tv News Nation MSNBC May 30, 2013 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
i'm craig melvin in for tamron hall. the "news nation" is developing following news. a third ricin laced letter has been discovered. this one was mailed to president obama. secret service managed to intercept it. jonathan reports this contains the same sort of threats as two other letters mailed with ricin to mayor bloomberg and his gun control agency in washington. those letters said, quote, you will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. the right to bear arms is my constitutional god-given right and i will exercise that right till the day i die. what's in this letter is nothing compared to what i've got planned for you. mayor bloomberg reacted to that threat. >> there are people who i would
argue do things that may be irrational, do things that are wrong. it is a very complex world out there. and we have to deal with that. >> wnbc's reporter joins us here live. jonathan, what can you tell us about the letter that was mailed to president obama? >> it was intercepted by the secret service in that offsite mail facility. we were told they had mail coming out of louisiana where all three letters originated. that one could be on the way. they were able to find it, attract, stop it and now it has been sent to a lab for testing to see like the other two letters, it is confirm for ricin as well but it appears to be the same sender, the same type, the exact same letter threat. so officials, investigators are convinced it is the same letter, the same threat. >> any word on suspects at this particular point? >> no. it has no return address on it. they're searching for dna or
fingerprints. that will be part of this investigation. as of now, there is nothing other than the fact that the letters were mailed from shreveport, louisiana on may 20th. that is really what they're working on. and the fbi in new orleans is helping out on that as well as the joint terrorism task force in new york and the secret service. >> we know that the letter mailed to michael bloomberg did not get to him. my understanding that the letter mailed to gun control advocate mark glaze did get to him. what do we know about how he's doing? >> we're told everyone who came in contact is fine. but that as a precaution, they're being monitored, checked out just in case. how did it get through to him? the letter was sent to a private consulting firm where he works. in addition to his efforts in campaigning for gun control laws while the mayor's office, the mail to city hall in new york and the mail to the white house gets screened at offsite facilities and other buildings. alert officials were able to stop and track the letters in
advance. >> any reason to believe at this point there might be other letters like these out there? >> look, the concern of law enforcement is, you've got a guy out there who is sending letters like this. so there is the concern that he may send more in the future. right now, the best operating belief is that there were three letters mailed from shreveport, louisiana, on may 20th. that's what they're operating. on but of course there are precautions and concerns that maybe in the days, weeks ahead, he'll send more unless they stop him and catch him. >> thank you, sir. do appreciate your time. i want to bring in nbc correspondent pete alexander. any reaction from 1600 pennsylvania? >> reporter: we did hear, i guess you could say from 32,000 feet a few moments ago. he was traveling on air force one with the president making his way from chicago to the white house. reporters asked him if the president was and he said i believe the president is aware of this most recent intercepted
suspicious letter. to give you a sense of how this works, since 2010, craig, all of these letters that come to the white house are processed at this, as jonathan mentioned, offsite state-of-the-art facility that is here elsewhere mile away. but within washington, d.c. before anything ever makes it here, it is irradiated to kill germs. we are told by the u.s. secret service, they get about 1 million or more letters send to the white house each year and they have a very deliberate process about going through this. congress approved money for this offsite facility back in 2006. that was as fears were growing about the threat of bioterrorism and the potential target being the white house itself. >> peter alexander for us from the white house. thanks. all of this coming weeks after that suspect was arrested for allegedly mailing ricin-laced letters to president obama and members of congress as well. the other big story that we are following today, the weather. another afternoon and evening of severe weather is expected to bear down on a large part of
this country. the midwest, the tornado threat continues from north texas all the way north into iowa. besides the potential tornadoes expected today and tomorrow, we're also at the chance for some damaging winds and hail. 19 tornadoes. over five states were record yesterday including this massive twister in york, nebraska, that was caught on tape. heavy rains from the storms are causing some dangerous flooding like this surge in illinois yesterday. four inches of rain in less than an hour created a huge wave that burst through the doors of a small community college, destroying thousands of dollars in property there. take a look at that. fortunately, no students were at the school at the time. joining me now with the very latest, nbc meteorologist dylan. what are we looking at? >> there's not a lot going on right now. we are going to see another potential outbreak like we saw yesterday.
yesterday we had tornado warnings in wisconsin, iowa, all across kansas and nebraska and texas and oklahoma. it was very widespread with the 23 tornado reports, hail was reported in 98% of cases of those storms yesterday. and we did get 153 wind damage reports. that was just from yesterday alone. things are not all that active right now although we are starting to see some heavier rain across south eastern kansas, moving through eastern oklahoma as well. tornado watch boxes are posted from wisconsin into illinois. also into missouri. we have severe thunderstorm warnings now issued down through kentucky and, not kentucky, actually, into oklahoma and down through arkansas as well. kentucky is an area that could end up with some of those severe thunderstorm warnings later this afternoon and evening. frequent cloud to ground line from kansas city into areas like western and central arkansas. into oklahoma as well where clean-up efforts are still underway in moore, oklahoma, of course.
unfortunately here is where we could see some of our strongest storm. in yellow, that's where we'll see the chance of very strong thunderstorms with large hail, wind gusts up to around 60 miles per hour. frequent cloud to ground lightning and torrential flooding will be an issue. in that area right into oklahoma where we will most likely see our best chance of tornadoes. especially later this afternoon into early this evening. it is those areas where we will be watching closely. because any more tornadoes in that area are certainly unwelcome. this threat is going nowhere fast. in fact tomorrow we're still looking at the chance of very strong storms from the great lakes region down through the midwest and into the plains of and even that will be an issue as we start off the weekend. so once again, just like last week. this is a very slow-moving cold front. we have the perfect set up with that moisture. that very humid, hot air coming in off the gulf of mexico. it is just that time of year where we could see these severe weather outbreaks. >> all right. thank you for taking a look at
perhaps more trouble in the heartland. thank you. attorney general eric holder now faces new criticism over the justice department's handling of leaks to the news media. holder hoped to calm the controversy by holding a series of meetings with news organizations. nbc news has been invited. the new york times, the associated press, cnn and fox news are among those that have said they won't attend because the justice department wants the meetings to be off the record. the "washington post" and abc news have said they will attend. meanwhile, in a letter wednesday, two top republicans on the house judiciary committee expressed, quote, great concern about testimony that holder gave at a hearing two weeks ago, suggesting he may have misled congress when he said this. >> with regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that i've ever been involved in, heard of or would think would be a wise
policy. >> so a week after that testimony, the justice department confirmed that holder was personally involved in signing off on a search warrant in 2010 to obtain phone records and e-mails of fox news correspondent james rosen. nbc news national investigative correspondent michael isikoff joins me now live from washington. first of all, why does the justice department want the meetings to be off the record? >> well, remember the task here is to revise, update the justice department guidelines governing the news media, governing investigations that relate to the news media. so i think the idea is to have a free flow of discussion bounce off ideas. that sort of thing. the problem is that there are some serious questions about what was done here by the justice department with, in the case of the rosen search warrant, the approval of the attorney general. and a lot of news organizations want answers from the attorney
general on that. and i think that the feeling is to have this kind of off the record discussion with the attorney general at a time that news organizations think he should be answering questions is not appropriate. that's why you see the tide turning a bit. more and more of news organizations saying they're not going to attend. i think reuters, mcclatchee in the last couple hours have weighed in on this. so this is an interesting rebellion of sorts by the news media. >> what has the justice department said so far about these charges? >> well, they issued a statement saying, in terms of the attorney general's testimony, that he looks forward to explaining why his testimony was consistent with the facts in the rosen case. look. the best explanation people
close to the attorney general have given so far is that when he said he was not aware of any attempt to potentially prosecute members of the news media, that was true. because there was never really an intention to criminally indict james rosen in this matter. they simply used that language in the search warrant in order to get access to his e-mails so they could criminally prosecute his source. his alleged source, steven kim, who has in fact been indicted. i think the problem they're going to have in sticking to that is that search warrants are supposed to be filed in good faith. it did identify james rosen as a potential co-conspirator. in that was not said in good faith, there may be some federal judges that could have some problems with that. >> correspondent michael isikoff, thanks. let's go ahead and bring in the "news nation" political
panel on this thursday. nationally syndicated talk show host michael smerconish, msnbc political analyst and bloomberg view columnist, jonathan alter, and lois romano. good to see all of you. michael, let me start with you. issue number one. should news organizations attend that off the record meeting with attorney general holder? >> i think in order for their to be a meeting where they can hash out a way forward, it would have to be the sort of meeting where sausage is made and you can't have the trans papercy that we would demand in another circumstance. i don't know what the alternative might be, i guess is what i'm saying. >> i think a lot of folks would say the alternative would be a meeting on the record. >> a meeting on the record for attorney general eric holder to talk about the ap case and the james rosen case, that's fine. i think that's a fair request. if it is a meeting where you're going to prescribe rules and solicit input for how this relationship ought to function
in the future, i don't think it is practical to think you're going to get much work done if the media is reporting on all the give and take. >> yont >> you've been a trench journalist for a long time. would you go to such a meeting? >> i wouldn't right now but i wouldn't rule out doing it in the future. it seems like there's a sequencing issue. first attorney general holder should answer some of these outstanding questions that are very much in the news. and that i think the media deserves some elaboration on in some cases, any would be welcome. then after that has taken place and he has exhausted those questions, at that point down the road, and there is no immediate hurry on this. they could have an off-the-record conversation about what the rules should be. the reason that it would be okay for that to be off the record is that you know, this involves the press. and so it is not the normal kind of adversarial situation.
there should be a give and take. an honest give and take on what the proper guidelines should be. in the short term, it is pretty clear that the justice department violated their own existing guidelines in this rosen case. and in the ap case. so first he has to answer questions about why the justice department departed from clear guidelines on how these cases are supposed to be handled as they apply to the press. >> until that happen, you wouldn't attend. >> that's right. >> lois, let me get your take. >> i don't think there is any reason why this should be off the record. we're at a place in time now where everybody is looking for answers. and there is absolutely no reason to invite all these news organizations over to justice when the news organizations themselves don't mind being on the record and being quoted. and not have it all on the record. furthermore, it is really ludicrous to think that it is
really going to be off the record with so many people attending. the idea that there won't an story tomorrow on it. so why not just like cut to the chase and be transparent? >> there is a good chance. let's get to issue number two. holder's testimony on may 15th and whether he misled congress about his role in approving the search warrant, targeting fox news's james rosen. this is what the second ranking republican on the house judiciary committee said in the past hour on msnbc. take a listen. >> either holder did sign off on an allegation that rosen violated the espionage act or he didn't know that that was in the affidavit that was filed in the court and he doesn't know what's going on in his own department. either case, he ought to resign. he has lost the trust of congress and he's lost the trust of the american people. >> michael smerconish, is that
accurate? >> well, it's not that clear cut. i'll tell you. why i went back and listened to the attorney general's testimony from may 15. what i take away as a lawyer, it is true that he named rosen as a co-conspirator. i think he did that to establish him as a fact witness with the intention of then justifying the search warrant. when he then comes along in his testimony and said he had no intention. had never heard of such a thing as prosecuting the press in this circumstance, i think that's probably right. the intention never was to prosecute rosen. nor anybody else in the media. but rather to get to the bottom of how a cia operative had been outed in one case and north korean nuclear information had been released in another. these are very serious issues here that they were trying desperately to investigate. i don't think ever with an intention of prosecuting a member of the media. >> so far, to this point, president obama and the white house are standing firmly behind eric holder. in fact, this is jay carney talking about the issue at
yesterday's briefing. >> is it the administration's opinion that the attorney general testified truthfully? >> i think based on what you said, he testified truthfully. i think the attorney general talked about prosecution. i would point to you published reports and the extremely large distinction between, you know, what is at issue here and prosecution. >> jonathan alter, does he survive this? is eric holder going to make it through? >> what we know so far, he will survive this. if something else comes out, he has less and less credibility as this story worsens. look, unlike michael i'm not a lawyer. i'm not going to play one on tv. it feels like there is a distinction that people need to keep in mine between an investigation of the press. there has been quite a bit of that. more than in prior administrations which is very troubling to the press. investigation as distinct from a prosecution. but you know, in the real world, prosecutors often kind of fudge
that line and they make the targets of an investigation feel as if they might be the targets of prosecution. and they do that to squeeze witnesses. and to squeeze out new evidence. and it looks like they might have been trying to have it boed ways a little bit in this case, even if their intention was not to actually indict the reporters. >> how much of this is about this particular issue? and how much of this is about attorney general eric holder at this point? >> i think it is a little bit of both. i think we can't underestimate the seriousness of these two issues. it is really unprecedented that this has happened in the last 30 years. where government agency has gone into the personal accounts of a rt reporter. the thing about eric holder and whether he survives or not, we don't know. the investigation is not done. at a certain point it almost
doesn't matter if this gets any worse. it kill the effectiveness of somebody to lead an agency. right now this is such a distraction that the president is going to have to make an assessment at some point of whether mr. holder can be effective in his job while all this is going on. >> lois romano. jonathan alter, michael smerconish, big thanks to all of you. coming up next on "news nation." >> i just want to get back home with my family and my children and my loving husband. >> the american mother sitting in a mexican jail pleading for freedom just as a critical piece of evidence emerges. plus, the president's pick to run the fbi. will james comey's republican background protect him? and concerns over engineered crops days after thousands protested against genetically modified foods.
the new find from an oregon field. and don't forget. you can join us on twitter. man: how did i get here? dumb luck? or good decisions? ones i've made. ones we've all made. about marriage. children. money. about tomorrow. here's to good decisions. who matters most to you says the most about you. at massmutual we're owned by our policyowners, and they matter most to us. ready to plan for your family's future? we'll help you get there. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. it put me at ease that you could smoke on the first week. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions
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gestarting may 20th atts participating bay area stores. ♪ a bus station may be key evidence in the case of a woman being held in a mexican jail. in a jail house interview she is speaking out about it. >> reporter: this morning inside a mexican jail, she spends her ninth day behind bars. now she is breaking her silence. >> i just want to be back home with my family and my children.
and my loving husband. >> reporter: the arizona mother of seven and devout mormon is accused of being an international drug runner. maldonado, born in mexico but now an american citizen, believes she may have been set up. >> my spirit is good, it is better right now but i get concerned, too. because i just want to go home. >> reporter: with her husband gary, maldonado lives near phoenix where the couple was head after they say they attended a funeral in mexico. when their passenger bus was stopped at a military check point, police say they found these packages. 12 pounds of marijuana under yanira's seat. >> i feel like, i wanted to find a way out. and i am telling i'm innocent, i'm innocent. >> reporter: in court wednesday,
mexican military officials who were supposed to testify never showed up and have made no public comment. maldona maldonado's attorney is hoping surveillance video from the bus station will prove yanira did not bring any drugs on board. meantime in phoenix wednesday night, a rally in support of maldonado. this as the state department and an arizona congressman, familiar with the family, keeps a close eye on the case. >> knowing this family, i find it incredulous that they would be involved in any kind of drug smuggling. >> i'm worried for my kids. they need me there. >> reporter: this morning an american citizen, still fighting for her freedom in a country where today she is still accused of smuggling drugs. a judge is now reviewing this case. that surveillance tape could be a critical piece of evidence. meantime, maldonado and her family can only wait for a judge's decision. miguel almaguer, nbc news. a deal to avoid death.
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the army sergeant has agreed to plead guilty to avied the death xenlt. robert bales was, quote, crazed and broken in march of 2012. that's when he carried out the predawn attacks in southern afghanistan. he is currently being held in washington state. the officials say bales shot or stabbed to death 16 people in two villages, most of them children. he was taken into custody as he returned to the base. nbc news pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski joins me live. any plea deal still has to be approved by a judge and a commanding general. is that expected to happen?
>> well, you know, it is obvious that both the defense and the prosecution in this case wanted to avoid a long, lengthy trial. where all the gory, grim details of this assault by sergeant bales, alleged assault until he is proven guilty, on two separate villages, their in southern afghanistan. and there was a certain level of premeditation that night because according to the reports, sergeant bales had left his base in southern afghanistan, went to one village where he allegedly went on a shooting spree. then returned to the base and then sometime later left the base and went to a second village to continue what some people call his murder spree on that night. the defense had originally argued that their client, sergeant bales, was suffering from both ptsd and traumatic brain injury which may have contributed to the crimes that were committed in this case.
but even the defense, i think, has realized that the evidence against his client appears to be overwhelming and they want to bring this to an end. the question that has to be answered still, however, even if the judge agrees to this guilty plea deal is whether he would be sentenced to life in prison without parole or with parole. so there may be some leeway or parameter that's can be worked in that decision. but at this case, even the defense attorney has said, a plea agreement has been reached. that his client, sergeant bales, would agree to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of imprisonment as opposed to execution. >> all right. our man at the pentagon, jim miklaszewski. thank you. up next, the new face of the fbi. james comey's back ground in the bush administration, will that bring the parties together?
and remember this? >> there are other people out there that are very qualified. and we've had enough bushes. >> that was barbara bush last month. find out what her son jeb bush thinks about that comment now. it is just one of the things that we thought you should know. whoa! hey, we got a weather alert for this location... golf-ball sized hail and damaging winds are on the way... kids... eh, don't worry. it's tornado-proof. anyway, i'd put the car in the garage and secure these things. they could become flying debris. kids! watch this. [ beep ] [ children screaming ] [ car alarm chirps ] awesome. [ male announcer ] mobile weather alerts from your home insurance? that's allstate home insurance. great protection plus helpful tools to make life better. talk to an allstate agent... [ doorbell rings ] and let the good life in.
president obama is expected to nominate a republican and former bush administration official to become the next director of the fbi. james comey was second in command at the justice department under president george w. bush. he earned the reputation for independence during one of the most dramatic episodes of the bush administration when he battled the white house over its anti-terrorism eavesdropping program. he is expected to win bipartisan support. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams joins me live from d.c. what else can you tell us about comey's resume? >> he is a form he prosecutor. he was a u.s. attorney in new york. helped lead the case against
martha stewart involving the stock issue that eventually caused her to serve some time behind bars. he was a u.s. attorney in rich monday, virginia. a prosecutor, rather, and helped to get guns off the street and then became the number two official, the deputy attorney general under john ashcroft at the justice department. that's when that dramatic episode happened that you were talking about, march 2004. we never knew it at the time. comey ended up testifying about it saying he rushed to the bed side of john ashcroft who was in the hospital with pancreas trouble as officials were asking ashcroft to sign off on the government's warrant list surveillance program. something ashcroft had done several times before. but there had been new objections raised by comey. and at this dramatic scene at the hospital bed side, comey said the attorney general said, don't ask me. i'm not going to sign off on it. comey is now the acting attorney general. and comey said that he and the fbi director robert mueller
offered to resign, said they would resign if they get ahead with it without justice department approval. that was all diffused when president bush made some changes in the program. >> any chance that that is something that becomes an issue at his senate confirmation hearings? >> yes. i think the answer is yes. he left the government. he worked for a general counsel for a defense contractor. then he weapon to this hedge fund. there for a couple years before going to columbia university to teach law. and already, charles grassley of iowa, the ranking republican on the judiciary committee has said that he is concerned about comey's work for a hedge fund. that he is concerned that the obama administration hasn't been tough enough on people who led to the economic crisis including hedge funds and that comey would have to answer questions about that. >> our man in d.c. pete williams. thank you. a new poll out from quinnipiac shows that one in four americans now wants a special prosecutor for the irs
investigation. but fixing the economy is more important. voters say 3-1, joining me now to talk about that. senior political editor mark murray. how does the gop balance beating the war drum on issues like the sxirs bengha irs and benghazi. >> short material, beating the war drum on these trio of controversies affecting the obama administration, it is smart politics. you want to nick it to have a bad week or two for the obama white house. however, long term it might be a problematic strategy. that poll shows 73% of americans say the economy is a bigger priority than those trio of controversies. and at the end of the day, when it comes to november 2014, those mid terms or even 2016, or the elections going forward, the party that will win is the one speaking to voters. it is making the case.
here's what matters to you. here are the pocket book issues we're good on. that will be the biggest task for the republican party. whether they can be able to speak to american voters that way. >> there is another stat out of that quinnipiac poll. this one involves ranging which is more important to them. 44% of americans said that the irs situation was most important. after benghazi, after the associated press probe. how will that potentially factor into the 2014 mid terms? >> well, i think people always assume the irs controversy that was hitting the obama administration was the more troublesome and problematic of the three. after all, the irs is one of the more unpopular agencies in the federal government. no one likes having to pay taxes april 15th. it is very easy to beat up the irs. and you're already seeing republicans try link the irs to the implementation of the health care law that come in the beginning of 2014. so it makes sense that the irs was the more, the one that the
public cares more about. it also does show that benghazi and the leak investigation stories aren't resonating as well with the american public. >> there is a tea party gathering last night outside cincinnati. lawmakers had a somewhat mixed message. some said they expect president obama to be implicated in the irs investigation. some others though cautioned against going too far in their accusations. this is ohio congressman. >> one of the thing we have to be careful of is that we don't give them the opportunity or that excuse by overreaching, going too far, going where there is not evidence. we need to stay focused on the evidence, the facts. >> is this part of a greater tea party push to tone down the rhetoric at all? >> i don't think it is part of a greater tea party push. it has been flexing its muscles and been very, very energetic about this. the congressman did hit on a point that a lot of republicans
beginning to make. they don't want to go and overreach on this as you and i were just describing. the economy is a more important issue to most american voters. while we're talking about the irs controversy, the question is, are we still talking about it by the end of the summer? if we are, that's a problem for the obama white house. if we are talking about it that means all the controversy, all those points about singling out and targeting conservative sounding group, that went all the way to the white house. it went to the top political advisers. if it is a case, that is a problem. >> thank you, mark murray. >> thanks of the. food fears. nonapproved genetically modified wheat turns up in oregon. already at least one country has suspended the ill ports from the united states. we'll talk about that. plus, bon jovi's generous gift to the people of spain. first, a whole heck of a lot going on today.
here are a few of the thing we thought you should know on a thursday. a wisconsin appeals court has ruled that the state's voter i.d. law is constitutional reversing a previous decision. republicans passed the law in 2011, claiming the mandate would help reduce voter fraud. the league of women voters challenged it saying it violates every person's constitutional right to vote. two separate federal challenges to the law are still penning. and jeb bush apparently does not think mother necessarily knows best. the former florida governor said he is still considering that 2016 presidential run despite barbara bush's recent comments that there have been enough bushes in the white house. bush joked, quote, what can i tell you? we all have mothers, right? those are a few of the things we thought you should know. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all we've persevered,
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to find out how genetically modified wheat created by monsanto ended up in a wheat farm. we learned that japan, one of america's biggest trade partners has suspended ill ports of american wheat. other countries say they are also closely monitoring the situation. over the weekend organic food activists rallied in dozens of cities as part of a global day of action against the company. >> the company says the products are safe and help farmers get more from their land while saving water and energy. dave murphy is the founder of food democracy now. he joins me now. good to see you. i want to read something for our viewers. this is something you recently wrote about monsanto. you said in part, quote, the march to stop monsanto is one of the most pressing issues of our time. the products they produce generalally engineered foods and chemical weed killers are in more than 70% of the processed
foods that we eat and feed our families every day. i don't know if a lot of folks have necessarily heard of monsanto. start by explaining to our viewers why there has been such a grassroots movement against the company. >> sure. listen, they are the world's largest chemical and bioseed company in the planet. they have a real long history of producing very toxic products to the environment. pcbs, agent orange. now they're producing the food that's on our plates. for the past 20 years they've been allowed to write the rules and regulations to not allow americans have the basic right to let americans know what is in their genetically modified foods. last year prop 37 which is a ballot initiative to pass statewide labeling foods in california, the largest state in the union, it failed narrowly by 353,000 votes. we won 48.6% of the vote. monsanto spent $8.1 million to defeat us. the fact is we would have been that victory. it was a moral victory.
6 million california voters turned out to vote for this. >> the genetically modified wheat that was developed, it was never proved by the federal government but lots of other groups like corn, like soy, those have been. the fda has found that they are safe to eat. is the fda wrong? >> listen, it is debatable. it is a highly controversial topic. i would say the fda does not do independent peer reviewed studies of these crops. they allow the corporations to submit their own studies during the approval process. if you ask me, i call it cigarette science. it is outrageous. monsanto and the biotech companies are doing the same thing that tobacco company did for 40 years. they're not telling the truth about the real science behind their product. that's one of the reasons why almost over a million people turn out in 400 events globally across the planet. one, they're tired of the way monsanto abuses their basic
democratic process and in march, congress passed and president obama signed into law a continuing resolution but it contained a section 735. it is widely known as the monsanto protection act to give them protection from courts. why their products are under judicial review. >> we'll to have leave it there. food democracy now. thank you. the family of joe paterno files suit against the ncaa. the suit claims the organization violated its own rules by handing out penalties following the jerry sandusky child sex abuse case. the attorneys for the families say the penalties were based on an fbi report and not an independent investigation. fellow plaintiffs include several current and former university employees and form he football players as well. lawyers want the sanctions against penn state reversed including that four-year ban on bowl games and the voiding of
all football victories from 1998 until 2011. the former cia dregor david petraeus has a new job in private equity. they have pointed him chairman of the institute. he left after having an extra-marital affair. and jon bon jovi and his band are waving a performance fee for an upcoming concert in spain. the singer tell spanish newspaper that it is a gesture to their spanish fans that have been hit especially hard by the country's severe economic crisis. the paper writes that bon jovi thought about not performing in spain at all but didn't want to let fans down. the cost of the concert will now only cover the costs of staging the concert. up next, the "news nation" gut check. that perfect spot. a special place we go to smooth out the ripples of the day. it might be off a dock or on a boat.
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gut check. a bizarre legal battle is raging in florida as a couple, fights to save this elaborate tree house they built. they call it a work of art. the city says it is a safety hazard. all of this is playing out in holmes beach on florida's anna maria island. we get details from gabe gutierrez. >> on a picture perfect beach not far from sarasota. something else is making waves of. >> it's beautiful! >> i think it's adorable. it reminds me of a swiss family robinson tree house. >> unlike that tree house from the movies. >> watch your footing. >> this double-decker was dreamt up by richard hazen who has lived along the shore for almost 15 years. >> it is a work of love. >> he and his wife spend six months and $20,000 building it on their property. it includes glass walls, a staircase and quite a view. >> it is a place to be with nature. and to be one with nature.
that's why we built this place. >> but now there's trouble in paradise. authorities say the structure doesn't have the proper paperwork. the couple can apply for a special coastal construction permit from the state but the city of holmes beach has to sign off first. >> i was surprised. i was shocked. >> hazen says in 2011 he told the city he plan to build the tree house. >> they gave us permission in the very beginning. we went with that. >> he claims he got verbal approval but he never got it in writing. >> i wish we could talk about it and straighten it all out. >> city officials decline an on camera interview but tell innings news they're trying to protect a sensitive coastal environment. the city found the tree house presents a clear and present hazard to the safety of the general public. >> it is very upsetting. richard hazen disputes it saying he has consulted with his own engineers. >> got hurricane brackets, hurricane windows, pressure treated wood, 12 inch beams. >> this unusual tree house is
now anything but child's play. with a legal battle looming, its owner would rather not think about losing his piece of paradise. >> looking out into the surf. how amazing is this view? >> i don't know. more than you can believe. it is just the feeling, unbelievable. it is exhilarating. >> a code enforcement hearing is scheduled for next month. that's when we could find out the fate of this giant tree house as well as any possible finds. those could add up to as much as $500 a day. meanwhile, the couple is collecting petition signatures to save this thing. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, holmes beach, florida. >> what does your gut tell you? should the tree house be taken down? go to facebook.com/newsnation to vote. "the cycle" is up next. with the spark cash card from capital one... boris earns unlimited rewards for his small business. can i get the smith contract, please? thank you.
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eric holder reaches out to major media outlets and gets media silence. >> we've got a trillion reasons to pay attention to what's happening in the senate. let's say they have a full place. >> i'm s.e. cupp. when we saw the headline why some men are losers, we both knew the journalists inside us had to dig deeper i can't wait to see that. facebook's mark zuckerberg is all up in the debate. america's relationship with "the cycle," all love. attorney general eric holder has extended an olive branch of sorts. a number of them are not impressed. holder invited washington bureau chiefs from television and print to meet with him and