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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  July 18, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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unlike the sun, the stars and the gentle spring breeze. would you steal a rainbow? no, you wouldn't. >> one of my friends who's nickname at school was hasslehoff so we saw this sign and my roommate took it for him. >> okay. not to condone theft, but you have to admit a life sized cut out of david hasslehoff holding an eyesed coffee, that is one sweet decoration for a dorm room or for the riduculist. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, three members of bashar al assad's inner circle killed by explosions in syria. has it reached a tipping point? new polls just released in the presidential race, plus fighting words from john boehner. and more of our investigation into the costs of drilling for oil in the arctic. we went to alaska to find out how drilling there might devastate a way of life. let's go "outfront".
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"outfront" tonight, is syria at a tipping point? the pressure is building on syrian president bashar al assad who is no doubt watching his back this evening after an attack struck the heart of his regime. a regime that's been in power for over 40 years and has launched a brutal crackdown on rebels over the last 16 months, killing more than 16,000 people, according to one opposition group. whether today's bloodshed is the result of a rebel attack or an inside job, one thing is clear -- assad's security perimeter has been breached. state tv reports those assassinated at a high-level meeting in damascus include the defense minister, the deputy defense minister who's also al assad's brother-in-law, and his security adviser. rebels danced in the street following the explosion. the opposition forces have come a long way since the uprising began. that has deputy defense secretary leon panetta worried the situation is quickly deteriorating.
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>> the violence there has only gotten worse and the loss of lives has only increased. which tells us that this is a situations that rapidly spinning out of control. >> the pace is also picking up on the diplomatic front. president obama trying to twist russian president vladimir putin's arms, one of the few leaders still supporting this failing tyrant. president obama spoke to him on the phone about a new syrian resolution. and the treasury department is also turning up the pressure. the agency is slapping financial sanctions on 29 syrian official, along with a number of companies that have ties to the country. what does this all mean? well, it could finally be the beginning of the end for the assad regime. i spoke to arwa damon earlier and asked whether today's attack might have been an inside job. >> reporter: well, they most certainly would have had to have some sort of inside help. this attack happened during an emergency crisis meeting at the
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national security headquarters in one of the more heavily guarded neighborhoods of the entire capital. this neighborhood is where the u.s. ambassador used to live, very close to where the president himself lives. the streets there are lined with plainclothes undercover government agents, not to mention the numerous army checkpoints that are there for the free syrian army, this rebel fighting force to have smuggled explosives into the building, into the room where this meeting took place, that most certainly would have meant that someone on the inside was helping them. someone within assad's inner circle or someone who works very closely with the inner circle and had access to this location most certainly was helping the rebels out to carry out this type of an extraordinary attack. >> with this sort of an attack at the heart of the capital city, as you say, what message does that send to the syrian government and indeed the syrian elite? do they feel less safe?
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do they feel perhaps a sense of momentum shifting in this conflict? >> reporter: well, it's pretty safe to assume that the president and those who are still around him are most certainly looking over their shoulders, questioning whose loyalties are going to remain intact the longer this crisis goes on, the closer the fighting gets to the center of the capital. at the end of the day, it's not just this one attacks that significant. it's the fighting that we've been seeing over the last few days. sustained gun battles in neighborhoods that are just ten minutes away from the president's seat of power, smoke billowing that those around him and he himself would not be able to avoid when they looked out of their windows. this is still a one-sided battlefield. but the free syrian army is, by the day, growing in sophistication and ability and seemed to be on the defensive, determined to take the battle to government forces.
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what we're going to have to look for now is exactly how the government responds to this. we're already hearing reports of severe crackdowns in a number of areas. and the government has vowed to take intense, severe, harsh and decisive action. >> arwa, thank you. also "outfront" with us tonight, retired general and former nato commander clark. what does this say about the strength and commitment of the syrian military and what might nato do to nudge the syrian regime out of power in the future? >> it shows that the military is cracking under the pressure and the general have lost their core. and presumably a lot of other people lower down see that staying on the side with assad is a losing battle. he's not going to be able to hang on. they know it. they're voting with their feet by getting out.
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and so it's a very powerful indicator. still, assad is an alawite. and he has the alawite group behind him. so this is why this insurrection has had such a difficult time gaining traction thus far because there's two alawites in syria and they're afraid a radical sunni regime will take over and oppress them. this is about a lot more than just one authoritarian dictatorship and his family. it's a lot more than that. but with respect to nato, what you have to expect is more diplomatic pressure from nato. i don't think nato's going to intervene at this stage. i hope it doesn't. we've got important diplomatic efforts going on between the president and vladimir putin. but it is a time that the nations of nato can come together and again call on assad for restraint, certainly no use of those chemical weapons that
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he's got there. and he should get out of power. he's got to let go of the reins of power. >> jamie, on the diplomatic front, today president obama spoke to president putin and they agreed on the need for a political transition. and yet the u.n. resolution was delayed by a day. what is the cause of this delay? has there been a lack of american leadership on this issue and what can be done to really focus the intensity of the international community on a goal? >> well, at this point the problem is that the united states and most of the western countries, the nato members that general clark was talking about, want to put real pressure on assad to comply with u.n. resolutions,s that, to pull their weapons out of the main cities and stop the massive crackdown. the russians don't want to see pressure put on assad. they are still retaining some relationship with the syrian military. they have certain military-to-military ties that they're not ready to give up. so the question isn't, would both sides like this to be resolved politically and
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diplomatically? of course everybody does. but the russians aren't prepared to see any real pressure placed on assad. so they're prepared to veto, as best as we can tell, this resolution that calls on sanctions to be intensified if assad doesn't stop the crackdown. ands that the prescription for another vetoed resolution and a divided international community. >> could something like that have a hope of realistic success, more sanctions toppling the assad regime? >> i don't think sanctions are going to do it. assad is in a fight for his life. we've seen by the events today that fight is more closer to home. the only thing that's going to convince him to move is if he really sees the whole system collapsing around him. >> general clark, speaking of systems collapsing, today, our wolf blitzer spoke to the king of jordan. and they were discussing what it might mean for the region if syria breaks down to the point of no return. here's what he said.
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>> the worst case scenario for all of us in the region is when you get full-out civil war, there is no coming back from the abyss. syria is far more complicated than iraq and other countries in the area. >> general, what are your concerns with regard to regional stability, specifically iran and iraq? >> well, first of all, i think that if the fighting deepens and it intensifies more broadly in syria, that it could spill over into lebanon more forcefully. i think that certainly if iran feels it's losing and has lost assad and its base through syria, there's even more pressure iran's going to put on iraq. and that country's already leaning toward iran in terms of giving transit opportunities for iranian advisers and other assistance going in to assad. i think that -- the early betting on this was the soft underbelly of iran was syria.
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and a lot of the strategists said, look, don't worry about iran right now, take care of syria. and they were betting on that putting a lot of pressure on iran, iran is certainly vulnerable. but if its ally, assad goes down, it's going to kick back strongly into iraq and try to damage other countries in the region. >> thank you, general. thank you both. still "outfront," new polls in the presidential race just released. plus, john boehner has some fighting words for the president. and developments tonight in the disappearance of two girls in iowa. authorities now turning their focus on family members. and there are several myths about mormonism that no one wants to talk about. but we are. tonight. ♪ why not make lunch more than just lunch?
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26% said the vice president choice matters a lot. 48% matters somewhat and just a quarter said it doesn't matter at all. that's a fact not joined on mitt romney. roland martin and former chief strategist for george w. bush mark mckenna join us "outfront" tonight. i want to play a clip of an impressive attack by ohio's own john boehner. let's take a listen. >> i think the president's attack on the private sector in america is exactly what's wrong with this adnistration. doesn't give a damn about middle class americans who are out there looking for work. what he's trying to do is distract the american people in order to win his own reelection. >> tell us how you really feel there, john. let's talk about the importance of ohio. take a look at the current cnn electoral map. in this scenario, obama seems likely to start with 247
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electoral votes. romney expected to get 206. 85 are a toss-up. suddenly obama is within five electoral votes of winning. roland, there's a reason obama has made eight trips to ohio so far this year. romney's made ten. what do you think president obama needs to do to win over the main street middle class voters in the buckeye state? >> actually if you go back to 2009, the two states he was immediately going to were ohio as well as north carolina. and when governor strickland lost, that was a big blow to democrats. clearly what he has to do is make the point that although it is a slow recovery, had the actions not been taken, we would not be in the situation here in with private equity sector job growth. it's still going to be a difficult sell. but he has to say, look, there's progress, do you want to change
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midstream? that's why he's making the argument, go back to the previous policies, how did that work out when we were losing 500,000600,000 jobs a month? >> mark, there is one way that romney could make big inroads in ohio overnight and his name is senator rob portman for vp. what do you think about that pick? >> i think he's terrific. i think he will likely be the pick. he's safe as a seat belt. and considering how important ohio is, we could shut down the whole election and run the whole election in ohio because that's -- it's so likely that ohio's really going to be the determining factor just like it was in '04. it's so critical. and i think portman would be a great pick. the interesting dynamic there that's kind of interesting and a little counterintut incentive you have a republican governor there and the economy's actually doing better than it is nationally. it's hard to talk that down with a republican governor doing so
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well. >> we saw what happened in florida with governor rick scott talking up the economy. governor bob mcdonald in virginia and they were helped by the stimulus bills. it's a little difficult for them to criticize the president when it helped their local economies. >> roland, i want to underscore the importance of ohio for a second here. the obama campaign has just filed a lawsuit against the state for its new rules for restricting early voting. what will they have to prove to win the this lawsuit? what are the stakes? >> they have to prove it's going to negatively impact minorities according to the voting rights act. that's the critical key. republicans talk about voter ids all day. what ohio's done is utterly shameful. when they passed a bill that was so restrictive that the voters got enough signatures to put it on the ballot in 2012. they did not want to be shamed by losing. so they gutted the bill but left this provision in. what other reason will you stop people from voting three days before the election other than you're trying to keep those black churches from rallying
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folks to come out to the polls? it is ridiculous what they've done. it's clear voter suppression. but you have to prove that it was done with the intent to deny minorities the opportunity to vote. >> thank you both very much. we're in a dead heat here. ahead, an "outfront" investigation into the costs of drilling for oil. we went to alaska to find out how a way of life could be changed forever. and later, our moment of sanity. what prompted senator john mccain to lash out at members of his own party and defe an aide to hillary clinton. ♪ lord, you got no reason ♪ you got no right ♪ ♪ i find myself at the wrong place ♪ [ male announcer ] the ram 1500 express. ♪ it says a lot about you. ♪ in a deep, hemi-rumble sort of way. guts. glory. ram.
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our third story "outfront," as shell prepares to drill in the arctic, it's not just environmentalists who are concerned. some of the natives are worried drilling oil wells in the region will mark the end of their way of life. one town in particular is saying, hell, no, to drilling. shell says if things take off, as many as 100,000 jobs could be created. it's a deal that will generate hundreds of billions in tax revenue, a boon for local, state
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and federal government. but residents say all the money in the world won't replace what could be lost if there's an oil spill. miguel marquez went to point hope, alaska, to find out what's at stake. >> we've been hunting oil for thousands of year. >> reporter: this is the mayor here. he and his town are holding out against seemingly the inevitable, oil exploration off their shores, their garden, as he calls it. 65% of their diet comes from what they can hunt and gather. their primary source of life, whales. >> it feeds us. it's clothed us. it's sheltered us. it's our spirituality. gives us an identity of who we are as a people. >> reporter: his people have hunted just about everything at sea and on land, scratching out an existence here for 2,000 years. but it's not just walruses, seals and whales that the people of point hope rely on for food, it's these birds, mir, that come
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here by the hundreds of thousands. they lay these incredibly beautiful decorative eggs. the egg, a yearly favorite. they only have about a week to collect them before the chicks inside to mature. to collect them, men brave steep cliffs and flimsy ropes. it's a delicate and tenuous cycle. >> we live a cycle of life where we hunt different animals at different times. we know when they're going to be here. >> reporter: this is the fear. the oil spill, even far offshore, the currents will bring it home, possibly taking out one link of the chain, turning everything. >> look at exxon valdez, the gulf of mexico, look at the different things -- they said nothing won't happen. anything can happen. >> reporter: for the outside world, there is little trust. the animals were hunted to near extinction in the 1950s, operation chariot was a plan to
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make a deepwater port by exploding six nuclear bombs. >> we could go 300 miles that way. >> reporter: this is an abandoned traditional home. he says shell is moving too fast. what what he wants is more study. sounds like this is going to happen. >> oh, yeah, i can feel it. it's kind of scary to see what's going to happen this summer. >> reporter: a global struggle for oil, a tiny place and its way of life caught in the middle. >> miguel, it's a fascinating series, fascinating story. the people of point hope clearly are opposed to drilling, conditioned about what could occur. but a lot of their colleagues up there clearly are in favor o it. >> they did vote in favor of it. it's part of barrow, alaska, the big town up there. they get four votes in the assembly there. they got other towns to vote with them. it is going ahead with the okay of many eskimo tribes up there. >> and what's a bigger threat to
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their way of life -- the risk of an oil spill or the influx of money and technology? >> the oil spill is the immediate one. but they also fear that point hope was 1,000 people a year ago. it's 850 now. they fear people are going to leave, take jobs elsewhere, leave town and they will lose their way of life if the money starts flowing in and jobs has all the people leave. >> great work. be sure not to miss more of miguel's special report on friday. still "outfront" in our second half, more and more cities are slashing pay and cutting services as they head towards bankruptcy. are we witnessing the start of a nationwide trend? and an update on the search for two missing girls in iowa. the police are focusing their investigation on. to prove how great the fit is even under a fantastic dress. the best protection now looks, fits and feels just like underwear. we invite you to get a free sample and try one on too. mine was earned off vietnam in 1968. over the south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003.
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welcome back to the second half of "outfront." i'm john avlon in for erin burnett who's an assignment. we start the second half of our show with stories we care about. one of the worst droughts to plague to united states in more than five decades is taking a huge toll on this year's corn crops. nine counties in eight states have been designated as primary natural disaster areas due to losses by excessive heat. the dotted line shows the
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average percentage rate of corn crop rates. this is a dramatic decline that could impact your wallet. 75% of what's found on grocery store shelves contains corn. a military official tells cnn's barbara starr seven army soldiers and two marines will receive nonjudicial punishment while in colombia as part of president obama's security team. the nine are not being charged with criminal offenses. nonjudicial punishment refers to things like confinement to quarters or loss of rank or pay. though never publicly confirmed, some personnels were believe to have been involved in pursuing prostitutes. ben bernanke was back on the hill today. lastly the like time he will face representative ron paul who has long advocated, end the fed. >> i want to agree with the
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basic premise that the federal reverse should be thoroughly transparent, thoroughly accountable, i will work with everyone here to make sure that's the case. but i do feel it's a mistake to eliminate the exemption from monetary policy into deliberations which would effectively, to some extent, create a political influence or political dampening effect on the federal reverse's policy decisions. >> chairman bernanke went on to add that having congressional investigators in the room while the fed makes policy decisions would have a chilling affects. reports that chris christie will be the keynote speaker at the republican nationa convention. christie's become a star of the republican party. it wouldn't be a huge surprise and a pretty good pick.
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the convention kicks off in tampa, florida, august 27th. it has been 349 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating, almost a year. what are we doing to get it back? construction of new homes jumped by 6.9% in june, the highest level since october of 2008. it's one more bit of positive news f housing, which is crucial to the economic recovery. our fourth story "outfront" tonight, another california city preparing for bankruptcy. compton, is set to run out of money on september 1st. that would make it the fourth california city to go under since june. last year, four other municipalities across the u.s. did the same from harrisburg, pennsylvania, to jefferson county, alabama. "outfront" tonight is the former chairman white house council adviser, austan goolsbee? was this a storm you saw this coming? >> in a way, everybody saw this coming and in a way it's still a bit of a surprise. the states and the cities'
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finances usually lag the national economy by about a half year or a year. so the fact that the beginning of this year with some of the events internationally, we slowed down some, it's not a surprise that cities would get in trouble. but having so many come up all at once, it is a bit of a surprise. >> the logical next question is, do you anticipate more bankruptcies in the months ahead? >> you know, if the economy doesn't speed up more than its modest pace, yeah, probably so. >> we looked in every single city that's declared bankruptcy in the past two years, did receive stimulus funds. did they just use those funds as a band-aid on their budgets, delaying the inevitable? >> it wasn't necessarily a band-aid but it was a lifeline. it was important. that was the goal of the program, to try to stave off things like these bankruptcies or to keep the states and cities from having to fire their
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workforces. if you look at the overall job market of the last three or four years, the thing that's the most notable is actually that the private sector has rebounded, but the public sector workforce did not rebound at all. that's the thing that's really quite different from previous recoveries. >>s that correct. it's a very specific drag. you have a specific study out showing some cities are rebounding. chicago in particular seems to be doing well in terms of economic rebound in job growth. what can other cities learn? >> i think some of the lessons we see from cities where they're growing faster than the national average are, number one, what industries you focus on make a difference. so san jose getting driven a lot by the uptick of high tech. in chicago, more transportation, tourism, business services and manufacturing.
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so i think there's some story to be told there. but second, it does matter that you get training to your workforce, that you invest in your infrastructure, and that you try to emphasize and make it easy for economic development. >> final question, let me take you back to 2008, when you were one of the chief economic spokesman for then candidate obama. in one of the speeches that you gave a lot was candidate obama's commitment to tax simplification. we heard a lot and we haven't seen any action on with governor romney's tax troubles, it does raise again the need for some serious tax simplification. this current code is just too complicated. what happened? why hasn't it gotten done? >> i totally agree that we ought to have that tax simplification. i think two things happened. number one, nobody was able to change the tax code much at all because of the partisan bickering in washington. so if you're not going to have
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any tax reform, you're not going to have any simplification. send thing that happened was, i had this specific idea that for about half the country, everything you fill out on your tax return, the irs already got, your w-2s from your employer, the interest on your bank account. all that stuff's getting sent to the irs directly. so why do you even have to fill out a return? but it turns out, there are some people who want the tax code to be complicated. some of those are tea party folks who want taxes to be painful so that nobody will let the rates go up and some of those are in the accounting and tax preparation industry. and they don't want it to be so simple that their business would go away. so it was a bit of an eye-opener for me. but hopefully we'll eventually come back to this tax simplification because i think it's important. >> thanks, austan. turning now to iowa and the search for two missing girls, 8-year-old elizabeth collins and 10-year-old lyric cook. it's been six days since the
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cousins disappeared. tonight the fbi is sending if a dive team equipped with sonar technology to search the like where the kids' bikes were found. law enforcement has turned their focus on the family of the missing girls. cnn correspondent martin savidge is "outfront" tonight in evansdale, iowa. what have you learned about law enforcement's recent focus on the family? >> reporter: well, it's clear within the last 24 hours, authorities have been, i guess you could say, more aggressive in their questioning of the family. the family of lyric, this is one of the young girls that's missing, has been quite open about that fact. they say the police have at times pressured lyric's father, that's dan morrissey. and that they have questioned him at times severely saying that, we think you know more than you are saying. at one point he apparently he got up and left authorities continue to maintain that the family is completely cooperative. they show up for every interviews that requested of them.
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in fact today authorities asked if they could go into their home and remove computers. the family said,s that fine. if they wanted to search the house, they searched the attic of the grandmother's house. authorities maintain this family, both families, are fully cooperative here. the other element that's come out, of course, is the background of dan morrissey ands that that he was recently charged with distribution of methamphetamine. now, he is still being processed on that and he reportedly has been offer add plea deal. the family will again says that all true. they are happy to talk about it and bring it out in the public. but they say one thing,s that that it does not change what needs to be done. the need is to find the two little girls as quickly as possible. they say the father's drug addiction problems has nothing to do with their disappearance. >> and to the end of the search, the fbi is sending in a dive team with sonar equipment to search the drained lake. why the special team? >> reporter: well, a couple of reasons. one, the draining of this lake
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has taken a lot longer than they first thought. they originally said 48, maybe 72 hours. it's going to be friday morning before they get most of this lake drained. and even then, there's going to be large areas that will still be under water. rather than wait till it's all drained and dragging out the prolonged wait of families, the fbi is sending in a specialized team with a sonar unit to take the condensed part of the lake and say either yes or no that the young girls are in there. if they're not, that will change the focus and the effort of this investigation. >> and what's the overall mood in the town at this point? here's a potentially horrific crime in the heart of america. >> reporter: yeah, it is. it's changed summer completely. turned summer into a scary thing here in this community because there are a lot of parents who it's quite common their kids could go out in the yard and play while they're in the house. parents aren't letting children out of their sight now. that's an element that's gone in this community. it's the middle of america.
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used to be quite common that the kids go out and play. not anymore. we talked to parents today who say they keep a tight leash on them and will some time regardless of how this all changes here. it's going to hurt this community long after it's over. >> thank you, marty. still "outfront," israel says they know the country that carried out a deadly explosion on a bus filled with israeli tourists. and everyone seems to be afraid to talk about mitt romney and his mormon faith. we're not. and senator john mccain with our moment of sanity. we're
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with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease
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back with tonight's outer circle where we reach out to our sources around the world. we start tonight in bulgaria. a bus carrying israeli tourists exploded today outside the airport. the bulgaria interior ministry said at least seven people were lled. i asked our reporter who they think is to blame. >> reporter: israel wasted no time saying all the signs point to iran. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu pointed to recent attempts by iran to plan out targets in kenya, cyprus and iranians were arrested in
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bangkok for accidentally setting off explosives that authorities said were meant for iran. it could be the work of other groups like hamas and hezbollah but on iran's behalf. and it was said that israel would hunt down whoever carried out the attack and hold them to account. meanwhile, bulgarian authorities are investigating the incident. they say an explosion was caused by a bomb on the tour bus. they aren't jumping to my conclusions but they're not ruling anything out, including a next to north korea where the title of marshal of the army was given to kim jong-un. we were told what's behind these latest moves. >> reporter: what we appear to be witnessing at the moment is the north korean regime's first significant shuffle since kim jong-un took power back in december.
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the new north korean leader had a promotion on wednesday. he's also now a marshal. what we are seeing according to experts is basically kim jong-un consolidating his power and making sure he has absolute control of the military. the timing is important to this promotion as well. it's only two days since the army chief ri yong ho was dismissed from his position which surprised many people around the world. the military is very significant in north korea and it was very important for kim jong-un to make sure he had credibility and support within the military if he wanted the succession to be smooth. today's moment of sanity is brought to you by senator john mccain. boldly reclaiming the maverick label, mccain took to the senate floor today to denounce the fear-mongering claims by several house republicans, including michele bachmann who said the federal government may have been infiltrated by the muslim brotherhood.
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even more outrageous, some pointed to secretary of state hillary clinton's top aide, huma abadine. >> when anyone, not least a member of congress, launches degrading attacks against fellow americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation. and we all grow poorer because of it. >> john mccain is exactly right. we need more politicians displaying this kind of honor and honesty if we're ever going to stop the partisanship affecting our nation. it requires good republicans and democrats to stand up to the extremes on their own sides. thanks to senator john mccain for today's moment of sanity. our fifth story "outfront,"
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our fifth story "outfront," faith in the presidential campaign. after 52 years after john f kennedy broke a barrier by becoming the first non-protestant issue, is mitt romney's faith. discsion of religion in politics has long been dominated by demagogs and mitt romney's faith is no exception. welcome to outfront. >> thanks for having me. >> let's start with some stats and facts. a really stunning number of americans still have resistance of an idea of mormon running for president. when gallup asked whether they would vote for a well qualified candidate who was mor man. >> it has remained unchanged since the '60s. i think there are a couple of
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things at play. the main one is mormonism is a relatively young religion that most americans don't understand at all. there was another study that came out recently that said about 80% of meshs said they no little or nothing of mormonism. most people fear they're going to cross some line or say something offensive. so out of respect or out of, you know, fear or nervousness, people don't want to delve into this issue. >> let's talk about the role in faith shaping his character. this is a core part of who he is. >> i always say if you're a mormon and you watch mitt romney for five minutes, you will see about seven tells that he's a mormon. >> such as? >> i won't go into them now, but i mean, i think of the way he talks, i think the way there will be mormon lingo that he drops into his speeches and the way he answers questions. it is at the core of who he is.
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he spent his entire life serving this church, you know, doing things for the church. paying tithing to the church, he's been a missionary. he doesn't want to talk about it. a lot of people feel like we can't talk about our religion without getting burned. >> and yet by all accounts, this faith has helped shape an exemplary character. there are three stubborn myths about mormonism, the idea that it's a seek rative religion, that it's polyga mist. >> for example, there was a reporter who went to the church that mitt romney was at. a lot of people thought she had to sneak into the church. that mor mondays don't allow none mor mondays into the chap els, when in fact the exact opposite is true. the church tries very hard.
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there aren't that many secrets, there are certain things in the terms that are seen as sacred. it's not really. >> polygamy was done away a long time ago. >> 1890. >> it's 1.4% of the u.s. population, but it's growing hugely abroad in particular. talk about how diverse the mormon community is in reality. >> i think a lot of people don't realize that in fact most mormons don't live in utah. actually most mormons don't live in the united states. several years ago the church passed the point where there were more members outside of the united states than inside the country. it's a growing global faith with a wide variety of political believes and religious principles stay the same. >> let's hope this is the beginning of a longer, more thoughtful conversation about
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mormonism. >> thanks for having me on. >> is the american south being resegregated for political gain? "out front" next. and never ever have to fill up gas in the city. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. the last time i went to the gas station must have been about three months ago. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. ♪
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last night north carolina essentially elected its congressman. if you didn't hear about it, don't worry. in the second round of the gop primary, just 3.6% of voters turned out to vote. 3.6%. that's 126,000 voters out of the 3.5 million who are eligible to vote in the runoff. and as "the charlotte observer" wrote this morning, the numbers don't add up. this cost taxpayers about $6 million. that works out to about $47 per vote. no election seems too small for the reach of super pacs. in the ninth district robert pittinger by millions h these are just primaries for congressional seats, but these effectively are the general election. that's right, 3.6% of the voters
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just decided their friends and neighbors' congressman. you can thank the system of redistricting. it has deprived voters of competitive general elections. it's how congress has a 9% approval rating but a 90% re-election rate. it allows politicians to choose their people rather than vice versa. and listen to this warning. we're having the same conversations we had 40 years ago in the south, that black people can only represent black people and white people can only represent white people, he said. i'd hoped that in 2012 we we'd have grown better than that. we may be witnessing the resegregation of politics by the rank pursuit of political power. it should be said there are some hopeful signs like the election of tim scott in the first district of south carolina. but the low turnout election last night is a