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Air Traffic Controllers Dangerously Sleepy; Rowdy Protests in Ferguson Trigger Dozens of Arrests; U.S. Official: Syria Training "Disappointing"; Google Announces Major Restructuring; Dow Down Nearly 200 on China Money News. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired August 11, 2015 - 09:30   ET


[09:30:00] DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Completely backfired. You had three million gallons of that toxic water spill into the river. The river is closed indefinitely. as you can imagine, residents and businesses, they are very frustrated. We talked to the owner of a local rafting company. Take a look.


DAVID MOLER, OWNS RAFTING COMPANY: They should have had some safeguards in place before they started poking around up there.

SIMON: How is this going to impact your bottom line?

MOLER: Drastically. I mean it's - this is our lifeblood. We've been - we've been a rafting company established for over 32 years and this will negatively impact our bottom line.


SIMON: And we're still waiting for the EPA to tell us what exactly is in this water. We know that there's some lead and arsenic, which could be very harmful to both humans and wildlife. We should point out that there is no evidence that it has contaminated the drinking water supply. But a lot of wildlife come here, they drink on the water and this water is used to irrigate crops. So, a lot of concern out there. And, of course, as this goes down river, that it could potentially impact other communities.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Dan Simon reporting live for us this morning, thank you.

And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me.

A disturbing report kept secret by the federal government for three years says the nation's air traffic controllers are dangerously sleepy, possibly putting you at risk when you're flying. In a 2012 study, nearly two in every 10 controllers admitted to significant errors on the job, including allowing planes to fly too close to each other. Many blamed those mistakes on being too tired. But the FAA still insists changes have been made since that study was done. Is that true?

Let's check in with CNN aviation correspondent Rene Marsh.

Good morning.


This is an alarming study by NASA, chronically fatigued air traffic controllers potentially putting fliers at risk. Now, we know researchers surveyed more than 3,200 controllers. It monitors their sleep patterns of more than 200 controllers. And they also gave them tests that measured their alertness during their shift. And here's what the study found. Controllers got an average of 5.8 hours of sleep every night. An average of 3.2 hours of sleep before a midnight shift. Seventy percent of controllers on the midnight shift caught themselves, quote, "about to doze off" at work, and 78 percent of those surveyed said that the shift work was the cause of their fatigue.

We also know that one in five controllers say they made some sort of operational error. The study same after several incidents involving controllers falling asleep on the job. Incidents like this one where the pilot was forced to land without help from the tower. Take a listen.


TRACON CONTROLLER: American 1900, so, you're aware the tower is apparently not manned. We made a few phone calls, nobody's answering. So two airplanes went in, in the past ten to 15 minutes. So you can expect to go in to an uncontrolled airport.


MARSH: Well, that's not the situation that you want to have. The FAA says that it has changed scheduling practices in 2012 to control these fatigue issues and that controllers are allowed to self-declare if they feel like they're too tired to work. But the FAA does acknowledge that fatigue will always be an issue in a 24/7 operation.


COSTELLO: All right, Rene Marsh reporting live from Washington, thank you.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, could the very group trying to help fix the issue of racial inequality actually be hurting the cause?


[09:38:09] COSTELLO: It is calm in Ferguson this morning, but a state of emergency does remain in effect for what police called good reason. Here's what it looked like overnight. Angry protesters flooding the streets, clashing with authorities. Some even hurling rocks and frozen water bottles at police. All of this happening around the anniversary of Michael Brown's death and the birth of Black Lives Matter, a movement that's become controversial itself. In Los Angeles last night, the new NWA bio pic "Straight Outta Compton" premiered under heavy police security. NWA, an influential rap group that's known for its anti-police stance. Some of the film's stars weighed in on the movement.


O'SHEA JACKSON JR., ACTOR: I don't think things have changed. The only thing that's really changed is that there's camera phones. And the thing is, with all that footage, you know, with social media, with more people aware of a problem that usually leads to a solution, but that's what we need to be focused on instead of complaining, instead of protesting. I understand the protests, but we need to start thinking of solutions because there are people in positions of power that are abusing the power. So it needs to - it's time for change.


COSTELLO: With me now to talk about this, CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill. He's also host of "Huff Post Live" and a professor at Morehouse.

Welcome, Marc.


COSTELLO: Glad to have you here.

So, do you agree with O'Shea?

HILL: Yes. I think police brutality, police violence, police terrorism in some people's minds, has been consistently deployed on poor black and brown communities for decades now. The technology allows us to get more access to it. It allows us to see what's happening every day.

COSTELLO: What about the part he said where the protests are great, but we need to find solutions.

HILL: Yes.

COSTELLO: So maybe it's time to stop protesting and find solutions?

HILL: Well, I don't think they're either/or propositions. I think they're both/and. We have to protect to continue to do this. If people were out there right now in a policy meeting, right, talking about how we could have more police oversight, citizen review boards, we wouldn't be here talking about it. There's no breaking news -

[09:40:05] COSTELLO: We have commissions like that. Ferguson has several commissions like that itself.

HILL: Because of these protests.

COSTELLO: Right. HILL: And to continue the pressure and to continue to apply the pressure, we need to keep the protests going. We need to keep a spotlight on it. Protests are never considered the answer. Protests are like the spotlight that forces people to do what they need to do.

COSTELLO: Well, as you know, Black Lives Matter has become controversial in some people's mind. For example, Black Lives Matter doesn't seem to like Bernie Sanders, the most liberal politician ever. Look at what happened on stage just the other day.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. All right. So we are trying to be reasonable. We are trying to be reasonable. We are trying to be reasonable. We are trying - we are going to give you - we're going to let you on the mic. We are going to give you the mic. We will, after Senator Sanders. After Senator Sanders. After Senator Sanders.


COSTELLO: OK. So you get - you get the drift, right?

HILL: Yes.

COSTELLO: So this is just confusing to some people. Why Bernie Sanders?

HILL: But it's not just Bernie Sanders. And to be clear, it's not that they dislike Bernie Sanders. This isn't a matter of personal affection for a -

COSTELLO: Well, they didn't seem to love him in that moment.

HILL: Well, it's not about loving him, it's about loving policies, right, and having certain policies that are in the interest of the people. Bernie Sanders has yet to issue, at least at that moment, a statement, a policy statement on - or paper, rather, on criminal justice. Martin O'Malley had already done that. Bernie Sanders had not.

It's not about whether his economic politics are progressive enough. They are. It's not about whether or not he has an affection for civil rights and social justice. He does. But the question is, how do we make the word flesh, as it were? How do we get these ideas on the ground and actionable. That's what they want from Bernie Sanders. That's what they want from Martin O'Malley. And if Hillary Clinton were to actually go around doing these rallies and talking to people and answering questions, she'd get it too.

COSTELLO: I don't know, that would be interesting.

On the other hand -

HILL: She probably has better security, but that's about the only difference.

COSTELLO: Maybe so. Maybe that's the answer.

On the other hand, according to NPR, the Sanders campaign just appoints an activist who supports Black Lives Matter as its national press secretary.

HILL: See what I'm saying? It works. It works. Do you think they would have done that a week ago or two weeks ago? Of course not. Bernie Sanders decided that I am lefter than everybody else. I'm the right progressive and you people should support me just because of that. and I don't mean you people in a racially derisive way. I must mean, that's how the left thinks oftentimes, particularly the white left is that, look, you people don't know what's in your best interest. I do. If we just get economic justice, everything else will be all right. And Black Lives Matter is saying, wait a minute, we need our issues articulated too. We have a particular targeted need and we need you to speak to it. That's what Ferguson's about too.

COSTELLO: OK. Marc Lamont Hill, thanks so much. I appreciate it.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, they've been training and arming Syrian rebels. Now the Pentagon wonders if the program is actually working.


[09:47:43] COSTELLO: The fight against ISIS took a step back this morning. The Pentagon now urgently trying to figure out what to do with its program that trains and equips Syrian rebels, this after an attack on a new group of trained fighters by al Qaeda. Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon with more. Good morning.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. That attack, of course, coming several days ago. But the Pentagon still absorbing it all, trying to figure out where the train and equip program that's been running to -- for moderate Syrian rebels, where that program is going now. There are a second group of rebels in training.

Pentagon officials are saying, you know, the program, they admit, has been a disappointment, especially after that attack. So now they have to figure out, what do they do with the new rebels. Do they put them back into Syria? Do they wait until there's a larger group to put in until they have a mass of force? Do they take more advantage of the Kurdish fighters, the so-called YPG fighters, in northern Syria, that have been having a lot of success but aren't part of the train and equip program? So it's sort of this jigsaw puzzle.

Going forward, where do you put your effort? Who can give you the best value for the dollar, so to speak, if you're going to invest in training and supporting some of these rebel groups? And it comes as U.S. airstrikes into northern Syria, into northern Iraq from these new bases in southern Turkey could be coming really at any point. Those aircraft now in southern Turkey. They are essentially ready to go. The Pentagon even talking already about trying to establish a second base in Turkey to focus on search and rescue for any pilots going into that very tough combat zone.


COSTELLO: Barbara Starr, reporting live from the Pentagon this morning. Thank you.

Checking on some other top stories for you at 49 minutes past. Two Wisconsin 13-year-olds will be tried as adults for stabbing their friend 19 times in order to prove their loyalty to the fictional internet character Slender Man. The girls' attorneys had asked that their cases be moved to juvenile court, but a judge denied the request. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier face attempted first degree intentional homicide charges. If convicted, they face up to 65 years in prison.

[09:49:59] Donald Sterling is suing TMZ and former friend, V. Stiviano, over leaked recordings of him making racially charged remarks. The recordings led to Sterling being stripped of his ownership of the L.A. Clippers. In them, he's heard telling Stiviano that she shouldn't associate with black people. Sterling's lawsuit claims his privacy was violated and that several statements on the reporting were altered by Stiviano or her associates.

And this video will make you cringe. An Irish cyclist launches over a sharp turn -- Oh, oh my gosh -- and flew into a nearby race -- a race support car. This happened at Saturday's Tour of Utah. And the horror didn't stop there. As you can see when people ran to help, other cyclists also crashed. The cyclist, the one that flew over the car, now listed in stable condition. So hopefully he'll be OK. Wow.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, it started as a search engine, but the company's gotten so big and so diverse. Big changes are coming to Google. I'll tell you what they are, next.


[09:55:16] COSTELLO: A terrible accident right now on Interstate 8 southwest of Phoenix. Take a look at that. That's a prison bus filled with inmates that hit a semi and the semi rolled over. Of course, some of the inmates were terribly hurt, all have been accounted for. However, a dozen or so of the inmates have been taken to the hospital right now. We don't know the condition of the driver of that semi, but you can see, it was a terrible accident. It's closed down part of Interstate 8, southwest of Phoenix. We'll keep you posted.

In other news this morning, Google just made one of the biggest changes in the company's history. The internet behemoth is shaking things up and restructuring all of its businesses under the umbrella of a new parent company called Alphabet. Yes, Google reported $4.3 billion in profit last quarter, and yes, it has $61 billion in cash, but its leaders think Google can do even better.

CNN's Christine Romans is here to explain.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Google is all grown up. It's almost like Berkshire Hathaway or General Electric or -- restructuring itself to be this big grown-up company with these different business lines with a strong CEO that are allowed to innovate and keep their startup kind of flavor. Their ability to take risks and be their own individual company.

So let's look at what it looks like. Alphabet is the overall company, the corporate parent, the holding company. And then, Carol, here are the business lines. Google, that's what we all know, Android, Search, Chrome, YouTube, Calico -- that's its increasing your life, longevity -- Google Ventures, they spun start-ups, Google X - that's the moonshot part of it, Carol, that's -- you know, wow, that's all this stuff that just sounds crazy and exciting and maybe it's going to make money, but driverless cars, and they've got hot air balloons that have internet connectivity -- Nest, it's its home technology. So a lot of these different things here, there's going to be a new CEO of the Google part of the business and the two co-founders of Google will run Alphabet, overseeing all of it. So a really big shakeup for the company.

COSTELLO: Wow, that's amazing. OK. We have to talk about the Dow that's down 175 points or more because of China.

ROMANS: Right. So Google stock is up 6 percent because of Google's reorganization, but you've got 175-point decline here on the Dow Jones Industrial average. What is the China money move? China's currency is called the yuan. It's closely pegged to the U.S. dollar. Many people have complained -- you've heard it on the campaign trail recently -- complained about how the Chinese keep their currency artificially weak compare to the dollar. That gives U.S. goods a disadvantage over Chinese goods.

Well the Chinese had a surprise one-off devaluation of their yuan today because the strength of the dollar recently has hurt their exports overseas. So China moving its currency ban to help Chinese exports and that has the markets rattled about potential currency manipulation or currency wars going forward.

So it's a very shaky time, really, for markets. You know, we had a seven-day losing streak, then today this big really and then today we're down again. The Fed is about to raise interest rates. That's going to change the whole playing field around the world so that's why you're still seeing nervousness as we head into that Fed rate increase and now this Chinese move. Just another reason for investors to take money off the table, unless you're in Google. That stock's up big time.

COSTELLO: Exactly. Stay close by, Christine, because we may need you again.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

COSTELLO: I appreciate it. The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.


COSTELLO (voice-over): Happening now in the NEWSROOM, faceoff in Ferguson, again. More arrests as rocks and frozen water bottles are thrown at police. Has anything changed?

And, did Fox News cave to Donald Trump? First the phone call, then the tweets, but what about Megyn Kelly? CNN talks to Trump this morning.

Plus, a state of emergency in Colorado after this river turns a ghastly orange. Is drinking water at risk? Let's talk. Live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


COSTELLO: And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. Donald Trump heads to Michigan today for his first public appearance since the Republican debate that sparked controversy for his comments on and off the stage. As you well know, Trump went on a tirade against debate moderator Megyn Kelly, but he tells CNN's Chris Cuomo that after speaking with the Fox CEO, Roger Ailes, all is forgiven.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I said was obvious. There was nothing wrong, unless you're a deviant, you don't put those words in. You know, a couple of people, they tried to make a big issue out of it. That's not it.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You know what it was.

TRUMP: Roger's done an amazing job at Fox, he called me, and I have no problem.


[10:00:01] COSTELLO: Trump went on to say that the Republican candidate women should have a problem with is his rival, Jeb Bush.