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tv   Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans  CNN  May 1, 2014 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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breaking news this morning. the east coast under water. historic water covering neighborhoods. storms so dangerous, millions told just to stay home, and the rain, it is not over yet. indra petersons tracking what is still to come this morning. also breaking this morning, investigators finally ready to reveal what they know about the disappearance of malaysia airlines flight 370. a report set to be released within the hour. right now, frustrated families of those on board hoping to get answers they've waited weeks for, as crews comb the southern
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indian ocean for any sign of that vanished jetliner. we've got a team of reporters covering all angles this morning. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to "early start." a lot going on this morning. i'm john berman. >> i'm christine romans. it's thursday, a very wet thursday, may 1st. 4:00 a.m. in the east and much of the east coast is waking up drenched this morning. flooding reported from florida all the way to the northeast. worst part about this, it is not over yet. your thursday may yet be another washout. >> the gulf coast hit the hardest with historic rainfall in the pensacola area. nearly 2 feet of rain fell in just two days, just destroying roads, wiping out homes. cnn's ed lavandera is there. >> reporter: christine and john, residents here along piedmont road in pensacola, just south of the airport, tell me that it was the middle of the night when pieces of their road started slopping up on to their front lawn, and that's when they knew things were not going very well
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in this neighborhood. several homes took in almost 3 feet of water along this stretch here. and now that the floodwaters have really started to recede, people are able to get inside their home, start the cleanup process and assess the damage. many roadways here in the pensacola area were heavily damaged by these floodwaters and the massive amount of rain that fell for almost 12 hours here in this region, and it just caused some serious destruction. scenic highway, a very picturesque roadway on the eastern side of pensacola, a big, gaping hole washed away. several cars fell into a crater there. and that happened, and that scene, not to that magnitude, but many roadways were washed away by these floodwaters. in some neighborhoods we were in, we saw some houses that had taken up to 5 feet of water, and those waters had already rece receded, so that was good news, but that cleanup process will take weeks and weeks, and then we'll also see that fixing up many of the roadways that were so severely damaged, that is a
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process that could take several months. christine and john, back to you. and breaking overnight from pensacola, an apparent gas explosion leaving about 100 prisoners hurt at the county jail. the building partially collapsed. now, it is not clear at this point if the weather was responsible, but officials do say the jail did suffer significant flooding. breaking news also in maryland. evacuations under way right now in laurel, maryland, after a dam opened, leaking thousands of gallons of water. and take a look. this is from baltimore. that's a sinkhole, a sinkhole that swallowed up several cars. >> wow. >> that's right. several homes nearby had to be evacuated, but there were no injuries reported. and this is why we always say don't drive through water? look at this. this guy had to be rescued after his suv got stuck in 4 feet of water near bowie, maryland. he's okay, but if you see standing water, don't do what he did. find another way to get around the flood. a line of cars this morning on
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route 3 in new jersey drove right into some standing water. a whole bunch of people stranded this morning on there, or late last night going home in their commute. >> all kinds of road closures around here. of course, the same situation across the potomac in virginia, though the water wasn't quite as high on these roads in alexandria near the nation's capital. the risk of flooding still high there this morning. some creeks starting to overflow their banks in delaware. these pictures are from newark, where the water flowed into the streets, making driving very tough. more than 4 inches of rain fell on much of that area throughout the day. >> all this rain is coming from the same storm system that left 37 people dead across the south. several of those in alabama. that state's governor, robert bentley, toured the damage. look at it right there. he said he's grateful that the number of lives lost in alabama was not higher, though the damage and destruction obviously so severe. >> all right, indra petersons is tracking all the storms for us this morning. indra, this behind us, this still happening? >> no, unfortunately, we're still talking about rain in the
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forecast today for many places. let's talk about the totals, because they were unbelievably impressive, not good when you're talking about rainfall totals like this. pensacola, florida, since sunday -- all that attention we saw yesterday with the intense flooding, over 17 inches of rain. placed on the radar, the radar itself indicated some places could have seen over 20 inches, maybe 2 feet of rain. unbelievable. many places, of course, broke records. even into the northeast, where you're not talking about 17, 18 inches of rain, we saw heavy amounts of rain in short periods of time, which is just as devastating. a lot of flooding was out there in new york city. look at the records we broke for just the daily record, almost 5 inches of rain in just one day. here's how it looks now. of course, easy to see, the rain is still out there. going to feel a little different this morning with a warm front out there, so we're still going to be talking about chances of showers throughout the day, even picking up overnight as the cold front tries to exit out of here. 1 to 2 inches, so not as impressive, but again, out towards florida, still looking at higher amounts. there's the cold front, going to try exiting out of here, but right now it will feel warmer on the east coast as you're talking
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about the warm air filling in. but that will change. by the weekend, this cold front will exit offshore, temperatures will moderate. now, there's a lot of attention on the southeast and east coast, but i also want to point out, towards the west coast, record-breaking heat, and not just record-breaking heat, but wind gusts anywhere from 40 to even 60, some places in the mountains as high as 100 miles per hour, so red flag warnings, fire danger is high, and unfortunately, a lot of wildfires already in california. >> that's a bad combination. >> very bad combination. >> thanks, indra. now to malaysia, where in about one hour, we are expecting to finally see for the first time the government's preliminary report on what happened to flight 370, a flight missing now for nearly two months. will ripley is live for us in kuala lumpur. will, any expectations for what we think they report is going to reveal? >> reporter: christine, we're not expecting any surprises here. we're told that this report is going to be pretty similar to one that was submitted to the international civil aviation organization a couple days ago. so, essentially, what this report is going to lay out are the facts that we already know
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and the facts that are assumed. the flight took off, made a turn. based on the satellite data that a team of experts here in kuala lumpur have been analyzing, they believe the plane took a southern turn down towards the indian ocean, where the flight ended, the area where they're searching now. we know that search chief angus houston is here in kuala lumpur, expected to arrive here at some point today. he will be meeting with the acting transport minister and other officials here. one thing we don't expect to be mentioned in this preliminary report is this new news from the australian company geo resonance, claiming they found evidence of plane wreckage in the bay of bengal, but we do know that malaysian officials here are taking a look at this, assessing the credibility, and we've learned that two ships from bangladesh are on their way to this area right now to take a look and see what they can find there. so, no surprises. but certainly, this is a concrete piece of information, the document for the first time now, nearly eight weeks in, that we'll be able to look at what investigators know. >> will, why are they releasing this now?
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some of the families have been saying and accusing the government of keeping all this secret. is this the first report? why now are they releasing this information? >> reporter: that's a good question, something that our aviation expert, richard quest, asked the prime minister in an interview here in kuala lumpur. he asked if there was anything in the report that may be embarrassing to the malaysian government, is that the reason why this preliminary report has been delayed so much. the prime minister said no, simply that they've been having their experts go over it to make sure that there's nothing in there that could compromise this investigation. obviously, christine, this has been a concern all along, the lack of transparency, the delays in getting information out, but nonetheless, the report expected to be released possibly within the hour. and as soon as we get our hands on it, we'll let you know what's in there. >> i know the families are really interested to know what's in that report and if there's anything they haven't known to date. thank you so much, will ripley this morning in kuala lumpur. >> i don't think anybody wants to see this report more than the families, the families who have been demanding to see it for weeks. they want as much information as they can get on what happened to
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that jet. now finally, perhaps within the hour, they could get more answers. this comes days after they heard the radio transmissions from the cockpit just before flight 370 disappeared. david mckenzie is with the families in beijing. david, what are they saying this morning as we wait for this report to be released? >> reporter: well, john, they're anticipating this report, but i have to say, they probably have expectations managed a little bit. there have been so many false endings to the story. i remember i was on this spot nearly two months ago when the families first started arriving in shock when the plane vanished. and other than a bit of analysis, really, that indicates that the plane went down, according to malaysian authorities, in the southern ocean, the families say they have seen no concrete evidence. that's what they want, something to grasp on to, something solid so they can get some kind of closure. the last few days, they have had very detailed, technical
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briefings here in beijing, asking very detailed questions, but the feeling here is they might not get the answers they want today, and there is, in fact, a strong police presence here, and cameras are not allowed inside the building. so, perhaps the chinese authorities don't want to see the coverage of the very emotional reactions that we saw last time there was a major bit of news. but like everyone else, we are waiting here and waiting in anticipation what will be the contents of that report. >> and that report could come out within the hour. but as you say, i think the families there have their expectations well in check after more than 50 days of waiting there. thanks, david mckenzie in beijing. a state of emergency after a train carrying thousands of gallons of oil derailed and explodes in virginia. look at those pictures. this morning the cleanup begins. investigators trying to figure out what went so terribly wrong. and then there is this, folks. toronto's controversial mayor. yes, rob ford, who admitted to
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smoking crack once, he takes a sudden leave of absence again. why? what's going on this time? folks, you will not believe it. or actually, maybe you will, after the break. ♪ led to the one jobhing you always wanted. at university of phoenix, we believe every education- not just ours- should be built around the career that you want. imagine that.
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breaking news overnight. toronto's mayor, rob ford, is taking a leave of absence. the admitted one-time crack smoker has now acknowledged in a statement that he does have a substance abuse problem and he is going to take a break, he says this time to get help. this as "the global mail" newspaper reports the existence of a new video allegedly showing him smoking crack again. ford, at least up until now, is running to try for another term as toronto's mayor, despite the fact that the city council has stripped him of almost all of his powers. i've got to say, this raises so
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many questions about just the people around him. this happened in plain sight, in front of millions of people, not to mention the world. people have been making jokes about this for a long time, but it's not fun. >> it isn't funny at all, seriously. he clearly has a problem, and the kind of, you know, signal it's sending, i think, to other people in canada, especially young people, is troubling. all right, in virginia this morning, cleanup crews racing to contain the damage after a train carrying crude oil derailed, bursting into flames in downtown lynchburg. wow. about 50,000 gallons of oil are unaccounted for. some is believed to have spilled into the james river. the city's declared a state of emergency. booms have been set up to contain the spill. amazingly -- i mean, you look at these pictures, you can hardly believe, no injuries reported. >> so much fuel being shipped by rail right now. >> that's right. >> that raises a lot of questions. this morning, hundreds of people allowed back in their homes in the hills east of los angeles. mandatory evacuation orders lifted near rancho kuck munguia as winds shift again after a
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brush fire close to homes there. hundreds of firefighters on the scene trying to contain the blaze that grew from 20 acres to 1,000 in a few hours. they say oklahoma is not doing enough to figure out what went wrong during an execution that left a death row inmate shaking and talking for 40 minutes after he was supposed to die. convicted murderer clayton lockett was injected with lethal drugs when one of his veins ruptured. he was thriving in full view of witnesses before he died of a heart attack. now another execution is on hold in oklahoma and the governor pledges to figure out what happened. >> i expect the review process to be deliberate, to be thorough, and it will be the first step in evaluating our state's execution protocols. >> we have a fundamental standard in this country, that even when the death penalty is justified, it must be carried out humanely. and i think everyone would recognize that this case fell short of that standard. >> activists are demanding an
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independent investigation and an autopsy, saying they fear the state won't be transparent. they also want to know just where the state bought the lethal injection drugs, something state law keeps secret. new details this morning of just how far enrollies have gone to sign up for obamacare. the house energy and commerce committee says it has collected data which shows that 67% of those who signed up for coverage have paid their first monthly premiums. now, that's only as of april 15th, so no word yet on how many people may have signed up from the 15th to the 1st of may. you have the whole month to do it. this, though, an important marker, some people say, of how effective the law will be. it needs about 80% or higher to make it solvent. now, the administration does question some of the house committee numbers. however, the white house hasn't released any of its own numbers along this front, so hard to know for sure until we see them for ourselves. senate republicans have blocked debate on raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to
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$10.10 an hour. it's become a top election year issue for democrats, who pushed for the vote, as president obama urged supporters to put pressure on republicans. though really, the most party line vote was 54-42, republicans arguing that the rate hike would cost jobs. could we see another big day on wall street? the dow jones industrial average setting a record high, finishing at 16,580, and wow, investors holding their ground after the federal reserve made it clear it will continue scaling back its stimulus program, reducing its bond purchases to just $45 billion. that's despite the latest reading on gdp pointing to slow growth, actually, stalled growth in the first quarter, but they thought, look, that's rearview mirror, likely because of the bad winter. it did not scare investors. record high for the dow. >> winter caused a lot of problems. happening today, an important meeting of some nba owners as the league discusses what is next for donald sterling. the clippers' owner now banned for life after those racist comments were caught on tape. the league's ten-member advisory
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and finance committee is reportedly holding a conference call today where they will discuss next steps. the commissioner is pushing the owners to force sterling to sell his team. that requires a three-quarters vote. ukraine on the brink of war this morning. the president admitting pro-russian militants have taken over the east. the country is in chaos. we're live with what's happening right now after the break. sea captain: there's a narratorstorm cominhe storm narrator: that whipped through the turbine which poured... surplus energy into the plant which generously lowered its price and tipped off the house which used all that energy to stay warm through the storm. chipmunk: there's a bad storm comin! narrator: the internet of everything is changing how energy works. is your network ready?" beautiful day in baltimore where most people probably know that geico
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a startling admission to tell you about in ukraine, where pro-russian separatists now essentially control who regions close to the eastern border with russia. ukraine's acting president now says all his government can do is try to contain the violence, because in his words, police and security forces are helpless to stop it. he says there's nothing they can do at this point. senior international correspondent nick paton walsh is live in slovyansk, ukraine. nick, i've got to say, this admission from the president makes it seem like a lot of the efforts going on, both by the united states and elsewhere at this point, are just completely futile. >> reporter: it's almost bizarre to hear the acting president of the country, ahead of the presidential elections, say there's nothing they can do to stop what's happening here in eastern ukraine, and i think there are perhaps two reasons behind that. one is to put blame on the security forces here, who he also in the same statement said weren't doing their job properly, were out of his control. that's effectively saying
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they've chosen to switch sides, perhaps, or are unwilling to shoot against some of the local residents here who are actually the pro-russian militants in many ways. and of course, also, perhaps there is electoral politics involved where he wants to distance himself to what's happening. as we saw in kiev, particularly special forces moving around parliament suddenly in the middle of the night in a drill, perhaps a bid to show force in the center of the city. but today, there should be protests. it's may day here, a public holiday. in many of the cities held by pro-russian militants, we're trying to work out quite what their end game is. we saw yesterday at a checkpoint, ukrainian military forces moved in quickly with armored personnel carriers, but when a few shots were fired, simply turned away. so do they have any plans to move in and confront the militants and what do the militants actually want? we know they are looking towards may 11th for a referendum to determine the fate of the donetsk region and in another
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region, key buildings were stormed again by pro-russian militants. could that be what they want? many worry about a repeat of what happened in crimea. we've begun to slowly see better-equipped militants show up at some point near slovyansk here. i think we're looking in the days ahead to see what the final end game, the goal of the people's republic is. >> the key question is what does vladimir putin do this about, now that eastern ukraine says we've lost control of that part of the country. what do the troops do just across the border? questions that will take days to answer. nick paton walsh in ukraine with this stunning development. iraq this morning is counting ballots after the first parliamentary elections since u.s. troops left three years ago. while there were some incidents at the polls, throughout the country, no major attacks were reported amid intense security. some 12 million people, or about 60% of registered voters, turned out to cast their votes. an exit poll seems to show nuri al maliki's party as the front-runners to retain power.
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election results expected in about 30 days. we have breaking news this morning. in just minutes, investigators set to reveal what they really know at this point about the disappearance of malaysia airlines flight 370. live team coverage ahead. every day, people fall. from a simple misstep, to tripping over a rug, to just losing their balance. and not being able to get up from a fall can have serious, lifetime consequences. being prepared is important. philips lifeline with autoalert is more than just a medical alert button. it's an advanced fall detection system designed to get you help quickly. if you fall and you're unable to push your button, the fall detection technology within autoalert can trigger the button to automatically place a call for help. our us-based staff will make sure you get the help you need right away. this is philips lifeline. we received a fall-detected signal. do you need help? call now about philips lifeline with autoalert, the only button with philips' advanced fall detection technology. we'll send you this free information kit about the importance of getting help quickly, should you happen to fall.
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breaking news. record rainfall leaving parts of the east under water this morning. severe storms destroying homes, roads, anything else in their path. millions, millions waking up to devastation, and it's not over yet. indra petersons tracking today's storms for us. breaking news this morning as well.
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new information in the disappearance of malaysia airlines flight 370. investigators just about to release their findings to the public in minutes. so, will the report satisfy the families of the missing who have been waiting for weeks and weeks for answers? and could this new information help crews in the search for the vanished jetliner? we have live team coverage coming up. >> good morning. welcome back to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> and i'm john berman. great to see you, despite the fact that i was soaking wet about 30 minutes ago. >> you dried out. >> i did dry out. up first, we're going to begin with the awful, awful weather plaguing the eastern part of the country. heavy rain causing flooding from florida all the way up the east coast. and today's forecast is wet and dangerous for millions and millions of people with even more rain expected. breaking news this morning from pensacola, florida, a city hit hard by flooding, and now authorities say the county jail was rocked by an apparent gas explosion overnight. hundreds of prisoners were in the building at the time.
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about 100 of them hurt. others are being moved to other jails. it's not clear if weather, if that flooding was responsible. and take a look at frightening pictures also from pensacola. >> wow. wow. >> that part of the gulf coast simply slammed. nearly 2 feet of rain since sunday. >> what a mess. >> washing out roads, breaking water mains, filling homes, leaving residents scrambling for safety. >> there's trees down. turn down and you can't go any further and then i get this. >> water was coming in through our garage and then through the back doors and flowing in out this door. so, we just have water in the house. we were getting a chair in the attic, didn't know exactly what was going to happen. >> some of them had to be rescued in boats. water is receding now, but you know what? the cleanup's going to take weeks. we have breaking news also right now from maryland, where evacuations are under way in laurel after a dam started leaking there. heavy rainfall also blamed for
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this in baltimore. that's just a huge sinkhole swallowing up cars. fire crews had to evacuate several nearby homes. luckily, no injuries reported. i want you to take a look at if you want to see what not to do when you see high water on the road. this man right there drove into it. he got stuck. that's near bowie, maryland. he's said to be okay, but he tried to do this and had to be rescued. >> even in an suv, a big truck. look at that. all right, in virginia, standing water was the problem on roads over the potomac in alexandria. heavy rain building up and driving creeks right out of their banks. the risk of flooding still very high there this morning. be careful. ? delaware, more than 4 inches fell, causing big lakes right on the street. some still thought it was okay to drive through, like that person. a very, very bad idea. >> you know, i was on my way to work this morning and saw a whole line of cars all stalled out in the standing water on a highway. indra petersons tracking the storm for us this morning. is it going anywhere?
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>> it is not going anywhere just yet. you know, just to that note, i don't think people realize, more people die from flooding and trying to drive through floodwaters than they do in any other severe weather. it is absolutely dangerous. please, do not do it. there is definitely a lot of standing water out there and it's not what you want to be doing, especially talking about rainfall amounts like this. unbelievable, 19 inches of rain alabama in through florida yesterday. now, into the northeast, the numbers weren't as impressive when you just look at the number itself, but let me tell you, if you were here, you felt it. we're talking about very heavy rainfall rates and record daily rainfall records. new york city, talking about almost 5 inches of rain in just one day. all that has produced a lot of flooding from the northeast straight down to the southeast, and still, more rain is on the way. you can currently see it is still even raining at this hour. you see periods of heavy rain, maybe a little break and then more heavy rain right behind that. that is going to be the situation as we go throughout the day. it does feel a little bit warmer out there this morning. we're behind a warm front. but eventually, the cold front
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continues to swing on through. the same front we've been watching for the last several days, that guy is still onshore from the northeast down to the southeast. still producing another 2 to 4 inches into the southeast. so, there it is, very easy to see behind the warm front here today. you'll see some warmer temperatures. once that cold front slides finally offshore overnight tonight in through tomorrow, we will start to see those temperatures back off a little bit, but still slight showers possible in the forecast. so, that's the northeast and the southeast. definitely want to pay attention to the west coast because it's a different type of problem. they're talking about record heat out there, temperatures extremely high. 90s, even 100s, triple-digit heat, plus winds anywhere from 40 to 60 miles per hour, in the mountains as high as 100 miles per hour, making fire danger very, very tough. i mean, the flights can't even get up there to try to fight the fires from the air. >> perilous moments out there. we'll keep an eye on that. indra, thank you so much. we're minutes away from new details on what happened to malaysia airlines flight 370. the malaysian government finally set to reveal its preliminary report, which they've kept
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secret for weeks, on what its investigation into the disappearance shows. our will ripley is live in kuala lumpur. will, what do you think? are we expecting any major revelations in this report? >> reporter: well, you know, you said it, john, when you said that this is highly anticipated. these families have been demanding this literally for weeks and weeks. we're now, we believe, just minutes away, although we don't really know for sure. things can change quickly here in kuala lumpur. there was a press conference that was scheduled for today. that has been canceled. so, now we know we'll be receiving this preliminary report via e-mail, so literally, we are clicking refresh several times a minute to see when this report comes in. as soon as it does, we'll share it with you. as for what's going to be in the report, john, we're not expecting any major surprises. we know that a few days ago, there was a report submitted to the international civil aviation organization, and we think that this report will be similar. we think it's going to lay out the basic facts, the facts that have already been proven and the facts that are assumed based on satellite data and this international team of experts here in kuala lumpur, who basically, essentially
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calculated where they think the plane went after it took that turn and started heading south, skirting radar, you know, potentially dropping in altit e altitude. there's a lot of unanswered questions that we may have answered in this report, john. we'll just have to wait and see when it comes in. >> and all of this begs the question, will, if there's no major revelations, as you say, we're probably not expecting any, why on earth did the malaysian government keep it secret for so long and what finally caused them to release it now? >> reporter: that's the question we've been asking. even richard quest asked the malaysian prime minister, is there something embarrassing in this report? why has it been held back, in spite of the demands of these families who just want something they can hold in their hand, some sort of report so they can read the facts that we've been talking about, that there's been a lot of speculation about, and we haven't really gotten a solid answer, other than that they've just been going over the details in it to make sure there's nothing in it that would compromise this investigation. so, once we get the report, i guess that will give us some of the answers, but still a lot of questions. why did they wait so long? >> will ripley for us in kuala
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lumpur. again, we could be minutes away from getting this report. will will bring it to us the minute he gets his hands on it. thanks, will. so, now to the search for this jet. the search officially in a new phase now. minutes ago, the bluefin-21 unmanned sub finished its 17th mission, scouring a larger area after turning up nothing in its initial search. as the australian heading up the hunt is heading to malaysia to talk with officials about the next steps. miguel marquez live in perth with that part of the story for us. good morning, miguel. >> reporter: good morning there, christine. well, it is good news that the bluefin is back in the water. it took two days off because of bad weather out there, and it sounds like conditions are improving, so we expect that it will get to go down for its 18th mission fairly soon. it is searching an area north of where it was searching before. it completed an area, a 10-kilometer radius around the second ping that was heard. now it's moving north toward where the first ping was picked up. they still believe that this is
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the best area for them to find anything related to the plane, and they believe this is the most likely area where the plane went down. they're likely downloading the material from the bluefin now. we hope to get a readout on whether or not they foirund anything. certainly, that would be enormous news if they did. we suspect that even if they did find something with the bluefin on the side sonar radar, they'd want to refit it with a camera, send it down, take pictures, much like in the flight 470 air france situation. with regard to georesonance, this company that says they may have found the plane in the bay of bengal, things are pretty much where we left them yesterday. the company is still refusing to allow any investigators or anyone to have a peek at their technology. the bangladeshis have sent a couple frigates into the area where they say the plane was, but this far on, it's probably not going to prove very helpful. they would probably have to get a submersible down there to prove whether or not the plane is there or not. that is a very, very difficult thing to do. back to you guys. >> and a lot of discussion about
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whether that's a distraction or whether that's just following every single lead. miguel, thank you so much. families have been demanding more information from investigators. could this report answer their questions? david mckenzie is in beijing and will join us with what the families are saying in just a few minutes, so stay with us for that. and of course, breaking overnight, toronto's mayor, rob ford, who's admitted to smoking crack in the past, he finds himself in a new controversy overnight. he has left office, at least temporarily, for alcohol reasons. this may not be the worst of his troubles. we'll tell you what we're learning new this morning, coming up next.
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breaking news overnight. toronto's mayor is taking a break. rob ford saying in a statement overnight he has a substance abuse problem and will take a leave of absence to get help. this as toronto's "globe and mail" newspaper says there's a new video allegedly showing ford smoking crack-cocaine.
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ford admitted last year to smoking crack, said he has a problem with alcohol. the problem with alcohol is what he admits to and says he has bad judgment when he drinks, and then, hence, the drug use. right now he's campaigning for another term in office, despite being stripped of almost all of his powers by toronto's city council. >> a man in serious need of help. hope he gets it. this morning, authorities trying to contain a major oil spill in lynchburg, virginia, after a train carrying crude oil derailed and burst into flames. authorities believe some of the oil may have spilled into the james river, which feeds the water supply for richmond. some 50,000 gallons of oil unaccounted for. booms have now been set up to try to contain that spill. firefighters still on the ground this morning in the hills east of los angeles where a major wind-driven fire has grown to 1,000 acres near rancho cucamonga, but hundreds are allowed back inside their homes this hour with evacuation orders lifted. voluntary orders are still in
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effect. there are calls this morning for big changes in how oklahoma and many other states execute inmates, this after a convicted murderer, clayton lockett, was left writhing in pain and talking 40 minutes after being given drugs meant to kill him. the state says one of his veins ruptured and he eventually died of a heart attack. the state is promising to take a close look at what went wrong. >> i expect the review process to be deliberate, to be thorough, and it will be the first step in evaluating our state's execution protocols. >> we have a fundamental standard in this country, that even when the death penalty is justified, it must be carried out humanely, and i think everyone would recognize that this case fell short of that standard. >> the governor's put another execution on hold for now, but activists are demanding an independent investigation and autopsy, saying they fear the state will not be transparent. now, we should say, because a lot of people are weighing in online about this, on facebook, on twitter.
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whatever questions this raises about how executions are implemented, there's no question about the severity of the crime this man committed. he was convicted of just heinous, heinous acts. >> and victim rights advocates want to point out that, look, the woman, the young woman who he killed, was convicted of murdering, had a very slow, painful, terrifying death, and they point out it's kind of eerie that even in the victim impact statements when this guy was sentenced, many said the death penalty's not good enough for him because he made this woman suffer so badly. eerie in the end that he suffered, and as a society, we're trying to make sure we do this in the most humane manner possible. >> it raises all kinds of questions about the implementation of the death penalty. >> absolutely. all right, it seems many new obamacare enrollees are paying their premiums. new data collected by the house energy and commerce committee shows 67% of those who signed up for coverage have paid their first monthly premium. now, the administration isn't tracking that data itself. the committee had to reach out to insurers for the information. but it needs to be, what, you
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think 80%. >> 80% is generally the number they said that they would like to hit, or they were counting on. 67% would be lower than they've been talking before for some time, but the white house is not releasing its numbers on how much, how many people they think have signed up or officially paid. quarter to the hour right now. raising the minimum wage has stalled now in the senate. senate republicans have blocked debate over increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. the vote fell along party lines with republicans arguing a wage hike could cost jobs. increasing the minimum wage is one of the president's top priorities this midterm election year. it didn't take much to get there, folks, but the dow jones industrial average starting the day at a record high. 16,580. it was up about 45 points yesterday, the first record of the year. remember, last year was all records. this year has not been. this is the first one. investors shrugging off the federal reserve's announcement it will keep pulling back its bond-buying programs. with the economy slowly recov recovering. the latest reading of gdp was
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really ugly. it didn't seem to hurt wall street, though. there was almost stalled growth in the first quarter, pushed down by the bad winter in much of the country. but investors, they think that was a rearview mirror number and that this quarter's going to be better. >> it's a record high, just like me. >> no, that means nothing, right. relief could soon be coming to families of those on board missing malaysia airlines flight 370. we're minutes away from receiving new information from investigators on what really happened to that vanished jetliner. we're live in beijing with that. that's a man interviewino.for a job. not that one. that one. the one who seems like he's already got the job 'cause he studied all the right courses from the get-go. and that's an accountant, a mom, a university of phoenix scholarship recipient, who used our unique --scratch that-- awesome career-planning tool. and that's a student, working late, with a day job, taking courses aligned with the industry he's aiming to be in. ready to build an education around the career that you want?
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let's get to work.
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we are just moments away from seeing for ourselves just what malaysian officials believe happened to flight 370. a preliminary report due out at any moment now for those who had loved ones on the flight, it could answer a lot of questions or leave them with even more.
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david mckenzie is with the families in beijing. david, what are the families saying? how important do they think this report is to see at this hour? >> reporter: well, they just don't know, christine, and certainly, they're jaded after weeks of waiting, stuck in this hotel behind me. what they want really is closure, some kind of concrete information that can give them a solid answer, and they haven't got that, of course. none of us have. so, in the essence of closure, they want as much information as they can get. and in recent days, they've been asking very technical questions of the malaysian technical team here in beijing to try and kind of unpack the details of the raw data that led to the decision to say that this plane went down in the southern ocean. you know, one family member, interestingly, said well, if this data is so good, why did they not find the plane after weeks of searching with all
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manner of technology? so, there's a lot of skepticism, a lot of frustration, and certainly, a very heavy police presence here in beijing. our cameras, in fact, not allowed inside, but from what i've learned, there's many police in that room, and also, they expect to be briefed by the malaysian airline authority. christine? >> david mckenzie in beijing. when we get that report, we will go through it and bring that to everyone live. thank you, david. all right, happening right now, have pro-russian militants officially taken over eastern ukraine? is this a done deal? you will be shocked to hear who is saying it just might be. we'll take you there live, next. ♪
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i'm almost done.
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[ male announcer ] now you can pay your bill... ♪ ...manage your appointments... [ dog barks ] ...and check your connection status... ♪ ...anytime, anywhere. ♪ [ dog growls ] ♪ oh. so you're protesting? ♪ okay. [ male announcer ] introducing xfinity my account. available on any device. help. that is the word this morning from ukraine's acting president, who says security forces likely cannot stop pro-russian separatists who have now taken over two provinces near the russian border. he says all his government can do now is try to stop the violence from spreading. stunning words from the ukrainian leader. our senior international
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correspondent, nick paton walsh, is live in slovyansk, ukraine. nick, again, this is coming from the leader of ukraine, who says that his own troops now can do nothing to stop pro-russian separatists, so, what's the reaction on the ground there? >> reporter: well, to some degree, things have carried on as always with pro-russian militants having the momentum, clearly, in the towns they've seized in the past two days. there's no sign of them stopping. they seem to be moving to their own timetable. the ukrainian security forces, as we've seen, are in evidence around where i'm standing, and they moved in against one checkpoint that we saw just yesterday, but they only got about 15 meters away from it. very few shots, if any, were fired, and they turned around. so, we're not clear what their agenda is here. they are very limited in what they actually do in this, what should be week two, almost, of the so-called anti-terror operation here, but the question i think people are asking themselves is why did alexander tur turchynov make the statement, effectively saying they're
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helpless? he said they're out of control, not doing their job properly. he put the army on a full state of readiness, saying the russians were ready to invade, and i think a lot of that is posturing ahead of the may elections. he knows much of the country cannot be reclaimed by force, partly because of the russian forces across the border ready to intervene if he tries to do that, but he has to explain to the rest of ukraine why it's going disastrously here. all eyes on the new administration here in the donest people's republic. what do we want? do they want a referendum on may 11th, like they've signaled for a number of days here? do they want negotiations to establish some federal status within ukraine? that's still not clear. we're waiting to hear that, because frankly, at this point, it looks unlikely that the ukrainian military is going to have the will or even the fi firepower to move in here and change what's happening on the ground. and of course, we have in the last 24 hours seen better equipped russian militants popping up. >> and the ukrainian prime minister says he's lost control of the east, maybe because it's
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simply obvious that it's true. nick paton walsh in slovyansk, in ukraine this morning. great to see you. ballot counting under way in iraq after parliamentary elections there called mostly a success, with only limited violence reported across the country. some 12 million people -- that's about 60% of registered voters -- turned out to cast their votes in the first major election since u.s. troops left three years ago. an exit poll seems to show nuri al maliki's party as the front-runners to retain power. election results expected in about 30 days. this morning the death toll has risen again as divers retrieve bodies from on board the capsized south korean ferry. today one more body was removed, raising the death toll to 213. 89 people are still missing. this as the coast guard is warning they may not be able to recover every missing body because of the conditions on that ship, which sank two weeks ago. >> and the cell phone calls from the kids to their parents were in the background, you can hear "stay where you are," it's safer
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if you stay where you are. just chilling. those families, really feel for them. "early start" continues right "early start" continues right now. -- captions by vitac -- breaking news this morning, in minutes, investigators will finally reveal what they know about the disappearance of malaysia airlines flight 370. and right now, the frustrated families of those on board hoping they might get the answers that they've waited so long to get, this as search crews begin a new effort in the southern indian ocean, looking for any sign of the vanished jetliner. we're breaking down all the angles for you live this morning. breaking news here at home. the east coast under water this morning. look at this historic flooding burying neighborhoods. severe storms so dangerous, millions told just to stay home, and the rain isn't over. indra petersons tracking what's still to come today. good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> and i'm john berman. it's thursday, may 1st.


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