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Oil Tanker Captured First Images of Doomed Ship; New Video of Arkansas Tornado Damage; NBA Owner's Alleged Rant Sparks Outrage

Aired April 28, 2014 - 10:30   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Checking our "Top Stories" at 31 minutes past the hour. Republican Congressman Michael Grimm is in federal custody this morning the result of a two-year investigation by the FBI into illegal campaign contributions. Grimm made national headlines in January when he was caught on camera threatening to throw a television reporter over a balcony after that reporter questioned him about the investigation.

The search for Flight 370 entering a new phase after efforts in the air, on the surface and under the sea have failed to find a single piece of wreckage from that missing plane. Australia's Prime Minister says scouring a new search area a bigger search area will take six to eight months to complete and he says the aerial search will be suspended.

President Obama and the European Union hitting Russia even harder over Ukraine they're imposing new sanctions including freezing the assets and placing bans on entry to the United States. The sanctions target more than 20 people and companies closely connected to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

Three employees of a shipping industry trade group are under arrest accused of destroying evidence in connection with that South Korean ferry disaster. Investigators have also raided a Coast Guard office. You see them carrying out boxes. They're looking into how officials handled the first emergency call from a passenger.

Also, the Coast Guard is defending its decision to rescue the captain of that doomed ship. This is new video shows them the captain being rescued and he appears to be in his underwear. One Coast Guard member says it was hard to tell crew members apart from the other passengers.

CNN's Paula Hancocks has more now.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is the first image of the doomed Sewol ferry. Calm seas belied the horrors unfolding within the ship. This is the view from Doola Ace an oil tanker that is first on the scene.

Captain Moon Ye-Shik receives a call to help a ship in distress at 9:06 a.m., 11 minutes after the Sewol says it is in trouble. He soon has the ship in his sights. I could tell the ship was sinking just by looking at it", he tells me. "The situation was so bad I assumed the evacuation was well under way."

It wasn't. This was the scene inside the ship around 9:06 a.m. filmed by a student who did not escape. His phone was retrieved with his body and given to his father. Joking and unaware of the danger they are in at first, they then ask "Why can't they tell us what's going on? The fact that they asked us to wear life jackets, doesn't that mean the boat is sinking?"

Then an announcement the third of its kind you hear on this recording saying, "Once again, please do not move from your current location. Absolutely do not move." So they don't.

Captain Moon and his men are on deck ready to deploy the life rafts to save anyone in the water. Moon tells CNN he is 200 meters away but the Sewol keeps asking over the radio where the rescue boat is. 9:14 a.m., Doola Ace talking directly to Sewol says people should escape. A full ten minutes later the Sewol crew member is still asking if passengers escape, can they be rescued?

"This person was inexperienced" says Moon. "In an emergency it should be the captain on the radio. You need to make decisions fast."

But it is unclear where the Sewol captain was at this point. He was one of the 174 people rescued along with 20 of his crews. Moon said he's angry he left his passengers behind.

CAPTAIN MOON YE-SHIK, CAPTAIN OF THE DOOLA ACE: Yes this is very strong current.

HANCOCKS: Moon had been tracking the Sewol earlier that morning as it was on his radar. He says the ship suddenly made a sharp right turn at a very slow speed. The ship's tracking system, the automatic identification system was off he said. Moon wonders if the ship had lost power.

He says he will never understand the actions of the Sewol captain and has decided that this is the last time he will speak about what happened hoping that not talking about it will stop the nightmares he still has about the children he couldn't save.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, on the Yellow Sea, South Korea.


COSTELLO: Devastating pictures to show you out of Mayflower, Arkansas as the National Guards flies over the damage there.

Chad Myers is near Mayflower this morning. Good morning, Chad.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning Carol we arrived here this morning after taking a few hours down. It was quiet. And now we hear chainsaws and now search helicopters. What's changing? That's coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: National Guard choppers now flying over the devastated areas of Mayflower, Arkansas, after tornadoes tore through that community. We understand at least 16 people are dead in Mayflower and in a neighboring town. This is Faulkner County in Arkansas.

Chad Myers is on the ground near Mayflower. And I would suppose those choppers are looking for survivors.

MYERS: We assume so. We assume now because they were flying so low they weren't looking for damage and they were flying very slowly, Carol. That means that they are looking for people that are considered missing. The best way to find a missing person because these cell phone lines are such in bad shape right now is by text message. It takes a little bit of band width to send and receive a text compared to try to make a phone call. Because really when you try to make a phone call here, all you get is beep, beep, beep. Everyone is trying to get on the cell phone.

We know though the Governor will be over here across this highway, this is I-40 just to the northwest of Little Rock, we know the Governor will be right over there in 30 minutes giving us an update on what he knows.

There are so many smashed houses. We know the width of this tornado somewhere around half mile. I'm estimating by just looking at Google Earth a track of somewhere between 30 and 40 miles long. If you do the multiplication, that's 15 to 20 square miles of search area of how houses that are smashed that look literally like this.

We just drove around about an hour ago and there is straight track I can see it from here, those right over the lake right back on land and then right on up towards the north and that would be Bologna in that direction. And this tornado was on the ground that entire time -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Yes. I was just noticing those poor people behind you. And I guess neighbors will start to stream in to you know to find out whether there's anything left. But as you said it's dangerous there. So I hope they're careful. Chad Myers, thanks so much.


COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM, could sanctions or a suspension be in the near future of the owner of the L.A. Clippers. Why is it taking so long to take action given his history with discrimination? We'll have that conversation ahead.


COSTELLO: Over the weekend more damaging audio released of Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The tapes reportedly are conversations between Sterling and his girlfriend and mistress, V. Stiviano where Sterling complains about her bringing Magic Johnson to Clippers games and posting a picture of him on her Instagram account.

Here's an excerpt of what he said from Deadspin.


DONALD STERLING, OWNER, CLIPPERS: Well then, if you don't feel it don't come to my games. Don't bring black people and don't come.

V. STIVIANO, GIRLFRIEND OF DONALD STERLING: Do you know that you have a whole team that's black that plays for you?

STERLING: Do I know? I support them and give them food and clothes and cars and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give that to them? Do I know that I have? Who makes the game? Do I make the game or do they make the game? These 30 owners that created the league?


COSTELLO: That's the mild stuff. Those comments sparking outrage in the sports world and beyond -- Magic Johnson vowing to never attend another Clippers game as long as Sterling is the owner.

Tom Ley is a staff writer at DeadSpin, he joins me now. Good morning, Tom.

TOM LEY, DEADSPIN: Hi. Good morning.

COSTELLO: I know you can't tell me where you got the tape and I won't ask you because you want to protect your sources but how much more is out there?

LEY: I don't think anybody really knows. I think there was rumor this morning that there's over an hour of audio so there could be more coming out but I don't think anybody really knows the extent of this tape.

COSTELLO: Can you tell where these conversations took place?

LEY: No. I mean it sounds like it was in a house but I don't think anyone knows for sure where or when this actually occurred.

COSTELLO: No one in the basketball world is particularly surprised by these comments from Mr. Sterling.

LEY: Yes. I think that people have been paying attention for a while and known that he's been like this. He's been sued multiple times for discriminatory practices in his real estate businesses. And I mean there have been stories in the past that sort of lay this all out there, this being an audiotape and just sort of in people's faces is kind of the last thing.

COSTELLO: It's difficult to ignore right now, right?

LEY: Right.

COSTELLO: But it does make you wonder why the NBA hasn't done something about this before or talked to him or has it? I don't know.

LEY: Yes, I mean it's tough. I think that the NBA sort of just wanted to ignore him as long as they could and, you know, just hoping that he would either sell the team or die before something like this happened. So that was sort of the Commissioner Stern's policy but now the new commissioner, Adam Silver, has, you know a big problem on his hands. And you know, they really -- they have to do something at this point with people so up in arms about this.

COSTELLO: Last question. Will Deadspin release more tape do you think?

LEY: If we get more, we certainly will. I don't know if that's going to happen or if there is more. We will definitely if we have more to report, be doing that.

COSTELLO: Tom Ley, thanks so much for joining me. I appreciate it.

LEY: Thank you.

COSTELLO: All right. So this story is ugly on so many levels -- racism, adultery, possible extortion. With me now, Brian Claypool, a criminal defense attorney and Clippers season ticket holder; Joey Jackson, HLN legal analyst and Terence Moore, sports contributor. Welcome to all of you.

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you, Carol. Good morning.


COSTELLO: OK. Let's get going. Before we begin, I want our viewers to listen to more of this audiotape. This is supposedly a conversation between the Clippers owner and his mistress. Let's listen.


STIVIANO: I saw someone I admire -- I admire Magic Johnson.


STIVIANO: I'm sorry.


STIVIANO: He's made a lot of changes for his community, for the world, for the people, for the minorities. He's helped a lot of people.

STERLING: Why are you forcing this down my throat? I'm finished talking to you. I have nothing more to say.

STIVIANO: I took a picture with someone I admire.


STIVIANO: He happens to be black and I'm sorry.

STERLING: I think it's nice that you admire him. I know him well and he should be admired. And I'm just saying that it's too bad, you can't admire him privately and during your entire (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life, your whole life, admire him, bring him here, feed him, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) him, I don't care. You can do anything. But don't put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games, OK?


COSTELLO: It's so unbelievably ugly. According to the mistress' lawyer, this was recorded by V. Stiviano, the mistress but not released by her. But Joey it certainly seems -- actually it's quite obvious that she's deliberately needling Sterling. What do you think?

JACKSON: Well, Carol, whether he's deliberately needled or not, this speaks to his inner feelings and his views and people don't sort of needle you to say things that you don't believe and the fact is that you can talk about not you, you, Carol, but it could be talked about from his attorneys perspective what an awful person she is. She's really embezzling. There are lawsuits pending.

The fact of the matter is that he said something that really is disturbing, deplorable and disgusting and we can attack the victim all day until Sunday but it doesn't excuse his bad behavior, his inner thoughts and his views as to what he feels about people of color and others who don't comport with apparently his view of the world.

COSTELLO: His comments are so hateful. It's just mind-boggling how this all came about. And Terence I'll pose this question to you -- Sterling's wife is suing Stiviano for fraud -- right. Stiviano is not happy that Mr. Sterling has embraced this lawsuit. She's being sued for $1.8 million.

So I guess she's trying to force him to make -- well, they're not divorced. He and his wife, right? It's an ugly soap opera.


MOORE: This would be great for Oprah's network, you know, the haves and the have-nots and this is the haves and the haves I guess.

But you know, this entire thing smacks of Marge Schott. Marge Schott was the owner of the Cincinnati Reds back in the mid 1980s to the late 19902 and she had a rather loose tongue saying different things. But what Major League Baseball did and this is what's going to happen here in the NBA, they basically forced her to sell the team.

What they did was first they suspended her for an entire year -- an entire season. Then a couple years after that they did it for three years and they're going to do it a third time and that's when she all of a sudden, out of the clear blue decided to get rid of the club. This is going to be a very similar scenario hopefully faster than what it took to get rid of Marge Schott.

COSTELLO: Well, supposedly the NBA is going to come out with some sort of statement today. We'll see, right?

MOORE: Well, they have to. And the maximum that they can fine him by the way according to "USA Today" is $1 million. You're talking about a guy that's worth $1.9 billion, I don't think that's going to dent his pocketbook very much.

COSTELLO: I don't think so.

Brian, whether or not this is the result of an ugly domestic saga, if this is Sterling on that tape, the ugly truth is now out for all to see. The question is why do you think it took so long?

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well Carol, first of all, I don't even care about whether she needled Donald Sterling or not because the proof is in the pudding. He publicly displayed his racial animus for people of color. You made a good point earlier. Where has the NBA been for the last decade? It's no secret here in Los Angeles that Donald Sterling has been sued many times for discrimination against blacks, discrimination against Hispanics, discrimination against women, discrimination against elderly people. You tell me why nothing has been done?

The NBA shouldn't be doing an investigation. There should be an independent investigation of Donald Sterling because the commissioner is commissioned by the owners. We need an independent investigation of Donald Sterling and he needs to be removed of ownership immediately.

COSTELLO: Well Joey, like I'm struggling to understand why the NBA allowed him to buy a team in the first place. Can they prevent someone from buying a team?

JACKSON: It's a wonderful question -- Carol. But the reality is that what are you going to do? Conduct an inner compass of how somebody really feels in some kind of litmus test to see if they are racist or something else?

Certainly backgrounds are appropriate. They should be and need to be looked into in all circumstances. However, for whatever reasons, he got through, he had the money, it's an economic game and he was able to do it.

The issue now is how is he sanctioned it and needs to be appropriate. A billionaire to give them a fine of $1 million or whatever you can, doesn't do anything. It's simply just the cost of doing business. A suspension which is within the commissioner's authority -- now we're speaking -- a long-term suspension. In terms of removal, that's what many of us want. I don't know that that can immediately happen just because of the legal issues surrounding that.

But this needs to be dealt with swiftly, properly and appropriately, Carol, so that it sets a deterrent. People should not feel this way and subjecting others to views like that in this day in age or ever.

MOORE: Carol --

COSTELLO: Well, go ahead.

MOORE: Actually I can answer that question why this has been going on for so long. It's very simple. Two things. Number one -- nobody ever cared about the Clippers until the last couple of years. When he brought the Clippers back in 1981, they were a nonentity. They were just happy to get somebody to buy that franchise.

Number two, the NBA very similar to all these other professional sports, you have the good old boy network here. Once you get in that club, unless you do something, you know, like start a war in a foreign country, they're going to turn and look the other way. They knew what was going on and everybody is exactly right. The NBA owners, his fellow owners are as much at fault here as Donald Sterling.

COSTELLO: OK, so Brian, last question to you. You're a season ticket holder of the Clippers. Some people have suggested that season ticket holders should boycott the games. Fans should boycott the games. Is that the right road to take?

CLAYPOOL: No, Carol. I'll tell you why. Billy Crystal is a die-hard Clipper fan just like I am. He sent out a great tweet. He said "Donald Sterling owns the Clippers but they belong to us." So we're going to be at that game tomorrow night and we're going to 100 percent support the Clippers. I will tell you in terms of next year, I have already given them a deposit.

If Donald Sterling is the owner of the Clippers next year, I'm out. I want my deposit back. And trust me, if he's still the owner next year, the Clippers will be dismantled and there will be no Los Angeles Clippers next year.

COSTELLO: For the players, Brian, and you're a rabid fan. I know what it's like to cheer for a team that's not been so good over the years, right, because I'm a Detroit Lions fan.

JACKSON: They're getting better, Carol.

COSTELLO: They are getting better -- yes, they are. They'll be good next year I'm sure.

But Brian, the players. They turn their jerseys inside out so the Clippers name wouldn't show on their T-shirts. I really feel for them because now they finally made the playoffs. They are so excited. They worked so hard. And then this happens. And now they're ashamed to be on the court.

CLAYPOOL: Carol, absolutely. Let me share a story with you. I sit in the same row. I have the privilege of sitting in the same row as Chris Paul's family. Two seats to the left of me are his parents, his wife, his beautiful son and I will tell you, the most humble family you will ever meet.

The parents still live in North Carolina, Carol. You would think most people would pack up and run to L.A. in a heartbeat. They still live in North Carolina. They love it there. Chris Paul's dad worked at his grandfather's gas station for many years. Very humble family. Does Donald Sterling even know that? He doesn't even take the time to know his players. Does Donald Sterling realize that Doc Rivers, the head coach, is married to a white woman? Does Donald Sterling realize that Alvin Gentry, his assistant coach, is married to a white woman? Are you kidding me? Does he realize that I have a little girl that's 50 percent Mexican and she goes to the games with me? It's despicable.

COSTELLO: Joey Jackson, Terence Moore, Brian Claypool -- thanks to all of you. I appreciate it.

JACKSON: thank you Carol.

COSTELLO: I'm back after a break.


COSTELLO: Thank you for joining me. I'm Carol Costello.