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Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Crash; Maduro and Guaido Hold Rival Rallies amid Blackout in Venezuela; U.K. Faces Backlash after ISIS Bride's Baby Dies; Interview with Dal Babu, Former London Metro Police Chief Superintendent, on ISIS Grooming and Recruitment; New Poll of Democratic Hopefuls; Theresa May to Hold Summit over Knife Attacks; Interview with Leroy Logan, Former Superintendent with London Metropolitan Police, about Knife Attacks; Interview with Alex Macheras, Aviation Expert, about Ethiopian Airlines Crash. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired March 10, 2019 - 05:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): We begin with the breaking news this hour. The Ethiopian Airlines flight en route to Nairobi has crashed according to a statement from the airline. I'm George Howell.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Natalie Allen. We just received word of this crash in the past hour. This is what we know right now early on.

The Boeing 737 went down near the town of Bishoftu. The airline said there 149 passengers, eight crew members on the plane. CNN's Robyn Kriel joins us in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Robyn, what are you hearing?

ROBYN KRIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very (INAUDIBLE) Ethiopia has a blackout when it comes to (INAUDIBLE) and just now they're really opening up and starting to talk more to journalist.

What we understand is the tweet came from the prime minister. That was the first indication that there was any kind of a plane crash. He offered his condolences to the family who lost loved ones on that flight.

For now, what we understand is that there is some kind of an operation ongoing. We don't know if it's a rescue operation or a search operation, if there are survivors. We're hearing mixed reports about there being survivors or not being survivors.

We do not know how many people were on board that flight. I believe Ethiopian Airlines has now issued a statement that will provide a little more clarity. But It was a Boeing 737. Oftentimes, from my own experience, I can tell you that those flights would be fairly full. It's early Sunday morning where it would have down here.

It's an Orthodox Christian majority country. So a lot of Ethiopians would be going to church on that day. It's a very sacred day here for a lot of Ethiopians. So I'm not exactly sure who would have been on board that flight. A lot of Ethiopians avoid traveling very early on a Sunday morning.

A lot of flights from Nairobi to Addis to major hubs in the East Africa, the Horn of Africa, and what kind of a rescue operation would it be, I cannot even begin to imagine right now. They do have a very good safety record.

Ethiopian Airlines had one incident recently in January, where a plane skidded off a runway in Uganda. But since then, we haven't heard any reports of this nature. They are very proud of their airline. It is a national airline.

In fact, just yesterday, they were boasting about having an all-female crew flying for International Women's Day. And of course, now this tragedy today and we understand (INAUDIBLE) this week that there are at least a couple of casualties.

Where the plane went down is a place called Adama, it's about an hour and 40-minute ride from (INAUDIBLE) to the international airport (INAUDIBLE). I can tell you I am at the airport but there are planes still taking off and landing at Bole International.

ALLEN: We do know it was also Flight number 302. We also want to tell our viewers that our meteorologist, Derek van Dam, has looked into this. He said there was no weather or thunderstorm activity in that area or where it took off or the area where it crashed just a few minutes later.

HOWELL: And, Robyn, also the amount of time that the plane, from takeoff to losing contact, apparently, it took off at 8:38 am local time and then lost contact at 8:44 am, which is in line from what you're saying, this crash not happening too far from Bole International Airport. It was in the air for a very short amount of time.

KRIEL: It does sound like it was in the air for a short amount of time. I'm trying to figure out exactly where it would have taken place and how long it took emergency responders to get there. I would imagine that a majority of the emergency responders would come from Bole International Airport and would from Addis Ababa itself.

They do have an emergency management system here in Ethiopia. There's been a few (INAUDIBLE) this week, we know that communications have been pretty bad. We understand that some travel alerts were issued by a couple different embassies, telling people not to come today, not to fly into Bole International Airport due to what would appear to be some unrest. Perhaps --


KRIEL: -- they were called on social media for -- to protest in (INAUDIBLE) in (INAUDIBLE) square, which is the main place where protesters gather here.

But this was a very different issue. This had nothing to do with the airlines. This was due to a land distribution issue with the government. So exactly what precipitated this emergency crash landing, we actually do not know. Whether there's fault with the plane, we just are not sure at this point.

ALLEN: All right. Robyn Kriel, we appreciate it. We know a rescue is underway. There are reports there might be survivors. We'll continue to stay on top of this breaking news story, Flight 302 from Ethiopia to Nairobi has crashed.

HOWELL: And the airlines says it will establish an information center and a phone number out for people around the world who may be watching, concerned about loved ones, shortly. But that number has not been established. We'll pass that on as we learn more.

Now in Venezuela, much of that country struggling with widespread blackouts.

ALLEN: People there are still in the dark and are growing more and more desperate. Not that the situation in that country was already so desperate. Now this, look, this is what Caracas looked like on the third night. Most of the capital has no electricity, except for a few spots lucky enough to have generators.

HOWELL: On Saturday, protesters took to the streets, marching in rallies. The dueling leaders addressed their supporters and sent warnings to opponents.


JUAN GUAIDO, INTERIM PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): I've said it before, the regime wants to wear us out, brothers and sisters and, yes, the road has been very long. The road has worn us out. But we will never tire in the search for freedom and we'll stay in the streets.



NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): If the gringos dare to launch a criminal military action on the country as requested by the opposition, would the bombs fall only on the Chavistas?

It is a question that I ask in a pedagogic way to awaken the conscience of all.


ALLEN: The blackouts are also affecting people in hospitals. Officials say dialysis patients are unable to get treatment and could suffer heart attacks.

HOWELL: In the meantime, rival leaders are still playing the blame game. Paula Newton has more now from Caracas for you.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They have passion but, oh, so much frustration, too. Opposition protests were marred by confrontations even before they started. When they did, there was this. National guard troops blocking their way at every turn.

NEWTON: Opposition protesters were trying to walk all the way up this avenue. As you can see, they're blocked by the national guard. The national guard continues to move them down this road, trying to pin them in. Opposition protesters have taken to negotiations. They're trying to convince them they have the right to protest.

NEWTON (voice-over): Opposition leader Winston Flores embraces a national guard leader as the both agree to keep it peaceful.

"Speak to them from the heart. They're Venezuelans like you," he says. "They don't have power. They don't have food. They don't have anything right now."

NEWTON: So you're just trying to keep this peaceful. You want this to stay peaceful.

WINSTON FLORES, VENEZUELAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER: Yes, I say to the people, stay here. (Speaking Spanish).

NEWTON (voice-over): Pacifism is what he means. Some protesters don't believe it will work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What dictatorship has go down (ph) peacefully?

You tell me one.

NEWTON (voice-over): Others want the U.S. military to step in.

NEWTON: Maduro says he's not going anywhere.

FLORES: I need the help of the (INAUDIBLE).

NEWTON (voice-over): When opposition leader Juan Guaido spoke, he, too, seems to side with those who say a more robust strategy might be needed, leading to some kind of a military mission.

The faithful, meantime, gathered at a textbook government rally in Caracas.

"The U.S. has no business being here in our country," she tells me.

NEWTON: This pro-government rally, President Maduro is looking for his own momentum, with his core supporters, he will broadcast this rally throughout Venezuela in places where the opposition momentum isn't quite as strong.

NEWTON (voice-over): The irony: as president Nicolas Maduro denounced what he called the "imperialist invasion," barely anyone saw it or heard it. Rolling blackouts continue through the city and the country. Barely any Internet, TV or mobile coverage, not to mention food, water --


NEWTON (voice-over): -- or medicine.

On both sides, Venezuelans are at their breaking point with few daring to predict what could happen next -- Paula Newton, CNN, Caracas.


HOWELL: Paula, thank you.

Earlier, CNN spoke with William Spindler from the Office of the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees about the opening of a new aid center in Colombia for Venezuelan migrants.

ALLEN: We asked him what the first few days were like.


WILLIAM SPINDLER, UNHCR: The place where the center opened, close to the border with Venezuela, is one of the areas that is receiving the most refugees from Venezuela.

The services there are overwhelmed. There's not enough shelter for them. There's not enough room in schools for children. The hospitals are also feeling the strain of so many arriving, many of them in poor shape, from Venezuela.

The people who will be going to the center are some of the most vulnerable, like unaccompanied children, the elderly and the sick, like people who are really in the most desperate need.


HOWELL: Again, that was William Spindler from the Office of the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees.

ALLEN: Another story we're following closely. The British government is facing backlash after the death of an ISIS bride's child in Syria. Shamima Begum left the U.K. as a teenager to joining the terror group.

Her son reportedly died Thursday after being born in a Syrian camp last month. The death came after the British government moved to revoke her citizenship. In a letter to the British home secretary, Begum's sister called the boy "the one true innocent." She asked that at least he be brought to the U.K.

HOWELL: And now the home secretary is under fire for not taking action. Labour MP Diane Abbott tweets, "Sajid Javid acted shamefully." She says the mother would have faced justice if brought back and the baby may have lived.

The British government spokesperson has responded to the death with this statement.

"The death of any child is tragic and deeply distressing for any family. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has consistently advised against travel to Syria since April 2011."

Goes on to say, "The government will continue to do whatever we can to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and traveling to dangerous conflict zones.

ALLEN: To talk more about this, our guest is Dal Babu. He's the former chief superintendent for the London Metropolitan Police. He's also acted as a liaison between the families of girls who join ISIS and authorities.

Mr. Baby, we appreciate your time, thank you because this is a story, of course, highly emotional. And we want to dig deep into it.

Bangladesh has refused to admit her. And the British home secretary criticized for a decision that apparently left her stateless. Now her deceased baby, of course, she's in legal limbo.

What are your feelings about how the British government acted in this case?

DAL BABU, FORMER CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE: Well, I think we have to go back to what happened originally. Shamima was one of eight girls, 14-, 15-year-old girls who were targeted by ISIS. ISIS was contacting the girls. They wanted child brides.

We have to remember that ISIS is a brutal organization. And nobody in their right mind would have wanted anything to do with the organization.

I was brought in as a liaison, because the families discovered that the police and the (INAUDIBLE), the school, Bethel Green (ph) Academy and (INAUDIBLE) services, who are social workers, were aware that the girls were speaking to ISIS fighters.

But the authorities, for whatever reason, decided not to share that information with the girls. So I was brought in because the families felt extremely angry to discover that they could have intervened, had they been told what was happening.

I think that's the backdrop to this case. Fast forward now four years, we have to remember, when Shamima turned up in Syria, within days, she was married to a man much older than her. So really this is effectively sexual grooming.

And what we had, all of this taking place on the Internet. And we really need to be asking the Internet companies some very, very harsh questions around what they're doing to safeguard our children, whether it's from sexual grooming or for radicalization.

And the British government have been criticized because they have done a knee-jerk reaction, played to the galleries here and effectively made an individual stateless, which is against international law. ALLEN: I understand that. But I want to ask you what critics are saying that Begum seemed to expect she could return, even though she did choose -- she was very young and, as you say, brainwashed by ISIS but she chose to leave and support terrorism and she chose to have children there.


BABU: Well, I think you have to question how much of it was choice. If you're a 15-year-old child, you go there and you marry a man almost double your age within days of arriving, you have to question how much of that is genuine choice and how much of that is coercion and sexual grooming.

And I think what we have is some (INAUDIBLE) clearly traumatized. She's got significant mental health issues. This is the third child she's lost. This is entirely predictable that a child was likely to die in that camp. Temperatures drop to 3 or 4 degrees at night. There's no heating in those camps. She lost her food (INAUDIBLE).

And I think what was happening, instead of playing to the galleries, what we should be, we should be ashamed of ourselves. We failed to safeguard the child, who, as Ranu (ph), the sister of Shamima said, was the only true innocent in all of this.

And whatever the consequences, we know, across the world, we have to make some decisions, how are we going to deal with individuals who travel from all over the world, who were brainwashed by ISIS, and decide what we're going to do with these individuals.

ALLEN: And what about the question, some are asking whether this is more about national interests and populism than speaking for people who leave the country to support terrorism.

Do you think there should be some type of deterrent to make people think twice?

You did touch on that with how vulnerable young people are on social media.

BABU: I think that's the biggest challenge we have at the moment is -- you at CNN are regulated. The BBC are regulated. I think what happened with the Internet, it's totally unregulated.

And we have Internet companies allow extremists like ISIS to use their platform. They allow them on YouTube. They allow them on Twitter. They allow them on Facebook. And I think it's entirely wrong. So there's a big campaign in Britain at the moment to see how we can have tighter regulations on the Internet.

We have a young girl who has committed suicide. She was viewing images of suicide which are freely available on the Internet. And I think what we're now asking in this country is, is it appropriate that we have regulating with broadcast companies and we have totally unregulated Internet, which allows extremists like ISIS to utilize their models of communication to brainwash people across the world. ALLEN: Well, this young lady has lost her child. And she's in limbo. It's a story we'll continue follow and perhaps we'll talk with you again as there are developments. Dal Babu, we appreciate it. Thank you so much.

BABU: Thank you very much.

HOWELL: There will be new rules for Americans and many others who plan to travel to Europe. It has to do with the group of 26 European companies, including France, Germany and Italy.

Starting in 2021, citizens from 60 countries, including the United States, will have to apply for security authorization to be granted entry. The European Council adopted the new regulations last year. It's to screen and reject potential travelers if they're discovered to be a security threat.

The U.S. State Department says it's similar to the American system that's already in place.

The president's national emergency to build a border wall is soon to be voted on by the U.S. Senate. Even the majority leader warns of an embarrassing setback for the president.

ALLEN: We'll explore that next.

Also, early polling in Iowa offers a snapshot of Democratic presidential candidates so far. The person at the top isn't even in the race. That's coming up here. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.





ALLEN: We want to bring you the latest on the breaking news we're following out of Africa. Ethiopian Airlines confirms one of its airplanes crashed slightly after takeoff. Flight 302 from Addis Ababa was carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members.

HOWELL: The airline says it went down near the town of Bishoftu, just outside the capital city. Apparently the plane was in the air a short amount of time. The Boeing 737 similar to the one you see here took off at 8:38 local time, lost contact less than 10 minutes later. We're following the story and we'll bring you details as we learn more.

ALLEN: Again, it was Flight 302.

HOWELL: The Trump White House is closely watching U.S. senators, making note of any Republicans who break rank with the president over his national emergency. ALLEN: The Senate could vote this week on the resolution disapproving of the president's latest effort to fund his southern border wall. Mr. Trump vows to veto that if it passes.

HOWELL: Also on the president's radar his disgraced former campaign chairman Paul Manafort goes back to another federal judge on Wednesday for sentencing in a second case, adding to the 47 months, less than four years, he received last week.

ALLEN: And the White House will be keeping tabs on its potential Democratic rivals in 2020. Right now, the top preferences among Iowa voters: former U.S. vice president Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

The 2020 presidential election cycle officially kicks off less than a year from now with the Iowa caucuses. CNN's Ryan Nobles explains how the Democratic field is shaping up at this early stage.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The last time we took the temperature of Iowa voters, there were very few candidates in the race. I can tell you, having just returned from Iowa, the campaign there is very much on and we now have 14 candidates who have officially announced or formed exploratory committees.

Despite having so many candidates in the field, the results have not changed all that much from our survey back in December. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders top the field by a pretty wide margin. Sanders trailing behind by only 2 points from Biden. There's not another candidate who even cracks 10 percent.

Elizabeth Warren has 9 percent, Kamala Harris with 7 percent, Beto O'Rourke at 5 percent while Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar register 3 percent. There's not one other candidate of the 20 polled that even registers above the 1 percent mark.

That's important because a candidate must earn at least 1 percent in three different polls to gain access to the DNC debates. There is some movement from what we saw in December. That's to the benefit of Bernie Sanders.

Look at where things are from just a couple months ago, Sanders was only at 19 percent, Biden at 32 percent. Sanders has gone up to 25 percent. Biden has lost some ground at 27 percent. The big difference there, Sanders officially in the race, Biden not quite in yet.

The other candidates have not changed much, although Beto O'Rourke, another candidate not in quite yet, was at 11 percent in December. He's now dropped off to 5 percent.

There's also something interesting about the way the youth vote has an impact on the support for these candidates. I was at an event with Bernie Sanders on a college campus in Iowa City earlier this week. And there were so many young people there passionately behind his campaign. That's reflected in this poll.

Voters under the age of 45 support Sanders the most at 32 percent but when you flip those numbers and look at Joe Biden's support with voters over 45 --


NOBLES: -- he takes 32 percent of the vote.

There's certainly a lot of energy with young people but generally the older voters in a caucus state like Iowa is a lot more reliable. We are still a long way away from votes being cast. It's very unlikely what we see from this snapshot in time turns out to be how things end up a year from now -- Ryan Nobles, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: Natasha Lindstaedt is a professor of government at the University of Essex.

We want to talk more about this. Let's start with the new poll of voters in the all-important state of Iowa. This is always Iowa's big moment on the world stage. That state always a litmus test for candidates running for president. The poll shows Joe Biden is beaten Bernie Sanders, even though Biden is not officially running yet.

What do you make of it?

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Well, I mean, this actually isn't anything new, as already reported. These two are the current front-runners because they have name recognition. Everybody knows them. They have long experience being involved in politics.

And they both have messages that probably resonate with low and middle income voters in middle America and, you know, both of them are far ahead of the other candidates because of all of these different factors.

But when we turn to the primaries and what tends to happen, primaries tend to move candidates that are Democrat more to the left and Republican more to the right. This is where Joe Biden has a little bit more vulnerabilities. He has some blemishes on his record. He might not energize the base as has already reported. He doesn't do as well as Bernie Sanders does with young voters.

But what a lot of the voters are thinking of in the Iowa caucus and other primaries is who is going to do the best in a head-to-head race against Trump. What all of the polls are indicating, even some of the more conservative polls, is that the best bet is Biden.

He'll attract liberal voters, understanding that he had eight years of experience as vice president under Obama. And he tends to attract the same voters that Trump attracts, which are noneducated male voters.

There's a concern that Bernie Sanders is going to be get hammered by Republicans for being a socialist. We're still almost two years away from this election to take place. But at the moment, what Iowa seems to be revealing is that Joe Biden is the front-runner.

ALLEN: Joe Biden, interesting, would like to take on Donald Trump. Remember that kind of sophomoric exchange they had about a schoolyard fight. I'll take you out there.

So it's interesting, Natasha, I think, that the other candidates are not going there. They're not mentioning Donald Trump. Here we are, with this president that has so divided the country, and they're staying mum on it. They're taking the high road.

Do you expect that to maintain?

LINDSTAEDT: Well, I think for some of these other candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, they're trying to carve out their own identity at this moment, gain some momentum, try to communicate to America a little bit more about who they are.

And, you know, it isn't really necessary yet to be talking about Trump. And there's a lot of uncertainty even as to what's going to happen with Trump. So I think the early candidates, you know, they just want to educate and inform American voters a little bit more about what they stand for and why they should vote for them.

ALLEN: Well, there's a long way to go. But Iowa, we're watching you. Natasha Lindstaedt, we appreciate your insights.

HOWELL: Right after the break, we'll be back with the breaking news we're following. A plane crash in Ethiopia. Stand by. We'll be back.





ALLEN: Again, we want to break you the latest on breaking news out of Africa. Ethiopian Airlines confirming one of its airplanes crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday. Flight 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was apparently carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members.

HOWELL: The airline says it went down near Bishoftu. That's outside the capital city. This Boeing 737 similar to what you see right there, it took off at 8:38 local time in the morning and lost contact about 10 minutes later. We're following the story and we'll bring you any new details as we get them.

Of course, we have our Robyn Kriel, reporting from Addis Ababa. We'll bring her back here as she learns more and as we get more news in the NEWSROOM.

ALLEN: Initial reports that perhaps there were supporters, of course. They're headed there now to work on a rescue. We'll continue to bring you any more information as we get it. HOWELL: The news we're following, the United Kingdom facing a growing crisis. It's an epidemic of knife crimes. This year alone, at least 19 people have been killed in knife related attacks across Britain.

ALLEN: Britain's prime minister says she'll hold a summit to discuss the surge of violence; meantime, the victims' families are left putting their lives back together. Nina dos Santos has their stories.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: This is what the U.K.'s knife crime epidemic looks like. Filmed in South London more than a year ago, a man tries to smash his way into a car with a Rambo knife, after its driver pulled out unexpectedly. Another scene, this time at a fast food outlet in the north of the capital. A fight breaks out and within seconds, three blades are brandished.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the (INAUDIBLE) are you doing on this street?

DOS SANTOS: Knife attacks claims 285 victims across Britain last year, the highest tally since records began in 1946. In the first three months of 2019 alone, 10 teenagers have lost their lives.

Rachel, thank you very much for agreeing to tell us your story. Please sit down.

Rachel Webb's 15-year-old son, Kyron, died a year and a half ago, after a trivial dispute with two other boys.

RACHEL WEBB, MOTHER OF KNIFE CRIME VICTIM: The young boys were in their group and they made a song. And Kyron said on a Snapchat video that he didn't like the song. And that potentially is the reason that we were given as to why he's no longer walking the Earth.

DOS SANTOS: Wasn't a gang member, his mother says, but he was found to be carrying a knife at the time. Five months after losing one child, another if Rachel's sons was also stabbed.


DOS SANTOS: He survived, but the family's scars remain.

WEBB: Those three individuals that were involved in the incident on October 17th, it left my son dead, but it left two young boys in prison.

But the ripple effect destroyed three families. My youngest two, they're twins. When they go on the road, they're now frightened of seeing teenagers.

DOS SANTOS: Knife crimes rose 30 percent last year across the country to almost 43,000, a trend blamed on cuts to policing and community services.

Are all of the youngsters who are carrying knives in gangs? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I think a very small minority are in gangs. I think what's now happened is that young people carry knives for protection and the bizarre thing is, statistically, seven out of 10 individuals who get stabbed get stabbed by their own knife.

WEBB: So, that's -- that was Kyron at the time when he died.

DOS SANTOS: Rachel says the solution isn't just policing but better prospects for youths. She plans to meet her son's killer in jail this year with a message to turn his life around.

WEBB: You now need to complete what Kyron was building. You got potential. I don't want to hear, oh, I'm sorry. I want you to now make something of your life.

DOS SANTOS: Message of hope, not hate, to prevent things like these -- Nina dos Santos, CNN, London.


HOWELL: Let's talk more about this now with Leroy Logan, a former superintendent with the Metropolitan Police, joining us from London.

Leroy, thank you for your time.


HOWELL: An incredibly disturbing story to see the imagery of these attacks happening.

What more are you tell us about who is committing the crimes, who's behind them and potentially why?

LOGAN: Well, the crimes are not just down to anyone involved in criminality or gangs. So that accounts for less than half of the knife crimes. It's just the normalization of violence.

You start to see how traumatized communities, especially young people suffering from adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress, it's now presenting itself in terms of violence. And it's obviously getting more concern because statistically the numbers are lower than in the States.

However, the knife is their weapon of choice. And the victims and the suspects are getting younger. And the victims themselves are no longer involved in just urban areas. It is going out to your suburban, leafy suburbs, where you normally wouldn't see that form of crime.

HOWELL: It is interesting. You point out, Leroy, that the people behind this tend to get younger and younger. I'm curious to also ask you, one report linking this to school budget cuts; fewer students are in school.

Is that part of the problem? LOGAN: Yes. We have found that there is a link between crime and exclusions. You're eight to nine times more likely to be involved in crime if you've been excluded and then you go to a pupil or referral unit or some sort of an establishment, where you're left to your own devices and, as a result of that, you encounter more hardened criminals, who then groom you and manipulate and control, that you start to go into more severe crimes.

And also, there's these -- another form of trauma that you're seeing with these young people, is that they easily are groomed and they're going to these initiations and they will stab and kill people just to be part of a collection of youngsters, who are into thug life and their glorified gangster glamor.

It's just building and it's getting into a crisis. That's why I've asked for COBR, which is a ministerial meeting, that normally is brought in when there is a crisis to do with terrorism or floods or whatever. Because we've got a national crisis, not just in London. It's all across the country. And they need to bring in COBR.

And the home secretary needs to coordinate that group so they control all of the assets, early interventions, safeguarding agencies to be built up and of course, police numbers, to make sure they reconnect with the community.

HOWELL: Leroy, we appreciate your insight here again. Important to point out that this is a crisis that continues, you know, more than just policing. It takes, certainly, involvement, community involvement to address this. We appreciate your time, thank you.

LOGAN: You're welcome.

ALLEN: Again, our breaking news this hour. An Ethiopian Airlines flight en route to Nairobi, Kenya, has crashed, according to a statement from the airline. The Boeing 737 went down early Sunday morning near the town of Bishoftu. The airline says there were 149 passengers and eight crew members.

Let's go to David McKenzie in Johannesburg.

What have you learned?


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, what we know, this plane with 149 passengers, eight crew, it lost contact with ground control just 10 minutes after taking off of that early morning flight, commuter international flight from Ethiopia to Nairobi, one of the busiest and most popular routes on the continent.

It lost contact, as the airline said, it went down somewhere near Bishoftu, which is about an hour's drive from the capital, Addis Ababa. Now the worrying thing for everybody is that this was that this was a brand-new 737 Max, Boeing aircraft, the exact same type of aircraft that went down from the Lion Air Indonesian airlines last year. In that case, it's believed there was an issue with the sensor input,

something Boeing admitted to. It's too early to say, of course, what caused this crash. But that will be a worrying sign, because of the same type of aircraft and the fact that this airline lost contact soon after takeoff, similar to the Lion Air crash.

The prime minister of Ethiopia weighing in; in fact, many people found out about this first from his Twitter page, saying that he sends his deepest condolences to families of those who lost their loved ones.

The airline, though, is saying they have no information yet on possible survivors or deaths because of this crash. Ethiopian Airline is one of the biggest airlines in Africa, has an excellent safety record and is well regarding as a maintenance center for Boeing airlines. That airport, the Bole International Airport, is extremely busy with passengers all over the world transiting through Addis Ababa near the mountainous region near the city.

But at this stage, those are the details we have and rescuers will be already on the scene -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Very interesting information you just brought up, that this was a new aircraft like the one that crashed, that Lion Air crash, and that they were both in the air such a short amount of time.

I'm trying to remember, David, didn't the crew in the Lion crash, didn't they signal some duress from the cockpit?

MCKENZIE: Well, there was the issue of the sensors and that the crew had difficulty controlling the plane because of the sensor inputs. That was the initial assessment of that Lion Air crash.

In this case, we don't know if there was communication at this stage, between the airline on the ground, the ground staff, as well as the pilots leaving on that morning flight to Nairobi.

Now there are multiple flights a day between Nairobi and Addis Ababa. This is a very popular route, as I said. And Ethiopian Airlines has perhaps the newest fleet in Africa, in fact, amongst any major carriers. They have invested heavily in the airline and would have received this aircraft only recently.

So too early to say. The primary worry will be for the families waiting in both Addis Ababa and Nairobi and around the world, waiting for information. They've set up a center in the airport in Addis Ababa to try to learn more about the information. They said they will bring up more information soon.

But this is only a couple hours after this incident appears to have occurred. It is relatively close to the capital, so there should be assets that they can send from Addis to the area that this plane apparently went down, according to Ethiopian Airlines.

But certainly, there will be very worried families across East Africa, both at the Kenyatta airport in Nairobi and in Addis. ALLEN: Do you have any information -- you've traveled extensively across Africa -- any information on Bishoftu, where this plane crashed?

MCKENZIE: Well, it's a town southeast of the capital about an hour's drive away from Addis. It's not clear how close it is to that area. It could be that that's the closest point. Outside of the immediate capital, it's a big city, the capital of Ethiopia. It's relatively rural in those regions.

So the key would be now to try and get people on the scene. Ethiopian Airlines said there are rescuers on the scene or at least officials --


MCKENZIE: -- on the scene of this crash. We have not seen any images or indications of any crash or rescues going on. But so soon after takeoff, the fears will be whether there are survivors in this crash, of course, the Lion Air crash with the same kind of plane, there were no survivors of either the passengers or crew -- Natalie.

ALLEN: David McKenzie, we'll stay in close contact with you as you continue to report this breaking news story. Thank you.

HOWELL: We'll be right back, after the break.




HOWELL: We want to update you on the breaking news we're following out of African. Ethiopian Airlines confirms one of its planes crashed slightly after takeoff. Flight 302 from Addis Ababa from Nairobi carrying 149 passengers, eight crew members on board. It went down in the town of Bishoftu, outside of the capital city.

The Boeing 737 looks similar to the one here, took off the 8:38 local time. Lost contact about 10 minutes later.

Let's talk more with aviation expert Alex Macheras, joining us from Malaga, Spain.

Glad to you have on to tell us more about what we know so far, which is very little except to say that this plane was in flight for a very short amount of time.

ALEX MACHERAS, AVIATION ANALYST: It was. This is what has looking like a real tragedy for Ethiopian aviation as a whole. To recap, this is Ethiopian Airlines. They are one of the largest airlines on the continent of Africa. They are the flag carrier for Ethiopia and they work out of that hub in Addis Ababa.

[05:50:00] MACHERAS: Given that the airline is a Star Alliance member, they shuttle passengers around the world through that Addis Ababa hub. One thing that's unique to Ethiopian Airlines compared with other airlines is that they do operate nearly all of the world's most brand-new aircraft.

And one of these aircraft including the Boeing 737 Max. This is Boeing's latest 737 version that focuses on efficiency. And Ethiopian Airlines has been one of the first customers to operate.

Sadly, this aircraft in today's crash was a 737 Max that was delivered to the airlines just four months ago.

HOWELL: Alex, I want to point out a coincidence here. There's not much we can draw from it but it is important to point this out. You'll remember the Lion Air flight, October of last year, Boeing 737 Max 8, this plane crashed taking off out of Jakarta. Again, we're seeing the same plane, Alex, involved in another crash.

MACHERAS: We won't talk about the types of accident because the Lion Air accident is still being investigated but, yes, you're absolutely correct. This is the second 737 Max 8 incident in less than five months. That is somewhat unprecedented for a brand-new aircraft.

But we shouldn't draw any conclusions yet because it's yet to be determined what has happened to this aircraft. And search and rescue is still underway. Naturally, this is going to send jitters across the industry until we know more.

HOWELL: I want to underscore what you said, not to draw any conclusions from it but it is important to point out the coincidence as part of the context of this story. Alex Macheras, we appreciate your time. Thank you for being with us as we continue to follow this.

We will continue with our news on the story just after the break. Stay with us.





ALLEN: Again, we want to update you on breaking news out of Africa. Ethiopian Airlines confirming one of its airplanes crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday. It was Flight 302 from the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, to Nairobi, Kenya; it was reportedly carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members.

HOWELL: It went down in the town of Bishoftu. The Boeing 737 took off at 8:38 local time. Lost contact about 10 minutes later. We're following the story and we'll bring you any details as soon as we have them. ALLEN: There was an initial report that there could be survivors. We know they're heading to the scene. Again, we're getting fast information. We'll continue to bring it to you.

Thank you for watching, I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. More news after the break.