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tv   Starting Point  CNN  September 24, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT

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our starting point this morning, the gathering of world leaders as tensions between iran and israel near a breaking point. the united nation general assembly with a full plate this week and for the presidential election at home. free morning-after pills, a plan in some new york city schools. and who couldn't shake his voice? yeah, he's going to join us this morning. he's going to team up with president bill clinton using social media to help solve some of the world's toughest problems. and starting point begins right now. morning. welcome, everyone. our starting point president prime ministers, other heads of state, nearly 120 of them are gathering in new york city today under heavy security.
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it's the annual meeting of united nations general assembly. then on wednesday, the iranian president will take his turn in the spotlight. ahead of that, though, he sat down with pi ers morgan, spoke about a potential military confrontation with israel. >> do you fear that war is imminent? do you fear that there will be military conflict, perhaps even before the end of this year between your country and israel? >> translator: of course, the zionists are very much ad -- very adventuresome, very much seeking to fabricate things. and i think they see themselves at the end of the line. and i do firmly believe that they seek to create opportunities for themselves and their adventurous behaviors. >> senior u.n. correspondent richard ross joins us this morning with a preview of the unga meeting. lots at stake. let's start with ahmadinejad.
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>> okay. there are 193 countries speaking. let's start with iran. this is a sad rerun we're going to probably have. there's been no major pros progress on the nuclear program deal. he's going to give a speech on wednesday, maybe talk today on the rule of law, different subject. but the countries who are focused on iran are meeting privately this week. we don't see any progress that's going to happen here. undoubtedly, when he speaks on wednesday, there will probably be some 9/11 inflammatory conspiracy language and we're going to have countries walk out of the hall. >> which is consistent to what we've seen in the past. talk to me about the rest of the middle east. >> that is overhappening this general assembly. last year, there was a lot of moment, more hope, some change. i think the bell elephant in the room is syria and many countries want to see more progress on that front. the security council is divided and once again syria is raising that word irrelevantsy when it comes to the united nations. the security council so divided with no progress, people are being killed by the thousands in
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that country after the arab spring and people are saying, what is the purpose of this organization? i have asked various ambassadors, various ministers that question. they feel it's still important to talk every year and hope for some type of movement. the u.n. envoy for syria is going to meet with the security council today. he has as he has often said another mission impossible job. >> on that front, as well, where do we see progress happening on this unga? >> well, the progress will probably be as usual on other issues and one western diplomate said are there issues that other u.n. powers don't have to were about. if there's a disagreement, they deal with the ivory coast. they want progress at mahli, there's the sahel, a region now racked by famine. the palestinian issue is going to come up want you remember last year we had the big declaration of statehood by a palestinian leader. this time, without getting too jargony for the morning --
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>> which we appreciate. >> they want nonobserver state status, which is still movement ahead, but it doesn't give them what they fully want, which is the word state. that will be announced by the palestinian leader on thursday. >> richard ross, thank you. our news making headlines today? >> libya's president ordering up the break-up of all militias that don't fall under the government authority. the order comes in response to the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi that killed four americans, including ambassador christopher steven. mitt romney sounds like he's ready for a reboot and a fight. the gop nominee says he'll get more aggressive in the first six weeks of the race. he says president obama has been putting words in his mouth and he plans to put a stop to it. >> i think that the president's campaign has focused its advertising in many cases on
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very inaccurate portrayals of my position. they've been very aggressive in their attacks both on a personal basis, on a policy basis. >> the president says one of the biggest disappointments of his fist four years in office is his failure to change the political climate in washington. >> i think that, you know, as president i bear responsibility for everything, to some dpre. and one of the things i've realized over the last two years is that that only has happened happens if i'm enlisting the american people much more aggressively than i did the first two years. >> ft. presidential debate comes up next wednesday, october 3rd. it is close. get ready. a very emotional victory for the baltimore ravens over the new england patriots in sunday night football, especially for ravens receiver torrey smith. he caught two touchdown passes one night after his younger brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. the ravens went on to win, 31-30. it happened on a disputed last second 27-yard field goal by
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justin tucker. was it good or not? the ref said yes. it was a brutal week three for the replacement referees. they admit to making mistakes over san francisco. they incorrectly granted 49ers coach jim harbaugh two challenges in the fourth quarter. and in the detroit, tennessee, washington, cincinnati game, the refs stepped off too much yardage in penalty calls. not a good day. meanwhile, "mad men" was dethroned. homeland took home best drama emmy last night. "modern family" is still the king of comedy. it won't best comedy series for the third year in a row. and speaking of streaks, there is nothing like this one. jon stewart's "the daily show" was named the best variety program for a tenth straight
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year. stewart basically made it to the stage after being tackled by losers jimmy kimmel and stephen colbert who were funny in defeat, let's say. >> let's get back to our top story this morning. nearly 120 world leaders are here in new york city for the u.n. general assembly. let's get right to nicholas burns from the harvard kennedy school. it's nice to see you, sir. thank you for your time. a moment ago, i'm sure you heard richard ross setting up the various issues before the u.n. general assembly, focusing on what's happening in the middle east and growing unrest there and violence and obviously talking about ahmadinejad and his expected comment coming on wednesday. let's talk specifically about some of the things that ahmadinejad had said that seem to be contradictory in just the last 24, 48 hours or so. here is first what he told piers morgan, which we just played a moment ago where he said they
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see themselves, meaning israel, at the end of the line. they want to create opportunities for themselves, which i think people are interpreted as israel will be encouraged to do something. at the same time, if you look at david ignacious's reportling, he says actually they tell him it's bluster in his interview with ahmadinejad. wa do you see as iran's position? >> well, i think right now ahmadinejad is not the figure he once was. you remember he came to the united nations four or five years ago and was celebrated by journalists who wanted to hear what he said. but i just don't think he's got the political power right now in iran. he's made absolutely outrageous statements about israel. he's not the most powerful person in his own society. that's the supreme leader. so i think he's really a defeated figure in his own country. he'll be out of office next year. and he says things to get attention, but they rarely make
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sense. >> ban ki-moon, we know, was going to pressure him to tone down the fiery rhetoric. given what you've just said, do you think that's more likely he will do that or is he more desperate and less likely he will do that? >> well, soledad, you used the right word. he's a desperate politician. he says outrageous things about israel that almost all the world condemn. certainly we in the united states condemn. and the iranians are in a tough spot. because they're very much isolated. the sanctions that president obama and the european ves put on them are unprecedented. they're really making an impact in iran. iran has very few friends around the world. very few countries that will stand up for it. and, of course, they're proceeding on their nuclear program which has been condemned by the united nations security council. so i think it's going to be a tough week for ahmadinejad. i don't think he's going to find much support at all in new york. >> we know israel has been putting pressure on president obama to have this line where he
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clearly states what cannot be crossed without strtriggering a severe and quick consequence. he said i'm going to meet with you and ban ki-moon, steven harper who have recently made a moral and brave decision against iran and with u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton i'll reiterate the most dangerous country in the world must not be allowed to arm itself with the most dangerous weapon in the world. what do you make of that? >> well, i think that the prime minister is right, that iran is the most dangerous country in the world. and the number one threat to the united states is iran acquiring a nuclear weapon. the suggestion by prime minister netanyahu that the united states should set a red line and say in advance that we would use force if iran achieved a certain level of progress in its nuclear effort doesn't make a lot of sense to me. this is a question of war and peace. and both president obama and president bush have tried to say
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we need to negotiate with iran and have the ability to sanction it and use force if necessary, but you don't want to put yourself into a corner and use force based on action and a predetermined level as what the iranians do. so i think president obama is right here to resist that. and israel should know that the united states has its back as the president has said and the united states will do what it must do to stop iran. but let the united states make that decision, not some preimposed red line. i think that makes sense for america. >> president obama on " 6/0 minutes" on sunday said this. let's play a clip. >> and it comes to our national security decisions, any pressure that i feel is simply to do what's right for the american people. and i am going to block out any noise that is out there. >> some have interpreted that he is calling calls by benjamin netanyahu noise. do you think that that's true, do you think that's fair?
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>> i don't know if he was referring to the united states and israel. we're in there together. we have an identical interest in stopping iranians. i just think it was a mistake for president obama netanyahu during an election season to try to force the united states to make a statement before b when we would go to war. that's the most serious decision an american president could make and we surely want any american president, whether it's president obama or governor romney if he wins to have the freedom of latitude to decide when we sent american forces into battle against any country. so frankly, i think, soledad, there's a lot of agreement in washington these days about iran. president obama's policy is very consistent with what president george w. bush did. i think most people think we ought to try to avoid a war, see if negotiations can succeed in really a year or two from now decide if force is going to be necessary should diplomacy fail. >> nicholas burns is the former
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ambassador to nato. he is also now a professor at the harvard school of politics. thank you very much. >> thank you. you can see piers morgan's full interview with president ahmadinejad tonight at 9:00 a.m. the clock is ticking in the search for the climbers pp.
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welcome back to starting point. minding your business this morning, u.s. stock futures point to a lower open after
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disappointing economic reports out of germany and china overnight. stocks likely to struggle near five-year highs. the s&p 500 is up 14% so far this year. in central china, a foxconn plant is closed today after 2,000 factory workers were involved in a riot overnight that led to the smashing of workstations there. 40 were injured and a factory working tells cnn police in groups of ten are now patrolling the sprawling plant. foxconn is a big supplier of apple. a state of suicides prompted a review of working conditions at the foxconn plant. ten straight days of falling gas prices, the current average price, $3.81 a gallon. if oil prices stay about where they are, prices at the gas pump may fall another 5 to 10 cents. >> christine, thank you. the search just ended for the day for some mountain
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climbers who are missing in nepal. at least eight of them were killed yesterday when an avalanche hit the world's highest peak. an american climber who were injured but alive told the filmmaker that two of his colleagues are missing, including the man with which he shared a tent. what is the latest on this search and i guess still it's a rescue. >> well, yeah, search and rescue operations have ended for the day, actually. but three climbers are still missing and helicopter officials tell us right now they have not been instructed to go out and to find these three climbers right now. but they suspect there is very little chance of survival at this point. this avalanche happened more than 24 hours ago. we're talking about extreme temperatures. 6,000 meters. they say that it is very unlikely they will be able to find any more survivors at this point. but there were 21 survivors that
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they were able to rescue during the past few days. he was planning on skiing down mt. monaslu who were in the tent when the avalanche hit around 4:00 in the morning. and we spoke to the documentary filmmaker earlier and had this to say. >> about 4:45, he was reading his bible, reading his daily devotional. greg turned to him and said, did you hear that wind? a second later he said, no, that's an avalanche. immediately the avalanche hit them. there were about 25 tents at camp three. it took them all out. he said it swept him about 300 meters down the mountain. >> we've been hearing very -- it's difficult and harrowing stories from a lot of these survivors who are now up in kathmandu undergoing various
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kinds of treatment. >> and we're told the avenue launch's trigger was a piece of ice who had been about six or seven times a football field. talk to me about that. >> that's right. i spoke to two climbers earlier who go out regularly to these nepale peaks. they were saying that the topography of this region has certainly changed. they were saying there's a lot more cases of flash flooding, the avalanches are more frequent. they're not necessarily -- i mean, this one happened after a long time, but they're saying avalanches have become more frequent and are also a lot larger. and they're saying it's become very difficult to climb in these kinds of altitudes right thou. there's a lot less ice. they can't grip on to the ice as well as they used to be able to before. >> she's in dehli. thank you for that update on
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these climbers. we're hopeful they'll be able to find those remaining thee that they're looking for. still ahead this morning on starting point, what was one flight attendant thinking when she tried to bring her loaded gun on a plane? seriously? we'll talk about that and much more. watching starting point, we're back in a moment. kage... oahhh! [ male announcer ] it made a big splash with the employees. [ duck yelling ] [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ♪ ha ha! something this delicious could only come from nature. now from the maker of splenda sweeteners,
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welcome back to "starting point." checking the headlines, we have a sad one to start out with. a newborn giant panda cub has died at the national zoo in washington. but the zoo knot sure exactly why.
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the cub was born only last week. the panda exhibit will now be closed temporarily. new york police say a 25-year-old man who jumped from a monorail car into a tiger exhibit at the bronx zoo wasn't drunk or suicidal. he suffered various broken bones, a collapsed lung and puncture wounds. he's in stable conditions and facing trespassing charges all for want to go be one with a dangerous tying perpendicular. >> yeah. they said they don't think he had severe mental problems and that he wasn't trying to break in, which was my second thought, that he just wanted to be one. >> he just really likes tiger webs which apparently is not some kind of condition. they didn't reciprocate. apparently. rachel spiegel is with us,
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former finance director for john kerry. let's talk about our get real this morning. everybody goes through a scanner, endures those pat-downs, some people call them groping at the tsa. how did a republic airlines flight attendant forget that she had a loaded handgun in her purs when she showed up to work? her name is jaclyn luby. she has a permit to carry the weapon in pennsylvania but obviously not to carry it on to the airport and on to the plane. a weapon went off after a police officer was trying to remove the bullet after tsa officers were trying to remove the bullet. she has a permit to carry the gun. >> when i'm going through security, i'm double-checking my pockets, i'm nervous about where every piece of metal is.
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>> i forgot my handgun. >> i was thinking about the push for more conceal carry on campuses. this is a broader issue. there is definitely an effort to expand the zone in which -- obviously not to to plane webs but more people carrying weapons and whether that is really a good thing or not is something that i think is an intense debate. but think about college campuses. >> and now it's possible to bring on concealed weapons on trains. >> and get and the thakt that the gun accidentally went offer, a police officer, there was some word about whether this thing had a safety or not. well, there was a report that it had a safety. >> well, it was a resolver. i don't think it happened. and they were trying to remove the bullet when it went off. >> she's lucky. i guess it shot right into the break room. >> and somebody was in the break room! >> dodging bullets, apparently.
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how is that? coming up this morning, schools handing out birth control and the morning-after pi pill. the students, as young as 14, and in some cases parents have no idea it's happening. we're going to talk about why this is a bd idea and where the other side says, no, this is a good idea. that's coming up next. and then meltdown on stage. did you watch this? he completely freaked out. >> really? green day? >> in the middle of a concert towards the end. we'll show you what happened. >> [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. >> the bleeping is a good indication of what happened. >> you'll want to follow smokey robinson's tweet. he'll talk about his smoke alarm.
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you're watching starting point. let's start with john bermman. >> the united nations is expected to -- civil war with syria and iran when the general assembly meets tomorrow. many of them are here in new york. you can tell by the traffic. president obama addresses the gathering tomorrow. iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad speaks on wednesday. police in houston shot and killed a wheelchair bound double amputee after the man advanced on his partners. brian clanche was serving people with a pen. he lost an arm and a leg after a vehicle accident. he started stabbing at the officer with a pen. police in pittsburgh say a suspect was busy checking his facebook messages while hold ago pension fund manager hostage inside a high rise building. the 22-year-old had been
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answering messages on facebook for hours during the standoff. police say it slowed down the hostage negotiations. a s.w.a.t. team and the d.a. asked facebook to shut down faxton's page. he faces charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping and making terrorist threats. will she run? if secretary of state hillary clinton plans to be a candidate for president in 2016, she's not spilling the beans. and if you think her husband might drop a clue, don't bet on it. >> she's tired. she's really worked hard. i think she's done a fabulous job. i'm very proud of her. but she wants to take some time off, kind of regroup, write a book. i have no earthly idea what she'll decide to do. >> no earthly idea. there you heard it. hillary clinton will speak this morning in new york at her husband's eighth annual clinton global initiative. we want to get a quick check on the weather and your national
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travel forecast. rab marciano jones us right now. >> the east coast looking clear cool air coming across warm lakes, not lake-effect snow, but lake-effect rain from buffalo to upstate new york. maybe at times heavy showers. other than that, we're looking good. a fire threat across northern texas and oklahoma. by the way, 20 large fires bu burning across the northwest. we had a chick brush fire in san diego yesterday, in part because of this heat. near record setting stuff. 00 degrees and plus across spots in so cal. 77 in atlanta and 67 degrees in new york city after a chilly start. john, back up to you. >> thanks a lot, rob. green day announced front man billy joe strong is in rehab after a justin bieber hating
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meltdown in las vegas. this clip from the i heart radio, it all started when billie joe saw that the band had just a minute left. he stopped mid tune and he just went off. >> look at that [ bleep ] sign right there. one mip. i'm not some justin bieber, you mother [ bleep ]. let me show you what one [ bleep ] means to me. >> it's not good to cut off billie joe apparently. it's not clear how this will affect green day's upcoming tour. >> at 9-0-0-0-0 or 9-0-8:59, that's what i'm going to do. i've got one minute, carol. get me a guitar.
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rehab is always a good idea before you start your tour. let's talk about this controversial new program in some new york city schools. it's kickling off a heated debate among parents this morning. it's called catch. it allows the school to disperse the morning-after pill to students without parental consent. parents can opt out if they want to. mona davis is the president of new york city parents' union, an advocacy for parents. we have the commissioner for new york city's maternal infant and reproductive health. nice to have you both. i'm going to start with you, if i can, deborah. i think when you look -- i feel like i can understand why a parent would be outraged about this. that's a lot of the conversation. how could getting the morning-after pill happen for their child as young as 14 without the parents' consent? it seems to bog trillion mind as a parent. >> first of all, this program has been around for about a year or more. and we make every effort to
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reach parents. we mail letters out to every parent and young people are given letters to bring home. they're available at the school, at parent meetings, and we wait for weeks after the letters go out to wait to see if parents decide they want to have their child in the program. >> so they can opt out. but did difference between opting out and opting in is that often people -- you'll have the low numbers on both sides. people have to opt in, also those numbers tend to be very low. >> 1% to 2% of parents over the past year have opted out of the program. and we know that in new york city public schools, about 40% of young people are sexually active. and while we totally encourage them and believe it's so critical that they talk with their parents, not all young people can or feel they can and yet they're sexually active. we're log at how can we protect these young people from unintended pregnancy examine make sure they get the services they need to through a trusted nurse in the school if there's no other ways to get this.
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>> you have a daughter in this overall graphic meaning she's 14 years old. i know you're really unhappy about this. your daughter is not in this pilot program. >> no, she's not. not her school. my daughter is at a specialized high school, laguardia high school. most of the schools targeted in this program are what we would call title one schools, high poverty schools, low income parents, and that is my concern when it comes to this opt out process. i have three big concerns about this. one is as recently as last thursday, "the wall street journal" had an article about low parental involvement in new york city schools. we've hit a historic low. so if parents already are not involved according to the mayor's own management report and you're telling us that you
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sent out these letters to parents and we know from experience with the department of education that they do not send notices out to parents when they tell us to. in our experience, last year when we sued the department of education over community council elections, we were able to successfully get an injection because the public of education didn't notify the parents. >> so you're saying they may not get the form. >> that's right. >> the reverse argument of that is parents who are not involved may not be there for your kids. unlike your diaw, you're making sure she's applying to a specialized school, lots of kids in poverty, their parents not being super involved not only in education, but with the kids themselves. >> you have to opt in to donate your organ eps. you have to opt in. parents need to opt in with informed consent. this is not just giving a condom
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to a young person. this is talking about a chemical hormonal drug cocktail. the parents have a right to know. you don't know if there are pre-existing conditions. >> but this is an over-the-counter drug, first of all -- >> not for children under 18. >> but if you're not -- if the parents aren't looking at a letter, how are they going to be involved in these kinds of decisions. >> but the point is, no one has the right to decide what is in the best interest of our children, especially when it comes to the safety and their health. we are talking about a young child ages between 14 and 17 ingesting a chemical without the knowledge of, without the commission of -- >> you were going to say, deborah? >> emergency contraception is a one-time pill and it is very,
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very, very safe. the other thing is that we agree with you and i'm a parent of two kids that have gone through adolescence. we want parents involved. we want parents to talk with their children. in fact, young people say if their parents will talk to them from an early age about sexual activity and let them know what they think, that protects them and it's less likely that they will be sexually active. however -- >> i think it's being debated now. your opt out process, are you doing everything to put parents as a part of this process? you're putting yourself in the position of the parents of last resort. but it seems to be a very proactive position you're seeking. >> we believe we are doing everything. we have mailing letters home, giving letters to children, including them in the freshman packet. however, the bottom line is, there are young people who are having sex, 40% of young people in high schools are sexually active. 90%, that's 7,000 pregnancies a year to teens age 15 to 17. they are in harm's way and we want to make sure if they don't
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talk to their parents or feel they can't that there's a trusted adult where they can get the services they need to prevent unintended pregnancy. >> can you claim what process you went through to decide on the opt out rather than the opt in and whether there are ner other cities ta -- >> we have a similar experience with opt out with the condom availability program which is mandated in new york state at all the high schools and we also have that in our school based health clinics for reproductive health services. that is because we know that these are such sensitive services that many young people are engaging in these risky behaviors and don't know where to turn. >> let me ask you one more question before we wrap up. those numbers are dire, right? we're not talking about your daughter who has a parent who is obviously very involved. you have 7,000 kids mostly in poverty. 7000 pregnancies. 90% of those run wanted prosecutingsies among teenagers, which we know often that derails their lives, their high school
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career, etcetera, etcetera. we know how all that finishes. what is the right thing to do, them? >> first of all, mayor bloomberg and the department of education or just the city or government need to put more funding back into our schools. they cut extracurricular activity, they've cut after school programs. >> a reasonable person would say that's not going to happen in this environment. >> no. but there's no place for these children to go. but simply government, the city, the department of education has no right, no right whatsoever to give any child a chemical, hormonal cocktail a drug when they cannot even give the child an aspirin in the school without the parents' permission, without knowing the medical history of the child, without knowing more of that information. moreover, when we look at something like this drug, there is an increase in cases of
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chlamydia and gonorrhea with that birth control, as well. so what we're saying is that parents need to be informed. do not make decisions about what is in the best interest of my child medically, especially when it comes to them ingesting any kind of drug without knowing -- >> i would think you want opt out. >> i would absolutely opt out. >> thank you for coming in to talk about this debate this morning. it's interesting. when you look at the statistics, it's a very tough call. we appreciate your time this morning. >> thank you for having me. still ahead this morning, he's lending his voice to a cause to help save the world. smokey robinson is paring up with president obama and using social media to do so. bob...
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oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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does it take you back? that's one of the many, many, many hits from singer/song writer smokey robinson, a legend for more than 50 years in the business. he's lending his ears to a different cause now. he's sending out smoke alarms. yesterday he announced a pim with the clinton global initiative and the cause that he's going to focus on. listen. >> i believe one of the most basic needs in life is clean water. yet millions of people around the world drink water every day that is dirty .contaminated and i want to change that. >> and so smoke alarms. and so one of the first smoke alarms, although i have to imagine there will be lots of different ones will be clean
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water. it's nice to have smokey robinson with us. talk to me about how this came about. >> well, a bunch of friends and i got together and we formed smoke alarm to address the problems that people have on the planet, really, that they're in positions to do nothing about. and whatever we could do to help them. and one of my partners is david kalarkie. he has done many things like this for nelson mandela and people like that. and so we hooked up and we formed smoke alarm to tackle some of these problems. and then president clinton, who has been a friend of mine for a long time, we contacted them and we're like in cahoots with them, really, to take care of some of these. he's been doing this for several years. >> it's really about leveraging social media, right? >> absolutely. it is a social media thing. and rather than me calling on some of my friends in the
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entertainment business and come, let's do a benefit concert which is going to take their time and their efforts to get to where it's going to be and that, it's very simple. all they have to do is tweet. and tweet to their partners, the people who they tweet with and it snowballs and their partners who tweet with them tweet with their tweeters and it's all in facebook and down the line and it's aline. it's a very simple process. >> some of your friends, i should mention, boy do you have great friends. you notice he just threw out president clinton. that's a good one to start with. elton john. he only has 100,000 twitter followers. >> start throwing out the big league in elton john. >> brandy at 1,722,000. she's agreed to help out as well. eva longoria at 4,200,000. hillary duff. you'll send out a smoke alarm. folks will get that smoke alarm and retweet it to all their followers. >> that's how the donations come in. it's very quick and very simple.
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it allows us to tackle the problems immediately. >> why clean water? that's your first one i know you're raising awareness and support. >> water is really the source of life for everything. there's nothing alive on earth that does not need water. so there are many places in the world where people don't have clean water. they drink contaminated water just so they can have water. and so we thought that that would be a good starting point to try and get -- these packets, teamed up with procter & gamble. it's amazing. we teamed up with procter & gamble. this packet right here, you can put this in a jar of dirty, contaminated water, and stir it for about five minutes. let it sit for 30 minutes. filter it through a cloth. it's perfectly pure drinking water. how many people could use this? and water, like i said, is the source of life. we figured we'd tackle the biggest problems first. >> it's a procter & gamble
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product, what does that cost? >> it costs about 2 1/2 cents. a lot of them were just going to give them to the people who need this. >> one thing the clinton global initiative prides themselves on is specific and tangible goals for the people who participate. do you have specific goals and guidelines you're trying to reach on this effort? >> well, yeah. we want to save people's lives. >> that's a big one. >> but do you have like -- do you have an effort you're trying to reach in terms of contributions or for this specific project. >> i don't understand the question. >> is there, like, a goal of how much you're trying to raise for this specific project. >> no, no, no, no, no. unlimited. whatever we can raise. the more the merrier. the more we can raise, the more people we can help. we're just putting it out there. and like i said, it's a social media thing, which is very simple for people to contribute to. and to participate in. and we're putting it out there, and the more money we receive, the more people we can help. and we hope that we get a lot of
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help. >> you know when you get a smoke alarm, get out your checkbook. send us some money so people can have pure water. nice to have you with us this morning. we appreciate it. we've got to take a short break. "starting point" is back in just a moment. and bleeding that wasn't normal for me. she said i had to go to the doctor. turned out i had uterine cancer, a type of gynecologic cancer. i received treatment and we're confident i'll be fine. please listen to your body. if something doesn't feel right for two weeks or longer, see your doctor. get the inside knowledge about gynecologic cancers. knowing can make all the difference in the world.
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wthe future of our medicare andr electiosocial security. for... man 1: i want facts. straight talk. tell me your plan... and what it means for me. woman 2: i'm tired of the negative ads and political spin. that won't help me decide. man 2: i earned my medicare and social security. and i deserve some answers. anncr: where do the candidates stand on issues that... affect seniors today and in the future? find out with the aarp voters' guide at ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ that should do it.
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enjoy your new shower. [ door opens, closes ]
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welcome back to "starting point," everyone. a couple quick headlines this morning. a wild brush fire destroys four homes, threatening dozens of others and just 10% contained right now. the fire is burning in campo in southern california near the mexican border. it burned through 1,700 acres so far. mandatory evacuations are in place. allegations of sexual hazing at a southern california high school. the l.a. county sheriff's office is investigating after l.a.
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puente high school skoker player complained to authorities. sources say the hazing may have gone on for years and allegedly involved 14 and 15-year-old boys. again, la puente high school in los angeles. world leaders are gathering in new york city for the u.n.'s general assemblyassembly. mahmoud ahmadinejad giving a warning before he's even headed to the podium. why the stakes are so high for the con ver sayiversations this pay attention to what's happening to your checking account. overdraft fees and atm surcharges going up. winners and losers at the emmy awards. including one big upset. back right after this. ss page and decided to be...not boring. that's how i met marilyn... giada... really good. yes! [ jack ] ...and alicia. ♪ this girl is on fire [ male announcer ] use any citi card to get the benefits of private pass.
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more concerts, more events, more experiences. [ jack ] hey, who's boring now? [ male announcer ] get more access with the citi card. [ crowd cheering, mouse clicks ]
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morning. welcome, everybody. starting point this morning, world stage. u.n. week in new york city as tensions between iran and israel could be nearing a breaking point. iran's leader is already being warned to tone it down. we'll talk about that. taking the gloves off. after a difficult week with time slipping away mitt romney promises to become more aggressive against president obama. and they were big stars on "ugly betty" and "gilmore girls." they'll stop by and talk to us this morning. they're teaming up to help end poverty among women across the globe. monday, september 24th.
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"starting point" begins right "starting point" begins right now. -- captions by vitac -- morning, welcome everybody. ron brown stestein is with us. bridgette seegle. will cain, columnist for our "starting point," presidents, prime ministers, heads of state gathering in new york city. heavy security for the united nations general assembly. session kicks off tomorrow with president obama delivering husband address. on wednesday we'll hear from iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad as he takes his turn. he sat down for an interview in advance with piers morgan. he was asked about the possibility of war with israel. here's what he said. >> do you fear that war is imminent? do you fear that there will be military conflict, perhaps even before the end of this year between your country and israel? >> translator: of course, the
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zionists are very much -- very adventuresome. very much seeking to fabricate things. and i think they see themselves at the end of the line. and i do firmly believe that they seek to create new opportunities for themselves and their adventurous behaviors. >> adventurous is kind of an interesting word. iran's nuclear tension a major concern for world leaders. cnn foreign affairs correspondent with us as well. nice to have you both. appreciate your time. let's talk about the u.n. general assembly. overall -- >> there won't be a lot of talking. >> kind of what it's all about, isn't it? the big focus will be the middle east, fair to say? >> yes. different aspects of the middle east. syria. iran. palestinian question. yes. >> of course, in the wake of what we have seen in libya, hillary clinton's going to be making some comments about that, right? >> that's right. she's going to be addressing the clinton global initiative.
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she'll also meet with the president of libya. meeting with the presidents of pakistan and afghanistan. all these countries where there have been these raging anti-american protests. what goes on in the halls of the u.n. is one thing. then these kind of side meetings is really going to be where the u.s. is going to get all its business done. >> when i was talking to nick burns earlier this morning, former ambassador to nato, he was saying in spite of what we've been hearing in part from piers morgan's interview with ahmadinejad, david, he said ahmadinejad is grasping at straws, losing power. what we're seeing in these interviews -- i want to play a chunk of that. >> i just don't think he's got the political power right now in iran. he's made absolutely outrageous statements about israel. he's not the most powerful person in his own society. that's the supreme leader. i think he's really a defeated figure. in his own country he'll be out
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of office next year. he says things to get attention but they rarely make sense. >> do you think that's true? defeated figure. >> lame duck ahmadinejad sounds a little odd. you never know. we've seen political revivals. i kind of agree with that. he's not making the major calls there. that's been known for some time. >> nukes, of course, is what everybody is concerned about. >> this true to some extent. also he makes these long, fiery speeches. and a lot of people walk out. but at the same time, i mean, he does have an audience. he's not just speaking to iranian public. the president, mugabe of zimbabwe, rogue states, nations that feel that the west and powers on the u.n. security council are the ones that are calling all the international shots. she does have an audience. some of the things he does say with the exception of some of these holocaust fiery speeches do resonate with some people. >> the other side of this
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triangle, it's not just the fall in the air. that's a palpable chill between the president and benjamin netanyahu. do you think that estrangement makes it more or less likely that israel acts unilaterally? how does it affect your calculus that the two leaders don't seem to be on the same page? >> i think president obama has come under a lot of criticism by benjamin netanyahu. that's one of the reasons he's not meeting with the prime min sister. at the same time the prime minister is criticizing him, he's not going to be sitting down and giving him an audience. i do think that at tepthe end o day israel's calculation is president obama going to have my back? is the united states going to help me out if they feel iran is going for a nuclear weapon or not? he's not going to leave it to the united states, any assurances he's going to get. he needs to know if the u.s. isn't there israel has enough time to act. i think the relationship with the president, they're always up and down. president clinton had up and down relationships -- i think at
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the end of the day the u.s. and israel's interests align. i don't think it's really about personal is. i think about whether israel is assured there's enough -- >> are you saying he waits for approval from the u.s.? do you think ultimately he could not act alone? >> i don't think he's going to wait for approval. i think he's going to act if he feels he needs to act. at the end of the day the united states is going to have israel's back. there have been war games and doomsday scenario. at the end of the day if iran is bombed by israel and iran strikes back, that's not only going to affect the united states. it's going to affect all the oil markets, everything. united states can't help but be dragged into it. >> but about this entire conversation. when the president was on "60 minutes" he talked about the noise around any decisions he would make. some people thought specifically he was referring to what benjamin netanyahu was saying. basically that's noise. >> what i see right now, iran and syria, the u.n., frustration
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i'm sure the viewers have, what's the point of the u.n., and these situations have been here every year. >> a lot of talk. >> the frustration is that the world powers, and this is the world we're now in, don't agree on these major, major issues. what are we headed for on iran? what was your question? >> what's new? exactly to your point. what's new at the u.n.? >> the cafeteria is reopening today after months of renovations. from a diplomat, that's big. >> here's something that's new. the president of myanmar, insane. a lot of engagement with the united states and the west. he's coming really kind of an informed leader. these are the time of things that make moments. richard does his highlights of the u.n. i think that'll be one of the big moments. when he talks about myanmar, a lot of people know it as burma, engaging on the world stage. on the syria thing, not a lot new. when you have all of these leaders in one place talking about how they can move forward, i mean, this way i don't get to
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go with secretary clinton to some other world capital. but they're going to be meeting here. >> even when they're brought together to talk about syria -- not all these other issues and -- >> the german foreign minister said we're going to try to put pressure on syria through these meetings. another western diplomat said we are just an audience simply watching a tragedy unfold. >> we are just listening to all of that. >> any time you're focusing attention on some of these world issues i think it gains some kind of momentum. is there going to be any action at the end of this week? i don't think so. >> thanks for joining us. you can see piers morgan's full interview with president ahmadinejad tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. john berman, an update on some of the other stories making news. >> libya's president is ordering the breakup of all militias not authorized by the government. he's given them 48 hours to disband and pull out of their compounds. the order comes in response to the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi that killed four americans including ambassador christopher stevens. yesterday libyan security forces say they raided several militia sites in tripoli.
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mitt romney sounds like he's ready for a reboot and fight. the gop nominee says he'll get more aggressive in the next six weeks of the race. he claims president obama has been putting words in his mouth and he plans to put a stop to it. >> i think that the president's campaign has focused its advertising in many cases on very inaccurate r portrayals of my positions. they've been very aggressive in their attacks both on a personal basis, on a policy basis. >> meanwhile the president says one of the biggest disapointments of his first four years in office is his failure to change the political climate in washington. >> i think that, you know, as president i bear responsibility for everything. to some degree. and one of the things i've realized over the last two years is that that only happens if i'm enlisting the american people much more aggressively than i did the first two years. >> the first presidential debate comes up next wednesday, october 3rd, right around the corner.
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a chicago alderman is demanding a clarification from chick-fil-a. joe moreno made headlines last week when he announced the fast food chain agreed to stop donating to anti-gay groups and was implementing workplace protections to prevent discrimination. chick-fil-a's president confirming workplace protection has been enacted but denying the company has stopped financially supporting anti-gay groups. it was all about television's best in show. the 64th primetime emmy awards. cnn's kareen wynter is live from los angeles with the highlights. kareen? >> reporter: hi, john. homeland, one of the president's favorite shows brought home some of the biggest awards of the night including top prize for best tv drama. the victory came for the show's first season and it's also the first time a series on showtime has won for best drama or comedy for that matter. the awards for "homeland" did not stop there. claire danes who plays a cia agent on the show won for best actress in a drama. damian lewis who stars as an
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ex-marine who may or may not have become an al qaeda operative won for best actor in a tv drama. "homeland's" second season kicks off this coming sunday. a big night, too, for "modern family." the abc sitcom won best comedy for the third year in a row. eric stonestreet and julie bowen also honored for their work on the show. jimmy kimmel's late night show lost out in the competition for outstanding variety series "the daily show." won that category for the tenth time. kimmel's getting mostly positive reviews for the job he did hosting the emmy awards. huffington post liked him so did the hollywood reporter and entertainment weekly. "usa today" panned his performance calling him the wrong guy at the wrong place. ouch, ouch, ouch. a little bit about fashion. i see soledad rocking the yellow this morning. it was a big hit on the red carpet. we had stars like julieann
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moore, claire danes in yellow. >> thank you, kareen. thank you. >> i'm told next season is all about the yellow. all about the yellow next season. mitt romney's critics, whether they're wearing yellow or not, within or outside the gop watch out. you not only have to deal with the real ann romney. you have to deal with her "saturday night live" imitation. >> seth, i understand that mitt and i have led a blessed life. are we more elitists than barack and michelle obama. they're friends with jay-z and beyonce. did i miss something? is hanging out with jay-z and beyonce a tng regular people do now? >> that's a fair point. >> everyone's always saying i'm unrelatable because i had a horse in the oolympics. let me tell you what, i would kill that horse if i could meet beyonce. >> yeah. so "saturday night live" back in force this season. >> i got to tell you, that is a beautiful horse. i followed that very closely. i did. i loved that horse. why are you laughing at me. >> what you took away from that
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was the horse. >> you know, the political jokes are funny, too. horse, fabulous. >> they miss sarah palin. >> they need big characters to be able to spoof. that's been challenging. still ahead this morning on "starting point," important information for your bank account today. why you'll be paying more in overdraft fees and atm charges. a bit of a bummer. we'll explain why. a desperate search is on for survivors after the avalanche in one of the world's tallest moments. a report on the rescue effort coming up next. we make a simple thing.
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a thing that helps you buy other things. but plenty of companies do that. so we make something else. we help make life a little easier, more convenient, more rewarding, more entertaining. year after year. it's the reason why we don't have customers. we have members. american express. welcome in.
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the good they did inspires us, prepares us and guides us. at new york life, everything we do is to help you keep good going. and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
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welcome back to "starting point." we're talking this morning about that search that's ended for the tay now for a number of mountain climbers still missing in nepal.
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eight of them killed yesterday when an avalanche hit the world's eighth highest peak near nepal's border with china. the trigger is believed to have been a chunk of ice. trigger for the avalanche. chunk of ice the size of six or seven football fields. most of the dead are from europe. an american climber who was injured. the very latest twomdevelopment this morning from delhi. they've called off the search right now. how are things looking? >> reporter: yes. they've called the search off for now. they're saying the weather is getting more difficult. obviously it's towards the end of the day here in nepal and india as well. but three climbers are still missing. and helicopter officials tell us right now they have not been instructed to go back and to try to find these three missing climbers. but the reality is, they say, that it is very difficult at this point to be able to find survivors. remember, this happened more than 24 hours ago. we're talking about extreme
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temperatures, extreme altitudes. they don't think they will be able to find survivors at this point. >> so people have said that the climbing conditions have gotten more dangerous over the years. why would that be? >> reporter: well, i spoke to a few climbers earlier. they were saying the topography in general in the him alayas an nepal in particular is changing. they're saying it could be due to climate change. of course, there's no way of telling for sure. they're saying it's definitely gotten a lot warmer there. there's a lot less ice, a lot less snow. it's harder for them to use their ice axes and to scale these mountain. they were also saying there's a lot more avalanches now. and, you know, they're not only more frequent, but also a lot larger. >> the description that we heard, six or seven football fields size chunk of ice for triggers this avalanche. thank you for that update and certainly we hope that they are able to rescue and save those
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three hikers that are still missing. we appreciate the update. if you feel like your bank is nickel and diming you, probably right. i'm stunned. the fees keep going up. christine romans is going to join us with what you need to know. also, he's trying to get president obama re-elected. but robert gibbs says mitt romney has an advantage. we'll talk about that when we come back. i'm barack obama and i approve this message. romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters" vo: tough on china? not mitt romney. when a flood of chinese tires threatened a thousand american jobs...
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it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. mitt romney attacked obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters... when he's taking their side? boring. boring. [ jack ] after lauren broke up with me, i went to the citi private pass page and decided to be...not boring. that's how i met marilyn... giada... really good. yes! [ jack ] ...and alicia. ♪ this girl is on fire [ male announcer ] use any citi card to get the benefits of private pass. more concerts, more events, more experiences. [ jack ] hey, who's boring now? [ male announcer ] get more access with the citi card. [ crowd cheering, mouse clicks ] [ male announcer ] get more access with the citi card. ♪
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when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪ welcome back. you're watching "starting point." bank fees are rising at the very same time that you're getting pretty much no interest on your hard earned savings. christine romans has got some breakdown of some new fees for us. today's smart is the new rich. it's a bummer. >> it is a bummer. federal reserve is keeping rates
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so low. savers are getting a really bad deal. keeping your money safe in the bank is costing you more than ever. found free checking is disappearing and checking and asm f atm fees are rising. only 39% of these banking accounts are free. that's down from 76% in 2009. a big change. overdraft fees almost six bucks from ten years ago. average today is $31.26. don't opt into that, by the way. atm fees, you get charged by your bank and the atm owner when you use an out of network atm. average fee by the owner is $2.50, nearly double two years ago. an out of network atm, your own bank is going to charge you on average $1.57. not only are you getting no interest on your savings, you're paying to use your own money. never use an out of network atm. do not sign up for overdraft protection. consider joining a credit union. they are not for profit and have
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fewer fee. a good resource to you to find a bank with the lowest fees, >> good advice. >> taking $20 out of the out of network atm. >> don't ever. >> take $200 out. >> some people don't have $200. >> the banks earn a larger share of their money through these fees than they used to. >> they used to make -- so mch of their profit came from the credit cards. congress shut down some of the credit card profit machine. they're moving into the bank fees part of the business. >> may i say i'm not surprised. we can move on to talk about this is an interesting thing in politics. comment from the president's senior adviser. october 3rd marks the first three presidential debates. robert gibbs says advantage goes to mitt romney. listen. >> look, mitt romney, i think, has an advantage because he's been through 20 of these debates in the primaries over the last year. he even bragged that he was declared the winner in 16 of those debates.
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so i think in that sense, having been through this much more recently than president obama, i think he starts with an advantage. >> head shaking going on. >> we always complain about negative campaigns. there is nothing more devious and cynical than when these guys are nice to each other. it's about setting expectations. they spend months and months beating each other up. all of a sudden, mitt romney, he's a great debater. boy, is he smart. >> you were involved with john kerry on this. it's not an issue so much of who's the better debater. i buy the fact mitt romney's been through how many debates in the past year? 20. which helps. >> you get used to it. you get in a groove of giving the direct, quick answers which we know obama is not -- >> there's no real pattern on the impact of the debates. some years they have mattered. first 2000, al gore, george w. bush debate was very important. more in the aftermath. other years they haven't mattered. it's a real -- for romney now obviously the stakes are higher for him going into this debate
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as the candidate who's trailing. some years it's very important. some years you can't remember anything that happened at the debates. >> also complete run-through already the bain capital attack. laying the stage earlier this spring about his business background, whether that means he's qualified or disqualified. that already happened. >> plenty of quotes have come out of this primary debates, right? >> the words self-deportation coming out of his mouth in a debate in january may turn out to be an absolute -- in the end, the turning point in this campaign. >> it's interesting what bridgette just said. david axelrod said the president needs to learn to speak shorter in debates. >> put him on the show. >> the professor thing has to shrink. you know they're working on that right now with his team. still ahead this morning on "starting point," it's going to cost him. new england patriots coach bell belichick grabs an official. literally grabs the guy after a stunning last second loss. he's not the only one annoyed
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with the replacement refs. >> torrey smith last night. amazing. brother dies. >> awful story. we got to take a short break. back in a moment.
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welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting point." we begin with john berman. he's got a look at the day's top stories. >> thanks, soledad. united nations expected to address syria's civil war and a potentially nuclear iran when the general assembly meets tomorrow. 120 world leaders will be in attendance. president obama addresses the gathering tomorrow. iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad speaks on wednesday. gainsville police are searching for a university of florida student missing since
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last thursday. 18-year-old freshman christi christianing aulchristia christianaguilar was last seen dropped off in a parking lot. investigators suspect foul play. they say he may have been in some kind of altercation before he disappeared. 18-year-old pedro bravo is a person of interest in this case. police in italy are comparing the arrest of a man caught posing as a pilot to the movie "catch me if you can" starting le nar doe dicaprio. they arrested a 32-year-old man for donning a fake uniform and id cards and joining a flight crew. he had a facebook and twitter account under his pilot alias. investigators think the man managed to sit with pilots in the cockpit during at least one flight between munich and tura np. a very emotional victory for the baltimore ravens over the new england patriots in sunday night football. ravens sever torrey smith caught two touchdown passes one night after his younger brother was
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k killed in a motorcycle accident. he helped the ravens win, 31-30. it happened on a disputed last second 27-yard field goal by justin tucker. the win was too much for patriots coach bill belichick to bear. he grabbed one of the replacement officials arguing tucker's winning field goal was wide. it looked wide to me. to no avail. belichick is expected to be fined by the league for his actions. you really just can't touch a ref. even when you're right, soledad. >> as a completely unbiased patriots fan watching the game, you think bill belichick is right. all right, john, thank you. appreciate it. some increasing confusion about exactly what happened in that attack on the american consulate in benghazi. still some disagreement about whether it was preplanned attack. here's congressman mike rogers. he's the chairman of the house intelligence committee. he was talking yesterday on cnn's "state of the union." >> it was clearly designed to be an attack. what's so egregious about this is that -- why every american
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should be offended, this isn't about george bush or barack obama. it's not about republicans. it's not about democrats. they targeted and killed the face of the united states of america, a u.s. ambassador. and three embassy employees who were there dedicated to doing the work of the united states of america. this is as serious event as i have ever seen. it's been confusing to try to follow where the administration has been. >> on friday secretary of state hillary clinton said this. >> what happened in benghazi was a terrorist attack and we will not rest until we have tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four americans. >> the administration has also said it was not a preplanned attack. listen. >> based on the information that we had at the time and have to this day, we -- we do not have evidence that it was premeditated.
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>> fran townsend visited libya last month. mark whitaker is with us as well. executive vice president managing editor of cnn. let's talk a little bit about how this story developed. and some of what we now know about what was happening in libya comes from ambassador stevens' diary. why don't you walk me through, mark, how cnn got access to this diary. >> well, three days after the attack, arwa damon, our correspondent on the ground, gained access to the mission. which was, you know, had been evacuated. and found while she was there a journal. and, of course, she didn't know what it was. but then when she looked at it, it became clear that it was writings from ambassador stevens. and after she notified us here in atlanta and here in new york about it, we had discussions about what we should do with it. we immediately determined that this was his personal property. and that what we had to do was
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first approach his family and find out if they wanted it back. >> it became clear at some point there was some news value to what he had written in this journal. it was a relatively new journal and relatively short. when did you determine that and what was done? >> once we contacted the family, they confirmed that they did want it back. we made arrangements through the state department to get it back to them as quickly as possible. we also talked to them about what we could report. because we thought that, you know, there were legitimate -- there were a lot of newsworthy issues that were raised specifically on the issue of what the ambassador thought about possible terror threats and the fact that he might actually be a target of al qaeda. state department officials got involved in the middle of all of this. but when we talked directly to the family, their main concern was they wanted the physical journal back and they didn't want personal details from the journal revealed.
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we felt we had to respect that. as a result we didn't immediately report on the existence of the journal or any of those details. however, we thought there was a legitimate national interest in pursuing this question of the possible terror threat. and, therefore, we continued to report over the following days and got extra sources about the ambassador's thinking and other evidence of a security threat. and then last wednesday, we did a report on "anderson cooper 360" in which we laid out all the evidence we had purely on the national security issue, which we thought was the only thing that we were interested in pursuing. and we did not at that point divulge that some of this came directly from the journal out of respect for the family. >> eventually it leaked to the media that there was a journal. and then conversations about the journal happened. the state department put out a scathing statement given the truth of how this was handled. cnn patting themselves on the back is disgusting is what they
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called it. what they're not owning up to is reading and transcribing chris's diary or bothering to tell the family or anyone else they took it from the site of the attack. when they finally did tell them ignored the wishes of a family and broke their pledge made to them hour after they witnessed the return to the united states of their remains. he has been kind of furious back and forth about this in a very public way. there are some people who say part of the reason this is getting so angry is because it's raising the questions that are in this diary and highlighted by some of the reporting, which is was the ambassador aptly protected securitywise? did he have concerns about his security and any kind of al qaeda threat? >> let's go back, soledad. what's lost in sort of the hyperventilating is the fact that at the time when this was -- this news first broke about the ambassador's concern about an al qaeda hit list, the fact is the state department -- we didn't know yet, the
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government had not acknowledged, that it was a terrorist attack. right? so this was an indication. we had information and an obligation to report it to the public that we had information quite the contrary. that at least in the ambassador's mind, there was a very distinct terror threat directed at him. so you can quibble with whether or not we reported it or how and when we went about reporting it. but the fact of the matter is, look. in all my time in government, there are -- there are a handful, very rarely, where the government will make an argument to a news korgs that there's an overriding national security interest to withhold something. that's not what the government argued here. the government suddenly became the champion of the family. the answer is we didn't need -- cnn didn't need the government to get involved in that. in fact, we have a free press. cnn negotiated, had a conversation with the family. respected the obligation to keep out personal details and only report what it was obligated and
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newsworthy to report. the fact that the government wants to stand as the moral ar by tor of this frankly offends me. >> from an ethics of journalism perspective, the family says we're not interested in having the journal put on television. >> soledad, this is an issue we wrestle with all the time in journalism. how do you balance concerns for privacy against the public interest in learning information that is of vital national interest? and when you look at everything we did at every step, that is exactly the balance that we tried to strike. we felt we had an obligation to the family not to talk about the journal or about personal details from the journal. on the other hand, we had not only the right, but i think as fran said, the obligation to continue to look into this issue of whether there were terror threats in advance, whatnot only ambassador stevens but washington, the state department, others in the administration might have known about it, why they after the
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fact seemed to suggest that it wasn't a terror attack. and then later only changed their story after our reporting came out. and the questions, all the questions that raised about whether ambassador stevens and other u.s. personnel were given adequate protection before the attack. >> what's the answer to mark's question? why has the state department, why has the government been so proactive in first saying this was a spontaneous terrorist attack, or spontaneous attack, then move to terrorist. every step of the way, whether or not susan rice, hillary clinton, now how aggressively they're going after this diary, there seems to be a concerted effort to say this was not a preplanned attack. what was their motivation? >> i don't presume to be in their minds. let's be honest. if it turns out there was advanced indication indicating there was a serious terror threat against the benghazi consulate or the ambassador personally, then the security situation, the security that they provided both the establishment, the consulate, and the ambassador, was wholly inadequate. and the accountability for that will rest squarely on the state department from the secretary of
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state down. >> you visited with him. did he have a lot of security? >> i will tell you, soledad, i was in tripoli. i was concerned about militia presence, myself having been stopped -- my car having been stopped by a militia. when the ambassador arrived at my hotel on the morning of august 29th for breakfast, he had no security. got out of an armored car, walked in, didn't have a single person with him. i raised it with him. >> what did he say? >> he was one of these, as we reported, roll up your sleeves kind of guy. he wasn't concerned. he thought the security situation, at least what his indication to me was, was that it was going to take time, eventually it would settle down. >> fran townsend and mark whitaker, thank you for coming in to talk to us about this issue. a short break. still aihead on "starting point" two of hollywood's actresses with their fight to end poverty for women. you're watching "starting point." we're back after this. on once empty fields.
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welcome back to "starting point," everyone. headlines we're looking at this morning, we know about the dangers of texting and driving. now the number of teenagers getting hurt while just walking around is on the rise. the number of pedestrian injuries amongst 16 to 19-year-olds is up 25% in recent years. experts with safe kids worldwide blames texting for the increase. also when you do it, you look really dumb. firefighters in southern california are trying to contain a fast moving wildfire that broke out on sunday afternoon. so far 1,700 acres have burned. the flames have swallowed up four homes so far. mandatory evacuations are in place. he's not exactly a household name. now he's rich. brian snedeker is a name to be reckoned with as of now in the golf world. he captured the tour
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championship yesterday and fedexcup and more than $11 million. that is the biggest payday in golf. >> that's a lot of golf lessons his parents invested in over his lifetime finally paying off. thanks, appreciate it. they starred together in the big screen hit "the sisterhood of the traveling pants." america ferrera and alexis bledel will talk about a new sisterhood they're fighting to help. [ male announcer ] extreme environments can cause a spontaneous change in dna,
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welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting point" one, the anti-poverty group that was started by bono is launching a new initiative. the goal is to raise awareness of programs that help women and children in twdeveloping
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countries. this past august, actress america ferrera from "ugly betty" and alexis blealexis ble >> it's the same in this country as it is in every other developing country. it's poverty that is the biggest foe. >> i feel that way when i've been in mali. i feel that way when i've been in india. this could be any of us at any given time. >> we're here primarily to see what can be done to strengthen the position of women within the community because everything they do strengthens the infrastructure. >> nice to have you both with us this morning. how did you both get involved with one and specifically with this work focusing on women? >> i've been involved with development work focusing around women. but i was very much attracted to the one campaign because they're about using -- leveraging your voice, not your money. that's why i came to the organization. and when i knew that they were interested in focusing in on -- on issues surrounding women and
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girls and also when they were interested in traveling to latin america, which i really wanted to focus on. >> you speak spanish fluently. you, alexis, speak spanish fluently as well. >> yes. >> tell me a little bit about what you saw when you were in honduras, especially among women and children. >> well, we saw a lot of incredible programs that are funded by the u.s. government. like feed the future. and gavi who provided things like immunizations and programs that teach women how to create sustainable communities by learning new methods of farming and growing healthy food for their children. so a lot -- we saw a lot of programs that are doing incredible things that just need to be -- to have continued funding. to be supported. >> so a central part of one's focus has always been building a domestic constituency for foreign aid. so what do you do to take the message of the programs you've seen back at home? >> i think that, you know, the video, the -- the social interaction is a big tool for us
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these days. being able to -- we also went with claire diaz ortiz from twitter. she's our resident expert on the trip helping us to get this message across to our generation. also connecting the stories of young women around the world to the women here at home. >> i find it so interesting that people have come to the realization that if you invest in girls and you invest in women you can really change a community. >> we saw that firsthand. i mean, just giving women -- giving mothers the tools to fortify tortillas with better vitamins made the children's development stronger. it cut stunting. it made boys and girls more alert and better in the classroom so that they could learn better. and then giving those women the tools to learn how to farm new crops on their land, it helped their boys and their girls. and it improved everything from education to economy in their community. and it wasn't just helping the women and the girls. it was lifting up the entire community. >> what do you tell people who are here at home and they say, okay, i'm in.
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you're doing amazing work. i'm obviously not going to go to honduras or get on a plane. i'm a college student. or i'm starting new in a job, 20-something. how do they help? how do they get in? >> one really operates off the support of its members. it's easy to become a member. go to and sign up. and the way you support them is not really by making donations or anything like that, it's just by lending your voice. making your voice heard in support. so you can, you know, sign petitions and you can twitter politicians and you can just -- you know, support the campaign that way. >> how long was your trip? to honduras and latin america? >> we were in honduras for about a week. >> were you guys good friends before you went? >> yeah. >> we've been friends for a while. >> and we both -- we sat down at dinner one night and just decided that, you know, we had a lot of similar goals in terms of this kind of work. we wanted to do something in latin america. we wanted to do something for women. >> so the hardest question, when everything is squeezed
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domestically, what's the case for continuing to invest in programs that are affecting honduras or other -- >> people say why not work in new york or philly or l.a.? >> it's all important. but i think what a lot of people don't understand is that the -- foreign aid is actually less than 1% of the u.s. budget. so it's actually -- we're talking about very little bit of the money that we're putting out there for the rest of the world. you know, other than the humanitarian, you know, obligation to kind of care for your fellow man, you know, there's a lot of strategic and, you know, political reasons to be made. especially when you're talking about latin america. the proximity of those countries. and then the millions of people like me who are americans who have -- who have roots in latin america. >> both of you, really. congratulations on your amazing work. so great that in between making movies and doing shows you can squeeze in travel and really be tremendous humanitarians. thank you for talking with us. we appreciate it. got to take a short break.
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