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Manhunt for 2 Killers After Prison Escape; Iraqi Forces Reclaim Baiji from ISIS; G7 Summit Getting Underway Right Now; American Pharoah Makes History. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired June 7, 2015 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, get a look at these two men, convicted killers who broke out of a prison. I'm talking Shaw shank style. It has residents worried, police and also New York's governor.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: These are two dangerous individuals. One was incarcerated for killing a sheriff so these are dangerous people.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We are so grateful to have your company. Thanks for being with us. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good Sunday to you. We're starting with the manhunt going on right now on the ground and from the air in upstate New York.

Police are looking for these two inmates who pulled off a daring and elaborate escape that sounded like a plot from the movie, and both men broke out of the Clinton correctional facility. It's about 25 miles from the Canadian border.

Now, police are telling people who live in that area to stay vigilant, lock their doors because there are lots of officers, maybe 200, who are trying to track down these two dangerous men.

Let's bring in CNN's Polo Sandoval with more on the escape and the latest on this manhunt -- Polo.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, that manhunt is now going over just 24 hours now, and priority for officials in Upstate New York is to track down these two individuals, but also perhaps the other question that's left to be answered is exactly how they were able to pull off such really a sophisticated prison break.


SANDOVAL (voice-over): A massive manhunt is under way for two convicted killers on the run. The FBI, state and local police setting up roadblocks searching house to house.

MAJOR CHARLES GUESS, NEW YORK STATE POLICE: Currently we have over 200 law enforcement officers in the area, with a variety of specialized units and equipment at their disposal. No stone is being left unturned.

SANDOVAL: Forty-eight-year-old Richard Matt and 34-year-old David Sweat made a daring escape from the Clinton correctional facility in Upstate New York near the Canadian border.

CUOMO: Well, there's no doubt that it was an extraordinary act. I mean, you have a facility that opened in 1865, just think about it. This is the first escape from the maximum security portion of the institution ever.

SANDOVAL: The pair left makeshift dummies in their beds made out of hooded sweat shirts and carved a hole through a steel wall at the rear of their cells.

ANTHONY ANNUCCI, NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: This morning, we noticed during the standing count at 5:30 a.m. of this facility the two cells which were adjoining each other were empty.

SANDOVAL: Officials say the inmates crawled through tunnels and down a six-story cat walk and used power tools to cut through steel pipes, eventually escaping through a manhole outside the prison perimeter. Officials say the brazen pair even left a note for prison officials. It read, "Have a nice day."

CUOMO: We went back and pieced together what they did. It was elaborate. It was sophisticated.

SANDOVAL: Sweat is serving a sentence of life without parole after he was convicted of first-degree murder. Matt is serving 25 years to life for kidnapping a man and beating him to death.

CUOMO: So, these are dangerous people and they are nothing to be trifled with.


SANDOVAL: Governor Andrew Cuomo there offering some historical perspective. Again, that facility open for such a long time and the other main question how these two were able to pull off such an elaborate prison break. Also the governor essentially retraced some of the steps of these two men as they try to find out exactly how they were able to pull this off, Victor and Christi. Coming up in the next half hour, though, we'll take a closer look at rap sheet of David Sweat and Richard Matt and tell you why it's such a priority that officials track them down as soon as possible.

BLACKWELL: And we'll try a figure out how they did it, as you said. We've got a law enforcement expert coming up later in the show.

Polo Sandoval, thanks so much.

SANDOVAL: You bet.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: I want to share this with you as it's coming into CNN. Iraqi forces with U.S. support, we've learned, say that they are now in full control of the city of Baiji. Sources tell CNN soldiers regained control of the city, and the government buildings and Baiji's main mosque there. ISIS forces retreated back towards Mosul under heavy fire, we're told.

Baiji is home to the largest Iraqi oil refinery, so this could be a big move. We're going to keep an eye on this story and bring you any updates as we get them.

Surely, it's going to be part of the conversation in Germany as well where the G7 summit is now officially getting under way. President Obama did get a head start, meeting with summit host German Chancellor Angela Merkel a short time ago.

A lot is at stake at this two-day meeting, though. President Obama wants world leaders to stop Russian aggression in Ukraine and tackle the ISIS threat as well. With all the world leaders there, security, as you can imagine, is intense.

Take a look at these live pictures. Yes, these are live pictures of police and some of the none administrators that are there who believe that these leaders are not out for the general public, they are just out for the good of themselves. We're hearing more than 17,000 police officers are there though to keep order.

[07:05:00] CNN's senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta joining us now.

So, a lot obviously, Jim, is on the agenda. We were just talking about what's going on in Iraq with is, but I understand Ukraine may be the issue to dominate the summit.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think the subject of Ukraine will dominate the summit, Christi, but you're right. ISIS will be talked about I think a great deal during this G7 summit. President Obama is scheduled to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. I'm sure the activity that took place, the military operation that took place in Baiji, will certainly be the topic that have conversation, but getting back to the crisis in Ukraine, that's essentially what they are going after during this G7 summit.

President Obama will be sitting down with a range of leaders. He's sitting down for a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during this hour. He'll do the same with British Prime Minister David Cameron later on today.

And the big concern for the Obama administration at the G7 summit is that the Europeans will see that the sanctions have not really worked in terms of changing Russian President Vladimir Putin's calculus and that there will be some temptations for the Europeans to draw down some of the sanctions. And the big goal here for President Obama is to make sure that the Europeans remain united on that front and the president talked about that earlier this morning here in the Alps.

Here's what he had to say.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over the next two days, I'm going to discuss our shared future, the global economy that creates jobs and opportunity, maintaining a strong and prosperous European union and forging new trade partnerships across the Atlantic and standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine, and combating threats from violent extremism to climate change. And on all these issues we're very grateful for the partner and leadership for your chancellor, Angela Merkel.


ACOSTA: And aides to the president say don't expect new sanctions to be announced against Russia. The president is going to be making the case during all of his meetings. The sanctions in place need more time to work. As a matter of fact, one top aide to the president, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes made a point during a conference call with reporter that the sanctions against Iran took years to bring Iran to the table that they are right now in those P5- plus-1 negotiations to bring their nuclear program under control for peaceful purposes.

So, I think you're going to hear a lot of comparisons being made between the sanctions that are being applied on Russia and the situation in Iran. But no question about it, Christi, as you mentioned at the top here. The battle against ISIS is also a big topic of conversation here. The president wants to make sure he also has the world behind him in that effort to rid that terror state -- that terrorist organization of trying to establishing a state in Iraq and Syria -- Christi.

PAUL: Yes, it's got a lot of people talking. Jim Acosta, thank you so much.


BLACKWELL: And we saw just a moment ago all of the protesters there at the G7 summit. Thousands of police officers there to provide security and thousands of protesters -- take a look at this, protesters have been carried off the streets there, and we've got a look at what happened yesterday as police deployed pepper spray on to this crowd here as a means of crowd control.

We've got Karl Penhaul joining us now near the protest site.

And, Karl, you've moved here to a different location. Tell us what you're seeing here.

KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, look at this picture right now. These are some of the thousands of demonstrators that have been rallying for the last few days to try and block the G7. I mean, look at this banner. It speaks for itself, G7, block capitalism, block war mongering, because what these protesters believe, there are many different groups here representing many different ideas.

But what essentially they believe is that the G7 is a club of elite fat cats that is trying to divide world politics and world economics for their own benefit and not for the benefits of their citizens or the global community.

The problem though is that despite the thousands of protesters here, there are also thousands of riot police. More than 17,000 police officers have been drafted into this region, and they follow the protesters' every move. They are just a few steps ahead of the protesters, as you can see. They move on either side of them as the demonstrators move forward as well.

And that is really what has neutralized the actions of the protesters. They have made their voices heard, but they have not been able to advance in what they made a vow to try to disrupt and top the G7 summit about 15 miles away in a castle, but they haven't been able to get anywhere close to there this morning -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: Karl, I know it may be difficult to hear me, but I wonder -- of course, we've seen skirmishes between protesters and police, but has there been anything that you describe as violence?

[07:10:04] PENHAUL: I would characterize this movement so far in the days that we've been following it, Victor, is essentially peaceful. It's essentially good humored and good natured.

There has, from time to time, been scuffles between police and protesters. We saw, for example, a big scuffle between police and protesters yesterday when police began to spray pepper spray. That, the protesters say, broke out, because the police stopped their marching to the destination where a local had approved the march.

It's difficult, there's always this game of he said/she said, but right now I would characterize the overall mood as peaceful. However, within these groups, there are greens, there are leftists of different stripes, there are anarchists, they have different ideas, and they are also ready to use different tactics. Some of them they say if they feel that the police are provoking them will defend themselves and fight back but they say they don't want to start the trouble, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Karl Penhaul reporting for us near the G7 summit, the location of the G7 summit, which started just at the top of the hour. Karl, thanks.

PAUL: Do stay with us. I want to show you some of these pictures here. Thousands of migrants, look at this, stranded in the Mediterranean. Can you imagine? Life-saving efforts are under way to get these people to let you know what's happening.

Also, the so-called Bonnie and Clyde duo, those armed teens, look at them. They are in custody. We'll have details about what was going on.

Also, American Pharoah you know making history when he took the coveted Triple Crown this weekend. Well, what's next for the winner?


PAUL: I want to get back to a story we're just learning about as we're just getting this in.

[07:15:00] That Iraqi forces, with U.S. support, have retaken the city of Baiji in Iraq.

I want to get to Nick Paton Walsh right now.

Nick, wondering, is this a pivotal move now for the coalition forces?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's certainly good news after weeks of bad, but I have to give you some context about Baiji. The reason why it's important is the oil refinery there. We saw ourselves last week quite how intensely Iraqi security forces wanted to show us. They were fighting for it, but they then admitted that the fighting they are doing is most likely going to be about surrounding that oil refinery and cutting off the areas around it, meaning that they think potentially dozens of is militants are still inside that refinery are cut off.

Well, they have announced today is that they have taken the city and the areas it seems that people live in around that refinery. That is a key move, of course, and ISIS today have really been introduced to being pushed to the city outskirts. So, it could well be a case that they have, as the military say, been fully pushed out.

I should point also though that they are quite openly thank the coalition here for the air strikes that they say enabled this to happen, three in the last press release. We heard from the coalition, we don't know what's happened necessarily in the 20 hours since that was put out, but certainly a key move here that Baghdad's government are keen to trumpet simply because it seems to be territory is being retaken in the right direction and certainly for the anti-ISIS coalition.

PAUL: All right. So, we understand that they were pushing is back. They retreated back towards Mosul. Remind us how much control do they have around Mosul and what does it mean for the people there.

WALSH: Mosul is the first city really that is moved in and took full control in in the north of Iraq, and it's really a year actually, just two days shy of a year since they moved in and took that vital northern half.

Now, it's still entirely under their control. It was supposed to be the focus of this summer's anti-ISIS campaign, and that was frankly completely derailed by the move that ISIS made into Anbar, into Ramadi that we saw in the last weeks. And now people are asking when can Mosul even thought of to be the next target given how bogged down they seem to be in retaining much of Anbar right now.

Yes, it seems is pushed back towards that city and it will give -- as we were explained to by Iraqi commanders, some sort of buffer line to the south now of Ramadi, which ISIS -- Iraqi security forces control the majority of the time of Baiji refinery accepted.

PAUL: OK. Nick Paton Walsh, so appreciate the update. Thank you very much.

We'll be right back.



[07:21:09] ANNOUNCER: And here it is, the 37-year wait is over. American Pharoah is finally the one. American Pharoah has won the Triple Crown!



PAUL: Oh, I thought he would have a coronary announcing it.

BLACKWELL: You've got to scream your way through it. I mean, people have been waiting 37 years and finally it has happened.

PAUL: Love it.

BLACKWELL: A decade long dry spell but American Pharoah finally claimed the coveted Triple Crown.

Our Andy Scholes was there.

Big day for the sport. Big day for you having been there. But is it big enough to save a sport that really has been in decline for a while, Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, you know, Victor, I've been to the Super Bowl. I've been to game seven of the World Series, and this moment yesterday when American Pharoah crossed that finish line, that's a top sports moment I've ever seen, been a part of. People were crying, people who didn't know each other were embracing because they were so happy that they finally got to see a Triple Crown for the first time in 37 years.

But in terms of saving the sport I'm one of the people that believes American Pharoah winning the Triple Crown is actually not good for horse racing because why are we so interested in this Belmont Stakes this year, is because we're trying to see a Triple Crown for first time in 37 years. Now, next year if a horse wins the first two legs of a Triple Crown we might be, like, we just saw that last year, so it's not as special.

So, I'm in the camp that thinks that winning the Triple Crown was actually not a good thing for horse racing, but, you know, who knows. We'll have to wait and see.

BLACKWELL: So I hear that. I remember watching year after year and a horse would win the Derby and then the Preakness and show at best at Belmont and I wondered why is this happening year after year. Finally American Pharoah.

But this horse has a pretty charmed life ahead having won the Triple Crown.

SCHOLES: Certainly does, Victor, and so does his jockey Victor Espinoza, his celebrity status elevated to as high as it can be. He'll do the media rounds in New York this week, including a stop at CNN, and he's actually going to be at the Yankees game later today. We're hearing he's throwing out the first pitch which is pretty cool. Done that previously with the Dodgers and Angels game. So, he's going to be living it up, you know, for the next weeks, months, who knows.

And American Pharoah is going to be leaving Belmont Park here shortly. And he's heading back to Louisville, Kentucky to Churchill Downs. And, you know, it's going to be a great time for him, the horse as well.

And the exact spot where he's been staying for the last week in barn one, stall 30. They say they're going to leave that empty from now on. It will basically be a shrine to American Pharoah because, guys, who knows when we'll see another Triple Crown winner. We have been waiting 37 years for this one.

BLACKWELL: Barn 1, stall 30. All right. Like retiring a jersey, I guess.

Andy Scholes, thank you so much.

PAUL: All righty. We've got a lot we need to talk about in terms of headlines this morning.

BLACKWELL: Yes, 23 minute after the hour. Naval ships are racing to rescue about 2,000 migrants who are in danger of sinking off the coast of Libya. Look at the pictures here. This comes just a day after these 3,400 other migrants were also rescued in the Mediterranean, Italian, German, British, Irish ships are involved in the massive migrant rescue operation.

PAUL: And the death toll from that horrific Chinese cruise ship disaster -- listen to this -- it's now 431. This comes from China's official news agency who also reports that as of now, 11 people are still unaccounted for this morning.

And a teen duo known as the modern day Bonnie and Clyde, look at this -- they are in custody. The two allegedly stole a truck and shotgun shells in multi-state crime sprees here. After a week on the lam, cops in West Virginia caught the wanted 15 and 16-year-olds. You see it right there.

[07:25:00] BLACKWELL: Police are now searching for two dangerous men. We've been following this story all morning. These inmates made a pretty daring escape from a New York prison. We'll tell you how they pulled off this mind-boggling escape, as much as we know about it and the efforts to find them.

Plus, as President Obama and world leaders get ready to tackle some major global problems like Russian aggression in the Ukraine, we'll take a more in-depth look at how they can work towards a possible solution.


DR. SANJYA GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Isaiah Austin is blind in his right eye due to a detached retina that he suffered as a teenager. But that didn't stop him from dominating the court as a Baylor University basketball center.

ISAIAH AUSTIN, FORMER BAYLOR UNIVERSITY BASKETBALL PLAYER: I knew that I had to perform at a high level in order for people to really respect me, and I did that.

GUPTA: In 2014, he was a top recruit for the NBA draft. But just days before that draft, Isaiah was told he has Marfan syndrome. It's a genetic disorder that affects the body's connective tissue. Doctors said he could no longer pursue a career in basketball.

AUSTIN: Toughest moment of my life.

GUPTA: Isaiah had to be tough, especially for his younger siblings.

AUSTIN: I just knew that I had to handle myself right in front of them because they look up to me like no other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NBA selects Isaiah Austin.

GUPTA: The NBA commissioner recognized Isaiah with an honorary draft pick and a job after he graduates.

For now, Isaiah is working with NBA Cares and bringing awareness to Marfan syndrome through a foundation he started. In his book "Dream Again," Isaiah shares his personal journey in the hopes of encouraging others.

AUSTIN: I could have been playing in the NBA right now and there could have been a high chance that I would collapse on the court, but my new passion really is to inspire people with my story.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.