tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 7, 2011 11:00am-1:00pm EDT
more. >> there's more. >> good to see you. have a great day. from studio 7, i'm fredricka whitfield in for suzanne malveaux. let's get you up to date for this wednesday, september 7th. in texas, more wildfires break out as the state battles its worst fire season on record. at last count, 22 new fires are burning. those and dozens more have scorched 120,000 acres in the last week. and across the state, four people have died and more than 700 homes have burned. for many people who have evacuated, there is heartbreak when allowed to go back home. >> my heart is pounding. it's pounding so hard right now because i don't know how i'm going to react when i actually see it and stand in front of it. >> katie and brian's house.
and that's my house. that's my house. >> right here? >> yes. >> oh, i'm sorry. the oak trees are still there. >> are you all right? you're shaking. >> i'm okay. i am the luckiest person in the world. my family is safe. now i need to check on my neighbors. >> and the death toll from a shooting at an ihop in carson city, nevada, has risen to four. three of the dead were members of the nevada national guard. the other was a civilian. seven other people were wounded. and authorities don't know if the gunman was targeting members of the military. he took his own life after the shooting. a terrorist attack outside india's high court in new delhi. a bomb exploded killing at least 11 people and injuring dozens more. police say the bomb was hidden
in a briefcase near an entrance to the complex. there has been no claim of responsibility. and egypt's ousted president was wheeled back into court on a gurney today in what's becoming a familiar seen. hosni mubarak's trial resumed two days after clashes erupted outside the courtroom between security forces and families of those killed in the uprisings that ended his presidency. he faces a possible death penalty, if convicted, of ordering the killings. and protests today outside mubarak's trial were against police. the crowds were angry about clashes that followed a soccer game last night. media reports say police providing security at the stadium attacked fans for chanting slogans against them and egypt's former interior minister. at least 130 people were injured in the clashes. and as the search for moammar gadhafi intensifies, some home video of the deposed libyan leader has been uncovered.
the video obtained by reuters shows gadhafi playing with a granddaughter at a compound where one of his famous tents was erected. there is also video of other family members. it is believed to have been shot back in 2005. the u.s. is considering keeping about 3,000 troops in iraq next year. that's according to a senior pentagon official. but he stresses no final decisions have been made. the current agreement calls for all u.s. forces to leave by the end of this year, but iraq is expected to ask for some troops to stay on. a man who played a major role in sending u.s. troops to iraq defends the decision. former vice president dick cheney talked with wolf blitzer in "the situation room." >> i don't think you can make a case that the world would be better off today if saddam hussein were still in power. >> so no regrets about iraq? >> i think we made exactly the right decisions. >> republican presidential candidates square off tonight in california. it's the first of three debates
over the next two weeks. several of the gop contenders took part in the forum in south carolina on monday. and three others join them at tonight's debate, including texas governor rick perry. perry skipped the forum to return to texas to deal with the wildfires. this will be his first time going up against the other republican candidates. all right. more now on the wildfires in texas. the numbers are staggering. the fires have been burning across the state for almost 300 days now. and in just the last week, the flames have scorched 120,000 acres. more than 700 homes have burned to the ground. cnn's jim spellman is in bastrop, texas, near austin. that's where the biggest fire is burning. jim, i understand you talked with a woman who lost everything in that fire. >> reporter: yeah, fredricka. firefighters here are starting to make some progress. they've got the fire about 30% contained. too late, though, for over 500 homes here destroyed. and the families that live there
are just starting to come to terms with it. we met a woman, linda, a little while ago. she showed us her iphone. photographs on it. she was out running errands when the fire came. she never had a chance to go back home and grab anything. a friend of hers got into the fire, snapped a couple of pictures and sent her these. she's hoping to get in at least lay eyes on it. right now she's sort of trying to contemplate the future and come to grips with it. take a listen. >> and the house can be replaced, but i think all of the memories is what really hurts. i start thinking about my baby's pictures and the things they made in elementary and the things i put up to save to give to their kids. and it's gone. it hurts. >> reporter: linda is just like hundreds of people here we've met that are milling around, waiting for the opportunity to go in and see what happened to their homes. if their homes are destroyed, try to figure out what's next
for them. they're going to stay here in this town? move somewhere else? how they're going to put their lives together? it's going to be a long road for them, even long after the fires are out. there's still about 2,500 or so people evacuated from here. right here, there are no more expanded evacuations here. but with these intense drought conditions, almost every day we've seen new fires pop up, often destroying homes. so they know that at any minute these kind of situations can change. authorities here all across the state are really on high alert to be able to deal with that. they are telling everybody, people that go back into areas especially that were burned. you have to be ready to get back out again. with these conditions, one spark, you could have a whole new fire. >> jim spellman, thanks from bastrop, texas. a look at what's ahead. first, remember the supercommittee created during last month's debt ceiling talks? well, it's about to meet for the first time.
and a new study suggests if you grew up middle class you may not stay that way as an adult. there are several reasons why. then, a woman sees what's left of her home in texas after wildfires sweep through her neighborhood. bottom line, not a whole lot left there. also, while the obama administration tries to stabilize an ailing u.s. postal service, some are asking if it's even needed anymore. a private university is offering a big groupon discount to get students interested in a class about teaching. ♪ teach your children well met an old man at the top asked him if he had a secret and the old man stopped and thought and said: free 'cause that's how it ought to be my brother credit 'cause you'll need a loan for one thing or another score 'cause they break it down to one simple number that you can use
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some news on american military bases around the world. let's check in with the pentagon correspondent barbara starr. barbara, what's going on? >> fredricka, good morning. news just breaking now from the pentagon where they have announced that force protection levels, essentially security levels at u.s. military bases are being raised in the days now in advance of the decade anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. pentagon officials say it is mainly bases in the united states where they are now raising the so-called force protection levels. the security levels, the security measures around u.s. military bases. u.s. military installations in the united states. defense secretary leon panetta approved the measure, we're told in recent days. this comes at the request of top commanders. what they are saying, fred is they do not have specific
intelligence about any attack against a u.s. military installation or u.s. military personnel, but the documents they got from osama bin laden's compound in pakistan talked about attacks, talked about the 9/11 anniversary, and they say it is just a prudent measure now to raise the security levels. and in these coming days, counting down to the decade anniversary, we're seeing this type of growing awareness around the country. fred? >> barbara starr, thanks so much for that update. summer vacation is over for members of congress. they are returning to work today. and you can expect more battles over the budget and the country's debt. lawmakers are facing record low approval ratings. in an nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, only 13% of americans say they approve of the job congress is doing. 82% disapprove. congressional correspondent kate balduan joins us from capitol hill. what are the top things on the agenda for congress besides
digesting those latest poll numbers first. >> yeah, and trying to forget those poll numbers exist. those are some bad numbers. there is a jam-packed agenda for this fall session for members of congress. but the question is always how much will they actually get to? how much will they accomplish which probably is attributing to that very high disapproval rating. let me tick through some of the top priorities. this is in no way an exhaustive list. number one is the issue of jobs. democrats and republicans seem to agree on the goal, creating jobs, but have very differing views on just how to do that. democrats, among other things, are pushing for more infrastructure spending. republicans are talking about rolling back federal regulation they say is hindering job growth. also keep an eye on the supercommittee. this committee created by the debt ceiling agreement begins its work this week. they are tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in additional deficit savings. they have to report by thanksgiving. they have a jam packed agenda. also a laundry list of funding
battles we're talking about here. a couple is funding the federal aviation administration. that was a big battle right before the august recess. also looking for funding for fema. especially in light of the disasters and all the destruction we've seen from some tornadoes as well as hurricane irene in the past just months and weeks. there will be quite a battle over that. and not to forget that congress actually needs to work to avert another government shutdown just by the end of this month. so those funding battles are ahead as well as trade deals. there are three outstanding trade deals with south korea, panama and colombia. this may be one area of possible agreement, i'll tell you, fredricka, because both sides have said reducing trade barriers with these countries will reduce the trade barrier. how much they have to accomplish is yet to be seen. >> the super committee will be meeting tomorrow. what are they hoping to accomplish? >> tomorrow is the first meeting of the full committee. democrats and republicans on this committee coming together. democrats and republicans
separately are meeting today to touch base ahead of tomorrow's meeting. they will be talking about this 12-member committee. i'm told it's more of an organizational meeting if you will. they'll have opening statements, where members will be able to talk about their thoughts on the committee. goals, responsibilities and then kind of going over the rules of the committee. how they're going to come up with reports and how they are going to -- the process of kind of voting on that. probably a lot more in the weeds than any of us need to know. but the first public hearing which everyone will be interested in, that's next week. and they'll be looking at the history and drivers of our nation's debt. they have a huge, huge job ahead of them and not a lot of time to get it all done. they need to report their findings and come to some agreement if they are going to, by thanksgiving. >> kate balduan, thanks so much on capitol hill. all right. republican presidential candidate mitt romney says his jobs plan will undo what he calls the failed economic policies of the obama administration. in a speech at an international truck company in las vegas, romney said his 59-point plan will get america working again.
>> america should be a job machine. jobs being created all the time. people looking for employees to join their enterprises. young people coming out of college, able to get jobs right away. people coming out of vocational schools, able to get jobs right away. even those coming out of high school knowing their opportunities for them. we should have a job creating machine in america. >> romney's plan includes cutting the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. it calls for cutting government spending except for military and entitlement programs. he would halt any regulations by the obama administration that stalled job growth and would consolidate job retraining programs. a spokesman for president obama's re-election campaign said romney's plan would tip the scales against hard-working americans. he called it a repackaging of the policies that helped create this financial crisis. president obama will be
revealing his jobs plan tomorrow night. cnn's live coverage of the president's address begins with a special preview on "the situation room" at 6:00 eastern time followed by the speech scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and the insight and analysis on "ac 360" to follow. a lot of people who grew up middle class are slipping down that ladder. find out who is most at risk of downward mobility when we come back.
for soup is harmful to the species. california voters want to do something about that. a parking lot hero. in the middle of a brutal attack on a mexican casino, this parking lot attendant saved dozens of lives. more number three, flowers for madonna, not. the pop superstar gets caught dissing a gift from an adoring fan and the incident is now going viral fast. you can vote by texting 22360. text 1 for shark fin ban, 2 for parking lot hero or 3 for flowers for madonna. the winning story airs next hour. all right. new concerns about weapons being looted in libya. we're just getting word of russian-made surface to air missiles missing from a weapons depot in tripoli. our senior international correspondent ben wedeman joins us live from the libyan capital with more details on this. so, ben, approximately how many missiles are we talking about here? >> well, precisely we don't know. and that's really part of the
problem. this is at a warehouse just outside of tripoli where there are many boxes of -- that should have these surface to air missiles. the sa-24 which is the most advanced surface to air missile made in russia with a range of 11,000 feet. now in fact, i have -- this is the packing list for that consignment. it includes 241 boxes with two missiles per box. and the boxes are all empty. this in addition to this warehouse was full of other less developed surface to air missiles, as well as still intact artillery shells. now, of course, the concern is, and it's been a concern for quite some time that these missiles could wind up in the wrong hands. and given the lawless situation in libya at the moment, that's a definite possibility. now we've been in touch with members of the ntc, the national
transitional council here in tripoli to ask them why this site has not been secured. and it seems they've been taken totally by surprise. i mean, i was at that site this morning. this was in a compound where the gate has been blown off. it's got a guard house. there are no guards inside. anybody can drive in, take whatever they want and drive out. and that appears to be what's been done. now nobody seems to know who took those weapons. there are some people in the area who say they were rebels who took the weapons. but at this point, it's something of a mystery, and it's a disturbing mystery at that. with these missiles that can take down an aircraft, a civilian aircraft as well as a military one. >> so, ben, the ntc, are they aware of other military weapons depots, and if so, are they taking measures to try to secure those weapons depots? >> well, what i've seen is they
tend to secure those depots after the fact. after in a sense, the horse has escaped the barn. and certainly in the days of chaos following the departure of moammar gadhafi it was a free-for-all. a lot like what i saw in iraq after the fall of saddam hussein. there's no central authority. there's no police. lots of people simply just went and treated themselves to whatever weapons took their fancy. these surface to air missiles are similar to the stingers that the united states supplied to the afghan mujahadin during the soviet occupation of afghanistan. when that war was over, the americans were desperate to get these weapons back. in fact, paid more than $100,000 for every single stinger because they were very worried that these rockets would fall into the wrong hands. and, of course, now we have a situation here. there are 20,000, according to estimates, 20,000 surface to air missiles in libya and a lot of
them, at this point, are simply not accounted for. >> oh, boy. all right. thanks so much, ben wedeman, for that update out of tripoli. back in this country now, the arrows are pointing up on wall street today. stocks are on the rebound after a three-day sell-off. alison kosik is at the new york stock exchange. how much is the dow up right now, and why? >> the bulls are definitely back at work today, fredricka. the dow up 190 points right now. the nasdaq, the s&p 500, they're both up about 2%. what you see at least for the dow is the market is actually beginning back what it lost yesterday. lots of bargain hunters are out after we saw the dow lose for three straight sessions, losing in the triple digits. investors and traders are much more optimistic about president obama's big speech that's happening tomorrow at 7:00. a lot of people are going to be watching that, expecting for him to come up with some concrete plans as to what to do to create jobs in this country.
>> meantime, also news today about the shrinking middle class in america. how bad is this problem? >> this is really bad. this is a survey that went out and asked the middle class, you know, what is it that you think is the american dream? and many people said you know what it is? it's where we work hard and where we want our kids to be better financially than where we are. but what the survey found out is actually that many times the kids are not better off. look at these numbers. the pew study shows that 28% of middle class adults actually dropped out of the middle class, falling into the lower class. another 28% saw their ranking fall significantly compared to their parents. and another 19% had their income at least 20% less than their parents. it really shows that, you know, it's really, really tough out there to kind of keep that middle class income going. fredricka? >> does the study explain why people are falling out of the middle class?
>> it does. it gives three main factors. first of all, your marital status. divorced people, single people, widowed people. they are more likely to fall financially than, let's say if you are married. also the education level. if you have a college degree instead of just a high school degree, that helps you stay in the middle class. and then it looked at drug use. people who used hard drugs were also more likely to slip financially. it shows you, fredricka, that the american dream really isn't just a given anymore. >> all right. alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. thanks so much. it's something they had hoped they wouldn't find. fire evacuees in texas returning to their homes to find nothing but ashes. >> that's my house. that's my house. >> right here? >> yeah. >> i'm sorry. there's another way to minimize
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college course? a chicago university is offering just that through groupon. across texas, a battle that has gone on for almost 300 days now. hundreds of firefighters are back on the front lines today as wildfires spread. in the last week, dozens of fires have burned 120,000 acres. 700 homes have burned to the ground and four people have been killed. the biggest fire is in bastrop near austin. 5,000 people there have been evacuated. and some of the people who actually had to leave their homes in texas can now return, but it's a heartbreaking scene for a lot of them. they are finding nothing but ashes. cnn's david mattingly went along as one woman got to go back to her austin area home. >> reporter: she hasn't seen her neighborhood since she left it behind in a cloud of smoke. you know what's waiting for you there? >> absolutely.
there's nothing. i live on this street. >> reporter: i'm going with her to see if there's anything left. she's already confirmed the worst. hers is one of 24 houses destroyed by fires in a neighborhood outside austin, texas. the only question is, will there be anything to salvage? >> my heart is pounding. it's pounding so hard right now because i don't know how i'm going to react when i actually see it and stand in front of it. >> reporter: a short walk down the street reveals friends and neighbors burned out as well. >> katie and brian's house. >> reporter: then the moment michelle had been dreading. >> and that's my house. that's my house. >> right there? >> yeah. >> i'm sorry. >> the oak trees are still there. >> reporter: trees were left standing but the two-story house, gone. brick walls fallen away.
even stonework around the backyard pool cracked and buckled under the heat. >> oh, my gosh. the numbers are standing. >> reporter: the only piece still standing, a section of brick where her front door used to be. only the house numbers are left behind. >> it's not like they didn't see the fire coming. they did. in fact, they were standing on this very spot watching the fire cross the highway and come over that ridge. but then when it got down in the canyon, the wind caught it and the fire was moving so fast they barely had time to get out. they had 15 minutes to grab what they could and run for their lives. and it's a good thing they did because when they came back, that's all that was left of their house. are you all right? you're shaking. >> i'm okay. i am the luckiest person in the world. my family is safe. now i need to check on my neighbors. >> reporter: face to face with all her possessions in a
smoldering pile of ash, nichelle finds time to count her blessings and her losses. >> we got ourselves out. our passports are gone. everything is gone. we have no pictures. everything is gone. we got out with actually what we were wearing and our cars. and our family. >> and for now, that will have to be enough as the worst fire season in texas history continues to rage on. david mattingly, cnn, austin, texas. >> extraordinary. and that's being played out many times over. rob marciano with us now. the latest on these fire conditions is still raging. it doesn't help it's so dry and windy. >> we have the drought and don't really have any rainfall in the forecast. a lot of this exacerbated by lee. the back side of which gave them some dry, gusty winds. that has moved out. now we're looking at just dry conditions. the good news is we're seeing some cooldown at least at night. but look at the smoke and the ash. this is austin. we're looking south and east. it's about 20, 30 miles soto the
south and east of austin. look at all the smoke and ash. keeping all of that debris down at the lower levels of the atmosphere. a lot of bad air quality as well. here's the forecast for the next five days. temperatures will be in the 90s. but it will cool off some at night. so that's good. temps in some spots will actually get down into the 50s. as far as what we have right now for winds, we've got winds that are not too bad. one, two-mile-an-hour. we'll take that for sure. nonetheless, we're looking at a decent amount of smoke heading to the south and the east. will we get any rainfall from tropical system that's down here in the gulf of mexico which may develop in the next day or two. they are probably going to fly an aircraft into that thing and check it out today. nonetheless, our models have no idea what to do with this thing. none of them at this point bring it toward texas. as far as what's going on elsewhere, now a new tropical storm. its name is maria. it's a good 1,000 or so miles out there east of the caribbean. nonetheless, heading that way and may be a threat to the u.s.
come this time or the end of next week. >> we're moving right along on that alphabet. >> it's been a very busy season. >> thanks so much, rob. don't forget, you can vote for today's choose the news. text 22360 for the story that you want to see. text 1 for shark fin ban. it's the key ingredient for a chinese delicacy, but some california voters want to see shark fin stripped from restaurant menus. text 2 for parking lot hero. a valet leaps into action in the middle of a deadly attack on a mexico casino. and then saves lives of dozens of people. text 3 for flowers for madonna. if you have got a gift for the material girl, here's a tip, she hates hydrangeas. one fan just found that out the hard way. the winning story airs next hour. we're also learning more details of president obama's jobs plan. we'll talk about how -- what we know and the challenge of actually selling it to congress in our political update next.
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the white house may be able to deliver the postal service some welcome news. the obama administration is working on plans to save the cash-strapped agency from defaulting on a $5.5 billion benefits payment by giving it an extra three months to pay up. earlier today on cnn's "american morning," the postmaster general stressed that's not the only help needed. >> we need radical change in the way that our business model is constructed. too many constraints. as you -- as i mentioned to you, i have got to ask for permission to go from six days to five days from congress. no other business would do that. we also have to have the ability to choose our own health care process so we can get away from a $5.5 billion payment every year. those are the kind of things we needy to freedom to act on right now. >> the u.s. postal service is on target to lose $9 billion next year. while the u.s. population is rising, mail volume is falling for a fifth year in a row.
historically speaking, it's hard to imagine this could ever happen. and carla is here to explain. what is the explanation as to why the postal service is in this predicament? we know why people are not mailing because they are doing everything continually. >> it's true. and it's technology. you mentioned irony a second ago. and it's ironic the postal service that's always been at the forefront of new technologies in america is now struggling because of a new technology we know as e-mail. take a look at this. we said historically speaking ben franklin was the first postmaster general in 1775. since then, the stage coach was utilized by the postal service, steamboat, railways. all these new modes of transportation to get the mail where it was needed through rain, hail, sleet and snow. then the pony express. 1860. fabled and short lived, but still something iconic. 1918, there were planes. so the postal service utilized them to deliver air mail which was really forward thinking at that time. the highway postal service began
in '41 when railway travel started to decline in the united states. and then 1963, you see the advent of zip codes. that helped them process mail more efficiently. it helped them deliver more mail faster. so these were all examples of new technologies and the irony, of course is that it is this electronic everything today that is threatening to really take the post office down. >> now a lot of people are questioning, does the postal service, you know, is it really needed? >> and there are a few main schools of thought. one of them, there are some business leaders who talked to cnn and a couple of them said, no. we have electronic everything. we have e-mail. people can do banking online, business online. there's not a need for a postal service. if packages are needed to be delivered, other companies can do that. then there's a second school of thought that says now hold on a second. there oar there is something about holding a document in your hand, hard copies are still needed that's more personal. you still need to send things reliably. the postal service does that. and consider that for less than 50 cents you can stick a letter
in your mailbox and have that delivered anywhere in the united states. that's pretty cool. and then, of course, the less tangible but third school of thought that's romantic when you think about it. we might have some old black and white pictures to show you about this. the post office and americana. think about the first time you got that college acceptance letter. you wanted to call your friends, you are holding your friend in one hand. the calligraphy on wedding invitations. the love letter that you got in the mail that many people held on to. these are sort of romantic aspects of the postal service, of deliver eof america's history that many people don't want to let go of. think about that love letter. your going to save a love text? >> it's not the same, no. not even e-mail. no. all right. thanks, carl. >> thank you fredricka. >> hopefully some resolution soon. remember, we're also letting you choose the news. text 22360 for the story you want to see. text 1 for shark fin ban. it's a battle between culture and environmentalism.
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spending, targeted tax cuts and direct aid to state and local governments. brianna keilar live from the white house right now. so how are republicans reacting to the details that have already leaked out so far? >> well, fredricka, they are slamming the details saying that a lot of these things are things the white house has tried to do before. when it comes to some of those tax cuts that you are talking about, extending the payroll tax cuts employees already enjoy and giving that to employers as well. what they'd like to see is comprehensive tax reform which would certainly be very difficult. there are concerns about how this will be paid for. the white house says that it will be paid for, meaning it will be deficit neutral. it's not going to cut into -- that it won't be cutting into the debt. but, of course, republicans are concerned about how that would play out. and also we just heard some senators on the floor who were really deriding some of the
education measures the white house has proposed. one of the things they've talked about is renovating schools as a shovel ready project, an infrastructure project that they are interested in pursuing. and we know that certainly republicans have opposition to that as well, fred. >> and then mitt romney, a republican, you know, contender. he has released his own plan. a 59 points to recovery plan. how does it differ from what other republican candidates might be proposing? >> you know, probably one of the biggest things that makes his plan different from others has to do with how he would call out china, i guess if you will, for bad behavior, unfair labor practices. one of the hallmarks of his plan is something called the reagan economic zone which would be a partnership among countries that are committed to free trade. that's how he puts it. but when you look at the plans, a lot of them have many similarities. a lot of the republican candidates proposing regulatory reform as well as tax reform, fred. >> all right. brianna keilar, thanks so much in washington. appreciate that. so for the latest political
news you know where to go. cnnpolitics.com. spend or save? it's the question many of you ask when trying to keep within your budget. and a lot of people are now opting to spend their money on paying down debt rather than racking up more of it. alison kosik has today's top tips for tackling debt. >> hi, fredricka. yes, a new study says almost 90% of americans feel that if they pay down their debt, that that's more important to them than increasing their savings. so if money is tight and you are figuring out which bills to pay first, gail cunningham from the national foundation for credit counseling says first you want to tackle those living expenses. what i'm talking about are like your rent, your mortgage, your food, utilities, insurance, medicine, child care. and after that, make sure you make your car payments. most of us depend on that car to get back and forth to work. but most important here is don't ignore your bills. it's only going to make your debt load you are trying to pay off grow even more. and at the very least, make the
minimum payments to avoid those costly late fees and a potential hit to your credit score. fredricka? >> so credit card debt is one of the big ones to tackle for many people, especially if you have debt on a few cards. so where do you actually begin? >> you know what? you have to prioritize your debt and you have to figure out what works best for you. karman wong ullrich, the author of "the real cost of living." write down all the various interest rates and fees and how much you owe on each card. attack the debt in two different ways. pay down the card with the highest interest rate first and that will get you out of the debt psyche them quickest and save you from paying added interest. the other option is to pay off the card with the lowest balance. what that could do is give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue paying down your debt. ullrich recommends going to dinkytown.net and use the free credit card debt calculators there to figure out your plan.
using automatic bill pay. >> yeah, love automatic bill pay, it's an easy way to pay your bills. jo johna johnalshimer says review the bills each month before you let the bill go through. and check you don't have unauthorized charges as well. can you check that rates have not changed and fees have not been added as well. when it comes to your utility bill, look at that as well. don't just send off the payment, because you want to figure out where you are wracking up the energy cost to lower your next bill. >> thank you so much. folks who use groupon know they can get a pretty great deal like wine tastings and facial specials. could groupon help cover some of
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and there doesn't appear to be a gas leak. a guy driving this car says he was trying to beat a red light, and took the wrong short cut and wound up in rising waters. rain caused the creeks to rise on tuesday. and then when a 12-year-old heard about the navy s.e.a.l.s that died last month in afghanistan he wanted to raise money. he has pledges for a dollar for every basket he makes, and his goal is 17,000 goals. >> i thought that was great. a lot of people said that they were going to double what they were pledging if i made more. >> all right. good luck to him. hirer education just got a little cheaper, at least in chicago, the national lewis
university is knocking 60% off of the price of one of its classes through groupon. and levine head joins me now from chicago to tell us more about this. why a groupon for this one class introduction to the profession and craft of teaching? >> well, at national lewis, we have been looking for ways to be innovative and reach students in new ways and we started to think about how students today consume social media and how they make decisions and how they use that digital world and we had the opportunity to meet andrew mason, the ceo of groupon. >> how does it work? you need a minimum of takers of the offer before anybody can take the deal, right? >> yeah, we need a minimum of 15
students. we drafted the course so there's an introduction for individuals looking to change their profession and become teachers. we are always looking for individuals who want to pursue a career of teaching and this is a way to wet their appetite and put their toe in the water and see if teaching is the career they want to pursue without making a broader commitment to the program. >> so you get a course that is generally over $2,200 for the course, and they get it for the discounted number of $950. >> yes. >> what happens if you don't take the takers? nobody gets the great deal? >> yes, that's how the groupon deal works. that's how the groupon deal works, so yeah. >> do you feel it's fairly promising you will have 15 takers, or is it an avenue to get more attention for your
university? >> no, we're optimistic about it, and we want to raise awareness. our other goal is to raise awareness of the opportunity and there are a lot of people looking to take a new direction, and there are those that say i wanted to be a teacher, and there is a way for them to explore that. this is a way to do it at national louis university. >> do you know how many you are so far? >> this morning, we are at five. >> so if this works out, great, like you are hoping, 15 takers, and any chance there might be another curriculum or class that might be offered with the same kind of deal? might this just be the beginning? >> if this is promising, we will definitely do it. again, it's a way for people to explo explore, almost test drive, before they have to commit to a whole new program.
>> thank you for your time and all the best. >> thank you so much. top of the hour. i am fredricka whitfield. let's get you up to speed. in texas, more wildfires break out as the state battles its worst fire season on record. at last count, 22 new fires are burning. those and dozens more have scorched 20,000 acres in the last week. and to show you the scope of the big fire near austin. one of our eye reporters took it from an airplane across the state. four people have died and more than 700 homes have burned. a stash of russian-made missiles are missing in the capital of tripoli. a team of human rights watch found dozens of crates, and they were marked with inventory
numbers identifying the items as surface to air missiles. the stinger missiles are designed to shoot down aircraft flying as high as 11,000 feet. a human rights watch officials says armories have been looted across libya. a terrorists attack in new delhi. a bomb exploded killing at least 11 people and injuring dozens more. police say the bomb was hidden in a briefcase near an entrance to the complex. indian media report receiving e-mails from an islamic extremist group claiming responsibility. a russian plane crashed killing 43 people. there are two survivors. the charter jet was carrying, russian, german and swedish hockey players. it crashed in the western city there which is 150 miles from moscow. our u.s. military bases
across the country on a higher level of alert. we learned the defense secretary, leon pennetta, signed an order raising the force protection level through september 11th. the move is not in response to any specific threat. the u.s. is considering keeping about 3,000 troops in iraq next year. that's according to a senior pentagon official, but stresses no final decisions have been made. iraq is expected to ask for some troops to actually stay on. a man who played a major role in sending u.s. troops to iraq says it was the right decision. former vice president, dick cheney, talked with wolf blitzer about other actions he doesn't regret. >> a lot of controversial things we did that people didn't like, and they criticized it, was the surveillance program, and there
were things that allowed us to save lives and the net result, the value of our policies is best evaluated in the result that after 9/11 there were no other mass attacks in the united states. >> homeland security, janet napolitano, tells politico new technology could make it possible for passengers to keep their shoes on. restrictions on carrying liquids onboard will probably be in place for a while. not just one small step frozen in time. nasa just released new pictures much several apollo moon landing sites. there are details about three places on the moon that were visited by humans. >> apollo 17 landing sight. we can see where the lunar rover
went around, and you can see the experiments left behind sitting on the surface 40 years ago, and you can see where they are still sitting there on the lunar surface. on the eve of president obama's big speech on jobs, more details of his plan are trickling out. democratic sources say it adds up to $300 billion, and will focus on new infrastructure spending and tax cuts. it's also expected to include aid to state and local governments. and they break down some of the ideas with christine. the price tag for the plan. $300 billion, but it will be offset by the same amount of spending cuts. how is the president going to do that or propose that? >> the key here will have to be government spending is not all created equally, right? some of it is more stimulative to the economy than others. the president and his team will have to find places where they can cut $300 billion and steer it into areas that will be stim
lawtive. and payroll tax cuts for everybody getting a paycheck. that's money you spend right away. sometimes it gets right out into the economy. and an extension of unemployment insurance. many economists says it's programs like this that people need that money, and that money goes into the economy, and we know we have 13 million people unemployed. these are two ways they are trying to get money. we have tried these before. these are not new efforts. we have been doing this, and this will be an extension of those things. >> let's talk about the economic affects of infrastructure spending. how does that create jobs? >> it puts people to work on road projects or school projects, the sewers or electrical grid, and then there is the other spending around it in those communities that adds
to jobs as well. what they are trying to do here is something called an infrastructure bank, and it will be a public and private partnership. you have government money and private companies getting in as well, and cutting red tape and providing low-that interest funding, and then it creates 11,000 to 30,000 jobs, and these estimates come from the president's economic advisers to the department of transportation. the goal is to not just move money through the economy, but to fix something in the process of it. guess what? united states does not rank in the top ten or 15 in the top countries of the countries with good infrastructure. it's old and needs work. >> does this mean you can't create jobs or have jobs available if you don't spend money? >> that's an economical
idealogical discussion. some say we can't be spending more money and have to get regulations cut back so the growing economy on its own will create jobs. what the president is trying to do is get government money moving in the economy to create jobs that way until the private sector is healthier and will create jobs as well. it's a very political conversation. the question for this president, the team will be can they get republicans onboard. all these things we suspect will be in the plan tomorrow, are all these things that republicans can get onboard with, and that's the political question here. >> christine romans, thank you for breaking it down for us. president barack obama will be outlining the jobs program tomorrow night. the live coverage of the president's address begins with a special preview followed by the speech itself, 7:00 eastern time, and then insight and analysis on "ac360."
and then a house explosion, and the question for investigators what caused it. and then murray gets a stern warning from the judge. mexico, two people accused of people spreading rumors of school attacks on twitter and facebook. they could face long prison terms in convicted. hundreds of people lost everything as dozens of wildfires spread in texas. >> a house can be replaced, but all the memories is what hurts. i think about my babies' pictures and the things they made in elementary, and the things i put up to save to give to their kids, and it's gone. it hurts. have i got a surprise for you! [ barks ]
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we are giving you a chance to choose the news. option "1," shark fin ban, but harvesting the fins for sharks is threatening a species and california voters want to do something about it. "2," parking lot hero. this parking lot attendant saved dozens of lives. "3," flowers for madonna. the superstar gets caught dissing a gift from a fan, and it's going viral. text 22360.
"1," shark fin ban, "2," parking lot hero, or "3," madonna dissing a fan. questions are swirling a possible motive of 11 people shot. five were in nevada national guard members. we have that story from los angeles i understand a news conference on the shooting just started. are there any developments that have been revealed thus far? >> well, fredricka, you know, there was a lot of concern as to what the motive could have been. part of that is because the people who are targeted were in uniform at the time when they were sitting in that i-hop restaurant. now the sheriff's department says they don't believe there's a connection. a news conference is going on now. a cabdriver that drove the gunman, the 32-year-old, said he
expressed suicidal thoughts. there's no terrorism in the case. he was a resident of carson city. he worked at a family business in south lake tahoe. family members told authorities that he had a history of mental illness that goes back to the time that he was 16 years old. yesterday morning he opened fire on a person in the i-hop parking lot, and then moved inside the restaurant where he began shooting at a group of national guardsmen that were having breakfast at a table. he used an ak-47. four people killed including three guardsmen and a civilian who happened to be in the line of fire. in total, 11 people killed in the rampage. witnesses say people were running for cover and hiding under vehicles and it was a terrible scene. >> thank you so much for the update.
jury selection begins tomorrow in the trial of dr. conrad murray. he is accused of the death of the pop star, michael jackson. here are some of the questions that may be posed to potential jurors. >> the blueprint for picking jurors for the manslaughter trial begins with this document with lawyers from both sides came up with a couple months ago. answers that prospective jurors
give to these will be pored over by jurors and their consultants. >> holy cow. i am looking at the medications. >> we gave a copy of that to demetrius. she says there may be people that die to get picked. >> people who have hidden agendas, and they want to be on a jury because they want to write a book or have 15 minutes of fame. >> they list many witnesses including his parents and brothers and sisters and his children. they ask where they get their news from from cnn.com to blogs. they want to show this clip
because it proves jackson was in good health days before his death. and they ask this about the juror's familiarity to drugs. >> a jury who has personal experience and knowledge of the drugs and medications that are going to be talked about is going to be a better defense juror. >> demetrius says the defense wants jurors who think jackson was an odd ball, and the others want fans. she says the best jurors are ones that can stand up to pressure in the jury room. >> you want somebody strong and not going to back down no matter what. >> the jury selection in the conrad murray trial tops the law
and order segment today. sun sunny hostin, is it possible to find a juror that is not biassed to this case? >> i think it's possible and that's why it's going to take work. we're hearing about the extensive questionnaire. you have to weed out those that want to make money, and you want to exclude the juror that will swing the jury in a way that is unfair to the defendant. i think it's possible, but very difficult to do it. one thing that i think is also very important to mention is this defense team has asked for the jury that is picked to be sequestered, and that means they are kept in a hotel, kept together to make sure that they are not influenced by a lot of
the news reporting that will obviously take place covering the trial. there will be cameras in the courtroom. i have to tell you, fred, i think the judge got it wrong by denying their request to saw quester the jury. >> why? >> typically jurors that are admonished to not read or watch television when they are discussing the case. how do you do something like that when the man is accused of killing the king of pop? they believe and many jury selection experts believe this case will be big in terms of the media coverage. to insure a fair trial i think you have to keep them away from the commentary and the coverage.
>> let's talk about another case. this out of mexico. two men are facing terrorism charges over twitter messages. what can you tell us about what was said and what exactly got them in trouble? >> this was a scary thing. you have two men charged with terrorism facing up to 30 years in prison, and apparently, august 25th, they sent out posts on twitter and on facebook claiming that five children had been kidnapped, and also claiming that there were bomb threats and also, i think most egregiously stating a helicopter was firing shots at an elementary school and imploering parents to pick them up. there was widespread of, of course, panic and terror in mexico. they have been charged with terrorism. i have to tell you, i think that's overreaching, but it's very dangerous to tweet, post things on facebook like this. it's akin to yelling "fire" in a
crowded theater. >> and it's like falsifying a report instead? >> i wouldn't go that far, but i think it's extremely, extremely serious. i am a parent and i can only imagine if i saw a post like that discussing shots being fired at my child's school. i would run offset right now and run to the school. you can imagine the terror the parents felt. i think they will face legal challenges based on the charges. >> if that were to happen in the states do you think it would be treated relatively the same? >> i think so. i think it would be treated seriously by local and federal authorities. people could have gotten hurt trying to get to their children. this could be very serious. >> thank you so much. >> thanks. it has been almost 300 days since the wildfire outbreak in texas started. there are new fires to report on now. we will hear from a firefighter
not getting a job. and then the worst fire season on record there. the flames keep spreading. one of our ireporters is a firefighter and sent us this video, and he is with us now from college station, texas, to talk about the danger that he and others of firefighters are facing on the frontlines. andy, tell us what it is like. >> well, with the extreme drought we are in right now and the high winds from tropical storm lee coming in, it just made conditions extreme. the fire was moving faster than we could keep up with it, and we had to go and help all the surrounding counties with the large counties. >> it's moving fast and it's showing no mercy. if you look at the debris, it looks like some of the brick has
just disintegrated. >> yeah, the bricks will blow because of the moisture contained in them. they have a tendency to explode out. these fires are very hot, and really are burning too fast for any firefighter to get in front of it. we're just cleaning up the debris and the hot spots after the fire burns through. >> andy, explain how in some cases one house is decimated and then the one next door is not. what is behind that phenomenon? >> just like in a tornado, mother nature has a mind of her own. homeowners can have a lot to play with that with clearing brush away from their houses, and no large trees, pines, things like that, clearing them away. if you do those small things and keep your grass cut short a lot of times the fire will move through your area and not affect your house, and then it also has a lot to do with the
construction. a metal roof, a rock house, things like that that don't burn easily are safer in those conditions. >> your fellow firefighters have and residents in the area, it has to be difficult for those in the area to breathe because of the plumbs of smoke, particularly those who are close to the fire. >> yeah, and so we try to work from the edges and stay out of the thickest part of the smoke. it's a good idea to probably evacuate the area. a lot of the areas that are not adjacent to the fires are getting a lot of ash falling days after the fire. a lot of that is not going to affect your health unless you have asthma or respiratory problems to begin with. >> andy, chad meyers has a
question for you, too. >> this is about heat and houses burning from the inside out. we have seen this in l.a. and california when the fires are burning there. the heat is so intense on the outside of the house that actually curtains can catch on fire through the glass. do you tear the curtains down or put something on the outside of the glass or don't worry about it? >> if you are in that extreme situation, there is probably not a lot that you can do. if you are in the house in that situation, you need to be out of it. you should not be there with that extreme heat. there's honestly not a lot we can do if it's that hot outside, and things like taking blinds down, plastic things that can easily melt would help, but it's probably a situation you wouldn't want to be in. >> andy, thank you so much and be safe. >> you are welcome. thank you. >> so many fires across texas, you can't even count them.
it has all merged in some areas, and it's not likely to get any better anytime soon, right? >> although there's a tropical system potential named nate. we just got maria. it doesn't have a name yet. >> it's the one you give it. >> well, m is already taken up by maria. and the last one just brought wind to texas. i don't think people across the country truly understand what the drought is like in texas right now. 99% of the state is in severe drought or worse. 95% in extreme. and d-4, exsep shaw null drought. there's not one acre in texas not under some type of drought condition. that's what you get into. this has been a drought that has
been worst than the dust bowl. texas has lost $5.5 billion in livestock and crops. there is no rain to grow crops. there's no water. and towns are drying up. where did the smoke go? it has gone all across the part of the state. it's hard to see, but the haze across the deep parts. and the winds will start to shift and come around to the east. when they come from the east, they will blow that smoke back towards the city, back towards austin, texas, the capital city. wow, kvue, hardly can see two or three miles. that's the smoke hazard. that's the particulate matter getting in the lungs of kids and people. this is not a day to let the kids play outside and run around a lot, and inside at least it's a little bit of filter. >> if you have to go outside,
they are purchasing masks? >> yeah, you get what you can get, because a lot of the good ones are sold out. >> thank you, chad. the president turned prisoner. egypt's mubarak is hauled back into court. we will talk about the trial beyond the headlines. where'd ya go? there you are. there you go. [ female announcer ] you always went for the tall, dark, handsome types. so who'd have ever thought the love of your life...
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egypt's ousted president was wheeled back into court on on gurney today. he faces a possible death penalty if convicted of ordering the killings. michael holmes is here with a look beyond the headlines. what is next in the trial? >> well, this is day three of the third session, if you like. there were those clashes outside and were dramatic, and shows the depth of feeling that exist in
egypt. what was interesting on monday is we were hearing witness accounts from inside the command and control center when the up rising began. one general in particular saying police were told to use tear-gas and not live ammunition. this is about mubarak ordering the killing of the protesters. we're not hearing much about that in a moment. >> others on trial? >> well, yeah, in egypt, yeah, you have the former interior minister, and he has been tried alongside mubarak, and also mubarak's sons are on trial, and they are being tried for corruption charges. there are several people involved in what is happening in egypt. outside, when you talk about outside egypt, in other countries, what you have seen in other countries, it's the tu
kneeson -- mubarak is the first to face court. but tunisian president has been tried in abstentia. >> what could be mubarak's fate? >> he could get the death penalty. >> people think of saddam hussein and iraq, could he get the death penalty? >> he is facing the kruptions charges. what was interesting among the protesters on monday were supporters of mubarak, saying this is no way to treat a leader and somebody who brought us stability, vastly out numbered by the protesters, and some want
to go right to the conviction and skip the trial. the sons, too, they lived that life of op yao luns as well and privilege. we have seen that in libya with gadhafi as well. a lot of anger on the streets of egypt that the revolution is not over. >> we see him on the gurney, but what details -- >> he is made to have heart problems and a host of other problems as well. is he as sick as he appears? it's hard to tell unless you go there and give him an examination yourself as well. there are people that have doubts that he is this sick. if he can show up in court, he can't be that sick, but he does have heart problems we know. >> good to see you. thank you. for some, the horror of 9/11 never goes away.
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the health of 9/11 first responders ten years later, many are still sick and some experts believe the number becoming ill, particularly with cancer is growing. dr. gupta spent the last year on the documentary "terror in the dust" premieres tonight. cancer has been a contentious topic when talking about the health of responders to 9/11.
how big of a problem has cancer been among those responders? >> i think considering just in july of this year, you know, there was sort of a ruling, if you will, regarding cancer and its connections to the dust and the air that people breathe in and it said there was no connection, and now there's a very large study among fire department workers and the first responders saying there is a connection, and there's a 19% increased risk in developing cancer if you were one of the first responders and worked for the fire department. it's a significant study that the lead author that i have been talking to over the year. he was surprised that they showed this significant in association. i think more to the point, though, fred, i have been working on the story and there are so many young people, young men and women who work for the
fire department and also worked for the police department that developed cancer over the years that they created cancer clubs, and they talk about what their lives have been like. take a listen to what i saw. >> one of my friends is a captain, and he had multiple limb foe ma. >> he goes, wait a second. let me take a look at your case. >> how many people do you think fell into the pattern that developed cancer? >> so many. every month there's a couple more. >> every month? >> yeah. >> we do know there were carson jenz. how long does it take people to develop cancer after they have been exposed to the compounds? >> it's a question science has struggled to answer, but earnie has no doubt that there's a
connection between his cancer and the dust. >> i firmly believe that. >> it's a tough thing to prove, isn't it? >> oh, sure. >> so sanjay, you apparently have a container of the actual dust at issue here. what is believed to be contained in it? what are the carson jenz. >> this is it. one of the responders that held the dust up when making the documentary, he got emotional when holding it and said he was holding one of the most dangerous containers. they believe it has so many different chemicals thrown together in what was a unique situation, been sean, asbestos, and jet fuel, and the dust hung over the city for sometime. that's what was believed to
cause health problems. i should add as well, and something that jumped out at me, there were compounds that evaporated quickly, some of the components of the jet fuel, for example. they were never collected. they have been analyzing the stuff there, but the whole picture may never be known because of the compounds that disappeared. >> well, so far union leaders and lawmakers are gathering wanting them to add medical coverage for first responders with cancer, because people may be shocked to hear that cancer is not covered, righted? >> yeah, i think people assumed there was cancer caused by the dust, and that's not the ruling. and there was another ruling made to say cancer was not one
of the things compensated for. this study may change the whole debate. it's a long-term, very large study that showed some very significant findings. the lead author believes if you got cancer during that time period of the study and you were a fire fire department worker working at ground zero, it's most likely because of the dust. >> thank you so much. of course you can see the full investigation of the health fallout from 9/11, and rare footage from the aftermath in the documentary "terror in the dust." and that is tonight. ten years after 9/11 and the start of the war in afghanistan. what is going on there right now? suzanne malveaux is in afghanistan to find out. she will investigate the training of afghan troops and are they prepared to take over once u.s. troops have all gone
home? and suzanne will talk with american soldiers that were just children on the day of the attacks. watch our reports beginning friday, september 9th, through sunday, september 11th. e many pn get through selectquote for less than a dollar a day. selectquote found, rich, 37, a $500,000 policy for under $18 a month. even though dave, 43, takes meds to control his blood pressure, selectquote got him a $500,000 policy for under $28 a month. ellen, 47, got a $250,000 policy for under $20 a month. all it takes is a phone call. your personal selectquote agent will answer all your questions ... and impartially shop the highly rated term life companies selectquote represents for your best rates. give your family the security it needs at a price you can afford.
time to head cross-country for stories cnn affiliates are covering. fire investigators are trying to figure out what caused an explosion tuesday morning that destroyed a home in elmont. there was reports of a gas leak and nobody was at home when it happened and nobody was injured, thankfully. and a man driving this car says he was trying to beat a red
light and took the wrong short cut and ended up in rising waters. when 12-year-old will thomas of mcclain, virginia, heard about the 12 navy s.e.a.l.s that died last month, he wanted to help their families. donors pledged money for every basket he makes. his goal, 17,000 baskets. >> shooting baskets is something that i love to do, and the fact that i could do it to help the families of the s.e.a.l.s, i thought that was great. a lot of people said they were going to double what they were pledging if i made more. arrows are pointing up today. stocks are on the rebound after a three day selloff. how much is the dow up right now? >> the gains seem to be sticking for now. the dow up about 197 points.
but putting it in perspective for you, it did lose over the last three sessions. we are keeping our eyes on yahoo and bank of america shares. what you see today happening, investors are bargain hunting for beaten down stocks. and there is anticipation for president obama's jobs speech. >> and then debt is affecting the requirement in the u.s.? >> yes, americans want to retire, but they are realizing they have too much debt and it's because of their mortgages. it used to be that by the time people got closer to retirement age, they paid off all or most of their mortgage, but now a good percentage of households from 60 to 64-year-olds in them, they have a primary mortgage and 20% have a second mortgage.
both numbers have almost doubled over the last two decades. what it translates into, lots of mortgage debt and a median of $71,000 for that age group. part of the problem is a sharp drop in home values. they don't have the option to sell their homes if they are under water on their mortgages. the older americans, fredricka, they have to dip into the retirement funds to pay off other debts and have to winter king to pay the bills. very discouraging. >> very discouraging, indeed. you told us what you wanted to see. your choose the news story just moments away. ♪ [ male announcer ] each of these photos was taken by someone on the first morning of their retirement. it's the first of more than 6,000 sunrises
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short speech? i don't think it will be a big speech. [ applause ] according to the latest wall street journal poll, a record 73% of americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, and the good news, gas is so expensive and traffic is so bad, we'll never get there. that's good to know. that's good to know. >> so on the eve of president obama's big speech on jobs, more details of his plan are trickling out. democratic sources say it adds up to about $300 billion and will focus on infrastructure spending and tax cuts, and includes aid to state and local governments, and the coverage will begin with a special preview of the "situation room," and then a live address and response, and then insight and
analysis on "ac 360." the news the news. should shark fin soup be outlawed? >> reporter: on the streets of san francisco's china town, you can find a staggering variety of asian imports. the most valuable, sharp fins. a key ingredient in a surprised chinese delicacy. and far from the streets there's a grim reality. many sharks are targeted for their fins. it's a brutal practice known as finning. it involves cutting the fins off of live sharks and putting the rest back in the ocean. many sharks killed each year are for the fins. california is the largest importer of start fins outside asia. the community is now divided.
a controversial bill is working its way through the california state senate. a proposed law will make it illegal to possess, sell or trade shark fins. paul fong is one of the people behind the bill. >> we're losing 73 million sharks that are being killed every year. at this rate, it will grow instinct within our lifetime. the sooner we do it the better. >> critics say it unfairly singled out the chinese community. the bill mentions shark fins. the ban will not ban shark oil or meat. that's a point that one restaurant owner says is one of the fundamental flaws of the bill. >> i think for the ban to be cultural blind, it has to ban
all the product having to do with sharks. for instance, shark meat, shark oil. >> last week she pulled shark fin soup off the menu after some spoke about it. she still serves it by request. >> there seems to me that it's such a very, very much a part of the chinese culture, and i very much would like to see it preserved. >> we're in the u.s., and there are so many more things you can eat and choose from, why kill shocks for a fin, you know. >> if your choice did not win we will have links to them on suzanne malveaux's page at facebook.com/suzannecnn. we now continue with