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CDC Puts Emergency Operations Center on Highest Alert Since H1N1 Outbreak; Tough Talk From Barack Obama On Gaza Conflict; Heavy Artillery, Tension in Ukraine; Serial Stowaway Arrested

Aired August 6, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us. There's breaking news tonight on Ebola late today. The Centers for Disease Control put its emergency operations center on its highest alert since the H1N1 flu outbreak five years ago as Dr. Sanjay Gupta witnessed first hand.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: While we were here the activation level just went up to level one, just as in the last couple of minutes. What does that mean?


COOPER: Well, I'll tell you his shortly when Sanjay joins us. We begin with urgent efforts in Cairo to extend the 72 hours ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The views from each side of the conflict and President Obama's take on it. Just a short time ago the President wrapped up a press conference.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We intend to support the process that's taking place in Egypt. I think the short-term goal has to be to make sure that rocket launches do not resume, that the work that the Israeli government did in closing off these tunnels has been completed, and that we are now in the process in helping to rebuild a Gaza that's been really badly damaged as a consequence of this conflict.


COOPER: Well he had more to say about the long-term about Hamas and who trust in the Palestinian side.

Joining us now is Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta. So what did the President say on the Gaza situation? What's the latest?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this was some of the toughest statements today from the President on the situation in Gaza. He really took aim at Hamas, saying that he had no sympathy for Hamas. Drawing a line between the militant group and the rest of the Palestinian people saying that Hamas has been what he called extraordinarily irresponsibly launching rockets from civilian areas at Israel, inviting basically what the President was saying, these counter attacks from Israel. Here's more of what the President had to say.


OBAMA: I have no sympathy for Hamas. I have great sympathy for ordinary people who are struggling within Gaza. And the question then becomes, can we find a formula in which Israel has greater assurance that Gaza will not be a launching pad for further attacks, perhaps more dangerous attacks as technology develops into their country? But at the same time, ordinary Palestinians have some prospects for an opening of Gaza, so that they do not feel walled off and incapable of pursuing basic prosperity.


COOPER: Jim, its interesting as you noted, I mean twice he used that phrase, I have no sympathy --

ACOSTA: Right.

COOPER: -- for Hamas.

ACOSTA: He said it twice Anderson and he also mentioned that he has sympathy for all the Palestinian civilians who have been killed in this conflict. But I think it's interesting to juxtapose, Anderson, what the president said at this press conference about not having sympathy for Hamas. And a very sharp language that came out of the State Department last Sunday when the State Department issued that statement after that shelling, that Israeli shelling of that U.N. site, that U.N. school. It would happen near the school but about 10 civilians were killed when the State Department said that this was a polling, that was a disgraceful shelling.

And I think the president coming out and really pointing the finger back at Hamas, making sure that the people in Israel now who have been pretty concerned about the president's statements and the strained relations between the Obama Administration and the Netanyahu government that they know that the president sees that Israel has a right to defend itself. I thought that was very striking to hear that from the president tonight.

COOPER: Yeah. And Jim Acosta, appreciate it. Israel's Prime Minister also spoke out today. He declared operations in Gaza's success, praised the Israeli troops and defended their tactics, laying blame for civilian deaths entirely on Hamas. Obviously he said that before. Showing a video of Hamas firing rockets allegedly from civilian areas, he said that this is what the IDF was up against. Several such videos have now surfaced, including this one of a rocket launch during a France 24 reporter's live shot. Look.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, are you all right.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, what happened?

FENWICK: I'm back in front of the camera.


FENWICK: Yeah, I'm fine. This was a rocket, this was a rocket. Rockets were just shot right next to where we're standing.


COOPER: Well the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems like these explain a lot to the U.N. to some Palestinians--to most Palestinians and some Israelis though, they simply don't justify Israeli tactics. Jake Tapper joins us now from Jerusalem. You watched the Prime Minister speaking today. What else did he have to say?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well the Prime Minister was making a very aggressive case and he was doing so in English, not all that odd for Prime Minister Netanyahu who spent some of his youth in Philadelphia and speaks the language very well. But is unusual for a press conference to be given in English because of course this is not the primary tongue here in Israel, its Arabic or Hebrew more mainly.

But he was trying to speak to an international audience. He was trying to talk not to the Israeli people, many of whom speak English of course but to Americans, to Europeans because there has been such criticism of the innocent civilians who were killed the IDF strikes. The Prime Minister making a case that they were -- a lot of the causalities were unavoidable because of Hamas tactics and saying that Israel has a right, indeed an obligation he said to defend itself. Take a listen.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Nearly everyone says that they support Israel's right to defend itself. And we appreciate those who say this. But there are those who refuse to recognize or to let Israel exercise that right. They would allow Hamas to attack with impunity because they say they're firing from schools or from mosques or from hospitals and Israel should not take action against them. That's obviously a mistake. It's a moral mistake. It's an operational mistake because that would validate and legitimize Hamas's use of human shields and it would hand an enormous victory to terrorists everywhere and a devastating effect to the free societies that are fighting terrorism.


TAPPER: Now Anderson, as you know it has been very difficult to find Palestinian leaders willing to condemn the Hamas and Islamic Jihad tactic of firing these rockets from population centers. The frequent response is that Gaza is very densely populated and its very difficult to fire from anywhere else. I'm not sure that passes the basic labs test because there obviously are spaces that are next schools and hospitals and spaces that are not. But Prime Minister Netanyahu today making a very aggressive case to the rest of the world, to the English speaking world that Israel was doing what it needed to do, Anderson.

COOPER: All right Jake, appreciate the update. We're going to follow how each side is explaining to themselves and the world what has been nearly a month of death and destruction. Prospector now in the Palestinian viewpoint from Khaled Elgindy, former adviser to the Palestinian leadership and currently at the center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

Khaled, good to have you on the program again. Again, tough words for Hamas from Prime Minister Netanyahu today, they're not surprising. Does that kind of talk -- does it make the prospects for peace given negotiations are still going on in Cairo or the more difficult?

KHALED ELGINDY, FORMER ADVISER TO THE PALESTINIAN LEADERSHIP: I don't think there's much new there. I think, you know, they put together a video montage and have wrapped it up, you know, nicely for the International Press. But the messaging is essentially the same as it has been in the past 28 days. Hamas is entirely to blame. They use human shields. So I'm not sure it will have any impact one way or the other on the political talks happening in Cairo.

COOPER: You look -- I mean at the video that you talked about, there's this France 24 video, rockets are being fired just a few feet from houses, from U.N. facility. How does Hamas justify that? I mean, do they even acknowledge that they did that?

ELGINDY: I don't think they acknowledge that they do that. I think that I actually don't know how they respond to those specific allegations. But I could tell you from my standpoint, I think it's a very disturbing development, anytime you see this sort of thing. But I would also kind caution that we keep this in perspective. This is not the reason why there are 70 to 80 percent of the casualties are civilians. Its not because Hamas is launching from near schools and hospitals and apartment buildings. Those instances in which it does happen, there may or may not be

causalities. I haven't seen indications or a connection between those instances and actual causalities. Some of the schools for example that were highlighted in previous instances were actually empty and not in use. Regardless it is a -- its an abhorrent tactic if that's what their doing but its not the primary reason that you have such high civilian casualties.

COOPER: And you, what do you believe the reason is?

ELGINDY: Well the reason is what Israelis have told us, they're military doctrine based on overwhelming disproportion of force. This is not something that they keep a secret. If there's disproportionate damage and harm to civilians, it's because that is the actual military strategy that's being used. Its designed to be a deterrent that if you overwhelm the civilian population, attack civilian infrastructure and knowing that your going to cause massive civilian losses, even if their not targeting civilians per say, its clear that they have a very high tolerance for the amount of civilian causalities that they're willing to accept and in fact its part of the plan.

COOPER: But --

ELGINDY: And so this is what Israel calls Dahiya doctrine and that has used it over and over. It has used there in Lebanon in 2006. They use in Gaza in 2009 and '09 --

COOPER: But you're not saying that --

ELGINDY: -- and 2012.

COOPER: But you don't really believe that Israel is intentionally targeting civilians do you?

ELGINDY: I'm not saying that at all. What I'm saying is that this notion that they are doing everything they can to avoid civilian casualties, we know it's not the case. You do not kill 1,800 civilians because you are doing everything you can to avoid civilian causalities. And because we know that their military doctrine is based on disproportionate force.

COOPER: But if they wanted -- I mean if they were intentionally trying to kill civilians, they could kill a lot more civilians than --

ELGINDY: Sure they could.

COOPER: -- the number that is involved. I mean you don't believe that there's any credence to the idea of, "Look, this is a densely populated area. This is urban combat, which is inherently difficult. And you're fighting -- in this case, Israel is fighting an enemy which, you know, does fire rockets from, you know, empty lots that are nearby buildings, that has booby traps in homes."

ELGINDY: OK, all of that maybe true. But that still does not justify the killing of 1,800 civilians. If the vast majority of the people who are killed -- if there are more children killed than actual fighters, then there's a real problem with the way this war is being conducted. And so the question isn't about Israeli right to self defense. Of course Israel has a right to self defense.

COOPER: It's a question of proportionality.

ELGINDY: But self defense. But proportionality and proportionality is in fact a basic tenant of international law. So when you intentionally use disproportionate force you know that you are going to cause disproportionate harm. And so that is, I think, a violation of international law. But regardless of what I think, I think at the end of the day, what's actually needed is an international investigation to look at instances if Hamas is using people as human shield, if they are firing and recklessly endangering the lives of Palestinians civilians or whether Israel is doing recklessly endangering the lives of civilians. That needs to be determined by an international investigation. And that's the only way that we will prevent these kinds of things from happening in the future regardless of who is to blame.

COOPER: Khaled Elgindy, I appreciate you to being on. Thank you very much.

ELGINDY: Thank you:

COOPER: Coming up next we're going to take you to Cairo for the latest on the peace talks there and later with two Ebola patients recovering nearby. Sanjay Gupta goes inside the CDC, just as it goes on the high alert to battle the disease, its highest alert in years.


COOPER: Well today is into a three day ceasefire now between Israel and Palestinians with talks underway in Cairo to extend the truce. Reza Sayah is following a late development. He joins us now from Cairo.

So what do we know? How are the negotiations going?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it has been very difficult to monitor and gauge these talks because these have been indirect negotiations that have been held in secret. But in a nutshell, it looks like at this hour the Israelis are pushing to extend the ceasefire beyond 8:00 a.m. Friday.

However, Hamas not onboard. They're saying, they want to extend the ceasefire. They want to talk right away and address some of the major issues. And that's where the two sides seem to be stuck. And when you look at the talks today, you really start to see the lingering mistrust between the two sides that has fueled this conflict for a very long time. And at this point it doesn't look like these two sides are on the same page when it comes to this ceasefire and how things should move forward.

In talking to a Palestinian delegate he told CNN that he's not convinced that this Israeli delegation that's in Cairo is authorized to address some of Hamas's core demands. Those of course include a lifting of the blockade, the opening of some of the border crossing, the release of some of the prisoners.

Remember Hamas says, it stopped fighting and then came here to Cairo to address some of these issues. And they're not convinced that the Israelis are here to do the same. We should stress that we haven't verified what this Israeli team here is authorized to do.

And then we got another statement later on in the day by an Egyptian official that raised more question as the Egyptian official describing the status of the talks by saying this, "If these are an experimental discussion in order to consolidate the ceasefire." Now that's statement that suggests that these two sides are simply talking about the parameters, the frameworks of the current ceasefire and they are not tackling the big issues. So the good news is that these talks have stopped the fighting but its rough going. They seem to be, you know, moving forward very slowly, not making much progress. COOPER: All right, so Reza, I appreciate the update. I want to dig deeper now with Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson Center who's advised Democratic and Republican, Secretary of State (inaudible) into the least. Also Princeton's University's Daniel Kurtzer, who have served as U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Egypt as well.

Daniel, the U.S. Special Envoy to the talks arrived in Cairo today. Realistically, what can the U.S. do to help hammer out any deal here, especially because as note that U.S. and Israeli relations are really less than ideal.

DANIEL KURTZER, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Well each have certainly has the lead and they were successful a couple of weeks ago in getting Israel on board an initial ceasefire. I think what the United States can do in a helpful role is to address some Israeli concerns are kind of off the table.

The Israelis actually don't want the United States in the room. They think that we've tended to be a little bit too balanced in this case. But at the end of the day the Egyptians are going to have a hard time themselves addressing the requirements of the two sides. And I think the United States can play a helpful role particular with the Israeli's side in dealing with some of the security issues.

COOPER: And Aaron, in your latest column you gave a letter grade to the major parties in the crisis. You gave the U.S. a C, why?

AARON DAVID MILLER, WOODROW WILSON INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOLARS: Well if you looked at the last four weeks of U.S. diplomacy and look, as Dan knows getting anything done, anything done in a negotiation, even when you don't have a kinetic confrontation going on, is excruciatingly painful. But you basically had the United States tried twice. Once by trying t involved the Cutleries and the Turks, which is a bad optic for the Egyptians and of course the Israelis.

And a second time relying on assurances from Hamas's is political wing and again the Cutleries. But the military wing that was actually doing the fighting was prepared to accept the 72 hour ceasefire. So were really all for two here. And I'm not trying to hammer or beat up on John Kerry. The reality is that the basic impulse is to try to get yourself in the middle of a mix. The problem for Kerry was the mix wasn't cooperating and it really did require the Egyptians. Tense relations with Hamas, closer relations paradoxically with Israel to try to at least create a basis on which to stop the fighting and then to pursue what can get done in Cairo is going to be very hard to create a durable agreement.

COOPER: Ambassador, do you believe that the Israeli use of force was at all proportionate?

KURTZER: Well it's hard to argue that it was proportionate given the significant number of civilian causalities. But Anderson, you were there. You saw it. This is a challenging -- a problem when you have a symmetric warfare. Hamas did embed itself within a civilian population. They launched rockets from hospital courtyards and schools and so forth. The Israeli population, although protected by the iron dome missile system was still disrupted for over a month, large number of soldiers being mobilized for service. And you do have a regularly army fighting against a band of terrorist who have adapted themselves to the tactics that they require.

So it's a really significant challenge. And I think this whole issue of proportionality has been blown out of proportionality has been blown out of proportion. The fact is that a state that has a right to defend itself is going to act to defend itself. And I think the Israeli's as we know and as I believe have not targeted civilians. One of the unfortunate consequences here is the large number of casualties and the large amount of destruction in Gaza.

COOPER: And Aaron, there's even a conflict between Israelis and Palestinian officials over death toll. Israel has no said that they killed some 900 militants, Palestinian death, figures of some 1,800 people say that 75 percent of them at least were civilians. Do you have confidence in anybody's numbers?

MILLER: You know the casualty statistic for '08, '09, that's six years ago, have into been agreed. I mean there the Israelis claim that roughly 40 percent of the 1,300 Palestinians killed in that conflict were combatants, Hamas operatives. And, you know, Palestinian hospitals are not making any distinction between who is an innocent civilian caught up in this and Hamas fighters.

So no, you're never going to figure this out. And the problem is the pictures, Anderson. And if you wanted, you'd ask me what is motivating the President more than anything else? I'm sure he's as invested as the Secretary of State in a durable agreement, led alone a two state solution. But I really think what drove him were the pictures. And I think the desire to change the channel and to get a stand down was really critically important for the Israelis, for the American and the Egyptians as well. The question is, "Will it hold beyond Friday morning?" And that's a serious problem right now.

COOPER: Well, no matter what the actual numbers and as you said there is this difference and has been in the conflicts in the past, I mean we certainly saw tremendous amounts of children, of people who are not combatants being injured in this as we do in many conflicts. Aaron David Miller, Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, thank you very much.

Coming up, we have breaking news, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa bringing the CDC's emergency operation center to its highest alert level. Sanjay Gupta takes us inside the CDC. Also, why the search for the remains of the wreckage in Malaysia Airlines flight 17 have now stopped? The search is over at least for now. We'll tell you why, ahead.


COOPER: Welcome back, the breaking news tonight. The CDC's emergency operation center is -- what it's called its highest activation levels. Sanjay Gupta is going to take us inside the CDC in a moment. But first the World Health Organization, WHO and the CDC released new numbers today. More than 900 people are now dead in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone with a 108 new cases over just two days. Liberia has just announced that they declared a state of emergency because of outbreak.

Here in the United States fears of a possible Ebola case New York were put to rest today. That's the good news. A patient in isolation at a Manhattan Hospital tested negative for the disease. And in Atlanta, two Americans who contracted Ebola in West Africa are continuing to get treatment at Emory University Hospital. The director of the CDC calls it a biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history and says that it can be stopped but its going to take many, many months and will not be easy. Sanjay Gupta takes us inside the CDC. Take a look.


GUPTA: This is the CDC's emergency operation center. Think of it as the nerve center of its response to the Ebola outbreak. Just a few minutes after I walked in, phones and BlackBerry started buzzing everywhere. While we were here the activation level just went up to level one, just as in the last couple minutes what does that mean?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What that means is just more people and more resources dedicated to the response.

GUPTA: In that room you could feel a quiet determination and a sense of urgency.

Let me give you a little bit of an idea of how this all works. What you're looking at is what the CDC looks at, a map of the world trying to figure out what infectious disease are happening and where they're happening. As you might imagine a lot of focus on Ebola right now, their tracking that as well, real time, they've been doing it since March.

Take a look in here. This jumped out at me.

Mid-May, they thought things were basically under control, but look at the beginning of June. Everything takes off. This is on its way to becoming the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

STEPHAN MONROE, NATIONAL CENTER FOR EMERGING AND ZOONOTIC DISEASES: This is our Emergency Operation Center or EOC as we call it.

GUPTA (voice-over): Dr. Steven Monroe is helping lead the CDC's Ebola response, not an easy task at all.

(on camera): Was there mistakes made? Is there a reason why this outbreak is worse than any other outbreak in history?

MONROE: The initial event, the lightning strike was in the corner between three countries in a very remote part of each of those countries so it quickly spread across the borders.

GUPTA (voice-over): Many more resources are needed and some of it is on the way. The CDC is sending 50 more people to the region in the next month. Dr. Meredith Dixson just returned from two tours in the remote part of Guinea where she was trying to help control the outbreak. MONROE: One day we were removed because there were rumors a group of young men would be coming to destroy the treatment center because they wanted to destroy Ebola.

GUPTA: She says that situation never escalated but it shows the hurdles and confusion the health workers face there. Here in the United States, a different sort of confusion. Different questions. For example, if Ebola is not airborne, then why were there such extraordinary precautions taken for Dr. Kent Brantly and Ms. Whitebol.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're confident any large hospital can handle an Ebola case if one were to show up at the doorstep using traditional isolation rooms with negative pressure room and traditional droplet and respiratory precautions.

GUPTA: And while I suited up in multiple layers when I was in Guinea earlier this year, the CDC says a mask, goggles, face shield, protective gown and gloves can provide all the protection you need for most situations.


COOPER: Sanjay joins me from Atlanta. The New York patient tested negative. That's good news. What is the CDC doing to help hospitals prepare for other potential cases?

GUPTA: They are doing quite a bit. There is a lot after variation in terms of knowledge and resources and how people are implementing, you know, the concerns about Ebola to their patients, that patient for example, patient traveling through West Africa, had fever, abdominal pain, could be a lot of different things. Typically a patient like that wouldn't get tested for Ebola.

They are trying to hone down who will be the highest risk. It has to do with obviously travel to that part of the world but most importantly, contact with patients who have been sick.

If you've been traveling through that part of the world and have a fever, but haven't had contact with patients, you're likely not high risk. You won't need to get tested or take your temperature.

But it changes if you have been exposed in some way to patients who are sick. They are drilling down on some details with doctors all over the country.

COOPER: And this outbreak is proving so hard to contain just because of where it started and the kind of the lack of ability to gather everybody who had it in isolation?

GUPTA: Yes, I think so. I mean, so much of this is done on the ground in remote villages. You have workers, CDC World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, they sometimes need to go door to door to find out the contacts of the person who just got sick.

Maybe the person who just died because those are the people you need to focus on and present them from spreading the infection further. Here is the problem, many of those people never come in contact with any organized medicine so they never get counted.

The numbers that we described could be low as a result, but their contacts cannot be traced, as well, because they never got into the system. So they are tracing about 8,500 contacts now in that part of the continent, but it's very hard to know if they have got everybody and almost assuring they don't.

COOPER: There are ethical questions we will turn to, but Sanjay, appreciate the update. Fascinating to see inside the CDC, especially when the threat level got elevated. The ethical questions raised and the use of this serum given to two Americans afflicted with it, who are now back in the United States, they got that experimental drug.

Sanjay broke the news of the drug just a short time ago. President Obama was asked whether he's considering sending that drug to Africa and the ethics of providing it only to Americans. Here is what the president said.


OBAMA: I think we've got to let the science guide us and you know, I don't think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful. What we do know is that the Ebola virus, both currently and in the past is controllable, if you have a strong public health infrastructure in place and the countries infected, are the first to admit that what happened here is that there were public health systems had been overwhelmed.


COOPER: Art Caplan is a professor, author, director of the Division of Medical Ethics of the New York University's Langone Medical Center. He joins me now. I think a lot of people when they hear there is a promising experimental treatment for Ebola wonder why more people aren't receiving it. Is it a question of a, it's experimental and it can't be scaled up that quickly?

ART CAPLAN, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF MEDICAL ETHICS, NYU LANGONE MEDICAL CENTER: Primarily that's the problem. The world supply of the drug would fit in a teacup, a little company has it and not the only one. There are a couple other little companies that have drugs they are starting up with animals, too.

But Anderson, you don't have a lot of drug and even if this worked and we saw the two people that got it stay healthy and do OK for a couple months, you'd still take time to have to produce it in bulk and get it over there. We're not going to get a quick fix out of the drug, if you will, to the Ebola outbreak.

COOPER: Hundreds died before these two American missionaries were given this experimental drug. Do you think it was the right thing to give it to the Americans? Some said look, why wasn't it used sooner to save other people's lives?

CAPLAN: It's ironic, we don't actually have a national or international policy about what to do with experimental drugs that are scarce in a crisis and the road to this drug went through their own organization that it sent the medical missionaries over there.

They called around and tried to find out is there anything that could be given. They were sent to the little company. They asked one way or another, they worked out an arrangement to get the drug shipped to Liberia where it was used. You know, it was -- they were the first people who asked. I don't think it was discriminatory, I don't think it was a bias. I think no one else had done.

COOPER: Three Ebola experts issued a statement today calling for expanded access to the drugs allowing governments to make decisions who gets drugs like that. Do you agree with that?

CAPLAN: Look, we've had two people who got it, but you want to wait a couple weeks to see that they don't get terrible side effects, livers aren't destroyed, they don't die all of a sudden from some unexpected consequence and do a little more safety study.

These people got the doses a monkeys got. We don't know how to give it. The main point is, I wouldn't be pushing resources to go to the drug to get it out there because I think that will take months. I think what we got to do is double down on prevention.

Some things that Sanjay showed us about getting people over there to teach people don't touch bodies, don't let people travel. In the short run, you get a better result by continuing prevention efforts and getting the epidemic under control and trying to put resources out towards the drugs.

COOPER: Difficult choices always to make in a situation.

CAPLAN: Hard choices.

COOPER: Yes, Art Caplan, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

Coming up, Anthony Bourdain, did his interview play a role in them being taken by Iranian authorities.

Later, what airport security you might ask? You'll ask that, we'll tell you about the 62-year-old woman who went through without a ticket and wasn't stopped until the flight landed and she's tried this numerous times.


COOPER: Welcome back. For about two weeks now, "Washington Post" reporter and his wife also a journalist have been held in Iran on unknown charges. They received reports the couple were detained. A few days later an official confirmed the journalist was arrested and held for questioning.

The charges are not all that clear at all and the case is confounded many, including Anthony Bourdain who met the couple this summer when he was filming an episode of "PARTS UNKNOWN" in Iran. I spoke to Anthony a short time ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: So Anthony, explain what happened. You were filming an episode of "PARTS UNKNOWN" in Iran. You interviewed these two people and said they were great and there is no proof they did anything wrong.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, "PARTS UNKNOWN": Yes, I mean, for the life of me, this -- I'm not naive about Iran, but I was really surprised by our reception there, which was very positive, and extraordinary friendly and I met these two wonderful people and they were so positive about their country.

I think there was just not a hint of anything that could cause anyone in any government to find fault, one would think. So it's just beyond me what they could possibly have done to bring this on themselves. As far as I'm concerned, they were fantastic ambassadors for a little understood country.

COOPER: That's the thing. They talked about difficulties living there, but overall, were quite positive of what they said about Iran.

BOURDAIN: These are two people who are very proud of their Iranian heritage, very proud of their country who, if anything, did their best to make an American with predictable views of that country understand the context, the history, the bigger picture.

I mean, these were two lovely -- I'm not a Middle East expert. I'm not an Iran expert. I can only say I met two from my heart I met two wonderful people with very positive attitudes about Iran.

COOPER: "The New York Times" is reporting they were arrested as part of a ploy to embarrass and weaken the pragmatic Iranian president. Do you think their speaking with you could have anything to do with or made them for visible targets?

BOURDAIN: I -- believe me, I've thought about it. Understand, we were treated very, very well -- first, just walking down the street in Tehran was a surprising situation. Everybody was lovely, without cameras, with cameras. When people found out we were American, everyone was lovely to us.

Even the people, representatives from the government at the ministry who had to approve our presence there. They were very nice and very helpful. There just wasn't -- there wasn't a shadow of that kind of thing that we really felt.

I mean, we were aware, but we just didn't feel it at that time. I thought about this many times since they were taken. I really hope we had nothing to do with it. I can't imagine we did, but I couldn't imagine this would happen, either.

COOPER: We'll continue to follow their case. Appreciate you taking to time to talk to us, thanks.

BOURDAIN: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: The episode with Anthony Bourdain in Iran will start this fall. You can see an episode featuring Bourdain's trip to Myanmar in a few minutes.

Coming up, the search remains at the crash site for flight coming to a halt. We'll tell you more ahead.


COOPER: Welcome back, Flight 17 searching has come to a standstill. The operation will continue, although, they frankly don't know when and it's too dangerous right now.

Nick Paton Walsh reported on this program last night while very close to the violence. He joins me again tonight. The fighting was so close to you, you had to turn off your lights and whisper. What's the situation like there now?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: it's much quieter tonight, but earlier on today, we have heard as dusk fell, heavy artillery north to the city and behind me a couple hours after that, artillery aircraft fire into the air. So still a tense night here in Donetsk.

We went out into the city today to see what the night before's violence had been about, large creators caused in the streets close to city center, what looked to be air strikes, two people killed by shelling, nobody quite knows who was behind it.

And the gunfire we were hearing seemed to be a fight over a key building here in the city center, no one quite knows, which two sides were fighting over that, either, Anderson. The Ukrainian army moving in fast and many wondering particularly a separatists leader I spoke to, if Russia will intervene.

There are 20,000 troops across the border. He offered a defense as to why perhaps the economic costs for sanctions from the west might mean Moscow wouldn't intervene. They need help fast.

COOPER: The search for victims, that's actually now stopped because of the fighting, right?

WALSH: Absolutely. The Dutch prime minister today echoing what I heard from an official close to the investigation. The violence around that crash site means it's no longer possible to continue tomorrow, perhaps not for the days ahead, weeks ahead.

One person at the crash site today said the gunfire that came near the investigation team was extraordinary close. They don't know who was shooting but I think is really the final straw. They have seen security threats in and out and I think now the Dutch are saying enough is enough -- Anderson.

COOPER: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you.

Up next, the case of a 62-year-old stow away. We're going to tell you how she made through airport security onto the plane and into the air.


COOPER: As you may know I just got back from Israel. The security at Tel Aviv Airport, they certainly do not miss much. We learned today that a 62-year-old woman breezed through security without a ticket and took off. Randi Kaye reports.


RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She finally did it, after repeatedly failing to stow away on an airplane from San Francisco Airport, 62-year-old Marilyn Hartman pulled it off.

It happened Monday, this time at San Jose International Airport where she managed to bypass two levels of security. Here is how. Hartman reportedly blended in with a family showing their boarding passes to airport security.

At the Southwest Airlines gate, she apparently managed to merge with a family again, slipping right past the gate agent without a boarding pass or even a reservation.

ANGIE MEZA, PASSENGER: That is concerning because, I mean, that means anyone can just get on a plane and do whatever, you know, whatever they want to do.

KAYE: Only after the flight landed in Los Angeles did the flight crew reportedly realize something was off. They took a head count and Hartman's secret was out.

(on camera): Los Angeles police say further investigation revealed Hartman did not have a confirmed reservation nor any documents showing she purchased a ticket. Lucky for her, the flight apparently wasn't full otherwise she likely would have been bumped before takeoff. She was arrested at L.A.'s airport for trespassing.

(voice-over): San Jose International Airport says public safety was never compromised.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via telephone): That passenger was screened by TSA for any prohibited items. It's really important to point that out. Public safety was not compromised.

KAYE: The TSA said the passenger was screened and saying the agency initiated layouts to the document checking area to prevent another incident like this one. This all comes just about four months after another stow away from the very same airport. Remember this?

That as you that surveillance video of an immigrant who hit in a wheel whale of a flight. He survived 5.5 hours beneath the 767 jet. At this point, it doesn't appear Marilyn Hartman was looking to do harm. She said she has cancer and was simply trying to go somewhere warm. True or not, for now, this serial stow away isn't flying anywhere anytime soon.


COOPER: Randi Kaye joins us now. How many times has she tried this before?

KAYE: We called the DA today and he told us she's been charged at least four times with trying to stow away. One time she did get on a plane before this time but she had a seat that belonged to somebody else.

She grabbed the seat. She got the seat, somebody else came on to take the seat and she was able to -- she had to get off the plane, but she's facing six months in jail, $1,000 in fines, so she's in trouble.

COOPER: All right, Randi Kaye, thanks very much. That does it for us. We'll see you again 11 p.m. Eastern, another edition of 360. "ANTHONY BOURDAIN PARTS UNKNOWN" starts now.