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Nadler Threatens to Hold Attorney General Barr in Contempt; Growing Number of Democrats Call for Barr Resignation; "Chasing Life": Cold, Dark Norway One of the Happiest Places on Earth; Airplane Skids Off Runway In Florida; Trump's Foreign Policy Positions; Is U.S. Ready For A Gay President?; Gaza-Israel Hostilities. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired May 4, 2019 - 17:00   ET




ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Breaking news out of the Middle East, where escalations turn deadly. CNN has learned a one-year-old baby is now the latest victim in a series of air strikes.

Catastrophic explosion. One person is dead, two others still missing. As a blast at a chemical plant rocks an Illinois neighborhood.

And rough landing. Scary moments when a plane slides off a runway and into a river in Jacksonville. The latest on injuries and a live NTSB update on exactly what happened in just a moment.

It's 5:00 Eastern, 2:00 in the afternoon out west. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. You've live in the CNN Newsroom.

I want to go live right now to that presser in Florida with the latest on the NTSB investigation.

BRUCE LANDSBERG, VICE CHAIRMAN, NTSB: We'll be looking at the machine. That'll be the aircraft, itself. And then, finally, the environment, which would include the airport, the weather, and air traffic control.

This is, obviously, a major investigation for the NTSB. And we will have 16 team members here. I'm joined here at the microphones with our investigator in charge, John Lovell, and Captain Connor, who is the base commander.

We've got people on the ground now, and we have more arriving shortly. A multiple the specialties, including human factors, air traffic control, air frame, engine and power plant, aircraft performance, survival factors, weather and the airport, itself.

So, let's start off with what we know, at this point. Miami Air International Flight 293 was inbound from Guantanamo Bay and landed here at Navy Air Station Jacksonville at about 9:49 last evening. There were 135 people on board and seven crew members. The aircraft overran the runway, that would be runway 11, which is an easterly alignment. Everybody survived with some -- a few minor injuries. The aircraft departed the right side of the runway at the far end and impacted a low seawall which was made of loose stones and rocks and stopped in the shallow rivers of the St. John River.

What do we know about the aircraft itself? Well, it's a Boeing 737- 800. This aircraft was built in 2001 and has no history of any prior accident or incident. It's powered by two CFM fan jet engines. There's over 900 in operation here in the United States and over 4,000 in operation worldwide.

The airport, as I mentioned runway 11, has an easterly alignment, is about 9,000 feet long, and 200 feet wide. The pavement is not grooved. What that means is a grooved pavement allows water to flow off the runway faster in the event of heavy rain. We don't know if that is a factor, yet, at this time.

The weather we'll be looking very closely at that. There were some reports of heavy rain, and we haven't ascertained yet exactly what the weather was at the time of landing.

The operator is Miami Air International. They're a federal regulation Part 121 contract carrier. So, they operate to air carrier standards. They have five Boeing 737 aircraft, and they have had one accident that occurred in November of 2015, also a Boeing 737 that experienced a hard landing in State College, Pennsylvania.

That's what we know. Now, we have to get to what we are going to learn in the course of the investigation. And we've got some challenges here, because the aircraft -- the bottom half of the fuselage is covered with water. So, we aren't able to get to all the of the things that we need to get to.

I know there's a question on the status of the pets. We don't have details on that. As a pet owner myself, we have great empathy for those people who have possibly lost their pets.

[17:05:00] This is important. We have recovered the flight data recorder. That has the ability to record over 1,000 parameters. And that'll give us the airspeed, position of flight controls, the altitude, the point of touchdown, and many, many things, relative to what the aircraft was doing and so forth. That flight data recorder is right now on its way to the NTSB laboratory in Washington, D.C. And it was undamaged so we expect to get a full report on that shortly.

The cockpit voice recorder, which is the device that records the intra-cockpit conversation between the crew, and also external transmissions with air traffic control, is another matter. That is in the tail of the aircraft and is currently under water, and we cannot get to it until the aircraft is moved. I don't know exactly when that will be, but, obviously, we're working on that to get it done as quickly as possible.

Before we take your questions, I want to thank Captain Mike Connor for the tremendous support we've gotten from the Navy, to all of the first responders here in Jacksonville who were so helpful in recovering the passengers and crew. And, finally, to the Customs and Border Patrol who provided us with the opportunity for an aerial examination by helicopter of the crash site.

There will be future updates and images. You can follow us on Twitter at NTSB, underscore, newsroom. For taking questions, I'll ask that you please raise your hand. I'll call on you and then identify yourself and your affiliation. So, ma'am?

ASHLEY EDLUND, REPORTER, CHANNEL 9: Ashley Edlund with channel 9. Can you tell us where the pets are in the plane?

LANDSBERG: I don't have a lot of information on the pets because NTSB, literally, just arrived on site here today. I will ask Captain Connor to address the pet situation.

CAPTAIN MICHAEL CONNOR, COMMANDING OFFICER, NAVAL AIR STATION JACKSONVILLE: Yes. Good afternoon. I'm Captain Mike Connor. I'm the base commanding officer. And, again, I would like to express our sympathies to the passengers that went through their experience last night. And we're thinking about them. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

So, when we arrived on scene last night, I'd like to commend our -- my first coast fire rescue personnel, Department of Defense firefighters who were first on scene, and immediately jumped in the water, risking their lives to help the passengers out of the plane. Our first response -- our first priority was, obviously, human life. So, that was our immediate focus was getting the people to safety.

When I arrived on scene, most of the passengers had been taken off the airplane and were ashore. And then, I had -- I had -- I had learned that there were pets aboard the aircraft and my heart immediately sank because I'm a pet owner, myself, and cannot imagine what the passage -- the pet owners were going through.

Our second priority -- once we knew that the -- that the passengers were safe, our second priority was to try to attempt to determine what -- the status of the pets. Initial fire -- or initial responders did look inside the cargo bay. They did not see anything. They did not hear any animal noises. They could not see any crates. So, at that point, as well as for their own safety, and not knowing if the aircraft could, potentially, sink and risk their lives, they backed out.

And as the evening progressed a little bit and we got some additional actions done, I asked the first responders again to go back and make an assessment. And they did. They went in -- they could look in from the cargo bay door. We asked them to specifically look for, you know, pet carriers, and they could not see any pet carriers that were above the water line.

So, we do -- obviously, do not have confirmation. But we are continuing to do what we can to positively determine the status of the pets. And that is what I have with respect to it. I know there's a lot of people concerned. I spoke with some of the pet owners last night, and it was a very, obviously, rough situation. And our sympathy and my heart really goes out to the families.

LANDSBERG: Thank you, Captain Connor. Sir?

SCOTT JOHNSON, REPORTER, CHANNEL 4: Scott Johnson, Channel 4, Jacksonville. Can you say, at all, what happened to this plane as soon as it touched the ground? Do we have any idea what happened, once the wheels were down or were the wheels down?

LANDSBERG: Yes. The short answer is, no, I cannot. We're very early in the beginning phases of the investigation. The flight data recorder will give us all of that information. It'll show the status of the engines, the status of the flaps, slats, and the spoilers on the aircraft and whatever braking was applied. So, we will have all of that information, but we do not have it at this time.

[17:10:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are we getting the plane out of the river?


BRITTNEY DONOVAN, REPORTER, ACTION NEWS JAX: Brittney Donovan with Action News Jax in Jacksonville. Have you been able to talk to the captain at all? Did he give you any indication of what may have happened?

CABRERA: We've been listening in to that NTSB press conference after 60 members of the NTSB team are now on scene. They're briefing the press on how they are going to move forward into their investigation. And to what you're seeing there on your screen, a plane that slid off the runway, skid off the runway, overshot the runway I think were the words used by the official there, and ended up in the water, resulting in some injuries. Fortunately, no one died here.

I want to bring in CNN's Rosa Flores who's been following this for us. Joins us from Jacksonville. And, Rosa, walk us through, again, what we know, at this point, in the early investigation.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Ana. A few things really stood out to me from this press conference. And that is the equipment that needs to be recovered in order for the NTSB to do its job, to figure out exactly what happened.

The authorities there saying they have recovered the flight data recorder, but not the cockpit voice recorder. Because, according to them, a portion of the plane, the half bottom of the plane, is under water. And the cockpit voice recorder is in that part of the plane. So, they need to figure out exactly, you know, how to get to that area of the plane. They don't know exactly when this plane will be removed from the water.

But, as you mentioned, what we're hearing from the NTSB it that this plane overran the runway, impacted the low seawall and ended up in shallow water in the St. John's River. Now, the NTSB has investigators on their way. There's some investigators here already.

But we -- from what we understand, the full 16-member team will be fully assembled by tomorrow. There are experts that are coming from every imaginable category of this particular investigation. And what the NTSB mentioned is that they will not only be looking at the actual plane and, of course, those devices that had I mentioned are important to determine exactly what was happening with the engines and other parts of the plane.

They will also be looking at the human element. They're going to look at the history and the records of the pilots and the crew. Where were they 72 hours before? And study that portion. They're also going to study the environment. That's extremely important. What was going on? We know that thunderstorms were happening. Lightning strikes were happening as well. Did that have an influence and an impact?

The other thing that we've learned from this press conference is that this particular aircraft has never been in an accident. The NTSB mentioning no history of prior incidents, which is, of course, important.

And then, finally, Ana, the other big point here is the pets that were on board. From what the NTSB is explaining, what the officials at this press conference are saying, where the pets were. Members of the first responder teams, firefighters, those types of first responders, tried to get to the area where these pets were. They couldn't hear any noises, and they couldn't see anything that was above water. They are, of course, are not confirming that, perhaps, these pets have perished. But they're saying that they are not hearing any noises and they're not seeing any animal crates above water -- Ana.

CABRERA: OK. Rosa Flores, as we know, you'll continue to follow this and bring us any new updates as you get them.

Meantime, 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are on the campaign trail today. Some of them taking aim at President Trump, taking him to task for what he has said. And what he has failed to say, mainly missing the chance to tell Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop interfering in the U.S. election process. The two leaders spent more than an hour on the phone yesterday and election meddling never came up. All of it is giving Democrats some new juicy talking points.


BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are a nation of laws. And no man or woman is exempted from those laws, is above or below those laws.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president is watching out for Donald Trump, not for the United States of America. The Mueller report, just over two weeks ago, demonstrated conclusively that Russia attacked our electoral system with the purpose of helping Donald Trump. And he turns around two weeks later and says we're all good on this. We're not all good on this. We're at risk. We're at risk in 2020. And Donald Trump puts us squarely in trouble.


CABRERA: Let's talk more about the 2020 race. And joining us now, S.E. Cupp, CNN's Political Commentator and Host of CNN'S "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED," coming up at the top of the hour. And Joel Payne, a former senior aide to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

Joel, I'm wondering, should Democrats be on the attack over Trump's phone call with Putin? And his handling of North Korea, after all, it just launched some more projectiles this week. And how should 2020 candidates handle this foreign policy issue?

[17:15:03] JOEL PAYNE, FORMER SENIOR AIDE TO HILLARY CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Well, I think this is more comfortable ground for them to be on, frankly, than the minutia of the Mueller report which is, while important, a little bit harder for people to understand. I think people get the idea of President Trump making time for Vladimir Putin but not making time for Bob Mueller. I think that's a really easy message for Democrats to deliver and I think they've done a good job on the trail of doing that.

CABRERA: Meantime, the president says he's definitely running on the economy. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to run on the economy, Mr. President?


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'll be running on the economy.


CABRERA: And, yet, S.E., this weekend, he is out there. He's tweeting about his call with Putin. He's giving Kim Jong-Un the benefit of the doubt, after the latest projectile launch. He's retweeting right-wind conspiracy theorists, including those banned by Facebook. Why isn't he just hammering on the economy?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's a great question. You know, while he was running for president and since becoming president, it has never been Donald Trump's desire to grow the tent. It's a weird strategic decision. But he is a lot more comfortable doubling and tripling down on the base that he already has. And so, talking about things that make him look good in their eyes is comfortable territory for him.

Ronald Reagan used to have a favorite saying, you dance with the one that brung ya. For Donald Trump retweeting conspiracy theorists and Islamophobes, and bigots, and white nationals, he's dancing with the one that brung him.

CABRERA: On the economy, however, Joel, unemployment is a 50-year low, something all Americans could celebrate. Trump's approval on the economy, in fact, is at 56 percent. What kind of a challenge does that pose for Democrats going ahead in 2020? PAYNE: I think this is really simple. Democrats should not be

rooting against the economy. It's good that, broadly speaking, the economy is doing well. But people aren't feeling it. If you look at some other poll numbers, it'll suggest that people aren't feeling the positive impacts of this economy at home in their own pocketbooks.

And that tax bill, by the way, which is very much a part of how people feel about the economy, is a stinker. Because a lot of people weren't happy with the returns that they saw this year, from the -- you know, from the mailbox when the tax man, when Uncle Sam got through with them.

So, while I think this president certainly historically would have a lot of wind at his back with this economy, it's -- the stories to be told is whether or not he can execute that, based on the raw material that we're dealing with out here in the public right now.

CUPP: I think -- I think Joel makes a really good point, that the Democrats should not be rooting for a bad economy. And he offered some good suggestions. Joel, I don't mean to speak about you like you're not here. But you offer some really good points.

But if I -- if I were -- if I were a Democrat, I would -- I would stick to two issues only, health care and immigration. It's two issues that Democrats have proven they win on. They proved it recently in the 2018 mid-terms. They win on that agenda, I think, largely. And it boxes Trump into a very bad corner on both issues. And they're issues that Americans care about. I think that's their winning -- the winning sweet spot for Democrats right now.

PAYNE: I think you're right. I think you're right, S.E. And what I would say, too, is the economy was doing well five months ago, during the mid-terms. And Democrats still won a lot of seats. And it was doing well --

CUPP: Right.

PAYNE: -- over the previous two years when Democrats won a lot of special elections. So, Democrats can still win in this environment.

CABRERA: I want to ask about Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He's on the trails this weekend. He faced hecklers at an event last night. Despite the harassment, Buttigieg took the high road. Listen to this.


MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: See, that moment when I was packing my bags for Afghanistan for the purpose of defending that gentleman's freedom of speech.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I believe, at the time, our president was focused on season seven of the "Celebrity Apprentice."


CABRERA: Now, take a look at the poll. This week, this poll shows only 36 percent of voters think the U.S. is ready for a gay president. Joel, what do you think?

PAYNE: You know, this is such a -- this is a lot to unload and unpack here. One, I think Pete Buttigieg does such a skillful job of managing this. He is one of the better political athletes I've seen, in terms of really with a deft touch dealing with issues like this.

But, you know, the whole idea of even asking this question, it reminds me a lot of when people said, are we ready for a black president? Or before Hillary Clinton ran, who I worked for in 2016, are we ready for a female president? I think the question, itself, kind of supposes a certain -- it almost -- it almost allows society to accept certain pretenses about who should and shouldn't be president. And that, itself, bothers me.

So, I don't even like the pretense of this question. Whether or not voters are beyond it, I think voters have shown they're going to vote for the best person who protects their interests and who serves the best interests of their communities, whether they're gay, straight, black, white, male, female. Voters have shown that we can move past this. I think we should stop reinforcing it.

[17:20:03] CABRERA: Can has -- can voters move past this, S.E.?

CUPP: I really hope so. I mean, it is a weird question. Imagine asking Trump supporters before 2016, are you comfortable with a racist president? Are you comfortable with a president who can barely speak in complete sentences? I mean, we have proven we're comfortable with presidents who has lots of flaws, moral flaws and failings in leadership. I hope, at the very least, we're ready for a gay president.

CABRERA: All right, Joel Payne, S.E., thank you both.

PAYNE: Thank you.

CUPP: Thanks.

CABRERA: We'll see you back here. S.E., coming up at the top of the hour, "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED" at 6:00 p.m.

Breaking news for us right now. The Gaza border taking on heavy rocket fire. A one-year Palestinian baby and her mother are among those killed. We'll look at the after math next. You're live in the CNN Newsroom.


CABRERA: Escalating attacks between Israel and militants in Gaza have left four Palestinians dead and civilians injured on both sides. A baby and the baby's pregnant mother are among the dead. Officials say hundreds of rockets were fired by militants in Gaza toward Israel. Today, the Israeli military responding with a wave of air strikes.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is near the Gaza border. Oren, bring us the latest. OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, it has been a day of

escalation between Israel and Gaza as the situation has deteriorated throughout the day and that situation appears to be getting worse.

[17:25:00] Even as we stand here at this later, more than 12 hours after those hostilities began at roughly 10:00 this morning, we've seen -- we saw just a moment ago, or rather we heard because of the dark hour, air strikes carried out by Israel against targets in northern Gaza. And that is the is the continuation of how this day has gone.

To this point, Israel has says more -- has said more than 250 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel. At first, it was more shorter- range rockets, targeting the Gaza periphery near where we're standing now. We have seen that escalate. In the past hour or so, there have been rockets targeting Beersheba and Ashdod, major cities in southern Israel that are farther away from Gaza, indicating more powerful medium-range rockets need to be fired to get to those -- to get to those targets, to get to those cities.

Meanwhile, Israel has carried out a wave of air strikes against more than 130 targets inside of Gaza. And where, at first, Israel was targeting smaller Hamas military posts. Now, Israel has targeted larger buildings, including an eight-story building with offices, the military says, of Hamas and of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

So, that gives you an idea of the escalation. As you pointed out, four Palestinians have been killed, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, including a one-year-old baby girl and her pregnant mother.

Meanwhile, on the Israeli side, Israeli civilians have been injured by some of those rockets and shrapnel. The U.N. and Egypt have tried to step in here to moderate between Israel and Hamas to bring about the restoration of some sort of cease-fire. As we have seen here standing on the border, watching this situation escalate, those attempts have not yet succeeded. The question if and will they succeed at some point in the coming hours, or will it be a long evening here along the Israel-Gaza border -- Ana.

CABRERA: All right. Oren Liebermann, thank you.

Democrats have a new ultimatum. Attorney General Bill Barr has until Monday morning to turn over evidence related to the Mueller report or else. Will they follow through on a threat to hold him in contempt? You're live in the CNN Newsroom.



[17:30:30] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: An ultimatum for the attorney general. A day after William Barr skipped the House Judiciary Committee hearing, he received a letter from Chairman Jerry Nadler setting a clock on contempt. Nadler says Barr has until 9:00 Monday morning to deliver an un-redacted Mueller report to Congress or else the committee will move ahead with contempt of Congress proceedings.

Lis Wiehl is a former federal prosecutor and counsel for Democrats on the impeachment of President Clinton. And A.B. Stoddard is associate editor and columnist for "Real Clear Politics."

Lis, could we see the attorney general held in contempt of Congress on Monday? How would that work?

LIS WIEHL, ATTORNEY & FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: We might see them hold him in contempt, but I think there should be a few steps before that. That is to actually subpoena him first, subpoena him, have him say no to the subpoena, and then subpoena a few other people. That would be Rod Rosenstein and then McGahn, you know, the White House counsel, who said there would be a Saturday Night Massacre when he was asked to fire Robert Mueller. But then --


CABRERA: Which they have done, I believe. I think they have subpoenaed those people.

WIEHL: Right. And then you go to that point, when those people then don't show up, that's on Barr, because Barr would be the one to be able to say show up or don't show up. When they don't show up, then you have a contempt proceeding against Barr. If that doesn't work, then you go to the court. You a checkmate between the legislative branch and the executive branch. Then you need to bring the judicial branch in.

CABRERA: A.B., Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham is going a different route. He sent a letter to Robert Mueller asking if he wants to provide testimony about Barr's characterization of their phone call, the phone call that happened to be about how Barr put out these principal conclusions and whether he was 100 percent accurate in those characterizations of Mueller's conclusion. He's saying, do you want to testify about this. It seems like a narrow scope.

A.B. STODDARD, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. And he knows so well that Bob Mueller's nickname is "By the Book Bob," for those who have worked with him. And he knows they kept his -- he perceived his mandate is narrow. He's a man of few words. He never writes letters like the one he did, which is why we know his concerns were grave. But he's not going to say something beyond that letter. And Lindsey Graham knows he won't testify in Congress and make characterizations about a phone call with his longtime colleague and friend, Bill Barr, in front of the Congress. And he's not going to throw Bill Barr under the bus in testimony about their phone call. This is the way of saying, I have reached out to Bob Mueller, but obviously that's not the testimony the House Democrats are looking for, which is a conversation with the special counsel about his findings and what he believed, under the OLC guidelines, he was instructed with that narrow mandate to do at the end of his investigation and why he left the question of obstruction up to Bill Barr. Lindsey Graham is very well aware of how Bob Mueller will make these choices and how he'll speak with his few words. And he knows this is a very unlikely scenario.

CABRERA: I see you shaking your head, Lis.

WIEHL: That's not the point. The point is you'll be able to then with all these subpoenas, you can get those notes, the notes of the conversation, because, of course, Rod Rosenstein was involved in saying no to publishing those executive summaries that Mueller said -- when Mueller had that conversation with Barr after the executive summary of, you know, whatever you want to call it, that four-page letter or however it will be summarized -- it's been spun several different ways, however you want to character that four-page letter that Barr put out. Mueller was upset about it. He sent two letters and followed up by the phone call. The phone call was memorialized in writing. We want to see what those notes were about. This is about getting those notes. Once you have those notes, then you get the notes, you have those subpoenas in line, that's what you then take to the court to say, look, this isn't being followed, procedure isn't being followed. If you want to convince the court that the contempt orders are necessary to bring people in and/or file impeachment orders against Barr, you need to be able to line up just like you would a case in front of a judge. And that's what the Democrats need to do if they want to be successful in front of the court.

[17:35:25] CABRERA: Let me pick up on something Lis just mentioned, the impeachment of A.G. Bill Barr. That's what some 2020 candidates, Democrats, are proposing. Other Democrat lawmakers are calling for state bars in Virginia and D.C. to open an ethics investigation into Barr.

A.B., what do you make of this strategy by Democrats?

STODDARD: I do think that Lis' point about the timing and placement of these separate battles in a cumulative progression is very important politically. That's why the idea of jumping to contempt of Barr on Monday morning, the idea of focusing too much on Bill Barr with the impeachment of Bill Barr is a distraction away from the most important thing, which is the findings of the special counsel investigation into the president. So really what they need to do is hear from Bob Mueller. Lindsey Graham obviously isn't interested in the notes of that phone call. He's interested in putting Bob Mueller are on the spot and he knows he's probably going to say no. The Democrats need to make the case to the public, just as Lis said, hearing from Don McGahn, most importantly, Bob Mueller, maybe from Rosenstein and others about what went on in the campaign and the presidency and the transition. Now about Bill Barr's conduct. The Democrats know they have to choose their battles. The strategy of the Trump administration on every single day is flood the zone, change the topic with more news, even if it's bad. They're trying to inundate the Democrats with battles to choose from. They have to be careful they don't go down a rabbit hole chasing after Bill Barr too much.

CABRERA: Ladies, great to have both of you with us. A.B. Stoddard, Lis Wiehl, thank you both.

Breaking news, a deadly explosion destroying a chemical plant north of Chicago. There's damage across an entire neighborhood as a frantic search goes on for two people still missing. Tomorrow night on CNN, W. Kamau Bell is in Tacoma, Washington, with

Black Lives Matter founder, Alicia Garza, to meet the Redneck Revolt. Find out what happens when a well-armed group of white people use their white privilege to fight racism. It's an all-new "UNITED SHADES OF AMERCIA" with W. Kamau Bell, tomorrow night at 10:00, here on CNN.


[17:41:12] CABRERA: In Illinois, this hour, conditions remain too dangerous after an explosion at a silicone plant near Waukegan overnight to search for two who are still missing. One body was recovered earlier today. Four others are being treated for injuries. Investigators are looking into what caused the blast, which was so intense it could be felt miles away in Wisconsin. Waukegan's mayor tells CNN 10 to 15 nearby businesses were also damaged. The fire is out, but this is what remains. Shredded insulation and entangled metal litter the area around what was once a manufacturing plant. The mayor also tells us the Illinois EPA inspected the air and water quality following the explosion and conclude that it's OK.

A Church of Scientology cruise ship is now back in the home port in the Caribbean after one of its crew members tested positive for measles. The "Freewinds" had been under quarantine in St. Lucia. Officials there say they provided 100 doses of the measles vaccine to people on the ship. But this ordeal is not over. Doctors in Curacao will now need to further evaluate the nearly 300 people onboard.

How can a place that is freezing and completely dark for parts of the year be the happiest place on earth? Dr. Sanjay Gupta shares their secret, next.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[17:46:27] CABRERA: How did a country that spends three months a year in freezing cold and complete darkness, become one of the happiest in the world? Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes us to Norway in his CNN original series "CHASING LIFE." Here's a preview.



DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I feel like I'm on call here. There's really no adult around. She's getting pretty high up there in the tree.


GUPTA: It's pretty cold. It's rainy today. Does this bother them?



GUPTA: I hear that a lot.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, they love this.


If I ask the 6 year old if they want to stay inside or they want to go out in the middle of the winter, 80 percent of them says I want to go outside.

GUPTA (voice-over): It sounds simple, but studies have shown that kids engaged outdoors have better critical thinking, creativity, and a reduction in ADHD-like symptoms.

(on camera): What is this do long term for these kids, kids that are educated this way versus more traditional?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they are free out here, in a way. There's no boundaries. They don't ask for help all the time. They try more themselves here. They help each other. I think that makes them happy. What's important for children is so feel I'm important in this group. They need me, they like me. And I think we do that. We make that happen.


CABRERA: I love that, Sanjay. As a parent myself, I learned so much in just that one clip.

GUPTA: Me, too.

CABRERA: So good to have you with us.

GUPTA: Thank you.

CABRERA: Your series is spectacular so far. We just saw you there with those kids on your visit to Norway. You found people who are embracing their cold, obvious time dark and harsh environment. They use it as a way to improve their well-being. How does that work?

GUPTA: The first thing you would say is it's not despite their environment that they are so happy, but in some ways because of it, which sounds very counterintuitive. We thought it was going to be the opposite when we went to Norway. But they're happy despite their environment.

But, Ana, put it like this, simply, when you are challenges every day that you overcome, in this case with the environment, overcoming that challenge can bring tremendous amounts of joy. That's what I saw with the adults. That's what I saw with the kids. That's what the science bears out as well. You can go out to the beach, you can be happy. Have sort of a flat level of happiness. But if you define happiness by having these sort of really high, joyous moments, and natural ebbs and flows like all humans do, a place like Norway is where you'll find a lot of that. CABRERA: We hear that old saying, the lower the low, the higher the

high, back and forth.

GUPTA: That's right.

CABRERA: Not every Norwegians thrives. They're in months of 24-hour darkness, right. Some find it very challenging, I imagine. What do they do to make it through those dark months?

GUPTA: Some of it is just physiologically challenging, if you will, in the northern parts of Norway. You do have months out of the year with no sunlight. Vitamin D and getting enough omega-3s into the diet can be challenging. A lot of time they'll drink cod liver oil. I don't know if you've ever had it, Ana. I had it as a child. I tried it again as an adult for this shoot, and it tastes awful, but it does what it's supposed to do, which is provide a lot of those nutrients that are sometimes lacking.

But there's another thing I'll tell you really quick. They had this term in Norway called cosalee (ph), and basically what it means is getting to a quiet, cozy place, the fire, and just spending time with friends and loved ones. Sounds great. Who wouldn't enjoy that? But in Norway, it's part of the culture. This is a very technologically sophisticated culture. People are on devices all the time. But they practice this tradition of cosalee (ph) as a way to really enhance their happiness and reduce their stress. And it's welcomed, within corporations, within big communities. Everyone does this regularly and I think it makes a big difference.

[17:50:31] CABRERA: That human connection, so important.

GUPTA: That's right.

CABRERA: You're a doctor. You're a neurosurgeon exploring ways people can live longer, healthier lives. So what does happiness have to do with health and longevity?

GUPTA: We used to think of these things as being sort of parallel tracks and now the data is pretty clear on the impact of happiness, of optimism, of self-assessing your life as more joyous, the impact of those things on health. You're less likely to have heart disease. There's good studies behind these. You're more likely to have an improved immune system. They took a group of people and exposed them all to the cold virus. People who self-assessed as more joyous were much less likely to get a cold versus those who were less joyous and more pessimistic. So the mind/body connection, we talk about this sort of in general terms a lot, you see the objective impact in studies like this.

CABRERA: Well, your segments always bring me a boost of happiness and joy.

GUPTA: Thank you.

CABRERA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta --

GUPTA: I appreciate it.

CABRERA: -- I appreciate you working on the weekend for us. Thanks for being here.

GUPTA: Of course. Thank you, Ana. Take care.

CABRERA: You, too.

Be sure to tune in to "CHASING LIFE" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. It airs tonight at 9:00 on CNN.

We'll be right back.


[17:55:17] CABRERA: All right, menstruation is an essential fact of life, but in many parts of the world, it is considered taboo. Now this not only makes monthly periods extremely stressful for girls, it limits what they can achieve. This week's "CNN Hero" is ensuring females stay empowered.


UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: In Ethiopia, most women and girl do not have access to sanitary pads. Many girls stay at home during their period. They're scared and ashamed. Half of the population is dealing with this issue but no one is willing to talk about it.

I knew that I have to make a product that helps these women and girls to get on with their lives.


All I want is all girls to have dignity, period.


CABRERA: To see how her factory is empowering women or to nominate a "CNN Hero," go to

I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. I'll see you back here tonight at 8:00 Eastern.

My colleague, S.E. Cupp, continues our coverage of today's news right after a quick break. Stay with us.