tv Americas Newsroom FOX News January 31, 2013 9:00am-11:00am EST
honoring great americans. >> steve: tomorrow, brian will be live at the super bowl and we hope to see you then. eric, see you then. >> eric: thank you. ongoing. there are new details on the man who grab ad 5-year-old boy off a school bus and is still holding him in an underground bunker as the hostage standoff enters a third day. how will they get him out safe? good morning. i'm bill hemmer. welcome to "america's newsroom". martha: good morning. i'm martha maccallum. this whole thing started 40 hours ago. a man boarded a packed school bus near his home. demanded a child by some reports he wanted two children, two boys. at that point the driver resisted it. he killed the bus driver. negotiators are work around the clock to try to free this child. >> i can assure you the negotiators continue to communicate with the suspect.
at this time we have no reason to believe that the child has been harmed. >> we need to get together and pray basically for ethan, mainly the young boy's safe return. martha: boy, we sure do. i was thinking about this boy overnight. just a little boy in this situation. his family must just be so, so frightened. it is a small town. midland, alabama. everybody knows everybody. bill: they certainly do. apparently they know the suspect as well. neighbors say he is volatile person. he threatened them at gunpoint. police say that bunker could be stocked with supplies that might last for weeks. elizabeth prann on the scene live. >> reporter: good morning, bill. it is certainly a community in mourning. when you think about it the family is waking up for the second night in a row without their son in his bed. we know they're mourning the loss of one their own. that bus driver being hailed as a hero trying to save
those children. we heard from the sheriff this morning holding a very short press conference. he reiterates the fact they're in communication with this suspect. he also says there have been additional efforts sent in, volunteers and law enforcement are holding up okay. he also said that boy is safe. reports are he is getting medication that he needs. he is a special needs child. he is getting coloring books. he is getting food that is stockpiled in the bunker. we know he is able to watch television. but at the same time we're learning some very disturbing details about the suspect. neighbors are telling us they basically lived in fear of him. he was building that underground bunker for more than a year. he would roam the neighborhood at night with a shotgun. allegedly killing one of the neighbors dogs because he said the dog was near his property. at the same time the community very much banding together. there were a number of prayer vigils held last night. the community and the sheriff continue to ask for prayers.
feels like the community remains on lockdown. schools are closed. the area right behind me where the bunker is in this neighborhood remains evacuated. those folks have no idea when they get back into their homes. bill: again, how are they communicating with this man? >> reporter: what we do know is very limited information but they're communicating through a pvc pipe. that pipe is also how that little boy is getting his medication. although the authorities haven't elaborated on that much. we also know that he did get coloring books. they were able to drop things down through the pvc pipe, which is the only means of communication that we're aware of at this point. bill: elizabeth prann, is on the scene as she has been from the very beginning. that is midland city, alabama, southern part of that state. martha with a bit more. martha: she was saying neighbors of this suspect are really not surprised to hear he is the one behind this whole ordeal. rhonda wilbur says the guy beat her dog with a led pipe for coming on his side of the dirt road.
the dog died a week later. >> he kept saying this, you know, if a man can kill a dog, beat it with a led pipe, -- lead pipe, until internal injuries are so bad that the dog can not survive and brag about having done it, then it's nothing until, until going to be people. martha: that woman, ronda wilbur, will join us a little later here in "america's newsroom." we'll talk to her about what is going on in her town. bill: meantime there is extreme weather so many millions are feeling. ongoing water rescues in the state of maryland and the washington, d.c. area. that is what you're watching here. severe flash flooding trapping people inside their cars and emergency crews have been working through the night rescuing drivers and as of this morning, at least seven people have been pulled to safety. a wind advisory still remains in effect with gusts reaching 50 miles an hour plus throughout the
northeast. martha: the extreme weather turning deadly in the south. in georgia a man captured a massive funnel cloud on his cell phone camera. watch this. >> come over here. get back in there. [bleep] across the road. come on, get over here. martha: wow, look at that. wow! here is the aftermath today. at least two people lost their lives before this was all over. look at the damage. tornados demolished homes and gists businesses. one storm victim said the wind threw her clear across the house. >> didn't even give me time. it had me slinging inside the door. and it tossed me in the bathroom. seems like it was never going to be over. i got up and run outside straight to their house. i couldn't get out. i was so scared.
it picked me up and sling me three times trying to get the door to close. i ran into the bedroom. i crawl in there and i went under the thing like that. i say, oh, lord, i hope it will pass. martha: oh, boy. what a scary story from that poor woman. reporter paul milican from waga in atlanta has more from gordon county, georgia. >> we are in is a nor have -- sonoraville, georgia which got hit hard behind me. tough to imagine what this used to be. this was a towing company and this was the sign for it right here, after for theable towing. the owners are here and as you can imagine they're in shock. this is one of the most incredible things i have ever seen. this used to be carpet. you see it over there, it was completely shredded by the tornado. there are also of course pieces of cars, there are pieces of houses. looked like this right here was a christmas ornament which is sitting on the
grass. who knows where that came from. we talked to the owners who are here right now. this is their first time looking at the devastation. they say as you can imagine, they're in shock. martha: thanks to paul from waga in atlanta. bill: what a remarkable to think it is january and we're talking about tornados. martha: so true. bill: new signs of volatility in the american job market. these are fresh numbers in. unemployment applications for the week spiked. they're up 38 thousand. seasonably adjusted 38,000. stuart varney from the fox business network here to explain. what is going on here, stuart. >> frankly, bill these numbers are terrible. 36,000 people in one week, first time claims for unemployment benefit. that is far too high a level of layoffs. the economy is deteriorating. you can come up with any excuses you like. hurricane sandy did, the republicans or lower defense spending but the fact is numbers are what they are.
the economy is contracting. layoffs are at far too high a level. if you dig into today's report, in december the holiday period our spending in america went up only .2%. a deteriorating economy, bill. bill: that is paltry. the gdp number, help me understand because they explain the drop-off with cuts to defense spending, right? if that is the case, is it only federal spending that is keeping us going in any direction? >> hold on a second. there is always an excuse. over the past four years whenever the economy has turned sour there has been an excuse. the japanese tsunami. the egyptian arab spring, the europeans, trouble in japan, the republicans, the downgrade, hurricane sandy. drop-off in defense spending. there is always an excuse. the fact is, we have never achieved a robust expansion since the end of the recession. now this latest go round yesterday when the economy showed to be contracting it was blamed on lower defense spending. it was blamed on the
hurricane sandy. but the fact is, we have not motivated, not invigorated our private sector and that's why we don't have a prosperous society. bill: even if you buy that argument, the defense spending is to blame for that, that is only washington keeping us going in a direction, which is not what you want. >> no. government spending will not create growth and prosperity. bill: see you 10 minutes, fbn. you have had no shortage of topics have you. four years. see you later, stuart. martha: fox news alert. syria and iran threatening to retaliate against israel after israeli forces launched an airstrike inside syria taking out what they were say sophisticated surface-to-air missiles bound for the terror group hezbollah in lebanon. remember a few days ago a top iranian official said any attack on syria would be deemed an attack on iran. boy, this one could get very tense. we're watching it closely. kt will join us on that one. bill: a little bit under the radar so to speak.
we'll see what happens next. we're getting going. minutes from now the confirmation hearing for defense secretary nominee chuck hagel starts in washington. first we will talk with someone doing the questioning. oklahoma senator jim inhofe will join us. is happy with hagel? you will hear from him. martha: just hours after a report that the economy actually shrunk for the first time in years this quarter, the white house says it knows why this happened. wait until you hear who they are blaming. bill: there is outrage in the city of chicago. gun violence claiming the life of a promising teenager just back from the inauguration in washington, d.c.. >> worry about where she is going. i know who has her. i just miss her. my heart, it is a whole section of my heart that's gone.
martha: three people are hurt after a powerful explosion ripped through a packed hotel near seaworld in san diego. the police say that a couple in one of the rooms was making drugs using butane. that can lead to this sort of thing the gas apparently ignited by a cigarette. that room we're told looks like a war zone. police say it could have been a lot worse. the man ran out into the streets ablaze at one point yesterday afternoon. bill: lesson learned, right? president obama nominee for the defense department. former senator chuck hagel already faced fierce opposition from those who question his position on matters in the middle east. >> i can not support a nominee for defense secretary who thinks we should be tougher on israel and more lenient on iran. [applause] bill: my next guest will ask some the questions today. senator james inhofe,
republican, ranking member of the armed services committee. good morning to you. thank you for spending a little bit of time with us before the hearing begin. you met with chuck hagel two weeks ago. are you a yes vote or a no vote? >> no, i'm a no vote. i have a great deal of respect for him and great war record and all that, but he is wrong on the issues. i asked him to come by the office. i told hum i would be opposing his nomination. bill: if you're a no vote and you're opposing him and you asked him questions, specifically on what matter? >> well, you know, on his record. what he done for a long period of time, one of only two votes against the sanctions for iran many years ago. i was helping circulate a letter that was for israel, solidarity for israel. there are only four senators who wouldn't sign that letter. he was one of the four. he has, in 2007 the, we had legislation concerning the
iranian revolutionary guard, which is a terrorist group, to put them on a terrorist list. he voted against that in my opinion he is wrong on the issues in the middle east. but he is right in line i might say with president obama. bill: you said this was many years ago. i'm just wondering, with the passing of time was he able to explain to you fairly and sufficiently why he felt that way? >> i --. bill: and whether or not he perhaps has changed today? >> i don't think that will happen. he has been too consistent. bill, a good time to ask me that question in about six hours from now when the hearing's over. bill: perhaps we can revisit that. he faced opposition from others. whether it was his position on israel or the issue with iran. and others believe because he did not work in the department of defense, that this would be a novel start for a man like this because it hasn't been done that way before. had he worked at the pentagon or dod would your position be different? >> no.
actually the, there are other issues too. the global zero movement, are you aware of that? that say we want a world without, without nuclear and yet, we have right now iran developing those capabilities, north cree developing those. a pretty scary thing if we have a secretary of defense who talks about a nuclear-free world and leading the way in that nuclear-free world. just a lot of issues there, bill give me a sense. because last week when we watched hearings. there were five minutes for questioning and onto the next senator. is that how it is run today? if so how effective will hearings be. >> i think it will be pretty effective. we'll have full attendance. we go back and forth. i'm striving for eight-minute round. you can ask questions for eight minutes. try to extract answers. try to keep the witness in this case, from using up the
clock so that is the way it will happen. it will be, we'll be doing it for several hours. bill: that is true but the objections last week were aimed at republicans and the critics felt that republicans were not, they had no plan with hillary clinton and that's why the hearings came off the way they did. is there a plan among you and your republican colleagues to be more effective at asking those questions? >> we have visited and we decided which issues are significant issues and how to ask the questions to extract the right answers. i think you will be pleased. bill: interesting. how tricky could this be for chuck hagel then? >> well, i'm not sure how tricky it would be. i will say that he will have to answer a lot of questions that are not easy to answer. we'll find out how tricky it is. bill: will he ultimately be approved do you think? >> i wouldn't want to speculate it. bill: really? so there's a chance he won't? >> no, i just wouldn't want to speculate. i don't think it is appropriate to speculate on that prior to a hearing.
bill: understood. senator, thank you. i know you have got to run. i appreciate the few moments with us today. >> thank you, bill. bill: james inhofe out of oklahoma. thank you, sir. here's martha. martha: the white house says that the now shrinking u.s. economy, they really blame on house republicans. is that true? is there blame there? or where should it be going around? doug schoen and monica crowley up next. we'll be right back. or that printing in color had to cost a fortune. nobody said an all-in-one had to be bulky. or that you had to print from your desk. at least, nobody said it to us. introducing the business smart inkjet all-in-one series from brother. easy to use. it's the ultimate combination
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she was just in washington performing at president obama's inauguration. she was in a park when a friend opened fire on the group. she was shot in the back as she tried to get away. her family and friends are devastated now. >> what would you say to the people that pulled the trigger? >> shame on you. shame on you. really? like, what were you thinking. these are just children. >> the school was good but the neighborhood was not. when we step foot outside the school anything can happen to us. >> i am not worried where she is going. i know who haser her. i just miss her. there is whole section of my heart that's gone. bill: police suspect the gunman may be the member of a gang that considers the park its turf. more than 40 people have been killed in chicago in the month of january alone. martha: all right. let's go back to d.c. we are awaiting a senate vote on a measure to allow
the u.s. to take on more debt, suspending the nation's $16.4 trillion borrowing limit and adding 450 billion in new debt. just crank up the old credit card there, folks. peter doocy is live in washington. is this vote expected to pass today, peter? >> reporter: it is, martha. that is really interesting because down in the house where it also passed democrats largely did not support this measure which includes the no budget, no pay provision which republicans came up with to support raising the debt limit until may 18th as long as lawmakers stop receiving paychecks until the chamber they serve in pass as budget. the senate majority leader harry reid called it a gimmick but he also said it is important and it should get the 60 votes it needs. republican senator robb portman plans to offer an amendment to the bill later today, calling for a dollar in cuts for every dollar the debt limit goes up. that amendment is unclear. portman argues, this is quote, washington can not
continue to raise the debt limit while kicking the debt down the road on deficit reduction and in order to spur job creation to get our economy back on the right track. we must restore fiscal responsibility. this has to start by washington to stop spending money we don't have. this vote is in three hours. martha: interesting to see whether there will be any moment on that. there hasn't been a whole lot of agreement that perhaps we need to do some spending cuts along with this. raising the debt limit, what kind of impact would that have on the economy? is there an idea that perhaps the concern over this has held things back to any extent? >> reporter: the white house, martha, said yesterday the possibility of the united states defaulting on its obligations is a drag on the economy but they also said so is the threat of the sequester and those $110 billion in across-the-board cuts have still not been avoided. >> we have already seen, you
know, data that reflects in most economists estimates the impact of uncertainty caused by the sequester. it is clearly a bad thing. you know, we shouldn't do that. we should instead address this issue in a responsible, sober way, that assures we move forward with deficit reduction. >> reporter: republican senator john cornyn says march 1st is the day that the sequester will likely take effect but he hopes a deal to stop the harsh cuts can be made soon afterwards. martha. martha: peter thank you very much. peter doocy. bill: take a look at this. a woman absolutely losing it while in police custody. she is inside the car. officer says, what is going on there? there goes the window. tell you what this is all about. campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy.
bill: confirmation hearing for president obama's pick to lead the defense department now getting underway. this one got some controversy packed in there. chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel live on capitol hill. what do we expect chuck hagel to say as he tries to convince senators that he should be defense secretary and some of those senators, on the republican side are well on the fence here? >> reporter: that's right, bill. good morning to you. we expect chuck hagel will try to reassure senators to understand we live in a dangerous world. he understands the threat coming from iran and other places in the middle east. essentially what people
close to him are saying he feels good going in. they realize opponents of chuck hagel had a couple months to define him. in private meetings with senators he had a chance to better slain had his positions. this provides the opportunity in public for him to lay out why he believes he understands the world as it is. why he would be a good secretary of defense. we heard this show of support from president obama's choice to be the next secretary of state. >> i know chuck hagel and i think he is a strong patriotic, former senator and he will be a strong secretary of defense. i think some of the things that have been, some of the efforts to color senator hagel's approach on some of these things don't do justice. >> reporter: expect chuck hagel to say he is in line with president obama's thinking on iran. he understands what the president is trying to do in afghanistan and other parts of the world.
we know hagel has arrived in the room. so we're close to hearing from him directly, bill. bill: mike, is there any support from republicans for him? >> reporter: one senator, thad cochran said so far that he will vote for chuck hagel. others are waiting. we heard mitch mcconnell saying let's see how the hearing goes. what is striking how a lot of republicans have come out and said no including john cornyn. >> to senator hagel simply does not understand the true basis or true importance of the u.s.-israel aloolance. that is one of many reasons i can not support his nomination. i can not support a nominee for defense secretary who thinks we should be tougher on israel and more lenient on iran. >> reporter: that is pretty striking coming from the number two republican in the united states senate. you also had senator inhofe on earlier, the top republican on the senate armed services committee
says he is no, even before the hearing begins, bill. bill: thank you, mike. we're watching that. when chuck hagel begins his opening address we'll bring you there live. on the hill, mike emanuel. martha: well there is some new outrage from lawmakers after the white house suggests that it is republicans really that have held the u.s. economy back. white house press secretary jay carney says republicans are blocking progress being made on the u.s. economy. here is a bit of that. >> we have seen consistent job growth over almost three years. home prices are starting to climb back. consumer sentiment overall has been rising and consumer spending has been rising but there is more work to do and our economy is facing a major headwind which goes to your point and that is republicans in congress. martha: there you go. republican senator john thune responded on twitter. white house press secretary blames gop for the economy while pushing higher taxes. what planet do these guys live on. great panel today.
doug schoen, former pollster to president bill clinton and fox news contributor and monica crowley radio talk show host extraordinaire and welcome to you all. big shocker the number we got yesterday. >> absolutely. overall it was a big shock. following the day before, carney would mention consumer sentiment because that plunged dramatically the day before. that was maybe even a bigger shock because that speaks to the future where the gdp report was, in the past. and that was all about the payroll tax hikes. so a double-whammy this week. martha: whose fault is it? >> you can't be in the white house and only cherry-pick the good stuff. first four years it was bush's fault. martha: sure you can. every white house wants to do that. >> the fact of the matter is the economy has been slowed in part because there was been a war on success and constant threening and deemization of business. a lot of businesses have been afraid and intimidated by this. martha: no doubt about that. >> you still put a lot of money in the bank. there is trillion 1/2
dollars outside of this country. companies are doing what they can to get by but they're not taking the risk to do better. martha: hungering down. >> i have slightly different view i think both sides deserve the blame. this is side what politics can do to slow economic activity to keep companies from spending. we haven't done full-scale tax reform, entitlement reform, spending cuts. we haven't looked intelligently at defense. we haven't dealt with the issues of the debt and the deficit. in any serious and sustained way. there is enough blame to go around. i wish both sides would cut it out, martha. martha: feels like the american people only thing they're truly confident about nothing will get done and they're figuring out alternate ways to function and how to survive. >> to negotiate this new normal which i don't think the american people should be putting up with. listening to carney's comments, martha let's get this straight. democrats took control of the congress in january 2007 and they held it until january of 2011. democratic president has
been in the office for last four years. republicans control one half of one-third of the government. somehow they're to blame for this poor economy. we had four years now of higher taxes class warfare, radical wealth redistribution, socialized medicine now starting to kick in, unprecedented spending. record-breaking deficits and debt and somehow it is the republicans fault that --. martha: $4 trillion trying to juice this economy and have to ask the question whether or not the system is working right now. but 60% approval rating for the president? so, you know the president is not being blamed by the american people on this, charles? >> you know, listen, president has done an extraordinary sales job, there is no doubt about it. the fingerpointing thing absolutely worked. but ultimately, when history judges they will say what did occur and it has been four years. there will be another four years. i can tell you today we had numbers out last month on income and spending. income exploded. i mean it was the best income number since may of
2008. why? well those dividend, remember those big dividend payouts before the tax hike and a lot of people took guy gantic bonuses before the big tax hike. what scared me spending was really below estimates. feels like maybe the american people are beginning to hunker down. that has been a major problem. even though people give the president, you know, props if you will, in their own lives they're really not acting out on it. martha: one of the things we talk about, consumer spending. we just started to absorb the fact everyone is paying higher taxes across the board. if you make $50,000, you're, it is going up by a thousand dollars for, most people across the board. so, you know, i'm concerned about the next quarter. one quarter can be an anomaly. you have two back-to-back you've got a recession. >> martha, we have to be real an candid and face the fact that the deal on the fiscal cliff, the three-month extension on the debt ceiling, have done absolutely nothing to resolve our long-term fiscal
challenges. and given the fact that we have no long-term agreement, consumers are doing exactly what you're saying. they're hungering down because they're scared. martha: i think you have to accept that across the board, both parties do in terms of nothing being accomplished. >> everybody agrees on that. on all sides. there is nooubt about that. martha: we've got it all figured it out. we'll let them work on it down there in washington. thanks very much, guys. great to have you all here. bill: problem solved, right? martha: yep. bill: got breaking news, martha. getting some aerial pictures from calhoun, georgia. this is hour, hour 15 minutes north of atlanta, georgia. after the storms ripped through the area yesterday and overnight last night. some reports have six dead as a result of this huge storm that went through. some of the images earlier showed some of these foundations just completely rocked to the ground. that is the aftermath you're seeing, what appear to be clearly tornados at least in calhoun, georgia. we're watching the system. it rocked the northeast
overnight last night. hopefully it is out of here. what follows that is a cold weather system that will shake you yet again. it will feel a lot more like january and february once the system rolls through but for the folks in northern georgia and calhoun, they have a lot of cleaning up to do. we'll get you down there live as we tap one of our reporters out of atlanta. bill: meantime significant breaking news in the middle east. iran and syria are now threatening to retaliate against israel after the israelis reportedly hit a weapons convoy in syria late yesterday. kt mcfarland on what happens next there. martha: plus some much obamacare's most vocal supporters are now saying hold on. why some unions are now deciding that they're not actually that happy with the reality of the law [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where you don't back down from a challenge. this is the age of knowing how to make things happen.
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bleep. martha: oh my. that's a bad day at work for that policeman. this happened in ohio. the glass started flying and hit the officer. you saw it brush him off his shoulder there. the woman reportedly got into a fight with her mother and punched her in the face and bitter earlier in the day. she is charmer this one. >> right to the procedures here? >> no, sir. >> show you a copy of the felony charges in your case? >> yes, sir. >> she began charging officers, she would fight them and beat them up. martha: oh my, oh my, oh my. bad day, right. police call her behavior the ugly effects of guess what? drinking too much alcohol. that will do it to you. bill: she had a bad day, huh? martha: not too good. bill: i had a better day than that. there is breaking news from the middle east. this is significant.
it is getting hotter there. syria and iran just last hour threatening to retaliate against israel after israeli fighter jets reportedly launched an airstrike inside of syria. remember a few days ago a top iranian official saying any attack on syria would be considered an attack on iran as well. this is the area of concern right here. but, as for this story today, just keep an eye on this part of the world here. we can advance it one time. we'll show you what we believe happened here, okay? there is syria with the capital city damascus. this is about where you find the borderline, present day between israel and syria, the golan heights. it is believed there is some sort of a storeage facility right here southwest of damascus and in addition to that, there could have been a convoy on the move and destined for lebanon which is where hezbollah is stationed. now, go back to the bigger map one more time because i want to bring in kt mcfarland on this. in this whole section here, whether it is, it's sir or
weather it's lebanon, syria to the south, jordan as well which is very quiet lately, a little unusual given the arab spring, then egypt down here. specifically the area of the sinai peninsula which bumps up right against israel to the south, with that kt mcfarland, fox news national security analyst with us and good morning to you. it was pretty striking thing to get the reports yesterday afternoon about two hits inside of syria. today we get the headline, from iran and syria suggesting that it will retaliate against iran. rather against israel, my apologies. where is this going now? >> well, first of all i think syria has got a lot of trouble dealing with its own internal situation. i don't think they have the bandwidth to retaliate against iran, i mean against israel. the important thing to remember is, israel and iran are preparing for war. i don't think they made the decision to go to war but they're both prepositioning
themselves for that. go back to the map. iran is not next to israel, right? iran has allies surrounding israel as you pointed out on that map, bill. what iran is doing reinforcing all those allies. they're reinforcing lebanon as you point out. on the gaza strip to the west of israel they are reinforcing. the israelis are trying to attack, preempt any ability of iran to retaliate. things are heating up there. nobody knows where it is going but it is heating up. bill: it is perhaps said this was a storage facility for chemical weapons. unconfirmed. >> unconfirmed. bill: perhaps this was a convoy that was bringing anti-aircraft missiles into lebanon to help hezbollah to fend off an attack against israel. that was not confirmed either. but what we do know is that something was hit by somebody. if you're the israelis would this not be the perfect time to do that? >> absolutely. bill: syria is entirely distract with its own civil war. >> syria is distracted. whatever happens israel can
not allow the golan heights which they fought for years. the last several wars have been over the golan heights. they can not iran to use its cat paws on the golan heights to have chemical weapons. you remember in the october, gaza on the west of israel, iranian scud missiles being reink forced and put there. the israelis attacked those. a week before that, there was a weapons plant in sudan, in africa, presumably the israelis hit. that was a plant making weapons on their way to gaza. this is all heating up. bill: all of our discussions over the past month or two you consistently come back to that sinai peninsula. >> yeah. bill: you say at the moment it is like the wild west. >> yeah. bill: how? >> it is an area very sparsely populated. who lives there? bedouin tribesmen live there. the sinai peninsula, in the '67 war the israelis fought
against the arabs and the '73 war, that was the crucial area. that was the area israelis moved in, egyptians moved in, they fought over that for years. in 1973 my boss, henry kissinger, made a deal. the deal was with the egyptian, you have peace treaty with israel and we'll give you military equipment and economic assistance but we want the sinai area to be demilitarized and safe. what is happening the sinai peninsula is being being set up by al qaeda. it is anybody's game. bill: one more point on all this. i mentioned jordan. it has been relatively quiet. if that goes, that was a friendly, has been a friendly neighbor to the east but what are we doing right now as a government to put our influence to make sure this thing does not go very bad quickly? >> that is the big question. that is why the hearings with senator hagel is so important because where is the administration? are they a strong supporter of israel. they talk about it but they don't act like it. are they going to tell, they
tell iran no nuclear weapons but what are they going to do to stop iran? all these things are coming together certainly in one place. bill: thank you. we'll hear the comment from chuck hagel. kt mcfarland,. to viewers it can be confusing and significant and important. hemmer foxnews.com is the e-mail and on twitter @billhemmer. need one line because you asked, bya. thank you, kt. here's martha. martha: think about this, an asteroid is said to be hurdling towards earth. it is the size of a football field. why scientists say we could be in for impact this time. bill: also new information on the iranian prison where an american pastor has been sentenced to serve eight long years. you will hear from a woman this morning who knows the place all too well. she was in prison there for more than two years. you were in jail for two years, two months and 12 days. two and 12. >> yes. bill: what is it like inside? >> it's living hell.
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bill: new video of a high-speed chase only in los angeles. check the out. the driver careening through the dark streets of l.a., nearly forcing cars off the road while he is driving that suv. plowing through a railroad crossing. he finally surrendered to police after about an hour when he ran out of gas. martha: that happens. all right. how about this? a massive asteroid is set for a close call with the earth. when the space rock which is said to be half the size of a football field buzzes by our planet it will be much closer to us than the mood is or any of the manmade satellites we have up there so it could get too close for comfort. we have the managing editor of space.com.
good to have you with us. welcome. >> thank you, martha. great to be here. martha: 2020 is when this is expected to possibly happen. how close do you think it is going to be, and if it hits us what kind of damage is it likely to do? >> well that's what nasa scientists are really going to be watching on this pass. next month on the 15th, this asteroid is going to swing just 17,000 miles away from earth at much lower than the navigation satellites and, that we use every day for tour phones and our gps. now it is not going to hit this time around, but such a close encounter of a rock this big, something like, 40 meters, meters wide, 50 meters wide, they haven't had this kind of a close encounter of a rock this size before. nasa will be watching it. scientists and astronomers will be tracking after it swings by to see how this close fly-by will change the orbit when it does come around again. martha: in your terms, these
things happen, you know, every thousands of years, several thousands years. when was the last time something like this did actually make contact and what was the impact? >> well to give you some perspective, this asteroid is about the same size as the rock that exploded over siberia in 1908. that event that leveled00 of square miles of land, just complete devastation. that didn't even hit the planet. it exploded in the atmosphere above the ground. so these rocks can pack a wallop if they do hit the, hit the earth. nasa thinks these types of rocks fly by maybe once every 40 years. a close shave of the earth. an actual strike like when we saw once every 1200. martha: this is six or seven years away and 70% of the earth is covered in water. so it is unlikely that it would hit anywhere but it could, it could? >> yeah. there is always the chance and that is exactly why nasa
on this pass around is going to be aiming, not just telescopes but radar and other instruments to track the asteroid as it flies by to find out exactly how the orbit changes with such a close encounter to find out what it is made of, how it is spinning, how it moves through space. anything that can give us a really good idea of you know, what the asteroids, what makes it tick. maybe it or another asteroid ever becomes a serious threat how to avert that. martha: how to avert it. how to duck, get out of the way! thank you very much. good to talk to you today. >> thank you. martha: very interesting. bill: sure is. we're watching this matter in southern alabama now. there are concerns for a 5-year-old boy being held inside of a bunker, as we learn more about the man who selling him now. we'll talk to neighbor who says this same man beat her dog with a lead pipe? that story is coming up in a moment.
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martha: fox news alert on this hostage standoff that goes on and on in alabama. now in the 43rd hour of this. we are learning some disturbing new details about this suspect who fatally shot a bus school driver, a school bus driver and then dragged a five-year-old, he said i want two boys. he ended of up getting off that bus with one boy, a special needs child and he's being held in an underground bunker at gunpoint. breaking news on this story. i'm martha maccallum. bill: i'm bill hemmer. they believe the boy is okay and they have been loring medicine and coloring books in through a pipe. neighbors say they steered clear of this guy for a longtime after he threatened to shoot anyone who trespassed on his property. >> i live right across the road. my house is in the line of fire. >> cayou talked a little bit in
the beginning about how he would spend relentless time working on not only one but two bunkers? >> yeah, and he took out all the trees, and i think it was like a candy land game. you know how in the game candy land there are all the things that go. he built like that. martha: that neighbor, ronald shwanda joins us, along with a pastor who was on the school bus and witnessed the killing of the school bus driver. then their young friend was kidnapped. good morning, i know this is tough for you. >> good morning. martha: good morning, pastor. rhonda let me start with you. you've already been through a author repb dust experience wi
horrendous experience with this man. he beat your dog until he died. what action has been taken against this man for that act? >> at that point in time i called the dale county animal control, and animal abuse services, and i was very, very impressed with them. their investigator was out there talking with him within 24 hours, and warning him that this kind of stuff wthe most distuint all of that, besides the loss of, you know, beloved four-legged friend, is that the man then -- eave did it he stopped my 17-year-old son, told him he wanted to speak to my husband, and he actually -- he bragged to my husband about it. he was proud of it. he thought that this was a wonderful thing that he had done. and he reiterated his continual
threats, that if anybody or anything was on his property, that he would kill them, and i believed that very much, because when i would come home from work, about every other night it would be -- because i work until like 11, 11:30, when i would go home he would be patrolling his fence line with a -- he'd have a flashlight and rifle. martha: living across the street from someone like think can't imagine how tense it must be in that neighborhood when you're constantly watching this man. and now he's done something that i would imagine is not that surprising given his background and what he's done there. and pastor, you know, i am just thinking about this five-year-old child, who is hold up in this bunker with this individual, and then about all of those children who watched their bus driver burden erred in front of their eyes. i know you've been talking to the families.
how are they doing, and what are they saying? >> well, everybody in the community, families as well, is still traumatized and shocked that something like this would take place in our local area, a peaceful, rural area in southeast, bam r-frplment children i spoke to when i arrived at the scene at 4:00 tuesday was really in shock, and a few of them was of course a lot worse than others. i spoke to a young 13-year-old, boy who was a good friend of ethan an was very much traumatized because his really good friend was taken, and was rile wondering about his safety and protection. we've been in contact not directly, but indirectly with some of the family members, and seem to be really having a rough time. the family that lost their husband and daddy, the bus driver i'm speaking of as well, of course. they are all really in shock and the whole community is in shock. martha: that man was a hero. he tried to block this by from
getting further into the bus, so to get him out. way he was shot and killed while he was trying to protect those children from this man. thank you so much, pastor. our thoughts are with your community, and certainly with that little child who is in that bunker. and hropb rhonda we thank you for sharing your story with us as well. many thanks. bill: it's on the third day and our best to everybody down there. from arizona meanwhile a manhunt underway for a suspect at a deadly shooting at a complex if phoenix. one person killed, two others injured, one critically. police say arthur douglas harmon walked into the building yesterday morning and got into a fight with someone before he opened fire. police scanner traffic shows the chaos that followed. >> they are looking for a victim, i've got a whole bunch of people that heard shots and saw the car leaving but haven't been able to find a victim yet. >> okay i got another report a possible victim shot in the hand in the office.
>> there are a lot of offices here. i need an address. >> i need multiple units 7310. it's a parking garage on the west end i. need officers out for the perimeter. >> they are saying that one of the subjects is down. i'm still looking for a suspect right now. they are frantic not answering questions. they say there were dozens of shots fired. >> investigators say that harmon tar getted two of the victims. he's considered harmed and dangerous in the phoenix, arizona area. martha: one thing we see that is a common thread through awful these stories, it seems like we are hearing a story like this every day now. and so many of these situations deal with mentally ill or unstable people in the wake of these deadly shootings. we going to have a panel discussion that we are looking forward to to try to sort this out. what are we actually doing about changing the mental health system in this country to try to avoid some of these people being out on the streets. jonah goldberg joins us and
dr. keith ablow. that comes up, excuse me, later this hour. bill: back to this extreme weather, and, you know what we're talking about if you're east of the mississippi, tornadoes tearing through six states in the south and one of them here you see on camera. this massive twister roaring through atlanta, georgia. we are also hearing from people who were caught right in the middle of yesterday's violent storms, in that area, also in northern georgia. they had to crawl out of their flattened homes to get out. >> you could hear a big roar and about that time everything just went pitch black, stuff flying everywhere, and then it was over with just in a matter of probably ten seconds. >> the trucks fell on the cabinet tops and i was right under the cabinet tops kind of caught the truck. i had to crawl up. we were trying to button up our valuables and keep save stuff. it was not safe to try to go in. bill: they have a big job ahead
of them too. this is what is left in that town. we showed you calhoun, georgia the last hour. takenning a beating. entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble. that storm killing at least two people there. meteorologist janice dean had a busy week so far. what is happening now jd, good morning. >> reporter: unbelievable damage and to see this kind of damage in january when we typically tornado damage in april and may, it's rile incredible. we saw record-breaking temperatures ahead of this cold front. an example is chicago where we set a record of 64. by saturday the temperature will be 3 degrees. again we continue to see all this damage coming in. tornadoes across eight states, 13 confirmed tornado, two of which are ef2 in kentucky and tennessee with wind of 115 to 125 miles per hour and over 670 reports of wind damage. so, again, the pictures speak for it. take a look at where this storm is right now across the
northeast. we saw winds in excess of 80 miles per hour across new england. hurricane-force winds, and that will continue throughout the day today as the storm finally exits the northeast coastline. bill: you could feel it rattling windows all night long here. >> reporter: a lot of people that endured hurricane sandy were really scared, because this was very reminiscent of that. bill: thank you, janice. hope we get calm real soon. martha: back overseas now in a defiant iran says that it will step up its nuclear program at this point. iran telling u.n. inspectors that it does plan into stall new and more modern equipment at their main enrichment plant there allowing the rogue regime to pump out more nuclear materials at a faster rate. as you can imagine that has raised concerns around the world. staosteve centanni for this live. how did the international community become wear of this.
>> reporter: diplomats in vienna are telling news organizations that the iranians are moving forward with this plan. teheran sent a letter to the a tony dungy energy agency about its upgrade of equipment at iran's main enrichment facility about 140 miles southeast of teheran. iran has 10,000 centrifuges at that plant. they are an older type that easily breaks down and were believed to be compromised at one point about two years ago by the stux-net computer violence. the new technology developed in iran with the hef pakistan would be able to enrich uranium two to three times faster. it's believed iran plans to install about 3,000 of these newer, faster machines. iran is believed to have enough highly enriched uranium to build a new nuclear bombs but would have to overcome other technological hurdles before it can do that, martha. martha: we'll be watching it. bill: there is new fallout over obamacare. why some of the legislation's
more vocal supporters aren't so sure about it any more. we'll explain that. martha: woe, just when you thought the whole dead girlfriend hoax thing could not get any weirder there is a new twist in this one now, believe it or not. the mastermind of the scheme behind it all breaks his silence. wait until you hear what he's revealing about this. bill: a look inside iran's most brutal prison where an american pastor has now been sentenced to eight years this week alone. what life is like inside of a quote, living hell. what is this pastor then up against in this jail? >> he's up against insanity, that's what he's up against. bill: breaking news before we go to our commercials a. we want to pwhreu yo bring you inside this hearing room. chuck hagel who is the nominee to be the next secretary of defense is about to deliver his
remarks. we'll listen for comments about iran, israel and all of the objections we've heard from some of the republican senators who say they are right now a no vote, almost all of them on that committee. martha: senator inhoff said he would vote no. he would not speculate on the larger picture and haw he thinks this is going to go in the senate. this is former senator warner from virginia, long-time senator from virginia as they share a laugh at the table. all of these people are there to testify on his behalf. senator levin as well, a long-time member of this committee as he preside over this hearing this morning as they get ready to hear from senator hagel himself. he has been on the scene for many, many years, a very good friend of john kerry's. they both served in vietnam. it would be the first time that we would have a defense secretary and secretary of state that are both vietnam vets. a lot of people have discussed sort of what frame of reference that would bring to both of these jobs. since those years both of these men have a tremendous amount of experience in washington in dealing with international --
with international relations, but many people have felt that chuck hagel may not be a strong enough, or to their liking at least, many on the conservative side, a strong enough defense leader. also speculation that maybe the white house is sort of seeing this as a chance to kind of really continue to hold the reigns on this issue and that he would not be a very influential secretary of defense. others of course disagree and are big, big supporters of this man. let's hear his statement, chuck hagel. >> distinguished members of the committee. i am honored to come before you today as the president's nominee to be secretary of defense. first, as you suggested, mr. chairman, let me introduce my family. my wife, lillybeth. our son zellar, and our daughter ellen are not with us today.
our son claims he's taking a test. we'll confirm that later. but both our son and daughter, lillybeth and i are very proud of. i think like any proud father and any proud mother you all know how i feel about that, as you have the same feelings about your children, the same way lillybeth feel about ours. i want to introduce my brother tom who served with me in vietnam. my brother mike, who is our number three brother, and i might add who actually possesses any at that time event our family has. he has in the pentagon ten paintings as chairman of the air force artist guild over the years, and they are hanging in different locations in the
pentagon. so, we have one brother of some acclaim. and one of us did make it, my brother mike. mike's son is sitting behind him, josh, he is one of three children that mike has. we have here also cousins, many friend, people i owe money to -- [laughter] -- and who knows who else, since i have received some publicity over the w the weeks. i want to also thank my friend sam n u.n. n an nunn and john warner. i want to thank them for their support, encouragement and friendship over many years. and as each of you who had the privilege of serving with those two senators, i too add my
thanks for their tremendous service to our country. these two distinguished americans represent what is best about american public service and responsible bi-partisanship. they have embodied both in their careers, long, distinguished careers, and are models for each of us. and of course to my family and friend, and my fellow veterans who are here, as has been noted, max clelan. jan scruggs. good friends, veterans from all warlzs who are here today who i worked with for many, many years, i'm grateful to them. not just to those friends and supporters and fellow veterans who are here but those who are not, thank you. a life is only as good as the family and the friend you have, and the people you surround yourself with. i also want to thank my friend
leon panetta for his tremendous service to our country over so many years. if i'm given the privilege of succeeding him it will be a high honor. president obama, for his confidence and trust in me, i thank him. i'm humbled by the opportunity and the possibility he has given me to serve our country once again. and i fully recognize the immense responsibilities of the secretary of defense. i assured the president that if i am confirmed by the united states senate i will always do my best, i will always do my best for our nation, and for the men and women and their families who are called onto make the enormous sacrifices of military service. their safety, success and welfare will always be at the forefront of the decisions i make. i also assured the president that i would always provide him with my most honest and informed advice. i make that same commitment to this committee, and to the
congress. if confirmed i will reach out to the members of this committee for advice and collaboration. it will be a partnership, because the national security challenges america faces require it. our nation's security is the highest priority of our leaders and our government. we can't let the great threats we face today to be held hostage to partisanship on either side of the aisle or differences in the articles represented in articles 1 and 2 of our constitution. the stakes are too high. men and women of all political philosophies and parties and ideas die and fight for our country. as this committee knows so well, protecting our national security, or committing a nation to war can never become political litmus tests. i know secretary leon panetta has put a strong emphasis on reaching out to the congress. i like leon come from the
congress and respect and under this institution's indispensable role in setting policy in helping govern our country. we are all products of the forces that shape us. for here there has been nothing nor important in my life or a more defining influence on my life than my family, whether it was helping my mother raise four boys after my father a world war ii veteran died suddenly at age 39 on christmas day, or serving side-by-side with my brother tom in vietnam, or the wonderful miracle of my wife and me being blessed with two beautiful children. that is who i am. we each bring to our responsibilities frames of reference. these frames of reference are formed by our life's experiences. help they instruct our judgments. we build out from those personal foundations by continually informing ourselves, listening and learning. like each of you, i have a
record, a record that i'm proud of. i'm proud of my record not because of any accomplishments i may have achieved, or certainly because of an absence of mistakes, but rather because i've tried to build that record based on living my life and fulfilling my responsibilities as honestly as i knew how and with hard work. under pinning i've done in my life is a believe that we should always be striving to make our nation a better and more secure place for all of our people. during the 12 years i had the privilege of serving the people of nebraska in the united states senate i cast over 3,000 votes and hundreds of committee votes. eye i've also given hundreds of interviews and speeches and written a book. so as you all know i'm on the record, i'm on the record on many issues. but no one individual vote, no one individual quote, no one
individual statement defines me. my beliefs or my record. my overall world view has never changed, that america has and must maintain the strongest military in the world, that we must lead in the international community to confront threats and challenges together and take advantage of opportunities together. that we must use all our tools of american power to protect our citizens and our interests. i believe, and i always have believed, that america must engage in the world, not retreat from the world, but engage from the world. my record is consistent on these points. it's clear that we are living at a defining time. our nation is emerging from over a decade of war. we have brought our men and women in uniform home from iraq and have started to bring them home from afghanistan. that does not mean that the
threats we face and will continue to face are any less dangerous or complicated. in fact it is quite the opposite. recent events in mali and algeria remind us clearly of this reality. 21st century complexities, technologies, economies, threats are bringing the 7 billion global citizens closer together than ever before. as our planet adds another 2 billion people over the next 25 years the dangers, complications and human demands will not be lessened, but rather heightened. despite these challenges, i believe we also have historic opportunities to help build a safer, more prosperous, more secure, more hopeful and just world than maybe at any time in the history of man for all people. yes, the curse of intolerance and hatred and danger exist
around the world and we must continue to be clear-i'd about this danger. and we will be. we will not hesitate to use the full force of the united states military in defense of our security. but we must also be smart and more importantly wise, wise in how we employ all of our nation's great power. america's continued leadership and strength at home and abroad will be critically important for our country and the world. while we will not hesitate to act unilaterally when necessary it is essential that we work closely with our allies and partners to enhance america's interest and security, as well as global security. if confirmed i will continue to build on the efforts of this administration, and of former secretary gates, secretary pan pan and secretary clinton to strengthen our alliances and partnerships around the world. i will also look forward to working with my former senate colleague, our colleague, and our friend, john kerry in this
pursuit. as i told the president, i am committed to his positions on all issues of national security, specifically decisions that the department of defense is in the process of implementing now. this includes a defense strategic guidance the president outlined in january 2012. allow me to very briefly address a few of those specific issues now. first, we have a plan to place -- a plan in place to transition out of afghanistan. continue bringing our troops home and end the war. which has been the longest war as we all know in america's history. as you also know discussions are on going about what the u.s. presence in afghanistan will look like after 2014. the president has made clear, and i agree, that there should be only two functions for u.s. troops that remain in afghanistan after 2014, counterterrorism, particularly
to target al-qaida and its affiliates, and training and advising afghan forces. it's time we forge a new partnership with afghanistan, with its government, and most importantly with its people. second, as secretary of defense i will insure we stay vigilant and keep up the pressure on terrorist organizations as they try to expand their affiliates around the world in places like yemen, somalia and north africa. at the pentagon that means continuing to invest in and build the tools to assist in that fight, such as special operations forces, and new intelligence, surveillance, and recon a sans technologies. it will mean working hand-in-hand with our partners here at home, across the national security intelligence communities to confront these and other threats, especially the emerging threat, the very dangerous and real threat of cyber warfare.
third, as i have made clear i am fully committed to the president's goal of preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. and as i've been on record on that issue, and as i've said in the past many times, all optionses must be on the table to achieve that goal. my policy has always been the same as the president's, one of prevention, not of containment. and the president has made clear that is the policy of our government. as secretary of defense i will make sure the department is prepared for any contingency. that's my job, that's my responsibility. i will insure our friend and ally israel maintains it's qualitative military edge in the region and will continue to support systems like iron dome, which is today saving israeli lives from terrorist rocket attacks. that support i have always made clear and been on the record for.
fourth, while we pursue the reductions in our deployed stockpiles and launchers consistent with the new start treaty i am committed to maintaining a modern, strong, safe, ready and effective nuclear arsenal. america's nuclear deterrent over the last 35 years has played a central role in insuring global security and the avoidance of a world war iii. i have been committed to that, my record is clear on that, i am committed to modernizing our nuclear arsenal. as we owe merge from this decade of war we must also broaden our nation's focus overseas as we look at future threats and challenges. as this committee knows that's why dod is rebalancing it's resources towards the asia-pacific region. we are in the process of modernizing our defense posture across the entire region to defend and deep even our partnerships with traditional allie, especially japan, south korea, and australia.
to continue to defer and defend against provocations from states like north korea, as well as non-state actors. and tokes spanned our networks of security cooperation throughout the region to combat terrorism. counter proliferation. provide disaster relief, fight piracy and insure maritime security. i will continue this rebalancing even as we continue to work closely, closely with our long-time allies of nato, and our friend, and with allies and partners and friends in other raoegs of th region -gs of the world. at the same time we will focus on challenges in the middle east and north africa where we have clear national interests. it's a recognition that the united states has been and always will be a pacific power. in the asian make of area, it's increasingly vital to america's security and economic interest, that's why we must become even more engaged in the region over
the coming years. doing all this and much more will require smart and stra taoepblg is budget decisions. i have made it clear i share pan pan's and our service chief's serious concerns about the impact sequestration would have on our armed forces. as someone who has run businesses i know that the uncertainty and turbulence of the current budget climate makes it much more difficult to manage the pentagon's resources and our national security. if confirmed i'm committed to effectively and efficiently, using every single taxpayers' dollar the right way to maintain the strongest military in the world, and to working with congress to insure the department has the resources it needs and that the disposition of those resources is accountable. even as we deal with difficult budget decisions i will never break america's commitment to our troops, our veterans, and our military families. we will continue to invest in the well-being of our
all-volunteer force and working with the va and other institutions we will make sure our troops and their families get the healthcare, job opportunities, and education they have earned and deserve, just as i did when i coauthored the post 9/11 gi bell. with senators. this includes focusing on the mental heflt our fighting force. no one who volunteers to foyt and die for this country should h-fr feel lik ever feel like they have nowhere to turn. that is unacceptable in this country. in my 12 years in the senate my one guiding principle on every security decision i made, and every vote i cast was always this. simply this. is our policy worthy of our troops and their families and the sacrifices that we ask them to make? that same question will guide me if i am confirmed as secretary
of defense. our men and women in uniform and their families must never doubt that their leaders' first priority is them. i believe my record of leadership on veterans' issues over the years going back to my service in the veteran's administration under president reagan demonstrates my rock-solid commitment to our veterans and their families. we must also take care of our people. that's why i will work to insure that everyone who volunteers to fight for this country has the same rights and same opportunities as i've discussed with many of you in our meetings. i am fully committed to implementing the repeal of don't ask don't tell and doing everything possible under current law to provide equal benefits to the families of all, all our service members and their families. i will work with the service chiefs as we officially open combat position -gs to women, a decision i strongly support, and i will continue the important work that leon panetta has done to combat sexual assault, sexual
assault in the military. minimum taken the health and well-being of those who serve is critical tow to maintaining a strong and capable military. because an institutions' people must always come first. as we look ahead to the coming years we have an extraordinary opportunity, tupb opportunity nowopportunity now, at this moment to define what is next for america's military and our country. euflt is incumbent upon all of us to make decisions to insure our nation is prepared to confront any threat we may face in the future, protect our citizens and remain, remain the greatest force for good in the world. if confirmed as secretary of defense it will be my great honor working with the president, this committee, the congress and our military to insure our policies are worthy of the service and sacrifice of america's men and women. thank you. mr. chairman i look forward to
your questions. >> thank you very much. martha: there you have it. former senator chuck hagel making his opening statement in his hearing. he has had a long career in washington and now he hopes to become the secretary of defense in the second term of president obama. he spent a lot of time talking about the policies, and whether or not they were worthy of our fighting men and women, that would clearly be a strong focus for senator hagel. now he will get some questions. some of them may be pretty tough in terms of his take on israel. that is likely to get a lot of attention here from the conservatives on that panel. we'll keep a close eye on it. it will be streaming on foxnews.com as well. bill: one line on israel and one line on iran, but certainly there will be more now. in the meantime there is new fallout over president obama's healthcare law, some labor unions that had lobbied for and backed the healthcare overhaul when it was up for debate are now growing weary of it. republican senator john barrasso explained why on fox & friends a bit earlier today. >> as one union member said, he said i saw the president say if
you like your plan you can deep it. now i'm finding out that i can't. the president promised insurance premiums would drop by about $2,500 a family in that first -- by the end of his first term, that hasn't happened, prices have skyrocketed, and now unions are saying, hey, we can't afford health insurance coverage for these employees, these members under the president's healthcare law, because the president's healthcare law essentially has made it worse. bill: senator barrasso from earlier. bret baier anchor of special report with us now. good morning to you. >> good morning, bill. bill: explain the story. what are we hearing from some of these unions with regard to their healthcare? what are they saying? >> reporter: basically because of the healthcare law that goes into effect next year these unions are getting concerned. the healthcare law has a number of requirements, among them the annual caps for paying out medical benefits are removed h the $250,000 annual cap is removed. the $1 million lifetime benefit
cap, the medical benefit payout is removed. you can keep your kid on your plan up until 26, you remember that. there are no exemptions for preexisting conditions. all of that. you remember all of that. but that costs money. all of these plans, it's more costly to run them. well the unions are seeing that, and they are seeing it realtime, to the point where each members' plan in some unions are pointing out it could cost 50-cent toss a dollar peto a dollar per hour for each compensation package. they are saying they want the federal government to say, okay. well these people, they are on a union insurance plan but they should get a federal health subsidy, almost like they are not on a union plan. well that is not part of the deal. bill: yeah it's not part of the deal. do you smell another waiver coming down the road then on
this? >> reporter: yeah, so the health and human services secretary has not answered a question about this. the department says that they are still in the process of making all of these regulations. so we don't have an answer to that as of yet. it could, and they could get some kind of stipulation, but if they do then it opens up all other kinds of questions about all other kind of insurance and companies that perhaps want some other kind of -- kind of waiver like this. and if that happens the cost of this thing skyrockets. you add onto that, bill, all of these states that have yet to sign onto this. this is starting to get really, really messy. bill: just one more point on this too, listening to barrasso's comment there. unions say we can't afford health insurance coverage for our employees. you hear that from private business too. and if that is the case and if they are eventually dropped from their plan they would then go into the state-run exchanges,
correct? >> reporter: right. that have not yet been set up. bill: republicans have argued -- that was the whole argument toward single pair. that would be the initial step. you see how the hropbl i ca logic starts to fit in for the point that barrasso is making. >> sure, there is one sense here that the fact that this is becoming such a big mess that there will be an effort to say, now what, just clear the deck and let's just do single payer. and there are some democrats up on capitol hill that are saying that already. republicans are saying, no, no, no, no, you can't do that, because that's what you fought from the beginning, and you need to start over. bill: we have heard resistance to this clearly. but from unions, this is a new one. we'll see where it goes and we'll look for you later ton at 6:00 okay. thank you, bret. >> reporter: sure. bill: bret baier there in washington. martha: back to this story now, in the wake of newtown, and with this ongoing situation right now
in alabama with a 5-year-old child. there are a lot of questions out there about our mental healthcare systems. after this hearing on gun violence yesterday. former congresswoman gabrielle giffords and her husband captain mark kelly testified about the man who shot his wife in the head three years ago. >> the killer in the tucson shooting suffered from severe mental illness, but even after being deemed unqualified for service in the army an explulsion from pima community college he was never reported to mental health authorities. on november 30th of 2010 he walked into a sporting good store, passed a background check, and walked out with a semi automatic handgun. martha: boy, this is so central to the issue at hand right now, and is not getting the attention that it perhaps deserves. i'm joined by jonah goldberg editor at large for the national review, he's also a fox news contributor. and dr. keith ablow, a forensic psychiatrist.
gentlemen, welcome. the fact that there is no intervention, that people are not reported to mental health, you know, administrators who could make some kind of judgment, perhaps, or enforce some kind of treatment is really none of these situations. if you go one by one would have happened if the gun didn't find its way into the hands of somebody who was mentally unstable. and dr. ablow, you know i looked at the list of legislation that's being promoted. not one of them really deals with this issue, not one. >> no, and that is reprehensible because the issue doesn't have to do with automatic weapons, it has to do with untreated mental illness. and no one seems to be as concerned about the fact that we deconstructed our mental healthcare system from the 70s until now such that you literally can't get people help even if you did refer them we haven't the resources to deploy. we don't have community mental health centers that are funded appropriate leave. we have no communication about
potential violence from clinicians and the legal system. this fellow who hold a hostage now has a history dating back to just december 22nd he was arrested again for harassing and a history of killing a dog according to one of his neighbors. martha: how do you kill a dog and be up on menacing charges and still be able to have a gun and not have any intervention. i feel like there is so much government intervention in people's' lives, jonah. when it comes to this kind of thing it's woe, hands-off. >> i agree entirely with dr. ablow on this. there is a wonderful book called madness in the streets about the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill. in the 1970s we had gone too far another way. geraldo rivera made his career by showing some of the abuses in the system. the problem is now the pupbd ooh hrupl has gone too far the other way. the system has been hraurd up with trial lawyers, the aclu and all of the rest and we now have a system partly just because of
bureaucratic inefficiency, the virginia tech shooter, jerod laughner, the aurora shooting, if the system would have been working properly all would have been reported and red flagged that. seems to mow where the real political consensus was on all of this. but instead everybody wanted to talk about guns instead. martha: here is the problem, dr. ablow. everybody feels you don't want to look somebody up who is not violent. pretty soon we'll be in a situation where everybody who is unstable runs the risk of being taken away. how do you get to the crux of this problem in a legal way that prevents some people, frankly from being on the street at all? >> first of all, civil liberties have to be protected. so when you move in the direction of helping people psychiatrically, sometimes against their will you always keep an eye on that. but that can be achieved. we are not even close. in other words, we are not close to encroaching on people's'
rights here, we are so far away from that it's unimaginable. why won't someone in court say listen, as a condition of your release on these harassment charges you'll be on probation, and part of the probation is you will attend this therapy and submit to medication if needed. martha: during that period you will not be allowed to walk into a shop and buy a gun. >> absolutely. but listen, we've got to treat the illness. these people aren't dumb. they can grab explosives and use other means of inflicting terrible tragedies. the worst school disaster at history was at hands of a mad men, again somebody psychiatrically ill who blew the place up. he didn't use a handgun. martha: agreed i. think when you talk about restricting tkpwupbls at alguns at all it seems it would be a good place to start with the mentally ill and to find a way to restrict their access to guns. we all know you can never completely cut someone off from, you know, achieving that goal, but at least perhaps if we're going to do that at all that might be a good place to start.
gentlemen, we are short on time because of these hearings. i do appreciate you being here. jonah thank you very much. keith ablow, we'll see you soon. bill: there are negotiations underway in a dangerous hostage crisis in alabama. there is a five-year-old boy held captive in a bunker since tuesday, a underground bunker. a former f.b.i. negotiator will join us in a moment. what has happened at this stage is police have opened a dialog with the suspect they want. living with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis
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bill: breaking news dallas, texas, south east of the town of dallas. county employee shot by two people. those two people not known at the moment. transported to the hospital by ambulance. shot outside a courthouse, or at least the annex next door is the information we have here in kaufman. this occurred just a short time ago. two suspects said to be on the loose and a city manhunt is in
effect. so, obviously police are taking preventative action to secure that scene, and how these two people got away we don't know, presumably by vehicle. we can expect to get a bit more on this. it's happening right now. kaufman county courthouse. and we'll get you more information on that as we roll on momentarily. 10:47 now. martha: this is an unbelievable situation right now and it's extending into its second full day at this hour we have a five-year-old little boy who is being held against his will at gunpoint according to some of these reports, underground in a bunker after he was dragged off of his school bus at gunpoint. the gunman said that he wanted to take a boy with him. he then shot the bus driver and dragged this little boy in front of all of this is friends off of the bus and down into a bunker. it's hard to imagine a more frightening situation for a child. we are hearing that hostage negotiations are going on and they have been trying to speak to this man. christopher vaas is a former
f.b.i. hostage negotiator. christopher, welcome, good to have you here. >> thank you very much. martha: you are part of our really most elite team that specializes in exactly what is going on on this scene right now. talk to me a little bit about how they do this? it's extremely delicate. we know this guy is a murderer. he's already killed somebody. >> true, but, you know, the circumstances of the homicide that took place, and the circumstances that they are facing right now, they are not exactly the same, so the negotiators appreciate and understand that, and what they are going to be doing now, it's important to them to be able to create a safe environment for this gentlemen to be able to tell his story. they know heights a complicated story and they know it will take time. they want to earn his trust and let him know that they are his voice to the outside world. martha: very interesting. and we know that he's in a bunker. he has been sort of fortifying and planning this place for
quite some time. the neighbors were aware that he was building this underground there, you know, but you need to obviously appeal to his sense of this child, and that this child has nothing to do with whatever it is that is bothering him, right? >> well, yeah, i mean he feels -- for whatever reason he feels attacked, he feels very defensive about what is going on around him. everything that he's done is clearly to protect himself. the child is not a threat to him, and for whatever reason it was that he took this child it's part of his mechanism to try and protect himself. so he shouldn't see this child as a threat, and he's probably -- the negotiators can actually help him understand how to control the situation on the inside, how to take care of the child and make sure that he and the child come out of this safely. martha: would the negotiator be in constant contact, and perhaps he would be speaking to a couple of people during the course of this negotiation?
>> well, yeah, they'll be in contact with them as often as the gentleman can comfortably -- mr. dykes can comfortably be in touch with them. they'll want to talk to him and give him an outlet. it will be principally one or two people but they'll try and support each other through this situation and make sure that everything that mr. dykes has to say is heard. jo an martha: and that his concerns are heard and that he looks out for the safety of this little boy. >> exactly. martha: that is under his care right now. mr. voss we thank you very much, and we wish everybody the best of luck in a safe outcome in this situation. thank you, sir. >> you're welcome. bill: you wonder how much longer this can go. day three now, he has an underground bunker and he's prepared for that. let's hope not. a deadly scene in the southeast, deadly tornadoes twaoepg throu sweeping through entire neighborhoods, and brand-new pictures just coming in, a live report on that scene in a moment.
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bill: there are so many new jobs in the oil and gas industry in america that the educational system that trains those workers can barely keep up with the demand. this is a stunning story. steve brown live in west virginia. how much do employees make in this area, steve? >> reporter: if you've got a truck driver's license a cdl, bill it could be $60,000 a year. if you can work on one of those fracking rigs more than that. what the natural gas companies are complaining about is that they can't hire qualified workers fast enough. >> once you get that lotioned down you can do that pretty much all day. >> reporter: these students are getting ready for work in the
hottest job field in west virginia, natural gas evenings phroer ration. an industry expanding so rapidly there is a shortage of skilled workers. >> there are folks that are technicians in the field that understand how to troubleshoot, maintain and fix the various systems, and they are very much in demand -frpblgs the program began with a $5 million federal grant to train workers for entry level jobs. it's called shalemate comprised of 20 community colleges in ohio, pennsylvania and new york. it is free to those who qualify. >> it's an opportunity that they are giving a lot of people that is unemployed a chance to get back into the workforce. >> reporter: at west virginia university the practice troel yum and natural gas engineering department produces four times as many graduates as it did a decade ago. some of today's undergrads are already at work. >> coming up on two years of experience in the field now. it's kind of like been like a
blessing to be able to get my foot in the door before i've even graduated. once i do graduate the doors open, just got to walk-through it. >> reporter: that young man and other folks who will get a four-year degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering, to start their career could make as much as $90,000 a year. bill: the getting is good, go after it. thank you, steve. steve brown live in west virginia. martha: there are rising tensions in the middle east today, israel striking inside syria. damascus says its allies in iran are now threatening to retaliate, very tense situation. a live report from the middle east coming up. ♪