tv The Situation Room CNN May 13, 2014 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
'm looking at you phone company dsl. check your speed. see how fast your internet can be. switch now and add voice and tv for $34.90. comcast business built for business. happening now, breaking news. a killer virus. two are exhibiting symptoms. is this the beginning of a potentially deadly u.s. outbreak? terror lockdown. an attack on an embassy as details emerge about a deadly gun battle between militants who tried to kidnap them. sterling versus sterling. the wife of the clippers' owner shares in the outrage as donald sterling bashes magic johnson. will distancing herself help
shelly sterling hold on to the team? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the situation room. let's get to the breaking news. a new and mysterious virus that kills many of it is victims. there's growing concern that it could be spreading in the united states. two employees at a florida hospital reported flu-like symptoms after coming into contact with a patient confirmed to have middle east respiratory syndrome, known as mers. 20 people may have been exposed. they have all been ordered to stay at home. concern is great and there are signs that have been posted at 22 u.s. airports already warning travelers of the risk, the symptoms, and what to do if they think they have contracted the virus. we're covering all angles of the story. at this hour, our cnn kro correspondence, health care experts, let's go to brian todd. what are you finding out?
>> officials don't know how many people have been exposed, how many people have been infected with mers. some thought they had mild symptoms and some thought they had a cold. a creeping and contagious and potentially deadly virus has potentially reached the u.s. and created a legitimate health scare. two workers exposed to a patient with mers have been treated with flu-like symptoms. one of those workers is in isolation. >> it all happened before the proper isolation precautions were initiated. so these people were in contact with the patient without a mask. >> reporter: officials say 20 health care workers in two hospitals in the orlando area may have been exposed to the mers vir rus. it started in the saudi peninsula but has spread around the world. it originated from camels but you can get it by breathing in.
most of those who have gotten it have been health care workers. >> we can infect one person to another. we have droplets of the fluid being inhaled by the other person or being in contact with the other person. >> reporter: it attacks the respiratory system. why is it so scary? it's deadly and spreads through the body faster than the similar sars virus a decade ago. the 530 patients have died, experts say, compared to 10% of the sars' victims. >> there's no vaccine or treatment for it. >> reporter: meaning patients survive only by getting the symptoms treated. the most recent worker in orlan orlando flew from saudi arabia to boston to atlanta and then to
orlando. >> as a matter of fact, what they would be doing is people that were in close contact with that patient. so if you were sitting near that person, one or two seats, yes, you're going to be interviewed. but if you're sitting several rows and that patient did not walk close to you, there's no reason to be concerned. >> reporter: the other mers patient in the u.s. also recently flew from saudi arabia to london, london to chicago and then took a bus ride indiana. that patient had extended time with others and the ventilation was closed in. all of those passengers, he says, on that bus will have to be tracked somehow. >> there were new warnings for travelers as well, right? >> that's right. in the united states, the tsa has posted this sign at 22 major airports. it warns people going to the
araa arain bee general peninsula and says you better call a doctor if you have these symptoms. >> let's go to orlando right now. health care workers were exposed to the mers virus. what are you seeing over there? >> reporter: this is one of two orlando hospitals where hospital workers may have been confirmed. this is where the 44-year-old is recovering right now. doctors say he is in good condition and he is improving. now, he came to the hospital on may 8th but it wasn't until the following day that doctors began to suspect mers. a total of 20 health care workers in the orlando area may have been exposed to this virus. they have been told to stay home
for 14 days. 15 of them work at this hospital. now, take a listen to what an infectious disease specialist has to say about all of this. what special precautions is a hospital taking here and also the other hospital, what are you guys doing to make sure that the people in this hospital are s e safe? >> the people who have not been in contact with the patient are safe. the patient has been in proper isolation situation since friday morning. he's remained in isolation and everybody going inside the room needs to wear the proper attire, which includes a mask, a special mask, goggles, gowns, and gloves. >> reporter: now, one health care worker has been admitted to this hospital. initial testing should be available in a day or two. and wolf, doctors here are
waiting to learn those results before they decide what to do next. >> alina machado, thank you very much. let's bring in cnn's tom foreman to look at how the virus arrived in the united states. what are you learning? >> this is the geography of the virus. the center is saudi arabia. they've had almost 500 cases. the symptoms are like flu, coughing, pneumonia and 150 of the cases have ended in death. there is something not entirely understood about the link to camels but the disease is showing up in plenty of places. people carrying the illness which takes a couple weeks or more to show up in someone if you have it. so you can see on this map all of the different places where they have seen some kind of measure of this latest country
to report with the two confirmed cases and other people are being watched right now. the first, if you look at the actual travel of this, the first one involved a health care worker who went to saudi arabia, flew to london and then to chicago and took a bus back to indiana. that's where he got sick. he got treatment and he got better. the second involves another case. in this case, it was a saudi man who was also in saudi arabia working as a health care workers. he traveled to boston and atlanta and then before arriving in orlando to visit family. he's being treated and reportedly improving. but the mere passage of these two men and through those cities and everyone they have touched, that is what has health officials looking at how they picked up the disease. it does not spread as easily as the flu. that's the good news. but it is considerably more lethal. so that's why they are taking all of this very, very
seriously, wolf. it may seem like a couple of people but they know what it can turn into. wolf? >> it can be very, very deadly. tom, thank you very much. we'll continue to follow the breaking news. i'll speak live with one of the health officials charged with tracking the deadly mers virus. there is he. we'll go live to the centers for disease control and prevention when we come back. my lenses have a sunset mode. and an early morning mode. and a partly sunny mode. and an outside to clear inside mode. new transitions® signature™ adaptive lenses now have chromea7™ technology making them more responsive than ever to changing light. so life can look more vivid and vibrant. why settle for a lens with one mode.
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spreading virus known as mers. as many as 20 hospital workers in florida may have came into contact with the virus and two are showing symptoms. elizabeth cohen is joining us. we have a case in indiana, florida, potentially two health care workers. how nervous should the public at large be right now? >> wolf, whenever you have an infectious comm uchunicable dis, that has killed one-third of the people that have come into contact with the virus, you should be concerned. let me tell you who should be concerned. if i was the wife of someone who has the virus, i would be concerned. if i just came off a flight and
had shortness of breath and coughing, i would be concerned. if i didn't fall into one of those categories, i would not be so concerned. so again, this is something that close family contact, health care workers and people who have traveled in the area and are experiencing symptoms, they are the people who really need to be worried. >> we're told that that patient in florida took four flights while feeling ill. so what does it mean for the other people on those planes, from saudi arabia and then to boston, atlanta, orlando? >> they would be getting a phone call to say how are you feeling. this is out of abundance of caution. there's no reason to think that this virus could spread on an airplane, but then again, we don't know for sure. that's why the cdc is being extra cautious and is reaching out to those people. again, the kind of transmission
that we've seen has really been among close family members who spend a lot of time together, who are physically close to one another or doctors or nurses but it is possible that it could have spread on the plane, which is why the krchl cdc is reachin to those patients. >> i want to bring in the director of global migration and quarantine. doctor, thank you for joining us. we've known about mers for two years. how much do you, the experts, really know about this? >> well, wolf, thanks for the question. i think there's a lot more that we have to learn. and we look at the emergence of the virus to characterize the risk and transmission and the settings so we can help shape our guidance into the future. and viruses can change. and so i think that we've learned some over the last few years but there's many gaps to
fill and your correspondent had the assessment and the balance just right in terms of who should be concerned and who should not be worried. i think that that grouping is exactly on target right now. >> and you do believe that about a third of those who come down with it will die. is that right? >> it's really hard to assess the case fatalities at the beginning of the epidemic because often what happens is the most serious cases, the icu cases get counted first and surely they are at greater risk of dying. sometimes we don't know the true number of people infected. often as an investigation goes on, the case fatality rate comes down as we learn more but that's something that is still under investigation and i think that any type of virus that has an early case fatality rate of one-third is something to be taken seriously. >> obviously very seriously. are certain people more vulnerable than others? older people or very, very young
kids might be more vulnerable. is that right? >> i think that's very fair. typically what we're seeing with this virus is among the people that get severe illness and who go on and die of this illness, they tend to be older and people who have underlying chronic health conditions who are more vulnerable to any type of infection. we see this during influenza seasons. yes, in fact, the case fatality rate tends to be much higher and with the younger kids, it tends to be much lower. >> doctor, elizabeth cohen has a question for you. >> i was wondering, there has been a lot of concern about the passengers on the flight with the florida case of mers. have we ever heard of someone getti getting mers from being on a plane with an infected person? >> no. so far with the over 500 cases reported, we've not had a single case that's known to be
transmitted in an airplane and we are basically doing this investigation, as you indicated, not only out of an abundance of caution for respect for this virus but to confirm that that is in fact the case and that we are not seeing any asymptomatic or mild infections among these passengers who may pose a risk. so i think that you had it exactly right in your lead-in there. the people that we are most concerned about are people who are in close intimate contact like family members and health care workers. we are reaching out to airline passengers just to checkup with well, offer than an opportunity to be tested and confirm. in the first introduction in indiana, we've reached 100% of the airline passengers and we've had no secondary spread so far and we'll continue to do that with these flights in the second case in florida. >> in the cdc advisory, health advisory that he put out, doctor, it says, wash your hands
often, avoid touching your face, avoid close contact with sick people. how do you get this disease? how contagious is it? >> well, we certainly need to know a lot more about the transmission characteristics of this disease but from the first 500-plus cases so far, it appears that you need close contact with the secretions of somebody who is actually sick with this virus. so this is not something you get by casual exposure in a community. we have not seen any community transmission, sustained community transition and it's certainly not as contagious as, for example, the measles virus, which has a very, very high reproductive rate and is much more contagious. in fact, it doesn't appear to be as contagious as the influenza virus in its current setting. >> let's hope that you guys find a solution to this and find some sort of cure or preventive vaccine. doctor, thank you.
elizabeth cohen, thank you to you as well. the nfl's first openly gay player. we'll take you live to st. louis as this player, michael sam, is getting ready to speak for the first time answering reporters' questions. stand by. and an exclusive interview with magic johnson. what does the nba think of donald sterling's latest verbal attack. ? nineteen years ago, we thought, "wow, how is there no way to tell the good from the bad?"
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this is awkward. check your speed. see how fast your internet can be. switch now and add voice and tv for $34.90. comcast business built for business. . l.a. clippers' owner donald sterling may have thought his exclusive interview with cnn may have eased the uproar but he made it worse after the diatribe against a sports icon. suzanne malveaux has the details. >> big magic johnson, what has he done? >> he's a business person. >> he's got aids. >> reporter: donald sterling once again spewed vitreal.
>> he catches hiv. is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about? i think he should be ashamed of himself. >> reporter: on twitter, johnson stayed above the fray writing, i'd rather be talking about these great nba playoffs than donald sterling's interview. but in an interview set to air later tonight on "ac 360," he told anderson cooper -- >> he's trying to grab on to something to help him save his team and it's not going to happen. >> reporter: sterling's initial racial rant was made two weeks after he told v. stiviano that he was jealous for posting a picture of herself with magic johnson. >> don't post it on twitter so everyone has to see it and call me and don't bring him to my games, okay? >> reporter: when asked about johnson by anderson cooper, the 80-year-old billionaire didn't
hold back. >> he's spent millions on giving away and helping minorities. does he do that? that's one problem i have. jews, when they get successful, they will help their people. and so do the african-americans, maybe i'll get in trouble again, they don't want to help anybody. >> reporter: sterling's wife of more than 60 years, shelly, fears her husband is suffering from dementia. >> why would he bring magic johnson into the issue that is helping now? that's why i feel pity. because he couldn't get all the ducks together. he couldn't connect the dots. >> reporter: shelly sterling telling nbc her estranged husband's offensive remarks are hurting her reputation. >> why am i the victim when he's the perpetrator? if somebody kills somebody, does the wife have to stand on trial,
too? >> magic johnson is loved by so many. i've had an opportunity to interview him back in 2008 when he was campaigning for hillary clinton. he was a big draw, wherever he went, especially in the african-american community. a lot of people don't know that, that he was a political operative as well. very much involved in politics as well as social organizations. he has his own network, aspire, and i've had a chance to work with him on a series as well. >> and he's really worked hard for the minority community. >> many, many years. people recognize that. >> donald sterling doesn't know anything about it but i know a lot about that and he's been a great, great asset for the entire minority community, whether in l.a. or all over the country. suzanne, stand by. i want to bring in don lemon, a writer for espn. don, first of all, what are your reactions to these statements made about magic johnson, a true
icon. how shocked were you? >> i was shocked that he in the first place would even utter a negative word about magic johnson. i agree with you that he's a role model. but magic johnson has done a lot for every community. is he a philanthropist, someone who helps everyone. yes, minorities, african-americans. he helps everyone. and, wolf, remember when the president just a few months ago announces my brother's keeper because we have that really great conversation with magic johnson live on the air about what needed to be done to help young, black enmany, what needed to be done to help minority communities? he cares. so for anything to come out of donald sterling's mouth that has anything negative to say about magic johnson is just way off. it's just off base and it's insulting and ridiculous. >> it certainly is. l.z., in that first shot that we showed of magic johnson, you saw
adam silver of the nba standing right behind him. adam silver wasted no time to issue this statement. i feel compelled on behalf of the nba family to apologize to him that he continues to be dragged into this situation and to be degraded by such a malicious and personal attack. the nba board of goempb governors is continuing with their process to remove mr. sterling as expeditiously as possible. how much damage do you think donald sterling has done to the nba family? >> well, you know, i think what he's done is simply exposed the fact that the nba, for better or worse, cou has protected this mr over 30 years. back in 19282, a group of owner tried to get rid of him back then and for whatever reasons the nba didn't force him out, they kind of dropped the ball on
that. then commissioner stern said that it was a good organization in 1983 and kind of protected him more or less. the more donald sterling talks, he exposes the nba family in the fact that the ownership and nba and even players association turned a blind eye for him for decades. >> the fact is -- and suzanne, let me bring you back into this conversation. adam silver, the commissioner, wasted no time, within a matter of only hours he banned this guy from the nba for life and he's taken a very firm position ever since. so he is really on solid ground over here. >> and he has to. for years we have known about these kinds of things that he's been doing and one of the things that i thought was really revealing, not just how he feels about magic johnson but really about the black community as a whole, when he talks about making these blanket statements. i thought the interview was worse than what you heard on the audiotapes because you heard the
kind of stereotypes, the kinds of things that he really felt about black people and the community saying they don't give back, they are not taking care of their own. i mean, that's where you really get the sense of this kind of plantation mentality that he has, not just his feelings towards magic johnson. i thought it was very, very revealing, the racism that we're actually talking about. >> in many respects, don, i think you agree. what he told anderson may have been worse than what he was sereptitiously recorded and saying early on. >> i was listening to his comments again and i've heard them a next of times. i watched them on anderson and heard them on the morning show. i was on with ashleigh banfield and said what he's saying now is way worse than what he said in private. okay, he didn't know he was being recorded, maybe. but he was aware, there were cameras and microphones in the room and those words came out of his mouth. he not only insulted african-americans, he -- to many people i know, he embarrassed
jewish people, he shamed people who have hiv and aids. and just one single sound bite. but this was an hour and a half conversation that he had with anderson and went on and on and the more he talked, the more he put his foot in the mouth. i'm glad he's talking. i think he's a lost cause, by the way, but i'm glad he's talking because it reveals his racism and holds up a mirror for people around the country who may think like him and they may think it's okay. now they see themselves on television, now they see people ridiculing them and commenting about it and may think twice, hopefully, about having those kinds of conversations. >> and then, l.z., he accused anderson cooper of being a racist. this guy sounds delusional that he's living in another world. >> perhaps he's going through the early stages of dementia.
>> but l.z. -- >> it's befuddling. >> he may be going through the early stages of dementia but then he says, i'm going to say this about the black community and then he says, well, i may get in trouble again. he's aware of that what he's saying is not right. he's admitting it right there in the interview. >> i don't think he's aware of how all of this is landing. he still insists that he's loved by the players and that's delusional and shelly says she's getting a lot of love as well at these games. both of them don't seem to be aware of what is happening here. >> they are both delusional. >> guys, stick around. we have a lot more to discuss. by the way, anderson will be joining us live at the top of the hour with more of his exclusive interview with donald sterling. also, he spent time with magic johnson, getting magic's reaction to sterling's latest shocking remarks. that's coming up. also, much more of the
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will be the first openly gay mayer in the nfl. we're going to monitor -- right now they are just talking football. they are not talking about anything else but it's a significant event right now. michael sam is being introduced in st. louis to fans speaking to reporters about football. don lemon, l.z., suzanne malveaux are watching all of this. interesting, don, they are just talking football right now. they are not talking about what so many other people are talking about, this historic breakthrough, there will be an openly gay player in the nfl. >> listen, there are gay mayers in the nfl already. they were probably there from the beginning. i'll be quick here. i'm glad that he's there talking about football. continue to talk about football and continue to get on the field and kick butt and that's what i want to see him do and what the fans want to see him do. put blinders on like v. stiviano
and play a good game of football. that's all he needs to do. >> i'm sure he will. l.z., what do you think? >> he looks really comfortable up there. he was comfortable in missouri. expect him to be comfortable in the locker room as well. the chips were stacked against him, if you will. the rams had a fantastic draft. so it's going to be a hard rope for him whether he was openly gay or not. like don said, to focus in on football because that's the most important thing. >> suzanne, you've been watching football for a loong time. do you want to weigh in? >> i do want to weigh in. talk about your partner. it was beautiful to see the kiss and i would say do both. be your complete best and don't hide and simply play a good game. i wouldn't say not talk about it. i would say continue to talk about it. continue to push the envelope because clearly that is allowing
everybody there to grow. >> yeah. i remember when he told "the new york times" when he came out with his sexual orientation, he said, i just want to make sure that i can tell my story the way i want to tell it. i just want to own my truth and that's what he did and he was drafted by the st. louis rams. we'll monitor this news conference. but i want to get back to the donald sterling uproar. our christine romans, don lemon, just had an opportunity to speak with mark cuban and get his thoughts of what is going on. he's always outspoken. listen to mark cuban speaking to christine. >> i can't comment on mr. sterling but what i can say is we're a franchise organization. it's not apples to apples in taking property. and that's kind of what i've learned since my original comments, you know, it's like if someone who was a mcdonald's owner franchisee started talking about spitting in the french
fries, he'd lose his fran cchis >> he clearly wants to walk away from that? >> that's the sign of a mature adult who can say i'm wrong after learning more, may have been a bit ignorant, i'm a learned man and i've changed my mind. he's absolutely right, wolf, and it's what i've been saying all along and what many people have been saying along. it's not a free speech issue. this is not someone's property being taken away. he signed a contract, a contract with the nfl and within that contract there are clauses and rules that he would not bring any negativity to the team or to the franchise. and he certainly has done that. so he's broken the contract. >> one final question for you, l.z., before i let all of you go. donald sterling told this to anderson. i want to play this little clip. listen to this. >> you want me to hire a wall of lawyers and them to hire a wall
of lawyers and to go to war. i don't think that's the answer. >> so what are you going to do? >> i think the answer is, the league is a good league. all honest people. and i think that whatever they decide that has to be done, i think i should work with them and do it. >> the nba says they want you out. are you willing to give up ownership of the clippers? >> well, i'm not sure that's what they want. >> i think that is what they want. l.z., a quick thought? >> well, that's absolutely what they want. this is just another piece of the puzzle as to whether or not his wife is right and that he may be suffering from dementia because there's no way he can see what is going on around him and think that the league wants him to stay in it. >> guys, we'll have a lot more at the top of the hour. anderson is going to join us live fresh from his interview with magic johnson. clay aiken has been declared the winner with fewer than 400
votes. the announcement comes one day after his chief rival died. keith cisco, a businessman, former top state official fell in his home and suffered a fatal head injury. aiken now face republican congressman in the election. the search for flight 370 after a key piece of equipment suffers damage. plus, two americans go to get their haircut, end up using deadly force. so what happened on the streets of this capital city? ♪
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violence is rocking an important capital city as it goes on lockdown, and new details emerge about a deadly shootout involving two americans. a warning, some of what you're about to see may disturb some viewers. cnn has been working on the ground in yemen, here in the situation room, what are you learning? >> wolf, last week we broke details about that brazen attack in which al qaeda in the arabian peninsula tried to kidnap two u.s. embassy employees. today i'm learning more about what exactly happened and why so many new questions have arisen. cnn has learned two americans were at the taj barbershop, popular with foreigners, when gunmen attacked them. had one of the americans not been carrying a gun, they may not have survived. the deadly firefight killed both
militants. this video shows one after being shot, while the u.s. and yemeni government now agree on the sequence of events, the incident is still raising questions. why would u.s. embassy employees more a target for terrorists than ever before in yemen break security protocol and venture out of their heavily secured compound for a haircut. why would a state department employee have a permit to carry a gun? the blowback has been severe, as this barbershop attack has scared many foreigners off the street of one of the most tightly secured of yemen's cities. now cars have been replaced by tanks, pedestrians with soldiers. the city is on lockdown. the u.s. embassy there remains a virtual fortress and will be closed to the public for at least another two weeks. another reminder of how serious the threat toward them is now. with yemen's military continuing to battle al qaeda in the country's south, street fighting
has increased and many now wonder if the real war on terror has moved to the capital. and, wolf, many sources in yemen telling me the questions about this attack will continue until there are clear answers. they are concerned if it is revealed that these may have been cia agents or special operations officers in yemen, that that could cause more questions by the yemenis and cause americans in yemen be more of a target. >> mohammed, thanks very much. let's get more now with one of the leading experts on national security, richard clark is a former top white house official, counterterrorism adviser and author of "sting of the drone," we'll talk about it in a moment. how dangerous are these al qaeda in the arabian peninsula terrorists right now? >> right now, al qaeda and the arabian peninsula is al qaeda. these are the people who were plotting to come to the united states, who were plotting to blow up american planes, but right now they are in a war with the yemeni government. this war has been going on for several years, but the last
three weeks, wolf, have been very intense and the yemeni government has been trying to recapture provinces that were under the virtual control of al qaeda last month. >> can the yemeni government do this, do they need outside help, especially from the united states? >> they need outside help for intelligence collection and air support and we've been using over the course of the last few weeks, u.s. drones as close air support for the yemeni attacks. we did a drone attack on sunday, there were drone attacks three weeks ago, on saturday and sunday on a weekend, three weeks ago, so we're a big part of this fight against al qaeda. >> have they been able, though, to get the top leadership? we know the master bomb maker is still on the loose. >> he apparently is. it's very hard to get involves, but they have been picking off large groups of people. the attack on sunday apparently killed six al qaeda people in a vehicle. the weekend before the attacks,
then they apparently killed 30 in one weekend. >> how extraordinary is it the u.s. embassy and now the capital of yemen is in virtual lockdown right now, shutdown, too worried about an attack? >> this has happened a few times in the last few years where they are shut down for a day or two days because an attack team has entered the city. and until they get that attack team, they close down. wolf, that embassy was the subject of an al qaeda ground assault a few years ago. >> tell us about your new book. >> one of the chapters takes place in that village in yemen, coincidentally, the exact same village where the real attack occurred. this is a thriller designed to take you behind the operations of u.s. drones now. but also to answer the question, what could happen in the future if other people start using drones and what if the terrorists use drones against us. >> do the terrorists have drones right now? >> well, it's really easy to buy
a drone right now in the united states. there are over 2,000 small drones that have been sold in the united states being used by farmers and police departments. the white house is looking at what the rules should be for governing them. one almost hit a plane in florida last week, so it's possible, in fact, the fbi did a sting operation and arrested an al qaeda sympathizer in the united states, saying that he was planning to use a drone in the united states. >> the book, "sting of the drone," i'm going to read it. sounds like a great thriller. richard clarke is the author. >> thank you. coming up, magic johnson reacting to donald sterling's vicious verbal attacks. anderson cooper will join us with that and more of his exclusive interview with sterling. plus, a setback for the search of the missing malaysia airliner. we have details of serious damage to an underwater drone. we asked people a question,
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happening now. breaking news. magic johnson just responded to donald sterling's verbal attacks. the nba legend is speaking out in an exclusive cnn interview about sterling's shocking statements to our own anderson cooper. >> big magic johnson, what has he done? >> well, he's a business person. >> he's got aids. >> plus, a blow to the bluefin, the underwater drone suffers serious damage under a difficult new phase for the search for flight 370. can the mission recover? we're going to find out soon. and this -- syria civil war exploding with new fighting and a desperate warning to the united states that al qaeda is thriving in the chaos. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> this is cnn breaking news. >> magic johnson tells cnn he's going to pray for