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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  June 19, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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that's my xyz. thanks for joining us for this conversation this week in "your money." "your money" is on every saturday at 1:00 p.m. eastern, sunday at 3:00 p.m. don't miss me and "your bottom line" saturday mornings 9:30 a.m. eastern. have a great weekend, everybody. -- captions by vitac -- hello, everyone. i'm fredricka whitfield in atlanta. in southwest this hour firefighters are up against the worst conditions possible as they battle a rash of wildfires. red flag warnings are up in parts of seven state. that means weather conditions, mainly high heat, low humidity and strong winds pose an extreme fire risk. a live report in about one minute from now. this just in. nato has just confirmed that an air strike in tripoli today may have caused a number of civilian casualties. libya, which took reporters on a
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tour of the neighborhood, says at least nine civilians died. nato says it appears that, quote, one weapon did not strike its intended target, unquote. a nato spokesman says the alliance regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives. u.s. defense secretary robert gates discussed libya today on cnn's "state of the union." >> we are seeing the gadhafi government weaken. this is not, i think -- i think this is going to end okay. i think gadhafi will eventually fall. my own bet would be he will not step down voluntarily, but somebody will make that decision for him. either his military or his family. >> new york could season become the sixth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. the state senate could hold a vote on the marriage equality act tomorrow. governor andrew cuomo proposed the measure and the state assembly passed it last week. senate supporters need one more republican to back the bill before the current legislative session ends this week.
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the fbi is checking allegations of a bomb on board a us airways flight from dayton, ohio to reagan national airport in washington. authorities tell us that right before the plane landed, reagan national was told to hold the flight. agents are interviewing the passengers and bomb experts are checking the plane. the fbi says a person who made the threat at the dayton airport is now in custody. people living in the flood threatened town of hamburg, iowa, may be breathing a little easier today. the u.s. army corps of engineers has finished building a temporary levee to help protect the city from the missouri river floodwaters. that follows three partial and one full breach of the main levee around the town of hamburg. the latest now on the massive wildfires in the western u.s. there's an extreme fire risk in parts of seven states from the southern plains to the desert southwest. the bone dry weather in texas is helping spread some big fires there. parts of the state are suffering
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from severe drought. but the biggest problems are in arizona. the wallow fire is the largest in the state's history and it's only 40% contained. and now another major concern. the so-called monument fire. cnn's thelma gutierrez is live in sierra vista, a city threatened by that fire. what are firefighters up against? >> reporter: fredricka, it's very simple. they're up against heat and wind. temperatures today are expected to top 100 degree. if you look right behind me you can see that dark smoke billowing into the air. that's where the fire is burning. up on that ridge, we're told, the wind gusts are exceeding 50 miles an hour. that's bad news, because it means the tankers, the air tankers, the choppers can't fly until those winds subside. and so all of this effort is really up to the people who are on the ground. now, the good news is that they've been able to hold the line on the fire. flames race down steep canyons into tinder dry grasslands,
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igniting a ten-foot high wall of flames that fanned across the valley near seier ra vista, arizona. high winds forced the evacuation of nearly 7,000 residents who fled with whatever they could carry. >> i may not come back to anything. i don't know. >> reporter: fire officials say conditions couldn't be any worse. it hasn't rained since december. a drought, high desert temperatures and strong winds have made this fire disastrous. >> looking up at the mountains, very, very difficult to rain. very steep. a lot of canyons and elevation there. very difficult to get fiery spots in there. as you come lower out of the mountains, you're talking oak trees and grassland. once it breaks out in that grassland, there's nothing to stop it. >> reporter: more than 700 firefighters have come from all over the country to help battle the monument fire that started near the coronado national park
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near the u.s./mexican border. so far 47 homes and 22 structures have been destroyed. as for the cause of the fire, officials say it's still under investigation. but they do say they know where and when the fire started. and they also know that the fire is human caused. but they wouldn't go into details. they say it's just too early, and anything that they would have to say is pure speculation. that fire is about four miles away from the town of sierra vista, a town of about 40,000 people. and so far, they say, no new evacuations are being planned. fredricka. >> thelma gutierrez, thanks so much from sierra vista. appreciate that. meantime u.s. senator john mccain of arizona is catching some criticism for accusing illegal immigrants along the mexican border for starting some of the wildfires in his state. here's what he said. >> we are concerned about particularly areas down on the border where there is substantial evidence that some of these fires are caused by
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people who have crossed our border illegally. they have set fires because they want to signal others. they have set fires to keep warm. and they have set fires in order to divert law enforcement agents and agencies from them. so the answer to that part of the problem is, get a secure border. >> senator mccain did not provide any evidence to back up his accusation. his comments are now drawing fire from latino civil rights leaders there. let's check in with our jacqui jeras with more on this very severe weather. you've got extremes in so many different ways. across the map. >> we do. this is one of the worst days that we've seen in quite some time in terms of the fire conditions. because those winds are so strong. humidity is so dry. and there's just so much heat. we mentioned those red flag warnings. here's where they are across all of those seven states. in addition to that, we've got wind advisories in effect because these winds are gusting up to 50 miles per hour.
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so when these things are working together, it causes what we call extreme fire behavior. we're talking about flame lengths as much as 20 feet. imagine that. and then we get fire lines that jump ahead because the winds will blow embers ahead of the main line and then start new fires. we've got a strong area of low pressure across the area. that's what's driving in these strong southwesterly winds. but a cold front's going to be moving through parts of arizona and new mexico tomorrow. and that is going to be bringing in some cooler air and we'll likely see a little bit of recovery in terms of the relative humidity. so better conditions tomorrow. still not great, and those winds will continue to be extremely critical. now, this is also the time of the year when we start to see a little moisture beginning to move into parts of the southwest. what happens is that conditions heat up so much that the pressure in the area gets a little bit lower. then in turn it starts drawing in the cooler moister air from the southwest, from the pacific ocean. we call that monsoon season.
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a monsoon is a seasonal reversal of the wind. we usually start to see that in the state of arizona around the fourth of july. unfortunately it does not look like that's going to start a little early this year because that does happen from time to time. however, hopefully we'll start to see that happen soon. now, this is not just an arizona issue. this isn't just a new mexico issue. look at what's going on in the state of texas into oklahoma all the way into parts of the southeast. extreme drought conditions in much of the deep south. we're going to talk a little bit more about what's been going on in the southeast. we're talking some major concerns about water restrictions. we've got the mayor of west palm beach coming up a lirtttle late on this hour. new york could be on the brink of legalizing gay marriage. up next, we'll introduce you to a same-sex couple who've been together for 61 years. and they hope to be one of the first couples to walk down the aisle.
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♪ nationwide is on your side this father's day weekend we're asking you and our staff to share best advice from dad. our meteorologist jacqui jeras's dad, bob, has this fatherly advice to offer. don't ever use credit cards for credit, only convenience. here's what some of you said on twitter. cheryl smith says dad up to this day says failure is a luxury one cannot afford. cecil g. tweeted integrity got me to where i am and it's a
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great place. thanks, papa. jeanne said find a man who loves you more than he loves himself. i did. and for 43 years. arthur kcray tweeted our dad sad whatever you do wrong, don't get caught. what kind of advice might a pennsylvania father who has helped raise 71 kids have? yesterday i spoke with thomas rose. for 15 years he and his wife have been foster parents. i asked how gratifying it's been. >> it's really a lot of fun to see the little kids develop and go from not being able to sit up to maybe being able to crawl and then walk and then talk. so it's pretty rewarding. >> that means you and your wife have an awful lot of patience. because kids are coming from all walks, various backgrounds, et cetera. and you just have to create for them a very loving environment. >> we do and we try to provide them with a very loving environment. and, you know, try and keep them
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safe and healthy and so forth. but also to teach them to have fun and to get a sense of humor. and if they're old enough, teach them some manners. so it's a teaching process and it does require a lot of patience. but it's a lot of fun. >> over the past 15 years, you've helped raise 71 foster kids. how many kids do you have in your home at any one time? >> normally we've had just one or two. at one time, kind of an emergency situation, we did have five. they were siblings. that's kind of rare. usually a couple is plenty. >> this father's day weekend, what kind of advice do you have, new fathers in particular, who are welcoming a new bundle of joy at home or perhaps even they've adopted maybe even an older child. what kind of advice do you have for them? >> well, as an older person, i would say be very patient. and realize that these kids grow up so darn fast that you blink your eye, and the next thing you
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know, they're grown up. so really be patient with them. and love them to bits. have fun with them. let them be kids. >> how about for dads who aren't necessarily welcoming new kids into the household but have been a dad for some time? what kind of advice do you have for them to maintain that kind of patience and any advice on how to prolong that friendship with your kid until their adult years? >> well, i guess patience is the key to the thing. and, you know, all they can realize is they're raising something very special. they can just be there for their kids and love them and cherish them really. that's not just the dads. the moms and dads have to work together so much. you know, they do a good job together and just be there to support your kids. don't be impatient with them. >> advice from thomas rose. happy father's day. new york could be on the brink of legalizing gay marriage. alison kosik has been working on that story from new york.
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>> hi, fredricka. yes, i talked with one gay couple here in new york who've been waiting 60 years to get married. their story is coming up next. big deal days are back and better than ever! right now, go to priceline for a sneak peek at recent winning hotel bids to find where you can save up to 60% on hotels. * we'll even email you other people's winning bids, so you'll know what price to name. *á with new hotel bid alerts, from priceline. [ heather ] businesses need a reliable financial partner. one who can stay in sync with their moves. my job at ge capital is to get bobcat all the financial and business support they need. we provide financing for every bobcat dealer in north america. together, we've rolled out over 100,000 machines to small businesses all over the country so they too can grow. ♪ ge capital. we're there for bobcat every step of the way. ♪
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more fatherly advice on this father's day. . the battle over same-sex marriage is front and center in new york. the state assembly has already approved the measure. it's expected to face a tougher battle in the republican controlled state senate tomorrow. just one vote might make the difference between passive or failure. same-sex marriages are currently
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legal in the district of columbia and five states. massachusetts, connecticut, iowa, vermont and new hampshire. if the measure passes it could be a life changing event for many same-sex couples. including one who has been together for more than 60 years. they've been sharing their story with our alison kosik in new york. alison? >> this really was one of those heartwarming stories, fredricka. imagine what it was like to be a gay couple living 60 years ago. you know, back then there was less acceptance and more discrimination. well, now two men in new york who lived through that time are hoping their time has come to finally walk down the aisle here in new york. ♪ in friendly persuasion >> reporter: they've been together for 61 years. and they'll never forget the first time their eyes met. >> we didn't know each other. i had a part-time job at the
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juliard to bring in money. in walked this man and i knew my life was changing right there and then. it did. >> richard is 84. john mace is 91. ♪ the radio and the telephone >> reporter: at this tender age they both still teach. it was music that brought them together professionally and personally. >> he would find excuses to come and sing for me. >> i want to sing for you. which really meant i want to be near you. >> reporter: they've been near each other ever since. after years of pretending to be straight. >> it was like a load off. no more making -- making believe that you're who you're not. that's -- that's a burden that people who are gay carry all the time. >> reporter: still, something is missing from their relationship. >> i come from an italian family. they're the marrying kind. >> reporter: richard and john first thought of getting married more than 40 years ago.
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back then, gay marriage was unheard of. now new york is on the brink of becoming the latest and largest state to legalize gay marriage. >> why not? why not complete this relationship? >> reporter: they dismiss those who say it will ruin traditional marriage. >> the only sankty in a marriage is what two people bring to it. >> reporter: they hope gay marriage will be something the next generation won't need to worry about. >> they deserve better than what we had. it was very difficult. it's terrible to be considered a second-class citizen. that's really what it is. >> what he said. >> reporter: no matter how the vote turns out, richard and john say, their love will always be in harmony. >> thank you, john. >> reporter: and if gay marriage is legalized here in new york, richard and john say they can't wait to go to city hall and get themselves that marriage license
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that they've been waiting so long for, fredricka. >> are they already kind of setting dates just in case they get the vote that they're looking for? >> reporter: yeah, exactly. it does come down to that one vote. that vote, you know, is a million miles away at this point. but things are looking good for them. they do have a plan b at this point. they say that if this bill doesn't make it through, they are considering going to massachusetts to get married. in massachusetts it is one of five states, including the district of columbia, where gay marriage is legal. fredricka? >> alison kosik, thanks so much in new york. when it comes to talking with your co-workers, do you share too much sometimes? according to man of the there are things that you definitely should not say at work, such as i'm so hung over or maybe i'm just still drunk. if i don't get a raise soon, i'm going to lose the house. hey, you should friend me on facebook. some of the comments that this website says you just shouldn't
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say at work. the top two things you should never tell a co-worker, right after this.
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cnn's sandra endo reports from washington. >> reporter: a potential step towards a political solution with the taliban in afghanistan. defense secretary robert gates confirms preliminary talks are under way between the u.s. and other countries with the former rulers of afghanistan. but, he warns -- >> my own view is that real reconciliation talks are not likely to be able to make any substantive headway until at least this winter. i think that the taliban have to feel themselves under military pressure. and begin to believe that they can't win before they're willing to have a serious conversation. >> reporter: in an interview with cnn's candy crowley just days before he leaves the obama administration, gates says despite the calls for a big drawdown of troops in afghanistan, a quick pullout isn't the best strategy. >> how this ends is essentially the same way that it ended in iraq.
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with us playing a key role for some period of time. i know the american people are tired of war, but look. the reality is, the united states have a very limited commitment in afghanistan. until well into 2008. and we didn't have the right strategy. >> reporter: with progress being made, he warns of repercussions of hasty decisions. >> failure will have costs of its own that will linger with us for a long time. as was the case in vietnam. >> reporter: as for the u.s. involvement in libya, gates favors the same wait it out philosophy. he says u.s. and nato forces are winning. >> i think this is going to end okay. i think gadhafi will eventually fall. my own bet would be he will not step down voluntarily, but somebody will make that decision for him. either his military or his family. >> reporter: but congress wants answers, putting the president's feet to the fire over nato action in libya. insisting lawmakers should be allowed to vote on u.s. involvement. but some republicans are
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embracing the end goal. >> so from my republican point of view, the president needs to step up his game to libya but congress should sort of shut up and not empower gadhafi. >> the end game in afghanistan and libya will be left to his successor at the defense department. cia director leon panetta. he'll have to carry on gates's hunt for big cuts in defense spending. fred? >> sandra endo, thanks so much from washington. jobs, jobs, jobs. it's on everyone's mind these days. our career coach says it's all about training, next. i don't always have time to eat like i should. and the more i focus on everything else, the less time i have to take care of me. that's why i like glucerna shakes. they have slowly digestible carbs to help minimize blood sugar spikes, which can help lower a1c. glucerna products help me keep everything balanced. [ golf clubs clanking ] [ husband ] i'm good! well, almost everything. [ male announcer ] glucerna. delicious shakes and bars. helping people with diabetes find balance.
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♪ well, you know i love it too ♪ ♪ you love money ♪ well, you know i love it too ♪ ♪ i work so hard at my job ♪ and then i bring it home to you ♪ ♪ i love money in my pocket the motorola expert from sprint. its powerful tools help you work faster and smarter so you can get back to playing "angry birds." it lets you access business forms on the go, fire off e-mails with the qwerty keypad, and work securely around the world so you can get back to playing "angry birds." it's the android-powered phone that mixes business with pleasure. so let's get our work done, america, so we can all get back to playing "angry birds." the motorola expert from sprint. trouble hearing on the phone? visit
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jobs. it's what's on everyone's minds. the republican candidates attacked the economy on the heels of a poor jobs report last week. earlier in the week the president went to north carolina to talk about his plan for jobs. >> right now there are more than four job seekers for every job opening in america. but when it comes to science and high-tech fields, the opposite is true. the businesses represented here tell me they're having a hard time finding high-skilled workers to fill their job openings. and that's because today only
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14% of all undergraduate students enroll in what we call is s.t.e.m. subjects. science, technology, engineers and math. of those students, one-third will switch out of those fields, and only about 2 in 5 will graduate with a s.t.e.m. degree or certification within six years. so these are the jobs of the future. these are the jobs that china and india are cranking out. those students are hungry because they understand if they get those skills, they can find a good job. they can create companies. they can create businesses, create wealth. and we're falling behind. >> during that trip, the president met with the head of his jobs council. the bottom line consensus, u.s. workers need more training for today's open jobs. paula caliguiri is the author of
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"get a life, not a job." we're going to talk about why investing in your skills, training and education, can make a difference in this economy. investing in your skills means a lot of things, though. >> it sure does. investing in the right set of skills, right? the president mentioned those s.t.e.m. areas, science, technology, engineers, math. also advanced manufacturing, areas in skilled trades, some areas of education and health care. all of those are very important right now. 52% of companies are saying they're having a difficult time filling those positions. real important. real important to think about those fields. >> so then once you isolate that field, then you have to figure out what kind of programs are available that kind of correspond with that field and give you that edge in training. >> right. and keep in mind, fred, not all training programs are created equal. just because a program has the same course title does not mean it will give you the same benefit for your career. so real important here.
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think about getting to the best possible program with the best reputation. those will be the ones that will be training you on cutting-edge skills. they're going to have the best network. and they're going to be the feeder for employers. so even though another program might be convenient, you want to stick with the program with the best reputation. >> what do you mean investigate placement rates for these programs? >> right. leading programs are happy to tell you about their placement rate. they're happy to tell you what companies come on campus to interview their students, what companies hire their students. my concern is that periodically these programs that might not be leading programs, they're happy to tell you about anecdotes of certain graduates. if they're telling you anecdotes but not telling you about placement rates, that should be sending up a red flag. something to consider. make sure you keep digging for great information on placement rates. >> then get advice for leaders on training, on programs, on all the options. >> right.
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if you're currently working, this is a really nice opportunity to talk to your senior leaders in your organization or people who are in the functional areas that you're interested in moving into. first of all, it'll signal to them that you're dedicated to the company. you're also dedicated to advancing your career. this is great things to be signaling, especially in this economy. if you're currently unemployed you can ask for advice with people who are in the field. you can look for people who are successful locally and really talk to them about how to and what those best programs might be. you can also go online and check out some websites, professional organizations will be, you know, usually do have great lists of the reputable programs or accredited programs. so great opportunities. make sure you ask or certainly do your research online. >> paula caligiuri, thanks so much. always good to see you, appreciate that. >> my pleasure. folks down in florida can't wash their cars, water their lawns as they'd like. in fact, west palm beach in particular is in the middle of
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the worst drought it has ever seen. next, the extremely drastic measures the city is taking to save on water. but first, when she's not walking the runway, model petra nemcova is helping children rebuild their lives after natural disasters. she talks about her happy hearts fund in this impact your world. >> hi. i'm petra nemcova. you can make incredible impact on lives of children after natural disasters. when the indian ocean tsunami happened in 2004, my partner and me were swept out of the bungalow. i lost my partner. my pelvis was broken four times. after i was able to walk again, i started to talk about creating a foundation. happy hearts focuses on helping children after first responders leave. we have rebuilt 51 schools in five years. and we have a presence in nine countries around the world. join the movement and impact the
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we've been talking a lot about how hot and dry it is in the southwest. it's just as bad in the deep south. some places haven't even seen a drop of rain in weeks. jacqui jeras with the weather situation now on this drought that really has swept a good portion of the nation. >> yeah. it really has. all across that southern tier where we've been seeing extremely dry conditions. it's becoming extremely serious in some areas. we've been talking about some of the wildfires now that have been burning, especially in southern parts of georgia as well as in northern florida. some of these states now are seeing areas that we call that they have an exceptional drought. now, take southern parts of florida, for example. it's as dry as it's been here in 80 years. and an exceptional drought, that dark brown area right here, that includes palm, broward and
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miami-dade counties. exceptional drought, what that means is that there's widespread crop and pasture loss, shortage of water in reservoirs, streams and wells. it can create water emergencies and some of that is taking place. in west palm beach in particular, since october you've had just over 11 inches of rainfall. that might sound a lot to people in the southwest. you should be over 35 inches. so that's like a two foot deficit. lake okeechobee is a main water source. lake okeechobee is at its lowest level in four years. in fact, it is so low, fredricka, that the gravity isn't allowing the nearby canals to fill up nearby and those canals, of course, bring that water to communities like west palm beach. >> and generally, south florida, those canals always have a little something in them. let's talk a little bit more about west palm beach and bring in the mayor of that city. jerri moyo is with us now.
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you have said and others have said there that your city could run out of water completely in about 40 days if you don't get some sort of relief. is that right? >> well, it's right now more like about 60 days. but we're in desperate need of rain, you're exactly right. >> what are the conditions? how dire is it? what are the kinds of restrictions that have been imposed? >> well, as jacqui said, we're about two feet below our normal rainfall for the season. and it hasn't rained here in weeks and weeks. and as a result, we have asked our citizens to conserve water. to only water one day a week between the hours of 4:00 and 8:00 in the morning. they cannot water any other time. we're asking them not to do car washes, you know, wash their car in their driveways or wash down their driveways and to conserve their water that they use in their homes as well. >> so if people don't do that, you literally may not have drinking water in 60 days? >> well, we have some backup
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plans. and we don't expect that we're going to get to that point. but we have wells that we're able to get water from the different aquaphors. if we cut back on irritating plants and grass and palm trees, it will make a significant difference. >> are people heeding the warnings? because i heard there are actually neighbors that are out on patrol trying to bust other people who've been breaking the rules and trying to water their grass. is that true? >> well, we're all watching. we're all watching. i have a pad in my car with warnings. so if i see somebody who's watering, i can hand out a warning. all of our code enforcers, our police department, our fire department. and we're asking neighbors to keep a watch out as well. >> so what kind of fines are imposed? miss mayor, what kind of fines are imposed? what are the penalties?
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>> right. the first time we catch you, it'll be a warning. after that, it'll be $100 fine. it can go up to $500 fine. >> okay. it does seem so odd, doesn't it, that a city that would be on the coast surrounded by water would have a suchuation liituation li jacqui and miss mayor, to not have enough water. >> it is. it's been an incredibly dry season. you're actually looking for a tropical storm. you hate to see you need a tropical storm but that's what you're going to need to bring the heavy rainfall to fill up those reservoirs. >> are you hoping for something like that? >> yes. we need several days of heavy rain. we don't want anything more than a storm, obviously, because we live in hurricane territory. but we would like several days of downpours. and that would really be helpful. but it's going to take several days. it's not just going to be one sprinkling that's going to get us out of this. we need more rain. >> hang in there, jeri muiou.
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with new hotel bid alerts, from priceline. the stories making news today. nato has confirmed an air strike in libya today may have caused civilian casualties. nato which took reporter on a tour of the city hit says at least nine civilians died. nato says it appears that, quote, one weapon did not strike its intended target, unquote. a nato spokesman says the alliance regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives. firefighters in the western u.s. are up against some of the worst weather conditions this wildfire season. strong winds and high heat are fanning the flames of several major wildfires. there's an extreme fire risk in parts of seven states. right now the top priority is the so-called monument fire in arizona. it has burned several dozen homes to the ground. and the williams sisters are
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back on the tennis court just in time for pwimbledon. both serena and venus williams will be playing after lengthy layoffs. serena who won last year has been out. venus missed five months with a hip injury. marilyn monroe's iconic white subway dress sold at auction for, get this, more than $5.6 million. three other monroe outfits fetched nearly $3 million. the bid on the dress was for $6 million plus the million dollar commission the buyer had to pay the auction house. all the items are from the collection of actress debbie reynolds. switching gears now, better than riding in a helicopter, roller coaster or speedboat, taking a spin in a stock car on one of nascar's most prized motor speedways. that's what i got to do with one of nascar's best drivers, jason
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loeffler. face to face we talked about how he's been racing since the age of 12, what he does in his spare time and how he stayed in this level of racing for so long. the talking part was easy. getting ready for the open track? well, see for yourself. >> whose idea was this? i'm actually really excited. i know i'm in great hands with jason here. if i'm going to have a first-time race car experience, this is the way to go. we're in a richard petty nascar experience vehicle. so here we go. let her rip. >> so the butterflies, they didn't last long. face to face with loeffler, jason loeffler, and fellow nascar driver joey lagano next week weekend. the spin around the motor speedway and the sit down at the hall of fame in charlotte. he's one of the best and funniest obama persimpersonator
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around. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service, with thousands of new cell sites... for greater access to all the things you want, whenever you want them. it's the at&t network... and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say. and all we need to do is change the way we're thinking about them. a couple decades ago, we didn't even realize just how much natural gas was trapped in rocks thousands of feet below us. technology has made it possible to safely unlock this cleanly burning natural gas. this deposits can provide us with fuel for a hundred years, providing energy security and economic growth all across this country. it just takes somebody having the idea, and that's where the discovery comes from.
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i thought it was over here... ♪ [car horn honks] our outback always gets us there... ... sometimes it just takes us a little longer to get back. ♪
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time for a cnn equals politics update. we're keeping an eye on all the latest headlines at the
1:51 pm desk. here's what's crossing right now. a major gathering of gop presidential candidates has wrapped up in new orleans. the straw poll taken at that conference is still generating buzz. ron paul won by a large margin, which was largely expected. but the runner-up? john huntsman was a surprise to many. the former utah governor was a no-show and he has broken with conservatives on several issues. president obama and house speaker john boehner are celebrating their victory on the golf course. the political rivals teamed up yesterday, taking on the vice president and ohio governor john kasich. the four also managed to squeeze in a little bipartisan socializing in between rounds. and president obama's senior re-election campaign strategist david axelrod says the overall economy, not just the unemployment rate, will be a factor in the 2012 election. and he says he's confident voters will back the president.
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>> the questions on the fundamental things, basic things, are you going to be consistent so that when people vote for you, they have some sense of where you'll be the next day, my experience with barack obama is he's one of the most consistent people that i've ever met. the values that drove him in the first to get into politics are the values that drive him today. >> so the republican conference in new orleans we mentioned a few moments ago is making news. organizers did not quite anticipate. to entertain party delegates, conference leaders hired a president obama impersonator. while the comedian's jokes generated laughs, some were considered over the line. even offensive. including this one referring to the president's biracial background. >> my favorite month is february. black history month. you see, michelle, she celebrates the full month. and, you know, i celebrate half.
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>> organizers grew increasingly uncomfortable with the impersonator's jokes and escorted him off the stage. the u.s. economy, libya and afghanistan all big topics on the sunday morning talk shows. here are the highlights. >> president karzai from afghanistan says that the u.s. is talking directly to the taliban in peace talks. is that so? >> well, i think there's been outreach on the part of a number of countries including the united states. i would say that -- that these contacts are very preliminary at this point. my own view is that real reconciliation talks are not likely to be able to make any substantive headway until at least this winter. i think that the taliban have to feel themselves under military pressure and begin to believe that they can't win before they're willing to have a serious conversation. >> what, in your mind, is an
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appropriate and sizable withdrawal from afghanistan? >> bring these troops home and let the afghans deal with the future of their country. the united states cannot literally go from one country to another around the world with all the instability and say that ultimately our men and women in uniform will put their lives on the line for the stability of every nation in transition. >> if we fail in afghanistan, they will kill every moderate who tried to help us and no one in the future will step up. it will destabilize pakistan beyond what exists today. it will be a koe loss sal national security mistake. >> what about the view that you're sort of giving some aid and comfort here to republicans who simply just want to buck the president on any foreign policy goal? >> i think that the war powers act in constitution make it clear that hostilities by remote control are still hostilities. we are killing with drones what we would otherwise be killing with fighter planes and we are engaged in hostilities in libya.
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what we should do is act on a timely basis to pass congressional authorization under the war powers act. >> the war powers act, every president has said that they don't agree with its constitutionality, but they have adhered to it. so the congress of the united states should pass a resolution. >> so do you -- do republicans have any plans to do anything on the unemployment front or are you just going to let things take their course? >> no, i think what we're doing is encouraging the president to quit doing what he's doing. quit overspending and we're hoping with the debt ceiling discussions we can begin to address deficit and debt. >> my reaction is, senator mcconnell didn't say one thing about how to create jobs. and we should be doing that. we should be doing -- deficit reduction is necessary, but not sufficient. and there hasn't been enough focus on jobs and job creation. [ male announcer ] introducing the ultimate business phone --
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♪ well, you know i love it too ♪ ♪ you love money ♪ well, you know i love it too ♪ ♪ i work so hard at my job ♪ and then i bring it home to you ♪ ♪ i love money in my pocket the murder trial of casey anthony resumes tomorrow. for the past three days her defense has been on the offense, presenting its own expert witnesses. yesterday famed forensic pathologist spitz talked about what he called when he had the
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chance to examine the remains of anthony's little girl, caylee. he said the autopsy that was performed had some serious flaws. one thing a lot of people are wondering is, will casey anthony take the stand in her own defense? yesterday i asked our legal experts whether she should. >> three-quarters of this jury has already made their mind up. so beyond that, imagine the cross-examination if she takes the stand, fred. they're going to ask her 500 lies that she said. and they're going to get her to acknowledge those were all lies. then they're going to summation and say, you can't believe she's lying to you now. there's no plus of putting her on the stand. forget about the incest. that's not a pass to be a pathological liar because you had incest as a kid. that's not going to fly. he's got to abandon that, concentrate on the forensics where they're making a great day today. dr. spitz was phenomenal today. >> speaking of which, the pictures that we're seeing of casey anthony, she's got her head turned away because apparently they are showing some of that forensic evidence, they are showing more


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