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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  March 22, 2012 11:00am-1:00pm EDT

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quick update for you now on a mystery keeping a wisconsin town up at night. we told you about claytonville they are hearing booms. here is a theory. not a solid answer. the booming noises and shaking are likely caused by shifting layers of granite rock underground. the city has ruled out everything else. the president should be speaking shortly but i'm going to throw it to kyra phillips to introduce the commander in chief. >> you don't want to talk about oklahoma and oil and energy and lower ga prices. >> he's doing that. >> we just won't drive our cars anymore. on the east coast, 8:00 out west. a busy hour out west. we're waiting for the president. let's get to the news. while we await this live news conference in oklahoma, a rare election visit to a state nobody considers a balance ground by the way. politically oklahoma is as red as they come. cushing means oil, crude oil, produced and traded in america
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and piped to gulf coast refineries that, of course, turns to gasoline. right now there's a bottleneck. oil is coming to cushing faster than they can get out of there. the president is fasttracking the southern leg of the keystone project that his administration vetoed this year. this part is not controversial. the feds don't have much to say about it anyway. while this can't be a campaign trip it's still political. we'll bring you remarks as soon as he comes to the mike. day two of the president's all of the above energy tour. by the way he spotlighted solar power in nevada, drilling in new mexico. later today center for research at ohio university in columbus. we are tracking it all for you. rick santorum is ripping into his gop rivals right now in san antonio, texas. he's blasting mitt romney over the health care plan romney created as massachusetts governor. he's comparing it to president obama's health care plan. both plans erode americans
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freedoms and romney is a candidate without core beliefs. santorum said he, not romney, is best equipped to take over the president on this number one issue in november. we're going to keep a close eye and will bring you what he says later in the hour. who ever thought an etch-a-sketch would get so much attention in a political campaign? it's shaking up mitt romney's bid for the white house, too. he mentioned it when asked about campaign strategy for the fall assuming he wins the nomination. you see it here. newt gingrich, rick santorum, members of the media. yes, it played right into the hands of romney's critics as well accusing him of flip flopping, changing his mind, starting over on the issues. us the picture if you've ever had an etch-a-sketch. as for romney, here is what he says. >> organizationally a general election campaign takes on a different profile of the issues i'm running on will be exactly the same. >> romney insists he's always
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been a conservative republican and will continue to run as a conservative republican. the self-styled al qaeda jihadist accused of a killing spree in france is dead. police burst right into his apartment. the 23-year-old came out guns ablazing then jumped out of a window to his death. he had been hold up for 22 hours as police negotiated with him to give up. mohammed merah said he wanted to avenge palestinian children and had made trips to afghanistan and pakistan. now the key question is did he really act alone as he claimed, or are there others behind his killing spree. it's a call for justice that has now become a central movement. thousands of people mobilizing in the name of an unarmed florida teen who was shot to death. right now civil rights activist al sharpton heading to sanford, florida to lead the rally where trayvon martin was gunned down
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by a neighborhood watchman. that watchman, george zimmerman is claiming self-defense. he remains free and has not been charged. the outrage far beyond sanford, florida. this was the scene in new york, the million hoodie march. protesters wearing hoodies and carrying skittles just like trayvon was the night he died. the city is demanding accountability from lee. city commissioners passed a no confidence vote. take you live to sanford, florida in 15 minutes with the latest. the roommate convicted of outing and intimidating the rutgers university freshman who then died by suicide said he didn't act out of hate and he's very sorry about tyler. tyler clementi jumped off the george washington bridge after learning dharun ravi had spied on his dates with other men via web cam and then tweeted about them. last week ravi was convicted of invading tyler's privacy and
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bias intimidation among other counts. he could face 10 years in prison. in an exclusive interview with the star ledger he says he'll never regret taking a plea bargain that would spare him prison time but he does regret tyler's death. speaking of plea agreements, defendants who reject them based on bogus advice or no advice from their lawyers can have their sentences thrown out, so says the highest court in the land in two new rulings that directly affect more than 90% of convictions in u.s. courts. in one case a lawyer for a man who shot a woman in the back side told him not to take a deal because the state couldn't prove intent to murder if the victim were shot below the waist. that man got 15 years at trial. more signs the job market is stronger people people seeking new unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low. analysts say that's an indication solid job growth will continue this month.
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the labor department says 348,000 people filed for initial jobless claims, a drop of 5,000 from the previous week. that's the lowest level since february 2008. newt gingrich in the hot seat for something he didn't say for a change at a campaign stop in louisiana a man called president obama a muslim. excuse me. gingrich ignored the comment rather than correct it. talk about a sharp contrast between a similar incident involving john mccain four years ago. then republican presidential candidate back against a voter who said obama was an arab saying, quote, no, ma'am, he's a decent family man. here is what gingrich said when asked why he didn't correct the man at the event. >> president obama is a christian. he says he's a christian. he went to a christian church for over 20 years and i believe him. >> gingrich spokesperson says gingrich has made that point at public events many times. more fallout from the susan b. komen planned parenthood controversy. new calls for foundation liter
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nancy brinker to resign. even an online petition to get rid of her. other top executives announced their res ig faces after this and the backlash over komen's decision to eliminate funding for breast cancer and screens at planned parenthood. he's a marine with an opinion and isn't afraid to share it, even on facebook. his tea party and anti-obama comments could get him kicked out of the military, violates defense department rules about criticizing commander in chief. here is what gary stein told "cnn newsroom." >> a preliminary finding from my commanding officer saying he's going to move to have me administratively discharged from the marine corps for violating article 134, which made comments
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and violating dod directive stating political activities of a military member in that i had been running the armed forces tea party page for the last wo years. >> stein went on to say he was surprised because he was about his tea party facebook page. the military is reviewing his case. 1700 mile keystone pipeline would bring down oil prices, create hundreds of new jobs. but is that really the case? coming up, a reality check. the real impact of the proposed pipeline. but first, ironman and other superheroes are joining forces to fight a different kind of evil, cancer. these little guys are helping raise money for their teacher beth meyers. they are working with the national foundation for transplants to help raise money to buy her a plane ticket from florida, arkansas, so she can receive treatment.
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the best part? they are third-grader and using the heroes to help sell their own artwork to raise funds. students being heroes during class time and recess. you're today's rock stars. ♪ there's another way to minimize litter box odor: purina tidy cats. tidy cats premium line of litters now works harder to help neutralize odors in multiple-cat homes. and our improved formula also helps eliminate dust. so it's easier than ever to keep your house smelling just the way you want it. purina tidy cats. keep your home smelling like home. [ female announcer ] end the struggle with weak, damaged hair with new aveeno nourish+ strengthen. it nurtures hair back to strong, healthy life. our exclusive active naturals wheat protein formula
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so is keystone the key to energy independence, cheaper gasoline, president obama's all of the above energy policy? no, no, and not exactly. still, any second now the president will announce he is fasttracking the southern leg of the keystone pipeline that was
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designed to run from the tar sands of alberta, canada, to the refineries on the texas gulf coast. the administration vetoed the northern leg but there's broad support in the new line south from cushing, oklahoma. my colleague steve hargreaves joins me now from cnn money to tell us why. steve, getting more oil to the refineries quicker. let's talk about what that means for you, for me, the consumers, the voters. >> well, as you know, there's a glut of oil in cushing, oklahoma right now. that's been partly responsible for depressing prices of u.s. oil. u.s. oil is down about $20, $30 compared to other forms of international crudes. so what that means is people in the midwest have been paying a little bit less for gasoline than people on the coasts. so what this is going to do, this is going to bring -- alleviate some of that glut in cushing. but it could end up driving up
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gas prices for people in the middle of the country. >> okay. common sense, we would think, okay, we make more gas at these refineries, all right, we're all in good shape. not necessarily as you just pointed out. other parts of the country, particularly the middle west, may not get those lower gas prices. >> right. this is true. but globally this probably will be a good thing. it could bring down the price of gas just a little bit. you're not talking that much oil here. but globally there is a supply bottleneck in cushing. we have been producing more oil from places like montana and north dakota. this oil does need to get out. it does need to make its way to the refineries. this is why the energy wants to build this and the administration is behind it. >> let's back up a little bit and remind views you've got the southern leg and northern leg.
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obama and everybody else supports the southern leg. no controversy there, right? let's remind folks why he rejected the northern leg, steve. >> right. he rejected the northern leg because the northern leg would expand production from the oil sands in canada. environmentalists in particular are opposed to this. it's a dirtier form of oil. mining it or producing it creates more greenhouse gases. people say it could exaggerate global warming. there was a lot of opposition to this. this southern part wouldn't necessarily expand production from the oil sands, just kind of alleviate that bottleneck in cushing. there isn't nearly as much opposition to the southern part but there still is a little bit. the environmentalists are still opposed to this. they see this as the first step from increasing production from oil sands. >> right behind you we are promoting the article you wrote. tell our viewers if they go to
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cnn.com, in particular cnnmoney.com what they will be able to get from your article? >> well, it will lay out exactly what's going on here. some people might see this as a flip-flop on the part of obama. it's not really. he's been behind this southern leg all along. a little more into the gas price debate. it will explain to readers why prices in the midwest might increase just a little bit. >> i'm told that it looks like the seal is up, notes laid down, which means the president is going to walk onto the stage any second now. do you have a moment -- can you stay with me for a minute here, steve? >> sure. >> okay, great. so did you get a chance to see his speech? i know it came out just before i got up here on set. have you had a chance to look at any notes prior to this? >> i haven't but i've been told about it. >> okay. tell me what you've been told. i didn't get a chance to look at the notes that came out.
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kind of give us a preview of what we're going to hear and what we're going to see. >> i heard obama will direct federal agencies responsible for doing some of the environmental review on this to work a little faster and approve this project. obviously obama has been get from the republican presidential contenders and a large part of the public for blocking energy projects. what he's doing here is doing out and trying to use this as an example saying, hey, i'm not blocking these projects. look here, i'm trying to actually make this happen faster. >> obama doesn't have veto power here. >> no, he doesn't. this is kind of interesting. this is really kind of a states issue. obama had veto power before, because the pipeline, the original pipeline from canada across the national border, that's really where the executive branch had its
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authority. it's not clear at all that obama could stop this even if he wanted to. so it does seem like he's just kind of jumping on board here and using it more for political purposes. >> steve hargreaves, writer for cnnmoney.com. thanks so much the the president's speech will be starting any minute now. stay with us. we'll take a quick break and we will take the president live. ig. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription. [ male announcer ] dosing and application sites between these products differ. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child, or, signs in a woman which may include changes in body hair
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live pictures of cushing, oklahoma. we're waiting for the president of the united states to step up to the mike and talk energy. we'll take that as soon as he steps up to the mike. while we're waiting for the president, let's talk about the backlash going on, accountability, calls for justice. it's all undeniably clear when it comes to trayvon martin's death. we're not just talking about the shooting of the teen but also talking about the police department and its responses as well. the pressure is now on for this guy, sanford police chief bill lee to step down. and naacp is demanding he resign. city commissioners are also losing faith. of course the anger for trayvon's death has become a movement.
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we've been talking about it every day how it's been going of it's been going far beyond this community in florida as can you see. last night thousands of miles away in new york square we saw this, the million hoodie march. protesters dressed in hoodies and carrying skittles just like trayvon martin the night he was killed by george zimmerman. and his parents. >> my son was not committing any crime. our son is your son. i want you guys to stand up for justice. >> all right. georgia howell -- george howell the community. stand by me for a second, to the president who is talking about energy. >> everybody looks like they are doing just fine. thank you so much for your hospitality. it is wonderful to be here. yesterday i visited nevada and new mexico to talk about what
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we're calling an all of the above energy strategy. it's a strategy that will keep us on track to further reduce our dependence on foreign oil, put more people back to work, and ultimately help to curb this spike in gas prices we're seeing year after year after year. so today i've come to cushing, an oil town. because producing more oil and gas here at home has been, and will continue to be, a critical part of an all of the above energy strategy. now, under my administration, america is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. that's important to note. over the last three years, i've directed my administration to open up millions of acres for
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gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. we're opening up more than 75% of our potential oil resources offshore. we've quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. we've added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the earth and then some. so we are drilling all over the place. right now. that's not the challenge. that's not the problem. the problem in a place like cushing is that we're actually producing so much oil and gas in places like north dakota and colorado that we don't have enough pipeline capacity to transport all of it to where it needs to go, both to refineries and eventually all across the country and around the world. there's a bottleneck right here,
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because we can't get enough of the oil to our refineries fast enough. if we could, then we would be able to increase our oil supplies at a time when they are needed as much as possible. right now a company called trans canada has applied to build a new pipeline to speed more oil from cushing to state-of-the-art refineries down in the gulf coast. today i'm directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done. [ applause ] >> now, you wouldn't know all this from listening to the television set. this whole issue of the keystone pipeline has generated a lot of controversy and a lot of politics. that's because the original route from canada into the united states was planned through an area in nebraska that
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supplies some drinking water for nearly 2 million americans and irrigation for a good portion of america's crop lands. nebraskans of all political stripes including the republican governor there raised some concerns about the safety and wisdom of that group. so to be extra careful that the construction of the pipeline in an area like that wouldn't put the health and safety of the american people at risk, our exports said we needed a certain amount of time to review the project. unfortunately congress decided they wanted their own time line, not the company, not the experts, but members of congress who decided this might be a fun political issue, decided to try to intervene and make it impossible for us to make an informed decision. so what we've said to the company is we're happy to review future permits.
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today we're making this new pipeline from cushing to the gulf a priority. so the southern leg of it we're making a priority and we're going to go ahead and get that done. the northern portion of it, we're going to have to review properly to make sure the health and safety of the american people are protected. that's common sense. the fact is my administration has approved dozens of new oil and gas pipelines over the last three years including one from canada. as long as i'm president, we're going to keep on encouraging oil development and infrastructure and we're going to do it in a way that protects the health and safety of the american people. we don't have to choose one or the other. we can do both. so if you guys are talking to your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your aunts or uncles and they are wondering what's going on in terms of oil production, you just tell them anybody who suggests that somehow we're suppressing
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domestic oil production isn't paying attention. they are not paying attention. what you also need to tell them is anybody who says that just drilling more gas and more oil by itself will bring down gas prices tomorrow or the next day or even next year. they are also not paying attention. they are not playing it straight, because we are drilling more, we are producing more. but the fact is producing more oil at home isn't enough by itself to bring gas prices down. the reason is we've got an oil market that is global, that is worldwide. i've been saying the last few weeks. i want everybody to understand this. we use 20% of the world's oil. we only produce 2% of the world's oil. even if we opened up every inch of the country. if i put an oil rig on the south
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lawn, if we had one right next to the washington monument, even if we drilled every little bit of this great country of ours, we'd still have to buy the rest of our needs from someplace else if we keep on using the same amount of energy, the same amount of oil. the price of oil will still be set by the global market. that means every time there's tensions that rise in the middle east, which is what's happening right now, so will the price of gas. the main reason the gas prices are high right now is people are worried about what's happening with iran. it doesn't have to do with domestic oil production. it has to do with the oil markets looking and saying, you know what, if something happens, there could be trouble and so we're going to price oil higher just in case. now, that's not the future that we want. we don't want to be vulnerable to something that's happening on the other side of the world somehow affecting our economy or
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hurting a lot of folks who have to drive to get to work. that's not the future i want for america. that's not the future i want for our kids. i want us to control our own energy destiny. i want us to determine our own course. y yes we're going to keep drilling. yes we're going to keep emphasizing production. yes, we're going to make sure oil gets where it's needed. but what we're also going to be doing, as part of the all above strategy, is looking at how we can continually improve the utilization of renewable energy sources, new clean energy sources, and how do we become more efficient in our use of energy. that means -- [ applause ] >> that means producing more biofuels, which can be great for our farmers, great for rural economies. it means more fuel efficient cars. it means more solar power.
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it means more wind power, which, by the way, nearly tripled here in oklahoma over the past three years, in part because of some of our policies. we want every source of american made energy. i don't want the energy jobs of tomorrow going to other countries. i want them here in the united states of america. that's what an all of the above energy strategy is all about. that's how we break our dependence on foreign oil. the good news is we're already seeing progress. yesterday i went in nevada to the largest solar plant of its kind anywhere in the country. hundreds of workers built it. it's powering thousands of homs, and they are expanding to tens of thousands of homs more as they put more capacity on line. after 30 years of not doing anything, we finally increased fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks, and americans are now designing and building cars that will go nearly twice as far on the same gallon of gas by the middle of the next decade. that's going to save the average
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family $8,000 over the life of a car. it's going to save a lot of companies a lot of money because they are hurt by rising fuel costs as well. all of these steps have helped put america on the path to greater energy independence. since i took office, our dependence on foreign oil has gone down every single year. last year we imported 1 million fewer barrels per day than the year before. think about that. america at a time when we're growing is actually importing less oil overseas because we're using it smarter and more efficiently. america is now importing less than half the oil we used for the first time in more than a decade. so the key is to keep it going, oklahoma. we've got to make sure that we don't go backwards. we keep going forwards. if we're going to end our dependence on foreign oil, if
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we're going to bring gas prices down once and for all, as opposed to just playing politics with it every single year, then what we're going to have to do is develop every single source of energy that we've got, every new technology that can help us become more efficient. we've got to use our innovation. we've got to use our brain power. we've got to use our creativity. we've got to have a vision for the future, not just constantly looking back at the past. that's where we need to go. that's the future we can build. that's what america has always been about, building the future. we've always been of the cutting edge. we're always ahead of the curve. whether it's thomas edison or the wright brothers or steve jobs, we're always thinking about what's the next thing. that's how we have to think about energy. if we do, not only are we going to see jobs and growth and success here in cushing,
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oklahoma, we're going to see it all over the country. thanks very much. god bless. a rare election visit in a state no one considers a battleground but it's an election year and he's talking oil and he's talking gas prices. so it makes sense. right? he laid out his energy strategy talking about the fact that cushing is synonymous with oil, crude oil, produced and traded here in the united states. piped right there to gulf coast refineries and turned into gasoline. once again talking about the future and lower gas prices. president of the united states in cushing, oklahoma. we're going to move along and talk about whether it was self-defense or was it murder. that's the burning question over the killing of trayvon martin and it's igniting national outrage. while pressure is mounting on the local police chief to resign we're live in sanford, florida. we're going to go there next. if you are one of the millions of men
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is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription. [ male announcer ] dosing and application sites between these products differ. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child, or, signs in a woman which may include changes in body hair or a large increase in acne, possibly due to accidental exposure. men with breast cancer or who have or might have prostate cancer, and women who are, or may become pregnant or are breast feeding should not use androgel. serious side effects include worsening of an enlarged prostate, possible increased risk of prostate cancer, lower sperm count, swelling of ankles, feet, or body, enlarged or painful breasts, problems breathing during sleep, and blood clots in the legs. tell your doctor about your medical conditions and medications, especially insulin, corticosteroids, or medicines to decrease blood clotting. talk to your doctor today about androgel 1.62% so you can use less gel. log on now to androgeloffer.com
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and you could pay as little as ten dollars a month for androgel 1.62%. what are you waiting for? this is big news. gotten a lot of attention, talking about the killing of unarmed 17-year-old trayvon martin. just before the president started speaking, george, we were talking about this movement that has gotten larger and larger by the day. in particular new york city. now you've got sanford's city manager and the naacp on this
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morning together. let's take a listen to this exchange, then i want to ask you about the police chief there in sanford. >> i'd like an independent review by a law enforcement agency that will tell me did the sanford police do something they shouldn't have done or not do something they should have done. based on this information, make a determination as to the future of chief lee. >> he needs to go right now. the reality is it's been a month since trayvon was killed. thousands upon thousands of parents in this community, they simply don't feel like their children will be safe with the leadership of this chief. >> so george, what do you think? will the police chief resign? >> kyra, it's unclear. we did reach out to the police department to get some sort of reaction to that no confidence vote. we're told the chief has no comment at this time but there is certainly a lot of calls and
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pressure for him to resign. >> i was looking at change.org. we've been following this. this petition calling for george zimmerman to be arrested, it looks like nearly 1 million people have signed it. what's the situation with george zimmerman at this point? >> obviously a lot of people coming to town, people who want to see zimmerman behind bars. as this point he's not in jail, in fact, free to go wherever he wants to go. we have spent some time trying to track him down, looking at relatives homs, friends' homs. he's nowhere to be found, essentially in hiding. he could be charged if the grand jury decides to do so on april 10th of the city manager tells me the police department does know where he is and can contact him if they so choose. >> we're talking about the nearly 1 million people who have signed this petition. we're showing the rallies taking place, in particular the one in new york city, but also friends of george zimmerman have been
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speaking out. there was a neighborhood friend that spoke out on anderson cooper last night defending his friend. let's take a listen to this. >> whether it be african-american, latino, asian, or white, he would have done the same thing. he would approach that person and just asked them, what's your business here. if he just answered him in an appropriate manner, i'm just here visiting. my mother's house is around the corner and be upfront and truthful there wouldn't have been any problem. >> george, do a lot of people feel that way in sanford? >> you know, you find a mix of people with different opinions here. some people in that neighborhood especially believe that zimmerman was a good watch captain, that he cared a great deal for that neighborhood and
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was always looking out for problems. but you also find people in this community who believe he was racially profiling that night, looking for plaque teenagers, a black teenager in this case, a teenager who he admits to shooting and killing. >> george howell, appreciate it. sky high gas prices with no end in sight. what's a president to do? or can a president do anything? we just saw mr. obama trying to do something, but is it enough and will it really help? that's next in fair game. ♪ ( whirring and crackling sounds ) man: assembly lines that fix themselves. the most innovative companies are doing things they never could before, by building on the cisco intelligent network.
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here's a chance to create jobs in america. oil sands projects, like kearl, and the keystone pipeline will provide secure and reliable energy to the united states. over the coming years, projects like these could create more than half a million jobs in the us alone. from the canadian border, through the mid west, to the gulf coast. benefiting hundreds of thousands of families throughout the country. this is just what our economy needs right now.
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the politics of petroleum. it's always fair game. let's talk about. cnn analyst roland martin and chris. guys, nice to see you. haven't seen you in a while. glad to have you back in the game. >> have a little fun dealing with chris. chris, you're looking well. >> he set you up. he's setting you up, being really nicend getting ready to tear you down. >> my show, what it's all about. >> let's get to it. you both saw the president talking energy policy at the
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keystone pipeline there in oklahoma. roland, is the president trying to outflank republicans now by saying, hey, i'm doing something, too. i'm talking about gas prices. i don't want to be dependent on oil. i want to drill. i want to be proactive. >> first of all, this portion of the keystone pipeline was not the controversial part. so the president always supported this. in fact, this particular portion, 99% of the landowners already approve of it. the controversial part is the northern portion of the pipeline. what today was all about was really more about style as opposed to substance. the president has always talked about renewable energy, has always talked about alternative sources of fuel. so sure, he wants to be able to say i'm doing something about it. but today was not really about the most controversial aspects of the pipeline. >> the issue did come up. as we know, chris, every candidate has been talking about gas prices.
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what's interesting, can you really -- if you look back historically, there have been candidates that have talked about gas prices and keeping gas prices lower. there really isn't a president that has ever been able to say i did it, see, i lowered gas prices. chris. >> that's exactly right. roland is correct. here is the situation. the situation is all of these candidates play politics with gas prices and the president continued in that tradition today. there isn't a whole lot presidents can do because they don't control opec. so unless and until we come up with a comprehensive strategy that's going to reduce permanently our dependence on foreign oil, there's nothing the president is going to be able to do. i think what the president did today was play into the politics of see, i support this. when you look at the people building pipeline trans canada, they basically have said the president is speeding up the
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permit process is not going to have an effect anyway. it's going to proceed. it's just the politics of oil at this point. >> kyra, one word, taxes. one of the reasons why gas is so high is because of local and state taxes. i think the average consumer doesn't even understand what is funded by gasoline taxes. >> right. >> so when you hear newt gingrich say i can give $2.50. guess what, it's still going to be $3.25, $3.50 because of the local county and state taxes that are applied. >> let's go in a totally different direction here. we're going to go old school. forget your ipad, let's go etch-a-sketch. >> no ipad. >> where is your etch-a-sketch. i know you're old school. who would have ever thought this would have become a campaign -- chris is shaking his head. a part of the campaign. let's roll the montage. >> you have to stand for something positive and you have
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to -- pardon me. let me borrow that for a second. have you to last for something longer than something like this. >> shake it up and it'sing and he's going to draw a whole new picture for the general election. that should be comforting to all of you voting in this primary, whoever you're going to vote for is going to be a completely new candidate. >> all right, guys. why is this even a controversy? why are we talking about it? why is everyone grabbing the etch-a-sketch? everybody can be blamed for having an idea that goes away and then another idea. why does this have so much tracks, roland. >> first of all, thanks soledad o'brien starting point because that's where the conversation began with a question to romney's communications director. if you're mitt romney, fire your communications director to created this firestorm by saying that basically we can just, like etch-a-sketch, it can go away. they tried to come back and
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clean it up of the reality is that played right into the biggest criticism of mitt romney in that he will change his position in the blink of an eye. even when you look at polls from tuesday, illinois, it showed people who voted for him still don't trust him and his positions. >> chris, you're going to be at the rallies, see a flip-flop in one hand and an etch-a-sketch in another. >> who likes an etch-a-sketcher who wears flip flops. this the proper that you're got. many republicans, including myself, absolutely are not all that thrilled with mitt romney to begin with. so what he did was he reminded us, just when we thought it was okay to put our toe in the water, we get back to the etch-a-sketch thing. what it also reminded me of, john kerry wind surfing, mitt romney etch-a-sketching, michael dukakis on the tank. not good.
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>> when you start hearing john kerry and dukakis in the same sentence with mitt romney i know some republicans going oh, no. >> exactly. >> i'm buying stock in etch-a-sketch. i don't know about you guys but i'm getting in on it now. >> i'm cool with it. >> great to see you. >> i'm good with it. where is my etch-a-sketch app? >> stay tuned. the whole etch-a-sketch mess is just the latest example of an ongoing problem for mitt romney, the problem that he's likely going to face come november. who is the real mitt? coming up, i'm going to ask a man who knows. the author of the latest romney biography, "the real romney." that's next. not that we'd ever brag about it. turn right. come on, nine. turn left. hit the brakes. huh? how'd that get there? [ male announcer ] we can't hide how proud we are to have nine 2012 iihs top safety picks.
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well, without a doubt mitt romney has goofed, gaffed, and desperately tried to recover. case in point. >> it also means that if you don't like what they do, you can fire them.
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i like being able to fire people that provide services to me. i drive a mustang and chevy pickup truck. ann drives a couple cadillacs. i'm in this case because i'm concerned about americans. i'm not concerned about the very poor because we have a safety net there. scott is a veteran reporter for "the boston globe." he's covered romney for years and we're going to talk about your new book, but before we get to that, let me ask you, are you surprised by so many gaffes, gaffes that are considered totally out of touch with americans? >> yes and no. i mean, as it's been an extraordinary run, you played three of them. you can probably play a dozenore so more. they're not just gaffes, they're telling gaffes in the sense they connect to one of the central narratives against him, which is that he's this very wealthy businessman who doesn't understand the 99%. so it's not just that they're mistakes, but they're mistakes
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that matter. and if you look back over his career, i mean, he has never been somebody who has i would say connected terribly well with voters on the campaign trail. that's never been his calling card, and in fairness i don't think that's what he's promising now. he's not saying, look, i want everyone to love me. he's saying i'm mr. fix it and i can get this economy going. so it has been -- >> and on a much bigger level. so you interviewed obviously a number of people. there's a number of stories. one that a lot of people are referring to is this one considering an encounter with a woman by the name of peggy hayes. tell us this story and how you sort of use this as an example of the lack of sympathy that many americans are saying that they see in mitt romney.
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>> sure. well, mitt romney for many years was a very important leader, a local leader in the boston area in the mormon church, and as such he counseled and talked to many members of the mormon faith. you were essentially the pastor, if you will, of a local congregation. and so there's a woman named peggy hayes who mitt had encountered. she was a single mother, she was pregnant again. the mormon church did not look kindly on single motherhood. they much prefer kids to be raised if two-parent households. she had gone to her apartment as her bishop and said the church wants you to give up your child for adoption. she was horrified and affording to her he threatened her with excommunication if she did not abide by his request. he denied ever doing that. i think it's an illustration of him having a lack of sensitivity in a sensitive situation. there are plenty of other people
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who have stories of him being this gracious, warm mormon leader. i don't want to paint the picture that this is the overwhelming portrait you get, but it is one of them. there have been stories we have about mitt romney not always saying the right thing in delicate situations. >> and you also talk -- we have about 20 seconds unfortunately, but you talk a lot about his dad's influence as well, right, scott? >> yeah. his dad was a major influence in his life. he really set out to follow his father's pattern in many ways, and yet they're very different people. george romney, his father was very outspoken, very blunt, very brash even. mitt romney is much more disciplined, much more reserved, much more careful and some would say overly so, much too scripted. >> let's get that book up one more time. it is "the real romney" and scott is a veteran political reporter. if you read "the boston globe," his book is out. appreciate your time, scott. >> great to be here. >> thanks for watching, everyone. cnn "newsroom" with suzanne malveaux continues right after a short break.
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live from cnn headquarters in atlanta, it is 12:00 noon. i'm suzanne malveaux. want to get you up to speed for this thursday march 22nd. buses packed with protesters making their way to sanford, florida, this hour. they're heading for a rally tonight for trayvon more tin. he is the unarmed 17-year-old who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch captain. yesterday hundreds of demonstrators gathered at new york's union square. they called their protest the one million hoodie march. it's part of an online campaign to demand the arrest of martin's shooter, george zimmerman. so far more than 900,000 people have signed the petition on
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change.org. we'll have a live report from sanford, florida. this is the man suspected of shooting it out with police over two days in france. he is now dead, killed by commandos two stormed the apartment where he was holed up. he is the same man, they think, that killed seven people in france, some of them shooldiers some of them children. more about the frightening standoff in a moment. and rebel fighters in syria target an army tank. just watch this. this is in the city of hama. the explosive goes off as a syrian tank passes by. we hear voices cheering afterwards. an opposition group says that syrian forces are again heavily shelling hama. at least 14 people are reported killed today in fighting across the country. we are drilling all over the place. those words from president obama just moments ago as his last
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stop -- latest stop in the energy tour. the president officially announcing plans to fast track, it is the southern part of the keystone pipeline project. now republicans want him to approve the entire project which would stretch from canada to the gulf coast, and they blasted him over the high gas prices. but he is defending his energy policies. >> since i took office, our dependence on foreign oil has gone down every single year. last year we imported 1 million fewer barrels per day than the year before. think about that. america at a time when we're growing is actually importing less oil from overseas because we're using it smarter and more efficiently. >> we have amazing video from the war zone in afghanistan. this is a u.s. army attack helicopter slamming into the ground shattering into pieces. the unbelievable part of this, nobody was hurt, nobody on the ground, nobody in that helicopter. the pentagon is checking to see if it was mechanical problem or
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if the pilot was flying dangerously. supporters of trayvon martin want the man who shot and killed him to go to jail. now, george zimmerman told police he acted in self-defense when he gunned down this unarmed teen last month. well, last night the sanford city commission passed a no confidence vote against the town's police chief. right now bus loads of protesters are heading to sanford for a rally lead by the reverend al sharpton. george howell is live in sanford. first of all, what is the purpose of the protest? what do they hope to accomplish by gathering tonight? >> reporter: you know, there are a few main purposes. the first and foremost is to see george zimmerman put behind bars. people are coming together to share one united voice for that particular purpose. the second is to see this city police department investigated by federal officials to determine what the problems are, the problems that they say exist between the police department and the black community.
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so a big rally scheduled today right around 7:00, and i have also learned that trayvon martin's family will meet with members of the department of justice today around 3:00, and we should actually have a press opportunity with them around 4:30 to hear the results of that meeting. >> and, george, are people already starting to gather? can you give us a sense of the mood and the flavor there? >> reporter: it's interesting. you know, i see more and more people down this street. it may be indicating more and more people are coming to town. we are near city hall. that actual meeting will be at ft. melon park. we're expecting hundreds if not thousands of people from all over the country in support of trayvon martin. >> and on a local level here, there's a no confidence vote. what does that mean in terms of who is responsible or who potentially could be in trouble here? >> reporter: essentially it means that the city officials no
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longer have confidence in the police chief's ability to lead this police department. whether that affects the investigation, not likely, but it could have an indirect effect. the city manager says it will be important to him as federal investigators come in and look at this police department, also looking at the particulars of this case, that city manager has the power to fire the police chief and this vote of no confidence certainly weighs heavy in his mind. >> and george, do we think we could see any activity on that front today or is that something that will eventually play out? >> the city manager has made it very clear that he will not make any decisions until the federal investigators look through this case. this particular case. and also after they look through the police department to find ways that the police department could perhaps improve relations with the black community here, look for problems within the department, but that could take some time. we also know that a grand jury will decide whether george
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zimmerman will be put behind bars. that will happen on april 10th, so this time line could take some time. >> we're going to be following that very closely. obviously there's goes to be a lot of activity where you are later today. thank you. here is a rundown on some of the stories we are covering. first, questions over what george zimmerman said on the 911 calls the day trayvon martin died. was it a racial slur? our audio engineers listened to the tape. we're going to play it for you. plus a 31-hour standoff with an al qaeda terrorist. it is now over. the tense moments as police burst into the apartment. and then a student loan shocker. americans owe $1 trillion. is college worth all the money? newtons fruit thins. real blueberries in blueberry brown sugar. crispy whole grain. newtons fruit thins, one unique cookie.
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taking a closer look at reports that neighborhood watch captain george zimmer maman use racial slur moments before shooting trayvon martin. it was recorded during his conversation with 911 d dispatchers and our gary tuchman examines the case along with our top audio engineer. the phrase in question will be played many times during this piece and it is offensive. >> this is edit room 31 at cnn center in atlanta. it's one of the most sow figures at this kated audio edit suites and this is rick sierra. he's one of the best audio experts in the business. rick, if you can, i have not listened to this portion of the 911 tape at all. i just want to hear it raw right now if you can play maybe ten seconds before it and let's listen. >> down towards the other entrance of the neighborhood. >> which entrance is that that he's heading towards? >> the back entrance. >> you may not have heard the
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moment in question because it was so quick. >> how long does that portion last that everyone is talking about? >> a second, 18 frames. >> about 1.6 seconds. >> correct. >> let's listen to it ten times in a row if we can. >> okay. >> what we're listening for is the racial slur coons. it follows the "f" word. some people say they hear it, others say they don't. it's certainly a lot clearer when we listen to it this way. >> that's correct. >> is there anything we can do to make it clearer? >> i did a little boosting at 4.6 killo hertz. >> rick has lowered the bass. >> why do you want to get rid of the low end? >> to minimize the noise. >> so that takes away the noise and allows us to hear the voice more clearly.
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>> that's correct. i'll boost it up a little more there. we'll give it a shot here. >> do thank does sound a little clearer to me. you know, it sounds like this allegation could be accurate but i wouldn't swear to it in court. >> that's what it sounds like to me. >> yeah. very difficult to really pinpoint what he's saying. >> rick, can we play just that second word what we think the second word is and hear if that sounds any different? >> okay. >> coons, coons. >> it sounds like that word to me but you can't be sure. that sounds even more like the word than using it when it was with the "f" word before that. >> that's correct. >> only george zimmerman knows if he used the slur but he's not talking, so the phone call like so much of this case remains a myste mystery. gary tuchman, cnn, atlanta. >> there's no word on where george zimmerman is now, but a
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friend and fellow neighbor watch captain is defending him. frank taffee told me yesterday that zimmerman is a good guy. >> george zimmerman is a good dude. he's straight up. that's why i'm front running for him today. and have been since this incident broke. >> you say he's a good dude and yet we have reports from eyewitnesses and people who explain a situation that looks like he is hunting down this young kid and that he is killed in cold blood, not in self-defense. how do you explain what we've heard so far? >> suzanne, in our neighborhood we've experienced eight burglaries, one of them being a daytime burglary. i myself credit george for thwarting a burglary to my own house. i don't condone the use of the gun. being a former block captain, we were never instructed to use weapons as lethal as a 9
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millimeter. maximum i would ever use maybe is a pepper spray or a taser, something nonlethal, but, no, george, i'm going to go on camera and say george is not a racist. >> zimmerman's family is also denying allegations that race played a role in this shooting. they say zimmerman has several minority relatives and friends. the armed standoff in france, it is over now. suspected killer is now dead. want you to listen to this. cnn's cameras were rolling when french commandos sprang into action. bullets started flying. this happened just a short time ago. when the gunfire stopped a 23-year-old man who held police at bay for two days was killed. he's suspected of killing several people in southern france. we're learning more about the suspect and how he was killed. want to go to toulouse, france, and that's where diana is. we just heard the france
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interior minister talking to reporters. what is the update here? >> reporter: well, suzanne, he gave a lot of details. let's start with the way that mohammed merah, this self proclaimed al qaeda affiliate was killed. basically he had a long period of sort of discussions with negotiators via walkie-talkie. then they heard nothing. the police heard nothing for a good eight hours. they had thrown stun grenades into the house to try to sort of shock him into handing himself over, but they had no sign of life or death, which means that sort of, you know, a good 28 hours into the skege thiege the decided to move in. moving in slowly, checking each rom in the house. they couldn't find him anywhere and then he burst out of the bathroom shooting incredibly violently. it sounds like an automatic gunfire but it wasn't. it was just the speed he was
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shooting. he ran and jumped off the balcony and was shot with a bullet to the head. we know, suzanne, he had had a lot of talks with the negotiators, not really asking for anything on his side. more just telling them why he had done what he'd done. and sort of giving details about the weapons that he had, where they could find them. also a bag where he had a camera with the tapes of all the killings that he'd filmed, pretty gruesome stuff. >> why did they decide to end the standoff today in this way? >> reporter: because they hadn't heard anything from him. they'd had such a long period of negotiations, then they heard two gunshots in the middle of the night. they didn't know where they had come from or they didn't really know, you know, what they were referring to. and they heard nothing before or since. really six hours later, they had to do something, and they decided to go in. >> and, diana, this guy said he belonged to al qaeda. does al qaeda claim him as one
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of their own terrorists? >> reporter: well, there has been one al qaeda linked group that has claimed responsibility for his attacks, claimed he's an affiliate of theirs. the authorities here say that they do think that he acted alone, a sort of lone wolf. he did go and train in training camps in pakistan, but we don't think as far as this sort of investigation goes so far that he was part of a cell here, but, of course, that is the way the investigation is going now. they're going to be looking at who helped him, whether anyone helped him, and that is why really it would have been better for the security authorities here to have got him alive rather than dead. he would have been able to give them more info. >> all right. diana, thank you. so you got the degree, but you've also -- you got the debt to show for it.
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americans o a towe a total of $ trillion. this week's edition of "the ness list," a double everyone -- amp tee says his limbs are part of his identity. you can see his story, it's this sunday, 2:00 p.m. eastern. here is a little preview. >> i'm often asked if i was granted a wish from a magic fairy, would i wish my by alm-- biological legs back. i always say absolutely not. my bionic limbs have become part of my identity. what's really fun is they're upgradable. every few months i get a hardware and software upgrade and as my biological body ages, my artificial limbs get better and better. so it's interesting that i'm kind of getting better and
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$1 trillion, we're not even talking about the size of a bailout for greece, of the automakers. rather, it is about americans and how much they owe in student loans. federal agencies say it could hurt the housing market as well. i want to bring in patricia wu. i remember paying back my student loans, how great it felt to pay them all back. it took years and years and years. now we're talking about a trillion dollars that folks owe for their students loans. how did we get here? >> a lot of it has to do with the economy.
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over the past few years more people took out loans to go to college because they can't find work so they're hoping to have a better shot at finding that job when they graduate. now, at the same time tuition is going up. you know, state budgets are crunched for cash, so they're making cuts in higher education. and finally, many people can't make the payments on their student loans, so their debt load is growing. if you think about it, if you don't have a job, you're probably more worried about keeping your house and putting food on the table than paying off those student loans. so the result is that student loan debt hit $1 trillion. and this comes from a preliminary report from the consumer financial protection bureau. their number is much higher than the recent estimate that we got from the fed. suzanne? >> and so when you consider so many families struggling to pay off this debt, is it still considered a good investment? >> well, you know, let's take a look at some numbers. numbers don't lie, right? you are more likely to get a job if you have a college degree.
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the unemployment rate by education level, if you have a high school diploma only, the unemployment rate is 8.3%. that's the same as the national average. if you look at the unemployment rate for those with a four-year degree, that drops by half, 4.2%. and with a college degree, you're more likely to get a higher paying job to pay off the loans. >> there are some government officials who say this even poses a threat to the economy, to the larger economy, right? >> absolutely. because you could be paying off those loans for years, so that has a trickle down effect. now, if a big chunk of your paycheck is going to those loans, you're likely to delay those big life milestones, getting married, buying a house, and here is why that hurts the economy. when you buy a house, you buy furniture, you're spending more, and consumer spending is key to economic recovery. when you're buying a house, you're also helping the housing market to recover. but, you know, the bottom line is you don't have to rack up a
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lot of debt to get an education. average tuition for a four-year public college is about $8,000 for in-state residents. compare that to about $29,000 for a private four-year school. and also don't forget, community colleges and trade schools, those could be less expensive alternative as well. >> that's good information. patricia, a quick check on the market? >> oh, absolutely. right now, you know, the sell-off continues. the dow is down half a percent. the nasdaq has dropped about ten points and the s&p also slipping about nine points. and, you know, of course, this is all due to worries about the global economic growth slowing down because we got some weak manufacturing data out of china and germany. >> all right. patricia wu, thank you. he's running as vp, but could joe biden set his sights higher in 2016? president candidate perhaps? some people think not such a crazy idea.
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time for the help desk where we get answers to your financial questions. joining me this hour are jack otter, he's the executive editor of cbs money watch.com and author of "worth it, not worthy, and stacy francis, the president of francis financial. let's get to the first question. david in texas is asking, i am considering opening a 529 plan for my new grandson. how will this affect his financial aid, jack? >> great move, but it's a little bit tricky. so when a grandfather, grandmother opens a 529 plan, there's no effect. when the parents fill out the fasa form you have to fill out for college aid, it's not there. but when they actually contribute to the tuition, then it shows up as student income, and that is tapped at a higher rate. it's consider ed -- it dents yor financial aid more than parents' assets do. so he's got two options. one, he can just figure he's saving for senior year because he will contribute for senior year, there's no more college
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after that so it's fine. if he's putting in a lot of money, he might want to actually gift it to the parents. they can put it in a 529 plan and it will have less of an impact on financial aid and, finally, i would say people obsess over this too much. saving for college is way better than not saving for college. if you dent financial aid a little bit, okay, you still saved a lot of money, that's a great thing. >> our next question coming from andy in pennsylvania. he says my wife and i have a gross income of $275,000. i max out my 401(k) and contribute $10,000 towards our mutual fund. how else can we save for retirement he wants to know, stacy? >> it sounds like his wife might be working, too, and so i wonder why are we not putting money into her retirement plan at work? if she doesn't have a retirement plan at work that $1,000 o10$10d go to his aiira.
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much better than just putting in a taxable mutual fund. >> spreading it out a little more. >> spread it out. >> thanks for coming in. if you have a question you want answered, send us an e-mail anytime at cnnhelpdesk@cnn.com. people with a machine. what ? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it ? hello ? hello ?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello ? ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense.
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the passat is one of nine volkswagen models named a 2012 iihs top safety pick. not that we'd ever brag about it. turn right. come on, nine. turn left. hit the brakes. huh? how'd that get there? [ male announcer ] we can't hide how proud we are to have nine 2012 iihs top safety picks. so we're celebrating with our "safety in numbers" event. that's the power of german engineering. right now lease the 2012 passat for $219 a month. i get my cancer medications through the mail. now washington, they're looking at shutting down post offices coast to coast. closing plants is not the answer. they want to cut 100,000 jobs. it's gonna cost us more, and the service is gonna be less. we could lose clientele because of increased mailing times. the ripple effect is going to be devastating. congress created the problem. and if our legislators get on the ball, they can make the right decisions.
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here is a rundown on some of the stories we're working on next. mitt romney probably wishes it could rerace yesterday and start over. how etch-a-sketch became the latest buzz phrase on the xran trail. and whether they're in or out of uniform, that's firefighters are getting the job done. jeanne moos explains. later clark howard stops by with some money saving advice. don't miss the deal of the week.
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so i betemit romney wishes he could erase the etch-a-sketch comment from one of his top advisers. they jumped all over the remark that the general election is a chance to shake it up and start over like an etch-a-sketch. let's bring in our political panel. so i remember when the kerry flip-flops became a prop back in 2004 election covering him. now you got the etch-a-sketch here. i didn't even know they still had them out there, but you had rick santorum, newt gingrich, even reporters, all of them pulling them out yesterday. do we think -- let's start off with you, jamal, do you think he will be able to shake this off, so to speak? >> normally he would be able to shake this off. one quick gaffe and you keep moving. the problem is there's such a history with -- i almost called him john kerry. there's such a history with mitt
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romney that it's hard. people are worried that there is no real policy core to the guy, that he's just sort of making it up as we go along and when conditions change in the political stare, he changes positions to meet whatever it is he needs to do at the time. that's why people are a little worried about him, both conservatives and democrats. >> crystal, how does he get out of this metaphor, this analogy with this etch-a-sketch? >> i think he should start by firing his senior aide. >> no. >> guys, look, i'm serious. it was a serious blunder on a day when mitt romney was coming into his own as the front-runner. he had a huge win in illinois across income groups, across, you know, all types of workers. you had the working class vote he picked up, higher income. he had got the female vote, the male vote, and then his senior aide goes on national
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television -- >> it was cnn. >> thank you soledad o'brien because she made great news. don't worry about it, he reinforced the flip-flopper image of the front-runner. i think it's awful and reprehensible. i think it will go away, but anytime you start bringing children's toys into the political debate, it's pretty bads. i do think barack obama, however, would probably like a do-over with respect to his record -- >> we knew crystal was going to get into obama. you knew you had to get obama here. >> i know. >> i want you to listen to this. this is fresh sound. this is rick santorum again weighing in on this etch-a-sketch analogy. >> by giving people a choice. you win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who is just going to be a little different than the person in there. if they're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the etch-a-sketch candidate for the future. >> all right.
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we'll see how long these guys can use this. i don't know. it just keeps going on and on. romney's wife, ann -- >> suzanne, what's t he said is really a big deal. what he said is maybe we should keep what we have instead of taking a gamble on the etch-a-sketch candidate. that's a pretty remarkable thing for a republican candidate to be saying for the guy who may be their potential nominee. >> how does a guy like romney recover when he has his fellow republicans -- >> santorum is a sinking ship. no one is paying attention to saner to runl or newt gingrich for that matter. and i disagree with what jamal said, especially when the president's approval ratings, people disapprove of him at 50% and on his handling of the economy 59% of americans think obama is doing an awful job. so romney is not the same old thing. it's now voters want anybody but barack obama. >> i want to bring in romney's wife ann here because she was on an interview with piers morgan
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and she was asked about robert de niro's comment that america is not ready for a white first lady. she says everybody needs to loosen up here. >> let's take it for what it is. we're all overreacting to so many things and making things so difficult, which means we have to watch every single word that comes out of our mouth. we can't be spontaneous. we can't be funny. we can't -- i will tell you in politics the fastest way to get in trouble is to make a joke. so i think robert de niro has just learned that. >> jamal, has it turned into that kind of atmosphere? >> suzanne, i think ann romney handled this absolutely appropriately. you got to sort of make light of it if you're the person involved in this. i think de niro probably wishes he could take that joke back. when you start getting on issues of whether it's religion or race or, you know, gender stuff, it's always tricky ground. so de niro -- i'm sure he wishes he could take that joke back. >> crystal, i'm going to leave this one to you here. wee got a lot of water cooler
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speculation already about 2016 and the democrats. would you rather see a biden 20920 2016 or a hillary clinton 2016? >> biden is obviously who we'd want to go up against if he's still standing by that point in 2016. he's not getting any younger. >> oh -- >> but i think biden is a weak vice president, and you talk about not knowing what's going to come out of somebody's mouth. that guy showed on a campaign trail and continues to show when he's let out of the cage, he really doesn't know what to say. i think you know what? good for you, biden, if you think that you want to be yet -- this would be a third retread for him if he runs again. i mean, the tire is getting worn on that, worn down. >> jamal, you have to weigh in on that. >> uncle joe biden. >> well, hey. but i do agree with jamal, i think ann romney handled that in
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a classy way. we were talking about that earlier. i want to hear more of ann romney talking. she's funny and i think she would be a good first lady, but de niro's comments, it makes you wonder, what are you saying, robert, black first ladies, do we have more groove than white first ladies? i don't know. it was crazy. >> i have to do a quick -- >> that's for a whole other conversation. you have one sentence. >> 2016, i think hillary clinton would make a fantastic nominee if she wants to do it. i'm not sure she does. she's going to be four years older but you've also got governor cuomo, governor o'malley. there's a big list of democrats who are getting ready for that. >> i'm putting my money, i think she's going to go for it in 2016. >> i do, too. >> she'd be great. >> crystal, jamal, thanks. good to see you guys. firefighters doing their jobs in dresses. >> you did a great job holding the hose when he was in his pretty green dress. >> bad timing for these guys. kee in the franchise to get the word out.
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call it firefighting at its best, best dressed that is. jeanne moos checked out what happened to a group of firefighters on their way to a parade. >> reporter: if you think
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fighting a car fire could be a drag, imagine fighting a car fire in drag. >> that is awesome. >> reporter: two burly firefighters in gowns, ted is in the pink. did you realize you were fighting a fire in a dress? >> it kind of dawned on me when we were in the middle of fighting it. >> reporter: when did it dawn on ben wearing the green gown? >> i remember looking over to my right and seeing people with cell phones up to their face. >> reporter: but they didn't have much choice. the sedan, minnesota, fire department had a float in the st. patrick's day parade in a nearby town. ♪ >> reporter: the firefighters dressed up to promote a beauty pageant they hold every year as a fund-raiser. but when a pickup truck caught fire, they leaped into action. even if it meant fighting not just the fire, but falling straps on ted's gown. as for ben, you didn't seem to have any trouble with your straps. >> that's because i didn't have any. >> reporter: he wore a strapless
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accessorized with a hose. >> he did a great job handling the hose in his pretty green dress. >> reporter: the chir fire chief has a name for his men. >> i call them my girls. >> reporter: they managed to put out the blaze in just a couple minutes. and the chief points out that though they lacked normal protective gear, the firefighters played it safe and stayed focused. >> these guys can stand out there in underwear and wouldn't care. they're that way. >> reporter: though some angles were less than flattering. still, well, you looked very pretty. you're the prettiest fireman i ever saw. but one burning question remains, gentlemen, who were you wearing? >> i'm pretty sure they got them from jcpenney. >> reporter: now, that's hot. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> that's a good one. renting a car, one website
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visit a local office, or go to libertymutual.com today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? at cnn we're always looking for ways to save you some money opinion when it comes to rental cars, a website called auto slash promises to help drivers skip the hassle at the rental counter and get out onto the open road. clark howard has more on the deal of the week. >> i have talked in the past about the strategy i use to save money when i rent a car. what i do is when i originally
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book my airline tickets, which is usually quite a distance from when i'm going to travel, i book a car at that same time. then one week before i go, i reshop the rental car and about 90% of the time, as i told you before, that saves me money on the rebook. but a lot of people aren't going to remember to do that, it's more trouble than it sounds like it's worth. i've been testing a new offer alled auto slash.com. it's very controversial with the car rental tri. you book your original car through auto slash and they automatically continually check the rates for you, and every time there's a cheaper rate available, they go ahead and rebook you and alert you to your new deal, your new lower price. so it makes automatic pilot what i do manually. i'm clark howard, for more info on autoslash go to
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hlntv.com/clark. >> and for more money tips, check out clark on the weekends. it's every saturday and sunday 6:00 a.m. and noon eastern on hln. a threat from al qaeda leader telling afghans to rise up against western troops. we're cracking down on medicare fraud.
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the leader of al qaeda wants the people of afghanistan to rise up against american troops. we're talking about ayman al zawahiri. he became al qaeda's leader after osama bin laden was killed. there's a new audio message popping up on eferl websites and he mentions some recent events and he speaks directly to the people of afghanistan. i want to go to kabul and sara sidner who joins us here. it's been a while since there's been a public statement from zawahiri. what is he saying today? >> reporter: he's basically asking anyone in afghanistan to rise up against the foreign troops, particularly the americans, basically saying fight with us against them. he's also referring to some of the things that have happened here that have outraged afghans and muslims across the world really. one in particular, he talks about the photo that's out there, the video that's out
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there that shows u.s. troops what appears to be urinating on the dead bodies on insurgents. he says, you know, this is their values. look at their values. this is how americans feel about others, particularly muslims. so he's trying to sort of inflame passions again, and certainly you remember 40 people were killed after the koran burnings here, and that really, really set people off, not only here but in other parts of the world. so certainly trying to get support and also trying to get people to really look at the americans and the u.s. and nato forces in a different way. >> what do we think is going to be the impact of this message? does he actually carry the same weight as bin laden did when he would send those messages out to folks? >> reporter: if you listen to what some of the analysts say, he doesn't have the same power, the same charisma, even the same name recognition as bin laden did. obviously working towards that.
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and you may not see anything. you may not see any reaction from that. remember, even after the massacre of 16 people allegedly by a u.s. sold mother is now accused of that, we didn't see any protests, no violent protests. >> you mentioned that ten days since the massacre by that u.s. soldier in kandahar. do we see any kind of emotional responses, the anger quelling in the afghan community here? >> reporter: there is anger. people are frustrated. it seems like they're more frustrated than outraged at this point in time. frustrated that time and time again there have been these incidents that keep coming up, certainly the government has said that. we've heard it from president karzai talking about this is the end of the rope, referring to a lot of the different things that have happened that are not protocol that the u.s. and nato says this does not represent our troops but yet it happens, it gets into the public sphere, and it makes people so angry.
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but then in some ways there's just nothing they can do about it. it's not like troops are just going to quickly move out of here. it's just not possible, but certainly you're seeing frustration in this country. >> all right. sara sidner, thank you. mysterious noises, unexplained shaking. there is something that's going on in wisconsin, and these residents think they know why. >> i think it's manmade. >> sinkholes. >> like ground shiftage. >> yorn if iti don't know if it something manmade or something geological. to bring everythi available seating for up to seven people to take everyone, and the grip of available all-wheel drive to go everywhere. think of it as a search engine helping you browse the real world. this march, get no extra charge third-row seating plus 0% financing on dodge journey.
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people in clintonville, wisconsin, say they don't even know what's next. they've been dealing with noises that sound like explosions. this is happening every night for the past three days, and last night they held a town hall meeting hopefully to get to the bottom of what's going on there. >> i'm not trying to incite panic or anything, but like how do we tell if it's like getting dangerous or if we need to evacuate. >> if we felt it was necessary to evacuate, we would indicate that. >> city officials promised to hire an engineering firm to investigate what is happening there. we're joined by jim spellman who is in clintonville searching for the answers. chad myers is here working on a few other theories as well. i want to go to you, jim, first here. what are the main concerns of the city officials? what are they say being what residents are upset about? >> reporter: well, the biggest problem here is the uncertainty. they don't know if these things are going to stop and they'll never figure out what caused them or if they're going to
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continue, if maybe a sinkhole is going to open up. it's really that uncertainty. they've ruled out just about every manmade potential cause, electrical substations exploding, gas leaks, sewers collapsing, even military operations. none of those things have panned out. now they're left with trying to figure out if it's some sort of geological cause which is more difficult than something like an electrical substation. >> do we know how long this engineering stud dwy is going t stake? i imagine these folks want to have some answers quickly. >> reporter: those sensors are on their way. they're going to set up four sensors in a triangle pattern with one in the middle and try to detect the epicenter. when they have that nailed down, they're going to drill down into the ground, use sensors, cameras, to find out if there's some sort of unknown void, a cavern or something like that down there. they're going to leave it up for a week to figure that out. at least they contract eed to he
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them up for a week. they expect to have them placed later this afternoon. >> do we think this could be a mild quake happening here in this community? >> some type of quake. something is obviously shaking. you look at the seismograph behind me. that's from very close to clintonville. the ground is moving a little bit, but not like an earthquake where you would see the bump and then it goes down. the ground is shaking like a truck is running over the internet, sometimes you're on a bridge and you can feel it when the truck goes by you. that's the kind of shaking they're feeling but it doesn't come all the time so it could be something to do with the mild winter as well. >> and do we think it's seismic activity? do we think it's possible that is taking place? is it a dangerous situation these folks are dealing with? >> i have a couple theories. it was a very dry winter and the groundwater table may be going down because people are pumping water out of the ground for watering, for wharf they might be doing. and there was no snow and no release back into the water table of melting snow or rain.
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the rock that's holding that water table may be collapsing a little bit on its own. that's one of the possibilities. also, it's been 80 degrees. it shouldn't be 50 degrees there. maybe the frost or the lower layers of the frost beginning to shake a little bit, but it's only in one part in one town. but last night montello, wisconsin, had a shake, they had a boom. that's the first place other than clintonville had it. >> chad, jim, thank you so much. appreciate it. >> you bet. top of the hour, suzanne malveaux. want to get you up to speed. this is a man suspected of shooting it out with poce over two days in france. he is now dead, killed by commandos two stormed the apartment where he was holed up. he's the same man they think killed seven people

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