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FBI Investigating Beheading In Oklahoma; CNN Captures ISIS Firefight; Hagel: "Assad Has Lost All Legitimacy"; New Airstrikes In Syria; UVA Suspect in Jail, Being Processed; Doctor Using HIV Drug to Treat Ebola Patients

Aired September 26, 2014 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, the FBI tonight investigating a beheading in the United States. Police say the suspect converted to Islam. Now they are looking at whether he's an ISIS copycat.

Plus more breaking news, new airstrikes over ISIS targets in Syria are happening as I speak. A fire fight with ISIS on the border of Syria and Turkey caught on camera live only here on CNN.

A man wanted in the disappearance of a UVA student returning to Virginia at this hour. But tonight, where is Hannah Graham? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT on this Friday night, breaking news, a beheading on American soil. Tonight, the FBI investigating a grisly murder at a food processing plant in Moore, Oklahoma.

According to police, the suspect, a 30-year-old Alton Nolan walked into the plant with a knife and beheaded the first person he saw. Prior to being fired, witnesses tell police Nolan was trying to convert co-workers to Islam.

In a moment, we are going to speak to Sergeant Jeremy Lewis from the Moore Oklahoma Police Department on the moving developments in this case. But first, Martin Savidge with the story.


UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: It sounds like he's running around out here. That's a gunshot.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Horror in Oklahoma. Police say a knife wielding man stormed the offices of Vaughn Foods killing the first person he saw, 54-year-old Colleen Hufford, cutting off her head.

SGT. JEREMY LEWIS, MOORE POLICE DEPARTMENT: He encountered the first victim and began assaulting her with a knife. He did kill Colleen and did sever her head.

SAVIDGE: According to police, the suspect then began attacking a second woman when he was shot and stopped by an armed company executive who was also a reserve sheriff's deputy.

LEWIS: It could have gotten a lot worse. This guy definitely was not going to stop. He didn't stop until he was shot.

SAVIDGE: Initially, the attack was described as a workplace dispute. The 30-year-old Alton Nolan seen here in a mug shot from a previous arrest had just been fired by the company that day. But the police investigation has turned up some red flags, causing some to wonder if there may be more to the attack.

Authorities believed Nolan converted to Islam and tried to convince others at work to join him. Recent calls by the Islamic State asking sympathizers to strike back inside nations.

Now part of the coalition out to destroy the terrorist organization had law enforcement agencies across the country on alert looking for so-called lone wolf threats.

In Oklahoma, the FBI is now investigating Nolan's social media footprint, trying to determine if this vicious, deadly rage was revenge over a lost job or a faraway conflict that has now hit the heartland?


SAVIDGE: Erin, we should point out that Alton Nolan actually survived being shot by law enforcement. He's in the hospital recovering. He may have the answers that law enforcement both local and federal need to know.

BURNETT: All right, Martin Savidge, thank you. Sergeant Jeremy Lewis is with the Moore, Oklahoma Police Department. He is OUTFRONT tonight. Sergeant, what more can you tell us about what took place inside that food distribution center?

LEWIS: Once the subject was fired from his position, they were actually in a different location. The human resources building is separate. He got in his vehicle, drove to the main entrance of the business, hitting a vehicle, exited his vehicle.

As soon as he entered the business, he came in contact with the first victim and immediately attacked her and killed her, which ended up severing her head. He then went to the next victim and was attacking her.

You can hear on the 911 tapes, this all occurred very quickly as far as both attacks. The off duty deputy came into play shortly after he began attacking the second victim and ultimately shot him, stopping the attack.

BURNETT: When you talk about that he beheaded the first victim, I mean, it's horrific to hear, happening in the United States, in Oklahoma. Do you know what weapon he used?

LEWIS: He used a knife that, I believe, was provided at the business. They used this as a produce type, a large produce warehouse. They package and produce in this business, a very large facility. The knife was used in his line of work.

BURNETT: According to what you have said so far, I understand he had been released from prison in March of last year. Have you learned anything about what happened behind bars, anything that might have raised a red flag about what happened today?

LEWIS: All of those things, his past, you know, the past few years, the past few days are both being looked at by our detectives and also the FBI. The FBI is covering the portion of his background and getting more information on this individual and exactly what he has been involved in. That is part of the investigation and they have not given information at this time.

BURNETT: Have you been able to speak to him? Obviously he was shot, but he is alive. Has he been able to answer questions at this point?

LEWIS: The last word I have, which is an hour or so ago, is that he was coming out of sedation. They were going to attempt to begin interviewing him as soon as he was coherent enough to understand what was going on.

BURNETT: During this attack, did he say anything? You were talking there were a lot of witnesses. Did he say anything?

LEWIS: That also is part of an investigation. There's been reports that he had said something during the attack. I have not been given that information.

BURNETT: When Americans hear about a beheading in Oklahoma right now, it is shocking. It also of course brings to mind the recent incidents in Syria with ISIS, this horrific beheadings that have now happened to three people. Do you believe that it is possible that this was a copycat attack?

LEWIS: Once we started investigating this initially, and started finding out some of the things that he had been involved in, some of the things he had been saying, we immediately contacted the FBI and got them involved. It was obviously something we need assistance in that type of investigation.

BURNETT: I understand. When you say the things he had been doing and saying that caused you to bring in the FBI, what were those?

LEWIS: Well, he had just -- trying to convert fellow employees into Islam and then it gets into more detailed thing that officer are under investigation and are part of the reason why the FBI is involved and I'm sorry, but I can't comment on that.

BURNETT: I understand. Is it fair to say they are related to religion or not?

LEWIS: It would be fair to say they were related to the reason why we have the FBI involved, yes.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Sergeant Lewis. I appreciate your time tonight. LEWIS: Thank you.

BURNETT: I want to bring in CNN counterterrorism analyst, Phil Mudd. You heard the police department saying they brought in the FBI right away, in part because the suspect tried to convert people to Islam, because of the things that he said. Things that were related to that. What does that tell you?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Look, in this situation, I have a guess. My guess is we have an emotionally deranged individual who is fired from his job. He's seen TV, something on the Internet about beheadings, and this is the way to act.

What I think is irrelevant. If I'm in the FBI now, I'm on the edge of my chair. We started military action less than a week ago in Iraq and we have a beheading in the United States.

What you got to do is prove the negative. I want to know what's in his apartment, who he e-mailed, who he talked to, what he said on social media. I have to figure out whether what I suspect is that he's emotionally deranged is actually true. I don't know that yet.

BURNETT: To you, obviously, the fact that this is a beheading, it does look like a copycat attack. It's hard to imagine that it would be anything else. Obviously, we don't know at this point.

MUDD: I have to agree with you. You can't look at this and judge as anything other than a copycat attack. That's one of the reasons that you got to be worried if you are sitting in the FBI.

In some ways, it's irrelevant if it's directly connected to ISIS or not. We have an individual in this country whose seen ISIS videos and decided to use them in his own act of violence.

The thing I worry about, though, I go back to 10 to 15 years ago. I was evacuated from the White House office building after the anthrax attacks. I moved over six years later. I transitioned over to the FBI.

We were still getting anthrax hoax letters five, six, seven, eight years later after the fall of 2001. When you see unique incidences like this, you have to worry about copycats regardless if they are connected to ISIS.

BURNETT: All right, still shocking though to hear this.

MUDD: It is.

BURNETT: It's a week after those strikes began, but it is still shocking. Thank you very much, Phil.

OUTFRONT next, U.S. officials admit some senior al Qaeda linked militants may have survived the massive airstrikes in Syria.

Breaking news, the man wanted in the disappearance of the UVA student has just landed in Virginia. A live update on that. And the search for Hannah Graham this hour.

Go anywhere in the world in 30 minutes at more than 18,000 miles an hour. We are going to show you how to do it.


BURNETT: U.S. Central Command confirms there are new airstrikes going on at this moment. Fighters and bombers are in the air over Syria. This as U.S. officials confirm that at least some senior al Qaeda linked terror leaders survived earlier strikes in Syria.

Those strikes which were carried out on Monday night were intended expressly to take out those leaders. Part of a group called Khorasan, before they executed what officials called an imminent attack on the United States.

Also today American fighter jets took off on mission after mission from the "USS George W. Bush" in the Arabian Gulf. You're looking at footage we shot there today.

As fighting rage in Iraq and Syria, a remarkable moment was caught on camera. A CNN exclusive showing a fire fight between ISIS militants and Kurdish fighters as refugees who had fled ISIS stood by cheering.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ISIS has been making progress. A few more miles each day. Take a look at that.


BURNETT: CNN international correspondent, Phil Black, is OUTFRONT tonight. I mean, Phil, you were right in the middle of that fire fight and there were people behind you cheering as they got an advantage over ISIS. How far away were you from the fire fight?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, it was just a across the Syria/Turkey border behind me. Earlier, they were the scene of a fierce battle between ISIS forces attempting to advance through this region and local Kurdish fighters desperately trying to defend their homeland to slow the ISIS advance.

They were successful, to a degree. We saw those ISIS forces trying to advance down a hillside. They came under heavy fire. They were forced to pull back to a ridge drop. There, where they were seeking shelter, they came under heavy incoming fire.

The local Kurdish fighters were able to direct a line of fire at them. From a distance of a couple miles, we saw extraordinary scenes as the ISIS fighters took hits, they took casualties. Some were injured. We saw them carrying their fellow injured soldiers away.

Things were not going well for them. It was only toward the end of the day, as dusk was falling that they lost a taste for what they attempted to do and fell back further, behind the hill beyond our line of view.

It was an extraordinary battle. One that represents part of a general ISIS offensive through this region, towards a significant town, a few miles to the west of here. This major offensive by ISIS through this ethnically Kurdish controlled region has triggered a humanitarian crisis.

Last week, estimated some 200,000 refugees from Syria have crossed the border into Turkey here seeking shelter, fearing what ISIS would bring the brutality that they are so known for.

Some of them that we have been speaking to in recent days waited a little too long, waited until the very last moment. Actually seeing them, seeing the fighting. In some cases, describing situations to us where they lost loved ones through ISIS gunfire and artillery fire as well.

Now as ISIS is advancing here, the question that is being asked by this local Kurdish community, where are the international airstrikes and international air power that is striking ISIS across other areas of Syria -- Erin.

BURNETT: Of course, that is the crucial question. Incredible reporting from our Phil Black who is sitting there filming that fire fight as you can see just a couple miles away over the border into Syria.

He's talking the airstrikes and the questions the Kurdish refugees have, which is this fight is going on, where are the strikes when the fighters are there. U.S.-led coalition has launched more than 200 airstrikes in Iraq, 43 in Syria since the war against ISIS began.

The strikes hitting the enemies of Bashar Al-Assad. Earlier today, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the United States though still wants Assad gone.


CHUCK HAGEL, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There has been no coordination nor will there be with the Assad regime. This regime, President Assad has lost all legitimacy of the government.


BURNETT: The question is though, will the airstrikes ultimately end up helping the Assad regime stay in power? Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In war ravaged Syria, Bashar Al Assad is teetering on the brink, accused of using chemical weapons and unspeakable brutality against just people. It seems like a slight push by rebels will topple him. President Obama knows it.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Assad needs to go. FOREMAN: But that was in May of 2013 and this was in 2012.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: He needs to step down.

FOREMAN: And in 2011.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The call on Assad to step down.

FOREMAN: Now, America's new enemy number one in the region is ISIS and the Syrian equation has been turned upside down because ISIS also opposed Assad. That means if the U.S. led coalition defeats ISIS, Assad could benefit.

Assad's government is indirectly praising the U.S. led intervention saying Syria supports any international counterterrorism effort. No wonder some experienced military experts are looking at the opportunities a few years back.

ANTHONY CORDESMAN, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: That was a time, when if we had acted decisively, we might have seen a more moderate regime replace Assad.

FOREMAN: Now as missiles rain down on ISIS even some fighters in rebel groups, which is White House is counting on as potential allies in the ground war are sharply criticizing the campaign, suggesting it is already helping Assad. Will those ground troops pull together and have enough muscle to resume their struggle against Assad if ISIS falls?

CORDESMAN: There are tens of thousands of rebels who are not training and won't be in control yet. So the fact is none of us know where this is going.

FOREMAN: Assad is presiding over a wrecked country, facing harsh international sanctions, not enough jobs, fuel or back supplies. His bank accounts have been frozen. The U.S. administration still talks tough about him.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: You drop barrel bombs, gas people, and torture people. How do you imagine having a legitimacy to govern that country? This is not about Assad now. This is about ISIL.


FOREMAN: That seems to be the key to this equation right now, Erin. As long as ISIS and the United States vent their fury against each other, the Assad regime is getting a pass -- Erin.

BURNETT: Tom Foreman, thank you.

I want to bring in now Republican Congressman Ed Royce of California, the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Thank you for being with us, Chairman.

I want to ask you, Attorney General Eric Holder in an interview this afternoon with NBC News reiterating words that are very striking about the plot that those airstrikes were supposed to thwart.

Obviously we are now reporting tonight that some of those senior al Qaeda leaders survived that strike. He is saying that group was in the, quote, "execution phase of a plot."

Is there anything more you can tell us? That word execution, obviously, adding to the words they used, imminent. Not words Americans want to hear.

REPRESENTATIVE ED ROYCE (R), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: We know the key bomb maker for al Qaeda was involved or we suspect his involvement in a training program in which they were recruiting from the United States and from Europe, young men, in order to learn from some seasoned al Qaeda professionals who had this type of training.

New techniques in bomb making with a specific intent, as we have heard, of trying to hit jet liners and carry out attacks in the United States and in Europe. The reason these targets were picked for the attack was because they were the admissions facilities, the training centers, the barracks in which the young men were housed.

The attempt here is to disrupt the ability of al Qaeda to carry out that mission. They were brought down from senior al Qaeda actually gave the order to go into the region and, you know, meet with these young recruits.


ROYCE: That hold the western passports. That's the totality of what I know of the mission.

BURNETT: I want to ask you about those people with western passport that could be coming home now. On the issue of them being in an execution phase of a plot and we are learning today the senior members of al Qaeda survived the strikes, do we know at this point whether the plot was indeed disrupted?

ROYCE: Well, I think we presume it was disrupted. We do know some of the senior leadership were killed. You are right, some, apparently, survived the attack. The key now is to follow up, which is being done as we speak, with very high level of intensity through that region in order to try to saturate those who may have survived the first -- the first with additional attacks.

Also, our intelligence community will be able to tell us more about the extended nature of al Qaeda's other plans.

BURNETT: Do you believe the airstrikes are working, though? I know you supported that. Obviously, you said they targeted the facilities. Some of the senior leaders have survived. Are the airstrikes successful? Is that a fair word to use given that?

ROYCE: It's successful to say that many of the terrorists were taken out, not all of them. It is possible to say that. It is possible to say that that constitutes a certain measure of success and you can never expect I think to kill every al Qaeda operative.

To the extent that you degrade their forces is very, very helpful. That was done here. It has to be an ongoing effort of very intense campaign. A lot of it an air campaign, in which you do not allow them to regroup, have sanctuary. Certainly this particular facility has been taken off the map.

BURNETT: So I want to ask you about something you mentioned, which is people with western passports coming home, to the United States, in some cases. On Wednesday, the White House said dozens of Americans have traveled to Syria to fight.

On Thursday, the FBI director says the United States only knows of 12 in Syria fighting. Yesterday on CNN you said there were 300 Americans were fighting with ISIS. These numbers are all over the map. The question is not to criticize, but to say, do we have any clue how many Americans are there?

ROYCE: Yes. The difference in the numbers we are talking about is the difference between the numbers we suspect and the numbers we know in fact are there. So, the dozen or so, those are the individual passports where we know that the names and locations, you know, of those individuals.

We know when they came over the border from Turkey. We know where they are. The others are the suspicions of those who have gone to Turkey and have disappeared.

BURNETT: Understood. Very important. Thank you for clarifying that, very important to understand. Thank you so much, Chairman, for your time tonight.

ROYCE: Appreciate it.

BURNETT: Tonight on CNN, a vicious mall attack shocking the entire world. More than 100 cameras captured the horror as it unfolded. One year later, we go inside the onslaught. Don't miss "Terror at the Mall" is tonight at 9:00. p.m.

OUTFRONT next, breaking news, arrested on a Texas beach, the man suspected in the disappearance of Hannah Graham has just landed back in Virginia.

As the president calls the Ebola crisis, a worldwide security threat. One doctor is saving lives with a drug untested on the deadly disease used to treat HIV.

One of the most successful businessmen in the world, Richard Branson, on why you should be able to take as much vacation as you want.


BURNETT: Breaking news tonight: the suspect accused of abducting University of Virginia's student Hannah Graham is back in Virginia. Jesse Matthew arrived in Charlottesville in a privately chartered plane just a short time ago. He's now in jail. According to police, Matthew was the last person to see Graham 13 days ago.

Tips have been pouring in ever since. Search teams meantime are scouring over 700 square miles for the missing 18-year-old student who could be hoping for rescue tonight.

Jean Casarez is OUTFRONT in Charlottesville, Virginia.

And, Jean, what are you hearing? Obviously, he's now landed. So, he's going to be going to jail.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, I just got off the phone with the jail. They said that he just arrived. That he is being processed right now.

And I said, what about his fingerprints? They said they are being taken now. I said, mug shot? They said just about to be taken. So, now, he's in custody. It's all about now finding Hannah Graham.


CASAREZ (voice-over): Emergency dispatch operators are working around the clock to field tips to help find missing University of Virginia sophomore, Hannah Graham.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Folks that think they've actually maybe possibly seen something, whether it'd be a description of a car, an individual -- those types of things -- and, or a location.

CASAREZ: Twenty-four hundred tips have come in so far since the 18- year-old disappeared two weeks ago tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. I will go ahead and add this to the information that you previously called in. And if someone needs to call you, they'll get in touch with you. Thank you.

CASAREZ: Today, the dispatch center had unexpected visitors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hannah's parents stopped by today. They wanted to just let our folks know how much they appreciated the effort that they are putting in to help try to find their daughter.

CASAREZ: And while the calls come in, police admit they still have no idea where Graham is.

CHIEF TIMOTHY LONGO, CHARLOTTESVILLE POLICE: My understanding is she was wearing black or dark colored Capri-type pants, very close fitting and white shoes. Her iPhone, an iPhone 5s, I believe, had a pink case. So, if you're inspecting your property and you come across something that fits the description of those items, please do not touch them.

CASAREZ: And with Jesse Matthew, the suspect in her disappearance now in custody, all eyes are on finding Graham.

LONGO: If you're a realtor that serves the greater Charlottesville Albemarle region, and you know you are responsible for the sale of a piece of property that's vacant, we want to ask you to go back to that property and respect it.

CASAREZ: Sabina Harvey is a local realtor who immediately took action.

SABINA HARVEY, REALTOR: All of us have vacant listings. And I don't have any farm properties, but still, there are some corners around here that someone could hide something. So, I came up and sort of did a look around. We're all just trying to find her.

CASAREZ: The search area is vast. The city of Charlottesville is 10 square miles. The county is slightly 740 square miles with a lot of farmland.

While Hannah's friends have chosen to stay silent at this time, one of her dearest friends gave us this statement, "Hannah is one of the kindest people I have ever met. When you meet her, she touches your soul. She lives life to the fullest with passion. She dives into it with her whole heart. She will drop anything to help a friend."

And now, members of this community, people she's never met, are dropping everything to help her.


CASAREZ: And I understand that when Hannah's parents went to the regional dispatch center and just walked into that room as everyone is fielding tips and phone calls coming in, Hannah's mother took the lead and addressed them, thanking them and really overwhelmed that they were trying to find her daughter. And it was an amazing moment.

While we were there, actually, her parents delivered cookies and cupcakes to all the dispatch workers that are just working overtime -- Erin.

BURNETT: We're just holding out hope.

Thank you so much, Jean.

I want to bring in our legal analyst Paul Callan, along with our law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes, also former FBI assistant director.

Tom, let me start with you on the issue of where Hannah Graham might be. She -- I know, obviously, time is not on the side of her being found alive. But there are instances. We all know them -- Jaycee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart, Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, all these women from Cleveland, they were all -- everyone thought they were dead. They were all found alive.

Is it possible?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It's possible. Erin, he might have taken her to a vacant house, as mentioned or some other location like that, and somehow set up a situation where she could be a prisoner there, tie her up, or put her in a locked room or a locked basement, and she could still be alive based on that. BURNETT: I mean, we are all hoping for that miracle, because they

haven't found, obviously, a body, Paul. And, given the situation that this man fled so quickly, given what we have learned, they sort of thought they would have more information by now.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, yes. I think they did. And, of course, the one thing they are hoping for is that they can get information out of Matthew that will reveal where she is. So, I'm sure that they have been working on that since he was apprehended in Texas. But, probably without success from what we see.

BURNETT: Obviously, without success.

Tom, so, at this point, what do they do? What do they start -- we heard right now, he's literally getting his mugshot taken, probably at this moment at the jail. What are they able to do now that they couldn't do before to find out what he knows?

FUENTES: Well, they will try to question him now and see if he'll talk to them. But they may have more information to question him with than they did before. You know, you remember that at the beginning of this, the chief was very frustrated, Chief Longo because the commonwealth prosecutor said there was insufficient probable cause to charge him with anything related to the disappearance. And then they got results from forensic examinations, either of the car, or the apartment or his clothing, and then did issue the warrant for abduction.

So, you know, the prosecutors and Chief Longo himself, is an attorney, have been very conservative. But then, what did they learn when they went ahead and issued the abduction warrant?


FUENTES: So, that means they learned something that they felt took it over the line and gave them enough probable cause to issue that warrant.

BURNETT: And, of course, the question is, Paul, what did they learn? Because when they didn't have enough information to issue that warrant, they had already searched three apartment, they've seen him and didn't have enough. So, they got something new.

And I know one thing they got this week was forensic evidence. They have not yet told anybody what was in that evidence.

Is it standard not to release that kind of information in this case?

CALLAN: Oh, yes. In this kind of situation, it's absolutely standard not to release it. And, you know, I've to add, one thing that they've got after he left the station when he came in to be questioned and he asked for a lawyer, they say that he fled the scene. That they were in pursuit and he sped away.

Well, that's consciousness of guilt, that you can argue that in court. That added one other thing to the stack that they had. Now, they had evidence that he had been with her. That might have been enough to support a warrant, an arrest warrant. This is a very low standard for an arrest warrant.

But is it enough to support a criminal charge in court? That's the question.

BURNETT: It is the question.

And, Tom, my other question is, given what has happened here and they searched the car, they searched the apartment, they've had this search going on, what do you think the significance is of the fact that they have not found a body, yet?

FUENTES: Well, I know that, but you know, the significance is that there could be body fluid, blood, other indications on either his clothing, which would be very significant. You know, they haven't found her, therefore they haven't found her clothing, but they have his.

And to go back in that apartment, if they pull the clothing that he was wearing that night when you see him in the videos, there could be physical evidence from her on his clothing that that could be, you know, a very important thing. They wouldn't have had that forensic result that quickly.

CALLAN: He's only charged with abduction, not with having killed her. So, it suggests, I think, that the evidence is lacking.

BURNETT: Still lacking on that.

All right. Well, thank you both very much, of course. As the hunt continues to try to find Hannah Graham alive.

OUTFRONT next: a doctor is using an HIV drug on Ebola victims. And here is the thing. It actually seems to be working.

Plus, New York to Beijing in half an hour. Richard Branson says it's coming and soon.


BURNETT: More than 3,000 people in three West African countries have died of Ebola. Today, President Obama called on the global to do more to stop the disease spread.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nobody is that isolated anymore. Oceans don't protect you. Walls don't protect you. That means all of us, as nations and as an international community need to do more to keep our people safe. And that's why we're here. We have to change our mindsets and start thinking about biological threats as the security threats that they are, in addition to being humanitarian threats and economic threats.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Liberia has been hit the hardest by the disease. More than 1,800 deaths, forcing one doctor there to take a very big risk on an untested method to treat his patients.

Our senior correspondent Elizabeth Cohen reports OUTFRONT.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We are taking you inside an Ebola isolation unit in rural Africa.

A worker carrying our camera.

Going deeper, still more sick patients. Children.

DR. GOBEE LOGAN, DIRECTOR, BORNI COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: In a situation like this, I have to use every brain cells to save some people's lives.

This is our central supply room.

COHEN: For Dr. Gobee Logan, desperate times call for desperate measures, while the world waits for a proven Ebola drug, he's experimenting with an HIV drug.

LOGAN: Calling for everyone not to die. I think I need to try this medication.

COHEN (on camera): This is as close as I can get to this Ebola isolation unit. I want to introduce you to four young women, Elizabeth, Susan, Fathu (ph) and Massa (ph). They came with Ebola and were given the HIV drug and now, they're doing well. They're able to walk around and they'll be discharged soon.

Ladies, tell me, how do you feel now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are taking care of me fine. They're giving us medicine, we're feeling fine. We can take it, we'll eat, fine. We're feeling fine in our body.

COHEN: Dr. Logan has tried the drug on 15 patients so far, and remarkably, only two have died. Across West Africa, the outbreak is killing add a rate of 70 percent. But in this group, just 7 percent.

(on camera): Is it possible an effective treatment may have come from here, from your Ebola treatment in this rural area?

LOGAN: Yes, it's highly possible.

COHEN (voice-over): We reach out to top scientists in the U.S., does Dr. Logan's approach make sense? They say yes. Ebola and HIV cells are a lot alike, but they want a lot more proof.

(on camera): In the United States, some doctors say, no, don't use a drug until you have a study. You need to study first.


COHEN: What do you say to that?

LOGAN: Well, Elizabeth, our people are dying and you are talking study. It's the motto of doing all I can do as a doctor to save some people's lives.

COHEN (voice-over): Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Tubmanburg, Liberia.


BURNETT: He is right.

And OUTFRONT next, on a day when thousands of flights were hours late or more in the United States, Richard Branson promises soon, you'll be able to fly anywhere in the world in 30 minutes.

And Lisa Ling on sugar daddies and the women who love them?


BURNETT: More than 1,800 flights were cancelled today after a contractor started a fire and attempted to commit suicide at an air traffic control center in Illinois. All it took was one man's actions to completely disrupt air traffic across the entire United States, that could become a thing of the past. Tonight, the money and power of super fast air travel.

Richard Branson founded the Virgin Group which includes Virgin Airlines, Virgin America. He has a new book "The Virgin Way."

And I asked him when supersonic travel is coming back.


RICHARD BRANSON, VIRGIN FOUNDER: Well, we're building airplanes. We're building them as space ships. We will be initially sending them into space.


BRANSON: And then in time, we'll be manufacturing space ships, which will go tremendous speeds around the world and start transporting people around the world in our space ships. And hopefully we'll be transporting them at speeds which will make Concord look quite slow and quite old, which it is today.

BURNETT: All right. I mean, it sort of is a relic of history. But when you -- I mean, how fast is that if you want to go up in the atmosphere, you want to go from here to Beijing. I mean, how fast is that? How fast is fast?

BRANSON: Fast if we can pull it off, 18,000 miles per hour, which basically means that we can go anywhere in the world we'll be able to go in the air in half an hour. So fast is very fast.

BURNETT: Fast is very fast.

BRANSON: The trouble is the time it takes to get through security of airports, but once --

BURNETT: There'd be longer security lines than it would have --

BRANSON: Once you're on the plane, it will be very, very fast. And the view you're going to get is spectacular. I mean, we're going to have big windows and you're going to be able to look back and see the -- you know, the earth as you can from space. So, it will be the ride of a lifetime.

BURNETT: It will be the ride of a lifetime. And is everything on track when you look at the Virgin Galactic, you know, the space ship that you're getting ready to go on yourself, I know. Is that still on track for this next year?

BRANSON: It's hopefully on track for this year. So, the test flight into space will be before the end of this year.


BRANSON: And myself and my son will start the program in the spring of early -- early spring of next year.

BURNETT: You have said you always worked from home, and are for a flexible work environment. But you're also an incredibly demanding boss, you need to be, with 50,000 employees around the world. You have all of these businesses. You're not letting people sit around and do nothing.

So, how do you balance that? How do you let people be flexible and still get everything you need out of them?

BRANSON: If they find it fascinating and interesting and they're treated like human beings, they will get their work done. You know, we've actually just introduced a new system which we're experimenting with, with all of the head offices around the world. And we've said, you know, take a holiday as you want, take as much holiday you want, we're not going to keep a check on how much holiday you take, if you want to take your day off, whether a birthday, wedding, or any other day because you got a special reason, just do it. We're not going to check up on you, we'll see how it works.

In America -- look, the amount of holidays people are given in the states is dreadful.


BRANSON: And, you know, how can you -- how do you find time to get to know your children if you're working with very, very little holiday time that you're given in the states.

BURNETT: All right. Sir Richard Branson, thank you so much.


BURNETT: Let us know whether you think that will work, unlimited vacation time. Will it be abused or will it transform the U.S. for the better?

OUTFRONT next, Lisa Ling goes beyond the cliches with a look at the lives of sugar daddies and sugar babies.


BURNETT: Connecting a so-called sugar daddy with a sugar baby is as easy as clicking a mouse. This week, Lisa Ling goes inside the world of sugaring, it's got a name, sugaring, with the premiere of her new series "THIS IS LIFE".

Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I met Rich, it was just effortless.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, Taylor, don't you laugh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just hit it off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, that was a good shot.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to use the term love at first sight but something along those lines.

LISA LING, "THIS IS LIFE": Can I ask you how old you are?



LING: If you forgive me for saying, I mean, there are a lot of people who might say, what a dirty old man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a dirty old man.


BURNETT: And Lisa Ling joins me now.

So, these women are essentially being paid. I mean, they're getting gifts, or --

LING: So they negotiate their relationship and that's what makes these relationships different from say other online dating services. And, you know, it's not a new story, older men wanting to date younger women. But most of the women who respond to sites like these are ambitious themselves. They have intentions and aspirations of wanting to be CEOs of their

own companies. They just see this as a way to gain a mentor, and hope someone finance their tuitions or aspects in their life.

BURNETT: So, are they comfortable at all with the use of the word "prostitution", or they think that --

LING: They're not comfortable at all because they -- look, in a course of a relationship that evolves, we might consider having sex with them like we've had sex with -- one of other boyfriends, but they say they can also negotiate in advance and say, they don't want to have sex at all. We just want to gain a mentor and a friend, and be arm candy in some cases.

BURNETT: And "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING" premieres this Sunday night at 10:00 Eastern. By the way, every one of these, I've had a sneak preview, are really, really amazing stories. But in this case, you probably have some preconceived notions. Maybe you have a very strong opinion about sugar daddies and sugar babies, but I got to tell you Lisa Ling will make you think about it a different way.

Thanks so much for watching. Have a great weekend. I'll see you back here on Monday.

"AC360", though, starts right now.