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NEW DAY

Two New Pinger Signals Detected; Ukraine Unrest Will Be Resolved In 48 Hours; : Emotional Pistorius Back on the Stand

Aired April 9, 2014 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Now her husband is talking, breathing new life into the scandal. Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. We begin with breaking news, search teams closing in on what could be the final resting place of Flight 370. Let's look at the map, shall we? Look down here. You will see the Australian ship, "Ocean Shield." These four spots are the pings that they've picked up. These two are the new pings. You can see they're in the same area.

That's what's giving the optimism that they believe they're in the right place. The duration of them not as long. About 5-1/2 minutes. The other one about 7 minutes. But that is four separate signals detected since Saturday. OK, Kate, they're optimistic, but they know they're in a hurry.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: What they said is they needed more pings. So this has to be good news. I mean, officials are now declaring they are optimistic the jetliner or whatever remains of it will be found in a matter of days. Let's get straight over to Erin McLaughlin live in Perth, Australia, with the very latest. Great news to start the day -- Erin.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. After two days of silence there is new hope in a search for missing Malaysian Flight 370. Searchers are now firmly believing that they are looking in the right place.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANGUS HOUSTON, JOINT AGENCY COORDINATION CENTER CHIEF: I'm now optimistic that we will -- we will find the aircraft or what is left of the aircraft in the not too distant future.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Breaking overnight, "Ocean Shield" has acquired two new signals consistent with Flight 370's black box pingers. Officials say all four signals have now been detected within 17 miles of each other.

HOUSTON: What we're picking up is a great lead.

MCLAUGHLIN: Officials say the sounds detected were not of natural origin and likely from a manmade device. But scouring the sediment at the bottom of the ocean will prove difficult.

HOUSTON: The silt on the bottom will complicate that search.

MCLAUGHLIN: Today's search efforts intensifying as resources comb the shrinking search area, roughly the size of South Carolina. So far, the debris found has not been linked to Flight 370. Adding to the urgency, the dying batteries powering the black box pinger now past its 30-day expiration date.

HOUSTON: The signals we picked up recently have been much weaker than the original six signals we picked up. So that means probably we're either a long way away from it or, in my view, more likely, the batteries are starting to fade.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Once they are certain that those batteries have expired and they've narrowed down that potential search field as much as possible, only then will they deploy the underwater autonomous vehicle capable of finding the actual wreckage -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Erin, let's stick with why there is cause for optimism. We have Richard Quest here.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.

CUOMO: So take me through it, Professor. What is it that is making them so anxious now about feeling that they're on the right place?

QUEST: Well, I think anyone who heard the conference, the news conference that Angus Houston gave last night, you couldn't help but be impressed just by his confidence both on the fact that he has now pretty much determined the two new ping areas. The whole distance between them all, this is roughly 20 odd miles or so from the top one in the north to the bottom one in the south.

CUOMO: The Chinese one is gone.

QUEST: Forget all about that, polite niceties that may be said, they're not concerned about this. This is without doubt. I say without doubt. The authorities are very confident that what they are now looking at is the final resting place of 370. And more than that, they believe that as long as they can keep doing and going around and finding more and more, and they were asked again and again, why do you need more pings? What's the importance of acquiring more pings?

CUOMO: Yes.

QUEST: Because the more you get the tighter the area becomes that you finally have to search on the ocean bottom. And what Angus Houston said is he will not be happy until he has visual sight of wreckage. It is only visual sight of wreckage, which will give him certainty and the families' closure of what has happened to the plane.

CUOMO: Purely skepticism on your behalf that they're picking up pings but not seeing any debris. QUEST: No, because they talked about it. That's why he also said they are intensifying the search. If you stand back, they are intensifying the search in this area over here. And the search by aircraft over here is what they believe is the 30th-day forward drift of the debris or anything that's come from the aircraft.

In the past we've always thought you had to find the debris and reverse drift to where you believed the wreckage was going to be. Now they're embarked on forward drift. Now they think it's down here.

CUOMO: These are the two new pings.

QUEST: These are the two new ones.

CUOMO: They're going in that direction.

QUEST: They're forward drifting where they believe it would have gone and that's here. These pings are getting weaker. He said this again and again. That could be one of two reasons. Firstly, because they're a long way away. He doesn't believe that. He thinks they're getting weaker because the battery life is actually getting weaker as well. The batteries are dying and I think there's something rather -- well, poetic, whatever one would say, that this little device that costs 150 bucks, couple hundred bucks, the pinger, has done its job.

It went into the water 33 days ago and for 33 days it has literally been saying, I am here, I am here, I am here, and now finally they've located that. They've heard it. The batteries have done its job. They've got to find as many of those pings as they can.

CUOMO: Somewhat of an issue for another day, but wouldn't it have been good if the civilian aircraft have what the military do that the black box ejects itself on any kind of impact and floats to the surface.

QUEST: That and if the plane had been in transmission. There's a conference in May of IATO where they're going to be discussing exactly that. Should planes give better tracking of their police --

CUOMO: I think we know the answer to that now. It's one of the important reasons to keep covering the story, to pressure the search, but also to get answers to these why it happened in the first place. Last point of curiosity. OK, so they're finding the pings. They know they're racing against the clock. Seems to take a long time for them to make passes. Why?

QUEST: And I will show you. Bring out and you will see the TPL, the towed pinger locator. Bearing in mind this has been 3,500 feet below. It is towing that much stuff behind it. It can't stop. If it stops the TPL will sink to the bottom.

CUOMO: Right.

QUEST: So it has to keep moving. It is moving, according to Angus Houston, at walking pace. So the interesting part about it is it takes about six hours to do a sweep, a turn, and a sweep back again. If you look at the timings of these two, we got the timings last night, you see just about is correct. And that's why it's got so much stuff. I think it was something like 3500 meters off feet. I'll correct that in a second, we behind it of what it is towing.

CUOMO: I remember it being feet because you have almost a mile of cable out. Every time they make a turn they have to be careful and you make the right point, which is if they do it wrong it will drop and break.

QUEST: I think it might be meters because it's 1,000 meters off the bottom, 3500 meters down below. But I'll check that.

CUOMO: Because I thought they said it was close to a mile. That's why it's taking a long time. That's why they have confidence of the new pings. They believe here in the right area. The big discovery is when they find actual debris.

QUEST: And he will not be happy, but he did say last night two things on that. He thinks it's going to be a matter of days before the autonomous vehicle goes into the water and he says it won't be too long, he doesn't believe, before they will have some debris.

CUOMO: Thank you for coming in this morning, Professor. Always a pleasure.

QUEST: Thank you, Reverend.

CUOMO: Kate.

BOLDUAN: Another big story overseas this morning. The standoff in Eastern Ukraine with pro-Russian demonstrators taking over government buildings and calling for a vote or succession from Ukraine. Overnight the Ukrainian government taking a stand of its own declaring the unrest would be resolved in 48 hours either through negotiations or the use of force.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is live in Eastern Ukraine with the very latest. It seems to be only getting more tense rather than de- escalating, Nick, what's the very latest?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Of course, Kate, the real reason why it's so tense is these 40,000 Russian troops on the border just miles from where I'm standing, but Moscow says we have no reason to be alarmed about, but NATO is very concerned.

At each time we see tensions seemingly dissipate in these three cities where pro-Russian activists have taken over buildings, suddenly it flares up again. Last night, a hostage crisis in Luhansk. Ukrainian security official saying 60 people taken hostage in a building where explosives have wreaked up.

No evidence to back that up and suddenly overnight miraculously they say the hostage were released as well. That comes but now we have this 48-hour deadline from the interior minister saying, yes, negotiates all force perhaps two days from now. Where I'm standing in Donetsk, the local administration held by four days by pro-Russian activists armed with stones and metal poles.

But now they have erected substantial stone and tire barricades with razor wire backing it up. They're t not going anywhere and the clock is ticking. With this implicit threat of Russian force just near the border -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Now something needs to give, Nick, absolutely and let's hope it doesn't break out. I was shocked when I saw a brawl break out even in the parliament over all of this. Nick Paton Walsh, thanks so much. Nick, we'll get back to you. Let's go over to John Berman now. He is in for Michaela so some of today's other big stories.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Kate. Oscar Pistorius being cross-examined this morning in his murder trial. Moments ago, while he was on the stand, prosecutors showed a graphic image of Reeva Steenkamp's head wound. He broke down and then court adjourned. Earlier Pistorius described the moments after the shooting including the futile effort to save Steenkamp. We'll have much more on that trial coming up.

More breaking news overnight, Toyota recalling nearly 6.4 million vehicles worldwide. Twenty seven models are affected including the Rav 4 SUV. That's Crossover SUV actually. The automaker says there are a range of problems involving models from 2004 to 2010, including potentially faulty steering, airbags, seats, starters, and windshield wiper motors. We'll have more on this coming up in "Money Time."

A Marine is in custody this morning after allegedly shooting a fellow guard to death at a North Carolina base. Military officials say it happened at Camp Lejeune's main gate last night. Authorities have not identified a motive or released the names of the shooter or victim. This happened nearly a week after a soldier killed three people and then himself at Fort Hood in Texas. Later today, President Obama and the first lady head to Texas for memorial service for those victims.

So this morning stores Connecticut is title town USA. The UConn women routed Notre Dame, 79-58 to win the national championship overnight. It happened one night after the UConn men did the same. Impressive but not as impressive as women. Ladies Huskies finished 40-0. It is a record ninth title for the coach. Connecticut is the only school, by the way, to win men's and women's titles t in the same season and they have done it twice.

BOLDUAN: Wow!

BERMAN: Twice. A lot of people saying this Connecticut team last night may be the best and they've had a lot of very good ones.

BOLDUAN: In UConn, they've had a lot of good teams.

BERMAN: This one may be the most complete team they have.

BOLDUAN: Congratulations to them. Big night for Connecticut. Thanks so much, John.

Let's get over to meteorologist Indra Petersons now for the forecast. How is it looking?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Finally better. We've been waiting a long time for spring and now we're starting to see conditions improve. The system that did bring light showers yesterday is exiting offshore. In the southeast there's still a couple of showers. A lot of people going out to Augusta for the masters. Still some showers out there, but don't worry, by tomorrow for round one, things are clearing up.

Gorgeous conditions expected. The only thing we're really left with is maybe light winds. We don't care. It's been so cold, such a long winter, we want this. It's the pattern change. Jet stream lifting to the north. Warm air moving in. Not always a good thing when you get too much warmer. Very dry conditions in the middle of the country.

Some of the plains down through Texas today. We do have a red flag warning. That is the fire danger out there. Farther out to the west, chance of record breaking heat. So close, not quite there. It is hot. Triple digit heat already. Nice and mild. We like this but, of course, by the weekend, maybe a little bit of chance for rain. But, yay, Wednesday.

BERMAN: Wednesday. It's the new channel, yay, Wednesday.

BOLDUAN: First time I've ever heard anyone saying that but I'm trying.

CUOMO: There was something that --

PETERSONS: You show me yours.

BOLDUAN: Do your Wednesday.

CUOMO: Yay, Wednesday.

PETERSONS: That's yours. I win.

BERMAN: Best Wednesday call. Enthusiasm.

CUOMO: That's right. That's horrible.

BOLDUAN: Thank you for humoring me. All right, coming up next, two new signals detected in the Indian Ocean. Have they finally located Flight 370? We're going to talk to our experts to get their take on what they think of this very important development.

CUOMO: And the prosecution is getting its chance at Oscar Pistorius right now. And they are wasting no time going after him showing graphic images in court of Reeva Steenkamp's wounds. Have they gone too far? We're live at the courthouse.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: And we do have breaking news from the Oscar Pistorius trial. Prosecutors were showing a graphic image of Reeva Steenkamp's head wound, comparing it to a video of Pistorius blowing up a water melon at a gun range. Court had to immediate adjourned as Pistorius broke down violently sobbing into his hands.

Now, earlier, the prosecution showed it would waste no time taking Pistorius to task. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OSCAR PISTORIUS, CHARGED OF MURDER: My mistake is that I took Reeva's life, my lady.

PROSECUTOR: You killed her. You shot and killed her. Won't you take responsibility for that?

PISTORIUS: I did, my lady.

PROSECUTOR: Say it then. Say yes. I killed -- I shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp.

PISTORIUS: I did, my lady.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: It's direct and it's hostile.

So, let's get to Robyn Curnow, outside the courthouse in South Africa to see what it was like watching it actually go down.

Robin, what's your take?

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this was really the state coming out, you know, very hard, very tough. The intent, of course, was to rattle Oscar Pistorius right at the beginning. For the past two days, he's been giving his testimony. It's been quite a cocoon. And, of course, it's not any longer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PROSECUTOR: You made a mistake.

PISTORIUS: That's correct.

PROSECUTOR: You killed a person. That's what you did, isn't it?

PISTORIUS: I made a mistake.

PROSECUTOR: You killed Reeva Steenkamp. That's what you did.

CURNOW (voice-over): The cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius opened with the prosecution on the attack.

PROSECUTOR: Let us get to the truth.

PISTORIUS: I'm here to tell the truth. I'm here to tell the truth as much as I can remember.

CURNOW: After the defense had the Olympian on the stand for more than six hours over the past three days. PISTORIUS: I had her head on my -- on my left shoulder and I could -- I could feel the blood was running down on me.

CURNOW: Oscar Pistorius finally detailing the moments after he shot and killed his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

PISTORIUS: I was shouting, screaming for him to help me get her to the hospital.

CURNOW: He says he desperately tried to save her life.

PISTORIUS: I had my fingers in her mouth to help her try to breathe. I had my hand on her hip. I was trying to stop the bleeding.

CURNOW: The defense making Oscar Pistorius meticulously recap minute by minute.

PISTORIUS: Reeva had already died whilst I was holding her, before the ambulance arrived. So I knew there was nothing that they could do for her.

CURNOW: The amputee discrediting expert testimony who said he did have his prosthetics on when he broke the bathroom down with a cricket bat.

PISTORIUS: I can barely stand on my stumps let alone yield a bat.

CURNOW: The defense trying to disprove witness testimony, discussing statements from the neighbors on either side of Pistorius' home. Neighbors, the prosecution never called to the stand, who say they never heard a woman's voice that night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She heard loud crying and not a woman screaming.

CURNOW: Pistorius continuing to proclaim his innocence.

PISTORIUS: I did not intend to kill Reeva, my lady, or anybody else, for that matter.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: OK. So through much of this morning's testimony, even during the early part of today, we saw Oscar Pistorius trying to keep himself composed, his jaw was often clenched, he was speaking directly again at the judge.

But however, the beginning of this quite dramatic cross-examination, everything changed. He started sobbing. His head went forward in his hands. He refused to look at that picture of Reeva Steenkamp and he was rocking forward and backward praying. He's not in court at the moment and of course he has to come back, this has to continue and it could take days.

CUOMO: All right. Robyn, thank you very much. Let us know if anything else develops, when we the court resumes. We'll stay on this. Now, look, this is a very unusual situation for the judge to keep stopping the trial because of his emotion. It's unusual. And some would argue prejudicial to a jury. But remember, there is none.

What's interesting though is the prosecution, even suggesting, I suggested, have they gone too far? The answer is absolutely not. They have to get through this sympathetic veneer that's going on with Oscar Pistorius and they've got to do it right away.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: In a bubble that's being protected it seems in some cases by the judge herself there.

CUOMO: Yes. I mean, there's no question. And there is a rule that you have to have the defendant give his best or her best testimony, so you try to allow them to be their best selves. But he's getting every benefit of the doubt and the prosecution trying to have --

BOLDUAN: I was reading an e-mail that his sister was next to the stand comforting him at some point this morning. I mean, it's all seems very, very unusual. But we'll continue to follow it because it's day by day. He's not done yet.

CUOMO: Yes, and it's going -- it comes down to this. This dynamic of which vibe is going to win with that judge sitting there and she's been very stoic and seems to be on her game.

BOLDUAN: You know, we don't know what's going on in the judge's head just like we don't know what's going on in a jury room.

CUOMO: She was a crime reporter. She's been on the bench a long time. She's very savvy and obviously in control. That's the best you can hope for when you're seeking justice.

Let's take a break here on NEW DAY. And when we come back, two new pinger signals, shrinking the search zone for Flight 370. We are told dramatically, however, we're also told it isn't over yet.

How long could this really take? We'll ask the experts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

A critical development overnight in the search for Flight 370. Two new pinger signals consistent with black boxes have been detected. So how much closer are search crews to actually finding the plane?

Let's bring in our experts, Mary Schiavo, a CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general for the Department of Transportation. And David Soucie is CNN safety analyst, the author of "Why Planes Crash", also a former FAA inspector.

Good morning to both of you.

So, David, what do you make of it? Two additional pings. Where is your level of confidence now that this is it? DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: It gets stronger every time we get another ping for me because we're starting to narrow it down. I've had questions as to why they are so far apart because we're talking about three miles all this time. But there's a thing called refraction, which if you have a temperature layer in the ocean that can refract that back down. So, that's why you can pick it up in various spots.

BOLDUAN: Let me ask you a question about that because that's been on my mind. I've seen a range of 15 to 17 miles between the furthest two pings.

So, that doesn't -- that doesn't concern you? That seems logically like it could still be the same box or boxes?

SOUCIE: It certainly does to me, yes, it does, because of this refraction phenomenon. It will usually bounce once but not twice. So, that's why the more Angus Houston is saying we don't want to put anything in the water and start looking sonar-wise until we start seeing more pings because every ping they get narrows that search down by more. They can tell by amplitude whether it's refracted signal or whether it's a direct signal.

BOLDUAN: Mary, what do you make -- we're also hearing from Angus Houston that the signals are getting weaker. Is that a concern?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, it was a concern for Angus Houston as well and he believes and I think he's right that it's a shine the batteries are finally dying. I mean, you can't -- the batteries certainly gave more than their legal life. They're supposed to be 30 days and now they're at day 34.

So, he believes it is the case of the battery finally losing strength and not a case of them being not on -- near the signal or being too far away from the signal and not picking it up very forcefully.

BOLDUAN: Mary, do you think they have enough information to put the underwater submersible in now or is it best to continue trying to get additional pings? I wonder this because I started thinking this morning -- does it need to be actively pinging when you go down there to locate it?

SCHIAVO: It doesn't have to be actively pinging when you go down there to locate it, but the joint task force, the investors wanted more pings to keep narrowing in the area. Right now, it's a pretty -- as David just mentioned, it's a pretty wide area. You know, granted, 15, 17 kilometers is not far when you think about how big the space was that we were searching originally.

But the more they can narrow it in, if they can get it down to just the tightest diameter possible or radius possible in the circle, then they have a smaller place to search with those submersibles. And those submersibles, those side-scan sonar units are very slow. So what they want to do is know that they're right on top of it and then put down the unmanned subs.