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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

American Embassy In Cairo Warns Employees To Avoid Travel On Sinai Peninsula; Donald Trump Back To Trashing Opponents; Debate Over Debates; Difficult Ethical Questions for Parents of Sick Girl. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired November 3, 2015 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[20:00:06] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, good evening. Thanks for joining us. We begin tonight with breaking news and a string of potentially significantly developments in the crash of Metro Jet 9268. The latest coming from the American embassy in Cairo warning employees not to travel anywhere in the Sinai Peninsula where the Russian airbus went down until investigators determine exactly what happened.

Today, Egyptian authorities said they are on the scene work was done in the stream of potentially significant information continued. So did the contradictions and clashing theories surrounding what, after, all is an early stage in the investigation. Russian state media reporting that investigators have found no signs of what they call explosive impact on the bodies recovered so far. At the same time, the American satellite that detected a heat flash when the plane went down.

A lot to cover tonight starting with CNN aviation correspondent Rene Marsh who joins us now.

So what more are you learning about warnings to the U.S. embassy employees in Egypt?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we know today the U.S. embassy in Cairo issued an advisory warning all embassy employees, civilian and military not to visit the Sinai Peninsula right now pending the outcome of the investigation. Now, the U.S. embassy is calling this a precautionary move, but no

indication of a status change there the more than 700 American troops based in Sinai right now. They are continuing their mission - Anderson.

COOPER: There is new information about the heat flash detected by that satellite.

MARSH: Right. We do know that a mid-air flash happened right before this plane essentially crashed. U.S. military sources are telling CNN's Barbara Starr that there, one of their satellites detected a heat flash while the plane was still in the air.

Now, this new information essentially suggests a possible explosion caused by a bomb, but it could also be something else. It could be tied to failed engine exploding or some other structural or mechanical problem with the plane. Now, the airline, though, is quick to come out to say there was no

mechanical failure. And Russian state media just today said there are no signs of explosive impact on the bodies of the victims, essentially no blast-related trauma. But Anderson, we should point out that does not necessarily rule anything out. Just look at 1994. There was an airline flight, Philippine Airlines flight 434. There were 273 people onboard. A bomb was onboard that jetliner. One passenger was killed, ten others injured. Everyone else survived.

COOPER: All right, Rene, appreciate the reporting.

We learned today that security measures have not been tightened at the airport in Sharm el-Sheikh. Egyptian authorities saying that there is no need telling us they say no indication this was an act of terrorism.

Over the weekend, an ISIS affiliate appeared to claim responsibility for bringing down the plane. And as we have been reporting, there is that travel warning from the U.S. embassy. So what to make of it all, that's the question.

CNN's Ian Lee joins us with the latest from Cairo. How much do we know about this is affiliate in Sinai?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, while this ISIS affiliate has struck targets around Egypt, they mainly have been confined to the northern part of Sinai. They rose out of the Arab Spring in 2011. But it wasn't until after the 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi when a wave of violence started. They killed hundreds of people including soldiers, policemen and civilians. And they do have some sophisticated weapons. They have anti-tank missiles that have not only hit tanks, but a boat in the Mediterranean. They also have shoulder-fired surface to air missiles where we have seen them take down a helicopter.

COOPER: So theoretically, with a shoulder-fired missile they might have been able to bring down this plane, is that correct?

LEE: Well, there's really two theories of how they could do it. The first being a surface to air missile, which seems unlikely. And almost we can put that aside at this point because these surface to air missiles that they have can only reach an elevation of about 14,000 feet and this plane was traveling over 30,000 feet.

The other possible scenario is putting a bomb onboard. And all the evidence points to that being a possibility, not the reason, but a possibility at this point. And if that did happen, that raises serious questions about security at Egypt's airports.

Now, Egyptian and Russian authorities have downplayed any link to terror saying that it is most likely a mechanical issue. But, we really won't know what caused this plane to go down until the investigation is over and what we can learn from these black boxes, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Ian Lee, appreciate it from Cairo tonight. I want to bring in our CNN safety analyst David Soucie. He is a

former FAA accident investigator. Also pilot and CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien and CNN military analyst and retired army lieutenant general Mark Hertling.

So General Hertling, I mean, this ISIS affiliate, they claimed they brought down the plane. Would they have the capabilities to get a bomb on a commercial aircraft?

[20:05:12] LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: They certainly could, Anderson. And the name of the group is (INAUDIBLE), sometimes known as (INAUDIBLE). They have been emerging within the last two years or so in the Sinai Peninsula. They've been troublesome to both the Egyptian government and the Israelis.

Last July, in fact, the Israeli defense forces put out a report saying that this is the most prevalent and most technically savvy group, they think, in the Middle East. That may be because they're on the southern border. They certainly have some capability. We mention the attack on a boat within the senior by a cornet missile which is a Russian-made missile. They have also used it about every two or three days. They have attacked on Egyptian ground forces. So they are certainly a relevant group now and you're going to start hearing more about them.

Many people in the multi-force observer group, we have Americans about 700 Americans there have been reporting intelligence on this group for about two years now.

COOPER: David, I mean, U.S. officials are saying this heat flash that was detected by a U.S. military satellite was detected mid-air. Now, if this turns out to be a massive mechanical failure, what could have happened?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, the only way, the only example that we have in history is when an aircraft came apart in flight and tore the fuel tank in half and the fuel tank then erupted and caused the fuel to burn and causing this eruption or flash. And that could be what this is. In fact, in my mind, it's more likely that it's that than even a bomb onboard because a bomb onboard would not have to be too big to rapture the fuselage and cause this to happen. Especially when you consider the fact that most of the passengers have no explosive residue on them indicating either it was torn apart during a mechanical failure or that it was a small bomb inside.

COOPER: Miles, I mean, U.S. officials are saying this is a catastrophic event in flight and could have been a bomb or a massive mechanical failure. I know you believe a bomb is a distinct possibility.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: I do, Anderson. And I harken back to Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie. You recall it was a very small amount of plastic explosives that caused that plane to go down. A strategically placed bomb near the tail section of aircraft, for example, in this case all the evidence would support that given the fact where the tail section has been found in proximity to the rest of had wreckage, strategically placed bomb there would not have to be a very large device, matter of fact. And so, you wouldn't necessarily get this, you know, idea of explosive residue or burn marks or passengers as a result of an explosion. All it takes is to knock the tail off that aircraft and down it goes.

COOPER: General Hertling, I have spent time at Sharm el-Sheikh, I have never been to the airport. I think you have been to that airport. In terms of security, how good is it?

HERTLING: A long time ago, Anderson, it was not very good. Certainly, I don't have any recent experience there. But it's a tourist town. A lot of Europeans go there. Russians, western Europeans traveled there because of the great resort area it is. And that is part of the problem the Egyptian government kind of doesn't want. They don't want people to think this is an unsafe area. Yes, it's a great diving spot. It is not the best security in the world. And certainly in the Middle East. But I can't vouch for within the last two years or so.

But I think they had a lot of trouble. Again a lot of attacks by these groups. You would think the security would be increased, especially they had gate jumpers there. And they had attacks in Sharm el-Sheikh, relatively few, but still attacks. This is going to be a new focal point.

COOPER: And, David, I mean, according to the flight data tracker, flight radar 24, that the plane slowed down suddenly and then plunged at like 300 miles an hour and the plane's direction of travel was, what they said, wobbling from side to side. What does that tell you?

SOUCIE: Well, it would tell you that it was a breakup in the flight. There was no directional control of the aircraft. Wobbling left to right means there is no rudder and there is no control going left to right. So, it would be consistent with this type of in-flight breakup for sure.

COOPER: Miles, does it surprise you that air traffic controllers wouldn't have received any distress calls from the pilots?

O'BRIEN: Well, if you harken back to previous incidents like this whether it is Lockerbie as I previously mentioned or TWA-800 which ultimately was a full tank explosion, there was no chance for the crew to get a radio call off.

COOPER: There are also reporting or inter facts, Miles, is reporting that officials say that based on the flight data recorder, there were uncharacteristic sounds heard the moment before the flight disappeared. I mean, can you read anything to that?

[20:10:00] O'BRIEN: Well, you know, if you look at going back to TWA 800, there was a brief noise which they analyze in excruciating detail, which they ultimately realized had much to do with the severe nature of the explosion that occurred in that place. In the case of MH 17, the shoot down over Ukraine, investigators there spent a lot of time using the acoustic information to help isolate how that missile, which brought it down struck and where it struck. So, that kind of information is very useful. And those strange noises will be poured over with the right expertise and could tell a lot.

COOPER: Miles, thank you. David Soucie, General Hertling, always, thank you.

Just ahead, more on the parallels between this and TWA flight 800 which Miles mentioned, the lessons that still apply nearly 20 years later. We will talk to one of the leading experts in that trail blazing investigation.

Later, Donald Trump unloads on competition ways you kind to have to see to believe. He also takes a shot at us and we are going to look at the videotape and see if he's on target or totally off base. Keeping them honest tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:14:35] COOPER: The breaking news, a warning the U.S. embassy employees in Egypt, stay out of the Sinai until investigators determine what brought down a Russian airliner there. Now, we have seen a terror group claimed responsibility. We have heard authorities downplaying the possibility. There are hints of some kind of catastrophic mechanical failure and frankly, more questions than answers at this early stage. There are echoes, too, of another disaster that remains incredibly irrelevant almost two decades later.

Randi Kaye tonight has that story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[20:15:01] RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): July 1996, TWA flight 800 takes off from New York's JFK airport. Just 12 minutes into the plight, the plane explodes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just saw an explosion up ahead of us, somewhere about 15,000 feet or something like that. It just went down in the water.

CAPT. DAVID MCLAINE, TWA FLIGHT 800 CRASH WITNESS: You could see the two wings fall off and the fuel, obviously, coming out of the wings and, of course, it was all on fire.

KAYE: Captain David McClaine was piloting a different airplane. He thought it was a bomb or some sort of in-flight explosion. Whatever it was killed all 230 onboard.

PAT MILTON, REPORTER/AUTHOR, IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE: Some characterize it as fireworks and others said maybe that it was a missile going towards the plane.

KAYE: The FBI and NTSB looked at every possibility. A missile, a bomb, terrorism. The plane's black boxes were recovered in good condition. But offered little since both had stopped recording. John Goglia was with the NTSB. JOHN GOGLIA, FORMER NTSB BOARD MEMBER: I spent hours and days looking

at every piece of metal. Looking for the telltale signs of a missile and there were none. The FBI spared no expense in trying to show that it was a bomb and at the end of the day, they couldn't prove it was a bomb.

KAYE: In the end, investigators determined flight 800 center fuel tank exploded, causing the plane to break apart. No matter what witnesses thought they saw, the government said there was simply no proof of a criminal act. Goglia expects the same type of conspiracy theories will result from the crash of Russia's Metro Jet 9268 which also broke apart in mid-air, 23 minutes into the flight. There's already talk of a missile and a bomb.

A heat flash detected at the time of the Russian jet crash suggests there was a catastrophic in-flight event. That heat flash is similar to the red flash people witnessed when TWA crashed. And that turned out to be the plane already on fire at 8400 feet in the night sky. Whatever it was that brought the Russian jet down caused the tail to break apart from the airplane. When that happened will be key to the investigation. So will the burn marks in the desert, Goglia says. The airplane hit the ground and didn't scatter, possibly preserving important clues.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And John Goglia joins us now. He holds the distinction of the first ever certified airframe and power plant mechanic to serve on the national transportation safety board. He few people how more than he does about how airplanes are put together or, sadly, how they can come apart.

John, based on what you know, how likely was it this was some kind of catastrophic mechanical failure like we saw with TWA rather than something more nefarious?

GOGLIA: Well, it is unlikely that it was a fuel tank explosion like we had on TWA because of the effort the industry has put forth over the last 20 years to make sure that that doesn't happen, again. There was a tremendous amount of work and a lot of resources that went in to making sure we won't revisit that event, again.

There are other things that can happen to an airplane that cause them to come apart. Some of them pretty easy. However, the scenario that we have today doesn't fit any of the easy theories. There was something happened up there and it could be something as simple as a computer failure or inappropriate actions on the part of the pilots that stall the airplane or it could be a device on the airplane. It's not likely to be an engine that failed, catastrophically and broke apart because that would give you time with the other engine running for the crew to at least use the radios. So, it was something a little bit different than what we would normally see.

COOPER: There is this report that we mentioned in Russian-state media that the victims' bodies show no signs of an explosive impact, but does that rule out bomb?

GOGLIA: No, it doesn't rule out a bomb. First off, they haven't looked at every single body yet. I'm sure they will. But if there was a small device in the cargo compartment, especially in the rear cargo compartment that wasn't enough to really blast the airplane apart, but enough to fracture the fuselage and then it would come apart based on the air loads which is what happened with TWA, it doesn't have to be a big boom. It has just enough of a boom to start the failure of the structure and then the airplane will self-destruct.

COOPER: And how would it self-destruct? I mean, one part destructs and then it sort of a ripple effect?

GOGLIA: Remember the airplane in flight is under tremendous amount of loads. And the way the airplanes are designed, those loads are meant to be transferred to very strong portions of the airframe. And the case of the 747, it is kill beam underneath the fuselage, the bottom of the fuselage. So, once you disrupt that flow of primary structure moving the stresses into an area want it to go into, those stresses will go into an area of the fuselage that can't handle the stress and it will actually self-destruct.

[20:20:13] COOPER: The same plane back in 2001 suffered damaged on the tail after it struck the runway but it was repaired. Is it possible that could have contributed to that crash or is it so long ago that that wouldn't play a role?

GOGLIA: No, actually, the length of time can actually add to it if the repair was made improperly, then the stress fractures that could result in that pressure bulkhead and cause it to fail. But, you know, based upon the pictures I have seen and admittedly that is not the best pictures and the best way to look at it. It doesn't appear that that pressure bulk head failed.

But, you know what, if they have had enough of a tail strike, we may have weakened the structure somewhere else like the picture that is shown on the screen right here. At this point where the inspection is. If the structure was weakened there, had some cracks in that area and they didn't materialize until later, that could have been an effect. So, you know, investigations are an exercise in time, patience and following procedures.

COOPER: Yes.

GOGLIA: We have in the worldwide aviation community has a set of procedures that have yielded good results for years and years and years. You're going to see 20 to 25 teams poring over this airport out in the desert each doing their specialty, their thing. And separate from the recorders and separate from what everyone else says, these folks are going to build a book of facts. And those facts are going to lead us to a conclusion.

COOPER: Well John, I appreciate you being on tonight. John, Goglia, thank you so much.

Just ahead, Donald Trump getting a lot of mileage out of saying that I actually tossed softballs at the Democratic debate. Keeping them honest, we will rewind the tape and let you decide how tough my questions were.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:25:40] COOPER: Election day 2015, in other words, exactly a year to go until Election Day 2016 and we're just now getting a new picture of what it would look like if the election were held today if we were counting the votes right now.

New NBC/"Wall Street Journal" polling shows that a head to head matchup between the front-runners Hillary Clinton and Ben Carson is now a toss-up. A tie if the election were held today which either regretfully or thankfully, it isn't. It's not being held today. We still have a long way to go.

That said, it got us thinking about the state of the last presidential race one year out. President Obama, of course, was unchallenged and over on the Republican side, here's how it looked.

Another motivational speaker outside was leading, this is man, Herman Cane. Mitt Romney was a close second followed distantly by Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rand Paul. This time, of course, it is Dr. Carson, Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and in single digits, Jeb Bush.

Donald Trump had harsh words for him today. He was promoting his new book and trashing opponents, also dishing a debate making one big claim about the CNN Democratic debate that seems to be the exact opposite of what he originally said. So this is what Donald Trump said about my moderating the Democratic debate the day after the debate. He tweeted @andersoncooper did an excellent job of hosting the Dem debate last night. Tough, firm, but fair. Very nice complement. But now it seems he has a very different opinion. Listen to what he said today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton was given all softballs. I mean, she wasn't asked one tough question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Not one tough question, he said.

Now, Keeping Them Honest, he is actually right. We didn't ask Hillary Clinton one tough question. We actually asked her a lot more than that. Here are a few examples.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: You are against same-sex marriage and now for it, you defended President Obama's immigration policies, now you say they're too harsh. You supported his trade deal dozens of times. You even called that the gold standard, now suddenly last week you're against it. Will you say anything to get elected? You are going to be testifying before Congress next week about your

emails. For the last eight months, you haven't been able to put this issue behind you. You dismissed it, you joked about it, you called it a mistake, what does it say about your ability to handle far more changeling crisis as president?

In all of candid, you and your husband are the part of the one percent, how can you credibly represent the views of the middle class?

You spearheaded the reset with Russian. Did you underestimate the Russians and as president, what would your response to Vladimir Putin be right now in Syria?

What would you do for African-Americans in this country that President Obama couldn't?

Do you change your political identity based on who you're talking to?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: There were several questions, by the way, to all the other Democratic candidates. As for his rivals, here's what Donald Trump said today about them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Jeb, he lacks the quality that you need. I think Marco is highly overrated. Highly overrated. Ben Carson does not have that energy. Marco doesn't show up to the United States Senate.

What Jeb Bush was saying at the last debate, I don't know, but he didn't say it well.

When the email problem came up, Bernie Sanders lost his whole campaign. I mean, what he did was so stupid from a standpoint.

Marco Rubio personal finances are discredited. All you have to do is look at his credit card. I mean, he is a disaster with his credit cards. He certainly lives above his means. There's no question about that.

My Jeb impression, no, I don't want to do that. I don't like showing a person sleeping at a podium.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: A lot to talk about. Joining me are CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord and Van Jones. Jeffrey is a Trump supporter and a former Reagan White House political director. Van is a former Obama administration official.

Jeffrey, criticizing the debate moderators, I mean, whether it's me or someone else, going after fellow candidates, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, is the reality just that that those sort of comments are red meat for Donald Trump's base and they serve him well? Or do you think there is a reflection of concern within the trump campaign because he's now trailing in two national polls?

JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: No, I think it's the first. I mean, you say red meat. I believe that he's giving voice to sentiments that the base of the Republican party believes to its core in general I'm not citing you specifically. I just mean debate moderator, the media, you know, all of that.

COOPER: Right. But isn't it a little hypocritical for one day, you know, the day after the debate before he takes the temperatures of, you know, his followers. He says, tough questions, fair, good job. And a week later once said, you know, the fact the thing to attack the moderators given the disastrous CNBC debate, he suddenly now has a different opinion. I mean, that just seems odd to me.

(CROSSTALK)

LORD: Yeah --

JONES: Overrating it there. Or narcissistic.

LORD: You know, Anderson, I know what you're trying to do, Anderson. You're trying to get me fired.

(LAUGHTER)

LORD: I mean, I'm on record.

COOPER: Luckily you're not on the Trump payroll.

LORD: Well, that's right. That's right. I'm not on the Trump payroll. But, wait, oh, you're fired, it's coming over my phone right now.

(LAUGHTER)

LORD: I said I thought you did a good job. Rush Limbaugh I said he thought he did a good job.

COOPER: Yeah, well, look, I'm not looking for compliments. I just think it's interesting that he sort of changed his opinion, you know a week later after the fact.

JONES: And the thing is ...

LORD: Let me.

COOPER: Go ahead, Jeffrey, and then we'll ...

LORD: Well, yeah, I just think -you know, just in general, this belief goes all the way back to Spiro Agnew in the 1970s.

COOPER: Sure.

LORD: This is gospel in the Republican Party and the conservative movement. So, frankly, it doesn't take much at all for a candidate, any candidate, Donald Trump or any other one as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio showed the other night to say something like this because they believe it in their core. He's expressed these feelings to me a year ago.

COOPER: Right.

LORD: So, you know, and you weren't even in the conversation. So, I do think that this is - touches on a very sensitive nerve here.

COOPER: Sure. Van, I mean the fact that Trump is, again, complaining that Democrats got softball questions at their debates and the Republican debate was so unfair, I want to just play a bit of what President Obama said about that last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Have you noticed that every one of these candidates say, you know, Obama's weak. He's, you know, Putin's kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin ...

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: He's going to straighten out.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Just looking at him, he's going to be. And then it turns out they can't handle a bunch of CNBC moderators at a debate.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Clearly, big applause line for the president.

(LAUGHTER)

JONES: But it's true. I mean, it makes no sense at all. These guys are trying to be, you know, these tough guys, these tough guys and they go crying. And they've been crying now for a week. I mean, my kids don't cry this much about a booboo or an ouchy. These guys are crying and crying and crying. And the reality is, if you look at, you know, not to praise you too much, Anderson, but you were throwing heat. You were throwing hard balls. You attacked Bernie Sanders for being a socialist. You went after Jim Webb and said how can you be in a Democratic Party? You are against the affirmative action, called it racism. I mean and they did something remarkable. They answered your questions. And moved on.

So, the idea that the Democrats are weak and can't take a punch and the Republicans, these tough guys. They're collapsing all over the place. And the hypocrisy ...

LORD: Anderson ...

JONES: This is one more thing about Donald Trump. You guys just saw it - Donald Trump, Mr. Authenticity. You just said that we love him because he tells it like it is. And he changes what the truth is about reality every 13 seconds. I don't believe it's authenticity stuff at all.

COOPER: OK, Jeffrey, now your turn.

LORD: Anderson, Van, I have to tell you, I haven't seen anybody whine more about Fox News than President Obama. If ever there was somebody who spent his entire presidency, I mean, particularly when he began he was going after Fox personalities. This is what he does, he goes after Sean Hannity, he goes on, and on, and on about this. I guess at one point, there was a meeting with him and Roger Ailes to see if he could get Fox News off his back. He is incredibly whiny about this. So, I must say, I find this rather amusing because he's describing himself with Fox News.

COOPER: Van, final thought and then we have got to go.

JONES: Well, listen, any time a news agency names itself after a furry predatory mammal that you can't trust to guard the hen house or anything else, I think the name speaks for itself, Fox News.

LORD: It was William Fox a century ago.

COOPER: I don't think it was a furry mammal they were going for. Van Jones, thank you, Jeffrey Lord, as well. A quick programming note: Donald Trump will be on CNN, on CNN tomorrow morning, don't miss "NEW DAY" starting at 7:00 a.m. Eastern.

Right now, some election results just coming in. Governor's mansion changing hands. A big win for the GOP in Kentucky. CNN projecting Tea Party Republican Matt Bevin will defeat Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway. The race is significant in part because outgoing governor that took federal money to expand Medicaid coverage and Matt Bevin promises to reverse that.

Just ahead, a dying child's wish and her parents' decision to honor it. Is a five-year-old old enough to choose heaven over the hospital? Can she really understand what it means? We'll have that story ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:34:55]

COOPER: Our next story is about the most wrenching decision a parent could ever face. Imagine your child was sick and doctors could not cure her. Imagine watching her suffer every time you took her to the hospital. Now, imagine she told you she wanted to go to heaven. Would you honor her wish? What if she was just five years old? Here's the story senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What princess are you today?

JULIANNA: Cinderella. COHEN: You are Cinderella.

(voice over): Julianna Snow has a neuromuscular disease that is slowly taking her life. She can't walk or breathe on her own or even use her hands to play with glitter.

JULIANNA: There's no such thing as too much, okay.

COHEN: The next time Juliana gets a cold or any infection her body will be too weak to fight it off.

(on camera): What do the doctors tell you is likely to happen if she were to get another cold?

STEVE SNOW: She will most likely die if she gets another cold.

COHEN (voice over): Juliana's doctors presented her parents Steve Snow and Michelle Moon with two devastating options. Juliana could die at home in her pink princess room made comfortable surrounded by family or she could go to the hospital where treatment likely couldn't save her or even if it did, she would likely have a terrible quality of life.

[20:40:13]

MICHELLE MOON, JULIANNA'S MOTHER: Everyone told us there is no right answer.

COHEN: So, Michelle and Steve asked Juliana something almost no parent could even fathom. When she was just four years old, they asked her what she wanted to do. Go to the hospital or go to heaven.

(on camera): You blogged about it.

MOON: Yes.

COHEN: So, let's take a look.

MOON: OK, so, me, Juliana, if you get sick again, do you want to go to hospital or stay home?

Juliana, not the hospital. Me, even if that means you will go to heaven if you stay home? Juliana, yes. Me, and you know that mommy and daddy won't come with you right away. You'll go by yourself first. Juliana, don't worry, god will take care of me. Me, and if you go the hospital, it may help you get better and let you come home again and spend more time with us. I need to make sure you understand that. Hospital may let you have more time with mommy and daddy. Juliana, I understand.

COHEN (voice over): Juliana told her parents she hated the hospital, especially a procedure called nasal tracheal suctioning.

STEVE SNOW, JULIANNE'S FATHER: They basically stick a tube on a suction machine and you stick it up the nose and down past the tongue and back into the throat as deep as you can go and you start suctioning. If given the choice of me or one of the other respiratory techs she would usually ask for me to do it.

COHEN (on camera): Was that hard to do?

SNOW: Yeah.

COHEN: Could you watch her go through that again, do you think?

SNOW: If I had to.

COHEN: Would it save her life to do it again if she were to get an infection?

SNOW: I don't think so.

COHEN (voice over): Michelle and Steve says when the time comes they'll honor their daughter's wishes to die at home and go to heaven over the hospital.

(on camera): Some parents would not have consulted a child so young. They would have said, we are the parents. So, you asked your daughter at the age of four what do you think? What should we do?

MOON: Julianna had to go through hundreds of rounds of nasal tracheal suctioning, she knows exactly what that was. She was awake for every single one. She knows what that is. So, I think she has a right. I think she has a say.

COHEN (voice over): Juliana's doctors told CNN she's an exceptionally wise 5-year-old and they support her parents' decision to carry out her wishes. For now, Juliana is enjoying her life with her parents, her big brother, Alex.

JULIANNA: Let it go ...

COHEN: And her princesses.

(on camera): Her Elsa and Anna. I forget, are they cousins?

JULIANNA: They're sisters.

COHEN: Oh, they are sisters.

MOON: It's Anna.

COHEN: Oh, it's Anna. I said Ana. It's Anna. I'm sorry.

JULIANNA: I forgive you.

MOON: She forgives you.

(LAUGHTER)

COHEN: What are your realistic hopes for her for the rest of the time that she does have left?

SNOW: Be comfortable and be happy. Feel loved. COHEN: What has gotten you through it?

SNOW: Faith.

Whoever you may pray with, wherever you may be, I can guarantee for certain god listens to you and me.

The fact that she will be in a better place when her time comes. And we can go join her some day and this will all pass away.

COHEN: What do you want people to remember about Julianna?

MOON: Her heart. She is just so much love. So much love.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It's just so sad. Elizabeth joins us now. Julianna talked about what she thinks heaven will be like. What did she say?

COHEN: Her mother had a discussion with her about that, Anderson. And her mother says that what they discussed is that in heaven she won't be in a wheelchair and she'll be able to run around outside, she'll be able to play and she'll be able to eat. None of which she can do right now.

COOPER: And her doctors are supportive of the parents' decision?

COHEN: They are. I interviewed several of her doctors and nurses and all of them were supportive of the choice that her parents have made. I want to read you actually two of them. Her nurse in the intensive care unit who was with her over several hospital stays said "There is no cure for her and I want her living and dying in her princess room at home surrounded by her family and not by the cold technology of the hospital. And then her pulmonologist Dr. Danny Shaw told me for her there is no light at the end of the tunnel. She doesn't have a long time left to live. I have the utmost faith in her mother and in her father. They're phenomenal parents and they have her best wishes at heart.

COOPER: Elizabeth, thank you. Really difficult report. You can join Elizabeth for a live chat about her report at facebook.com/ac360. Juliana's story, I mean, it's beyond heart-wrenching. It raises profound ethical and medical questions. We want to talk about it now with Art Caplan the founding director of the division of medical ethics at NYU-Langone Medical Center. Also, Chris Feudtner, director of the medical ethics department at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

[20:45:02]

Art, obviously, just an ethical dilemma and just a horrible, horrible situation for this family. What do you think about asking the child for her opinion?

ART CAPLAN, DIVISION OF MEDICAL ETHICS, NYU LANGONE MEDICAL CENTER: I mean the child is a hero, the family unbelievably courageous. So, my heart goes out to them. I think, you know, you've got to listen to the child. There is no doubt about that and I have no issue about withdrawing care and allowing her to go in her own room, but I get nervous when I hear them say, we're going to let her decide. I think you have to get input, I think you have to listen carefully. You know, Anderson, sometimes we have kids in the opposite situation. They are getting a bone marrow transplant. They are long shots. The kid says, I don't want this at four. I don't want this at five. And we don't sort of say, okay, you're going to make the call. We let the parents sort of push forward if that's what they think is best. So, for me, I think the parents are making their decision. They want to listen hard to her, but I want to make sure that all of us understand at the end of the day, parents have to do this, not five year olds.

COOPER: Chris, you're a pediatrician and you have actually asked dying kids at your hospital whether they want to live or die and you have taken that opinion into consideration. Why for you is that so important?

CHRIS FEUDTNER, MEDICAL ETHICS DEPT., THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA: Well, I think if this is a story fundamentally about a family united with deep compassion, love, a kind of calmness and courage that is really remarkable. Embracing their daughter and her journey with this very severe illness and trying to figure out with her basically, as already saying, what are her preferences? How does she want to live? It's not really a story about just dying, it's about how you live with serious illness, which is always what we are trying to figure out as we take care of children. What do they care most about and how can we possibly make that happen given what they're up against?

COOPER: You don't believe that the parents should rely solely on the opinion of their child, do you?

FEUDTNER: I don't think it's a story about that. I think that the blog was written in a very strong, provocative way to really wake us up to the reality that children often have. A clear sense of what their preferences are and what they're afraid of and what they're hoping for. And I can't express my deep enough admiration for what this family has done and really enabling that child to talk about what her hopes are, what she's afraid of, the suctioning, et cetera and then bring that all into the decision making process. This is not a story about conflict. The doctors are in agreement. The nurses are in agreement, the family is in agreement and the girl is in agreement. This is a remarkable case of doing exactly what we hope. Bring the child in, bring everybody in and figure out what is the best way to love this little girl.

COOPER: Well, and, Art, I mean not just the strength of this little girl, but also the strength of the parents to, I mean, to ask to turn to her. I mean they could have very easily said, you know, we're going to exhaust every medical possibility and even in the face of overwhelming odds.

CAPLAN: We want you to stay with us.

COOPER: Right. And instead, you know, this is the most difficult decision they can possibly make. I mean is it similar, though, to an elderly patient having a DNR, do not resuscitate. I mean is it sort of - is there some sort of -- can you compare the two?

CAPLAN: That's a great question. And I think they're different. The 85-year-old, you have a sense of their values, you have a sense of what they would want. They have achieved what in the ethics side we say, well, they're autonomous. They have self-determination. Maybe hard to hear them, maybe weren't sure that they wrote it down, maybe they didn't pick someone to speak for them. But buried in there somewhere when you have got an elderly person who can't speak or communicate well or maybe starting to slip, you know what their life was like. Here the 5-year-old, they have limited concepts. They understand heaven, but in a kind of fairytalish sort of way. Cause and effect not great yet. We even have limits on time. What is yesterday as opposed to a month ago as opposed to a year ago? So, Chris is absolutely right. We want to admire what they did, listening to this child and so forth. But I don't want people coming away saying, you know, at five, at four, in the health care system we've got to let kids make these decisions. I don't want anybody going away with the idea that this wasn't a team decision. A family decision.

COOPER: Right. And it certainly seems like it was. Art Caplan, good to have you on. Chris Feudtner, thank you so much, and thank you for all you do. It's just incredible work.

We have more breaking information about that plane crash in the Sinai peninsula coming up. We'll take a short break.

[20:49:36]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Check in with Randi Kaye who has got a "360" news and business bulletin. Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in Chicago there is now a $20,000 reward in a brutal killing of a nine-year-old. Tyshawn Lee was shot down in an alley on the way to his grandmother's house. Police say, he may have been targeted. Several people were seen running away from that scene.

In Oregon and Washington State, officials there are now - say there are now 37 cases of E. coli likely linked to Chipotle restaurants. 12 cases in Oregon, 25 in Washington. Chipotle has closed a number of locations as a precaution.

And in California, a violent confrontation caught on dash cam video. A Taco Bell executive has been fired after attacking an Uber driver who tried to throw him out of his car because he says, the executive was too drunk to give him directions. The driver used pepper spray to fight him off. The passenger, Anderson, has been charged with assault.

COOPER: That's incredible. Randi, thanks very much.

And breaking news just in on MetroJet 9268. CNN cannot independently confirm this, however the state-owned news agency Russia 24 is reporting more information on the spread of the debris field. The network is reporting that the tail ended up five kilometers or about three miles away from the rest of the wreckage. The tail did not have any signs of burning from a fire, which could mean the tail was detached before a fire started. That as according to Russia 24. As we think about that and the 224 souls lost when it went down in Egypt's Sinai desert, we don't want to forget that there were 25 children on board that flight.

[20:55:02]

Lives cut short just as they were beginning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: The youngest victim of this tragedy, Darina Gromova, only ten months old. This is her with her little hands pressed up against the window watching the planes take off from the St. Petersburg airport. Her mother, Tatiana posted this image to social media a few hours before they boarded their plane for Egypt, along with a photo of their passports and airline tickets. A proud mom, Tatiana shared many pictures of her daughter on social media. The caption under this photo says, my princess. Darina would have turned 1 on the day after Christmas.

Anton Bogdanov posted this picture on October 24th with the words, farewell Russia, underneath. He was on vacation with his family in Egypt. Anton was ten years old. He celebrated his birthday just last week.

Vera Gerasina turned six last month. She was onboard the flight with Elena Mosiva (ph) who had just turned 5 in August. Diana Golinkova was in Egypt with her parents, Victoria and Vladimir. Diana was only 4. Olga and Yuri Shain (ph) brought their daughter Anastasia to Egypt to enjoy some time in the sun. In this picture the words Egypt 2015 are written out in the sand. One of the last photos they took is of Yuri holding Anastasia before boarding the plane. Anastasia was just three years old. The picture was posted by Olga before they took off. The caption reads, we're going home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It's so awful to think about it. We'd be right back with another hour of "360."

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