro-russian forces say they were attacked. what do we know about that? >> yes, wolf, three pro-russian protesters were manning that checkpoint and were killed. people understandably emotional, as you can only imagine. the situation here, no real signs of any sort of deescalation. there also yesterday was yet another takeover from the police headquarters. still being detained by these pro-russian protesters.
perhaps something may be negotiated here, in the main administration building that has been under pro-russian protesters control. they had seemingly agreed to at least clear out so people could go back to work. all things considered, wolf, no significant progress here as this crisis continues. >> arwa, thank you. arwa damon, reporting live from eastern ukraine. we'll have more on ukraine a little bit later this hour when gloria borger takes a closer look at vice president biden's trip. what it could mean back here in the united states. stand by for that. now to the search for flight 370. the visual search for the plane was called off for this day as a tropical cyclone moved through the search zone. the bluefin-21 under water robot is still under water, churning through its tenth search mission. time is running out. cnn's erin mclaughlin is in
perth, australia. >> reporter: wolf, today's weather may have had an impact on the aerial search for debris. didn't seem to have too much of an effect on the bluefin-21. now, as far as we know, in the midst of its tenth dive. now, as of yesterday, two-thirds of that narrow search area had been scoured. still no signs of the missing plane. some are wondering what are going to be the next steps. now, an official with the u.s. navy telling cnn the key stakeholders are in the early stages of those discussions. there's been talk of a broader search area, possibly introducing more submersibles into the mix to be able to cover more area in a shorter period of time. what they're doing right now is they're searching a six-mile radius around the point of the second ping that was detected on april 8th. they're doing that because it was the strongest of the four pings.
but some analysts suggesting perhaps they should search in the areas of the other pings as well. that spokesperson for the u.s. navy telling cnn that they're planning for as far out as july. their long-term plans, at the same time, there's a short-term focus. they're focusing on the task at hand. very important, they say, that the bluefin-21 either rule this area in or rule it out completely. meanwhile, weather continuing to be a factor into tomorrow. forecasters say more showers, more wind could impact the aerial search. wolf. >> erin mclaughlin in perth, australia, thanks. in a few moments, we'll have a panel of experts to talk about the growing frustration of the family members of flight 370 passengers. just ahead, the captain of that sinking ferry in south korea told everyone not to move. did that command cost hundreds of lives? a former u.s. coast guard
accident investigator standing by live to join us. and later, the vice president, joe biden, gives ukraine a pep talk. take a closer look at the significance of his message. our own gloria borger is here. predibut, manufacturings a prettin the united states do. means advanced technology. we learned that technology allows us to be craft oriented. no one's losing their job. there's no beer robot that has suddenly chased them out. the technology is actually creating new jobs. siemens designed and built the right tools and resources to get the job done.
the captain and eight crew members have been charged in the sinking of the south korean ferry that claimed at least 121 lives. is this public message to the passengers right after the accident happened. >> translator: don't move. if you move, it is more dangerous. don't move. >> our guest is a veteran rescue
diver, retired accident investigator with the u.s. coast guard. you say it would have been better to say nothing than towo. explain what happened in the disaster that followed that word from the crew, don't move, don't move. >> well, in an emergency situation, people will do what they're told to do. these kids were told what to do and they did. it was absolutely the wrong choice to make, certainly. those on the outside made it and the rest of them we're looking for. so that idea that they should stay still, it's more dangerous doesn't line up with anyone's training, anyone's procedures or what we've learned in maritime over the last 100 years. >> so normally if there's a situation like this, instead of telling everybody on board, don't move, don't move, you tell everybody, get your life vests on, come to the deck and get ready to abandon the ship. i assume that would be the correct order. >> you'd want to take them to their muster stations. that's whether all their
training has taught them to do. life jackets on and get to the muster station. that big empty area we see on the video next to the life rafts that the crew's now saying they couldn't get to. there was a couple of crew standing next to them and plenty of room for passengers to be there. so that was the place to have them. so if the captain says he was waiting on rescue and waiting on rescue boats or -- and the water was cold, and that's all true, but the idea of preparing just in case doesn't cost anyone anything except for maybe some discomfort. i know they're all regretting that decision, but they should have been on the deck. at least you have the option to take the next move, which is the abandonment of the ship. but deploying this life raft could have easily been done from the port side of this boat. plenty of life rafts, easy to deploy, and they could have had people standing by and getting in them right then. >> is there ever a time for an order like that, don't move, don't move, in a situation like this? >> i can't -- i've been thinking
about it for a couple days. i can't figure what they were thinking. unless they were thinking of stability. and that order may have come much later when the boat was very far on its side. maybe it was after it was too late. there was a sort of no going back point once the vessel got past that 90 degrees i think. as long as there was a way out, they should have been telling them to move to get out. even in the safety of life at sea requirements, go into spaces and go into spaces and get them out. it's very clear in marine practice to get everyone on deck and prepare for what's next. >> mario vittone, thank you. up next, more on ukraine. including john mccain's assessment. also, vice president biden's message to the ukrainian people. our own gloria borger is here and will look at joe biden's influence in the u.s. and around the world.
it's a gas station run by a mafia that is masquerading -- >> i'm glad you -- >> the republican senator john mccain on "late night with seth meyers" last night talking about russia. senator mccain talked about renewed popularity on capitol hill, for hip at least, now that he's been personally sanctioned
by the russian president vladimir putin. senator mccain is pushing the u.s. to provide ukraine's government with defensive weapons to hold off russian troops if putin gives the order to invade. the obama administration doesn't support mccain's plan, instead pledging what's described as nonlethal aid. the vice president was in ukraine today, still is there, talking with government leaders. he promised both economic and diplomatic support. >> the united states stands with you and is working to support all ukrainians and seeking a better future. the road ahead obviously, as we discussed at length both here and washington, mr. prime minister, is difficult. and you should know, as i told you at the outset, you will not walk this road alone. we will walk it with you.
>> bring in gloria borger, our chief political analyst. you cover the vice president for a long time, pretty strong words for him. >> the message was clear. he also said, this struck me, he said no country should be allowed to behave like an armed bandit, which is essentially what he's calling russia. i think the question we all have here is whether the united states at sam poiome point is go compa come out and say russia has crossed some sort of a red line, to use that phrase we've heard in other foreign policy situations. >> syria specifically. >> syria. after all, a deal was signed in geneva that was supposed to defuse the situation. you talk to american foreign policy folks, they have absolutely no confidence that the russians are doing anything but escalating the situation. so while the vice president right now is calling for restraint, he says this process is not open ended, okay. so the question is when the u.s.
steps to that red line, what is the u.s. going to do? there are some broad sanctions that have been spoken about. some energy affecting the energy sector, the banking community. what exactly are they willing to do and are they willing to do it unilaterally. >> those sanctions if they really beef them up, they could bite the russian economy it the downside though is there's so much interaction with u.s., germany and other countries and central and eastern europe, it would bite them if they lost that energy supply coming in from russia. >> if the united states is saying this to russia, you cannot do this, you cannot behave like an armed bandit, which is exactly what joe biden said, at some point, the united states has to make a decision which is if it can't convince the europeans to go along, what is it willing to do, how far is the united states willing to go unilaterally, so it can have an
impact? because the language has been very -- very strong, wolf, they're not going to arm rebels at this point, which is what mccain wants to do. so what's -- what's the next step for the united states? and this is important politically to joe biden. if he wants to be the next president of the united states, he's been involved in the russia reset, as was hillary clint be. he has to let the world know the obama administration did not miscalculate in this part of the world. >> how important is this trip for the vice president? >> it's important for him, for his political future. alongside kerry, the vice president is clearly the point man here. he's the one who was talking about reset, along with hillary. they've got to figure out a way to get the upper hand here or else they're very vulnerable to the charge that you misunderstood and misread vladimir put and you let him get the best of you. i mean, he cannot annex ukraine.
>> when you take an international mission like this, the vice president, a lot of folks, political types like you and me, they immediately start speculating about the impact potentially on 2016. >> well, look, everyone who runs for the presidency wants to be seen as an effective leader on the world stage. that is why when hillary clinton first ran for the presidency she was talking about her experience. she clearly has a wealth of experience on the foreign stage. and so does joe biden. having both been important parts of this administration. what they have to show is that their foreign policy has had credibility. and there are lots open questions here. i mean, you heard what the former defense secretary said about joe biden. he said he disagreed with him. bob gates said he disagreed with him on every foreign policy issue. so joe biden has to prove that the president's foreign policy has kept us safer, has made us stronger, and that he made the
right decision in places like syria and places like ukraine. >> gloria borger, thanks very much. up next, new legal window allows lawsuits by flight 370 family members. could it force the release new information? and the u.s. supreme court deals a blow to the affirmative action program at universities. across america, people like basketball hall of famer
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welcome back, i'm wolf blitzer reporting from washington. a major case, a big decision a short time ago. the u.s. supreme court dealt another blow to affirmative action programs. the justices voted 6-2 to uphold the controversial michigan law that does away with racial consideration in college admissions. let's bring in our senior washington correspondent joe johns. this is essentially a road map for other states potentially to do the same. give us a background what happened. >> i think that's right. it's a setback for civil rights groups. as you mentioned, it wasn't even close. a 6-2 vote with breyer joining in agreement with the more conservative justices on the court. justice kagan did not vote. an important case because it asked an important question and the court came up with an equal uncomplicated issue. the question was whether it was okay for federal courts to strike down a state referendum approved by state voters to stop
this in the admissions process for state universities. the ruling says no, there's nothing in the constitution, or in past supreme court cases, that allow the courts to override the will of the voters in the state of michigan, wolf. >> what's the reaction been so far from the minority, the minority justices on this major decision? >> absolutely. as you might imagine, there was a powerful dissent read from the bench from justice sonya so the that mayor saying the court allows voters in michigan to do what the supreme court forbids what she essentially mentioned, an end run, if you will, around equal protection for minorities. her dissent from the bench and written decision was, frankly, so long and pointed that the chief justice actually took issue with it wolf. >> it's an interesting moment. elena kagan didn't participate because she was solicitor general in the justice department so she recused herself, right? >> that's the presumption. there's a long list of cases
that she would have had -- or at least come into contact with, while she was solicitor general, and would have recused herself for that reason. >> major decision by the supreme court. joe johns reporting for us, thanks very much. let's turn now to the hunt for flight 370. a cyclone in the indian ocean has halted most of the surface search today. but this also marks the beginning of the 47th day since the plane went missing. that means a legal window is now open that allows relatives of those on board to file lawsuits in the united states. the partner of an american passenger on the plane says it's too soon to contemplate that. she wants more answers first. >> now they're trying to put our family members in coffins again. i mean, there's not the slightest bit of evidence that this flight has even crashed. there's no wreckage. there's no sights. there's nothing at all that could be deemed to be actual fact. it's only conjecture at this
point. so that's why the family members are trying to go back to square one, to day one, and we want the malaysian government to open up the data that should have been opened up within days the investigation starting to a third party independent, yet still confidential group whose qualified to assess the data. >> let's bring in our panel of experts it joining us now, peter goelz, former ntsb managing director and our law enforcement analyst tom fuentes, former assistant director of the fbi. now that there's a legal window, will this put pressure on the malaysians and others to put more information to the families? >> i don't know if they'll release more information but certainly the malaysians should be attempting to provide more financial assistance. many people, you know, some might be able to afford to not have a death certificate, not have insurance claim, not have a greater amount of money. but many, these were the principal bread runners of many families, and they may need to
go forward now, even if -- even if a plane is still a mystery and the the whereabouts are a mystery and all of that, there has to be a number of people that are hurting financially. >> she also said something very interesting, that lawyers are rushing over there. they want clients. they want to start representing. they smell the potential for a lot of cash. you see that. you've dealt with this kind of situation before. >> well, that's right, in the u.s., the lawyers are prohibited from soliciting family members on domestic crashes for a period of time. i think it's six weeks. that window is now open. and it's a natural function. lawyers are going to want to represent people and they're going to look to the deepest pocket. >> here's what's going on right now. based on everything i could tell. they haven't found the plane. they haven't found the black boxes. they haven't found any wreckage whatsoever. and that is fueling all sorts of wild scenarios out there once again. and further tormenting, i suspect, those families. >> and that is exaggerated by the internet and by bloggers.
this has got to be a torturous time for the family members. as tom said, there's got to be an avenue for those families that need it to secure some financial assistance during this time. they may not want a death certificate or perhaps a temporary one. but they need financial support. >> you would think that would be a goodwill gesture for malaysian airline and from the malaysian government and others just to show their support for these families. >> that's the minimum they could do, go ahead, under the conventions that exist, they'll probably have to give at least $175,000, if not more later. why wait until later? why wait until they're forced to do it? do it now and show good faith to the family. >> the weather's horrible now once again, a tropical cyclone in the area. if there was anything floating around, a cyclone is going to disperse that big time and finding anything on the surface clearly is going to be a major problem, if it's even possible. >> it's been a major problem
from day one. that's why they haven't found anything. i thirn the cyclone gives the search team a chance to reassess, put the planes on the ground, start thinking about what is the long-term strategy to try and find this plane? putting planes up, searching after not one but two cyclones have passed through the area is a fool's errand. >> you know this, you used to work at the fbi. the intelligence community, there's a group of experts, they work on an issue, they come up with an ideas, they're not panning out. they bring in team b, a fresh set of minds, to come in, look at all the evidence, and very often they come up with some new information, they come up with something that team a didn't even think about. is it time to do that? >> what we don't know if there is a team b that can look at the data. that's a private satellite company. we don't know if they've already had every person that would be knowledgeable to make the computations, to say where it went in the indian ocean.
we don't know if there's anybody else that would know their system that could do that. obviously, to look at the airlines there, indonesia, would we haven't heard from, or vietnam, or thailand. they're our radar experts throughout the world. but the private company with their own system, we don't know how many more mathematicians they have at that company that can take a fresh look. >> what do you think about a team b? >> i believe that's the way to go. the problem is that the malaysians, for better or for worse, are seen as compromised. this has not been seen as an independent investigation. and it's been caught up in politics, it's been caught up in defense issues. they need to have a clean look and a clean team. >> it's interesting, because this is the malaysian airlines plane. but a u.s.-maid plade plane, a 777. the engines are british. you've got a multinational
operation under way now. does that underscore the need for international cooperation or is there going to be some rivalry going on here? >> it certainly would underscore the need for it, if the malaysians choose to pursue it. you know, everyone's offering the help that they need, whether they take it is another matter. and what they choose to put out publicly about the results of their investigation is another matter as well. they've shown they're not willing to put out any, you know, what often is already done in u.s. cases, they've not choose be to do it. >> tom, peter, we'll see you later in "the situation room." up next, dozens of militants were taken out in yemen, but now officials want to know if they took out one potential target known as the master bomb maker. and they have dug through mud, logs and debris. one month after a mountainside plunged into the town of oto, crews continue their grueling search for the missing.
right now, there's new information on that massive anti-terror operation in yemen. they're now wondering about one person in particular. they're doing some major dna testing right now. our mohammed jamjoon has some new information. >> reporter: wash shishy, who is the top bomb maker in aqab -- >> al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. >> exactly. any plot targeting the u.s. from yemen within past few years, he hasn fingerprints on it. have been trying to capture or kill him for quite some time. there's speculation perhaps he was killed in these strikes.
today, a yemeni official just a short while ago, they're telling me because one of the militants that was killed in a firefight the other night was actually a saudi, they believe he was a high-value target, they're looking into the possible that perhaps washishi was killed. if that were the case, that would be a huge success for the yemenis, for the u.s. it will take some time before the dna tests are finalized. >> a assume they have the dna so they can check if the saudi was killed. because it could be another saudi as well. >> some have said to me perhaps as many as half the number of the aqap, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula in yemen, were saudis. the fact that the yemenis are feeling more confidence about expressing this, that perhaps wahishi was killed, that would be the potential of degrading
this organization quite a bit. >> there are saudis who are obviously always involved. they were clearly, though, when the u.s. sells in those drone, those hellfire missile, cooperating with the yemeni ground forces, if you will. when they go in there in an operation like this, it's clearly designed to take you'd wh call high-value targets. >> one the problems both the u.s. government and the yemeni government in their cooperation in anti-terror efforts have had is even when they've gotten high-value targets, it hasn't degraded the capabilities of al qaeda. yemen is a country where it's a perfect environment. there's so many hideouts and there's a weak central government. an environment for a group like this to thrive. the drone strikes has been a great recruiting effort on behalf of aqap. the people that support them get more militants in there. many analysts are saying despite years of drone strikes and taking out high-value targets
this group is as strong and dangerous as ever. what i've been told today, in fact, the reason this operation was launched wasn't just to take out high-value targets it was also to go after their hideouts and really try to vanquish their base of operation. >> they got wahishi, the master bomb maker, i suspect they might put out a statement saying they've killed a murderer and all of that. as they've done in the past when u.s. drone strikes have killed a high-value target. coming up after the break, north korea threatening to conduct a new nuclear test, this time as president obama prepared to visit south korea. we'll have a report from seoul. that's coming up. in washington state, while the scene is heartbreaking and the search is painstaking, crews forge on. they're looking for those lost in last month's landslide. (music) defiance is in our bones. defiance never grows old. citracal maximum. calcium citrate plus d.
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president obama leaves tomorrow on a six-day trip to asia. his visit comes just as north korea is threatening another nuclear test. cnn's paula hancocks has the latest from seoul. >> reporter: there is stepped up activity at the punggye-ri site in the north. telling cnn that all that north korea has left to make is the political decision. now, we understand from the spokesman that they have yet to dig the entrance to this underground tunnel and then to seal it up, but we understand that that would not take very long. so south korea says it is
watching the situation around the clock and it is stepping up its own military preparedness. certainly the timing is interesting. the he's heading to seoul on friday. north korea's foreign ministry mentioned this trip calling it, quote, a reactionary and dangerous one. just last month, north korea did say that it may carry out a different kind of nuclear test. it said it would do that if it felt it was being pushed to do so by the united states. experts are assuming this new kind of test may be uranium test as opposed to plutonium, which the previously underground nuclear tests were. >> president obama left on the asia trip earlier this morning, leaving the white house, besides south korea the president has stops planned for japan, malaysia and the philippines. this was the trip canceled around the time of the government shutdown in october. before it reaches asia, the president will make one stop right here in the united states.
he'll visit washington state where it's been one month since the devastating mudslide that killed dozens. crews are still combing through mud, debris, trying to find the missing. as cnn's anna cabrera shows us, it's a painstaking search, emotionally and physically. >> reporter: is this the last zone to be searched? >> no. it's not the last zone. >> reporter: the work seems never-ending. it's been one month since a mountainside plunged into the town of oso, washington. ben woodward took us right into the heart of the slide. what was here before the landslide? >> houses, sparse houses, trees. >> reporter: we walked along what was once a highway. the surroundings don't resemble the community that once flourished here. yet this is progress. >> it was six foot underwater or so, right where we're standing. >> reporter: water and mud still creating the biggest challenges for these serve crews.
we were told water was above my head when that landslide first hit. what they've had to do is create a water channel with pumps to be able to move the water out of this area, just to give search crews access to look here. special machinery like this floating excavator just arrived. this gives you an idea of what search crews are up against. logs, mud, piles of debris stacked 20 to 40 feet high in some places. the slow, sloppy and dangerous work comes with an emotional toll. so far, at least 41 victims have been recovered in the disaster zone. a washington spruce tree left standing in the middle of the slide area, now serves as a makeshift memorial to hopper lives lost. >> this is a special place for searchers out here. >> absolutely. >> reporter: woodward said it provides a source of strength for the ongoing recovery effort. anna cabrera, cnn, oso,
washington. still ahead, a 16-year-old boy survives a flight from california to hawaii, supposedly, supposedly in the wheel well of a plane. the death-defying feet casting a critical eye on security at san jose's airport. [ chainsaw buzzing ] humans. sometimes, life trips us up. sometimes, we trip ourselves up. and although the mistakes may seem
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time for this day in history. it was a dawn on april 22nd, 2000, immigration agents stormed a miami home seizing 6-year-old cuban elian gonzalez. elian was at the center of a heated u.s.-cuban immigration controversy after found clinging to an inner tube off the coast of south florida. his mother drowned in the attempt to flee cuba. elian was sent back to his father in cuba a couple of months after that raid this day
in history. authorities in san jose will not press charges against the boy purportedly sneaking into the wheel well of a boeing 757. brian todd reports. >> reporter: the ground crew noticed him wandering the tarmac in maui, disoriented. tom simon said this 16-year-old boy claimed to have ridden to maui in the wheel well of a hawaiian airlines 767 all the way from san jose, california. the spokeswoman in san jose said -- >> he's a lucky boy. >> reporter: they reviewed surveillance video and said the teenager was seen hopping the fence and walking across the airport toward the hawaiian airlines plane. the maui airport has footage of him crawling out of a wheel well. we went into the wheel well of a 707, smaller than the 767's wheel bag. but they were able to show us
how he could have wedged in. >> the center area could be key. the setup we have here, this is probably the best location for him at this time. because that is where the space between the wheels would later on be positioned. and that ensures that the likely space for him to survive. then it can improve his position, once the gear is in. >> reporter: experts say if he did successfully stow away, it's almost miraculous. the wheel wells aren't heated or pressurized. at a cruising altitude of 30 to 30,000 feet, the cold air could have killed him. >> at that height, you've got temperatures of around minus 45 to minus 55 degrees, just to put that in perspective, skin freezes almost instantaneously around minus 44 degrees c. >> reporter: a loss of oxygen at that altitude could have killed him unless his metabolism slowed
enough for him not to need much oxygen. the lack of security in san jose is also being questioned in this case. ron said the boy took advantage of the gap in the system. >> many of our airports are not protecting the perimeter well enough to prevent an incident like this one. >> reporter: that facility exceeds requirements and has an excellent track record, said a spokeswoman. if this young man pulled this off, he would have beaten pretty long odds. according to the faa, since 1947, 105 people have attempted to stow away in wheel wells of planes all over the world, and 80 of them have died. brian todd, cnn, shan till hi, virginia. let's see how the markets are doing today. there you see the dow jones, up about 106 points. mergers in the pharmaceutical sector sparked trading this morning. also, earnings season is now in full swing. wall street so far has liked what it's seen.
dow jones up at least today. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'll be wack, a special two-hour "situation room" later today 5:00 p.m. eastern. newsroom with brooke baldwin newsroom with brooke baldwin starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com sdplrkts great to be back here in the studio with you. i'm brooke baldwin. top of the hour, the death toll keeps ticking grimly upward divers bring bodies to the surface. a total of nine crew members are facing charges, including the ferry's captain. when asked about the ferry's lifeboats, crew members said it was hard to get them as the ship rolled over, and began to sink. that's what the crew says. today divers finally reached the ferry's cafeteria. because the ferry sank in the morning, many of those passengers onboard are believed to have been in that part of the ship. that's where they wanted to get to seef