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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  March 15, 2012 11:00am-1:00pm EDT

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where the vice president will get behind that podium. i'm going to turn it over to kyra philips and she's going to talk about that. >> hi, everyone. i'm kyra philips. it's 8:00 on the west coast, 11:00 on the east. president obama and our soaring gas prices has become political and it's devastated our pocketbooks, no doubt. it's about to start speaking on that exact topic right now at prince georges community college in maryland just outside d.c. the president yet, again, pushing his all of the above energy strategy says the u.s. must develop every resource it can to hopefully get control of its energy future. meanwhile, aaa says gas prices jumped another 1 cent overnight, pushing the national average to a gallon to $3.82. get ready for blunt abide.location? toledo, ohio. this is the vice president's first campaign foreoret in front of a key core group, autoworkers
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in toledo. we're never sure what he'll say, but you can pretty much guarantee he'll defend the auto industry's bailout and go after mitt room niece' opposition to it. well, it's the burning of the koran by u.s. soldiers and the shooting rampage allegedly carried out by one of our own hasn't carried enough shock in afghanistan, president what please karzai says he wants all nato and u.s. forces back to their military base peps that's the message that he gave today when he met with defense secretary leon panetta. a live report from the pentagon coming up in jut about eight minutes. the killing of innocent civilians by al assad's military continues. >> opposition fighters say at least 46 people have been killed
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so far today. the u.n. says more than 8,000 people have died in that conflict. meantime, check out this video that we just posted to youtube. details are constascant, but acg to the post, this shows the citadel building in syria. cnn is working to gather information from activists on the ground. smokers, what is it going to take to make you quit? how about this? images of amputation, paralysis, cancer, images all caused by smoking. part of a isn't it true disease of disease control to convince you to quit. the $54 million campaign called tips for former smokers. it's aimed at keeping nonsmokers, especially kids, from getting starteded. more than 8 million americans live with a smoking-related illness. illinois governor rod blagojevich is on his way to a colorado prison at this hour. just before he boarded that
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plane, in blago style, he worked the crowd. but there will be no cameras in prison as he begins live at inmate number 40892-424. he was pointed to 14 years in prison for corruption. arizona is moving towards a brand new religious exemption for insurance coverage for birth control. it's a bill that has pass today arizona house and one senate committee would let employers opt out of contra septemberive coverage unless employees prove they need it for other medical conditions. supporters say it's a simple case of religious freedom, but critics see it as a huge invasion of privacy. if you're 75 or older, getting through airport security may be less of a hassle pretty soon. the tsa is testing out changes for screening seniors. starting monday, seniors will be allowed to keep their shoes on, along with their jackets and
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light outer wear. but it's only going to be at chicago's o'hare, denver, portland and international airports for now. if things go smoothly, though, a new protocol could be standard at all checkpoints nationwide. meanwhile, florida airport is trying to opt out of tsa screenings in favor of private screeners like 16 other u.s. airports. the orlando sanford international airport is trying to get approval to join the tsa's screening program which allows airport to hire companies to enforce the security protocol set and overseen by the tsa. hbo series of horse racing has run out of luck. the cable tv network has canc canceled the show called "luck" after a third horse died during filming. the show stars dustin hoffman and nick nolte. hbo will air the last two episodes of the season and won't return for a second run. the taliban says, forget it. the group's fallout after appear
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american soldier massacring afghanistan civilians. but first, one of the world's best archers, it's how he ames for perfection that's so extraordinary. jeff uses his teeth. he developed the technique after losing an arm and a leg in a motorcycle accident. now he's a five-time special games champ, three times paralympic meldzist and he's going for the games at this year's supper olympics. but what's more, jeff coaches members of the wounded warrior project to compete, too. jeff, you are today's rock star. ♪ hit me with your best shot why don't you hit me with your best shot ♪
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at meineke i have options... like oil changes starting at $19.95. my money. my choice. my meineke. a potentially major setback for president obama and the war in afghanistan, president hamid karzai calling on all u.s. and nato troovs troops to pull out of posts in afghan villages and return to their major bases. apparently he told that to defense secretary leon panetta today. this comes after an american
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soldier went on a rampage killing 16 afghan men, women and children. there are around 90,000 troops in afghanistan based at or near the cities you see right there on the map. in another blow to the u.s., the taliban said say they're suspending peace calls in qatar. let's start with karzai and his statement on u.s. and nato troops. >> reporter: kyra, this all apparently happened hours ago in kabul. and still, no official reaction from the obama administration or the pentagon. but the statement from the presidential palace in kabul says their position quite clearly. president karzai saying he wants u.s. and nato troops outline out of the villages across thinks country. he wants them back in the main bases and wants to see security transition wrapped up next year since of 2014 which is what nato had agreed to with the afghans. u.s. troops aren't going to stay
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in afghanistan if they are not wanted by the government there. but clearly, this is a response to what has happened. karzai is under a lot of pressure in his own country to demonstrate that he can provide security, that after ten years, he still doesn't have to rely on foreign forces. but whether the afghans can take it on full blown themselves, i think a lot remains to be seen. but it's an indicator of the sour feelings, quite understandably after this latest incident. >> and this latest incident, rather, with the u.s. soldier allegedly going on this killing rampage, he has been moved to qatar. why? is it a safety issue? >> i think you obviously mean kuwait. >> kuwait, thank you. >> he's been moved to kuwait because the u.s. military has the facilities there for long-term detention that they don't have the with a in the war
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zone. and they are continuing the investigation, obviously. everyone we've talked to says they don't know the motivation, what happened here in the words of one official, what made him nap. rumors, you know, people have marital problems, they have other issues, nobody can really put a finger on it yet what made him snap. did he see a buddy die? was there a combat situation he was involved in? we know he had three combat tours in iraq. he had two badges awarded for being in combat. but, still, all these days later, no indication of what really happened here, what made this man go on a killing rampage. >> barbara starr at the pentagon, barbara, thanks. >> sure. critics call it outrageous. we're talking about a bill that will require weapon who have contra septemberive coverage to prove to their employers they're taking it only for medical
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conditions. is something like this even legal? we're going to talk about it, coming up. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. i was worried it would be hard to install. but it's really easy. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. yeah. you're not... filming this, are you? aw! camera shy. snapshot from progressive. plug into the savings you deserve with snapshot from progressive. so i wasn't playing much of a role in my own life, but with advair, i'm breathing better so now i can take the lead on a science adventure. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms
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well, you know about the backlash of federally mandated
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coverage for birth control. but arizona's answer may surprise you. a bill in the works there would let any employer, religious or secular refuse to cover birth control unless it's used for nonbirth control purposes. women who use it for medical conditions would have to pay for it out of pocket and be reimbursed later if they can prove they're not trying to prevent pregnancy. and that's not all. the measure would eliminate a clause that says, quote, and i quote, a religious employer shall not discriminate against an employee who obtains insurance coverage or prescriptions from another source. opponents take that to mean women who buy their own contra septemberives could legally be fired or demoted. this part might surprise you, too. the bill was written by a woman, republican state lawmaker debbie lesko. >> what my bill does is says basically arizona employers can opt of the arizona contra
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septemberive mandate if they have a religious objection. that's really all my bill does. it's about religious liberty and my protection of our first amendment rights. >> we incited congresswoman lesko to join once but she couldn't make it work. paul, it's not as simple as the congresswoman says. religious liberty? end of story? >> no. it's gotten very, very complicated. this thing starts when the government creates a mandate that you have to cover contra septemberives within insurance policy. the religious groups say, we want an out on that. so the government crafts a careful thing that says under limited circumstances, you don't have to pay for it if you have a religious organization, but coverage has to be provided independently by the insurance carrier. then arizona says, if you submit an application for contra
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septemberives, even something like an ovarian cyst that women sometimes would use contra septemberives for, you have to submit a letter to your employer telling them why you don't use contra septemberives or you don't get the coverage. >> that's very personal information. >> critics of this law are saying it's an invasion of privacy. ironically, the scattered showers of the united states first recognized privacy right in contra septemberive area in a case called griswald versus connecticut many years ago involving an 1879 law in connecticut that banned dispensing of contra septemberives. the supreme court says it's unconstitutional to restrictive. now we seem to come full circle with arizona enacting this law. i think you'll see a lot of challenges to this. >> and there are or things at state stake here. >> there are a large number of
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freedoms involved here because if you get into a situation where the employer can not only exclude coverage for certain things but also can ask you specific questions about the type of medications you're getting and why you're getting those medications. >> so what do you make, then, of the other part of this, the attempted repeal of the no discrimination clause for employee eggs who buy their own contraception as we pointed out at the beginning? >> well, i would say, kyra, from a political standpoint, it was very, very foolish of arizona to throw this into the hopper. because it's illegal. that is clearly illegal. and by the way, there are federal laws that would protect women if they were fired for getting contra septemberives. federal law clearly protects that right and it doesn't matter what the states say, women will remain protected. so it's very, very foolish for them to eliminate the provision. i think it creates a controversy and it essentially creates a totally unenforceable law. >> so if it's illegal, then,
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really, why are we talking about this? >> well, they threw it into the hopper because they said, basically, our other laws don't make reference to the fact that it's illegal to discriminate if you don't allow this type of drug. so why should we mention pregnant women? so they kind of just said, we're throwing it out. but, of course, it creates the impression that women, if they choose to get contra septemberives in arizona, independently, that they could be fired from their jobs. so it really creates fear, i think, or has the potential to create fear among women who are exercising this constitutional right to use contra septemberives if they wish to. >> final thought you brought up the federal issue. will this be a model for states that oppose federal mandates or is this a court fight waiting to happen? >> well, i think for some states, which have political groups that really consciously believe that contraception should not be covered or not be
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mandated by the government, this arizona law will set a precedent. and what they're really looking to do is to set up a lawsuit that will eventually be decided by the courts. of course, the obama administration is trying to deal with the situation with a less restrictive kind of clause, but even obama's approach to this has incorporated and tried to accommodate certain religions who oppose contraception. this is all setting up for a big lawsuit that we'll see coming down the line on obama care and on mandates by the federal government regarding insurance coverage. >> thank you so much. >> nice being with you. pleasure. take you to toledo, ohio, vice president joe biden. >> look, that's what i want to talk to you about today. this is the first of four speeches i'll be making on behalf of the president and me in the coming weeks, laying out what we believe are clear, stark differences between us and our
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opponents and what's at stake for the middle class because it is the middle class that is at stake in this election. mitt romney, newt gingrich and rick santorum, these guys have a fundamentally different economic philosophy than we do. our philosophy is one that values the workers and the success of a business. it values the middle class and the success of our economy. simply stated, we're about promoting the private sector. they're about protecting the privileged sector. we are, for a fair shot and a fair shake. they're about no rules, no risks and no accountability. look, there's no clearer example of these two different views of the economy than how we reacted to the crisis in the automobile industry.
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it's sort of a cautionary tale of how they would run the government again and the economy again if given a chance. remember, and you do remember and, shelly, you captured it all, remember what the headlines were saying when you woke up a couple years ago. quote, it's bankruptcy time for gm. another headline, crunch time lose for chrysler. another headline, government must act quickly to prevent the collapse of suppliers. you guys know for every one of you on the line, there's four people in another job supplying those parts. folks, a million good jobs are at stake, on the assembly lines, at the parts factory, right down to the diners outside each of those facilities. our friends on the other side,
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our republican friends had started a mantra. they start today mantra that said we would make auto companies, quote, wards of the state was their phrase. governor romney was more direct. let the detroit go bankrupt. he said that. he said that what we propose, and and i quote, is even worse than bankruptcy, end of quote. he said it would make gm, quote, the living dead. newt gingrich said, quote, a mistake. but the guy i work with every day, the president, he didn't flinch. this is a man with steel in his spine. he knew that -- he knew that resurrecting the industry wasn't going to be popular. it was absolutely clear in every bit of polling data and he knew he was taking a chance. but he believed.
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he wasn't going to give up on a million jobs and the iconic industry america invented. at least he wasn't going to give it up without a real fight. >> a blunt biden there live in toledo, ohio. his first campaign foret there in this run for the re-election. hits key support there, auto industry bailout going after mitt romney, the man that opposed it. once again, emphasizing the 1.4 plus million jobs saved because of the president's stance on that. we'll follow the live event. also, summer is just around the corner and if you're thinking about sending your kids to camp, you'd better listen.up. if you live in certain states, sex offenderes and felons could be working at those camps. we'll tell you about an explosive new investigation. wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health.
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covering politics in the white house can be a grueling 24/7 job. you have to have a break every now and then. so today's white house insider, white house correspondent brianna keilar shows us where she goes to unwind when she's not following the president. >> i'm brianna keilar and i cover the white house for cnn. one of my favorite places in the d.c. area is old town alexandria, virginia. it's about seven miles south of the white house. this is a place where you can come and get a great meal, do a little shopping and even get a history lesson. this is, after all, the hometown of george washington. here at the old press byterian meeting house, i can find the grave site of his personal physician, james crate. it's a little spooky. but i say we get out of here and go find some other spirits. this is one of my favorite
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places in old town to end the evening. this is the pxvtz. it's completely unmarked and the blue light means that they're open, so you can just knock on the door and come on in. when you get upstairs, you might be lucky enough to show up on a night where todd is the owner and bartender is here to mix you a drink. so what are we having tonight? >> i don't know. what are you in the mood for? rum, vodka, gim? >> let's try gin. >> orange flower water, a little bit offite ice to star. stir 30 or more times, not that i'm counting. you smack it, wave it, to the cocktail gods. sweet basin. >> that's amazing. >> thanks very much. >> cheers from old town alexandria, virginia.
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>> all the talk about delegate math and the gop race, you would think we were back in school, right? romney has this many, sanatorium has that many. here is more math for you. could one candidate's delegates plus another candidate's delegates outnumber the front-runner's delegates? are you confused yet? we'll clear it up for you next in "fair game." you always have homework, okay? i don't have homework today. it's what's right here is what is most important to me. it's beautiful. ♪ ♪ the priceline negotiator went down in that fiery bus crash. yes i was. we lost a beautiful man that day. but we gained the knowledge that priceline has thousands
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puerto rico and presidential politics are always fair game. let's talk about it with maria car down ya, cnn contributor in d.c. and here in atlanta, entrepreneur and best selling author, tom blair. mitt room flee, he keeps racking up delegates. but rick santorum keeps telling others that the mass is not what matters. >> it's pretty sad when all you have to do is do math instead of going out there and win it on substance. >> so is santorum right inspect
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can he and newt gingrich still deny mitt romney the delegates he needs or has this come down to mitt romney's vote for me, the mass is on my side? >> well, i think at the end of the day, it is about the delegates. whoever is the nominee has to get to the magic number of 1144. but rick santorum has an incredibly important point in that where romney has gone wrong here is that he has absolutely zero message for the voters that he needs to get in order to gain the delegates at the end of the day. mitt romney's message is completely void of any optimism of any vision where he wants to take the party, where he wants to take the country. and if he thinks that that is what is going to win him delegates, then santorum is right. mitt romney said recently that he thinks rick santorum's attacks on him are because his campaign is at a desperate end. really? rick santorum just won two of
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the major contests. if mitt romney is going to continue on this line, at the end of the day, his delegate mass may not be in his best interests. >> tom, is that what this has come down to, the math is on my side? >> we have moved off of contraceptions into math, so i feel we're going in the right direction. what i would argue is the statement was ill advised by the romney camp foes a couple of reasons. it's not math. it's probabilities. he either has 1144 or he doesn't. but it's the probabilities of state. and there's some pretty big states out there with unknown probabilities. texas being one with 150 delegates. there are probably more people there with two pickup tricks than two cadillacs. so you get into a situation where you apply the probabilities and it's more than a jump ball. and i think another reality is for santorum to win, he doesn't need 1144. room flee needs 1144 to take
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santorum out of it. but if it becomes a jump ball, santorum is going to argue that he has the momentum. finally, americans don't do well in math. when somebody challenges and say, it's in the math. i'm going to go to the polls and vote against math. >> all three of us were journalists and we never did very well at math. so let me take the numbers and the colors. i've got something to look at here. this is the delegates according to the latest cnn estimate. and it's how the primary math looks so far. it's going to come up in just a second. there's our numbers and now we're going to see the colors on the map. this is -- there we go. the thing is, i guess, turning into a new reality show. we've decided to name it republican survivors. who do you think is going to get voted off the island first, maria? >> i love that. that is exactly what this whole process has been, kyra. again, it is up to the voters.
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and this is where i think, to tom's point, mitt romney is not getting it. he shouldn't be talking about delegate maps. he should be talking about a message that resinates and that's where rick santorum, i think, has been able to come up strong and why he has been able to, now, be the one challenging mitt romney. six months ago, kyra, who would have thought that we would be here talking about rick santorum being the one that could possibly be the survivor of this republican reality show? so who knows. that's the beauty of politics. anything can happen. >> do you want to talk about the survivor or who is going to get voted off first, tom? >> i'm not sure anybody gets voted off. i think maybe one or two people might just run out of money and decide to leave the island in a row boat. but to everybody's point here, if it is a very surreal situation that we're in right now, and i must say, i think the various democrats must take a great deal of satisfaction in
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looking at the rubble that is behind this campaign on the republican side. >> maria cardona, tom blair, thanks, guys. that's "fair game." >> thanks, kyra. >> you bet. straight ahead, an explosive new report that you need to hear about. i'm talking about sex offenders and felons possibly looking at the summer camps where you send your kids. up next, the reporter who broke the story.
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maybe you went to camp and your now sending your kids and your grandkids to camp. have you ever thought about who is being hired to staff those camps? it's a really important question. here is why we want to go a little more in-depth. the palm beach post did a six-month long investigation into this very topic. and the findings are pretty disturbing. it turns out that florida is one of six states that does not license camps. north carolina, missouri, new mexico, south dakota and washington are the others. so while this may not raise alarm bells at first, the palm beach post actually found the absence of that license has made it relatively easy for sex
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offenders and other violent criminals to work at those camps around your children. we're joined now along with mark clasp, a child safety advocate. his 12-year-old daughter polly was kidnapped and murdered in 1993. michael, let's go ahead and start with you and talk about your investigation. you say that because of these laws, that children -- and it's in your piece, quote, have suffered profound harm. that's a powerful statement. can you give me some examples of what you're talking about? >> sure. we focused on four examples. one on the east coast of florida, about an hour north of west palm beach. in that case, a convicted child molester got a job at a church summer camp without undergoing a
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background check and then went on to molest a 14-year-old boy during a camp sleepover. in the other cases, on the west coast of florida, an individual who was facing child sex abuse charges in another state was actually hired by a camp organization there and he went on to molest at least three other kids. >> would you -- are you a father? >> no, i'm not. >> no. so how did this -- when you started to find these examples and find these loopholes, i can just imagine the reaction there at the paper where there are a lot of parents. were you surprised to find such large gaps? and were you surprised to find not only instances of sexual assaults, but even murder? >> i wasn't surprised, actually. we, back in 2010, did a story
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focusing mostly on palm beach county and we found some pretty unsettling stuff when we did that. we found a case of a convicted child molester who was being paid by palm beach county to run a summer camp for homeless and foster kids. since then, we have been looking at this issue and the cases have just been kind of bubbling to the surface one after the other. so to answer your question, no, i wasn't. >> wow. and, mark, i know after everything you've been through and you've been an advocate for so many years, you're not surprised by this, either. but the florida department of children and families did issue a statement to this. currently all directors, employees, volunteers who work more than ten hours per week at a summer camp are mandated to pass a level two background screening, which includes both state and national criminal checks. and, mark, here is what i want to ask you. obviously, it's not enough because we're hearing about what is happening. and number two, you know, how do
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you keep up with that and policing thousands of camps? >> well, listen, kyra. first of all, this is an amazing piece of investigative journalism that really peels the scab off of a lack of accountability and deferred responsibility. this has been allowed to go on because everybody is turning their back on the problem. there is absolutely no regulation. there's no licensing of these camps, so anybody can work in them or found them. now, what can parents do? probably the best thing they can do is send their kids to georgia or alabama to camp. notwithstanding that, they can run their own background checks, they can talk to their children, they can check in with their children if they do decide to send them to camp. and i think probably the most important thing that a family can do is to contact their state legislators because if there's one thing that a politician can do, it's count votes.
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they need to call them, visit them, write them, e-mail them, text them and fax them. if every parent were to do that, there would be immediate response. >> but here is what's interesting. michael, i'm looking at this directly from your investigation. you've got in here since the mid 1980s, legislators have been warned repeatedly of dangers in camps. even though, they've taken virtually no steps to protect kids. >> right. that's absolutely true. at least half a dozen times, probably more than half a dozen times this issue has been brought to the attention of florida lawmakers. and in some cases, they promised to do something about the problem. in all cases, they failed to act. >> so, mark, tell me why you shake your head and you took kind of a deep breath there. >> well, because that's their job, isn't it? i mean, public safety is what we elect these people to do, to protect us from the evils out there and they're absolutely falling down on the job. it extends from the governor to the legislature to city
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governments, as the reporter has pointed out. it's institutional, it's secular, it's faith-based, it's absolutely everybody turning their backs on the children and the politicians are the ones that are in a position to actually do something about it and they continually turn away. it's disgraceful. >> so, mike, you brought up the bfr, mark. michael, we reached out to the governor, rick scott. we haven't heard back from him. what did you get from him? >> i spoke to him very briefly in west palm beach in november. and he was surprised. he, like most parents who i've talked to, thought that florida did something to regulate summer camps. and he was astonished when i told him that anybody, even a convicted child molester could find work at a florida summer camp. he asked me, how can that happen? and so he is pretty much in the same boat as other florida parents. he was in the dark. >> you know what, mark? this has taken me back to when you and i first met in the '90s. remember the investigation i did
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on how sex offenders could get their hands on personal information of kids, these databases that exist? and it seems like we are talking about the exact same thing here. this is -- this is like such simple, easy access to our children because so many of them go to summer camp. and you would just think that of all things, a kid's summer camp would be well protected. >> well, kyra, i will always be beholding to you for what you did. that was also an amazing piece of investigative journalism. the excuse right now is there's no money to fund these kinds of programs so these guys are great with budget cutting and bottom line webs but they're forgetting that they're really there not to work on budgets, but to protect people and they're failing to do it. >> and michael, we do, marc and i both lift you up for this. 20 years ago, marc and i worked on an investigation together around his daughter. it triggered national
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legislation and it went nowhere. so we salute you for trying to stay on this subject and we can't understand why our kids cannot be protected, especially in places like summer camp. michael, marc, thanks, guys, so much. >> thank you. >> thank you. straight ahead, vets in florida are fuming over this flag showing an image of president obama. hear what they say. it's illegal. that's next. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times.
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time now to go to stories making news at street level. we're keeping an eye on the rutgers trial. the jury is still deliberating. dharun raf vee committed a hate crime. tyler clementi died by suicide when he realized that his roommate recorded it on his webcam and tweeted it. a mile-one stretch, linden avenue, will be named after martin luther king jr. the ceremony will be held on april 4th, on the 44th
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anniversary of mlk's death. a modified flag is making some waves. it's a flag with president obama's picture on it was seeing flying outside of democratic headquarters. they say that's illegal. a woman has taken it down. she said that she's response ib for the incident. ge put out an add for 230 manufacturing ads but the company's website crashed and hit the limit of 10,000 submissions in a matter of just a few hours. ge will select the candidates and have them at work by may. now to maryland heights, missouri. a man gets more than he is bargained for when he tries to shoo away a goose. it seems they are very protective parents and will
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fight off anybody, anybody that they see as a threat. does he look like a threat? if you're a regular cnn viewer by now, you're versed in the primaries. are republicans tired of the process. not only is blago out of politics, he's out of circulation for 14 years. he just arrived in colorado to begin his prison stretch for, among other things, trying to sell barack obama's senate seat. he couldn't help but work on the crowd when he made his way out of chicago. if they have a present counsel,
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239 for santorum. newt gingrich, 139. ron paul, 69. as you know, 1,144 are needed to win the nomination. paul steinhauser joins me for a political ticker. we compared the political race to an episode of "survivor." you have new poll numbers that show the republicans are actually starting to get a little concerned? >> yeah. i think more and more republicans are saying enough already. let's get these over with. they are starting to hurt us. they asked the question, is this ongoing caucus process good for the party or bad for the party? look what they say now. 47% say good and 43% say bad. look what it was a month ago? what's interesting as well, romney supporters say that it's bad for the party. more gingrich and santorum parties want it to go to the end of the process in june. it's probably going to go on for a while, no doubt about it.
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here's the next couple of weeks. we have the missouri caucuses on saturday. on sunday, puerto rico primary and then the following tuesday, wisconsin, maryland, district of columbia. kyra, stay tuned. it's not over any time soon. >> so we have puerto rico, louisiana, wisconsin, mare lanl maryland and d.c. primaries. thank you so much. continue the conversation with me on twitter or facebook. cnn continues with suzanne malveaux. live from cnn headquarters
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in atlanta where it's 12:00 noon, the american soldier accused of gunning down 16 afghan civilians in a late night killing spree has been moved to kuwait for his own protection. that's according to a defense official. afghans are furious. hundreds of people took to the streets today to demand the soldier be brought back to afghanistan to stand trial. meanwhile, president karzai wants soldiers to return to their villages and take over their own security by 2013. that's a year earlier than previously planned. in northern syria, this is what is going on right now. an army tank hit by a roadside bomb. watch this. the person who uploaded the video says it happened in the iblib province.
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it's the new center now of this conflict. it's where the syrian military has increased their targets. across syria today, at least 46 people were killed. president obama, he is hitting back at critics who say he's failed to find a resolution to rising gas prices. note, the upcoming election has something to do with what they are saying. >> every time prices start to go up, especially in an election year, politicians dust off their three-point planes for $2 gas. they head down to the gas station, make sure a few cameras are following them, and then they start acting like we've got a magic wand and we will give you cheap gas forever. >> so the presidential republican rivals are ceasing on
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this issue at the campaign trail. aaa says the price for a gallon of gas is currently $3.82 now. this is the sixth straight day that it's on the rise. and memphis. >> finally ready to give martin luther king, jr. his own street. this is 44 years after he was shot on a balcony. linden avenue will be renamed dr. mlk avenue on april 4th. it's the 44th anniversary of the killing. former illinois governor, rod blagojevich, has three more hours of freedom before he has to report to prison in colorado. he begins his 14-year sentence for corruption, including trying to sell president obama's senate seat. >> i've got this thing and it's golden and i'm just not giving up it [ bleep ] for nothing.
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>> blagojevich, what did he do in his last few hours of freedom, he shook hands of people at the airport before flying to chicago. so what is prison going to be like after the former governor of illinois? joining us is a friend of blagojevich who also served time. jim lasky, thank you very much. you've been outspoken by this. i understand that you're a buddy of blagojevich and you actually taujed to him to prepare him to go to prison to find out what he's going to expect. what did you tell him? >> first of all, suzanne, i appreciate it. i don't know if we're called buddies. we're political associates. i covered his trial for a radio station here in chicago and we spoke to each other. i said to him a year and a half ago, i said, you better pray to god that you don't have to go through what i went through? and i said, what do you mean?
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>> i said the first day of my life, bar none, was the day i said good-bye to my wife and children, you're not prepared for that, nobody is prepared for that. he looked like a deer in headlights and this morning when he came out, he looked like a deer in the headlights like he was shot out of a canon. >> so what did you tell him to do? what did you advise him? >> i've told him, as i've said all along, when you go to prison, you're not rod blagojevich. when i went to prison, i was not jim laski. rod blagojevich will get one of these in a couple of hours. it's like your american express card in prison. don't leave prison without it. it's what you use for your meals and come miss sar ree and everything else. he will get strip searched, pack up his clothes that he wore today, send them back home, get his i.d. and fingerprinting and his uniform. it is time now to face reality and hope for the best and just
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try to get into a routine. get into a routine where you either jog or you read or you do whatever. but he can't campaign. he won't be on celebrity apprentice. he won't be president of the united states. he'll be a number and he'll be in prison for a long period of time. >> and you spent 11 months in a federal penitentiary for taking bribes as a chicago official. what was the toughest thing about being in prison? >> well, first of all, again, i left -- i have three children at home. i have -- my twin boys were 9 at the time and my daughter was 13. that was the hardest thing. i remember to this day -- and it still makes me queasy when i see him leave because this was four years ago or five years ago i left. the hardest thing was to say good-bye and then to get to prison and that first night when you're not sleeping in your own bed and you're thinking about, what is your family doing? what is my daughter doing, what are my sons doing?
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i missed my daughter's confirmation, my son's soccer season. all of that comes into play and you can't get that back. >> i want to mention to viewers, we're watching live pictures in colorado where they have choppers and pictures of the vehicle that blagojevich is is in right now, kind of reminiscent of the o.j. chase, if you will, all eyes on the vehicle as he heads to -- heads off to prison. this is really going to be one of those moments where, you know, he's used to a lot of attention here. he's not going to have that kind of attention as, as you mentioned, when he's in prison. will he be a target, do you think, because he's been so notorious, really, on tv and all these other things? >> well, suzanne, i think his -- the best thing he can do is to try to lead a quiet existence. and it's just an existence in prison. it's very dehumanizing and he will learn very quickly that at 4:00, 5:00 this afternoon he'll
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be standing with the rest of the inmates doing a count and he'll be standing in front of his bed and he will be counted by a guard and that's the reality of it. and he will be counted for the next be 11 years and 8 months and that's the hard, cold, cold facts here. and he's going to have to get used to the fact that he will not be able to come and go as he pleases, he won't have people drive him around, he won't be able to go out to dinner and he won't be mr. celebrity. and that's going to be hard. my best advice to rod is to try to lead a very quiet life there. he gets 300 minutes a month to talk to his wife and his kids and i would treasurer those 300 minutes each month to talk to my family. >> jim, you wrote a book called, "my fall from grace." why do so many officials do this, take bribes and what makes you go in that reaction? >> i was an i'd list stick kid
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out of law school. very idealistic. i was in an organization where we had precinct campus and you do political favors and you cut down their trees and help them with their voting and i actually had an absentee ballot that i gave before i joined politics and they knew how i voted ahead of time. chicago -- when i got to prison, let me say this, the inmates said, where are you from? i said chicago. oh, chicago, daily corrupt politics and al capone. and that's what chicago is viewed as. i got into chicago politics and it's been a culture of chicago politics over the years that breeds this stuff and it's just not over the last five or ten years. you can go back -- there's been 30 some officials that have gone to prison. >> jim, you've paid your time
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and paid your dues. thank you very much for your perspective. a rundown of some of the stories that we're covering first, while he was allegedly ordering brutal attacks on civilians, syrian's president was also ordering up fondue and jewelry. rick santorum tells puerto rico to habla engles to become a state. an anti smoking campaign. $50 million, the largest and most graphic anti-smoking push. the big question, are these ads going to stop people from lighting up [ male announcer ] fighting pepperoni heartburn and pepperoni breath?
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egypt's revolution. >> reporter: close to 8,000 civilians killed, countless missing, thousands more injured, hundreds of thousands forced from their homes. 12 months of unparalleled in the 21st century. president bashar al assad had the option, talks or tanks. he chose tanks. protests began in syria's southern city following the death of school children for scrawling anti-assad graffiti. activists were emboldened. in egypt, after 30 years in power, president hosni mubarak
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was unseated in weeks. similarly, president ben ali was forced to flee the country. and in libya, the same week sear yaz uprising started, a nato enforced no fly zone was introduced. but for syria's protesters, no such international help, just condemnation of the regime. but the regime could still mobilize supporters, like the president and christian. without assad, they were told they would be killed. by late fall, protests became resistance. the free syrian army emerged but against one of the most powerful military machines in the middle east. it needed weapons.
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unlike libya's rebels, syria's opposition force is tiny, poorly armed. they hold no territory and so far have received very little international help. >> nic robertson is joining us live from london. 8,000 people -- that's a conservative number -- are dead. countless have been injured. why is it now, a year into this, that the u.n. is so powerless to stop this conflict? >> i think it's all about consequences. if you do call for an intervention, there are political consequences in washington and london and other european capitals. there isn't an appetite in these countries to get another engagement and another middle eastern country, if you will.
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and there are other consequences as well. we've seen that russia is a strong ally to assad standing up with china along with the rest of the international community. there are consequences of rupture of relationships there as well with the rest of the international community and as well there seems to be a concern as well, what happens if you put arms in? who gets those arms and does iran, because it's an ally of syria, get involved and escalate tensions in the region? there are many issues here, suzanne. >> nic, i understand that the conflict may be moving. we're talking about the city of idlib and it could become the new homs, the city where much of this conflict was centered around. can you explain? >> reporter: it's near the border so they could go there to get supplies and weapons possibly and come back in. it's a place that gives them or potentially could give them some
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sanctuary. he knows he needs to seal the border with turkey to stem any more of the free syrian forces. he's turning his attention back to this city in the south where this all began. 30,000 tanks headed to daraa they are absolutely going to crush any kind of. >> nic robertson, thank you for bringing the very latest on that hot spot. clearly a tragedy unfolding there. and now we know a british newspaper says it can show the president of syria and his family apparently living the good life while people all over the country are suffering and dying. the guardian is publishing e-mails that they received from bashar al assad over the last year. according to those e-mails, the
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president bought shoes and furniture and appliances from online stores. at the same time, protesters from across the country are being killed by this military crackdown. the e-mails show that president assad asked for advice from iranian and hezbollah officials on how to handle the conflict. the messages were stopped after it became known that the hacker group anonymous got into the syrian system: heares a snapshot of the jo situation. 10,000 people applied for 230 jobs at a kentucky plant. we're looking at a new jobs report.
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for the first time the jobless claims dropped to 351,000 for last week. 14,000 fewer than the week before and actually better than what economists were expecting. many americans are still looking for work. in kentucky yesterday, 10,000 people applied online for just
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230 jobs at a ge plant. there are so many applications it actually crashed the website. alison kosik is joining us from the new york stock exchange. i want to start off with that story first, alison. all of those people are vying for that amount of jobs there. what actually happened at that plant? how did that go down? >> yeah, it's really amazing. ge says its job's website was inundated with applications. 230 positions opened on the website in louisville, kentucky. it began taking those applications online at 6:30 in the morning yesterday. some of the local jobs pitched in to help people apply as well. but in two hours, suzanne, 5,000 people put in applications for these jobs. the website wound up shutting down for a few hours because of a glitch and it was later fixed but by late afternoon 10,000 people applied for these positions. so you wonder why this stampede. the unemployment rate is higher
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than the national average. it's at 8.8%. just amazing. >> why was ge doing all of this hiring? is it a sign that the economy is coming back? >> you know, part of it is, yes. the economy is coming back, picking up, more demand for products but there's something else happening here. ge is actually bringing back some of its jobs from china. the company told us today that it can now make more products more competitively here. labor unions have made concessions and new workers are actually being hired to make less money than the previous generation of factory orders. also, what ge is doing is using a manufacturing model developed in sdwrap pan. it's more efficient. what you've got here are jobs moving back here to the u.s. and ge is reopening old plants located in louisville as well. suzanne? >> and the positive jobs numbers, is it having any impact on the market today? >> kind of. you're seeing modest gains here. the dow is up 37 points. the dow did have six days of
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gains so far this week. the dow for the past couple of weeks, the longest winning streak in more than a year, it's difficult to see a pause after the run-up that stocks have made. certainly all eyes are on shares of apple. apple hit a record for $500 in 23 days, it's really jaw dropping, if you ask me. >> yeah, absolutely. >> alison, great to see you. newt gingrich says ups can help track down illegal immigrants. we're breaking down the campaign trail. i'll be waiting for you in stall 5. it confirms your reservation and the location your car is in, the moment you land. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. weight loss programs can be expensive. so to save some money, i just got the popular girls from the local middle school to follow me around. ew. seriously? so gross.
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statehood. this set off outrage but one says that he is right on point. jamal simmons and danny vargas are joining me. why do you agree here? >> well, i don't necessarily agree. i myself am a puerto rican dissent. i know how important puerto rico is but i'm a small conservative. i don't think we necessarily have to mandate everything at the state level in terms of what states should do. we know new mexico was considered a buy lynn gal state and that in the era of globalization, puerto ricans want their children to become
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english proficient and fluent. but i don't think we have to mandate it at the federal level. it's something that has to happen naturally. >> so you don't agree? >> look, english is incredibly important but so is spanish. so i think to the extent that they can maintain the spanish proficiency, increase english language proficiency, it doesn't have to be mandated at the federal level. >> in a newspaper interview, santorum lays it out. there needs to be compliance with they and a federal law and that is that english needs to be the principle language. jamal, weigh in here. >> first of all, he's wrong on the facts. it's not federal law to have english as the official language of the country. it's the predominant language of the country but not the official language of the country and i think danny is right when he says it makes sense to be able to speak english because it's the language that they will use to do business and to use all of our government functions and to help as we go back and forth.
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but what's interesting to me is that santorum stood on pouerto rican soil. how different is that for mitt romney who can't stand up for college or separation of church and state and he gets all mushy when he tries to do that. santorum says what he says when it's appropriate. >> and there is a growing course louder for newt gingrich to drop out and he says he has provocative ideas. one of them was using fedex to find illegal immigrants. here's how he explained it. >> you have fedex and ups moving 24 million packages a day in such a manner that at no extra cost you can track it on your personal computer.
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over here you have the federal government that doesn't work and the federal government cannot find 11 million illegal immigrants even if they are sitting still. so take these two comparisons. so one of my suggestions was, what if we were to mail a package to every person who is here illegally and then when it got delivered we would pull them up and we would know exactly where it was because we would be on ups and fedex. >> danny, does that make any sense to you? >> well, i'll tell you what doesn't make sense. we know that the federal government is one of the most massively inefficient institutions in the world. we've seen that they waste money, they are not necessarily affected in what they do. so there is a lot of opportunity, a lot of room for being able to contract out services that the federal government doesn't in a massive way today. not to the specifics of what newt gingrich just said in terms of being able to mail a package to an illegal immigrant. it's being comical and to a certain extent opportunity to be able to use a private sector and
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innovation and ingenuity, to be able to handle the tougher problems that the federal government hasn't been able to get their arms around because it's so inefficient in what it does. >> jamal, do you think that those kinds of comments appeal to anyone? i mean, who is he trying to attra attract when he makes comments like that? >> i tell you who he's trying to attract. that tea party voter that seems to be so far out side where most of americans really are. most americans are pretty decent people who want to take care of their neighbors and look out for people in times of need and they don't want to punish people for things they didn't do wrong. but they seem to be sort of angry and they are angry at people who are a little bit different than them. and i tell what you is troubling for newt gingrich and what is going to hurt him and all of the republican candidates is that it's very hard for republicans to win the presidency without getting a considerable number of latino votes. george bush in 2004 got 41% of the latino vote.
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in 2008, john mccain only got 31% of those votes. they are at 14%, according to the latest polls. they can't win that way. >> all right. jamal, danny, good to see you. we'll have you back shortly. if you're ready to quit lighting up, these anti-smoking ads might do the trick. they are some of the most graphic ads we have ever seen from former smokers themselves. and how do children get interested in learning? here's what one school is doing with robots. . >> we're spending time with the robots on stage and it's a nice way to kind of take a look at how we are using technology and how is it using us? >> it's not really about this cold machinery. it's ultimately about, you know, how can we use the robots to show something about the human
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we're going to start seeing graphic images of smokers who lost limbs on tv soon. it's a $54 million campaign called tips from former smokers, intended to scare people. i want to warn you, the ads are pretty difficult to watch. >> it began with my big toe.
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>> my fingers started to go piece by piece. >> first it was my left leg. >> dr. sanjay gupta is joining us from new york. obviously these are very graphic ads. some would say that there aim is to scare people, that it might work. do you think these are going to be effective in helping people quit? >> it's the same sort of question that we posed to folks at the cdc as well. there's data on this sort of thing. for example, remember those ads back in the late '80s, early '90s, this is your brain on drugs. what we found wases those sorts of ads probably weren't that effective. you actually measured drug use explicitly. they actually are more effective in areas where those ads run. there are more attempts to quit smoking and more successful quit smoking success stories as well.
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it's hard to measure what is directly attributable to those ads. those are pretty graphic. >> and some people suggest there are more concrete ways, cigarette taxes that might have a stronger effect on getting people to quit. >> here in new york, there have been specific legislation surrounding smoking and you've seen smoking go down as a result. specifically with regard to kids and the cigarette tax, you see an impact. every 10% or so increase in a cigarette tax, you see about a 3 to 5% decrease specifically among young people. you have more measurable impact as a result of legislation and syntax as well. it's hard to say how effective they are. it's a much more difficult thing to measure. >> we all know folks, friends who smoke. if they see these ads, they decide, hey, i'm going to quit, put down that cigarette today. are there still immediate when fits if they just decide this is no longer for me?
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>> there is definitely immediate benefits. the other point there is, should ads be focusing on the positive outcomes of quitting smoking or the negative outcomes if you don't quit smoking? this is always a debate in the public health meets advertising world. take a look at the benefits that you get pretty quickly from stopping smoking, within 20 minutes if your heart rate can be modulated 12 hours. carbon monoxide. one year it cuts down by 50%. five years -- you can look at the numbers here. your lung cancer risk approximates what the rate is if you have not smoked. >> that's pretty amazing and certainly a good incentive for those to try to quit. >> absolutely. >> thank you, sanjay. >> you bet. do you think these ads are going to help people stop smoking, maybe helping a teen to
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not pick up the habit? go to facebook.com/suzanne cnn. we'll read your responses in the next hour. time now for the help desk where we get answers to your financial questions. joining me is jack otter and stacy francis, a financial adviser and president of francis financial. let's get to the first e-mail and $6,000 on a loan and $70,000 in a savings account. should i use that money to pay down the home loan? >> i think the first step should be to look into refinancing. he's got a 5.7% loan and now he's got 15 years left on his mortgage for less than 4%. now, he's been on this loan for
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so long. he's already paid a lot of interest. he's going to have to run the numbers in a financial calculator. please, go to something like shh.com. for paying it off, it depends. it's not at best move. and sitting on it because of a cash flow and it's safe. >> let's go to another one. mike in maine, he's asking, i have a roth i.r.a. and an online brokerage account for investing in etfs. where should i park my different investment types to minimize my taxes? stacy, what do you think? >> when we're managing money for a client, that could eat into your overall return. we put all of the taxable bonds in our iras, in all of our retirement plans. so that is actually saving you a
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lot of money in taxes. then we take any of those stocks that have capital appreciation that might be taxed at 15% and we put it in that online brokerage, maybe a taxable account. again, remember, interest from a bond is taxed at your federal tax bracket. guess what, the growth and long-term gains on a stock are taxed at 15%. so if you can, again, try and put that high interest in your retirement plan and then put your stocks in your taxable accounts. >> great advice. thanks for coming in. if you have a question you want answered, send us an e-mail to cnnhelpdesk@cnn.com. this is $100,000. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much, i appreciate it, i'll be right back.
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...prosecute it... and stop criminals. our senior medicare patrol volunteers... are teaching seniors across the country... ...to stop, spot, and report fraud. you can help. guard your medicare card. don't give out your card number over the phone. call to report any suspected fraud. we're cracking down on medicare fraud. let's make medicare stronger for all of us. s&p is in record territory. i want to bring in alison kosik from the new york stock exchange to see what we have just seen, alison. perhaps good news? >> it is good news. the s&p 500 is breaking the 1400 mark for the first time since june of 2008. the reason why we watch the s&p 500, this is the broader index. it sort of is a better indication of how stocks are doing better than the dow which
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only has 30 stocks in it. and we watch the s&p 500 because your retirement funds, mutual funds, 401(k)s mark how they are doing. it's a really good sign as far as whether or not your portfolio is going to be fatter right now. the real question is whether this momentum can continue. at the end of the day when it closes, it closes at the 1400 level or above and then stay above and once you close that level, the momentum could stick around. one thing i'm noticing, financial shares of jpmorgan chase, two of the biggest gainers are up 3%. transportation stocks, they are also gaining. i notice you will ask, why is this happening? we're seeing stocks really have a run up lately because of the
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economic data and mostly because the data is getting better, suzanne. paula deen's empire under fire as a former employer makes shocking allegations. find out why some fans are sticking by deen despite the scandal. for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪
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when you think of the name paula deen, you probably thing two words, southern cooking. now it's surrounded by controversy. there's a sexual harassment lawsuit and diabetes, has it threatened the empire? >> let me tell you what this has been a doozy of a year. it started with me getting hit with what my mama calls the sugars. >> when you say, the sugars, do you mean diabetes? >> i guess that's what northerners call it. >> what about them looking at
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porn. >> what about the very serious allegation of you using the "n" word? >> what "n" word is she talking? there's a lot? >> like nutrition? >> no. >> deen is keeping quiet but her fans are speaking out. many are offering support where it's been the second biggest story ever. i want to bring in cat who is joining us from new york. you know, it's interesting because when this story first broke, my family -- we were debating whether or not she was right, she was wrong, whether or not she should have revealed this. why do you think it's so passionate? so many people are weighing in on this? >> well, first of all, i want to
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speak out about butter. it's the excess of it is that is so polarizing. her recipes are so her detractors the lifestyle is really dangerous and in fact ended up endangering her own health. >> well, there are racial ep pi that thes. what do we know about this? >> there's a tight wall around her and they say that they are looking into the day in court. it's a virtual love letter
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saying without them and without their support she wouldn't be the woman that she is today and to make the multimillion dollar campaign. so it's interesting to see that. i've spoken with a fair amount of her fans and they are all waiting to see. they are waiting for her day in court. >> what is she accused of, exactly? >> well, she's accused -- she said that her brother created a volatile work environment and she herself used racial epithets, again, this is all hearsay. they are really close ranks around her we just know that a lot of her fans are sticking by her. >> good to see you. also a. very popular blog. thank you.
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american troops out of villages and back on the main bases. he wants a faster turnover demanding that they take charge ahead of schedule. the taliban says that they are suspending talks in the u.s. we spoke about it in afghanistan. >> are you currently negotiating with the taliban? >> we are working on peace building with other countries and also the afghan peace council. >> is the taliban offering anything right now? are they cooperating?
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>> some of them are willing to talk, yes. some of them are feeling very much that this country is suffering. and that this country is suffering must end. as far as a desire is concerned, it's as soon as possible. >> what does that mean? >> that means, if it can be done tomorrow, we will welcome it. as far as the reality is concerned, surely it's going to take time. >> months? years? >> well, perhaps more than months. maybe a year or two. if we can have a proper understanding with our

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