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Father of Schools Shooter on Trial for Not Preventing His Son from Obtaining His Gun and Using It; Severe Turbulence Causes Injuries to At Least 50 People in LATAM Flight; Israel Says Operation in Rafah Still on Table Despite U.S. Misgivings; Russia Outproducing Ukraine in Artillery Shells. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired March 11, 2024 - 08:00   ET



JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have to see the school officials. But prosecutors are really focusing in on November 30th, the day of the mass shooting. The parents were called to schools earlier in that morning to see a math worksheet, and I think we have that. It shows drawings that Ethan was making two hours before the mass shooting, a stick figure, blood, bullets, the world is dead, my life is useless, blood everywhere.

Prosecutors really honed in on that James should have taken his son out of school right then and there. Maybe he had to do DoorDash. Put him in the car with you and do DoorDash. He also drove by his house four times doing DoorDash before the shooting, never went to check on the gun.

Another piece, very important evidence, will be when the parents were called to the substation shortly after the mass shooting. They go into that interview. They are talking a lot. James Crumbley talks just all the time. If he doesn't testify, this will be such important evidence for the prosecution and the defense. For prosecutors, James Crumbley said, I hid the gun in the armoire in our bedroom, under some clothes, and the bullets were hid under jeans. There's no mentioned of a lock on that gun at all.

But the defense also can focus in on the fact that James Crumbley was talking about that he was trying to teach his son gun-safety. That's what he said in that room. Listen to how the defense cross-examined that video.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At six minutes and 45 seconds, James told you that he had a six hour handgun?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That it was -- at six minutes and 50 seconds he said that it was hidden in an armoire in a case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At six minutes and 58 seconds, and these are approximate time stamps. I'm not holding you to them, detective.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I fully appreciate it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six minutes and 58 seconds that the bullets were hidden in a different spot under jeans, he says.



CASAREZ: So hid the gun in their master bedroom in the armoire, a point a privacy, their armoire. Now, prosecutors say that they will continue. The judge told the jury Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, there will be testimony, and the judge said and then to the jurors on Friday, the case may be two yours. So this case could be winding up most definitely this week.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The judge is ahead of schedule. Jean Casarez, it's great to have you there. Thanks so much for being with us this morning. Please keep was posted.

Next hour of --

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Joe Biden sharpening his reelection pitch, sharpening his attacks on Donald Trump, Donald Trump responding in kind and then some, as voters in four states are about to head to the polls.

BERMAN: New details in a deadly crash involving Tesla and the sister of former cabinet member Elaine Chao. The frantic phone calls she made in her final moments after the car slammed into a pond.

SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: And could the clock be ticking to the end of TikTok in the U.S.? The House expected to vote this week on a bill that could ban the popular app in the United States.

I'm Sara Sidner with Kate Bolduan and John Berman. This is CNN NEWS CENTRAL.

BERMAN: All right, breaking news. We are getting new information about what happened on a flight that had severe turbulence that injured at least 50 people. Passengers even reported seeing blood on the ceiling of this airplane, and they saw people flying through the air. CNN's Pete Muntean is getting the latest details. Pete, tell us what you're learning.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, severe turbulence incidences like this keep making headlines, John, and we'll likely see even more of these with climate change. Seven hurt lives March on a Lufthansa flight, 11 heard on a Delta flight in August, 36 on a Hawaiian airlines flight December before last. But this one is the most significant in recent memory. First responders say they treated 50 people in total on board its flight, 12 taken to the hospital, one patient in serious condition. This happened on LATAM flight 800 between Sydney, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand. That flight ultimately goes on the Santiago, Chile. This was a Boeing 787, although unlikely to be connected to any of the issues, the systemic issues that Boeing has had with the 737 Max-9. The flight was apparently at 41,000 feet. That's the cruising altitude, the time when the seatbelt sign can be off, passengers say that is when the plane hit turbulence, one telling radio New Zealand blood was on the ceiling and people flew and broke the ceiling of the plane.

So far, the airline is calling this a technical event during which the flight caused a strong movement. They need to do some clarifying there. So the airline not even calling this turbulence, though that is typically what can cause these incidents and these injuries on board flights.


Sometimes turbulence can be caused by weather from updrafts and downdrafts of thunderstorms, sometimes wind shear when there are two rows or columns of air moving at different speeds. Turbulence can also be associated with no weather phenomena at all, called clear air turbulence, meaning in could be invisible to pilots.

Airlines have gotten a lot better at forecasting turbulence, but the National Transportation Safety Board says turbulence is the number one cause of injuries on commercial flights. Typically because it's a U.S. based agency, they don't investigate incidents like this abroad, although we will see if their help is requested on an incident as significant as those, John.

Pete, just quickly. When was this flight? And also, you're an experienced pilot and cover this so well. When you're in turbulence, you're in turbulence. Is there anything that can be done to mitigate perhaps what happens on board?

MUNTEAN: The best mitigation Is forecasting, and the best thing that pilots can do is fly at different altitudes. Usually that thing that really pilots need are something called pi-reps, that stands for pilot reports. And that tells pilots essentially behind you, I've experienced turbulence at this altitude. You may want to fly at a different altitude.

The airlines have gotten a lot better about this using actually even some cases machine learning to try and make it so that they can figure out where turbulence may be. Delta has invested a lot in this, also United and other major U.S. airlines. Hard to say about LATAM, but it is something that airlines are really, really concerned about, especially with climate change and global warming.

Things get hotter, the surface gets hotter, rising currents of air can cause turbulence as well. So even the United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby has warned that we may see more and more weather-related delays because of climate change, although he's not really specifically commented on turbulence incidents, although it's something the industry, industry wide is concerned about, that turbulence could be a more prevalent thing with climate change, John.

BERMAN: Pete Muntean, you're such a great report. I knew I would get a good answer to my question there. Thank you so much for being with us this morning.


BOLDUAN: No ceasefire in Gaza. That was, of course, a long-held hope and goal ahead of Ramadan. But Ramadan begins today, and still no deal in negotiations over hostage, getting hostages released. This morning Israeli officials are warning a military offensive into Rafah during the Muslim holy month has not been ruled out though, though it is not imminent.

And President Biden, he is going where he has not before, drawing a red line now on Israel's military offensive inside Gaza.

CNN's Scott McLean joins us now with much more on this. And Scott, Benjamin Netanyahu is responding.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. So look, Americans have been warning for some time now that an incursion militarily into Rafah they would only support if there was a credible plan to evacuate the 1 million plus Palestinian civilians who are sheltering there with, frankly, no other safe place to go. And frankly, American officials had cautioned that they don't even believe that that kind of a plan is realistic or even possible. Israel, though, has long said that it would go ahead.

And despite the fact that President Biden in an interview with MSNBC on Saturday said that an Israeli invasion into Rafah would be his red line, well, it didn't seem to matter much to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who in an interview yesterday indicated that he would go ahead with that military incursion.

And perhaps that's because Biden never actually set out what the possible consequences would be of crossing that red line. In fact, Biden went on to give some comfort to Israel, saying that, look, he would never leave Israel on its own, he would never cut off all weapons to Israel, the Iron Dome, things like that. And so clearly not much of a threat to Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister also addressed Biden's criticism that he was doing more to hurt Israel than to help it, insisting that most Israelis are behind him. Now in terms of any kind of ceasefire talks, hostage talks, I'll let you listen to the prime minister himself, but things do not look good. Listen.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Unfortunately, what we've seen is that Hamas has hardened its positions, probably because its assuming that the international ganging up on Israel will not require it to make any concessions. So they maintain their outlandish demands, which they know we're not going to go anywhere with.


MCLEAN: And in terms of an offensive into Rafah, the Israeli, multiple Israeli officials have said that it would be at least two weeks away. A, they don't have the troops built up, b, they don't have the plan that IDF has submitted for the evacuation and the military operations actually signed off either. So this is still a ways away. But of course, it is looming over the situation. Any potential talks that may be ongoing, there are an unscheduled at least officially at this stage, though.


BOLDUAN: Scott, thank you so much for the update. John?

BERMAN: With us now is CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour. Christiane, I've lost track of how many U.S. presidents have not just tried to manage Benjamin Netanyahu, but manager or control their relationship with Netanyahu. Now, we see some space between President Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in how Netanyahu is dealing with the situation in Gaza. How important is this? And what can President Biden do?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It's very important, John, and many, many of the international allies are just, really the word I use is gob-smacked at how this government, which gets so much of its international support, including weapons support and financial support, from the United States, Netanyahu at every possible opportunity is thumbing his nose at President Biden.

Right now, the major crisis is twofold -- getting the hostages back while there's still some alive and providing food and humanitarian aid to the Gazans. So imagine this, President Biden and his allies are having to go around the Israeli government, which is meant to be a critical ally, in order to either air drop or send a maritime aid convoy to the Gaza coast. This is extraordinary. This is usually what happens between hostile states in a terrible situation like this.

So that's one thing. Israeli former prime minister Ehud Barak has told me, and he's written a major article in "Foreign Affairs," is that the most urgent thing now is to get the hostages back. He says it may not be the most important because defeating Hamas is very important. But the most urgent thing is to get the hostages back. And he says that Netanyahu thumbing his nose at President Biden is bad for Israel, obviously bad for the Israeli-U.S. relationship upon which Israel depends for its survival, and that there must be, says Barak, elections to get rid of a historically unpopular government led by Benjamin Netanyahu. So you've got all that going on domestically as well, John.

BERMAN: Shifting gears to Ukraine, Christiane, we have this exclusive CNN reporting that the arsenal of democracy, and by that I mean the United States and Europe, Ukraine's allies, falling behind in production of these crucial artillery shells that Russia is producing well over three times as many artillery shells just before spring when Russia, as far as we know, could be launching a major offensive. AMANPOUR: This is a major problem. Both Gaza, Israel, this war in the Middle East, and the one in Ukraine is really testing the American led international world order, particularly in Ukraine where President Putin is simply disregarding all the rules of the international road. So Ukraine was doing fine, keeping Putin at bay for a long time, for two years. Now, it is definitely saying that it is on the backfoot.

And it's not just the production that Russia has ramped up. It's the firing of shells according to this CNN reporting that Russia appears to be firing some 10,000 shells a day. Ukraine only two because it's having to ration. And this is directly linked to what the Congress has done, which is to block any further military support to Ukraine while the E.U. is desperately trying to fill the gap, at least financially.

So it's really tragic. And this was brought up even at the Oscars. Mstyslav Chernov and his "20 Days in Mariupol" won the Oscar for documentaries, and it just shows the devastation of Russia's war on Ukraine, its aggression, its obliteration of cities, towns, villages, and civilians as well.

BERMAN: Mstyslav Chernov is a wonderful man, a wonderful filmmaker who said he would gladly trade his Oscar to have had Russia never invades Ukraine.

Christiane Amanpour, great to have you. Thank you so much.


SIDNER: All right, ahead, did he get a boost? Our Harry Enten is here with what the polls are saying about President Biden's support after his feisty State of the Union address.

Also, health officials are warning hundreds of people may have been exposed to measles at a California hospital.

And March Madness, truly a lesson learned on the court. When push comes to shove, you get arrested. And look at what happened after this game.



SIDNER: All right, so how did President Biden do in his State of the Union address in the eyes of American voters? New poll numbers show, he exceeded or matched expectations with nearly one-third of Americans say he performed better than they had expected.

CNN senior data reporter, Harry Enten is here.

This begs the question. So if people thought he did better than expected, how do they see him? What's his popularity like now after the State of the Union?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes, we went one way and we're going to zigzag the other way, so let's take a look here. View of Joe Biden, view among Joe Biden among all Americans, this is a new ABC News/Ipsos poll that came out yesterday, pre-State of the Union, positive views towards Joe Biden. 33 percent.

How about now? Well, the same thing 33 percent. No, change. The negative went up a little bit, 50 percent to 54 percent. But that's within the margin of error.

The bottom line that you should be taking away here is that there has been no change in the popularity of Joe Biden among all Americans. Not a big surprise, because traditionally speaking, we haven't seen that change. I know that there was some of that immediate, you know, post reaction polling that suggested maybe there would be, but in reality, thirty-three, thirty-three. Don't have to be a mathematical wizard to know that ain't any movement.

SIDNER: You've said before that the most you've seen it go up is like one percent.


SIDNER: So, it also isn't a huge change -- game changer.

All right, let's see. Is there any reason for sort of the lack of change?


ENTEN: Yes, you know you mentioned that one-third. You know, how did Joe Biden do in his speech to Congress versus expectations? Yes, there was that 29 percent who said he did better, but the vast majority did not, in fact, said he'd do better.

Look, you've got 24 percent who said the same? You've got 12 percent, very few who said worse, but in fact, the plurality opinion is folks didn't read about it, didn't see about it, didn't hear about it at 35 percent.

Most folks or a lot of folks really just weren't paying attention. They're going about their lives. They are picking up their kids from school. They're putting lunch, dinner on the table. So yes, you've got about that 29 percent who said better, but the vast majority here when you combine same, worse, didn't read, see, or hear about it. This is the reason why there ain't any movement.

SIDNER: All right, Biden versus Trump, we know that they are the presumptive nominees for their party. What's that look like?


SIDNER: Regard popularity?

ENTEN: Yes, so if we look at ABC News/Ipsos again, this isn't exactly a horse race, but it comes pretty close to what's cooking here.

Do a better job leading America: Donald Trump still ahead here, 36 percent; Joe Biden, 33 percent. Again, this is post State of the Union, but here is a big number in here and this is one I'll be keeping a track, an eye out on, track throughout this campaign. Look at this, this 30 percent -- thirty percent -- who said neither gentlemen would do a better job leading this country. This is the chunk of voters that I think we're really going to be looking at to have an understanding, okay, which guy is going to win?

Because if we have two guys, we really don't like, it's going to be this group who said neither that's ultimately going to be determining this election outcome.

SIDNER: It will depend on whether they go to the polls, number one, that might be the biggest thing.

ENTEN: Yes, yes.

SIDNER: The biggest hurdle.

All right, this campaign is starting very early, is it not?

ENTEN: It is.

SIDNER: Give us a look.

ENTEN: Yes --

SIDNER; For those that are not interested.

ENTEN: Yes, especially that 30 percent that said neither.

All right, general election campaign lengths since 1972, we are in for the longest campaign on record tied with 2004. Yeepee-yayo-kaye. Eight months, or I think it's 244 days, the average is 5.6 months.

This is going to feel like an eternity to that 30 percent of Americans who said neither, but you know, button up your britches, get going because we're into it now. It's going to be eight months, folks, you better get used to it because it's on its way no matter whether or not you want it to be or not.

SIDNER: I thought you're going to ride off on a horse with that yeepee-yayo-kaye, but anyway, thank you so much, Harry.

ENTEN: Maybe, I'll take some lessons.

SIDNER: Thank you, Harry. Appreciate it.

ENTEN: Thank you.

SIDNER; Boy, that's a long one -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, new details about the tragic death of a billionaire CEO who's also family of Senator Mitch McConnell, the frantic phone call that she made after her Tesla went into a pond.

And is TikTok on borrowed time? Congress making big moves right now to ban the social media platform in the United States. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BERMAN: All right, just in. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is headed to Jamaica for an emergency meeting on the situation in Haiti.

The US Embassy in Haiti has evacuated all non-essential personnel due to the heightened gang violence near the compound.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann following this story for us.

Patrick, what's the latest?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you said, the Secretary of State Antony Blinken heading to Jamaica, trying to find a political solution to this.

He is pushing for Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who is at this point in Puerto Rico, unable to return to his country to announce a transitional government. But here's the thing, John, we don't know if Henry will even be traveling to Jamaica to meet with Blinken. No confirmation of that yet.

The situation in Haiti just continues to deteriorate, hour by hour. Over the weekend, we saw a US military helicopter under the cover of darkness going into Port-au-Prince to evacuate non-essential US diplomats and as well bring in more security to protect the embassy and the remaining diplomats.

Other diplomatic missions are pulling out entirely, saying it's just become too risky, too dangerous to operate in Haiti. We are hearing that there are more Western diplomats and there are helicopters at this point. Many other aid organizations and diplomatic missions that are trying to get their staff out.

I've talked to some of those diplomats over the last few days and they're describing the situation of running out of food and water, that their supplies are running low because they're essentially on lockdown.

For the Haitian people, it is much, much worse. They are in neighborhoods controlled by gangs in the crossfire of what's being described as a Civil War between the gangs and the government.

The gangs are saying they will not allow Ariel Henry to return to his country and that they will essentially force out the government at gunpoint if they need you.

BERMAN: All right, Patrick Oppmann for us watching the situation. Thank you very much -- Sara.

SIDNER: All right, back here in the US, the 2024 matchup, coming into focus this week. Today, we're learning how President Biden is trying to sharpen his message to potential voters. And this morning, the Princess of Wales is taking the blame for manipulating a photo after news agencies noticed discrepancies, the controversy once again fueling speculation about the Princess' health.