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Texas Nurse Who Contracted Ebola Identified; Nineteen People Arrested in St. Louis Area Protests; Blasts Rock City as ISIS Advances Toward Kobani

Aired October 13, 2014 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next, officials name the first person to contract Ebola in the United States. What went wrong? Did the hospital provide enough protection for a 26-year-old nurse?

And a live demonstration of just how easy it is for health care workers to expose themselves to Ebola, shockingly easy.

And breaking news, in North Korea tonight, state media said Kim Jong-Un has resurfaced after being missing for 40 days, but they haven't put out any new pictures of him. Is there proof? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, the second person in the United States diagnosed with Ebola has been identified. Tonight, we are learning new details about the 26- year-old Dallas nurse who treated Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Presbyterian Hospital.

On Friday, Nina Pham went to the emergency room at the hospital where she works. She brought her dog with her. She complained of a temperature spike. She was admitted and placed in an isolation ward for treatment.

Today the head of the CDC said the transmission of the virus might have involved a breach of protocol. Among the possibilities, that in removing her protective gear, which would have included gloves, a gown, she might have come in contact with the virus.

The National Nurses Union was quick to charge the CDC with scapegoat tending and the CDC just as quickly apologized saying they didn't mean to imply the nurse was at fault.

Tonight, there are calls to transfer her to one of the four hospitals in the United States that has specialized bio- decontamination units. And it is pretty shocking there are only four now when everyone around looks at that. It's kind of shocking.

Our Victor Blackwell is OUTFRONT tonight in Dallas. Victor, how is Pham doing tonight?


DR. TOM FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: We have to rethink the way we address Ebola infection control. VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A signal from CDC Director Tom Frieden of major changes to come after nurse, Nina Pham, contracted the deadly Ebola virus while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan.

FRIEDEN: There was a breach in protocol. That breach in protocol resulted in this infection.

BLACKWELL: That was Frieden on Sunday. Monday he seemingly walk that back.

FRIEDEN: But some interpreted that as finding fault with the hospital or the health care worker. And I'm sorry if that was the impression given. That was certainly not my intention.

BLACKWELL: Texas Health Presbyterian said the 26-year-old nurse was wearing full protective gear. While Frieden publicly back tracked on his explanation, privately an official with direct knowledge of the investigation tells CNN that CDC detectives believe there are, quote, "Inconsistencies in the type of gear the nurse used and how she put on it and took it off."

FRIEDEN: Because if it is contaminated, there is a possibility that a worker will contaminate themselves and become infected in that process.

BLACKWELL: Transmission of the deadly virus is a damning contradiction to assurances of absolute preparedness and competence by doctors shortly after Duncan was admitted to the Dallas hospital.

DR. EDWARD GOODMAN, EPIDEMIOLOGIST: Our staff is thoroughly trained in infection control procedures and protocols. We're perfectly capable of taking care of this patient with no risk to other people. We have been meeting literally for weeks in anticipation of such an event.

BLACKWELL: Goodman said that just days before Duncan was admitted, every hospital worker, who could potentially have contact with an Ebola patient reviewed this checklist sent to hospitals across the country by the CDC.

GOOD MAN: I will say we were prepared.

BLACKWELL: Hours after the nurse tested positive for Ebola, the Dallas County Medical Society tweeted this video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be certain to tie it around both your waist and your neck.

BLACKWELL: Produced by a nearby hospital, it demonstrates how medical workers should protect themselves specifically when treating a patient with Ebola. And the type of treatment that Duncan received may have put Pham and other medical workers at greater risk.

FRIEDEN: The two areas where we will be looking particularly closely is the performance of kidney dialysis and respiratory intubation. Both of those procedures may spread contaminated materials and are considered high risk procedures.

BLACKWELL: As doctors at this hospital treat a colleague for Ebola, they are acutely aware. One of their own may be the next to test positive.

FRIEDEN: The thinking is straightforward. If this one individual was infected and we don't know how, within the isolation unit, then it is possible that other individuals could have been infected as well.


BLACKWELL: Erin, we've learned from the State Board of Nursing that Pham has been certified since 2010. However, new tonight, we've learned from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses that Pham received her critical care nursing certification August 1st of this year. Just two months before she started treating Thomas Eric Duncan -- Erin.

BURNETT: And Victor, obviously she would then have been very new to this. The question, though, is how is she doing today? Obviously, she noticed that change in temperature very early on. So she would have gotten treatment very quickly. What is her prognosis, do you know?

BLACKWELL: Well, doctors aren't offering a prognosis, but the official status we're hearing from them is clinically stable. That's all they're saying right now. As you know in these cases, they keep a lot of the details close to the vest. That's all they're releasing at this time - Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Victor, thank you very much reporting live for us from Dallas. An investigation tonight is underway to determine just how Nina Pham contracted the deadly virus.

Officials say Pham took precautions while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, but something obviously went horribly wrong, which is triggering a scare not only at the Dallas hospital but also where Pham lives.


ANNOUNCER: The health care worker who lives in your area has tested --

BURNETT (voice-over): Nina Pham, a 26-year-old critical care nurse at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. She is the first person to contract Ebola inside the United States.

She was one of dozens of health care workers who treated Thomas Eric Duncan. He is the Liberian man who died there last week from Ebola. She was not among those being monitored for the deadly disease. Tom Hah is a family friend. He spoke to CNN earlier today.

TOM HA, FAMILY FRIEND OF TEXAS NURSE WITH EBOLA: She is a very devoted Catholic and she always put the other people' interests ahead of her own. BURNETT: Pham was raised in a Vietnamese family in Fort Worth. She graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with a nursing license. She just recently qualified to work in critical care. Friends describe her as compassionate and outgoing.

They say she is known for her sense of humor. She posted this cartoon on her Pinterest account. If I collapse at work, here's a list of doctors I don't want to work on me.

Investigators are still trying to figure out how Pham became infected as hazmat teams work through the night, fumigating her apartment. That's where they found her King Charles spaniel, Bentley.

After Spanish authorities euthanized an Ebola patient's dog last week, many in Dallas fear Nima's dog might be put down, but Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings for now assured everyone that Bentley is safe and being cared for in quarantine


BURNETT: And shortly after Nina Pham contracted the Ebola virus, the blame game started. The CDC said it was a breach in protocol. Many nurses are taking issue with that.

Karen Higgins is the president of National Nurses United. Karen, the nurse in Texas, according to Dallas Presbyterian, was wearing personal protective equipment recommended by the CDC. I have the exactly what they're supposed to do.

It is not very clear, frankly, not very well presented, but the CDC said they were in compliance, face mask, gloves and gown. Is this enough?

KAREN HIGGINS, CO-PRESIDENT, NATIONAL NURSES UNITED: No, it's not enough and I would like to say up front that the blame game should never have happened. You know, the issue is that when something like this happens, you have to look at the system and look at what protocols were in effect.

And if in fact they were good enough for what's going on with this patient. And that no one should be pointing the finger and we have now a young woman who basically was taking care of somebody that was critically ill, and who had a disease that was actually could be deadly.

And you know, had stepped up to take care of that patient. And then turn around and have her blamed that she did something wrong that made her sick. It is the wrong message to give out to any health care professional and I think that we need to be much more careful going forward that we don't do that again.

BURNETT: The question I have, last week, the union that is in charge of cleaning airplanes threatened to go on strike because they didn't want to risk their lives cleaning airplanes if there was someone who could have Ebola on a plane. I guess, it raises the question, when you see now a nurse, who is

going to work, doing her job and now is at risk of dying because of that. Is it fair to ask a nurse to treat an Ebola patient for them to say no?

HIGGINS: You know, we take care of patients with multiple diseases. That's not the issue. What is the issue is what we're actually doing as far as trying to protect those health care workers taking care of those patients. And that's where our concern is.

We're not doing enough. There have been recommendations. There are guidelines. We need a mandated system that gives us the best. We have the best health care in the world. We need to have the best safety issues in the world so we can be assured that we are doing everything we can.

We see them at CDC that they actually are wearing hazmat suits and total protection to take care of these patients, to mobilize these patients. We're not doing that in hospitals and we need to. And then the answer was, when we asked that question is well, you know what?

Those are not easy suits to get in and out of and people can get contaminated when they take them off. Then we're not doing enough training. We should have the best equipment available and then we need to focus on great, we got good equipment.

Now we need to focus on the training and it is not going to be great, they sent me a memo, they sent me a video. It has to be hands- on training. It has to be drills continuously and that's what we need to be focusing on. Then it is not an issue.

BURNETT: Understood. You make the point about the gloves and the suits. I want to talk more about that because when it comes to treating patients with Ebola, the first line of defense against infection, the gowns and the gloves.

Dr. Alexander Van Tulleken is OUTFRONT. Thank you for being with me, of Fordham University's Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs. Let's talk about this. The point that she's making, this line of defense, these gloves, these gowns that they're putting on are not enough

These gloves we're talking about. CDC doesn't say what you have to use, right? You could use ones like this, a little thicker, traditional vinyl glove or a nylon glove. The guidelines here that I have, that I read from the CDC don't say anything about what kind of glove to use.

DR. ALEXANDER VAN TULLEKEN, INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS: It's very interesting. I think there are two questions. Are the guidelines good enough? Even if they are, it is reasonable to raise questions about that. They are vague and not easy to follow.

You start with a choice of gloves. They are very good, thick, and stretchy. They don't cause allergic reactions. If you puncture them, you can see the hole because they're purple. That's ideal. The vinyl on the other hand is the kind of thing you see, they

are widely used in hospitals. You he would see someone wearing them if they make a sandwich in a deli. And even getting them on, they're extremely easy to get a hole. They're quite clunky. It's hard to move your fingers into.

BURNETT: That brings us to the latex.

TULLEKEN: The problem with these ones is they cause allergic reactions and they're quite thin. Relatively fragile compared to those. But they stick to your skin very well and they're easy to do decks trust things in. So there are advantages to the latex. I would say the vinyl gloves are really not the best ones.

BURNETT: Not the best, but you're saying commonly used.

TULLEKEN: Commonly available in hospitals. When you're looking out for an Ebola patient, you would want either a latex glove or a nitrile glove.

BURNETT: OK, so let's look at the latex gloves. Let's say you're a nurse and you're treating an Ebola patient. The CDC guidelines, let me say them here, the assumption is the outside of your gloves is contaminated. Then they tell you how to take them off. Why don't you, we'll show on camera what you're supposed to do. First take one off. Put it in the other glove and then remove it.

TULLEKEN: So the process is to take the glove. You can tear holes in gloves very easily. It may be covered in blood. It you get the thumb under there and lift the other glove off and then you can dispose of them. The difficulty is it is easy to make mistake unless you're trained well.

So the lesson is that not that we should not be doing this. But rather first, the guidelines don't tell you what to do when you make a mistake. And secondly, they're vague.

BURNETT: You just showed me. You did it. You took one off. By the way, assumption would be that you would have a long sleeve shirt that would be covering you. But theoretically if you're around an Ebola patient, your body could be covered in diarrhea, in blood, in vomit.

You have a naked hand out there. They tell you to do the gloves first. Assume it doesn't fling and hit your hands with some of that Ebola infected body fluid. Then what happens? Your hands are naked and you're wearing a gown. How are you supposed to remove that?

TULLEKEN: You have a gown, face mask and eye protection that are potentially contaminated. These are patients that hemorrhage, get vomiting and diarrhea. So it is quite easy to spill bodily fluids all over you and then you've got bare hands.

The idea is that you work from the back. You take off your gown from the back, in theory that works. Unless you have a team drilled in carrying bowls around, there has not been any spray. You haven't brushed against a wall. BURNETT: I think it is hard to imagine. Who knows what is on you when you're taking off these gloves.

TULLEKEN: The logic in not wearing a hazmat suit. They're very hard to do things in. Hard to get lots of people wearing them well. If you ascribe to that logic, it is not a bad logic. You have to say, the CDC should say, how do we train health care workers to do this? How much training and should they look after other patients?

BURNETT: Very quickly before we go, Dallas mayor says they are not going to put down her dog.

TULLEKEN: I think that's sensible. They don't know if it should be isolated, quarantined?

BURNETT: Quarantine the dog.

TULLEKEN: Observe it.

BURNETT: But the point is, the Ebola virus spreads from animals to people, dogs get Ebola. We don't know that it transfers. You would not think it was fair to assume the dog would not be a risk at all.

TULLEKEN: No. I think we can test the dog for Ebola. It seems -- this lady, her family is going to be very worried. We can quarantine the dog safely. That's what I would do.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much. Dr. Van Tulleken, good to see you and thank you for showing, I guess, the frightening reality of this being the last defense.

OUTFRONT next, the head of the CDC over the debate about blocking flights from West Africa. Should the United States stop flights from the hot zone now?

Plus, more arrests in the St. Louis today following protests. A black teen kill by a white police officer, police say he fired first. Others say he was unarmed.

And breaking news, North Korean media says Kim Jong-Un is back in action. Where the heck has he been?


BURNETT: Breaking news, President Obama met late this afternoon with his public health and national security team about the second case of Ebola in Dallas. Earlier today, one member of the president's team addressed accusations that the administration has not done enough to fight the threat of Ebola in this country.


DR. TOM FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: On the issue of banning travel, I understand that there are calls to do this. I really try to focus on the bottom line. The bottom line here is reducing risk to Americans. The way we are going to reduce risk to Americans is do the steps and protection I just went through and stop it at the source in Africa.


BURNETT: Stop it at the source in Africa where there are lots of ways to do that. One of them, though, is perhaps stopping flights from the source to the United States. After all, that is how Thomas Eric Duncan brought Ebola to the U.S. on a flight from Africa while he was in the incubation period and has no symptoms.

Jim Acosta is at the White House tonight.

Jim, the administration's response to this frankly has felt a little bit all over the map.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, top administration officials are saying no once again to a travel ban. They are saying no once again to an Ebola czar. They believe a travel ban could potentially cause a panic in West Africa. They believe an Ebola czar would only add another layer of bureaucracy to their efforts.

What they are interested in looking at are the policies and procedures for dealing with Ebola patients specifically whether or not Ebola patients should be transferred to these CDC bio-containment centers like the one that they have in Nebraska where a journalist is being treated right now.

Now, keep in mind, talking about the shifting statements of the administration less than two weeks ago, senior administration officials were here at the White House briefing reporters on their efforts. And they said at that time that U.S. healthcare system was un-match in its ability to prevent an Ebola outbreak. And now, as you heard Dr. Frieden say earlier today with the CDC, they are now concern that there are other healthcare workers who came in contact with Thomas Duncan who may eventually turn out to be infected.

So obviously, they are seeing more patients potentially than what they though less than two weeks ago. One thing that we should point is that as you said, the president did meet with some top administration officials over here at the White House earlier today.

In a statement released by the White House, it said the president wants an expeditious wrap up of that investigation into how that nurse in Texas was infected. That is an obvious sign that official here in the administration are nervous about this. But the president did get one bit of good news today. He made some calls today to the U.N. second general and the French president. The president has been calling on other world leaders to step up their efforts to combat the Ebola crisis.

And the French president told President Obama earlier today that they're committing to building an Ebola treatment central in Guinea. It is a start. It is not as much as they want over here at the White House, but it may just be the beginning -- Erin.

BURNETT: Thank you very much, Jim Acosta. And joining me now is Dr. Sanjay Gupta along with Dr. Ivan Walks

who is the former chief health officer for the District of Columbia.

Great to have both of you with us.

I mean, Sanjay, look. Several African countries have restricted or banned air travel from the Ebola zone. Kenya airways, British airways, Emirates airways which of course serve as the biggest airport in the world, I'm talking about Dubai, they have all stopped flights.

Why wouldn't the United States do it here (ph)?

DOCTOR SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, one of the arguments is that what are you really trying to accomplish by doing something like that?

What Dr. Frieden was just talking about there was you take a scenario where someone has exposed to Ebola in the West African country. Knows they've been exposed but is not yet sick. They're in that incubation period. They can get on a plane and travel anywhere in the world. Why? Because the care may not be available to them where they are in West Africa, so they want to go somewhere else. So ban flights. Like some people are suggesting.

What happens next? It is important to think about how that plays out. People may then start to leave the country by land. Go to other countries. Fly into another country besides the United States and then fly from that country to the United States.

My point is I don't want this to sound complicated. But the permutation becomes pretty hard to figure out. I think the key is if there ever was a travel ban was to make sure that the medical infrastructure was there in place so people don't feel like they have to leave. They can stay there and get the care in their own countries.

BURNETT: So Dr. Walks, I mean, is this something where you talk about the first, you know, emergency Ebola treatment center opening up in these countries. But once you have a few more, once those U.S. troops are in and you do it as quickly as you can. But then you do shut the borders. Because you're giving them the help, you are giving them the humanitarian aid, but you then shut the borders. Because most people look at this and they say if this is a major security threat for the United States, why is it possible for people from those countries to get on the plane and just come to the United States?

DR. IVAN WALKS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FORMER CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER: Well, we don't run those other countries. So a conversation about shutting the borders of other countries is a little bit different than one about how we protect our own borders. The fact of the matter is that Thomas Duncan didn't come directly from one of those countries. He came to us on a flight from Brussels. So when we start talking about banning flights, it does, as Dr. Gupta just that, it really gets a little bit complicated.

And I think in public health, clarity is really number one. Folks need to know, not just everything we know, but they need to know what to do. And what we're focused on, we're focused on stopping this Ebola where it is which is in West Africa. Let's get our resources over there. Let's get our services over there. Let's make sure we're doing the work where the work needs to be done. That should be our focus.

BURNETT: Sanjay, I want to ask you about the breaking news that we just had here. And I'll give you the limited information that we have everyone, but obviously, this is significant.

Nina Pham, the 26-year-old nurse who was infected while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan. Sanjay, they are now saying got a blood transfusion. That she received a blood transfusion today. I don't know if you know anything more about this and for those watching at this point, we do not know if that is from one of the American or in fact came from somebody from Africa. Obviously, that would be significant because Thomas Eric Duncan did not get a blood transfusion. How significant do you think this is, Sanjay?

GUPTA: Well, I would want to know a couple things that you just point out. Of course, the right question there. And also, you know, sometime as you know, with Ebola, people can develop bleeding problems. It is a hemorrhagic fever. That could mean that if people can have bleeding, so is this just a blood transfusion to replace blood she may have lost on her own or was it a blood transfusion full of antibodies which is what I think you're talking about, Erin, that could potentially help fight infection. If doctors Brantly or Ms. Writebol or somebody in the United States were a match, she would be a candidate for that and I know that's been discussed in the past. So it is possibly getting blood from one of those patients to give to any other patients.

BURNETT: And Dr. Walks, what is your view on this? Obviously, it is significant, whether it is a basic transfusion just to replace lost blood or antibodies. That is the crucial question here because it will go to the heart of where this blood came from.

But I guess the reality that seems to be that, it is obviously, everyone is hoping that she is going to survive this. And the reason that she would survive, I would assume, would be because she was taking her temperature twice a day and she went in. And you know, didn't have the three days sent away like Eric Duncan.

WALKS: Right. She went in. She did everything right with respect to her getting her care immediately and not exposing anyone else as soon as she thought something was going on that could put other at risk, excellent.

Now, we really want to know, what are you supposed to do? What is the best treatment protocol? We had someone last week that didn't get a blood transfusion, that didn't get spiritual medicine. Now we have other folks. Dr. Gupta is exactly right. What kind of transfusion? Was it -- is it one that is going to help us answer a lot of questions? Or one that is also going to make us asks more questions? BURNETT: Well, that's very true, especially given all the

concerns and questions that have been raised about the care for Thomas Eric Duncan. Thanks very much to both of you.

And OUTFRONT next, more arrest in St. Louis today. Police insisting a black teen fired first before being killed by a white police officer. But others say and insist he was unarmed. Who is telling the truth?

And reports tonight, the leader of North Korea had resurfaced. He has been missing for more than five weeks. Was there a coup and a counter coup? What went on behind palace walls (ph), a special report.


BURNETT: Today, 19 people arrested in St. Louis, as protests continue throughout the St. Louis area, in response to the killings of two black teenagers by white police officers. Some of the 19 who are arrested today tried to push through a police line. They were then detained for disturbing the peace.

Jason Carroll is in St. Louis tonight.

And, Jason, there was a very big name in that 19 today.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The noted civil rights activist Cornel West was one of 42 people arrested in Ferguson today. The arrest happened right out here in front of the Ferguson Police Department earlier today. And, in fact, when west came here yesterday, he spoke to a crowd saying he came to Ferguson with the intent of being arrested, saying, quote, "It's a beautiful thing to see people on fire for justice."

I actually spoke with West just a few minutes ago before talking to you. And I asked him a little more about that. He said that he would continue to come out here, continue to take part in these protests. And if he said, getting arrested, he said it is a beautiful thing to stand up for justice.

So, stay tuned for more of that on the hands of Cornel West.

Since we've been out here since Thursday, in fact, we've seen a number of protests. Some small, some larger. Smaller protests taking place at St. Louis city hall. A police officer there telling us, one person was arrested there.

Most of the protest that's we've seen throughout the weekend since we've been here, most of them have been peaceful. We've seen some skirmishes with police. It was Friday night, Thursday night.

We saw police cars that were smashed out. Some protesters, a small group of them throwing rocks at some police officers. Police saying basically what they're doing is showing as much -- they're trying to be as suppressed as possible in terms of how they're dealing with protesters. But what protesters say what they're protesting about is the extreme force that police have been using out here in Ferguson and St. Louis and they say they're going to continue -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jason Carroll, thank you very much.

And Pastor Willie Kilpatrick is the spokesman for the family of Vonderrit Myers, Jr., the teen killed by an off-duty officer on Wednesday in St. Louis.

All right. Good to see you, sir. I really appreciate you taking time.

And I know this is important for the family, for the country to hear what they believe happened here.

I want to start with sharing the police side of the story and giving you a chance to say what you think happened.

So, police say Vonderrit shot first, he shot three times. The officer returned fire with 17 shots. Police say they found a .9 millimeter gun at the scene. They believe that was Vonderrit's gun. Do you believe it's possible that's true?

PASTOR WILLIE KILPATRICK, SPOKESPERSON FOR THE FAMILY OF VONDERRIT MYERS, JR.: Absolutely not. First, I want to thank you for having me on the show on behalf of the Myers family. We are grateful for this opportunity to talk about their son and what occurred on that terrible day last Wednesday.

It's very difficult for us to accept the ending of the story when the beginning and the middle of the story is very inconsistent and factually not true of what the police have said about their son. What we know is that on several occasions, when the police have talked about this issue, the story has changed each and every time.

First, Lieutenant Colonel Atkins said that the young man came out of bushes. And after came out of the bushes, that caused them to have some friction and the fight started there.

Then, Chief Dotson said on another occasion, the officers saw the kids walking down the street. They looked suspicious. He wanted to make a pedestrian stop. He turn his car back round. Came back and when he got out, the kids ran.

Then he drove through the streets and found them again. After he found them again he was able to chase this young man to the scene, to the gate waive. So it is difficult to keep one the story because each time there is a different story. Even on Sunday he said that the police --



BURNETT: I'm sorry. I wanted to, I understand what you're saying. You're pointing out inconsistencies in terms of what they said happened. And what I just wanted to give you a chance to see, we showed our

viewers, and I want to show them again. The video of Vonderrit at the convenience store just moments before the shooting, when he went in to buy a sandwich. Here he is. He walks in. He is buying a bottle of water here, as you can see. And then comes back out.

We can see he's wearing his jeans low. You can see there isn't a gun tucked in the back.

KILPATRICK: Absolutely.

BURNETT: Obviously, some are saying he could have gotten the gun afterwards in the ten minutes, or it could have been down his pants. I mean, do you think this is definitive?

KILPATRICK: Well, here's the problem with that narrative. The store owner says that they heard the shot six minutes after they left that store. So, in that six-minute time, according to police, all of this other action had to take place in a six-minute time frame.

We need to have this question also asked. Why would the police officer approach them in the first place? It is not, there was not a 911 call out. These kids were not in the action of stealing a car, breaking into a home, breaking into a car. There have been no reports from the police that there were any issues.

Why would they even stop in the first place? And we have not received those answers. There are many answers.

BURNETT: What do you think is the reason police are lying? I know you believe they're lying. Why do you think so?

KILPATRICK: Well, I believe that there's a culture and particularly in St. Louis. We got three families. Michael Brown's family, the Powell family, and the Myers family, who have three situations where the police have what I believe is overreach and excessive forceful.

We need to have questions answered. Why are the police using this type of force with these kids? It is a fact that these kids should still be alive. It is unnecessary for them to use that type of force when dealing with African-Americans. I believe that the policing in the city of St. Louis, there is an issue, because now, we've got three kids. And on the opposite side, black police officers, white police officers, they go through the same training. However, you don't have black police officers shooting white kids.

But now at the end of these stories, we have three deaths and no one can tell us that this had to end in death. There could be some other ways of dealing with these issues. And particularly in the Myers case.

BURNETT: All right. Pastor Kilpatrick, thank you very much for taking time with us tonight.

And next, Kim Jong-un, North Korean officials say he is back. He's been missing for 40 days. Was there a coup or a counter coup? The proof, next.

Plus, huge explosions today over a key town in Turkey-Syria. ISIS fighters are moving closer and closer and closer. They are now eight miles from the airport in Baghdad.


BURNETT: Breaking news tonight, brand new photos that North Korean state media claims, emphasis on that word, I'll tell you why, to show Kim Jong-un on his first public appearances since vanishing from the public eye shocking six weeks ago.

These are the first photos we're seeing of Kim appearing at two public events, using a walking stick. He had been limping as you may remember because he had so much weight gain. The state media story is dated on Tuesday which is today, their time. Keep in mind it does not include the date that Kim made the visit or the date of the pictures which will leave conspiracy theorists plenty to talk about, like, is this for real? After all, Kim's disappearance sparks rumors from enormous weight gain to the political coup.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A North Korean state- run television, the same news announcer declaring the DPRK's absolute power, the obligatory rocket launch. Or, two, even the same old variety shows.

But no new video appearances by Kim Jong-un who hasn't been seen on state TV in more than 40 days. The leader did finally resurface hours ago according to state run media which did not show any video. This was the longest public absence for the 30 something-year-old dictator who this summer was seen limping and overweight.

North Korean's ambassador to the U.K. insisted to the BBC that Kim is healthy, no doubt about it.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: No one has seen him for over a month.

LAH: Mixed messages fueling Western news reports, continuing to explode with speculation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, sir, you're limping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What? Who said that?

LAH: As are comedy sketches, finding the mystery irresistible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told you, I broke my ankle while dunking over Michael Jordan. This is what happened!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When asked what kind of foot ailments, they said liposuction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somewhere he is yelling through a barred doorway at armed guards, come on! I brought you Rodman!

LAH: Late night fodder, but North Korean watcher Victor Cha believes something is brewing.

VICTOR CHA, AUTHOR: This is business not as usual. It is business, very unusual.

LAH: Cha points to a number of clues. This surprise visit by North Korea's number two and three officials to South Korea earlier this month. Last week, a fairly rare exchange of gunfire between the two Koreas. And in the publicly missing leader, it is a series of unusual events.

But there is also this possibility. North Korean ever Korea knows propaganda. Kim Jong-un is portrayed in the DPRK as the all powerful leader, beloved by his people.

(on camera): It's so over the top that we mock it here in the West. Could this recent absence be the latest propaganda move? Make him disappear so we talk about it?

CHA: It is certainly possible the leader could be sitting on a lounge chair somewhere laughing at all of us, spending all this time, wasting all this time trying to figure out where he is. On the other hand, you know, in North Korea, showing up is everything, right? It's all about leadership appearances.

LAH (voice-over): One educated guess, the rest of us left guessing about the ever elusive hermit kingdom.


LAH: The photos that were released today by state media do appear to show and match the script that was released by state media. But here's the important part, Erin. We simply don't have a date as to when that visit took place and exactly what occurred there, other than what state media is showing. After all, this is hermit kingdom -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Kyung, thank you very much

And joining me now is Gordon Chang, the author of "Nuclear Showdown: Nuclear Takes on the World."

All right. What do you make of this? It is undated but it is coming from state media. You have him carrying the stick or a cane which we had not seen before. Do you think this is real?

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR: No, I actually don't. The reason is on Friday, it was the 69th anniversary of the founding of the Workers Party, very important event in the North Korean calendar, where Kim Jong-un is supposed to show homage to his father and grandfather. In the confusion society that's very, very important. On Monday, he shows up walking around some housing? This doesn't really make sense.

I think they're keeping him as a figurehead. And, you know, that mean that he can sort of come out in these photos. But that's about it.

BURNETT: What does that mean then? I mean, you know, John Stewart with the joke of he is behind bars, but I brought you Dennis Rodman. I mean, is someone else running the country then is what you're saying? He is effectively behind bars? What is it?

CHANG: I mean, people talking about a coup. I think we're seeing a long erosion of power that started sometime late last year. Everyone said that Kim kill his uncle in December. I think really what happened is, kill was not able to prevent the killing of his uncle who was his main supporter.

And, you know, his uncle was very brutal. He took revenue streams away from the military. They got back at him. When they got back at him, Kim Jong-un lost influence and authority.

BURNETT: So, Susan Rice says the United States has no indications that there has been any transfer of power that she says are definitive.

CHANG: Yes. I mean, there is nothing that is definitive. But common sense says we have seen so many events that are inconsistent with her narrative that he is still in control. So, there is a lot going on. Of course, we don't know. But it's inconsistent with what she's been saying.

BURNETT: All right. Gordon Chang, thank you very much. The mystery continues with those undated pictures.

OUTFRONT next: both coalition missiles and ISIS suicide bombs exploding in the border town of Kobani. Meantime, ISIS is closing in on Baghdad airport. Could Baghdad fall to ISIS?


BURNETT: Now to the Syrian border city of Kobani, where a CNN team witnessed a huge explosion that appears to have been caused by a coalition air strike. However, even though there have been a lot of air strikes today and over the past couple of months, ISIS is continuing its advance. U.N. officials warn of a potential massacre in Kobani.

And joining me near the city is Nick Paton Walsh.

Nick, you witnessed what was basically a mushroom cloud, right?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. A remarkable series of explosions throughout the day, Erin. Some, yes, it seems, coalition air strikes. CentCom saying that since Sunday they've hit the town of Kobani, ISIS targets there, trucks, locations, seven times. We may have seen two more after they released that statement.

But, also, we're hearing from Kurdish fighters on the ground that in fact three ISIS car bombs may have gone off, too. So, a series of huge plumes of smoke rocking that city. We also saw, Erin, strangely, what seemed to be a column of 50

unarmed mostly men moving from the Kurdish side to the ISIS side in a single-file column. No idea what was going on. But a lot of motion and concern as each day passes the Kurds are running out of ammunition and can't resupply themselves, Erin.

BURNETT: And, Nick, the concern we keep hearing about a massacre, how real is that?

WALSH: It depends on really how many civilians are trapped inside. Most people we talk to say hundreds potentially, that number doesn't seem to be as high as the 10,000 we heard alarmingly from the U.N. back on Friday. There are other civilians trapped nearby, but their fate isn't really dependent it seems on what happens in Kobani.

But the question is, what are the Turkish military going to do? They are so close. They could create a humanitarian corridor for people to get out. As this fight gets to the better end, we think it's close judging by the air strikes moving towards Kurdish positions, suggesting ISIS is getting down to them. It's up to the Turks to get whoever is trapped inside out -- Erin.

BURNETT: Nick, thank you very much --as we said reporting from the besieged city of Kobani.

OUTFRONT next, retracing my roots.


BURNETT: All week here at CNN we're tracing our roots in search of who our ancestors are and where we came from. Here's a preview.


ANNOUNCER: CNN, all next week, they travel the world to chase the story. But not just anyone's story, their own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be a journey of surprises.


ANNOUNCER: The story of how they came to be.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN: I had a great, great, great grandfather come over to Paraguay around the 1850s.

WOLF BLITZER: My grandparents died here.

ANNOUNCER: The story of their ancestors.

CHRIS CUOMO: This is where my great grandmother was given up for adoption.

ANDERSON COOPER: My dad's report card going back to 1944.

ANNOUNCER: Their history. DR. SANJAY GUPTA: These records go back 40 generations.

ERIN BURNETT: When we found out there's people here related to us, that's when it felt real to me.

ANNOUNCER: And now, they share those stories with you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like going back in time.

JAKE TAPPER: My colonial ancestors were on the wrong side.

MICHAELA PEREIRA: It was like coming home.

ANNOUNCER: Join the familiar faces of CNN as they trace their roots. All next week, starting Sunday, on CNN.


BURNETT: All right, I'm going to be sharing my story tomorrow here OUTFRONT. This roots project actually here at CNN ironically began the week my parents were moving from the farm where I grew up and where they lived for nearly 50 years. We're going to show you white chimneys. And how I found out that my family still lives on a remote island in Scotland.

We hope you'll join us, every one of these root's tales is so exciting and fun. I know it was fun for all of us. And we can't wait to share them with you. Thanks for watching. I'll see you back here for that tomorrow.

"AC360", though, begins now.