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tv   9 News Now at 9am  CBS  August 5, 2009 9:00am-10:00am EDT

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homecoming. two u.s. journalists sentenced to serve time in a north korean labor camp are back home after several months away from their loved ones. good morning. i'm andrea roane. you are watching live pictures. this have the burbank airport in burbank, california. this is the private charter jet that carried former president clinton to north korea and bringing him back to the united states, on board with him the two freed american journalists euna lee and laura ling. these are pictures. these are live pictures. the jet just landed ten minutes ago and drove up to the hangar at the burbank airport which is known as the bob hope airport. with me, as we watched these pictures, is josh logan.
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he's a defense and foreign policy expert with cq politics.com and josh, your thoughts upon seeing this after these women were in captivity in north korea. >> first of all, we have to say this have a wonderful day for the family of the two american journalists who faced what we are sure harsh conditions in the north korean prison camp for months. months. the visit of president clinton to north korea is something the north koreans wanted for a long time. over a decade. so they were able to save face and at the same time the americans were able to secure the release of these women. >> reporter: as i say we are looking live at the burbank airport, the charter jet that brought president clinton back for the two journalists.
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the officer we see going in an out of the jet from what i understand are border patrol officers going in there, make sure -- here we see other people emerging. this is a far away shot. can't exactly tell who they are but some of the people who accompanied them on the jet and again, hear with josh logan as we wait for them to emerge, their their families who are waiting to see them and the women were employed by current tv and their boss, former vice president al gore is also there at the hangar as part of the homecoming party. josh, you were saying this is something that north korea wanted for a long time. president clinton, to come and visit them. they have been after him since 2000 is that the reason why he was chosen rather than the person who employed ling and lee? >> i think we are seeing the culmination of a long series of
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events to work for the freedom of these two women. as you mentioned former vice president gore has a financial interest in the company that the two women report for. he was rumored to be in the running to go on the trip. bill richardson has a long record of dealing with these kind of regimes. he was considered. in the end apparently what happened is these two women conveyed to the state department through their families that the north koreans wanted bill clinton and al gore called bill clinton to ask if he would make the trip. bill clinton consulted with the obama administration, with his wife, secretary of state hillary clinton, and decided if he was going to go he had to be sure there was going to be a successful outcome. i think what we are seeing is a lot of people working very hard for a long period of time and bill clinton pushed that ball over the goal line. >> reporter: you talked about the former president consulting with his wife who is also the current secretary of state, but the obama administration has been careful in saying this was a personal visit, not a formal
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administration representative, but there are reports that president clinton may have talked to kim jong-il about other issues beyond the release of these women and other americans being held in north korea. is that a problem for the obama administration? >> not necessarily. this shows great despairty between how the north koreans reported this meeting and how the u.s. government reported the meeting. an entire range of issues were discussed and president clinton conveyed a personal message from obama. the state department denied that president obama sent a message and they say it is separate from other negotiations going on namely the north korean nuclear program and the crisis it has caused in that region. what we can say is based on the pictures we have seen, bill clinton met with north korea's
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nuclear negotiator and he had dinner with them and met them at the airport. we can assume they had to talk about these issues. whether or not that resulted in an actual breakthrough in the diplomatic channels between the two countries remains to be seen. >> we had former u.n. ambassador bolton say in an editorial in the post, ' yesterday i believe, that mc's visit as wonderful as it is to try to secure the release of americans and journalists, this was unwise because he basically said this was gesture politics, just a gesture and it gives north korea bragging rights, can puff up their egos. what's it really do for the united states? >> here we see the vast difference between how the clinton administration dealt with north korea and how the bush administration dealt with north korea, at least in the first four years of that administration when bolton was a senior official. his policy there was no point
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in dealing with north koreans because it is not negotiated and he implemented that policy with the help of vice president cheney and others and we saw almost no contact for many, many years and now president obama was elected on a campaign promise to ten gauge countries that we don't get along with. specifically north korea and iran. he is implementing the policy. we don't know if it will work but we know what happens when we talk to north korea, they built up their program an got farther and farther away. so the people in the obama administration would say that bolton had his chance to implement that policy. it didn't work and now we are trying something new. >> we are looking live at the picture from burbank, california. and this is a private jet that brought former president clinton and two journalists that work for current tv, euna lee and ling back to the united states. we believe this is lisa ring, a
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journalist that worked for abc and national geographic. very involved in getting her sister back going on the plane to greet her sister. and euna lee, as well. it landed about 15 minutes ago this charter jet, but just like for all of us on planes there's some time getting off and even more time as security and other agencies come on board first before we see lee, ling and former president clinton come down. i'm here with josh rogan. he's a defense and foreign policy expert with cq politics.com. we have been talking about the significance of this diplomatic trip that the former president has taken, and also some questions raised by a former president george w. bush administration official, former u.n. ambassador john bolton. he questions, why this high profile visit for these two
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women? a journalist was captured in and jailed in iran. there was no high-profile representative from the u.s. government going to her aid, although journalists around the world were seeking her release. we have three americans now who illegally, allegedly by iranian standards crossed their border from iraq. they are in jail, bolton and others have asked are we going to see president clinton packing his bags to go and get them? what does this mean for other dictatorships looking at this and how they deal with the u.s.? >> i think that's a great question. i think the main point to focus on here is that different countries require different approaches. john bolton and others have said that this too much of a concession that we are giving something and not getting anything in return. they may have a point but the bottom line is the obama
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administration made a decision that this was the minimum they could do to get these women free. i believe if they faced a similar choice with another journalist they might be inclined to make a similar decision but we can't compare it because it is not apples to apples. the reason is kim jong-il runs that regime and that country pretty much single handedly. so if you can connect with him directly that's much better than dealing with his mignons, generals or did sipples. they may have different agendas and reasons for doing what they do. the same thing cannot be said in iran where the politics are complicated and there's a question of who to support and who not to support and north korea all roads lead through kim jong-il. the fact that president clinton could meet with him directly that could actually produce some sort of warming of the relations. it doesn't change the facts on the ground. that's the oh point. critics such as john bolton
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make all we have seen from north korea has been belligerency, committing atrocious human rights violations every day. none of that has changed and the basic position is that the americans want north korea to come to the talks with the promise that they have already made to dismantle eventually their nuclear program. the north koreans want to come back to the talks but as a nuclear power and be recognized as such. that is a nonstarter for the administration. in that sense the two sides are very far apart. in the sense it is a little good news, amidst a lot of bad news we can see it as a positive development. >> americans shouldn't expect to see any kind of talks with high-profile ambassadors or representatives from the administration meeting with representatives from kim jong- il. at point we don't get that out of this. >> exactly. this is why the deal was acceptable to the obama
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administration. because least in the optics of it they can claim no administration officials had made the concession. president clinton can be seen as an independent actor. of course his wife is the secretary of state, and he is the former president and the people that he took with him on the trip, including former chief of staff are still very involved in these issues, but at least the obama administration can hold out the carrot for the koreans of a senior visit by the acting secretary of state or president obama himself which would be seen as greater concessions by the north koreans if they, and unless they do certain things we want them to do. >> other things that helped to bring about the release of the two women. the role of the swedish ambassador. talk about that. >> so the united states and the north koreans have no formal diplomatic relations. so any communications that go through the two sides are conveyed through a third party. in this case the swedish embassy in the capital of north
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korea, pyongyang. it is a back channel, a way things can be negotiated in advance of meetings because face and respect are such important aspects of asian cultures but specifically the north korean regime these things have to be worked out in advance. if there is a meeting we should know the results and everybody should live up to that result and that's the communication the swedish ambassador played. >> we have been waiting for almost 30 minutes now. the plane has landed carrying former president clinton and current tv journalist euna lee and laura ling back to the united states. they have been in captivity for 140 days according to the north korean authorities. the two women while on assignment illegally crossed the border and were arrested and jailed an put on trial and sentenced to 12 years hard labor and again 140 days later, after a lot of back door
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negotiations ongoing as josh mentioned with the help of the swedish ambassador it was related to the united states that kim jong-il was willing to do something if former president clinton could be be convinced to be part of this. and he was and so this is the result. he was honor the ground less than 24 hours there. so a lot was laid out in advance. as you said, the form per president would not go unless he was guaranteed success. >> exactly. also we have to view this in the context of what does kim jong-il need for his own domestic and political situation. for him getting bill clinton in the office with pictures. these pictures will be distributed throughout north korea. this is a country that has tight control on the information and news they receive and kim jong-il can use this to spin whatever way he wants for his political purposes. he is rumored to be very ill. he had a stroke not more than a year ago. the pictures seem to indicate he's recovering from that
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stroke. >> they say that is great propaganda, images shown all over newspapers, television in north korea. >> exactly. he can take these pictures and go back to these people and say, look, our country is getting respect. our country has been visited by this famous guy, bill clinton. the north koreans who are so far behind in the understanding of the world may not be able to understand what the obama administration is about. based on the information they receive but they know bill clinton. they remember him and they have positive feelings about bill clinton. so this does a lot for kim jong- il to boost the perception that he is recovering from his injury and getting respect of americans and preparing for his succession. there are rumors that he may have met kim kim jong-il's third son who is reported to be the heir in waiting. >> all right. we will talk to you about that. we want to update you on what you are seeing right now.
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live pictures from the bob hope international airport in california. the steps have been rolled up to the door of the charter plane that has brought back former president clinton and the journalist laura ling and euna lee and the doors are now opening and we see other family members going up. the plane is now inside the hangar and here we have the first pictures of the journalists coming out, euna lee and laura ling. there they are. 140 days in captivity. there's euna lee greeting her husband and her daughter hanna. that's her husband and then laura ling reuniting with her loved one there as well as family members. her mother said she just wanted to give her a big hug and off to the right you see her sister
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the journalist lisa ling and there's her father greeting her right now. we still have not seen former president clinton emerge. i believe he's finally giving the journalist their families a moment in the spotlight and their private moment to reunite in front of all of us. josh, what do we know about current tv? what is the mission of this television network founded by former vice president al gore? >> current tv is one in a plethora of new media ventures seeking -- >> there he is hugging vice president gore. >> with al gore's help this is meant to increase the international coverage of events that has decreased so much. as we have seen the news industry shrink so much over the years. the bottom line this is a great thing because they are adding funding to the idea of doing international reporting but throughout the crisis there were questions raised as to whether a small organization,
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such as current tv could really offer their international journalists, especially those entering high will have risk areas the protection they would really need to make sure that things like this could be avoided as much as possible. traditionally if a reporter worked for a major news outlet he will have a lot of resources at his disposal a in countries all over the world but that doesn't exist anymore. international bureau and newspapers and televisions across the world have been slashed due to the sorry state of the news industry as we know it and because of the bad economy, which again opens opportunities for in the have you been churrs like current tv to do great and interesting reporting but sort of raises questions about the safety of journalists in crisis situations at a time when journalists are coming under increased danger in all parts of the world and facing increased risks as they try to do this very valuable
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reporting. >> reporter: as we said these young women were arrested 140 days ago and they were aware of the risks and they did have someone traveling with them. and they said they didn't realize the section where they were and had ventured in to actually crossed them in to north korea. and there's some question a as to whether they actually did cross the border but it was close enough they were able to be apprehended by north korean authorities. again, i'm joined by josh rogan. we are watching now as former president clinton emerges to a round of applause by all of those for his efforts in securing the release as you said, among those traveling with him is john pedesto. >> there's the former president greeting he husband of euna
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lee. and the mother of laura ling there. >> he said he was barely on the ground for 24 hours, but this had to have been in the works because it came about so quickly. >> sure. what we saw, and as you mentioned there was a lot of uncertainty about the circumstances surrounding the arrest of these women. did they cross the border? did they not cross the border. were they aware or not aware of it? for the purposes of discussion between the two countries the state department and the obama administration, they have take an position of regret. they basically without admitting formally or apologizing formally that a crime had taken place they put forth the idea that these women had done something wrong. most believe it was a negotiating tactic or a way to convince the north koreans to make this concession of letting them go free. >> saving face for north korea without making the u.s. look
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weak? they have criticized the obama administration for apologizing. >> there was no formal apology but they expressed regret. there is a strong possibility they did that simply for the purpose of rehe's leasing these two women. it is a situation where they would be criticized no matter what they did. if they didn't express regret and the women suffered more they would be criticized by some and if they did express regret, and they were free it would be criticized by other. the strategy was high risk and high reward so they did take a risk by making these sort of optical confessions to the north korea because they knew that's what the north koreans wanted and basically that's all the north koreans were going to get. so the north koreans holding these women over time became more of a liability than an asset. they tried to extract as much as they could from the united states. when president clinton agreed the north koreans made the calculations this was the best
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they could do. >> we helped them get out from under a bad pr situation. >> exactly. >> that they created. >> that they created. >> in the end it can be seen as a win-win situation because everybody was able to step away from the table with something they wanted and who knows maybe this could set up bill clinton who has been searching for a role in the obama administration in some sort of role as a mediator on this issue. who knows, because within his relationship with the secretary of state and because he doesn't want to be seen as overshadowing the new president and because of the contentious primary fight where he and president obama were at odds for a long period of time, bill clinton has been in the background for the first months of the administration. maybe now he has found a role where he can be constructive and make a connection and maybe this is a great way for him to be involved. again, whether or not there is real progress on the issue is yet unseen. >> again, i guess it begs the question, where do we, where
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should the united states go in terms of its relationship with north korea? the secretary of state will be involved in that but right now she's in africa. and her husband's getting the pilot, even the current president isn't in in the spotlight because, again, we don't want to have any hands-on of the administration with this. what should the administration be do doing now? who's going to spear head this, if not the former president? >> sure. officially the person in charge of north korean negotiations is a man named steven boss worth. his role is to be the american representative for the six- party talks, which was the bush administration semi successful effort to engage all of the countries surrounding north korea in a comprehensive discussion of their north korean program. north korea withdrew because they felt they weren't being treated fairly and because what
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they want are direct relations with the ice united states. they don't want to have to deal with japan and south korea. they want what they want from the united states and they want one-on-one discussions. >> let's listen to the journalists in their own words talk about their ordeal. >> 30 hours ago, euna lee and i were prisoners in north korea. we feared that at any moment we could be sent to a hard labor camp. and then suddenly we were told that we were going to a meeting. we were taken to a location and when we walked through the doors, we saw standing before us president bill clinton [
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applause ] we were shocked. but we knew instantly in our hearts that the nightmare of our lives was finally coming to an end. and now we stand here home and free. euna and i would like to express our deepest gratitude to president clinton and his wonderful, amazing, not to mention super cool team including john pedesta, doug van, justin cooper, dr. roger bann, david centers stru, lindsey c crumb and the united states secret service who traveled half way around the
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world and then some to secure our release. we'd also like to thank president obama, secretary of state hillary clinton, vice president al gore, who we also call al [ laughter ] the swedish embassy matt foyer, curt taung and the people of the state department who worked so hard to win the release of their fellow americans. steve bing and his crew and and drew liverous and the dow company and i know i'm forgetting a bunch of instrumental people right now but forgive me if i'm a little incoherent. to our loved ones, friends, colleagues, and to the complete strangers with the kindness of
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hearts who showed us so much love and sent us so many positive thoughts and energy we thank you. we could feel your love all the way in north korea. it is what kept us going in the darkest of hours. it is what sustained our faith that we would come home. the past 140 days has been the most difficult, heart wrenching time of our lives. we have very grateful that we were granted amnesty by the government of north korea and we are happy to be home and we are so anxious right now to be able to spend some quiet, private time getting reacquainted with our families. thank you so much
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[ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, the family has asked me to say a few words and on their behalf all of us at -- and on behalf of the staff and families of current tv and my cofounder joel hyatt, we want to welcome laura and euna home. we want to thank president bill clinton for undertaking this mission and performing it so skillfully and all the members of his team who played key roles in this. also to president obama, laura mentioned this, but president obama and countless members of his administration have been deeply involved in this humanitarian effort, to secretary clinton and the members of the state
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department, several of whom are here, they have really put their hearts in this. it speaks well of our country that when two american citizens are in harm's way that so many people would just put things aside and go to work to try to make sure that this has had a happy ending and we are so grateful to all of them, to the thousands upon thousands of people who have held laura and euna in their prayers, who have written letter and called and sent e-mails, we are very, very grateful. to see all the folks that made the flight possible, we say a word of deep thanks, as well. this has been an ordeal for them, but i want you all to know, your families have been unbelievable.
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unbelievable. passionate, involved, committed, innovative. you'll hear a lot of stories, and they are looking forward to hearing a lot of stories from you. but euna, hanna has been a great girl while you were gone. and laura, you are mom has been making your special soup for two days now. and to everybody who's played a part in this, and again a special thanks to the president bill clinton, my partner and friend, so grateful and ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming out. we will let these families have a full and proper reunion now, but thank you for coming out [ applause ] >> all right. we just heard from former vice president al gore thanking on behalf of the families and
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their families at current tv former president clinton for taking the mission that successfully returned laura ling and euna lee to the united states. 30 hours ago the women learned they would be going to a meeting. when they were taken to this meeting they walked in, the doors opened an they saw former president clinton. they were granted amnesty. that took place in 30 hour and they were on their way back to the united states where their plane landed at the burbank international airport. 140 days after they were captured, they were on assignment in china along the border with north korea to collect material for a report on trafficking north korean women to china when the north korean government alleges the women illegally crossed the border which is what started the ordeal for them 140 days ago. as ling said, they were shocked when they saw president clinton but they realized that this
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meeting 30 hours ago that their long nightmare was coming to an end and they thanked the team that accompanied the president. my team includes josh rogan who is with us now. he is a defense and foreign policy expert with cq politics.com and in his thank you, josh, former vice president al gore said he wanted to thank the obama administration for their deep involvement in this and he stressed humanitarian effort, not an official political diplomatic mission. that was very important for him to say, wasn't it? >> of course. and the point is they do not want to give north koreans anymore than they have to. and it is worth mentioning here that the original point of the trip that these two women took in the first place was to report on the humanitarian estrousties being committed by this regime on a daily basis. millions of people are facing the type of imprisonment and persecution these women experienced for these months.
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this is a story that the critics of the administration, the critics of each administration said does not get told enough. in one sense we are trying to separate the issues, humanitarian trip to save the women and the diplomatic negotiations that are stalled and in another sense an issue that exists between the two countries, north korean government is guilty of these humanitarian atrocities. it cannot be ignored. this is something that is not necessarily part hoff the negotiations but many members of the administration think it should be. by calling it a humanitarian mission they can address both issues and take a shot at critics and make it very clear they don't consider this to be a formal diplomatic interaction between the two countries. >> the white house did not say a lot about the visit while it was going on to screw up the works at any point of this whether it is political or the humanitarian effort but we are standing by. the white house is going to -- we will hear from president obama from the white house in a
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few seconds. until they are ready we want to continue our conversation with josh rogan at qq.com and i know there are families of three americans who have been taken in to custody in iran watching this and i am thinking is something like that going to happen to one of our family members. one of them is a journalist which is why iran is considering espionage charges against the tree you. why shouldent they expect the united states do go the extra mile to get them back. >> there's a difference between where we are with north korean diplomacy and where we are with iranian diplomacy. there's a convergence in the sense that the obama administration has a place to engage both countries but in the interim we had just had a contested election in iran, followed by a lot of violence and oppression by the government and there's a debate going on both outside and inside of the obama administration on whether or
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not obama's plan to engage the iranian leadership should be pursued after all and whether or not should recognize the iranian president, who was inaugurated a second time yesterday as a heuate mitt -- legitimate ruler. we have a forum to deal with kim jong-il. his leadership of north korea is not contested. that makes it easier to deal with him. with iran we haven't sorted out how we will deal with that regime and there is less of a basis for negotiating. with north korea we have a history of bribing them in order to get concessions. it is well established. we know it works. with iran there's no such, i don't know if you want to call it trust but at least a pattern where by we could trade these things and get things in return. that's not to say it couldn't hamm happen. >> does it mean that the families should think the united states has abandoned these jailed americans in iran?
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are there other avenues where negotiations could be going on for their release. >> i'm sure that's not the case. as we saw with this crisis over the journalists in north korea, most of these actions happen behind the scenes with little publicity and that's for a good reason. negotiating these things in the press or public forum could be detrimental to the delicacy of the negotiations themselves. the family didn't speak for months in in spite of the fact that i'm sure they wanted to. the same is true for iran. there are levers of pressure to apply. there are people within iran that can aid the u.s. effort to free these journalists but most things we would never know about sitting here discussing it and probably that's for the best. i wouldn't say there is no hope. i'm sure people in the state department and outside of the government are working very hard to free these iranian journalists even if we can't
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see it. >> the release of the two american journalists with the help of former president clinton. we will have more on this story and other news when we come back. stay with us.
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i want to make a brief excellent that the two young journalists euna lee and laura ling are back with their families. we are extraordinarily relieved. i had an opportunity to speak to the families yesterday. once we knew they were on the plane. the reunion we have all seen on television, i think, is a source of happiness, not only for the families, but for the entire country. i want to thank president bill clinton. i had a chance to talk to him for the extraordinary humanitarian effort that resulted in the release of the
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two journalists. i want to thank vice president al gore who worked tirelessly in order to achieve a positive outcome. i think that not only is this white house of coursely extraordinarily happy, but all americans should be grateful to both former president clinton and vice president gore for their extraordinary work. and my hope is that the families that have been reunited can enjoy the next several days and weeks understanding that because of the efforts of president clinton and gore they are able to be with each other once again. so we are very pleased with the outcome and i'm hopeful that the families are going to be able to get some good time
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together in the next few days. thank you very much. >> that was president obama at the white house talking about expressing relief at the reunion of euna lee and laura ling with their families. they were released after a 40- hour trip and visit by former president clinton. the two women were granted amnesty and are back on u.s. soil, back with their families in burbank, california. mr. obama thanked former president clinton and former vice president al gore in their efforts in securing the release. josh rogan is here and he is with cq politics.com. one more comment on this. the president was careful in how he phrased the release of the united states, also did not take questions when reporters were asking does this suggest
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any kind of flaw in the relationship or lead to something bigger or better? your thoughts. >> the idea is he did not want to make more news today. he did not want it to be about him or the nuclear crisis. he wanted to limit this and make sure the focus was on these two women who were freed after their captivity and rightly so. this is their moment. this is a great moment for their families, but it does give him a chance to tout foreign policy success in an administration that frankly hasn't been riddled with many. so he can call this a win, put it in the win box, move on and get some of the many other issues that the administration has to deal with around the world. >> josh, thank you very much for being with us throughout the morning covering this story. we'll be right back. stay with us.
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a police officer end up shooting a man to death. with me is montgomery county police chief tom manger. thank you for being with us. there are two officers involved in this. both on leave pending the outcome of the investigation. >> the investigation is still ongoing. what we do know is that we have -- we have spoken with witnesses that were both inside the residence where the shooting occurred and residents who were nearby and heard what
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went on. we are getting a consistent picture. you can here the male saying put down the gun and then hearing two shots. this is consistent with the evidence that we have. the only thing we have not done is not yet interviewed the officer who actually did the shooting. we should be interviewing him shortly and the investigation will be completed. what we know so far has been consistent information. >> reporter: it's talking about the community helping out police officers, which is what tonight is all about and it is national night out. there are events in every district in the county. where will you be? >> it was last night. we had a great night last night. we hit six or seven different
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events. all well attended. different types of neighborhoods, different types of events but the consistent message was that the police can't do the job alone. we need the them and support of the community. throughout the year, you and i talk about different crimes that occur and so often it the community's help, information we get from the community, whether it is communities that have perhaps trust issues with the police or other communities that have good relationships with the police, that communication that we encourage, that we foster and try to build with the public trust ends up in us solving crimes, being able to keep our neighborhoods safer. >> reporter: one official in the midwest talked about how important national night out, even more so now because of the tough economic crisis. they are almost like extra police eyes out there, a community that is vigilant and involved with each other. >> it gets back to the police can't do it by themselves and when you -- several events were
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hosted by neighborhood watches. these folks are worth their weight many gold. they train each other about what to look for. what might be suspicious. they are calling us, giving us information, allowing us to get to things perhaps before they develop in to a crime. we're able to prevent crimes, but the best help is when we get calls from folks afterward. i will mention that we had that fire, that car fire in bethesda last week where the man was burned up and killed in his car. that's a perfect case. we are asking for the public's help in that case. this man work at two gas stations, one in annandale, and one in glen echo. he was working at the gas station in annandale and drove over to the area in bethesda near where he would work in glen echo and we are trying to get the public's help. anyone who has any information on what he was doing. any information on what he was doing around the time that his car caught on fire would be helpful.
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we don't know the cause of the fire yet. it wasn't a crash or engine fire. the fire started inside the vehicle. we're asking for the public's help on that one. >> give them a call if you know anything about that incident dent last week in bethesda. chief, thank you for being here. we'll be right back.
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is the bug resolved and is in the district in the right fight against hiv and aids? we have sin vent gray with us now. good morning. good to see you again. >> good morning. how are you? >> i'm well. and hopefully you are doing well. you say you finally finished the revised 2009 budget and working on the 2010 budget. and you can go home for vacation. >> i don't think so. but we have at least gotten to a point where we think we
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balanced both nine and ten. we were facing a $660 million budget short fall over the next couple of fiscal years and the council has come together in an unanimous effort. we have made budget cuts and we have increased some revenues in certain areas. so we feel good we got a chance to stay balanced going forward. >> you didn't dip in the rainy day fund in order to get 2009 revised? >> we did not. there was a proposed letter advanced to the mayor to borrow $125 million. first of all, this would have required us to pay back $62 million next year and another $62 million the following year. who knows whether we would have had the money or not. but even more so, we need to make the changes that brought our budget in line with current revenues. >> one thing that you did, 90 million in cuts. $50million revenue enhancement, that means taxes, among them a quarter percent sales tax high 3.5 cents gas tax increase,
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cigarette and cutting funding for six weeks for the summer jobs program rather than nine weeks. one resident came on the air and understand the crisis and they don't mind it. but what they wonder about is the government officially managing the tax dollars and in the examiner there was a report that said the city hadn't collected $3.5 million in gas taxes for several years. it just went uncollected. >> well, clearly we could continue to do better. there's no question about that. but even so, i don't think we could have solvedded the problem with management efficiencies we clearly had a major short fall. september, december, february and june we had deficiencies so we had to bring spending in line with what the revenues were. we will work on improving management efficiency but if we were the most efficient government in the world we would not have been able to balance by just doing that.
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let me ask about hiv and the fight. the dc apple seed center gave high marks for rapid testing and fighting the disease in the dc jail. they say the mayor needs to do more public leadership in the fight, especially in supporting needle exchange programs. your reaction to one hand a positive report and then the short comings. >> i was glad to see we got a positive report. we have an enormously high hiv aids rate in the district of columbia. 3%, maybe as high as 5 for those that don't know. with regard to needle exchange we have wanted to run a full needle exchange program in district of columbia for years. however, the congress has thrown up obstacles for us being able to do that. there are 250, 260 jurisdictions in the nation that run successful needle exchange programs that have shown drops in hiv aids rates
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as a result. however, we haven't been permitted to spend our funds on that program. >> council chairman, thank you for being with us. we have to end it right there. we have run out of time. good to see you and i hope you can enjoy the summer break. >> i doubt it. >> now to angie with an update on the rush hour. six minutes from the 10:00 hour. it is wednesday, still a little early and dealing with issues for those of you perhaps heading up to baltimore. on 95 northbound an accident going on. that will keep the ramp to access 32 to go westbound. it will be closed until 1:00 p.m. today. move over to the outer loop and show you the slow go. stretching from 95 to georgia. that's just volume. finding a little slow ride on inbound new york avenue as we switch that camera over and it stretches from south dakota avenue to bladensburg road. on 395, what's up? we are free flowing. i like what i see. drivers are at speed. a couple of slow spots along the way between 495 and the
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pentagon and crossing the 14th street bridge we are using the brakes a little bit. and finally here's 66 eastbound. a little bit jammed. minor delay stretching from route 50 to the capital beltway. now i'm going to hand it over to howard bernstein who has a at the forecast. >> we will start with doppler 9000, angie. you can e have a couple of t sh erout t of west rg viin into portions of vi rginia t of theser we,t of 81 between newmarket and front royal an w ifwe see anything big it is not until later this afternoon. go to the weather computer and show you we have clouds streaming in, mid and high- level clouds. sun earlier. talking to robert in culpeper and he said it was a sunny start but the clouds moved in. and heavier stuff west of charleston with lighter showers nearby. as we look at the temperatures right now. 80 already. 70s to the north and west. sticky outside with decent levels of humidity and a front is on the way we will get some
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thunderstorms. the seven-day forecast, temperatures in the 80s. today near 90. some thunderstorms will last tonight in to tomorrow morning. better chance will be south and east but i cannot tell you that here in washington we will wake up with a couple of rain showers to start thursday. partly cloudy to mostly cloudy. friday looks good and 86. then we will get in to heat. saturday 92, isolated storm. sunday, dc you knowed playing madrid on sunday. talking the hottest temperatures of the season. 95 and at least 95 on monday and tuesday as well with isolated mainly afternoon storms. thunderstorms later this afternoon. probably not before 3:00 or 4:00, 5:00. big heat wave on sunday, monday and tuesday. back to you. a hotline up for us on the rest of the week on 9 news now at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, tony zinni stops by and meet the newly crowned black usa. and mind over money friday.
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our experts can help you get out of a mortgage problem or help you refinance your home. they can also help you get out of credit card debt. so tune in for that. of course, that's it for us at 9:00 a.m. the next news is at noon with j.c. and howard. of course the news continues 24 hours a day at wusa9.com. have a great wednesday. fa
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