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ISIS Seizes Air Base as U.S. Considers New Strikes; American Journalist Peter Theo Curtis Released by Terror Group; Coverage of Michael Brown's Funeral; Celebrities Pay Tribute to Michael Brown at Funeral; Liberia Quarantines Thousands to Stop Ebola

Aired August 25, 2014 - 19:00   ET


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, the growing terror threat from ISIS and the Obama administrations conflicting messages. Is the threat to the U.S. beyond anything we've ever seen or is the homeland not yet at risk?

Plus, an American is free tonight after being held in Syria by terrorists for nearly two years. Why was he spared just days after another American was brutally killed there?

And remembering Michael Brown, a community and some very famous faces paying their respects in St. Louis today. Will they be a catalyst for real change? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Jim Sciutto in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the terror group, ISIS, is making terrifying new gains. Their latest victory, taking control of a key military air base in Syria.

U.S. officials tell CNN the Pentagon is now preparing options for airstrikes against ISIS targets inside Syria and Syria says it is ready to work with the U.S. and the international community against ISIS.

The question now, will the president take the U.S. war against ISIS to Syria. And might the U.S. fight alongside the government the administration had sworn to remove. We begin tonight with Jim Acosta. He is at the White House.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Still spreading terror, ISIS fighters can another conquest, this time an air base in Northern Syria. But the White House now appears to be down playing expectations for military action in Syria right away.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Chairman Dempsey talked about it over the weekend. He indicated that according to intelligence assessments, there is no evidence of an active plot right now. That said, we are well aware of the threat posed by ISIL.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was pointing to a comment made by Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Demsy who said ISIS in Syria does not pose a threat against the U.S. homeland.

I can tell you with great clarity and certainty Dempsey said, that if that threat existed inside of Syria that it would certainly be my strong recommendation that we would deal with it.

That's different than what Dempsey and other administration official said last week after the beheading of American journalist, James Foley.

CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: This is beyond anything that we've seen. So we must prepare for everything.

GENERAL MARTIN DEMPSEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Can they be defeated without addressing that part of the organization, which resides in Syria? The answer is no.

ACOSTA: Earnest acknowledge, the semantics matter.

(on camera): That seems to be a different question than does ISIS pose a national security threat to the United States.

EARNEST: Correct.

ACOSTA: The answer is what?

EARNEST: We are concerned about the threat that's posed by ISIL.

ACOSTA: In the middle of the White House briefing, one of the president's chief foreign policy critics, Senator Lindsey Graham, tweeted, "The White House Tom aides are making one thing clear. President won't seek from al-Assad to airstrikes.

Tell that to Syria's foreign minister who said this cooperation should be done through the Syrian government as it is a symbol of national sovereignty. Any violation of Syrian sovereignty from any party is aggression.

But that would put the president in the position of becoming strange bed fellows with a regime he nearly went to war with a year ago.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We would have preferred Assad go two years ago, last year, six months ago, or two months ago.


ACOSTA: And the White House said today that president has not made any decisions yet on taking military action against ISIS targets inside Syria. That of course does not mean the Pentagon is not drawing up those options. Jim as you know, those preparations do take time -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: No question. Jim Acosta at the White House. Joining me now, Retired Colonel Peter Mansoor. He served as executive officer to General David Petraeus during the surge in Iraq.

And Shadi Hamid, he is a fellow with the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. Colonel, it would be great to start with you. I have spoken with U.S. officials who privately will tell me they don't truly know what the U.S. strategy is for dealing with ISIS. Is there a strategy that you can see here?

COL. PETER MANSOOR, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I don't think so. Not yet at any rate. I think the president is getting his advisors and collecting the options. But I don't think he has decided on a strategy.

I don't think they've decided on whether ISIS is a threat to the United States and I don't think they've decided if they are going to help the Iraqis and the Kurds beyond the minimal assistance we have already offered. So right now, there's no strategy. There could be one in the future. Let's hope so.

SCIUTTO: Shadi, as you know, the president considered and rejected military action in Syria before. Whether it was to strike chemical weapons facilities or to arm the moderate rebels there. Congress didn't support it. The American people didn't support it. That's what the administration said.

So nothing was done. In your view, did that failure to act, failure to try to end the civil war, but also strike ISIS earlier did that make ISIS stronger today?

SHADI HAMID, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, CENTER FOR MIDDLE EAST POLICY: Yes. I think our failure to intervene in 2012 will be remembered as one of many original sins, and perhaps the most important one in the Middle East. And I worry that will haunt us for decades to come.

Because right now, we can talk about air strikes, but a lot of the damage has already been done. There was an opportunity in 2012 to boost mainstream rebel forces, who are clashing with ISIS on a regular basis and continues to clash with ISIS on a regular basis.

And they've been literally begging for U.S. assistance, but it hasn't been forthcoming. So now we find ourselves in this very odd position where we might actually, not cooperate with Assad directly, but in effect act as his air force.

Because -- right new, the two dominant actors are ISIS and the Assad regime in Syria. So for hurting one, the other is going to benefit. That's just the reality of the situation now.

That why I think we have to look at the alternative, which is finding a way it boost a third force in Syrian society, which is the beleaguered mainstream Syrian rebels.

SCIUTTO: Which has been outgunned, outfought by ISIS and others there. Colonel Mansoor, I've had briefings with U.S. intelligence officials, they've told me in no uncertain terms that Syria today is in effect in an intelligence black hole for U.S. officials.

Because they haven't had relationships with a lot of those groups on the ground. In your view, to truly strike at is inside Syria, does the U.S. need boots on the ground to fight this threat? MANSOOR: I believe that we will eventually have to put Special Forces into Syria, embedded with the free Syrian army, that moderate faction as well as knitting together an alliance of Sunni tribes that span the Syrian-Iraqi border and rekindle the awakening that did so much to destroy al Qaeda and Iraq.

Al Qaeda and Iraq, the forerunner to ISIS back during the surge in 2006, 2007, and 2008. So it will be boots on the ground, but it will be the green berets and not conventional forces.

SCIUTTO: Shadi, you heard earlier today, the Syrian foreign minister saying something fairly remarkable, that the Assad government is willing to cooperate with the U.S. A government that has sworn to defeat it, remove it in effect to stop ISIS.

But here is what Obama administration officials including the president himself has been saying about Assad for the past four years. Have a listen to this.


OBAMA: The regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end.

SUSAN RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: The position of the United States has been and remains very clear and that is that Assad must go.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: You cannot save Syria from disintegration as long as Bashar al-Assad remains in power.


SCIUTTO: So we are in a remarkable situation now because of the threat from ISIS, at least the consideration here of whether the two sides can work together, this offer from the Syrian foreign minister. In your view, even while holding its nose with Assad, even share intelligence, to fight ISIS. Is that necessary in your view?

HAMID: There was a lot of good rhetoric about fighting the Assad regime, but there wasn't much policy follow through. I think as of last August, when we refrained from striking the Assad regime, the chemical weapons agreement was a God send for Assad because it made him, in a way, partner.

We relied on him to dismantle the chemical weapon. So I don't think we were ever really truly serious about fighting the Assad regime or defeating it. Now where we are now, I think that we have to avoid any kind of cooperation, tacid or direct.

Because the Assad regime is one of the root causes of the rise of ISIS from day one. So it would be kind of odd if we allied with the root of the cause to address the symptom.

And I worry that that's the kind of short term thinking that we're following back into. We have to be thinking about the medium to long- term consequences of any alliance with the Assad regime.

SCIUTTO: Right. Tactical decisions, not strategic decisions. Thanks very much to Shadi Hamid at Brookings and Peter --

HAMID: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: -- Mansoor as well, great to have you both on.

OUTFRONT next, officials zeroing in on the terrorist, who brutally beheaded American James Foley. The methods being used to track that man down.

Plus Michael Brown's funeral draw some 4,500 mourners, will repeated calls for change truly be answered?

And in Northern California, 6.0 magnitude earthquake is followed by dozens of aftershocks. They're expected to continue now for weeks.


SCIUTTO: Tonight, intelligence agencies say they are zeroing in on the masked man in this grizzly video. The terrorist who beheaded American James Foley. Foley is seen kneeling next to the man dressed in black and speaking with what appears to be an English accent.

Then a surprising development just days after Foley's death, another American held by terrorists, Peter Curtis, he goes free. Tonight, Curtis' relatives relieved and grateful saying that after nearly two years he seems to be in good health.

Nick Paton Walsh is OUTFRONT in London with more.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After a week of horror finally some good news. An American held hostage in Syria by Islamist rebels for nearly two years is free.

The 45-year-old, Peter Theo Curtis, a freelance author and journalist, released Sunday after being held by the Alnuzra Front, a Syrian rebel group with ties to al Qaeda.

His family thanking the governments of the U.S. and Qatar for their efforts while the U.S. has denied any involvement and details about his release are unclear.

Curtis was handed over to United Nations peacekeepers in the Golan Heights, but then released him to U.S. government officials.


WALSH: These videos show Curtis during his last few months in captivity. In this video, a rebel points a gun at his head while Curtis speaks rapidly as if under duress. Curtis was captured near the Syrian-Turkey border in October 2012 and held in Aleppo with American journalist, Matthew Schener.

The two locked up for months before planning their escape. Schener breaking free through a window with Curtis' help. Curtis however got stuck trying to escape.

MATTHEW SCHRIER, FREELANCE PHOTOJOURNALIST KIDNAPPED IN SYRIA: I'm pulling him and pulling him as hard as I could. We weren't making headway, making too much noise. And Windows were open, and sun was coming up.

WALSH: And you today leave him.

SCHRIER: Yes. Yes, that was one of the hardest thing I ever had to do. I'm not going to have closure until he is home.

WALSH: Curtis' release comes just five days after ISIS released a video of one of its militant's beheading American journalist James Foley. On Sunday, his parents releasing a letter on facebook, that they say composed in captivity. He talked about sharing one cell with 17 others. And playing games made up of scraps they found. Foley had fellow hostage memorize the letter dictating it to his family upon release.

British officials close to identify ISIS militant responsible for the beheading. Experts say he speaks with a distinctly British accent. Investigators making headway using clues in the video to pinpoint the killer out of hundreds of hundreds of British-Muslims who joined ISIS.

PETER WESTMACOTT, BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: We are putting a great deal of resource into identifying this person. I think we're not far away from that.


WALSH: Now Jim, that video may not be as simple as it sound. Some forensic experts we have spoken to, point out that the man who gives the speech in English is different in physique to the man who appears to carry out the beheading. They are both carrying different designs of knife. The knife left sadly on the deceased body, very different than the knife held by the man giving the English speech. That could suggest two different characters in that video. That will just complicate the investigation --.

SCIUTTO: Nick Paton Walsh in London.

And not only are there clues to pinpoint the killer, there are also looking for clues from the video to determine exactly where Foley's murder took place. Elliott Higgins, he is an investigative blogger believes that he has located the exact spot where this video was shot, outside of Raqqa in Syria. It is really incredible piece of detective work. These are details that he focused in on behind. The thing behind Foley and his killer in the distance.

Let's get to some of them closer here. The first one here, what appears it be a road going over the mountains in the distance. There were two angles to the camera. Here is another look at that road. He compared that to this road here near Raqqa, cutting through the mountains.

He also noticed another detail, a dip in the mountains here. Gets a bit lower and reveals details, fields, a community in the background. He compared that same dip in the mountains, slight drop in altitude. Here, if you will remember, is where the road was. Here is the dip in the mountains.

And one more final detail. And that is here. From another camera angle, you can see some of the details off in the distance revealed by that dip in the mountains. Some features from farm fields there. Buildings. Blurry but possibly identifiable. He looked at another Google map from Google map here. And now, you bring the three clues together. Here, the road cutting through the mountains. Here, the dip through the mountains. And from one camera angle, some of the features that he saw opt field, some buildings that zeroed in to this spot where he believes very close to Rafah (ph), that's an ISIS strong hold in Syria. That spot where he believes this very memorable unforgettable grizzly murder took place.

I want to bring in Christopher Dickey now. He is Foreign editor of the "Daily Beast," as well as senior CNN counterterrorism analyst Phillip Mudd. He used to be with the CIA.

Christopher, I want to bring you in first. I mean, this is really an incredible piece of detective work going on here. One pinpointing possibly the location where this took place which frankly makes sense. Near Mount Raqqa. It is an ISIS strong hold. But also as you heard, British official say now closer to who is the killer maybe.

How valuable is that investigation? And I wonder if there is a danger here. Because if you reveal, you know, the location, possibly, and you know the killer, doesn't that encourage them to go into hiding so you can't get them?

CHRISTOPHER DICKEY, FOREIGN EDITOR, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, yes. It changes the equation as far as they're concerned. If you know exactly who they are and where they are and they know you know, they are going to move. But the question here is what is called actionable intelligence. If the CIA or any other organization were able to put things together the way that belling cat this Web site put it together, which I hope they can do, the whole question would be, could they do it in time to catch the people in this location.

SCIUTTO: Before they move.

DICKEY: Before they move. I'm sure those people moved long ago. For one thing, we don't actually know when that was filmed. We know that it was filmed sometime in the last couple of weeks but we don't know exactly when. They certainly moved after they filmed it. They probably imagined that they could be tracked down that way.

Also, I think the next report from London was very interesting. This whole idea that we don't even know if the people in masks in the video whether it is one person, two people, whether it is the same knife, different knife. It is all a grotesque and in its way a very theatrical event that has made to manipulate us. And it has been quite successful.

SCIUTTO: Absolutely. And it draw attention, no question in to what exactly they can do, the fear they can instill.

Phil, I wonder if I can go t you. I just ask you to help our viewers understand, just the stark difference in outcomes here because you have you James Foley brutally killed by ISIS. A few days later, another terrorist group, also Al Qaeda tied, releases an American safely in good health. How do you explain that incredible difference?

PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I think a couple of factors. First I'm not sure we have around the world an intermediary who can take to ISIS. But in the case of al-Nusra who just release a hostage, obviously, what we learned is the guttery's (ph) who are emerging on the globe at stage in Egypt and Afghanistan. As people who want to be players, the Guttery's (ph) have proven to have in roads into extremists across the Middle East that they are willing to use. So I'm sure that's what happened in this case.

The second interesting factor here, Jim, is believe it or not, beheading among the extremist that I used t follow with CIA has seen as fringe. It seen as the extreme among extremists. My guess is al- Nusra might have seen some of the reaction against the beheading from their rivals, ISIS, and said we don't want anything to do with that. We want to be differentiated from the fringe. And so we are going to release this hostage.

SCIUTTO: Yes. It is incredible to think that, you know, this group which was ISIS excommunicated in effect as by Al Qaeda for being too radical. Too radical even for Al Qaeda. Just incredible to think about.

Chris, I want to ask a question about Qatar's involvement here. Erin has done a lot of reporting, as you know, about Qatar help fund terror group. She spoke to Juan Zarate, former security advisor for combating terrorism. And she asked about this link. Have a listen.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST, OUTFRONT: How big of a player is Qatar?

JUAN ZARATE, FORMER SECURITY ADVISOR FOR COMBATING TERRORISM: Qatar is at the center of this. They have taken their place if the lead of countries supporting Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda-related groups.


SCIUTTO: So what do you make of Qatar's role on this? It's an ally. There is a U.S. airbase in Qatar. We have worked with them on a number of things. And yet Qatar is very close relationships arming, funding some of the more radical groups in this fight. How do you balance that?

DICKEY: I'm not going to defend the Qatari position. It is a very complex position and hard to defend in certain aspects. But what Phil is saying is exactly right. When he said, you've got to have somebody that can talk to these people. And Qatar can talk to them. Qatar isn't so much or toward supporting terrorism. What it clearly has done is support the Muslim brotherhood. Maybe that's a terrorist organization, the way the new dictator and Egypt says it is. Maybe it's not.

But that is the length that's been important to Qatar. Not the link to Al Qaeda. And that is the thing that they've been playing on. Now some of these groups are on the fringes of the Muslim brotherhood but not ISIS. And it I think that the real problem is that ISIS is beyond the pale. And it is not being funded by Qatar. It is being funded by its own oil wells, by kidnapping, by smuggling. It is incredibly rich and incredibly independent.

SCIUTTO: Some estimates of them making a million dollars a day from extortion, from oil et cetera.

DICKEY: And that's what makes them so dangerous.

SCIUTTO: Absolutely.

Phil, I wonder if I can ask you this. Can we assume some exchange is made to secure the release of Curtis. Whether it was money, arms, other forms of support. And if so, what kind of message that sends and frankly does it make other Americans more likely to be taken hostage in the future.

MUDD: I doubt that the exchange is as blatant. As somebody was saying we will give you $10 million if you release a hostage. But I think, assuming or judge, that the gatryes (ph) with their relationship with al-Nusra didn't say something like, hey, weapons flows coming into you. You might jeopardize those weapons flows if you don't do something here.

I mean, they've got leverage. Assuming they didn't have to have leverage to have this hostage released I think is a little bit naive. And I doubt it went as far as laying out a bunch of money on the table and say we will pay for a hostage.

SCIUTTO: And to be clear that is something that he U.S. said it will not do. Whereas European governments have done as paying as much as $2, $3, $4, there are $5 million for their release.

Thanks very much to Phil Mudd. Always good to have you. Christopher Dickey.

OUTFRONT next, nearly 5,000 mourners now for Michael Brown's funeral in St. Louis today. Many of those in attendance calling for action for change, real change, including Bishop TD Jakes who joins me next.

Plus, the Ebola death toll is on the rise. In one hot zone, there was no running water, there is no sanitation, there is no way out. Today we are live from lie Liberia.


SCIUTTO: Tonight, emotions running high in Missouri. After thousands gather to say good-bye to 18-year-old Michael Brown. Forty five hundred people came to remember the life of the unarmed black teen shot and killed by a police officer. So many turned out in fact at least 2,000 people took part in overflow areas outside the church. Today was an opportunity to pay tribute to Michael.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael was a big guy. He was a kind gentle soul. And before he left this earth, the day that he was killed, he ka was out spreading the word of Jesus Christ.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Brown's blood is crying from the ground. Crying for vengeance. Crying for justice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His death is not a dying. I want to say to Mike, that I love you.


SCIUTTO: Well, celebrities and politicians including three officials from the White House attended today's funeral. After weeks of protest and unrest, Brown's family calls for a day of peace. And that calls so far appears to have been heated. Michael Brown's mother wiped away tears as she stood at her son's coffins. She also wrote a letter to Michael in the funeral program that said, quote, "A son like you I thought you could never be because the day you were born I just know God sent me a blessing, and that was you."

Michael's father also wrote a letter to him in part. It read, "I always told you I will never let anything happen to you. And that's what hurts so much. I couldn't protect you, but we love you. I will never let you die in my heart. You will always live forever."

David Mattingly is OUTFRONT from Ferguson, Missouri.

David, powerful emotional words from Michael Brown's parents -- as a father myself, I found them difficult to read.

I wonder what others are saying there that you've met about today's funeral.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, much the same way that Michael Brown was killed, the way he is being remembered care carries man y different messages for many different people. Those messages are picked up by some very recognizable figures and being sent out to audiences of millions.


MATTINGLY (voice-over): With the nation watching, there was no doubt the funeral for Michael Brown would be more than just a family affair, but also seated for the services, big names in film and music, each one with the potential to reach audiences of millions -- all sharing in the family's grief and in the community's outrage.

EMILY HEIL, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: You're talking about celebrities who are tweeting their way through this entire scene. And they have thousands of Twitter followers. And they are reaching young people who aren't necessarily getting their information from CNN.

MATTINGLY: And the narrative is already beginning to emerge. In attendance, filmmaker, Spike Lee, who just days ago said this to CNN.

SPIKE LEE, FILMMAKER: I just think there's a war on the black male and it is tearing the country apart, in my opinion.

MATTINGLY: Lee today tweeted out this Instagram picture with the words, "Our brother Mike Brown's St. Louis Cardinals hat lays upon his casket."

It's a powerful image aimed at 602,000 Twitter followers.

And that's a fraction of the 3.4 million following recording artist MC Hammer who also attended. He tweeted in the moment about a personal reaction, "Riding through St. Louis, the outpouring love and respect for Mike Brown's family is overwhelming, people with their hands and fists up."

HEIL: You have creative people looking at this news as it unfolds. And one of the things that is so fascinating about celebrities getting involved in this particular moment is that these are moments, this is a news event that's still unfolding. And so, they are kind of filtering it in real-time.

MATTINGLY: This is not the first celebrity involvement on the streets of Ferguson. Grammy Award winning recording artist and St. Louis native Nelly made an appeal for peace. Rapper Benzino went visited the spot where Michael Brown was killed.

BENZINO, RAPPER: What's going on in Ferguson is history.

MATTINGLY: And actor Hill Harper spoke to local teens, telling them a story of Michael Brown, a man about their age, who was killed by police.

HILL HARPER, ACTOR: And I want to have a discussion with you all, not only about that, but moreover, about the future. About what's next.


MATTINGLY: And that appeal for what's next is that relentless call for change and that appeal for change seems to resonate a little wider with every tweet that we see from celebrities -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: David Mattingly, thank you.

Bishop TD Jakes attended Michael Brown's funeral today. And he is OUTFRONT tonight. He is the founder and pastor of the Potter's House in Dallas, which has more than 30,000 members and more than 50 outreach ministries.

Bishop Jakes, very good to have you with us tonight.

T.D. JAKES, FOUNDER AND SENIOR PASTOR, POTTER'S HOUSE: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be with you.

SCIUTTO: Why do you think it is important for you and other leaders to make their presence felt today at Michael Brown's funeral? JAKES: Well, I think we have been riveted across this nation by the trauma that has occurred in that community, and in that city. And wherever there is pain and hurting family, wounded people, the pastor, I think it is very appropriate I should be there. But I think all leaders should really take part and notice when we see issues and scenes that are reminiscent of the '60s playing out before our eyes again. We have to be careful that nothing allows history to repeat itself.

SCIUTTO: Looking at this case, and still so many questions to be answered, but you blame Michael Brown's death in part on racial profiling in America. I'm very aware of the statistics for instance, disproportionate number of blacks for instance stopped and frisked by police versus whites. But looking at this case, when do you have such conflicting eyewitness accounts here, isn't it too early to make that judgment that racial profiling in this case was too to blame?

JAKES: Well, I think this place becomes the conduit which we can look at the state of America in general. We're going to continue to have these individual cases. If we take them as one off and don't see them as propensity to perpetuate itself in our country, then we won't do the analysis properly to dismiss it.

The reality is so many communities, not always divided by race, sometimes by class, by economics, by education, are not having the same experience that some others of us are having and we have to make it an equal playing field, particularly when it comes jobs, education and justice.

SCIUTTO: After Michael Brown was killed, you wrote something very powerful about your own three sons. As a father, it struck me in particular. I just want to read one line for that for our viewers. You wrote that "unlike the majority of parents I now have the added burden of knowing recent events placed my sons squarely on the endangered list."

Those are very powerful words that's ominous words. Explain why you have that fear.

JAKES: Most people, most African-Americans, and most minorities have to train their children to the realities that they have to be careful how they respond, how they react. And because we see so many images flashing on our television and elsewhere, police officers are human. Most of them are very, very good. And I'm not suggesting that this one is bad.

But in the flash of a moment, we bring to the table our differences, our ideas, our fears, our inhibitions and so, we have to train our children to be a little extra careful and a little bit more cautious because they are the presumption that you might because you dress or look a certain way, that you act a certain way. And that's in all communities, but with particularly, in the African-American community. It's a reality that every American parent deals with and should deal with everyday.

SCIUTTO: It's a daunting reality, certainly, you know, the country addressed issues like this before. You had it with Trayvon Martin. You had it with Jordan Davis, so-called loud music case when they were killed. And it strikes me that there is often lofty talk for a time after these events. But you don't see real change followed through on.

In this case, how do you -- how do communities, how do leaders convert the attention this case has attracted into real national and community change?

JAKES: I think that there is a much bigger dialogue to have than this one individual case. It centers around the extreme difference in the amount of diversity that has been filtrated into the police department's in certain communities. I think we need to do a reboot and check those diversity trainings, level of preparation that's going into officers that perpetuate that are pointed towards certain communities to make sure they have a good standing of the communities they serve. We have done it in corporate America. We need to do it in our law enforcement agencies as well.

SCIUTTO: Well, it's a real hope. I certainly share that thought. Hope that there is follow-through and the conversation continues.

Thanks very much, Bishop Jakes.

JAKES: A real pleasure. Thank you, sir.

SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT next, a new strain of Ebola pops up 2,000 miles away from the strain that has killed nearly 1,500 people. We're going to go live in Liberia.

In northern California, the clean-up begins after a major earthquake. Losses will likely top $1 billion.


SCIUTTO: Welcome back.

Tonight, the Ebola virus is spreading. A fifth African country is now reporting cases of the deadly disease. Two people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have now tested positive. And this is another strain of the virus than the one that has already killed nearly 1,500 people across West Africa. Right now, Liberia, has been the hardest hit, more than a thousand cases reported so far there alone.

Our Nima Elbagir reports what life is like in a quarantine zone.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On the drive into West Point, you're met with barbed wire and barricaded shops. And at the quarantine line, angry residents congregating to stare down police.

Crossing through the line, you are immediately swarmed. People desperate to be heard.

Desperate to believe this isn't happening. At a rough of the estimate there are over 70,000 people living in the

Monrovia's West Point zone. No sanitation, no running water, and since the government designated an Ebola quarantine zone last week, no way out. This was after a rise (INAUDIBLE) Ebola center claiming the virus was a government hoax.

(on camera): Were you here when the clinic was --

(voice-over): A nurse told us she arrived at her shift to find the center destroyed and not a patient to be found.

(on camera): You can see the center is not extraordinarily well- equipped. They are having to rewash their protective gear, a square of diluted bleach and a door that was ransacked and left for broken during the riots. This is it. This is the only place people have.

And even here, the most that they can hope to get is to be made comfortable while they wait to either overcome the virus or not.

Charming is a hair dresser. Like many here in West Point, she has to travel out of the township to make a living, the only breadwinner for her two children.

CHARMING FALLAH, WEST POINT RESIDENT (through translator): Right now, my mother doesn't have anything. I was the one that provided for her. As time goes by, now she is complaining the rice is finished.

ELBAGIR (on camera): Are you more scared of Ebola or are you more scared of the hunger?

FALLAH: That's what is worrying us. The hunger. The Ebola. Everything. I'm scared of everything.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): Charming leaves us. She is going to see if her mother is right, if the food really has run out. As we walk back out on to the street, the crowd has grown larger. At the quarantine line, the stand-off continues, desperate to at least be seen and heard, if not released.


SCIUTTO: Nima, I'm sure for some of our viewers as well, it is concerning to see you cross that quarantine line but health workers have to as well. How did health workers treating people inside the quarantine zone, how did they make sure they are safe? That they don't pick up the disease?

ELBAGIR: Well, that is the heartbreak of this outbreak, Jim. It's the people on the front line trying to get the help, the aid workers, health work, the care givers in the community, these are the ones hardest hit by this crisis. They are the ones contracting Ebola.

For most of the rest of us, as long as you're not coming into direct physical contact with someone, in a situation that's so changeable like if West Point, you can't always control that. But generally, as long as you are not touching someone who has contracted the disease, you're OK. But when you see the risks other people are taking, Jim, unfortunately, you have to go in and do what you can.

SCIUTTO: Well, Nima, it is great to have you there. It is the sad part of the story that the people needed most are the ones who are often paying the heaviest price, the health workers.

Great to have you. Thanks very much, Nima.

OUTFRONT next: an earthquake ravages the heart of wine country. Precious pinot noire and cabernet, now grapes of wrath.

And three teens pull a dizzying stunt, 1,100 feet in the air for a selfie. Fearless? Or foolish?


SCIUTTO: Now, we're going to check in with Anderson Cooper with a look at what's ahead on "AC360".

Anderson, what do you got tonight?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "AC360": Yes, Jim. We're on a special two-hour edition of "AC360", starting at the top of the hour. Obviously, the funeral for Michael Brown. We'll cover that. The family and friends to say good-bye to the man they knew as Mike Mike. We'll hear from his mom, Lesley McSpadden, ahead on the program. McSpadden sat down with the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Sean Bell who was killed by police in New York City in 2006. I'll also speak with Michael Brown's cousin, Eric Davis, along with Benjamin Crump, the family attorney.

Also ahead tonight, the strongest earthquake in 25 years struck Napa Valley outside San Francisco. CNN's Gary Tuchman is there, speaking with a number of families who escaped with their lives. They lost nearly everything else, though.

All that and more at the top of the hour -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: All right. We're going to be watching. Thanks very much, Anderson.

Tonight, the ground continues to shake in Northern California. Aftershocks, a harsh reminder of Sunday's earthquake, the strongest to rock the Napa area in 25 years. You're looking at pictures of heavily damaged church in Vallejo, California. Authorities fear it could collapse at any moment and the damage could cost the region $1 billion.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT tonight in Napa Valley.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Across Napa Valley, forklifts recover wine barrels and winemakers like Mike Drash are getting a firsthand look at the damages. We're warned to move fast and get out.

Here's why. Barrel after barrel, entire stacks of them, precariously tilting.

JAY SCHUPPERT, CUVAISON WINERY: A big pile that's stacked up back there where they've fallen off the racks.

LAH: This is Drash's precious 2012 vintage.

MIKE DRASH, WINEMAKER: That's my wine.

LAH: Each of these worth $10,000 to $24,000.

DRASH: These are full. That's really dangerous right there.

LAH: There's some white wine on the ground. But until he can get all the barrels out and see them, Drash just won't know what he's lost. It took him two years to go from grape to wine. Now in the balance after the short but powerful quake.

DRASH: It's unbelievable. Just in ten seconds, right? Fifteen seconds.


DRASH: Yes, yes, it's making me nervous in here too.

LAH: Drash is not just a winemaker in Napa Valley. This is the historic home he owns near downtown Napa, dating back to the 1800s.

DRASH: Pretty much everywhere you look is a crack, a sizable crack.

LAH: How Drash recovers from all this as well as everyone in his neighborhood and city --

DRASH: Wow. That's bad.

LAH: Like everything in Napa, it comes down to the wine. There is spotty damage across the city to what's already been bottled like in Ahmet Coskun's wine storage room.

AHMET COSKUN, NAPKINS BAR & GRILL: Be careful. Don't touch a thing.

LAH (on camera): How many bottles are we talking about?

COSKUN: Hundreds and hundreds. I would say maybe over a thousand bottles.

LAH (voice-over): Vineyards like Sebastiani Winery saw 19 of its tanks damaged, but in many vineyards like Cuvaison Winery, they're optimistic they can absorb this earthquake damage, and it won't have a lasting impact on California's wines.

SCHUPPERT: It hurts but, you know, we're in agriculture. You know, we're dealing with these things vintage by vintage. We only have one shot at making wine every year then we move on. Mother Nature sometimes plays a role.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SCIUTTO: So, Kyung, looking at that loss, you see this in the price tag of wines?

LAH: It depends what you want to drink. The bigger wineries will probably be able to absorb it, the smaller wine producers are the one who are really going to struggle if they lost a lot of barrels. We have spoken to a company called They're actually thinking about, Jim, crowdfunding, a solution for some of those guys.

SCIUTTO: All right. We may contribute.

Thanks very much to Kyung Lah. She's in Napa.

OUTFRONT next, three teens go to great heights for the perfect selfie. Jeanne Moos is right after this.


SCIUTTO: There's really no way to explain this next story, except to say, simply, three teens scaled a 73-story skyscraper for a selfie, and a snack. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sometimes your eyes speak louder than your mouths.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did he get up on top of that building?

MOOS: But all we hear is the wind. No explanation for how these three got on top of Hong Kong's fifth tallest building to take what's being described as the world's scariest selfie.

That's photographer Daniel Lao (ph) holding a selfie stick that's holding the camera on top of the 73-story building known as The Center.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It would make me dizzy.



MOOS: The video ends when Daniel seems to get a text message.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He probably got great reception up there.

MOOS (on camera): But maybe, just maybe, there are more layers to this story than meet the eye.

(voice-over): Who eats bananas 1,135 feet in the sky?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would be throwing up bananas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They might as well have a snack. I mean --


MOOS (on camera): Energy?


MOOS: Potassium.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Potassium, exactly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a Guinness Book of World record stunt. They want to be the highest people ever to eat a banana.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're acting like they're King Kong.

MOOS (voice-over): Interesting. That was no banana King Kong was clutching.

Some theorize there's a more serious connection to primates that this is an anti-racism message.

This past spring, Spanish soccer fans threw bananas at Brazilian players they perceived as black. When it happened again during a Spanish league match, defender Dani Alves picked up the banana and took a bite. It turns out the players had already consulted with an ad agency and thus was born #WeAreAllMonkeys campaign, featuring players and regular folks tweeting photos of themselves eating bananas to make their anti-racism point.

So, was this a high altitude snack or a message?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That feels like a long way up to go eat a banana.

MOOS: Hope they didn't just drop the peels.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


SCIUTTO: A selfie with a message.

"AC360" starts right now.