Return to Transcripts main page

CONNECT THE WORLD

Weather Continues To Be Factor In Search For AirAsia 8501; Funeral Set To Begin For Slain New York City Detective Wenjiang Liu

Aired January 4, 2015 - 10:00   ET

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


MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Disappointment for search teams as recovery efforts for AirAsia flight 8501 enter a second week. We'll bring

you the latest in the live report from Indonesia.

Also ahead, Israel freezes millions of dollars in tax funds in retaliation for a Palestinian ICC bid. We'll have the latest from Jerusalem.

And hundreds of police pour into New York to bid farewell for an officer killed in the line of duty.

ANNOUNCER: This is the hour we connect the world.

FOSTER: searches looking for AirAsia flight 8501 found more human remains on Sunday, bringing the total number of people recovered to 34. However,

almost 130 from the aircraft remain missing. They're believed to be in the Java Sea along with pieces of the plane and those critically important data

recorders. For the families, hopes of finding survivors are fading now, one week after the crash.

Many of those families have been gathering at the airport in Surabaya Indonesia. Our Gary Tuchman is there. He joins us now live.

You can only imagine what they're still going through, Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so difficult, Max. And at the last couple of hours here in Surabaya at the airport, a very

solemn ceremony. Four more bodies recovered today. And they were just brought here a short time ago with coffins that were numbered 31 through

34. This is what they've been doing for each and every one of the victims they've recovered.

On Wednesday, we went to the ceremony at the naval air base near the Surabaya airport. And we saw coffins one and two. And they will continue

doing this as they recover bodies.

It's a silent ceremony with members of the air force and army and navy from Indonesia who march in step with the coffins and hearses and then bring

them right to where we are right now. We're at the city's police headquarters. Next door to the police headquarters is a hospital. And the

hospital is where they're doing the identification work.

Right now we have a situation where we have nine bodies that have been identified. Very sad today to report to you that one of the children on a

plane was identified, a little girl named Stevie (ph), that's her nickname, 10 years old and the description of how she was identified, they say she

was wearing blue jeans, she was wearing a sweater with a blue shirt with a picture of Minnie Mouse on the shirt.

She was traveling with three members of her family who haven't been found yet.

In addition, a flight attendant was identified, the second flight attendant to be identified. This was a male flight attendant, one of the five flight

attendants on the plane, the four others were female.

But two of them being identified and found gives you an idea of what may be going on here, and that is the belief among authorities is that most of the

remaining victims are still strapped in their streets in an airplane that maybe intact. What that implies, according to government agency is that

this plane, they are very sure that it did not explode in the air. They believe -- and we don't know for sure until these black boxes are found --

but they believe that while this pilot was trying to avoid the bad weather, that he got ice on the engines and ended up stalling and that's why the

plane maybe fell intact.

The other reason they think that is because they found huge pieces of the plane, one piece as big a six story building. And that gives them an

indication that it may have landed intact.

So right now we still have 128 people to find. And the problem is that the weather, while it improved today, divers who went under and it's the divers

who will need to find those people if they're still strapped in their seats, could not see anything. They said the visibility today was zero --

Max.

FOSTER: And as I understand it the families of those in the plane have been offered some sort of preliminary compensation to help cover costs.

TUCHMAN: Exactly right. According to family members we've got to know here, the airline is now telling us this officially that several family

members are. They've been given a preliminary offer for emergency financial assistance right away for 300 million Indonesian rupiahs, which

converts to about $24,000 for each family. If they have more than one loved one who was on a plane, that will be multiplied by that number.

That's an initial amount of money, because these people in many cases are not only suffering but they're not going to work and they're staying in

hotels. There will be more money given to these families as time goes on.

The mayor of this city and a law school professor are working to make sure it's a fair agreement for all of the families who are suffering here so

much.

FOSTER: Gary Tuchman in Surabaya, thank you very much indeed.

Well, as you've been hearing the weather has been a big factor in this search. Our Paula Hancocks found that out firsthand when she tried to go

out with a helicopter crew. Here's how it went.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Follow the coastline.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go to the east.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go to the east.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hariati Mapong (ph) shows me the flight plane, scouring the southwest coast of Borneo. Plans to

reach the AirAsia crash site changed due to the weather. Only aircraft evacuating bodies and debris allowed to risk the so-called red zone.

Officials believe remnants of the plane or bodies may have drifted around 100 nautical miles to land.

Dense vegetation and marshes makes searching by land unrealistic. Much of this area is barely inhabited. As the weather closes in, the pilot tries

to fly around it, but the front is too big.

We're only half an hour into the flight and the pilot has just decided that we have to abort this mission. He said that the weather up ahead is simply

too dangerous. He cannot fly into those kind of clouds and that rain. So we're circling back and going back to the airport.

Now for those on board, though we're going to be looking for debris and also looking for bodies, they barely had a chance to even start their job.

And this was just along the coastline, this wasn't even out at sea where the weather is worse.

Back on land the team refuses to be disheartened.

The local police chief tells me, "we'll keep going until we find everyone."

More victims are flown to dry land Saturday despite the weather. Once cleaned and treated, their flown on to Surabaya for formal identification.

Every number, a loved member of a distraught family, an innocent soul who lost their life in the Java Sea.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Pankalamboon (ph), Indonesia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, as the search goes on for flight 8501, here's a new mystery. Why was the plane flying that particular route on that particular day

without permission? CNN's Andrew Stevens brings us that angle of the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Indonesia's transport ministry has revealed that AirAsia Indonesia was not licensed to fly

between Surabaya and Singapore on Sunday, the day that flight 8501 took off from Surabaya and disappeared over the Java Sea with 162 souls on board.

In a statement, the ministry said the flight of Indonesia AirAsia route Suruabaya-Sinagpore was operated outside of the permitted license. This is

a violation against the agreement in the route provided.

The airline was licensed to fly that route, but only on four days a week and that did not include Sunday.

The ministry has now launched an investigation into the operations of AirAsia Indonesia as well as the management at Surabaya International

Airport. The transport minister told us that the investigation into the airline would also spread to all other Indonesian airlines to make sure

that all conditions were being correctly followed.

AirAsia Indonesia did not return calls to CNN, but the CEO did tell local television that the company would comply with the investigation and would

not make any further comments until that investigation had been wrapped up.

Transport ministry told us it would take about one week for the investigation to be held. And that options for penalties included banning

the airline from that Surabaya-Singapore flight right through to grounding the entire fleet operating in this country.

Andrew Stevens, CNN, Surabaya, Indonesia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Now, just off the coast of northeastern Scotland, search and rescue crews are sweeping the area for any sign of eight missing crew

members from a capsized cargo ship carrying cement.

These pictures show one end of the ship standing straight up from the water.

Meanwhile, off the southern coast of England, 25 crew members were airlifted from a car carrier ship that ran aground on Saturday. It

reportedly made a sharp turn to avoid a sand bank on its way to Germany.

The Scottish nurse diagnosed with Ebola has taken a turn for the worse and is in critical condition at a London hospital. British Prime Minister

David Cameron says his thoughts and prayers are with 39-year-old Pauline Cafferkey. She contracted the virus whilst volunteering with a medical aid

group in West Africa.

Erin McLaughlin is in London with more on the nurse's condition.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is huge concern here in the United Kingdom for British nurse Pauline Cafferkey. On

Saturday, a hospital here in London released a statement describing her condition as critical saying that it had deteriorated over the past couple

of days. No reason for that deterioration was given. And there have been no further medical updates.

This, in stark contrast to December 31 when the hospital released a statement saying that Cafferkey was alert, reading and talking and sitting

upright in bed.

She's receiving a number of different treatments including blood plasma from unnamed Ebola survivors as well as an experimental drug treatment,

that experimental drug treatment also unnamed.

She's being treated at the same hospital as British Ebola survivor William Pooley who has since made a full recovery. He received an experimental

drug called ZMap, though. According to medial reports, ZMap is no longer available.

Now Cafferkey is thought to have contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone. She was there volunteering with other British aid workers, helping

out the charity Save the Children. She flew from Sierra Leone via Casablanca and Heathrow airport before landing in Scotland shortly after

which she tested positive for Ebola, which has raised fresh questions about why her symptoms had not been detected at Heathrow Airport, which has

specific screening procedures in place for these kinds of cases.

Well, Cafferkey is the only person to have been diagnosed with Ebola while inside the United Kingdom, a virus which continues to claim lives in West

Africa. As of December 31, according to the WHO, the virus had claimed almost 8,000 lives and there have been over 20,000 confirmed cases.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, in a matter of hours, an American health care worker who had a high-risk exposure to Ebola is set to arrive at a U.S. hospital. A

doctor at Nebraska Medical Center says the patient isn't ill and isn't contagious. The health care worker had been in the West African nation of

Sierra Leone, which is an Ebola hot zone.

The World health Organization counts more than 20,000 confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola in West Africa, more than 7,900 have been fatal.

Now in less than an hour funeral services are set to begin for one of two New York police officers killed last month in an ambush. You're looking at

live pictures as mourners gather to pay theri respects to officer Wenjian Liu. He was shot and killed alongside his partner Rafael Ramos.

Police officers from across the U.S. are in New York and will line the streets for Liu's funeral procession later this morning.

Stay with Connect the World for the ongoing coverage of today's ceremony.

Plus, Israel withholds more than $100 million in tax funds from the Palestinians. We'll say why in a live report from Jerusalem.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Max Foster.

Now Boko Haram militants have kidnapped 40 boys and men in a remote Nigerian village. Witnesses say gunmen rounded up villages in Borno State,

preached about the group's ideology and then forced the captives into the forest. It happened on New Year's Eve in the same part of the country where

more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped last April.

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will not allow IDF soldiers to be hauled in front of the International Criminal Court. A

Palestinian bid to join that court appears to be prompting retaliation from the Israeli government.

Let's bring in CNN's Ian Lee. He joins us from Jerusalem.

What's the government said about this so far?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Israeli government is working hard to prevent any of their soldiers, any of their people for

going in front of the ICC. Now this just underlines the growing tensions between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It started last December when

at the UN the Palestinians tried to push forward a resolution that would basically set the time line for the creation of a Palestinian state. Well,

that bid failed, so the Palestinians moved then onto trying to get greater international recognition, that includes joining the ICC.

Now the Israelis upset. They withheld $127 million. This is tax revenue that the Palestinian authority receives on a monthly basis. This money

goes to paying civil servants like doctors, teachers, the security forces as well as providing basic services. And if Israel withholds this money

and continues that will create quite a crunch there for the Palestinian Authority.

This isn't, though, the first time we've seen them withhold money from the PA. They've done it before, but usually they've given -- transferred that

money over to them after a few weeks. But Israeli officials have said that this is just a first step, that there will be other steps, including the

possibility of taking Palestinian officials to the ICC -- Max.

FOSTER: And the U.S. State Department has also raised concerns about the move by the Palestinian Authority.

LEE: That's right. The United States is concerned about this. They don't want to see either side taking large unilateral action. They want to see

both sides coming to the negotiating table to find some sort of deal.

But as we've seen, those talks have stalled and both sides are looking for a way -- really the Palestinians as well -- trying to find a way to push

forward, to push for their own state, something that they would like to see, something that would potentially be the outcome of these talks, but

they're going about it in a unilateral way, which is upsetting not only Israel but also the United States.

FOSTER: Ian, thank you very much indeed from Jerusalem.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World.

Now funeral services are about to get underway for one of two slain New York police officers. We're live for you as police, family and friends say

goodbye to Detective Wenjian Liu.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: You're watching Connect the World live from Abu Dhabi. Welcome back. I'm Max Foster.

Now mourners are gathering now to say goodbye to a New York police officer killed in an ambush last month. Funeral services for detective Wenjian Liu

are scheduled to begin in about half an hour. Police officers from across the U.S. have gathered in the city to pay their respects.

Liu was shot and killed alongside his partner Rafael Ramos who was buried last week.

Our Miguel Marquez is outside the Brooklyn funeral home where services for Detective Liu will be held, but first let's go to CNN's Sara Ganim who is

live along the route where Liu's funeral procession will travel.

An enormous turnout, Sara.

Sarah, what sort of turnout is there. There seems to be a huge amount of officers from the whole of the U.S.?

SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, good morning, Max.

You can see the streets around me are quickly beginning to fill up with those who have come here to mourn.

Behind me you can see that officers are beginning to line up more than a mile away. And that's because that's how much room they need to fill -- to

fit all of the people that want to come here and pay their respects, watch the funeral on several jumbo screens that have been set up here in this

neighborhood.

Just to give you an idea of how many officers are here, yesterday during the wake there was a steady stream, a line of officers coming through for

nearly eight hours. JetBlue Airlines also flew in more than 1,100 officers from different jurisdictions across the country.

I've seen departments, badges from Cincinnati, from Virginia, from San Diego. And I talked to three officers who came in from New Orleans for

free on JetBlue. They said it's an incredibly important for them to be here for this. And I'll talk about why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Law enforcement is a very interesting profession. Not too many people run towards danger, yet we do it every day. And when we

lose one, we all feel it. And I think it's every one of us our responsibility to make sure that we never -- we never forget those

individuals and paid them the respects that are necessary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GANIM: Now it's not just officers who have come here, there are also many members of the community.

And I just want to talk for a minute about security, too, because we've seen people -- patrols on the roofs. We've seen K-9 units, even some

helicopters. And many of the streets in this neighborhood are blocked off so that they can properly put on this funeral , go forward and mourn their

fallen fellow police officer -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Sara, we'll be back with you as that procession takes place.

But let's speak to Miguel who is at the place that the funeral will take place. Miguel, what do we know about Detective Liu?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Well, he was a seven year veteran of the force. This is a guy who came to this country 20 years ago when he was

12-years-old from Canton, China. This is -- this is a guy who wanted to be a police officer. He was trained as an accountant, but became a police

officer. And he was married only in September and his -- you know, his family has not said a lot so far, but his wife spoke shortly -- now widow,

sadly -- spoke shortly after he was killed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a difficult time for both of our families. But we will stand together and get through this together. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUEZ: Now this second funeral for New York City police officer comes at a very tough time for the police department. Relations have not been good

between the mayor and the police department with the number of protests breaking out across the city and rank and file police being very upset with

the way that the police -- the mayor has handled those protests, believe he's taken their side too much.

The police commissioner Bill Bratten sent a memo to all police officers asking them not to turn their backs on the mayor as he speaks today, saying

that this is a moment for grieving, not for grievance -- Max.

FOSTER: And this plays into a much more national story if I can call it that. Tensions between certain communities and the police, which is why

it's really resonated across the country, is that right?

MARQUEZ: Absolutely. What New York is experiencing here, and New York has seen some instances where a black young men or black adults have been

killed by police, the police not being charged, or people feeling that they were treated unfairly. All of that playing into that larger picture that

has caused protests not only in New York, but cities across the country.

New York, though, it is a very big city, as you know, and you don't want to have a situation where the police force and its mayor are fighting with

each other. It got to be very, very rancorous, very bad for a short period of time.

It appears things are headed in the right direct. The mayor meeting with the unions. There's five unions that represent the police force here. The

mayor met with them between the two funerals now. When the mayor showed up to the wake yesterday, the officers who were there at the door saluted him

as he and the commissioner went in.

So, it appears that a lot of the rhetoric as well that was very nasty at first with the head of the Patrolman's Benevolent Association, the guy that

represents the rank and file cops saying that blood was on the hands of the mayor and of City Hall because of the officers' deaths in the last couple

of weeks. All of that has sort of -- is dialed back now and I think we're on to shorter footing -- Max.

FOSTER: Miguel, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

Those funeral services are due to start very soon, indeed, in New York. We'll be back with them, of course, as they unfold.

In the next hour, we'll speak to a retired New York City police officer as well, Kevin Flanagan (ph). He has been following the tensions between New

York's police and the city's mayor. Those tensions began after Mayor de Blasio expressed support for protesters rallying against police violence as

you've been hearing, and heightened with a shooting to death of detectives Ramos and Liu.

Now the team at the Connect the World want to hear from you. Facebook.com/CNNconnect is a way to have your say. You can also tweet me

@MaxFosterCNN.

I'm Max Foster, that was Connect the World. Thank you very much indeed for watching.

END