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tv   The Rundown With Jose Diaz- Balart  MSNBC  April 2, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PDT

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good morning. i'm jose diaz-balart. a busy thursday morning on "the rundown." watching a hostage situation in kenya. a possible deal on iran nuclear negotiations. a senate under indictment, and i want to take you here to this live press conference that's happening in indiana. it's going to be for the house speaker, and business leaders. that may or may not clarify or fix the controversial religious freedom law there. adam reese is covering this story for us. adam, what's the very latest? >> reporter: good morning, jose. it appears they've come to agreement on some language that would alter the religious freedom law in a way that does not discriminate against gay and lesbian customers here in indiana and in any indiana
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businesses. they worked late into the evening last night, the house speaker and working on details more inclusive in its language and heard from business leaders. members of the lgbt community came in offered their opinions on the language. now, the democratic side will not be happy with this most likely. they want a full repeal of the law. >> adam let's listen in. sorry, adam. >> -- as senator long and i fulfill the pledge we made on monday. and that is we would fix the statute to assure that indiana does not tolerate discrimination against any class of hoosier. what was intended as a message of inclusion, inclusion of all religious beliefs wa as interpreted as a message of exclusion. especially for the lgbt community. nothing could have been futter from the truth, but it was clear that the perception had to be addressed. hoosier hospitality had to be restored the inclusion, the
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welcoming attitude of every hoosier had to be buttressed. we're pleased to tell you today that at 9:30 we'll be presenting what we believe is a very strong statement to assure that every hoosier's rights are protected, and won't be infringed upon by the enactment of rifra. oesh the over last week we spent a great deal of time with the people you see behind us. not just indianapolis but the state of indiana making sure we could land on the same page to let every hoosier know that we value you, gay, straight black, white, religious, non-religious. we valley value each and every hoosier. senator? >> appreciate that. again, thank you all for being here today. if there's one takeaway from all of the calamity that's happened i think in the past week it would be this --
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that is that religious rights and individual rights can co-exist in harmony together. i know i speak for many when i say that in supporting the religious freedom reformation act or refra as we call it simply to create a new standard. >> okay. we're losing that live picture from indiana. we're going to keep you up to date on exactly what is going on. let's get back it it now. >> but for many the timing of the law created a different perception. that was about much more than that, and that perception led to some of the national protests as we've seen over the past week or so. so in reaching they agreement to clarify the law, which will unequivocally state, at the speaker said in the strongest possible terms indiana's refra law will not be able to discriminate against anyone, anywhere at any time. we are hopefully putting an end
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to this misrepresentation of what this law was really intended to be and clearly it was a misperception is a better word to say. most importantly, the change in this will hopefully put an end to this greatest misperception of all, and that is that the people of indiana discriminate because i can tell you honestly nothing could be further from the truth. the hoosier people are some of the most decent thoughtful, kind and welcoming people you'll ever meet. hoosier hospitality isn't just a saying it is a way of life here. and i hope that people come to understand that once again. the new legislative language upon which we reached agreement the speaker spoke about which we'll deal with at 9:30 and the conference committee a result of a collaborative effort of many people and there are some people to thank and i want to recognize a few. the men and women who make up the republican legislative bodies in both the senate and house who went through probably the most difficult political time of their careers, and came
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through strong for their state and in doing the right thing here today. stood up as well as you could have ever hoped. i'm very proud of them. i also want to thank my colleague here speaker brian bosma. we've gone through many tough times in passing legislation in this state. this was our toughest challenge, i think ever and i want to say once again he showed himself to be a strong leader and a good man. thank you, brian. and two other people i want to recognize from the from the community back here. two people from the business community. that really played a crucial role here and the first is mr. mark miles, the ceo of the ind international plis motor speedway and michael connor part of the executive team of eli lilly & company. both gentlemen worked quietly behind the scenes to help bring people together and all the
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dialogue that took place to get the language that we have right now. gentlemen, i don't know where you're standing but a heartfelt thank you to both of you. you did a great job for your state, and we appreciate it very much. i want to now introduce mr. jim morris, and jim is for many of us in indiana doesn't need any recognition, but he is currently the vice president for sports and entertainment, indiana pacers, and much more than that. >> you've been hearing a news conference that just got under way in indiana. the legislators saying they've reached some fix for that law yet to announce what it is. we're going to follow this for you and of course be going back to this throughout the remainder of "the rundown"," but i want to get to another big story that we're working on right now. and it is a terrifying situation unfolding at the university of kenya. terrorists have -- well,
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belonging to the al shabaab organization gunning down students and taking hostages. 15 confirmed dead. dozens injured. latest count, more than 500 students are unaccounted for. witnesses say they were specifically targeting christians. the gunmen are now believed to be trapped in one of the dorms. a short time ago kenya's president read a statement to his country. >> this is a moment for everyone throughout the country to be vigilant as we confront and defeat our enemies. >> i want to bring in kobe kobias following this live from tenia. >> reporter: we're having trouble getting details on the story, jose. we still don't know how many hostages are being held in that one dormitory on the university campus. we don't know how many gunmen are involved. we don't know specifically how
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many students may be missing or unaccounted for. there are some 800 students at this university. about 200-plus were able to get off the campus safely. so the question is where are the other 500? there's been no suggestion that 500 are, in fact, being held hostage. they simply haven't been accounted for as yet. officials do say that these gunmen are now cornered in this dormitory. the question now becomes, how to to -- how to get them out. there have been no demands made as far as we understand. the students who escaped are describing an absolutely horrifying scene this morning. they awoke to gunfire at 5:00 in the morning, and it was absolutely terrifying. one student telling the associated press that he heard militants asking people if they were christian or muslim and then he heard gunfire, the assumption, his assumption, they were shooting christians on the
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spot. so, again, jose we're still keeping an eye on this. hours now into this attack at this university. the university of about 100 mimes from -- miles from the border with somalia and an area that has been targeted before jose? >> kelly, i understand this terrorist group already has taken responsibility for the attack which apparently is still inship way or another under way? >> reporter: definitely. i mean this has not been re1068edre1068 ed -- re1068ed at this point. we got a statement a little while ago saying one gunman had been arrested. one of the terrorists had been arrested trying to flee the scene, but there have been reports of gunfire still on that college campus. reports of very loud explosions. it has been sort of put on lockdown. people are being kept very far away from the campus. again, it's difficult to get good information there.
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but, yes, this is still ongoing, and the question is how do you end it now? especially given the fact that as far as we understand, there are no demands being made. >> hmm. kelly cobiella in london thank you very much. we're also following developing news out of new jersey. where senator bob menendez is expected in court this morning to answer a 14-count federal corruption indictment. let's take you live now. here, senator menendez' home in new jersey. and the fbi headquarters at federal courthouse in newark. menendez is accused of doing political favors for a longtime friend. florida eye doctor salamon, in exchange melgen showered menendez with lavish gifts and campaign contributions. goethe men previously denied wrongdoing and hours after the adiamond was announced menendez
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came out swinging. defiant in two languages. >> i'm angry, because prosecutors at the justice department don't know the difference between friendship and corruption and have chosen to twist my duties as a senator and my friendship into something that is improper. [ speaking in foreign language ] [ cheers and applause ] [ speaking in foreign language ] language ]. >> you can see the translation. i'm joined now by nbc capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell. good morning. tell us the very latest. >> reporter: well, we expect that the senator will be in federal court today, and he will keep fighting this fight in the way that you heard there. the tone of being defiant. saying that he's been under a cloud of suspicion for years, and he had hoped that would pass. now, part of what is an issue here is this issue of friendship. now, what we've learned in examining some of this if senator bob menendez had been
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making phone calls on ball of a friend but received no gifts in exchange. even if it's unseemly it my not have fallen under the law as being corrupt. this goes very deep. this is a friend he's had for years and will make the case because they have been personally involved going to each other's family events and vacationing together and spending time together, that some of the calls he made on his behalf to the state department were to help try to solicit visas for "girlfriends" of the doctor, that those are things that he did in his capacity as a friend not using his office. now, federal prosecutors look at it very differently. they believe that menendez even used some of his top staffers to try toex tract things from dr. melgen by seeking out specific favors and different types of donations to his defense fund to a super pac, which benefited democrats, and as you got a little bit of the atmospherics there, jose, senator menendez is also waging sort of a public
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relations campaign as well. there were supporters cheering and rooting for him inside that room. that's kind of an unusual strategy, when a sitting official is facing this kind of penalty, and was making his first public comments. jose? >> i'm also joined by wnbc chief investigating reporter jonathan dins-the- dienst. you've followed the story for years. how big an indictment? >> 60-plus pages long numerous counts. a lot of new information there that call some of us by surprise. the number of jet trips. more than a dozen flights now listed. the senator had claimed there were only two or three, and that he repaid the cost of these private jet trips. now there's more than a dozen listed in the indictment. apparently there's help he allegedly offered to dr. melgen's three different girlfriends from three different country trying to secure visas. hadn't heard that before. there are additional elements to this, to the charges there in
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terms of what the senator did allegedly on behalf of dr. melgen. >> and kelly, what's the reaction on capitol hill been? >> reporter: so far democrats are saying that now senator menendez will have his day in court and to let that play out. but certainly top officials are relieved he took one step which is to give up a very high-profile post at the top democrat on the senate foreign relations committee at a time when the u.s. is engaged in these iran talks. menendez has been a very vocal opponent of the administration's position on this even though he's a democrat. an interim step giving up his leadership position temporarily and voluntarily, democrats are comforted by that in terms of political cover. no pressure from within his party to give up his seat but there are calls for his resignation in republican circling and from "the star ledger ledger" the newspaper in new jersey. >> thank you very much for being with me. and joined by former prosecutor
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kendal coffey. >> thanks for having me. >> looking at the indictment. what strikes you in it? >> couple things. a reference to menendez working the court of public opinion. this indictment does a bit of it. a lot more details than you normally see. topic headings about the brazilian girlfriend of melgen the ukrainian girlfriend. so the justice department is trying to get out some spicy things to sort of support their view of it because a lot of people greeted the news of this a few weeks ago very skeptically. a lot of people believed and still believe in robert menendez. >> interesting, because you see things in there like they described the places where menendez stayed in the dominican rubic. a lush rich -- and then the three girlfriends, alleged girl friends of this doctor. is that in and of itself illegal to, for example, for a politician to help a constituent or a friend with a visa for a
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loved one, a friend an associate? >> they do it all the time. and, in fact, a good honest politician helps constituents if it's legitimate. and going through these issues i think menendez will be able to defend basically everything he did as a legitimate step by somebody who he thought had a right to it. now, what the case is going to really center on i think is going to be all of the hospitality, the travel those kinds of things extended to senator menendez. on the one hand he's a friend. that's how friends interact. but critically, he did not report a lot of those things. >> and the whoebl implication of a quid pro quo? >> there is but not a strong part of this case. the bribery issues don't jump out at me as something that is going to really carry the day. what menendez has to be concerned about, yes, he can demonstrate the strong friendship, yes, generate a legitimate sort of public poelts reason for all of the help he might have been given, but what
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about not reporting the gratuities? >> thank you for being with me. just getting started on a busy edition of "the rundown." coming up the world powers are back at the negotiation. they're at the table with iran this morning, again. this is just a few hours of sleep, but deal or no deal? the information sketchy coming out of switzerland. we'll break it down for you. and recovery crews wrapped up the grim search for human remains of the germanwings crash in the french alps. that's coming up right here on "the rundown," msnbc. what you're doing now, janice. blogging. your blog is just pictures of you in the mirror. it's called a fashion blog todd. well, i've been helping people save money with progressive's discounts. flo, can you get janice a job? [ laughs ] you should've stuck to softball! i was so much better at softball than janice, dad. where's your wife, todd? vacation. discounts like homeowners' multi-policy -- i got a discount on this ham.
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and now to developing news on the iran nuclear talks. no breakthrough but there has been some movement following an
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all-night round of negotiations. it's not exactly clear what we've got here. secretary kerry and his team aren't saying much in fact not anything at all, but just moments ago the iranian foreign minister went in front of cameras and said there might be a statement later today, but it's not a done deal. at least not yet. >> what we expect today is a statement and the fact that we have all reached common understanding on how to resolve the issues, but the agreement a written agreement, is something that needs to be drafted by all participants, and agreed upon in a multilateral process, and that will take hopefully three months to finalize and hopefully less. >> but have you reached understandings on all of the issues that you -- there are still some not solved yet?
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>> that's what we think we have but nothing is agreed on until everything is agreed on. >> nbc's tehran bureau chief joins me this morning. good morning. if you live to the foreign minister, it seems to have some agreement, at least in principle, already almost finalized? >> i don't think i'd go that far, jose. i mean despite a long night of negotiations, secretary kerry and foreign ministers negotiating until 6:00 this morning. the situation remains slightly opaque. both sides blaming each other for not going the extra mile. one of the major issues they're trying to work on right now is the easing of u.s. and european sanctions separately to united nations sanctions. now, the iranians have always said they wanted the sanctions removed in one go and not incrementally but apparently are
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considering this option as well but they've obviously hit a bottleneck here or it wouldn't be taking so long and they're blaming each other and the rhetoric has become sharper. foreign minister shareef saying the other side has to show iran respect and stot pressuring while the white house herbissued a statement threatening to walk away from the table. they also said all options were on the table. a iranian general quickly rebuked in a saying that the united states is not the only country with military options. we're expecting them to release some sort of statement today, but i don't think it's going to be an all-encompassing statement that's going to address everybody's fears. jose? >> from tehran thank you. bring in ambassador ginsburg former white house mideast policy ambassador. good morning. >> good morning. >> any way to tell if real progress is being 345idmade? >> put it this way, trying to put lipstick on a pig with an
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easter bonnet we know they failed. let me explain, jose. which the foreign minister of iran said they hoped to reach an understanding and piftut out a statement, that represents a major defeat for what was essentially the objective. to create a framework agreement that would lay out as best as possible the road map to a final agreement in june. it's really unsatisfactoriry from everyone's perspective, including congress that at best after all of this marathon negotiating there would be an understanding. there's been hard issues that clearly the iranians have refused to make concessions on including what ari just said. u.n. sanctions, the cope of research and development. the number of centrifuges, all of this was supposed to be put into this framework agreement, which i may add, jose at the very end, was an artificial deadline set by the united states, and it was never, ever any talk of having to be a framework agreement in the first place until a final agreement in
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june. so here we are. >> right. ambassador ginsburg, thank you so much for being with me. we'll keep a close eye on negotiations if there is any agreement and some deal struck we'll bring it to you immediately. i want to turn back to the bracci story at the beginning of the broadcast. a terrifying situation at the university in kenya. terrorists gunman belonging to al shabaab, taking town hostages. 15 confirmed dead, dozens injured and more than 500 students unaccounted for. i'm joined now on the phone, dennis ocari, a reporter with ntv is on the scene. dennis, what's the very latest? what's the situation there? >> reporter: well, we are actually at the main entrance of the campus and from where i'm standing, it's quite busy. it's not normally like this but today it's unusually busy with ambulances and rescue teams going in and leaving with those
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who have been injured and the dead. the university bus that actually parked here two times full of students, the ones who managed to be rescued, all taken to the gariffa air strip a small air strip in the couldn't center where they're going to go through screening to get any formal come toation and perhaps also semblance of exactly what happened, the gunmen all dressed in black and all wearing masks. so the authorities are trying to get impressions of how they looked like so that they can put faces to the names, and so far are saying there's one who is the voluntary head believed to have led the attack and also you've seen a lot of military movement. this is the place where they are trying to coordinate perhaps
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their last assault. i spoke to a military official who told me these could go on the next couple of hours. there's no sign of it ending anytime soon. they're holding several hostages. we can't confirm. trying to avoid a situation where there will be an exchange of fire ending up killing some of the students who are being held by the gunmen. authorities in kenya are also saying that they managed to arrest one of the al shabaab gunman. we've not been given a name yet, not told any details of the gunman who has been arrested and we are believing that this could shed more light on how the attack was carried out. there's a lot of -- there's a helicopter over my head that is just going around. from the vantage point what is going on on the ground because
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one is at back of the campus and the reason why the two tanks, using them at cover because the military officials are not too sure how many gunmen are holed in and how many -- because it's one side of the building. so they're using the cover's these and i am also speaking to you, just past going back to the air strip. these are carrying students. this would be unusual, because the past two times we've seen it it's come out with students. so this is one of -- a time it's possible there's students inside. >> thank you. taking us exactly inside to very quickly developing scenes. i appreciate your reporting. thank you. we of course will monitor this breaking story and bring you the very latest as wet get them. and taking you to the french
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alps crews recovered more items and questioning the pilot of andreas lubitz. the latest on the investigation straight ahead on "the rundown." ♪ sfx: engine sounds introducing the new can-am spyder f3. with a cruising riding position and the most advanced vehicle stability system in the industry... ...you'll ride with a feeling of complete freedom and confidence. visit your can-am spyder dealer and test drive one today. the new spyder f3. riding has evolved. okay, listen up! i'm re-workin' the menu. mayo? corn dogs? you are so outta here! aah! [ female announcer ] the complete balanced nutrition of great-tasting ensure. 24 vitamins and minerals antioxidants and 9 grams of protein. [ bottle ] ensure®. nutrition in charge™. how much protein does your dog food have? 18 percent?
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20? purina one true instinct has 30. active dogs crave nutrient-dense food. so we made purina one true instinct. learn more at purinaone.com and developing now we're expecting a new written statement from the german prosecutor's office at the top of the hour in the crash of germanwings 9525 and standing by to bring you those new developments at the same time recovery efforts at the crash site are entering a new phase this morning. the final human remains recovered from the debris field but the identification of those remains is just beginning. nbc news is learning investigators questioned the parents of copilot andreas lubitz. he's believed to have deliberately crashed the plane last week killing all 150 people onboard. for a third straight day, several states are dealing with a severe weather threat.
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hail and wind damage in the primary concerns in missouri illinois indiana and arkansas but there could be tornadoes as well. tomorrow the threat moves to the south. louisiana, missouri alabama and tennessee. we'll watch it all for you. this morning the fire on an oil platform in the gulf of mexico is starting to die out. four people were killed. several others injured. more than 300 workers had to be evacuated but everyone is accounted for. mex cope president has ordered an investigation in the mexican state run oil company saysed fire did not cause a spill in the gulf and the runoff is being contained. after the break, heading west to the very dry golden state. ordering mandatory water restrictions for the first time. how this impacts some of our nation's treasures, next. ses can reinvent the world. from pharmaceuticals to 3d prototyping, biotech to clean energy.
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california taking drastic mesh emeasures to battle when scientists say could be the worst drought seen in 1,000 years. the governor issued an executive order imposing unprecedented water restrictions across the entire state. we have the incredible details. >> reporter: in the snow depleted sierra mountains where california gets 30% of its water, the governor use add snow pack measuring station that should be buried under five feet of snow to do what no other california governor has ever done. >> we're in an historic drought, and that demands unprecedented action. for that reason i'm issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reduction across our state. >> reporter: the order for all californians to cut water use by 25% could lead to bigger fines for water wasters, like this long beach mcdonald's, billed $800 for using excess water.
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the city is installing water meters to monitor consumption. >> look if people don't step up and do their part, california's in a lot of trouble. >> reporter: nasa scientists say we're moving towards the driest period in the last 1,000 years. this morning, this is why california is in a state of emergency. i'm at the bottom of the lake i should be 30 feet under water and the rainy season here is all but over. reservoirs across the state are running on empty, and the hottest, driest months are still ahead. >> that was nbc's miguel almaguer reporting. joining me now national parks service director jonathan jarvis. a pleasure to see you. >> good morning. great to be with you. >> thanks. we have incredible pictures offed lack of snow at yosemite's half dome and it captures the severity the drought california is facing. how critical is the ways now? look at pictures? >> we're down around 15% of normal in terms of our snow pack and, of course, yosemite and sequoia ing cans canyon and
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all of these great parks along the crest of the sierras are the storage areas for snow pack, and this year and last year as well we're just seeing an unprecedented reduction in our snow pack. >> and how is this drought impacting the national park system? >> i think number one is our biggest concern is fire. that already we've been seeing fires burn 20 days longer per season, start earlier, burn hotter. and essentially in terms of intensity, i think we're looking at a very tough fire season this year. >> jonathan, before i let you go, i know there's a new campaign called find your park. what's that about? >> coming up on o'ur centennial. it will be 100 years old and that's about inviting every american to find their special place, a feeling, a park some sense of their history, and so
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we launch today the find your park campaign and we hope that every american will find their park. >> and it's just the nation's treasures. >> absolutely. >> thank you so much. >> thank you g. to see you. and developing right now in indiana, draft legislation will be sent to committee to change indiana's religious freedom law. the press conference continues to play out and while the house speak sir not specifically saying what the fix is it is expected to include language that protects the lgbt community. here's the house speaker. >> we've spent a great deal of time with many of the people you see behind us. the corporate and civic leadership not just of indianapolis but of the state of indiana to assure we could all land on the same page. to let every hoosier know that we value you, gay, straight black, white, religious, non-religious. we value each and every hoosier.
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>> let me bring in editor and chief of "the advocate" head of the lgbt magazine. thanks for big wee me matthew green. >> glad to be here thanks. >> the state is announcing a fix expected to include language specifically to protect the lgbt community. >> it does go far enough. we're talking about specific legislation that talks about non-discrimination based on the rifro, not comprehensive enough. the proper fix to the situation would be you see huge sense of indiana discovering what sort of damage they've caused. the huge -- the fix would be comprehensive protection in all aspects of civil life. in public accommodations in health care, in employment and in every aspect not just with limits rifra. >> but thereif there is a clear
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definition, not to discriminate against a group of people, that, i mean -- why do you think that would be problematic? >> with regard to rifra itself? >> yeah. if they include that why do you think it would continue to be problematic? >> because it doesn't cover a lot of the areas that we're talking about. there is no comprehensive protection against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation in indiana. and the only time we're seeing an effort towards this is when we see this tremendous backlash indiana is experiencing. and arkansas is looking at it as well. there is no civil rights protection for lgbt people in indiana, and limiting to it as a subset of a rifra is not comprehensive enough it doesn't go far enough. >> matt breen, thanks for being with me pshgs appreciate it. >> you bet. live to arkansas next hour where governor hutchinson is calling on his legislature to make changes before he signs
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that bill. still ahead this hour an update of breaking news out of kenya. at least 15 students killed their own university. more than 500 still unaccounted for. the story is developing by the minute. we'll cover it all for you next. plus at the top of the hour an update on the germanwings investigation from the german prosecutor. we'll bring that to you live as soon as it begins right here on "the rundown." it's time for the "your business" entrepreneur of the week. ryan smith is an ak detect designer and owner of seattle-based modern shed and never intended to start a business but ten years ago made one more himself and soon everyone was asking for one. now he's gauss a thriving business. for more watch "your business" sunday mornings on msnbc. american express for travel and entertainment worldwide. just show them this - the american express card. don't leave home without it!
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>> first let's talk about what's happening in kenya, still going on as we speak. seems every time we talk about isis we're reminded there are other terrorist groups out there, too. >> yeah, and that's what we've got to stay focused on. look at al shabaab and look at still al qaeda and folks trying to look wherever they can go to create these kind of heinous acts, and that's why it's important for communication and cooperation with governments all over the globe so that we can fight them. it's not just the united states. it's all of us got to work hand in hand to fight against these extreme groups. >> i want to take you now to yemen. there are reports iranian-backed rebels seized the presidential palace and al qaeda made it into another city released a number of prison inmates. hundreds of them. sounds like it's turn into a chaotic scene every day, getting more chaotic? >> it is and why i think we've got to show to the saudi arabians and our other gulf state arab allies we're going to stand with them and work with them so that we can get rid of
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this terrorist threat that we just talked about, moving around the world. so we're standing with them, and and you know know what saudi arabia is currently doing and the arab states talking about working together. maybe even them sending in ground troops. so we have to very much coordinate and work with our allies from the arab the gulf states. >> and it seems, congressman, and in yemen specifically but also in other parts of the region, i mean whether it's in libya or even afghanistan, where there are terrorist it'ss, new terrorists incursions into those countries, that iran may be behind a lot of the support some of these groups specifically in yemen, for example, and in iraq are getting? >> what we have is and it's clear that nothing -- some want the united states to wave a magic wand clearly you have a power struggle in a shia/sunni strug'sgle hawaiis has been happening
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for decades. the president has done a good job in continuing the dialogue with reference to trying to make sure iran does not have a nuclear weapon on one hand, butalities making sure that we are assuring our allies like saudi arabia and others on the other, that we're not going to desert them either. so it's that balances act we've got to continue to move as this plays out between shia and sunni. of which there's not going to be a magic want to get done and it's not going to be done overnight. the administration made very clear this is years it will take to get this thing done. three, four five years. so we can't think that it's going to be you know a scenario where somebody can come in and say mission accomplished or it's all over within a day or two. we're in a struggle and we've got to stay focused on that struggle understanding the enemy of which we're dealing with. >> carson meeks, thank you for for being with me.
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is that good. the more you know. and now to atlanta and long-awaited landmark verdict in what's being called the largest cheating scandal in the nation's history. nearly a dozen teachers convicted of altering grades and test scores in a scandal that affected almost 80% of atlanta schools. nbc's rehema ellis has the story. >> we, the jury find the defendant guilty. >> 11 out of 12 defendants convicted monday concluding a trial that lasted more than six months and featured over 150 witnesses, including some teachers who accepted plea deals. >> it was pressure to get scores by any means necessary. >> reporter: nearly a dozen former teachers and administrators found guilty of manipulating test scores and grades of the young students
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they taught. in some cases receiving bonuses and additional funding for the inflated high scores at expense of the children's education. >> we've been fighting for the children in our community, particularly those children who are deprived by this cheating scandal. >> reporter: testimony from students themselves helped clinched the verdicts like this teenager whose test scores were altered. >> like i'm not in high school reading. i'm still in middle school reading. i think it's sixth grade reading level. >> reporter: it was a culture of collusion so coordinated that some teachers even spoke of having so-called cheating parties. >> we were changing answers on tests. >> and is that what each of your colleagues was doing? >> yes. >> reporter: the convictions of racketeering, typically applied to mobsters and organized crime, now identified with former educators facing up to 20 years in prison. >> they have made their bed, and
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they are going to have to lie in it, and it starts today. >> reporter: rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. >> and breaking news unfolding on the rundown. we're just minutes away from what could be a major update on the germanwings plane crash in the french alps. we'll be carrying that live for you, and the world remains on edge as a nuclear showdown with iran shows signs of possibly getting a breakthrough. also in kenya, at least 15 students killed at a university. more than 500 unaccounted for. in just minutes new information on one of the people officials are looking for in connection with this attack. plus new jersey senator bob menendez facing a 14-count federal indictment. all of these break events and news as we get it next on the rundown. audible safety beeping audible safety beeping
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we have breaking news from all corners of the globe this morning. new developments on the plane crash in the alps a possible deal on iran nuclear negotiations, a senator under indictment, but we begin this hour with the breaking story out of east africa a hostage standoff and shooting that's left at least 15 people dead at a university there. this is the poster that the kenyan government is now circulating asking for the public's help in finding the man they describe as the mastermind of the attack. meanwhile, this is still an active hostage situation. got new pictures of tanks outside the university. the president of kenya says security forces have been sent in to help resolve the standoff. it all started early this morning when gunmen stormed the school and opened fire on students killing at least 15 but that -- that may be just the tip of the iceberg. as of right now, more than 500 students are still unaccounted for. it is not clear how many may be trapped inside. according to witnesses, the gunmen declared themselves to be
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part of al shabab. they methodically south out christian students executing them on the spot. students fled their dorms, some of them only half-clothed. >> i run naked because we didn't wait to see what was happening. >> guys started jumping up and down running for their lives. it's unfortunate where they were going to is where the gunshots were coming from. >> kenya's natural disaster operations center reports the gunmen have been cornered in a dormitory. it is, however, unclear if hostages are with them. the interior ministry says one suspect was arrested as he tried to flee. we're going to keep following this story and bring you the very latest developments on it but now to breaking news in the crash of germanwings flight 9525. we're waiting for a new statement from the german prosecutor's office on the crash, and as we wait for that to happen it could happen any moment in dusseldorf there's
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more developing news in the case. the recovery effort in the french alps is beginning a new phase. crews say the final human remains have been recovered amid the debris in the french alps. also learned that investigators have now questioned the parents of the co-pilot suspected of intentionally crashing the airbus a-320 last week killing all 150 people on board. let's go right to the french alps and nbc's claudio lavanga is near the crash site. what's the latest? >> reporter: there are reports that the second black box, the one that contains the technical information from takeoff to impact is very important for investigators to find because that will tell them once and for all whether there was any technical fault or not on that plane. of course there's believed it wasn't. they believed that it was the co-pilot who downed it and flew it into the french alps but only way to find out is to find that second black backs.
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l'agence french press said the second black box has been found and we're working for the french prosecutor to confirm that to us. >> claudio, let me go to dusseldorf, the german prosecutor right now having a conference. >> translator: after that you, sir, were searching for medical topics as well as potential suicidal message. on top of that they are looking into cockpit and security measurements with regard to that. we cannot confirm concrete search terms and evaluation. it's confidential as of now. because of the number of data
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we cannot expect any further results in the next few days. thus, we would kindly ask you to refrain from any other questions. >> so, we're going to be looking at the transcript of what exactly that press conference included, but it seems as though claudio lavanga who still joins me from the french alps claudio, it seems as though they are going to be searching through what could be another black box that could have been found this morning, as you report that afp is reporting, the french national press service, that whatever information they are going to be getting is going to be a couple of days in the making but tell me about what is going on behind you right now. as you were saying the investigation is now changing its course. >> well indeed the investigation and the recovery operation continues here. we know, that of course as you said. all the visible body parts were
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found on that crash site. we know that 20 alpine police officers have -- are now looking through the personal belongings -- for personal belongings from the victims to of course, pass it on to the victims' families. but just give me a second jose i think we have new information. >> absolutely. >> reporter: my producer is telling me that the french prosecutor is about to hold a press conference so later in the afternoon we will get that confirmation that the second black box has been found or not. we'll have to wait for later on of course, but let me just remind you that that second black box that we've been looking for for ten days very very important for investigators because it's the only way for them to exclude completely as they do believe that there was any technical fault in that flight hand that it was the co-pilot andreas lubitz that flew it into the mountains. jose? >> you're sayingled information that you're getting right now live on the air is that the french prosecutor's office will be holding a news conference
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shortly? >> reporter: i believe he will be holding it at 6:00 in the afternoon here france time which is at midday in the united states, eastern time. jose. >> thank you, claudio lavanga. we'll be covering all of this and keeping you very closely informed of all the details. i want to turn now to developing news in switzerland where the iranian foreign minister says to expect a statement later today laying out some sort of nuclear agreement, but the details are unclear, and we're not getting anything from secretary of state john kerry or his team this morning. for more on where things stand i'm joined by nbc's senior white house correspondent chris jansing and the tehran bureau chief. chris, can you give me any insight into what's going on in switzerland >> reporter: clock is ticking in double overtime now. up until 6:05 overtime in lausanne and took a quick break and were back at it at 11:00 in
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the morning. the only person as you noted, who has been giving details over the last several hours is the foreign minister of iran who said that there's been significant improvement but no deal yet and even if there is a deal what would it look like? what would the administration here be willing to accept? what they have said all along in detail is that they need to have some specificity. they can't -- the president can't go to congress and to the american people and make his case on vague generalities so some of the things we've been talking about over the last couple of days how quickly might sanctions been eased has been a big sticking point between the two sides, what nuclear research would be allowed. already, the criticism has started from some members of congress. john mccain and others have said that this shows weakness on the part of the united states that they have extended already twice. would they be willing to extend again? what we do also know that the president has said through his spokesman josh earnest that
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he'll make a statement whatever happens here but he is scheduled to least white house this morning around 11:30, a little after 11:30 headed to louisville for a couple of economic events over the next few days. so that's where we stand right now. waiting to see if there is a statement, and if so is it a positive one? >> chris jansing, thank you, and i want to go back now to tehran. ali, what's the most important thing iran is looking for in these talks? >> well jose i think there's two very important issues for the iranians here. one is the question of sanctions, and i think a proposal has been made to them that they can possibly separate eu and u.s. sanctions from united nations sanctions. that's something that the iranians didn't really want. they said they wanted the sanctions removed in one go but they are considering this. i think another major point of contention is the research and development iran wants to do on advanced centrifuges. that's proved to be a major sticking point. the person powers have said that
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they should basically keep the program that they have now for the next 10 to 15 years and keep it limited, but iran says they want to do advanced tests on new centrifuges. they feel if they can't do any of that stuff for the next 10 to 15 years it would put them way behind again, and they are not comfortable with that. you have to remember jose in the last ten or 15 years iran has made massive advances in the nuclear field, and they don't want western powers to cap that. western powers they don't trust whatsoever. it seems the rhetoric is sharp between the two sides at all which isn't a great sign. foreign minister zarif was saying this morning there's negotiating problems with the p5 plus 1 but he believes there's more problems within the p5 plus 1 alluding to the fact that they are fractured leading to the russian and chinese foreign ministers are not there right now, and there are two foreign ministers not really particularly keen on more
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sanctions or a clause that would impose much much different sanctions post the deal if iran was to renege on its obligations. so they are trying to figure all of this stuff out right now. also, it didn't help when the white house came out today and threatened to walk away from the talks. a senior iranian general here said that the united states is the only country with military options and the world doesn't respond well to military threats at well. >> here in new jersey this morning, senator bob menendez is expected to appear in court a day after being indicted after being accused of taking bribes from longtime friend dr. solomon melgen who is at the courthouse this hour. he's accused of accepting over $1 million worth of lavish gifts from the florida eye doctor including private flights, nights in a paris hotel use of a caribbean villa and expensive meals and golf outings.
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in return prosecutors say menendez used his promotion to promote melgen's business interests. >> they are dead wrong, and i am confident that they will be proven so. >> let me bring in nbc news justice correspondent pete bernie williams and awry melber co-host of "the cycle." pete, let me begin with you. 14-count indictment. both men say they have done nothing wrong. what's the crux of the government's case? >> you just outlined it and they also say that senator menendez failed to report these favors that were given to him, and the nature of the indictment seems to be that every time there was a favor then there was a contribution to senator menendez's campaign or a trip or contribution to some democratic party groups in new jersey that would benefit him indirectly. that's the narrative, that it was always something for something else. the problem and the question for the government is can they show
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that this was entirely because of the favors that he was doing or the official functions he was performing and not because of a long-standing friendship? that will be the challenge. >> ari, senator menendez says prosecutors are twisting his friendship with melgen into something that it's not. is that his defense? >> a preview of his argument. we've seen that in other federal prosecutions, the idea being who say politicians who say, look i have some friends. some of them may have wealth or trips or things that they can share with me and that isn't a quid pro quo benefit and you see that more commonly in lower level charges, things like basically a gratuity or a service that's abused, the kind of charges that don't rise to the level. a bribery charge we haven't seen against a senator in over 20 years, and it is a very serious charge, as pete mentioned. it's outlined in the indictment that basically says we can show according to prosecutors, exactly what each gift links to
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bribing you with the gift for in return these benefits. things like helping with the visa processing for this donor's girlfriends, according to prosecutors or medicare policy also explicitly mentioned. if the defense is i'm just helping my friend menendez is going to have his lawyers will have to explain and deal with these charges about things that he did in office allegedly in exchange. >> and by the way, just helping my friend who happened to be in serious trouble with the government over his medicare billing. the government says in the indictment here that the eye doctor who was also indicted on these corruption charges was basically taking a single vile that's to be used for eye treatments, giving it to three patients and billing medicare for three separate vials so that's a pretty serious problem that the senator was trying to fix. >> pete williams and ari melber thanks so much for being with me this morning. appreciate it. new firestorms surrounding the religious freedom bills from
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indiana and arkansas. governors from both states pressing for changes. details ahead. also, stunning developments on the plane crash in the alps. i'll bring those details to you next.
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breaking news into the crash of germanwings flight 9525. the german prosecutor speaking moments ago says the co-pilot suspected of intensionally crashing the plane appears to have researched suicide methods and cockpit door security on his home computer. at the same time the second black box has been located amid the debris in the french alps. we're expecting to hear more from the french prosecutor at a news conference at noon eastern time. we'll continue to monitor this breaking news and bring you any
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developments as they happen and coming up, we're going to zoom through some of the other stories making news including more severe storms in the deep south. some producing golf ball-sized hail. look at that. meanwhile out west the water emergency. let's go to that video. unprecedented action taken to combat the massive drought affecting tens of millions of americans and a big push in indiana respond together backlash over that state's religious freedom law. those stories and a whole lot more ahead on "the rundown."
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behind us the corporate and civic leadership not just of indianapolis, but of the state of indiana, to assure that we can all land on the same page to let every hoosier know that we value you, gay, straight black, white, religious, non-religious. we value each and every hoosier. >> the president of the ncaa quickly responding to the lawmakers ahead of the final four in indianapolis. the statement that reads in part, we are very pleased the indiana legislature is taking action to amend senate bill 101 so that it is clear individuals cannot be discriminated against. meanwhile in arkansas governor asa hutchinson is also looking for a change before he signs his state's freedom of religion bill. got these stories covered from both capitols this morning. adam, let's start with you. do we know exactly what is in this fix, and does a bill get to the governor's desk today?
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>> reporter: jose, good morning. looks like we have a deal. they have met this morning. he heard from legislative leaders. they were joined by business leaders, members of the lgbt community. they want to send a message that the perception of indiana has been wrong and that they have been a national embarrassment. they want to change all of that. now, they say that they want to make a strong statement that the healing needs to begin now. the freedom of religious law will be changed to ensure that businesses can't discriminate against gays and lesbians can't discriminate against anyone anywhere, any time. this bill will go to the conference committee where it is right now and then on to the laws and rules committee, on to a vote by the house and senate. it could be on the desk of the governor by the end of the day. jose? >> and it's expected to pass through all of these different committees? >> it looks that way. it looks like they have the votes.
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the house speaker and the senate leader who spoke this morning said they have the votes. >> at am reese >> adam reese, thank you. >> sarah, what's the legislation there working on? >> reporter: good morning, they are making progress here in arkansas as well following the governor's refusal to sign the original bill. he asked legislators to do one of two things to either recall that original bill and amend it or to pass new measures. right now that appears to be the route that they are taking. two bills whose language mirrors that of the religious -- federal religious freedom restoration act have been passed by the senate. they are on their way to the house this morning. the legislature has been scheduled to adjourn their session today. there is optimism that things will continue to go smoothly today and they will actually adjourn on schedule. obviously there's been quite a bit of backlash here as well from corporations like walmart, politicians, hillary clinton,
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and, of course individuals who live here in arkansas. they are expecting to gather on the capitol steps once again today in about an hour as these two bills are being heard inside. back to you. >> sarah dahloff, thank you very much. i want to bring in professor of law from the university of arkansas john depippa. tell me what's in this law that sparked such a pc lash in your state. >> the original bill was extremely broad. it applied to everyone who could possibly claim any religious motivation, including large corporations and for-profit entities. it also had one of the most extreme statements about what the government needed to prove which would have made it virtually impossible for the government to ever win any case. the changes are essentially taking the federal law in verbatim and inserting it into the arkansas state out. >> as a matter of fact the governor spoke a lot about this federal law in its press conference yesterday. how is the current language different from the federal law,
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taking the obvious understanding that there's it'sdifferences. how is it different? >> the new version is exactly the same as the federal law. it takes it verbatim and simply removes references to federal united states and inserts states. what the new version does not include, however, is an explicit statement that the law cannot be used to discriminate. unlike indiana's fix, which makes that clear, this new version does not have that explicit anti-discrimination provision. >> so it would require it for i think a lot of people to feel that this is a positive change but the legislature wraps up their business today. >> that's right. in fact the house judiciary committee is meeting in about half an hour to consider this bill and it does have bipartisan support. it just seems to me that yesterday the governor spoke about both mirroring the federal bill as well as making clear that this was not a license to
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discriminate. i don't believe the current versions answer that latter concern. >> professor dipippa, thanks for being with me. >> you're welcome. >> coming up real estate mogul robert durst back in a new orleans court at the top of the hour facing weapons and drug charges. and developing in new jersey, senator bob menendez expected at this newark federal court a day after being indicted on federal corruption charges. >> i'm angry because prosecutors at the justice department don't know the difference between friendship and corruption and have chosen to twist my duties as a senator and my friendship into something that is improper. real transformations can happen as much inside a person as out. that's why you should take the listerine® 21 day challenge. use listerine® and over 21 days you'll experience a transformation. take the listerine® 21 day challenge and start your transformation today. in new york state, we're reinventing how we do business so businesses can reinvent the world. from pharmaceuticals to 3d prototyping, biotech to clean energy.
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denver international is one of the busiest airports in the country. we operate just like a city and that takes a lot of energy. we use natural gas throughout the airport - for heating the entire terminal generating electricity on-site and fueling hundreds of vehicles. we're very focused on reducing our environmental impact. and natural gas is a big part of that commitment. breaking news. following several new developments in the flight of germanwings 9525. first, the second black box has been locate in the debris field in the french alps. expected to learn more about
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that from a french prosecutor at a news conference at noon eastern time and minutes ago a stunning revelation from the german prosecutor's office revealing new details about the co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing the plane and what they found on his home computer. here's the statement just moments ago. >> look through the address of the co-might and we found a tablet which was already evaluated. the name of the register and the correspondence and search words indicate the co-pilot was using it. the browser search was not delead so we could -- such that we could trace back relevant data. after that the user was searching for medical topics as well as potential suicidal
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methods. on top of that he was looking into cockpit doors and security measurements. >> we'll continue to follow the latest developments in the germanwings crash investigation and bring you them as soon as they happen. back to this country, developing now in new orleans. in about 20 minutes real estate mogul robert durst will be back in cow. the troubled millionaire facing weapons and drug charges. his lawyers are hoping to get them thrown out, arguing his arrest was based on an illegal search. nbc's charles hadlock is with me now from new orleans. what do we expect? >> reporter: good morning, jose. the hearing is about to get under way at the orleans parrish courthouse in new orleans. durst's attorney will argue that the arrest was improper and that all the evidence seized after the arrest was also improper and should not be admissible. durst was arrested back on march 15th at the j.w. marriott hotel. overs arrested him in the lobby
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of the hotel and then took him up to the room on the 23rd floor and kept him there for eight hours incommunicado with his attorneys. they also, while in the room searched it. they found weapons, a handgun and five ounces of marijuana. at that point they went to the local magistrate to ask for a search warrant to search the room looking for a gun and drugs. the attorney says that that is improper and should be thrown out. that evidence should not be allowed against robert durst. that doesn't get him off the hook on what's going on in california. he's still expected to be extradited at some point to california to face charges there. jose? >> nbc's charles hadlock, thank you very much. now another high-profile case involving one of the most influential lawmakers in washington. any minute now new jersey senator robert menendez will walk into this federal court and enter what's expected to be a not guilty plea on a 14-count indictment. msnbc's leah fruman is outside
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that federal courthouse in newark. good morning. what do we expect from the senator this morning? >> reporter: expect him to arrive from now until later this afternoon. he hasn't read his charges nor has he entered a plea one way or the other. last night he maintained his innocence, telling his supporters that he'll fight these charges tooth-and-nail and said quote, this will not be the end of my career. he's facing 14 criminal counts including eight counts for bribery. each one of those counts for bribery could face a maximum of 15 years behind bars and so the indictment really looks at his relationship over the past seven years with florida ophthalmologist solomon melgen. it alleges that senator menendez allegedly took $1 million in luxury gifts in exchange for providing political favors to melgen which includes helping to
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influence the outcome of a medicare billing plan in addition to helping several of his girlfriends allegedly get vitas. melgen, who was also indicted was seen here earlier this morning in court and we're still waiting for menendez. >> thank you. let me bring in msnbc's bengie sarlan and ryan grimm of "the huffington post." thanks for being with me. ryan, let's talk about these charges. clearly very serious charges against this very influential senator in washington. >> right. and, you know, there aren't a lot of rules left you know about what politicians can and can't do but one thing -- you know, one thing they can't do is take large gifts or significant amounts of money and then -- and then take specific action to benefit an individual person and so you know without saying whether or not he's innocent or guilty of these charges, if you take somebody like melgen a guy
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who needed specific action taken. he wanted the secretary of health and human services to say that he was not ripping off medicare. he was being accused of ripping off medicare. he gave all sorts of gifts to -- to menendez. menendez went to harry reid and menendez and harry reid went together to sebelius to try to intervene in this case. now, sebelius told them look this is out of my hands. the medicare investigators are going to go about their business, and if they find that he's committed fraud, they are going to go forward with that. there were a couple other cases where menendez intervened. now, menendez will say that he was doing this on behalf of not exactly a constituent but a fellow american. he was doing this in the service of justice, but the fact that he took so many gifts, you know a hotel suite in paris, you know trips to the caribbean, et cetera makes it look like a quid pro quo and that's -- that's something that is still forbidden in american politics. >> yeah and bengie the fact
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is -- the fact is that the senator says and he said it last night in both english and spanish in an unusual statement last night, that this is a dear friend of his and things are different when you're dealing with a friend as far as some of the, i guess, gifts that you receive from them. is that going to -- is that -- does that hold water? >> there are shades of this if you remember in, bok mcdonnel, the virginia governor who was indicted and then convicted on a case that had some parallels. it involved expensive gifts changing hands and lobbying on behalf of a health care business and venture. it doesn't seem to work out too well there. this defense is slightly different, but that's what he's going to real very to show here and the scale of these gifts just makes it a very difficult argument. i mean we're talking about things that are tens hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of value. >> let's shift now and talk some 2016 politics. ryan ted cruz in iowa today. we know he's raised about $4
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million since he announced his run last week. do we know -- well how much money the other candidates or potential candidates have? >> you know they are all going to have you know -- they will all have enough to remain competitive, particularly in iowa. you know for cruz what he wants to show is that he's getting a ton of small dollar donations. he's going to want to say, like look, i have this tea party and this evangelical army behind me because his number one threat in iowa is scott walker and -- and vice versa. they are kind of in a one-on-one matchup. whichever one of them comes out on top in iowa becomes sort of the candidate of the -- of the far right, and that's why you see ted cruz coming out recently so strongly in support of indiana's law, for instance. you know he -- he wants to be the one that is the evangelicals and home-schoolers in iowa are going to real around because if you look at the base of support for walker and cruz there's a ton of overlap there.
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>> interesting. bengie actually cruz denied the same-sex marriage and called religious freedom a defining issue for 2016. is this going to affect the gop in the future? >> absolutely and this is going to be a real fault line you're going to see throughout the 2016 contest. now, cruz has been very explicit that the theory of his campaign which he articulated in his announcement speech at liberty university, an evangelical college, that republicans didn't win because not enough conservatives and evangelicals and born again christians fire up. anything that he thinks fires up that group he'll go for especially when there's so much competition to be the social conservative candidate. mike huckabee rick santorum and scott walker appeals to religious conservatives, a lot of competition for those votes, but there's going to be pressure in the other direction. so far every single major republican president call candidate has asked and largely sided with indiana. no one wants to get on the wrong side of social conservatives on
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this, but you will see a difference in emphasis and i think that's really where candidates might distinguish themselves. you're seeing jeb bush at least privately to donors, according to the "new york times," shift his tone on this saying it's good that they are adding clarifications that say this isn't about discrimination. how far candidates are willing to go in that direction might be interesting. >> benji sarlin and mike grim of "the huffington post." >> the kenyan government is now circulating this wanted poster asking for the public's help in finding the many that describe as mastermind of the attack. meanwhile, still an active hostage situation. new pictures of tanks outside the university. the president of kenya says security forces have been sent in to help resolve the standoff and he's calling for support from his countrymen. >> this is a moment for everyone
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throughout the country to be vigilant as we confront and defeat our enemies. >> as of right now, more than 500 students are still unaccounted for. it's unclear how many may be trapped inside. we're now getting firsthand accounts from students about how all this unfolded. one witness told nbc he had just finished his morning prayers when he heard gunshots and explosions from the university 500 yards away. he said students were running from the compound some partially clothed because they were asleep when it all happened and the other student told attackers made him recite the islamic statement of faith to prove he was muslim and if he could not he would be shot. the gunmen declared themselves part of the al shabab terrorist network and appeared to be deliberately targeting christians. want to keep following this story for you and bring you all the latest developments as we get them. up next, our top political story developing this mornings indiana announcing a fix to its religious freedom ac.
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we've already heard jeb bush change his tone on the issue, so how is it playing out for the 2016 hopefuls? we're going to discuss that. i also want to bring you this live picture. a lot of action at crash site in the alps. we know and are expecting a news conference from the french the prosecutor amidst reports that the second black box has been recovered today. we're watching it all for you. but then erectile dysfunction happens again. plenty of guys have this issue not just getting an erection, but keeping it. well, viagra helps guys with ed get and keep an erection. and you only take it when you need it. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing upset stomach and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing.
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♪ [upbeat music] ♪ defiance is in our bones. defiance never grows old. citracal maximum. easily absorbed calcium plus d. now in a new look. want to turn back to that breaking story unfolding in kenya. terrorist gunmen have taken hostages at a university there after killing at least 15 people there. i'm being joined on the phone by a reporter with ntv. he's on the scene. denis, what's the latest? we'll try to re-establish that. denis, can you hear me? denis? >> reporter: i can hear you now.
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there's a bit of a delay but i can report that there's heavy gunfire for the last half hour since a couple of hours ago, not had anything like this. we can see from our vantage point, quite a distance and all members of the press -- i don't know whether you can hear the gunfire. it's quite heavy. i don't know whether you can hear this but this has been going on for the last 30 minute explosions and heavy gunfire, and we can tell by the noise, it started from outside and then this is now happening inside some of the buildings. the university bus was carrying some of the injured to the garissa air strip. not far from where this is
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happening. i can confirm that 22 people have died. 20 of them are being flown top capital nairobi and two will be buried here. 25 others are seriously wounded and most with gunshots. they will be taken to nairobi because the main hospital in garissa is not equipped. they are trying to establish -- the hostages have a military presence as well. people are trying to get in and trying to find out whether their loved ones are still there. many are still missing, and as the hours go by we're being told that this could go long into the might but the military are trying to avoid a situation where this could go on for a number of hours, perhaps even days, so they are trying to
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bring closure. >> dennis i want to just appreciating your time here. i'm hearing sirens in the background in our conversation here. you're telling me now that as of about a half hour there's been heavy gunfire between the military folks and the people inside that university holding presumably hostages and then also loud explosions? >> reporter: yes. for the last half hour this has been going on. i've never heard anything like that covering some of these incidents, but for the first time we are seeing this happening for quite a prolonged period of time. there's been heavy exchange between the gunmen and military officials. they are trying to get to the
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compound because the gunmen have managed to shoot and actually wound one military officer. they couldn't tell where the gunfire came from. they are trying to create a buffer zone where the gunmen will not be able to escape. at the moment several of them have been injured. we can't confirm the number. they are trying to avoid the mistakes that happened earlier. they are trying to avoid this spilling over into the night and the campus is quite busy. today they have been very bus yy.
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they are taking the injured to the air strip and back to nairobi so it's quite tense. they are trying to get a severance exactly what happened. >> dennis okari in garissa kenya, thank you so much for that live report and as you've been hearing, right here on "the rundown," situation appears to be very tense. explosions, heavy gunfire in the last half hour according to dennis okari, 22 people dead and at least 25 seriously injured. some are being transported from garissa to other parts of the country to receive medical attention. we're going to take a short break and be right back. audible safety beeping audible safety beeping
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it's been an incredibly busy day on "the rundown" including a
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possible fix on the religious freedom law in indiana. jeb bush seems to have changed his tune on indiana's controversial law. "new york times" reports that at a private event last night bush told donors quote, a consensus consensus-oriented approach would have worked better crafting the law but earlier this week bush told a conservative radio host that the law was not discriminatory kind of represents a tight rope the 2016 candidates will have to walk on way to the white house. joining me is msnbc contributor and editor of bluenation.com jimmy williams and former spokeswoman for george w. bush. let's talk about this. jeb bush seeming to change hissy ishis y is semantical tone, is that something he needs to do? >> he's taken the lead and a positive development for him. for him he explains a better
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consensus approach when we're dealing with religious freedom laws, something we saw with the utah law. providing equal protections for the lgbt communities and for those with a religious faith so i think when you are able to provide the thoughtful conversation and be able to step back from all the emotional chaos that surrounded the indiana law, i think that republicans can really be very thoughtful on this issue, like jeb bush has taken this week. >> jimmy, do you agree with that one? >> well, i'm glad that the -- that governor bush is for it after he was against it and that's certainly welcome progress. we know that politicians change their minds on politics from time to time. democrats and republicans both do that, but here's the deal. the deal is simple. i think you're for equal rights or you're not, and can you not, like mick mike pence says i abhor discrimination and every time there was a peeves legislation on house floor during his time as a member of
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congress he went to the floor and gave speeches against the lgbt community. that's a fact. now he's changed his mind because the business community has told him to change his mind. jeb bush has now done that but when he was governor and passed into law anti-gay legislation, an adoption and other things chris christie doubling down. every single president that's running for president of the united states in 2016 is backing up mike pence's former position so, again, it's simple. either you're for equal rights or you're not. that's marriage that's accommodations, public selling to people that's -- everything across the board. so i -- i'm finding the idea the argument that these republicans are now getting on board with the idea of well barring discrimination what their voting records through and through are current and positively anti-lgbt. that has to change. the republicans must change this? mercedes, is this something we're going to be seeing? >> i think for the republicans
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they are going to stand strong on their position about religious liberties. you know -- >> they should. >> we saw that with the hobby lobby case. the key here with the republicans is tone and showing compassion for both communities. it's not only about the christian community. it's also about the lgbt community so i believe that for the republicans it's going to be something that they will have to continue addressing with the right tone in reaching out to the voters. >> and we will continue this conversation at a later date. we've run out of time. mercedes schlapp and jimmy williams, thanks for being with me. thank you for the privilege of your time. "newsnation" with tamron hall is up next. 20? purina one true instinct has 30. active dogs crave nutrient-dense food. so we made purina one true instinct. learn more at purinaone.com i love making sunday dinners. but when my back hurt, cooking all day... forget about it. tylenol was ok, but it was 6 pills
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a day. but aleve is just 2 pills all day. and now, i'm back! aleve. i'm only in my 60's. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans it helps pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. to me, relationships matter. i've been with my doctor for 12 years. now i know i'll be able to stick with him. [ male announcer ] with these types of plans,
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that will be here for you now -- and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. how much protein does your dog food have? 18 percent? 20? purina one true instinct has 30. active dogs crave nutrient-dense food. so we made purina one true instinct. learn more at purinaone.com good morning everyone. i'm tamron hall. this is "newsnation." we begin with breaking news in kenya where masked gunmen stormed a college campus opened fire, killing a number of
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students, a number of people and right now are reportedly still holding hostages. the latest reports say at least 22 people are dead. more than 60 others are wounded and some 500 people are unaccounted for. the al qaeda linked terror group al shabab is claiming responsibility. students who escaped this morning's attack are describing an absolutely terrifying scene, being awakened before dawn to gunfire in their dormitories. >> we heard some gunshot, and we were sleeping so it was around 5:00, and guys started jumping up and down and running for their lives, but, it's unfortunate, that where we were going to is where the gunshots were coming from so the guys okay find some hideouts out in the field. >> one student told the associated press the gunmen asked students if they were christian or muslim and then shot christian students. in the past couple of hours, kenya's president read a statement calling for calm as the government deals with the crisis.

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