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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  December 31, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm PST

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lead for 2014. i'm jake tapper and i will still be jake tapper in 2015 when i see you next and i'll turn you over to brianna keilar and she's in the situation room with brianna keilar. happy new year. be safe. see you next year, jake. happening now. new victims and recoveries of airasia passengers with the first bodies arriving onshore and bad weather will have some of the mission on hold. will it make finding the plane itself even harder? water landing perhaps? some clues suggest the pilot may have been attempting a rare and desperate move. i'll talk to a pilot who did it successfully. the man behind the miracle on the hudson captain sully sullenberger and bizarre video north korea releases new images of leader kim jong-un flying a plane as sony makes moves to distribute its controversial film parodying him even more widely. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm brianna keilar. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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new details and grim new discoveries in the crash of that airasia jet. the first bodies recovered have arrived on land. seven have now been pulled from the java sea where the plane crashed with 162 people onboard and while recovery efforts are going full force on the water the air search has been held up by bad weather. now there's conflicting information about whether the plane itself has been found. one search official tells cnn sonar has defected debris from the airbus a-320, but the head of asia denies that. we are covering all angles with our correspondents including reporters in the region and our guests including captain sully sullenberger, the pilot behind the so-called miracle on the hudson but first, here is the latest that we're learning. >> two bodies from airasia flight 8501 arriving in
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indonesia and rushed to a hospital. this is their first stop before being sent on to surabaya where two victims arrived earlier. their caskets marked 001 and 002. 100 military personnel there to pay their respects but further recovery of remains or debris being hampered by bad weather that has grounded search planes. >> the weather, unfortunately, is not looking good for the next two or three days and that is slowing us down but they did inform me that the ships are looking to operate 24 hours which is very encouraging. >> those ships desperately searching for the plane's fuselage and with it data recorders that could untangle some of the mystery behind the crash. >> such a rescue team is doing a fantastic job and they're narrowing the search and they're feeling more comfortable that they are beginning to know where it is and there's no confirmation of them. >> in the crisis center
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victims' relatives held a prayer service, hopes for their loved ones fading as they're asked to provide photos to help identify remains. one family gary tuchman met had seven family members. >> how does one family cope in this situation? >> translator: i am very sad, of course. i'm devastated. >> this young man's grandmother, as erser erser eric droefr to the airport he thinks about missed opportunities. >> i regret all of the time i was supposed to spend time with her. now i can't do it anymore. >> translator: when we heard the information, firstly, of course we hoped our family members were safe and thought of nothing until yesterday morning and afternoon we still hoped we would get a miracle that our
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families were still alive because my mother -- my sister -- we were very close. >> and this is suyono's other sister. >> translator: i ask god why he is testing us this way, by taking them away without giving us the chance to say good-bye. >> but this family knows a miracle is most unlikely. >> my wife said why is it always the best that leave first? >> definitely and gary tuchman joining us now live. you've been talking, gary to these families. what more are they telling you about how they're holding up? >> reporter: brieanna, most of these families have come to terms that it's likely their families have passed away we have talked to some people
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refusing to give up hope. one young man telling us his grandmother is missing and he believes it's possible that some of the rafts have blown up and maybe his grandmother got on a raft and is on an uninhabited island and he asked officials are you searching land masses near where the plane went down and they are, they're looking at everything although officials acknowledge that possibility of finding anyone alive is miniscule at best. we're standing right now at the police headquarters in the city and that sign indonesian police headquarters and waiting area for the families of airasia and what's happened the crisis center was at the airport this morning and right now it's just after 5:00 in the morning here in the new year of 2015 in indonesia. they're moving the crisis center to the police headquarters because it's next to a hospital which is to my right and that hospital is where the bodies are being brought to be identified and to be autopsied. family members are to arrive shortly and most are getting a well-earned good night's sleep because they've been up for many hours at a time and they're
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coming back to this area here this tent and they'll be getting counseling. they'll be getting food and water and all kinds of information and that's one thing we have to stress breanne a compared to the malaysia air incident in march the communication has been relatively good. there have been a few snafus including an accidental live transmission by indonesian tv of one of the bodies which was upsetting to people and all in all the communication has been good and the family members who are grieving so much are appreciative of that fact. >> that is good to hear. gary tuchman, thank you. crews will face the monumental task of pulling it from the water. we have cnn senior washington correspondent joe johns on this. in the depth of the water, we're talking 8100 feet. it makes it doable but not easy. >> it's not easy. it's an enormous job, breanna and it can take a long time quite frankly and they have to map out all of the pieces of the plane and where they are and only then the heavy lifting
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begins. how do you pull a plane up from the bottom of the ocean? >> what you want to do first is to really map the entire accident scene. >> reporter: we spoke with peter gels former investigator with the ntsb who work read the recovery and rebuilding of twa flight 800 that crashed after takeoff in new york city. >> you document everything until you really get the information off the data recorder and the voice recorder. >> he says the site needs to be treated like a cream scene and mapping the debris field before removing objects could be key to finding out what happened. then comes the process of pulling up the giant pieces of debris from the bottom of the sea. >> you would have a number of -- of lifting cranes and you would have teams of divers and the divers of course even working at 100-foot depth you'll have to have decompression chambers. >> a potentially slow process because divers can only remain
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at depths for short periods due to health concerns and does indonesia have what it takes to have the recovery of this. there are questions about the debris. >> when you're out there, it's huge. david gallot with oceanographic, usually, you're extremely careful to say you've found something until you ground truthed it. >> in the crash of air france flight 447 off brazil's northeastern coast whose black boxes took almost two years to recover, footnoting what a pain staking process this can be. >> on the other hand this crash occurred much less water which raises the possibility that it will be easier to get all the pieces. still, there are concerns quite frankly, of souvenir hunters because this is much less water it's even a possibility that recreational divers might go and try to bring pieces out. that's a concern. >> i hadn't even thought about that and it's a horrible thing to think of that possibility. i'm sure it's very real.
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joe johns, thank you. >> whether complicating the efforts to find the plane and let's talk to cnn meteorologist tom sayeder and he's working on this part of the story at the cnn weather center. what are we looking at now, tom? >> a much much better day, breanna. yesterday we talked about the search area most likely would be looking at the most intense rainfall that they've seen since contact was lost with the aircraft. this was the band of heavy, tropical rains that moved into the area and probably 4:00 afternoon local time and they had to suspended recovery and search operation and this had been moving from the south northward and today a much better picture. when we think of thunderstorms we think two or three inches which it is this is dropping 10 twefrm 15 inches and they just don't move as fast and you'll find the best at night and this is moving out of the area and what we had yesterday because they had to suspend the
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search it was too dangerous to get diver teams in and out of the water and once they're in the water and they're down 25 30 feet that's fine. it's stashlized and not only is the java sea shallow and joe mentioned it would be easier to retrieve the craft, but there is sediment but the seas yesterday were up and down. the vessels were not fighting seas coming in from one direction. because they were slow moving it sloshes the water and when that happens you just can't tow the pinger locators you can't tow the sonars. we had problems in the south indian ocean with the malaysia 370 flight the australian tanker kept breaking cables with the bluefin 21. so they need to do that at night when the water is quiet and tranquil and we're looking at much better conditions not only in the daytime, but at night, as well. >> today they're coming from the west and the southwest. it's hard to forecast but i do believe the next couple of days are pretty good, however, i have to take you further to the north
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and the devastating part of the central and southern philippines, jay may is the name. we had not only 30 dead from flooding and a landslide that beared another 30 yesterday. this is no longer a tropical storm or depression and they moved up to vietnam, south china and japan and it's getting caught in a flow that could take the system down into our region. again, it's not going to be tropical in nature but there will be enough circulation to intensify the storms to bring more of a pattern and more of the winds coming into the region to intensify the rainfall and maybe four ore five more days from now. until then the news is that still it looks like the wind pattern comes to the southeast. the current pattern for the last five days breanna, has been generally west to east and even though there is a breach in the fuselage, it is generally to the southeast. when you look at the surface. deep in mind we do not have the
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mountain floor that has deep crevasses that causes the force in the ocean to push debris. that debris is not going to move much at all. in fact it probably won't so they have to find that. also consider the channel shallow. this is good news for the pinger locators. it doesn't have to work and bounce off different frequencies or different walls and crevasses as mentioned and they should get a handle on it. quickly for you, this is the picture out of the c130 aircraft that shows you the rainfall and how saturated it is and this is playing a role in the low visibility and at least the dive crews, breanna should be able to get back in the waters and the operation should resume for the next 24 hours. >> very good news. tom sader, thank you so much. i want to bring in my next guest, captain chesley sullenberger the pilot who became known as the miracle on the hudson. captain sullenberger. thanks so much for being with us. >> good to be with you, breanna. >> i know you certainly have
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studied and heard all of the information that we're getting about air asia flight 8501 at this point. can you walk us through? i think i want to look at it and walk us through the procedure to deal with this. >> there is strategic weather avoidance, and tactical weather avoidance. the airline dispatcher who helps the pilots plan the flight would be looking at the best route of flight to avoid weather as much as possible. the piles, once they reviewed the flight information would want to make sure that they can operate the flight safely and then the tactical weather avoidance happens during the flight as they look at weather ahead of them and whether it's visually out the cockpit windows or on the onboard weather radar. the investigators will be
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looking at how adequate the information was provided to the dispatcher and the pilots was. what alternative flights might there have been? how good was the air traffic control coordination among the indonesian air traffic controllers and between the indonesian air traffic control facility and the singaporean air traffic controllers. how much time did the piles get approval for deviation request because of weather and change altitude? >> can i ask you that because it was two minutes, i believe, between his request, the pilot's request to climb and receiving the basic denial of the request. is that too long? >> we'll have to wait and see. it isn't terribly long, but two minutes would seem like an eternity when you're facing weather threats ahead of you and you would want to deviate as rapidly as possible. that's one of the things that need to be investigated.
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and we need to look at how well the air traffic control system operates and how it organizationally works and how good the human performance and was what the culture is and where the best practice is and was efficiency promoted and was this a rigid more bureaucratic system that lacked flexibility and those will be important things if this turns out to be a weather-related event and i should say in almost every accident it's never the result of a single failure and a single fault or single error and it's the end result of of a causal chain of events and we'll see if it was a factor, that it might be multiple layers of failure and we don't know there are so much still to know and there are no black boxes and we don't have the analysis of that but there have also been a lot of similarities prachs to the crash of air france 447 going between rio and paris. in that instance the pitot on
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the planes froze over and gave an incorrect reading to the crew as the plane was flying through a storm. do you think that could have happened here? >> that's one of many possibilities. zee to look at this in terms of the system and how it is designed to operate. you know, increasing complexity in our cockpits while it's good in many ways it's not a panacea and it introduces certain new risks. it makes possible in the example in the case of air france 447 and the failure of speed sensors to have rapidly cascading effects through multiple systems in the calkockpit and it was confusing and overwhelming to the pilots and we have to look at how we design our systems and how good our policies and procedures are and how good the pilots have and increasing use of automation in the cockpits is descaling pilots to a certain extent and we lost the manual
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flying skills and a greater risk is that it seems to be this lack of met allenal engagement actually hurts us in terms of our ability to analyze, trouble shoot and to quickly fix challenges that we face. >> you're not perhaps as engaged as you should be and ready to respond. >> i have a lot more questions about that, really the training the pilots are receiving and whether it is enough. we'll be talking more to you, captain sullenberger after a very quick break. we'll be right back. if a denture were to be put under a microscope we can see all the bacteria that still exists. polident's unique micro clean formula works in just 3 minutes, killing 99.99% of odor causing bacteria. for a cleaner, fresher brighter denture everyday. you're driving along, having a perfectly nice day, when out of nowhere a pick-up truck slams into your brand new car. one second it wasn't there and the next second... boom! you've had your first accident. now you have to make
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we are following new details for airasia flight 8501 as bad weather hampers the search for more victims and for the plane itself. we are back now with captain chesley sullenberger famous for safely landing a crippled us airways plane that lost thrust in both engines in the hudson river and he is now a cbs news aviation analyst and safety expert. sully, my question to you is if
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you lost power in an airplane or perhaps there is a stall you have haved lack of visuals because there are clouds it's darkness. you're not sure if you instruments, what do pilot? >> well first, you maintain control of the airplane and you learn to find out what you can trust and what you can't. if you have visual references of course and the natural horizon, otherwise you use your flight instruments and recovering is mostly in small airplanes. in fact you might not know that most airline pilots have never installed an airliner and they're not programmed to be able to practice at full stall of an airliner and to fly with the airbus test pilots and under control conditions actually
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stalled the airplane and something few airlines have had the opportunity to do but an inadvertent stall in a high altitude in a cloud would be a very shocking series of events and you'd have to respond quickly and you would have to correctly solve a problem you've never faced if reality before and get one chance to do it right. >> that's why recent improvements in the safety rules have required that going forward we'll begin to practice doing that. >> that makes total sense and i'm imagining when you went through that in france it was probably clear skies, very unusual circumstances that you had the chance to do that but you're in clear skies. what did it feel like and what did you have to do to regain control? >> well again, it was in clear skies with flight instrument aith but it was not a violent event at all.
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there was some shaking and some vibration as to turbulence of the air flow over the wings began to occur as the air flow is being disrupted as the angle of the air against the wing was too great and then you could feel a settling as you begin to lose lift and then you would quickly and responsibly lower the nose and increasing thrust to recover and like i said a sudden, unexpected stall in cloud in an unusual attitude with a very different occurrence and much more challenging and if it was not correctly handled very quickly it could lead to a loss of control of the airplane. >> there is a theory that this has been put forth by one aviation safety expert based on the last time the radar picked up this plane and the location in which they found the debris about 100 miles away that the pilot may have been trying to land this aircraft over water similar to the landing that you made over the hudson river, obviously, a very different body
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of water here. can you make that kind of landing on the java sea in the storm? >> that's an interesting problem, too. it's been done especially in an inland waterway but at least in the united states and our flight simulators it's not possible to practice a water landing. before our water landing the only training we'd gotten in the water landing was a theoretical checklist and protocol and we had one chance to get right something we never anticipated and never specifically trained for and being in the open ocean would be a much more challenging situation and over water in general, it's terrain where depth perception is inherently difficult and you're ascending without engine thrust and much more rapidly where you have thrust to make a more gradual approach and it would be a much more challenging thing to do but it's theoretically possible. >> i went back to your audio
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from 2009. the urges s airwayings audio and one of the things that struck me were that you were in constant contact with air traffic control from the time that you hit the flock of birds and determined that you'd lost thrust in both engines until really just seconds before you landed in the hudson river. the pilots of flights 8501 did not make any distress calls. we know the rule of thumb is of a yat, navigate and communicate. communication does come last but let's play out that audio fromio you are landing on the hudson in 2009. >> turn right, at teeterterboroterboro. >> we can't do it. >> which runway would you like at teeterterboroterboro? >>. >> we're going to be in the hudson. >> we did not hear a distress call from 8501. why not?
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>> it's possible that they couldn't. it's possible they were too busy trying to fly the airplane and solve whatever problems they may have been facing and they may have been facing and communication, as you say, was one of the last ones and in terms of the search sxand rescue effort there wouldn't be too much air traffic control can give you. we had the luxury of being in direct communication with air traffic control immediately after takeoff and first, we had to fly the aircraft. it was about 25 seconds before i made that may day call. the first, we had to sort out things in the cockpit and with the roles and responsibilities and begin following our protocol and then get to the communications. that was not the first thing that we did. >> so you had 25 seconds there. >> you mentioned this before and i want to explain this more that pilots may be too reliant and you're seeing this as flight becomes more automated that they're reliant on the computer
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and not really on their skills right? >> it's a growing concern globally. it's important that we have both. we must have well learned deeply internalized fundamental flying skills and we also have to have deep in-depth knowledge of the aircraft and all its component systems and the electrical hydraulic specialization and automation and we have to be able to do these things simultaneously and it takes manual flying skills and how to use the automation and we also have to have the confidence in our manual flying skills to be able to quickly and immediately and effectively intervene when necessary when the automation isn't doing what they expect and what it should. >> do you have thoughts about what has read about flight 85 and what may have happened? >> it's way too early to tell and my thoughts go out to the
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families of the passengers and crew. i can only imagine the grief and how the uncertainty must be unbearable but i am confident that the investigators will ultimately find out what happened, how it happened and most important why it happened and they'll make important safety recommendations going forward to make the system safer. >> it is so important and captain sullenberger thank you so much for talking to us and lending us your expertise. >> good to be with you. >> captain chesley sullenberger with us. coming up debris clues. what do the items pulled from the water so far tell search crews about where the plane might be and what happened to it? plus the story behind this bizarre video here what message is north korea's kim jong-un trying to send? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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we're following new details in the missing airasia jet including the recovery of more bodies and debris and there may be important clues in the growing list of items pulled from the water so far.
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cnn's tom foreman is working that part of the story for us. tom, what can you tell us? >> hi breanna. think about this. this plane was at 32,000 feet when it was last seen on radar in the one-hour flight before it disappeared and so far, in this red zone over here is where they found some of the debris but not a whole lot. now that could mean any number of things. it could mean the bad weather and conditions have made it hard to find more but clearly some aviation analysts are beginning to hope that maybe what it means is that most of the plane was intact when it hit the water. it created a giant debris field. why would that matter? that would matter because if it's all intact then you basically have a sort of a holy grail to look for out there. one area where you might be able to find all of the critical components, parts of the wings and parts of the tail and part of the electrical system and all of the computers onboard and of course the flight data recorder and the voice recorder that mattered and parts of the cockpit and the engines each at
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about 9,000 pounds. if this whole plane went into the water largely intact so many of those important parts are heavy enough that they're not going anywhere not in 100 feet of water, they will go down and they'll stay in one spot. that means the search has to focus one big thing. so how do they do that with the few little pieces they found? that's where basically they're getting involved in reverse engineering engineering. the small floating pieces are all important to the investigation, but may not tell them that much about the cause of the crash and by following those even in the terrible conditions they may be able to move down in the water column look at the competing currents out there. the way the water is moving and reverse engineer sort of guesstimate where they came from if they were onboard when it hit or released under water and they may be able to get down to the
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bottom and the idea that the plane may still be largely intact even if it's in several large pieces. if that is true there's only one place to find it but when they do they'll have an awful lot of evidence breanna. >> tom foreman, thank you. >> with us now in "the situation room" we have aviation writer clive irving. he's a con tritkoncontributeor to the daily beast and tom fuentes, former assistant to the fbi and david suessy he's a former investigator for the faa. david, to you first. among the bodies recovered so far was that of a flight attendant. tell us what you could learn from this what you could learn about the crash and how the plane perhaps broke apart, i'm assuming especially if you can track where this person was assigned to be in the plane. >> the flight attendant may be or may not be because if you remember flying as you're in your seat somtimes the flight attendants are up and about dealing with things and their
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primary role is the safety of the passengers and whether they're in their seat or not that may not be a clue and they're able to identify some of the other people that they've recovered and figured out what seats they were sitting in and that will give us more clues as to what might have happened. >> and we would expect we know that they're able to identify some of those folks. perhaps, that is something they're looking at. >> tom, one of the things that is noteworthy about this flight attendant is she was wearing her uniform. some of the other bodies that were found were not clothed and they just had undergarments and that tells us something about those bodies. so what do we know about this flight attendant, then? >> as david mentioned, the flight attendants are still on their fleet and trying to get buckled in and they're up and about trying to help passengers and often are the last to be in their seat if they even make it. it's a possibility the fact that the door was blown off the side of that airplane and we've had
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past crashes where a flight attendant went out the door or out an opening in the aircraft. so it's just different with the flight attendant who would have reason to be on her feet. >> that's a very good point. >> clive, we've heard different things today from experts. one official there in the region saying there may have been sonar discovery of an upside down airplane and that perhaps it has been found and we heard from the ceo of airasia say no that's not the case. what do you take from this and could it be that officials are intentionally trying to be cautious until this is absolutely confirmed? >> breanne a i thought that was a very riveting interview you had with captain sullenberger and something he said that struck me very much which is related what you just asked me is how you control the information that comes out in a situation like this because it's very difficult.
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we've had several examples of a passenger who said they had a life jack oat and they ended up not having a flight jack oat and there were pieces coming out in the investigation and we are dealing with a culture here which is not the same as the cultures that would be there in the case of western investigation investigation. i think we have to understand that the world requires a consistent standard in the conduct in aviation and we've achieved enormous levels of safety in which all of the parts have to work well together and the air traffic controllers and there is a big difference between what the pilots have to do tactically when he's in the air and when it comes to releasing information i've noticed something going on here that concerns the radar and the fixing of where the plane was with the radar and we've had this, the information that was
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released was confusing on the radar. this plane took a sudden climb and then that showed on the radar. there is no source to that story, but again, it shows how important it is to control the information coming out because that little piece of information may have come from someone saying what they saw on the radar. radar is notoriously difficult to analyze and it is very difficult to put out a story that later would turn out to be wrong. it is very important that we need to know what we don't know and what we don't know is almost everything we need to know. so we can't go chasing off these leads which turn out to be retracted and i think it's got to be under more coherent control in that. >> there are are many known unknowns to be sure. there is a report out from "the wall street journal," it says there is reporting out of indonesia and there's sonar that shows the plane was actually upside down. again, it's really unclear if
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sonar has discovered this plane, but say if this is true, if the plane were to be upside down what does that tell us? >> it's really once the aircraft penetrates the top of the water, at that point it's anyone's guess as to where it would end up and particularly because it hasn't been validated. tony is confident about the fact that it hasn't been validated and the information wasn't true and we thought we knew more yesterday than we did today because the information that's coming out is not reliable and we could spend a lot of time going down the wrong path as we did yesterday with the six miles than was reported by radar and now it's 100 and there's a lot of information still. >> and the iron-clad information will be coming from the so-called black boxes. so hopefully those will be found
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very soon but when they are found, what's the first thing investigators are looking for. >> the first thing with the data recorder is exactly what was that airplane doing? are all of the systems working? did the engines go out? is it going up down or sideways and the physical factors of the aircraft itself will be oifred by by the data recorder and what was the pilot saying to the co-pilot? what were their conversations and or are they yelling at each other and who is trying to do what? what kind of orders are being given to take control of the aircraft if they were deciding to try to land it on the water, they would have been discussing who will do when to control the aircraft if they could control it. so both recorders are crucial to any crash investigation including this one. >> clive irving and david soucy, great talk gentlemen. thank you for being with us. we wch ctinuege from the search of the airasia jet.
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we will have new details in the investigation into north korea's role on the cyber attack of sony pick theures and shades of top gun as north korea's kim jong-un shows off his piloting skills. sir, we're going to need you on the runway. (vo) theraflu starts to get to work in your body in just 5 minutes. (vo) theraflu breaks you free from your worst cold and flu symptoms. (vo) theraflu. serious power. narrator: these are the tennis shoes skater kid: whoa narrator: that got torture tested by teenagers and cried out for help. from the surprised designers. who came to the rescue with a brilliant fix male designer: i love it narrator: which created thousands of new customers for the tennis shoes that got torture tested by teenagers. the internet of everything is changing manufacturing. is your network ready?
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bad weather in the java sea is hampering the search for the recovery of the bodies from the airasia disaster. we are following other stories. sewn's pick the sony pictures will make kwot the interview" available to 55 million u.s. households through cable and satellite tv. we are seeing questions about whether north korea was behind the cyber attack on sony pictures because of the movie or whether a disgruntled former employee may be involved. we have cnn law enforcement analyst tom fuentes standing by with new information, but first, we've spotted some bizarre new video on north korea's state-run media and it shows the country's leader kim jong-un flying the plane. let's bring in cnn global
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affairs correspondent elise labott. there is very little information released with this video and no explanation about how kim apparently learned to fly and it is the latest fort by the north korean propaganda machine to portray the young leader as in control. >> new images of kim jong-un flying high and in demand. drat amick footage shows the north korean leader sitting in a cockpit, reviewing the checklist and powering down the runway appearing to lift the jet smoothly into the sky. kim miraculously appears to land the plane with one hand. >> north korea's propaganda machine in overdrive to portray kim as in control after the u.s. release of "the interview," a film demeaning him. >> nice tank. is that real? >> it was a gift to my grandfather from stalin. >> which the regime called a
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mockery of his dignity. >> i think they want to give that impression to the world that they are strong and invincible but beneath that is a great deal of insecurity and insecurity justifiably based on the economic situation and based on the fact that the whole political regime is built on a system of lies. >> they cannot see the story on the plot to assassinate kim. >> you want to go kill kim jong-un. >> it's a date. >> the south korean activist has his way, balloons will start dropping copies of the interview over north korea next month partnering with the human rights group seeking to destroy kim's carefully crafted image as a beloved and confident >> we invite you to join us as we hack the north koreans back. >> reporter: the u.s. has not backed down in the face of new questions from cyber experts whether north korea was truly
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behind it. president obama still promising payback. >> i do think that the cycle of provocations with north korea is inevitable. i think the movie helped speed up that process. if the leadership feels so secure about hollywood movie that makes fun of it. >> reporter: and north korea's threats if that film was released. north korea continues to be quiet as americans flock to theaters. they do expert some sort of north korean retaliation because kim can't leave this parody of him go unanswered. >> we'll be seeing how he responds. i want to bring in cnn law enforcement analyst tom fuentes to talk about whether north korea was completely behind the cyber attack on sony pictures
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or as we just heard, you have signer security expert saying it might have been some disgruntled employees. what are sources saying? >> officials met with fbi investigators in st. louis. then on tuesday, agreed to turn over everything they had on the case. the fbi has been saying they're still convinced it's north korea. today, senior officials told me that what they were given by this company led them to believe they only have about 20% of the investigative material. the idea of the disgruntled inside employee that's the first place the investigators go. someone with system access. >> so the fbi would have looked at that? >> they did, from day one. it doesn't mean that person didn't do things and other malware wasn't involved. but often that's used as smoke
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screen for the trade craft of a hacking attack to making look lite garden variety hackers. so they're saying that not only the officials i talked to believe that what norris has said about the fbi investigation they believe to be irresponsible and reckless based on the fact they only have 20% of the material. and the other 80% is classified. >> let me ask you the other 80%. obviously we don't know what it is. it's classified. but what kind of material might it be if you can speak to that? >> following the electronic crumbs if you will connecting the dots around the world. they worked with intelligence services from the united states and partners around the world tracking the data and the transmissions and who assisted in that is classified. interestingly, today and this week at fbi headquarters they're having discussions of
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whether or not to release publicly more information about the evidence that they have either next week or the week ahead, to try to show, look. but they can't give it all away. they're going to completely show their homework. >> elise, what are we hearing from north korea? what are we hearing from experts who, you know are focused on north korea so much? what do they think about this idea that perhaps it isn't north korea? >> well i mean north korea watchers certainly think that this is something that the north koreans have been trying to do for some time, increase their cyber capabilities. a couple of months ago, they were hacking into a south korean bank. this is certainly the greatest caper of cyber attacking that they've seen. but certainly north korea has been increasing that capability and they expert further retaliation. it might not be in the cyberspace it could be a nuclear test. but they feel this film has
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damaged kim jong-un's reputation even though north koreans can't see it right now we'll see if this activist is able to get copies into the country. that doesn't mean north koreans will be able to watch it then. certainly he's been damage and embarrassed enough that he has to respond. so they are expectinging? coming from north korea. it may not be of the holiday season. the north koreans like the element of surprise so they are watching for it. >> the thing is his worst fierce isn't that the general population of north korea sees the movie and thinks he's a bafoon his worst fear is one of his key people around him pull off a coup, whether they talk to each other and say our leader has to go let's do something and take him out. that's his bigger fear. >> tom fuentes, elise labot, thanks to both of you. we're keeping an eye on developments in new york streets filling up for tonight's celebration of the new year. but after weeks of demonstrations against police
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tactics, the recent killings of two officers and the ever-present fear of terrorism, this will be an extra tense night for the nypd. police are out in force and everyone appears to be having a good time. anderson cooper and kathy griffin are down there. watch tonight and ring in the new year with them. always a very fun time right here on cnn. coming up dangerous weather conditions hindering the search for air flight 8501. but more bodies and debris have been found. a rare look inside the place where air disaster mysteries are solved. how experts analyze black boxes.
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happening now, slow recovery. the first bodies from the airasia crash are brought on land. but stormy weather is hampering
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the search at sea for more victims. below the surface is a large chunk of the plane upside down on the ocean floor. we're looking into new and conflicting reports about sonar sightings. new year's eve threat. as new york prepares for celebrations and for protests we're learning about concerns that police may be targeted. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm brianna keilar. you're in "the situation room." right now we're watching dangerous conditions at the airasia crash site. heavy rain strong winds choppy seas are limiting the search and recovery operation off the coast of indonesia, where it's now new year's day. at least seven bodies have been recovered, including a flight attendant still wearing her uniform. the first remains were taken to indonesia. there were conflicting claims
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whether sonar has detected wreckage at the bottom of the sea. we have correspondents and analysts standing by covering all of the big stories right now. first to cnn national correspondent suzanne malveaux. >> reporter: brianna, airasia ceo tony fernandez being careful to tell us what they know and don't know. he says they have a visual of what could be wreckage of the aircraft in the java sea. but he cannot confirm that radar picked this up which would be significant. so it leaves many families in agonizing limbo. the bodies of two more passengers from airasia flight 8501 arrived by ambulance, rushed to a hospital to be identified by loved ones. it's the first stop before being brought to the city of surabaya
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where the flight originated and caskets are received by the indonesian military. so far, few of the 162 people on board have been found. searchers discovered an emergency door and blue suitcase. >> the weather is not looking good for the next two or thee days. that is slowing us down. but they did inform me that the ships are looking to operate 24 hours. >> reporter: now there are conflicting reports from officials about whether a sonar image located wreckage believed to be from the ill-fated flight at if bottom of the java sea. one theory developing -- >> the pilots made an attempt to land the aircraft on the water similar to the one landed on the hudson. the last time the radar picked up the aircraft to where they found the debris is over 100 miles. that would be consistent of a
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slow descent into that region. >> reporter: the spector of the miracle on the hudson had given hope to some families. wraps another miracle would be revealed here. but at the crisis center as time passes praying has given way to despair. this family told cnn's gary tuchman they lost seven loved ones on that flight. >> translator: when we heard the information, firstly of course we hoped our family members were safe and thought of nothing. until yesterday morning and afternoon, we still hoped we would get a miracle. that our families are still alive. because my mother, my sister we were very close. >> it's just heartbreaking for the families. and what is complicating this is it's monsoon season and that's
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slowing down the search for passengers and debris. they have to be cautious about the search planes flying in high winds, divers swinging through the strong currents. thankfully there is time to still get the black boxes, which could provide critical information as to why this plane went down. >> they need to figure out what happened, but recovering the bodies so important for these families. they need closure certainly. suzanne malveaux thank you so much. let's go to indonesia with gary tuchman. some of the victims bodies were brought to surabaya for identification. how are the families holding up? >> reporter: it's very difficult. most of them have come to terms with the fact that their loved ones have died in this plane crash. but now the number one thing they want we know this from them and officials, is for their pods to be found.
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right now we're at the crisis center for the families. it's been moved to this police headquarters. that sign behind me in indonesian says family meeting place for the airasia victims. the families will be coming into tents behind me to continue their vigil waiting for their loved ones to be found. right now we're seeing some blue sky in this city, but the sight in the java sea is about 200 miles north of here and the condition there is are still very windy, blustery foggy. it's not a big surprise that it's hard to conduct a search. this is the monsoon season and that's the irony here is that the weather may have led to this crash. and now the weather is making it difficult for the recovery. right now they are planning to continue. the morning has just broken on this first day here in 2015. ships and planes are out there, divers are out there.
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the divers are critical and they haven't been able to go down yet. the water is about 100 feet deep. most of these people officials believe are still strapped on their seats and will need divers to get them. brianna? >> i know that airasia, many have commended the airline for dealing with this in a much better way than we saw in march with the missing malaysian airplane. is there any anger? we saw that back in march from families. is there any anger at the airline or are we not seeing that? >> reporter: well there's certainly anger at this whole situation. but right now, we haven't seen families -- we've had some access to the room why the families have been near the airport. they're about to get here and we anticipate being with them again. we've seen it as a very sad but
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business-like atmosphere. they want to get work done and i think sadly what helps the situation for these families in a very sad way is they know it's likely their loved ones have died. now they have to work to recover the bodies. they don't see any sense in yelling and crying and screaming. they may be doing that at home but right now they have business to take care of and that's getting the bodies of their loved ones back. >> gary tuchman, thank you. a u.s. navy destroyer has been taking part in the airasia search. there's a second warship preparing to join the operation. lieutenant lauren cole is the deputy affairs officer and is joining us on the phone. lieutenant thanks for being with us. we know that the "uss sampson" is helping with the search efforts. will the "uss ft. worth" be deployed soon?
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>> absolutely. we have a variety of capabilities available, ranging from ships to aircraft to specialized divers to advanced donors. "the uss ft. worth" is on that list and we are working at the request of the indonesian government to make sure any of these capabilities that might be helpful in the search are ready to go if the indonesian government requests them. >> so they are ready to go. it's really a matter of when they are requested. is the u.s. supplying sonar technology at this point? we saw back in march devices that are certainly larger some are smaller, but will any of them be on site? >> reporter: so "uss sampson" has sonar on board and they've been using that in the stare ch effort. one of the assets we have is a sign scan sonar. this is also available
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commercially, but it is something we are preparing to send out there if the indonesian government requests. that can help a thorough picture of the association floor and will help in defining the search effort. >> do you know on this search do you know if any plane parts from the flight have been found? >> i can't speak specifically to that. we are working at the request of the indonesian government in support of the search effort. so anything that we find while out there, we direct up to the indonesian government and allow them to make the determination on whether it is something that's maybe trash from shipping traffic or if it's something that's associated with the crash. >> has the debris field been located or is that the same sort of the same protocol? >> there has been debris lcated but again, that's up to the indonesian government to truly determine if that's something that might be from shipping or if that's something
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associated with the crash. >> i know there's a thought that thing also begin, debris may begin to wash ashore soon. has that happened yet, has that begun? >> that's not something i am knowledgeable about. i would direct you to the indonesian government to speak to that one. "sampson" is out on station, located in a defined search box and conducting the search areas in that box as tasked by the indonesian government. >> with that sonar and there is the side scan sonar that may be at the disposal. lieutenant lauren cole thank you so much. i want to bring in cnn law enforcement analyst tom fuentes safety analyst david sousi, and aviation analyst miles o'brien. david, i want to talk to you about the radar of the aircraft and where the debris was found, that the pilot was attempting a sea landing.
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why do you say that? >> if you calculate the drift angle or the glide path of the aircraft after engines have quit on it it's about 17 to one. if you calculate that out to the 120 miles, it just about comes out to 32,000 feet. so that indicates that glide path was long. it does not look to me as though it was a sudden stall as we had originally thought because it was misreported that the impact point was about six miles from where the radar picked it up last. there are others that substantiate that or back that theory up. >> there was no distress call. so far the bodies that have been found we're not seeing those passengers wear life vests. aside from making the distress call wouldn't you expect the pilot to tell passengers to prepare for an emergency landing? >> no not at all actually because as it's going down if
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the earnings were still running and things were still controllable. but his job is to control the aircraft and to keep it under control and be able to fly the airplane. that's probably what he was doing, if this is indeed what happened. it's purely speculation, obviously, other than the fact that it's substantiated by a very few important facts that lean that way. but no not necessarily. i have spoken with two different captains both from the air-320. they both support this theory and said the same thing to me about preparing the babincabin in this scenario. >> miles, what do you think about that theory? >> i think that the proper procedure for someone who is ditching would be to do two things issue a may day call because you want to issue a may day when air traffic control can help you. if you're going down and suspect there will be survivors, that's precisely what they would do. and then an announcement to the
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passengers would be the other come poement. but david is right, if your hands are full and you've been through a dramatic upset of some kind that's possible. what this implies, though is that the aircraft had its aerodynamic capabilities but no power. jet engines have literally been doused out by so much moisture in the air, so it's something that is to be considered but would be born out very quickly by the flight data and cockpit voice recorder. >> which we don't have but hoping searchers will recover very soon. tom, so far there is limited pieces of debris and there are at this point seven bodies. one of which was wearing a flight attendant's uniform. are there any clues in perhaps the uniform that might give
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investigators any sense of what happened? >> i think first of all with the clothing or the victim's body if they were unclothed, you would have -- whether there's any sign of puncture wounds to the body or clothing whether there's sign of an explosion where they've had the residue or the smoke or the particles in their clothing or on their bodies it would indicate maybe the plan did land on the ocean or crashed on the ocean w0u89 other >> i have more questions for all of you. but i need to get a quick break in. more on flight 8501 after a break. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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we're back with our panel talking about the newest clues about the airasia crash. bad weather is slowing the search for more victims and wreckage and for the plane's black boxes. right now we have a rare look into one of the few places in the world where flight data
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recorders are analyzed. >> this is our audio library, especially designed screen room that are shielded from outside signals and as well it's got very good sound proofing. >> reporter: inside the safety bureau laboratory in australia. there are few countries in the world who have the technical know-how to work out what's inside one of these things. and this lab is one of those places. boxes from other investigations torn apart, burned damaged in many ways, suggest a tough assignment. but here they say the story of what happened is usually found. >> a lot of our work is with undamaged recorders and it's very easy to download them. >> reporter: even with damaged ones your success rate of getting the information off is good? >> yes we've been able to
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record the information available. >> reporter: he's a cautious man for a job that requires patience lots of patience. >> we obtain a roll of data file. >> reporter: the boxes contain a wealth of information, up to 2,000 separate pieces from the data recorder alone. high technology built into a waterproof fireproof, shock proof shell. at the end of the analysis can be this -- an animated representation of the tragedy. this one from a 2010 training flight. two dead after a simulator engine failure went wrong. >> the symmetry couldn't be controlled and the aircraft ended up impacting the train unfortunately. >> you're able to re-create this from the black boxes. >> that's right. >> reporter: the size of the boxes is deceptive in some ways.
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the vast majority of it containing technology that supports the brain buried deep within. surprisingly small, but containing everything neil campbell needs on a handful of computer chips. in a box this big, that's what you need sp >> that's the crucial portion. >> let's bring our guests back in. we have tom fuentes, david sousi, and miles o'brien. miles, when we were back in march, there was this urgency about flight 370, finding the black box before the battery on the pinger went out. here you have more shallow water, so is there as much urgency to find that black box? >> 30 days is 30 days. but i suspect we're honing in on this location much more -- with
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much more ease. months later no wreckage has turned up for flight 370. so yes, there's time to be methodical, not put crews in harm's way in horrible weather unnecessarily. and get to these black boxes in a timely manner and yet a safe manner. that's what i think is the approach right now. >> tom, when the searchers find the black boxes and investigators start going over them what's the first thing they'll be looking for? >> two things all of the data that's listed the parameters of what that airplane was doing physically. altitude, speed, direction, what the engines were doing, were the flaps up or down or sideways. all the things that the aircraft will be listed in the data recorder separately the cockpit voice recorder which they should be together in the tail of that plane when the body of the plane is found. the voice recorder will have all
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of the conversation that took place. >> and this is what we're talking about. we have one here on the desk. >> that will have a running recording of everything that the pilot and co-pilot said to each other and back to the tower. any other background noises in the cockpit they can hear, if there was an explosion or other unusual noises besides they're talking to each other or a flight attendant that may have come up to ask what they're doing or what's happening. so both boxes are critical to being able to find out what happened. >> it's so key when you talk about twa 800, there was a lot of thought this may have been terrorist related. the black box revealed -- or going through the investigation revealed that actually maybe it wasn't. with the egypt air flight, it's the reverse. these are critical pieces of information that change conclusions about what may have happened. david, when you're thinking about where this plane went down it went down over the sea, what country is most likely to get the black box considering
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not all of them are equipped to analyze the data? >> the french have taken responsibility for the investigation, so i would suspect it would go there, but it could go to the australia or the united states. >> miles, which country in the region is best suited to head up this investigation? >> certainly the capability of discerning what's inside those black boxes and flight data recorder, the closest country that can handle that is the australians. the indonesians have done nothing to dissuade us that they can handle this and they are operating in a fairly methodical manner. but in the end, the french have a strong seat at the table here because there will be questions, of course about the performance of the aircraft the airbus european product, made in france.
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and they will be very curious to know what happened. so i suspect it will be a collaboration, and that's the way these things should be. as we said coming out of flight 370, no one nation should be responsible for these things because these issues affect all of us who fly all over the planet. >> we're hearing comparisons to the recovery of this flight comparisons to twa 800, which crashed in the mid '90s. it crashed in the waters off of long island. is that an accurate comparison in >> the cause factors are certainly not. we'll know more about it after the aircraft is starting to be brought out of the ocean. it's not really -- if this is a different investigation, we were trying to prove something with that other investigation, what there was a bomb on board. so it had to be rebuilt from the ground up to determine the
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cause. it's like peeling an onion back. once you reach what you see and need to prove that root cause, that's when you stop working on it. there's nothing to be gained by risking other lives to pull things out of the ocean when you have the answers already. so i don't expect it would be the same as that investigation. >> that's a great point. we see what was clearly a pain staking process of almost like puzzle pieces of putting that plane back together and that may not be the case here. there were some prominent, i guess theories of foul play when it came to twa 800. a lot of folks thought there might be a bomb on board, tom. witnesses reported seeing a missile go toward that plane. there isn't a question of terrorism here although nothing can really be ruled out. but these black boxes are very important. >> right. what happened in the twa 800 was the plane was seen by so many
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people and video that it exploded in mid flight. so you have this fireball in this sky, seen by other pilots and people on the ground and the pieces coming down in the atlantic ocean in about 130 feet of water, similar to the depth of this crash. because it exploded that led to the speculation it could be terrorism or it could have been sabotage or a bomb on board by who knows who. and that's why, for a long time there was a joint investigation with the fbi and the ntsb working together to get to the bottom of it. ultimately thankfully because the plane was in shallow water, divers were able to by hand sift through the silt on the bottom and later find clutchmps of wires indicating they had sparked, there was a surge of electricity through the fuel tank and they were able to look at the blast pattern, the way
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the metal bent and came apart. the fact that there was no other explosive residue embedded in the metal pieces or in the passengers, and that led to the conclusion that it was a mechanical failure on the part of the plane. >> and the access because of the depth of the water, was key. >> and it still took years to come to that conclusion. >> an ten months to recover all of the bodies in that crash. thank you all. just ahead, we're following new protests against police violence across the u.s. this is just hours before new year's eve. there's a new fbi warning that we're learning about. we'll go live to times square for an update on security during the annual ball drop. (vo) nourished. rescued. protected. given new hope. during the subaru "share the love" event,
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we have cnn justice reporter evan perez with us here now. there's really a lot of concern at the nypd. >> there is. it's normal to be concerned about safety of a million people gathering in times square. but this year they're concerned about the officers because there will be a very big police presence to keep those people safe. and now the threat is about attacks against officers. it's very difficult for any of these officers to be kept safe because at all times you have your back turned against someone. >> how do they do that? i guess they can't stay completely safe because there are so many people around them. if someone is going to target them they could be vulnerable. but what precautions are they taking? >> officers are not allowed to be by themselves. they're going to work in pairs and groups. the issue is, you saw what happened with those two officers in brooklyn a couple of weeks ago. they were attacked out of
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nowhere. now they're telling officers to just be aware of their surroundings and make sure at all times they know what's around them. >> they're being more vigilant. evaner pez erperez, thank you for the update. let's go now to times square. cnn's rosa flores is there. tell us about what you're seeing. >> reporter:ky tell you that the nyp nypd confirming there are extra ice on the ground because of those extra threats. they say they've seen an increased number of threats via social media, so they're keeping a close eye on the social media networks because they want to make sure their police officers are safe. all of this, of course after the brutal ambush and the killing of two of their own. that has also sparked protests, briannea brianna, as you know.
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they have a special detail that's been set up for five weeks that is ready to be activated at a moment's notice just in case any protests break out. but here again, these police officers brianna, are professionals. they tell us that they want to make sure that all of these revelers have come from all over the world to enjoy new year's eve here in new york that they can experience that. if you look around that's exactly what's happening. brianna? >> that's very much our hope for a happy and safe new year everywhere, as well as there in times square. rosa thank you so much. on this new year's eve, there are protests for racial justice and against police violence that are planned in nearly 20 major cities. some are under way right now. 18 demonstrators were arrested in st. louis earlier today. joining us now, mark morial above with tom fuentes.
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are you expecting tonight to become pretty tense, tom? >> it's very tense already. we've seen the protests in st. louis. >> do you think we'll see an uptick? >> we might. first of all, it's wintertime. so you have a million people in times square wearing heavy clothing that could hide everything under the sun. you've had all of these warnings from isis that they want to kill police and uniformed people in canada and the u.s. and you had new york city police attacked with a hatchet. throw on top of that the fear that one of our own americans might attack the police in one of these cities. >> marc i wonder what you think the real risks here are to police. there's a lot of concern, obviously, especially there in new york and also protests that if they get violent, how much that hurts the message. >> well let me strongly say that the national urban league
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and civil rights organizations in this country are committed when we protest to nonviolent peaceful protests. and we disassociate ourselves with anyone or any groups or any infiltrators who might indeed seek to put anyone in harm's way. a law enforcement officer or citizens. we want the public to understand that those that participate in those types of activities violent activities or threats of violence we don't associate with we don't support. and we don't think they have the same aims that we have. and our aims are for there to be justice. we've got to work in 2015 to improve the relationship between police and communities across the nation. because after all, what has triggered this sort of wave of tension are a number of incidents where unarmed men,
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particularly have either been killed or in one case the woman in los angeles severely beaten at the hands of a law enforcement officer. this is a continuum of activities that we see. but peaceful protests yes. those that make threats do not have my support. >> and peaceful protests. there's very much a real concern, and i think it has to be very much respected. but i wonder when you look at an example like st. louis, protesters storming the doors of the police department, the plan to occupy it. there have been arrests in st. louis of protesters who threw objects and were obstructing traffic. as your goal is really to make a change through non-violent demonstration. what happens to that message when you see these things? >> let us completely understand that the vast majority of
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protests which have taken place have not involved violence. but i would acknowledge there are some and many of them are not part of what i would call the nation's historic civil rights organizations who, in fact may be infiltrating these protests and engaging in inappropriate activity. so i want to strongly suggest, and i think it's important to understand that most of these protests -- i participated in an event in washington just a few weeks ago, and that activity that event, that march, was, in fact fully peaceful. we are not involved in organizing or in supporting the protests that are taking place in new york this evening. but i would always and will always stand up for the right of people to protest peacefully in this country. >> what we've seen tom, in ferguson and in staten island with the eric garner case there's a real need for
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communities and police departments to understand each other better to work better together. how can this relationship be improved? >> i don't think it's going to be improved when you have police officers in serious jeopardy on the street. and if you look at the recent new york city protests where you have people chanting "what do we want? dead police! when do we want it? now!" you had the video of two officers beaten and kicked to where they had to be taken to the hospital almost thrown off the brooklyn bridge. so i think that when you say that the groups themselves the peaceful civil rights groups don't want to be part of this or they're not condoning it for the police it becomes a distinction without a difference. all they know, they're in uniform, they're on the street and they're targeted. that's the bottom line for them. >> everyone has a responsibility here to understand that yes, most of these protests have been
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peaceful. but let's deal with the real issue. the real issue there are numerous current federal investigations under way. the garner incident is now subject to a continuing federal service rights investigation. the michael brown incident the very same. there are more than ten police departments in this country that are under federal consent decrees, which means they admitted and agreed that they had systemic problems. so we've got to confront the underlying problem. and the underlying problem happens to be that policing in this country, in many communities, is in need of a reform. and is in need of a reform that brings police and communities together. and i want to have that dialogue with law enforcement, with politicians, with community leaders across the nation. that's what we've got to do in 2015 is have the conversation that leads to i think, the
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kinds of reforms and changes that are in need in many communities across the nation. >> an important conversation to have as we enter this new year. thank you to both of you. just ahead, there is growing pressure on a top republican to quit his leadership job in the house after revelations about his speech to a white supremist group. stand by for new details. and we're watching festivities around the world. take a look at the celebration in paris. this was the stroke of midnight there just a short time ago. [ speaking french ]
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>> >> stand by more for the search on airasia flight 8501. right now, there are calls for congressman steve selise to step down. we're learning more about his 2002 speech to a white supremist group, an appearance that he now
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says was a mistake. cnn's athena jones following this story for us. >> reporter: there's still a lot of questioning surround thing speech. right now he has the backing of some key republican colleagues but more and more people outside of capitol hill are saying he should step down from his leadership post. more fallout today regarding a 2002 speech the number three house republican gave before a white supremist group, founded by the former kkk member and neonazi david duke. gop leaders are circling the wagons around embattled majority whip steve scalise after apologizing for speaking after the white supremist group. and even democrats are coming to his defense. bennett johnston saying this about scalise in a telephone interview with cnn. he's just not a racist. the pair joined congressman
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cedric richmond, the only black member of the delegation who also expressed support. >> cedric richmond coming out, an african-american in his defense and making those key points is very important in managing his way through this issue. >> reporter: but not etchveryone is supporting him. there's a call for him to bow out of leadership. >> if he had wanted to make it easy on the party, he would have stepped down from leadership. nobody is demanding that he leave congress or that his career is over. >> reporter: so what did he think of duke back then? in a 1999 interview, he said he embraces many of the same "conservative views" and duke but said this week he whole heartedly condemns the duke's group view. >> there will continue to be additional questions. as long as there's no
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information that contradicts steve scalise, i think it's likely that he'll hang on to his leadership position. >> reporter: when i spoke to one of the democratic supporters today, he told me i just don't think we ought to be playing gotcha here and that's what this is. support from these state democrats is important, but there are a lot of people who feel like scalise has more explaining to do. >> athena jones, thank you for your report. we're back now with the president and ceo of the national urban league marc morial. and cnn political commentator and republican strategist anna navaro. marc we're learning that he may have spoke to a civic association before this white supremist convention got started but there may have been some white supremists in the audience. so it's murky, but does it matter since he was invited by a
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known white supremist? >> i know steve scalise. when i was mayor in new orleans, he was part of the delegation. so my initial reaction was shock, surprise and disgust. everything david duke he is a purveyor a promoter of hate racial hate anti-semitic hate religious bigotry across the line. so i was shocked and surprised because the steve scalise i know is a conservative person. but also a person with whom i never had a difficult time having a conversation with. now, in this case brianna, i'm going to reserve judgment on what should happen because i want to have a conversation not only with steve scalise, but with the republican leadership. they have not been open to
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conversations in the past and now is an opportune time to have the conversation. so what should we discuss? number one, there are other members of congress with whom this organization is has had a relationship that needs to be more transparent and come to light. number two, is there a strong commitment to condemn these types of hate groups and hate speech as a part of the political parlance in this country. and these are the things we have to have. >> that is a very important conversation. so let me ask anna. is this an opportunity for republicans to have that conversation? >> frankly, i think it is and i want to commend mr. morial for his position. i think it is a very constructive and productive position that he's holding. and everybody that i have spoken to i don't know steve scalise but i have spoken to a number of
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his colleagues including republican hispanics who told me there is not a racist bone in this man's body. so i do think we have to focus on the real racists and the real problem of race and not go after somebody that you may be able to -- because of recklessness and stupid but it was not -- >> he was invited -- let me ask this question. he was invited by a known white supremacist, so is this the reality, that even, yes, it was ten years ago, but in louisiana that republicans have to pander to racists? >> you know brianna, i have a bunch of different reports. i read that he was an enabler and he went to talk about taxes and they had never discussed race and issues. his views on race. the white supremacist views on race. did he know that he was there and this was going to happen?
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we don't know that. unless more evidence comes out pointing to that and showing that he has those views, it is going to be -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> we're out of time and i have to leave it right there. guys i'm so sorry, we have to leave the conversation there. i promise to have you back marc. thank you, ana. we'll be right back. relief so smooth... ...it's fast. tums smoothies starts dissolving the instant it touches your tongue ...and neutralizes stomach acid at the source. ♪ tum, tum tum tum...♪ smoothies! only from tums.
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we're keeping a close watch in new york. it is a little over five hours before midnight on the east coast when they ring in 2015. cnn's anderson cooper will be there with kathy griffin for the new year's eve show and tune in beginning at 9:00 p.m. eastern. let's take another look at celebrations around the world and say thank you to members of the situation family that worked hard to bring you the news this year.
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happy new year's to you. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" tonight, more heart break for families after being told the plane had been found, airasia ceo said no sonar, nothing. as tonight we talk to captain sully sullenberger. in china, dozens killed and we'll be live in shanghai. and new york police here on high alert as more than a million people crowd into the time square to ring in the new year. let's go outfront. and happy new

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