Return to Transcripts main page


Ministry: Plane Wing Debris from Boeing 777; Memphis Manhunt for A Cop Killer. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired August 2, 2015 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And thank you so much for starting your money with us.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: We've got a lot of breaking news we're covering this morning. We're going to continue with NEW DAY right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: It is 7:00 on Sunday morning. We're always grateful for your company. I'm Christi Paul. Thank you for being with us.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

The breaking news this morning, two big stories. First, a Memphis police officer shot and killed during a routine traffic stop overnight.

PAUL: Right now, there's a desperate manhunt going onto catch the person who killed him. We're following the latest developments in that, and we'll bring to you in just a couple of minutes.

But our other breaking news story this morning is a potential possibly new lead in the Flight MH370 investigation. If you have a moment here, take a look at this. This is some video we've just gotten in this morning. Brand new image of piece and debris that was found today on the beach in Reunion Island. A local government official says it's, quote, "a metal object of interest". But that metal object of interest is now in the hands of police.

BLACKWELL: Another angle breaking here, Malaysia's ministry of transport says that the portion of a plane wing, the flaperon, has been now officially confirmed as coming from a Boeing 777. Hugely significant because Flight 370 was a Boeing 777 and is the only missing Boeing 777 in the world.

We've got CNN's Saima Mohsin in Toulouse, France, where that laboratory is. We've also Erin McLaughlin on Reunion Island.

I want to go to Erin first.

Give us as much as you know about this object of interest, this new metal that was found. ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning,


Well, police on the island clearly taking reports of this object seriously, some eight officers out on a nearby beach to collect it. The beach about 13 miles away from the location where they found that original piece of debris that has been sent to France. AFP releasing a photo of the object. It shows a piece of twisted metal with what appears to be Chinese characters on it. We understand that authorities have collected it. They are analyzing it. But so far, not speculating as to whether or not it is tied to the missing plane.

BLACKWELL: All right. Erin McLaughlin there on Reunion Island, Erin, thank you so much.

PAUL: I want to go to CNN's Saima Mohsin in Toulouse, France -- that's where the plane wing debris, that flaperon is in a laboratory for examination.

So, Saima, we're getting confirmation this morning that what everybody wanted to hear, the debris is indeed from a Boeing 777?

SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. The Malaysian Transportation Ministry has issued a statement this morning saying that that is from a 777 aircraft. That is as a result of inspections by the United States NTSB, the Malaysian authorities and French authorities here as well.

By the way, we've called French authorities several times over the last couple of days since we've been here. They are remaining tight- lipped. They've released a statement on Friday. We expect another one first thing Monday morning. Nothing from the French authorities here.

But that flaperon from the 777 aircraft I must point out not yet confirmed if it is from MH370. It's inside there. It was delivered with a police escort in a sealed container. Now that will come out sometime early next week when we believe the officials are gathering. They're flying into France right now. They're going to take a first look for analysis on Wednesday, they say. But they are meeting on Monday.

Now, in addition to those authorities we knew the French authorities were gathering. We knew about the United States NTSB and Malaysian authorities. But we're also being told in this statement by the Malaysian transportation ministry that Chinese officials will also be joining this group of inspectors. Of course, the majority of the people on board Flight MH370 were from China. So, big focus for that country here as well.

So, that is -- this is where the flaperon is going to be analyzed and of course we've been discussing what they're looking out for, how it came away from the main body of the plane, how it was torn away, did it come off in the air or in the sea. But there is, of course, you remember, a small piece of material that's believed to be from a suitcase. Now, that is not here. That was taken to the Criminal Research Institute, just in the Paris region outside of the capital of France here. And that is being investigated by police there.

However, deputy prime minister of Australia, Warren Truss -- of course Australia responsible for the search mission. He has said he doesn't believe it's likely to be from MH370. And the reason he's giving is that it doesn't have any marine life on it. The flaperon that's been delivered here has got barnacles all over it, showing it's been in the water for such a long time that it's developed marine life all around it.

[07:05:03] Well, this piece doesn't. And he, using that evidence, is saying he doesn't believe it's likely to be from Flight MH370. But a lot more to come from this lab, we're waiting for it to open on Monday morning -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Saima Mohsin, we appreciate the update. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. We've got aviation expert Julian Bray joining us now from London via Skype. And we have on the phone, CNN analyst David Gallo, who's with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

And, David, I want to start with you with what we heard from Saima Mohsin there, that this official does not believe that -- if we could put this picture of this object of interest -- the one that's now washed up on shore on Reunion Island, this official does not believe that this object was part of MH370 because there's no marine life connected to it, no barnacles.

How much do you believe that might be true?

DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST (via telephone): Hi, Victor.

Well, I haven't seen the image. I would think that any hard on the in the water is certainly going to have the telltale signs that it's been there for over 500 days, 16 months. So, I thought they were referring to the suitcase and not this new piece that has just come up they thought might be a door.

BLACKWELL: Yes, this piece -- this piece specifically is just -- it's between stones on this beach and it has no marine life there either. Let me ask you, even having not seen the photo -- and I think my producer just sent it to you. You could check your e-mail to see it. But what's your consideration given the time in the water when you look at mangled pieces of metal?

GALLO: Well, when you're at sea -- and you things floating -- it has to float for starters or it's not going to make it all the way to Reunion from the west coast of Australia. Normally, there's life growing on it, under it and fish will sit beneath it because it becomes its own only community of life. So, how long it takes probably depends on how fertile the area is and whether it started off in tropical waters or colder waters.

So, there's a lot of variables here. And we'll know once it gets to the laboratories in France and they have a good look at it, the biologists have a good look at it, how long they can tell that it's been in the water. BLACKWELL: Let's go to aviation expert Julian Bray now. Julian, will investigators have to go through the same process with this piece of metal as they're going through with this flaperon in Toulouse?

JULIAN BRAY, AVIATION EXPERT: Yes. They're going to have to start all over again. And also you're going to have a magistrate sitting in there, because this, of course, in France a criminal investigation as there are French nationals involved in the disappearance, on the missing passenger list.

So, what has happened now? You've got the flaperon and it is confirmed from coming from a 777 but not the 777. So, that is what we've got to establish.

And the more (INAUDIBLE) washed up bottles we can find I understand they've actually put out a general appeal for anybody beach combing as they call it who comes up with something, to send it in and preserve it so they can actually put together a picture. What we're really after is lots of debris being washed up so we can plot it. And then of course they can backtrack and try and figure out where it came from.

BLACKWELL: Hey, Julian, you say that -- and we're reporting this morning that it's confirmed it's from a 777 but not the 777, the MH370 777. How big of a leap is that? If there's only one 777 missing in the world and this is a crucial part of the plane, is it that big of a leap to say it's the 777?

BRAY: Oh yes. You've got to remember there might only be one 777 but there may be lots of flaperons around, because they actually make them in India, under contract to Boeing. So, it could actually be recycled or a factory reject that's found its way into the ocean. We're not sure. So, that's why they have to be 100 percent sure.

Now, when they finally do start -- and I think they're going start round about Wednesday. They have to work out a protocol first of all. So, you'll have lots of people in rooms poring over pieces of paper trying to figure out the best way to do this and to keep all the participants happy, because now the Chinese are involved, the Malaysians are involved, French are involved, Americans involved, in fact, just right everybody seems to be involved now. And, of course, this is August, the month when France traditionally goes on holiday.

BLACKWELL: Many countries involved now.

[07:10:00] And again, Malaysian authorities announcing that they are reaching out to authorities in the territories in that vicinity to allow for experts to conduct more substantive analysis should more debris arrive there on Reunion Island.

Julian Bray, David Gallo, stand by. Thank you both for your analysis. We'll talk more throughout the morning.

We're also following another breaking story we want to get to. A Memphis police officer shot and killed during a routine traffic stop last night. PAUL: Right now, there's a desperate manhunt to catch that cop

killer. We're going to bring you that, next.

Also, several wildfires are still burning out of control in California and word now that there are more evacuations underway.

Plus, you know, he's been sitting quietly on the sidelines. But could Vice President Joe Biden soon get into the race for the White House? We have a live report for you, next.


[07:14:01] PAUL: Thirteen minutes past the hour right now.

And some breaking news out of Tennessee this morning: there is a desperate manhunt underway as we speak here after a Memphis police officer was shot and killed overnight during what should have been, we're told, a routine traffic stop. Officers are mourning the death of this man, 33-year-old Sean Bolton. He died late last night, and they're doing this, of course, as they're hunting for the killer.

Nick Valencia following the story.

What are police staying to you because I know you've been in contact with them all morning?


Yes, we have reached out to the Memphis Police Department. They aren't offering any new details up at this hour. They are saying, though, that search for whoever is responsible for the fatal shooting of this Memphis police officer is still active, is still underway.

Thirty-three-year-old Sean Bolton, a veteran police officer with the Memphis police department, shot multiple times during a traffic stop. It was reported that a citizen used his radio to contact police to let them know that one of their own had been shot. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He later died there at that hospital.

[07:15:02] Last night, the police director for the Memphis Police Department addressed the public.


TONEY ARMSTRONG, MEMPHIS POLICE DEPARTMENT: As a community we say so often there's a theme that do black lives matter? And at the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves, do all lives matter regardless of race, creed, color, economic status, what profession that person holds, all lives matter.


VALENCIA: Director Armstrong went onto say that this is the third officer shot in the four years that he's been head of the police department there in Memphis -- Christi. PAUL: Yes, he talked about how difficult this has been the last few

years. What's interesting is we're not getting any description of a suspect as they're looking for this person, right?

VALENCIA: No. In the press conference they held yesterday, Christi, they alluded to saying that we will find him, whoever is responsible for this. But, officially, we've reached out again this morning to the Memphis Police Department to try to get a description of whoever is responsible for this. They have not released that officially to the public. We'll keep you updated once we get information.

PAUL: All right. Nick Valencia, so appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Drama erupts at the funeral for Bobbi Kristina Brown. A family member claims that she was kicked out of the services for the daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobbi Brown. You're going to hear why she says she was booted from that service.

Also, Cecil the lion's death prompts some big hunting changes as Zimbabwe now suspends hunting in certain areas.


[07:20:07] BLACKWELL: Well, this morning we are monitoring the developing fire situation in California. These wildfires are growing and strengthening all across the state. Look at the map. At least 20 massive wildfires are burning across California.

The Rocky Fire, which you're seeing video of here, is one of the biggest. It's now only 5 percent contained, already burned thousands of acres, tens of thousands of acres, and forced officials to enforce mandatory evacuations this morning. But 9,000 firefighters have been battling this deadly fire. It's a thousand more than they had yesterday.

And as the governor of the state has now maintained this state of emergency, lightning strikes are now igniting new fires.

Let's get to Ivan Cabrera watching the situation there.

What's the latest there, Ivan?

IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, I tell you, like you mentioned, they could use I guess another thousand, the fighters, and they're still be in trouble here, conditions are not helping.

Those 20 fires that we're working here across California, those major fires, have now consumed over 50,000 acres of land. And the one that's getting out of the hand now is in lake county here. Yesterday, we talked about 18,000 acres so far in 24 hours, this fire has consumed another 9,000 acres.

So, at a hand, no question about it, only 5 percent containment. And the structures, as far as the ones that are threatened, over 6,000 here. So, let's talk about this forecast here, because it does not look good over the next couple of days. There's going to be slight improvement here, but I think really not much to help firefighting efforts.

Temperatures over the next several hours, climbing into the upper 80s. We had plenty of humidity this morning. The relative humidity, of course, will continue to go down as we take you through the afternoon. High temperatures into the low 90s, upper 80s, Monday and Tuesday. So, a light improvement there, but not much.

By the afternoon, Victor, as well, the winds are going to start picking up. We could have gusts near 20 miles an hour. That could, of course, take some of the embers from the tops of the trees and start more fires here. So, we'll watch it closely, but doesn't look good over the next few days as weather conditions.

BLACKWELL: All right. Ivan Cabrera, helping us understand what's happening there on the West Coast -- Ivan, thank you so much.

PAUL: Well, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cairo meeting with his Egyptian counterpart. He said the U.S. is committed to the security and economic well-being of the Egyptian people. And it's important to continue the fight against terror to secure stability in the Middle East.

BLACKWELL: Four people are now dead in an outbreak of legionnaire's disease in New York. And the number of cases has reportedly double to 65 since Thursday. Officials are still searching for the source of the outbreak and urging anyone showing the flu-like symptoms of the disease to seek medical attention.

PAUL: Family and friends of Bobbi Kristina Brown said their good-byes to the only child of the late Whitney Houston singer Bobby Brown. This was a private funeral ceremony held in Atlanta.

But the services are not without some drama. Brown's aunt came out of the ceremony saying she was kicked out of the funeral.


LEOLAH BROWN, AUNT OF BOBBI KRISTINA BROWN: It went wonderful until Pat started speaking and I didn't like that.

REPORTER: What did you say?

BROWN: I just told her that Whitney was going to haunt her from the grave.


BROWN: Not much. She's not saying anything. I really don't know what she's saying.

REPORTER: How was Kristie remembered?

BROWN: Kristie, she'll be remembered in our hearts forever, just like Whitney will. OK, I really love my niece and I'm so sudden that this happened to her right after her mother.


PAUL: Meanwhile, notably absent from the services, Brown's partner Nick Gordon. He's now facing a civil lawsuit from the family alleging that he accessed Brown's bank account and stole more than $11,000.

So, here's a question for you, do you think Vice President Joe Biden may be eyeing a spot in the 2016 race? CNN has learned that he is actively exploring a potential bid. We'll have new details on that.

BLACKWELL: Plus, 17 GOP candidates jockeying for ten spots. We're talking about the first debate coming in just a few days. Check out who's in and who maybe is out, coming up.


[07:27:43] BLACKWELL: Twenty-seven minutes after the hour and we're starting this half with breaking news.

A new piece of metal, of debris, has washed up on a beach here on Reunion Island. That's where the search for debris for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is now concentrated in some part. You're looking at an image, the only close-up image we have. It's been sent in of this object of interest. You can see it's a twisted piece of metal here.

CNN's Erin McLaughlin is following this for us on Reunion Island.

Erin, what are you hearing about this piece, what's happening to it now and what happens next?

MCLAUGHLIN: Hi, Victor. Well, it was found on a beach not far from here about 13 miles away from where the -- what has now been confirmed by Malaysian authorities as a flaperon was found. Some eight police officers out on the beach this morning to collect the item. Photograph released by AFP shows a piece of twisted metal with what appears to be Chinese characters inscribed on it. These characters could be some sort of branding.

We understand they have collected the piece of debris and are analyzing it further. It's worth noting that so far, authorities refusing to speculate if this is, in fact, in any way tied to MH370 or if it's even a plane part. Also worth noting there's a vast ocean surrounding this small, tiny island with lots of debris. So, there's plenty of room for false alarm as well -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: And where is this piece going now?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, we understand that French authorities have it and they're looking at it. It's unclear. As I said, they've been very tight lipped in terms of the details. It's unclear if this item is going to receive the same treatment as the -- what has now been confirmed as the flaperon, which has been flown to France for further analysis. We're hoping to get more information on that later in the week.

BLACKWELL: All right. Erin McLaughlin there on Reunion Island for us -- Erin, thank you so much.

PAUL: And new this morning, Vice President Joe Biden is reportedly exploring a possible presidential campaign. According to "The New York Times", the vice president's advisors have started reaching out to Democratic leaders and donors who have not yet committed to Hillary Clinton.