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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  April 19, 2015 9:00am-11:01am PDT

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tragedy on the high seas. hundreds missing after a ferry capsizes. a desperate search is underway. how it apparently happened might surprise you. the road to 2016 running through new hampshire. the gop facing some tough questions in the granite state about an issue that may dog them throughout. a growing backlash in schools across this country. in one community, more than half the students this week are refusing to take standardized test. we'll tell you why. global citizen to me is to be conscious of the world around you. >> the global citizen festival. you'll hear more of what is meant for some of today's biggest stars who attended.
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hey, there, high noon here on the east coast. 9:00 a.m. out west. breaking news, a major search and rescue operation is underway after a migrant boat carry something 700 people capsized in the mediterranean sea overnight. authorities say 28 people have been rescued. 24 are confirmed dead and roughly 650 people are still unaccounted for. the accident happened off the coast of libya, about 120 miles or so south of the italian island of lampadusa. and we have the latest from london. what do you know about the tragedy? >> reporter: well, what we know is based on what the survivors have been telling rescuers so far. they said that when the migrants saw a cargo ship that answered the distress call appeared in the distance they rushed to one side of the vessel causing it to capsize. they claim there were as many as 700 people on board the boat. if that's true, that will make
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this the single deadliest incident involving migrants in the mediterranean on record. the search and rescue as you said, search and rescue operation continues. at least 17 ships as well as planes and helicopters are still searching the area. this incident, like took place about 15 hours ago in cold waters. the hope of finding more people alive did dimming by the hour. >> it makes it such a tragedy. you know, it's interesting, already this year more than 900 migrant are believed to have died while crossing the mediterranean. pope francis has made recent appeals on behalf of the victims. what is he saying about this terrible situation? >> reporter: the pope today asked the international community to act decisively and promptly to prevent such tragedies from occurring again. he's not alone in appealing to governments to do more to help migrant who are attempting the crossing. there's criticism over the decision, for instance by the european uniton to replace a
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search and rescue operation run by the italian navy last year credited with saving 170,000 lives in 2014 with a smaller limited border control operation. there were some in the past who claimed that search and rescue operation was attracting migrants to try to attempt the crossing because they knew there were ships and planes looking for them. as it clearly shows, even more are now coming and dying, alex. >> yeah. again, tragedy of epic proportions. thank you very much for the update. let's go to politics and hillary clinton's turn to hit the campaign trail in new hampshire tomorrow. one of mrs. clinton's earlier supporters, missouri democrat senator claire mccaskill said this morning that no one, democrat nor republican, is more qualified to be president. >> anyone can challenge hillary clinton if they would like to. the reason people aren't challenging her is because of her qualifications. you have a cast of thousands on the republican side because there's -- it's clear that many of them are reading cliff's notes to figure out this dangerous world now.
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>> of the nearly 20 potential republican candidates, presidential ones that descended on the granite state, had a very different view on mrs. clinton. kristin welker with more from the white house. what's been their focus so far? >> reporter: good morning. think about it this way -- new hampshire primary is still ten months away. that may be why republican presidential candidates are for the most part refraining from beating occupy each other. instead, they're saving their sharpest jobs for hillary clinton who will be back on the road tomorrow. this week hillary clinton will court voters in new hampshire. >> how you today? what about you? >> reporter: holding round tables echoing stops last week in iowa. >> where were you all so successful? >> reporter: twliel are other potential democratic candidates clinton's strong lead in the polls is making her the main target. >> it is absolutely critical that we beat hillary clinton come 2016. [ applause ] >> reporter: republicans in the granite state this weekend are divided in their policies but
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unified in their sharp jabs. >> her not doing her job, her not providing security for our forces for our diplomatic missions should forever preclude her from holding higher office. >> reporter: gop hopefuls are also hoping to stand out in their own crowded field. >> it's about marining in out-of-control -- reining in out-of-control federal regulations and allow families to make their own decision business health care. >> reporter: ted cruz fired up the base. >> i am proud to stand with men and women of faith across this country defending our religious liberties. >> reporter: former florida governor jeb bush tried to convince voters his policies will be different than his brother's. >> we're not always like our brother or sister or mom and dad. we value our own unique dna and our own life experiences. >> reporter: the party faithful turned out in scores and after eight years with a democrat in the white house, say they're ready. >> i like what i've heard so far. i think there's a lot of good candidates. i think we have a better field than last time.
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>> reporter: as for clinton she's going to spend two days in new hampshire. by the way she won that primary back in 2008. she's going to moat with business leaders -- meet with business leaders and educators. some democrat are pushing for this visit to be even more unscripted than her iowa stop. polls show clinton has a strong lead in new hampshire. her campaign isn't taking anything for granted. they've already started building up a very strong ground game there. >> yep. and lessons learned, of course from the last go-round. thank you very much. meanwhile, also a highlight in new hampshire, a potential sticking point for republicans as they move through the primary season. marriage equality. here's msnbc's casey hunt talking with potential candidate governor scott walker on whether he would attend a gay wedding. >> reporter: would you attend a gay wedding? >> well, in terms of -- that's certainly a personal issue. for a family member, if i had a family member who's had a reception -- i haven't been at a wedding. but that's been my position on marriage is style -- defined between a man and woman, i
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support the constitution of the state. per someone i love we've been -- for someone i love we've been at a reception. >> matt welch, editor-in-chief. you heard governor walker there. he seems to want it both ways in his reply. what's your assessment april? >> sure. it's obviously becoming the boxers and briefs of the presidential campaign. whether you'll attend a gay wedding or not. marco rubio's going to attend. scott walker's not sure. the interesting question on gay marriage is not going happen now. it's going to happen after the supreme court makes its ruling later this summer likely in favor of legalizing gay marriage. so the question is, do you then use it as ted cruz will to try to lock down the social conservative vote as a rallying point to try to say i will be the guy fighting again this and introducing a constitutional amendment and introducing legislation, or do you kind of declare defeat and stop talking about it, and a lot of candidates i think from rick perry and rand paul and others will take a more federalist approach to this and just sort
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of say there's nothing much we can do. we have to try to change hearts and minds on a personal level. but we're not going to get excited about that in terms of policy. >> so you think that's the best way for them, the kind of answer they give to get them through the primaries any republican? >> it depends what they want to do huckabee, santorum -- they're wrestling over the vote. walker bush, and rubio are trying to get the establishment vote. rand paul's in a tricky position because he's trying to get young libertarians and non-republicans. and republican party has to realize that was republicans under the age of 45 a majority support gay marriage. if they want a party that looks to the future, that embraces the generations, as marco rubio is trying to show himself as being different from hillary clinton generally speaking the party's position on gay marriage has been -- is turning people off. that said let's remember that hillary clinton warmed up to gay marriage, what two years ago, a year and a half ago?
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so a movement is quick on this in politics. and so it will be interesting to see what they do after the supreme court. >> so you see this as an issue potentially, that's leaving the gop in the rearview mirror with respect to public sentiment? when you say there's potentially a quick change on this, how quick a pivot do you think they need to have to get through the primaries? >> well, that's -- it depends on how much they decide to make this an issue. is this going to be like an abortion roe v. wade thing where it is a litmus test going forward? i think that it's probably not going to be because the long-term politics are pretty terriblement so the people who are doing this now like a ted cruz is willing to do anything to try to win. it's also within his belief system now. i think the people looking for an actual center and who are looking for some kind of attempt at getting young votes will probably not touch this issue. >> but you know, what if the media keeps asking the question? i mean, you'll have to give an answer. and what happens if you're saying, yes, i'm for gay
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marriage and you're in south carolina does that immediately then absolve you from the possibility of getting any of those people to be your skits? >> i don't think -- i think the answer won't be i'm in favor of gay marriage the answer will be the supreme court has ruled or i think the government should get out of marriage, or i personally might be against, it but i would attend it to a loved one. it will never come out full throat in defensive gay marriage, the republican primary. they're getting -- figuring out how to talk about it now in new hampshire where they're going to get a lot of questions like that because it's the live free or die state. by the time the supreme court ruling comes around, i think people will be more polished about the way they treat it. >> okay. a polished interview from you. thank you very much. >> thank you. and other news now. isis has released a new video purporting to show the killing two of groups of ethiopianins in clibz. the video which we are -- ethiopians in libya. the video which we are not showing, shows groups being held, one by an affiliate in the
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south, it is not clear who they were or how they were captured. a stunning admission by the fbi and justice department. the "washington post" report they are formally acknowledging that nearly every examiner in the fbi's elite forensic unit gave flawed. it in hundreds of trials. a review of 268 cases found that in 95% of the trials fbi examiners called to present evidence against criminal defendantsover stated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors. the case spanned two decades prior to the year 2000. 32 of the cases involved defendants sentenced to death. we'll have more discussion later this hour. dramatic new video shows the moments a fast-moving wildfire in california sent horses and owners scrambling last night. so far it's burned 300 acres, threatened hundreds of homes near the chino hills area of southern california. firefighters have made progress. evacuation orders have been lifted because of the dry
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conditions brought on by the historic drought plaguing the state. flames are spreading much faster than usual. but look at those pictures. wow. roughly 70% of new york's public school students are opting out of standardized tests. it is a backlash being felt across the country. just ahead, i'll speak with the former chancellor of d.c. schools, michelle rhee, about the controversy. your dog's definitely got your back. but who's got your back when you need legal help? we do. we're legalzoom, and over the last 10 years, we've helped millions of people protect their families and run their businesses. we have the right people on-hand to answer your questions backed by a trusted network of attorneys. so visit us today for legal help you can count on. legalzoom. legal help is here. that detergent was like half the price! and we'll have to use like double! maybe more! i'm going back to the store? yes you are. dish issues? get cascade complete. one pac cleans tough food better than 6 pacs of the
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isis is claiming responsibility this weekend for two suicide attacks that together left more than three dozen people dead. in the afghanistan city of jalalabad, a bomb blast left at least 36 dead and 110 injured. the attacker detonated the bomb in a crowded marketplace. dozens of workers had lined up at a bank to withdraw their salaries when the blast occurred. meanwhile, in erbil, iraq at least four were killed, 18
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injured in the bomb blast near the u.s. consulate friday. no u.s. personnel were injured in the attack. the islamic state claimed responsible on a twitter account linked to the group. let's go to washington, d.c., and a breakthrough between the white house and congress this past week on the iran nuclear negotiations. the senate foreign relations committee approving a bill that would give congress a review role in the final deal. a short time ago we heard from one of the two senators who helped hammer out the legislation. >> again, unless we have this piece of legislation that becomes law, there is no ability to do that. there's no ability even for congress to understand what the real arrangement. as you know, at present, right now, the leadership in iran is telling their citizens one. our president is telling us another. the only way we'll ever know what are the details understand what is in the classified annexes is for us to pass these pieces of bill that are before
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us. otherwise we may never know until way after the fact exactly what the agreement is. look, i think it's very important, yes, that the sanctions be phased so that we see how iran is behaving. >> and joining me now, congressman adam schiff, ranking member on the committee on house intelligence. thank you for joining me. let's talk about the agreement to allow iran some oversight on a nuclear deal. do you envision a deal where congress' involvement might cause the iran deal to fall apart? >> it's possible, but i think we've averted the chance of congress scuttling an agreement before we see if we have one. that's the risk with the corker bill. with respect to my colleague, i don't think there was a necessity to vote before we have a deal. congress always has the power to have a vote. afterwards, it was fully expected we have a vote afterwards. nevertheless, there's been a compromise worked out. the white house has embraced the
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compromise. looks from out muted -- looks from the muted iranian reaction it won't scuttle negotiations in any way. >> this past week, secretary of state john kerry held a private meeting on the iran deal with a group of house democrats. he received a standing ovation after his talk. what did he say that most impressed you? >> obviously he has in-depth knowledge of all of the ins and outs of the proposed framework and agreement. he went over, you know what it will mean in terms of iran's capacity to build a nuclear weapon, how rigorous the inspections can be. how the snapback provisions would go. really fleshed out the details that we hear more generally or generically in public. the secretary also made it clear that there is no deal yet. i think what he was mostly appealing for is don't scuttle or chance to get this agreement. we may or may not. but if congress is responsible for scuttling the deal don't think that we're going to be
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able to keep our allies together on natured sanctions because that -- on increased sanctions because that will be very difficult. i think that message resonatesed. >> did he give you the confidence, sir, that the deal could keep iran ever from create a nuclear weapon? would there be enough access to the nuclear facilities? iran? >> certainly the secretary think this is a good straightjacket for iran. i'm reserving judgment until i see the final deal if we get one. for me, it will matter a lot whether we're able to inspect any suspicious areas and if there's a mechanism to do that fairly quickly, whether we have a real snapback mechanism so if iran cheats or allows sanctions, those can go back in in short order and we don't have to have a lengthy united nations or other process. i'd like to know more about the history of iran's weapons program. so these are going to be some of the key issues for me in evaluating what that final agreement might look like. >> how about if the agreement happens by the june 30th deadline, should the key
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sanctions immediately be lifted as iran wants? >> no and i great completely with the comment senator corker made earlier about that. no. they should be phased in so that we see whether iran is meeting its commitment. we have is a chance to evaluate whether it's cheating or doing what it's supposed tournd the agreement. so -- under the agreement. it will be phased in and has to be phased in. i can only think that the ayatollah and president rouhani are posturing now because i think they have to know that this is not going to happen at the outset. >> in terms of posturing iran held this military parade yesterday featuring new weapons systems and a truck that carried a big sign with the words "death to israel" ona long with chantschants -- along with chants of "death to america." it seems, representative that we have been hearing that so long that we become desensitized. is it at all naive to believe it's just for the internal nationalist fervor and not something that iran as a whole
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believes? believes? >> you have this division in iran. that is, a lot of most of the iranian people are actually pro-western. and ironically when you have these regimes that are so bitterly anti-american, their populations are often the most pro-american. but you certainly do have a very conservative wing. the military has a deeply embedded economic and other interest in the status quo that is going to be repelling against any kind of agreement, any accommodation with the west. and those chants of the death to america stuff plays to that conservative crowd. i thought it was interesting that at one point when the ayatollah was speaking, i think it was the ayatollah not the president, to a group, and they began a chant of "death to america," at least the translation was, yes, death to america. you could read that in a couple of ways. yes, of course death to america. we always say depth to markey. er to could be that -- to america. er to could be that he means it. i think it's playing to a conservative audience in iran. >> okay. switching gears, i want to ask about the ohio man arrested for
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allegedly going to syria, coming back after training with the intent to kill. members of the military or police. do you get a sense u.s. intelligence has a firm handle on all these type of actors here in the u.s.? >> we have what i would describe as certainly a significant number, but a manageable number we have to keep track of. europe has a bigger problem. there are many thousands that have left to join the fight. many are coming home or trying to come home. do we have a sufficient handle that it makes me universitiable? i'm not -- makes me comfortable? i'm not sure i'll ever be comfortable with it. if you look at the chronology of the ohio man he came back in december. wasn't arrested until february. that means that in that interim time, those were state charge in february. only recently he had the federal charges. in the interim time he was in the united states friar arrest we didn't know enough either about his presence or probably more likely we knew he was here but didn't know enough about what he had been doing in syria
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to make an arrest earlier. obviously we have limited visibility into what these americans may be doing in syria if they're affiliating and providing material support for terrorists, they can be arrested. if they're there on a humanitarian mission, that's obviously a different story. it is a challenging task and one that keeps us up at night. >> okay. last question here. this one about the severe drought there in your state there. how have your constituents been affected by the restrictions on water use and what are they telling you? do you have a sense of the real scope of the issue here? >> i represent an urban and suburban area. so the way my constituents are principally affected is they now have to really ration their water. they've had to cut back particularly on outside irrigation, than big a deal. it's where 40% of our urban water use goes. they're being instructed to have shorter showers and retrofit toilets to be water-saving toilets and take what are modest steps but can have a significant
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impact on water use. the issue is much more acute in the agricultural areas where it's live or die. really about jobs and surviving and maintaining farms. that i think is really the area where i'm sure those members of congress are hearing much more, and it's a much more dire situation. >> representative adam sciff always good to see you. >> thanks. a programming note now. tune in to "hardball with chris matthews," sitting down with president obama to talk about a wide range of issues including the proposed trade agreement. that is tuesday at 7:00 p.m. eastern. still ahead, highlights from this weekend's global citizen festival in washington, d.c. that guy right there, my colleague, spoke to some of the big-name silence. celebs. he'll talk about it. and michelory talking about the common core controversy and whether children are being tested way too much. have to work hard, know your numbers, and stay focused. i was determined to create new york city's first self-serve frozen yogurt franchise. and now you have 42 locations. the more i put into my business the
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and a message. the goal of saturday's global citizen earth day rally was to bring attention to issue ranging from global poverty to climate change. msnbc's a partner of the global citizen festival. more than's reasononin pharaoh spent-- farrow spent the day with the headliners. it must be great to bring your voice to something like this. >> we were talking about there is a great conversation to have regardless of the outcomfort the events. these are killers of combating global poverty like removing obstacles to gender equality, economic entrepreneurship promoting sustainability, that was a big theme, the environment. obviously the 45th anniversary of earth day this week. a lot of the artists talking about. that and with all of these artists, they said, we're not in the policy game but want to use our spotlight to make a difference. >> i talk to a few about exactly that. take a look at this. >> when you look at civil rights
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today, what do you most want to see changed? >> i would like to see the educational system improve for sure. i would like to see like a judicial system when it comes to police brutality and the unjustices we see with young black and brown people shot down in the streets, i would definitely like to see us have a better system so the institution is not continuing to support that. education is something i -- and job opportunities is something i'm an advocate for. i know when i see people with jobs, when people have jobs and something productive to do and get an education, we all feel better about ourselves. >> i feel all these issues affect me as well. whether women and girl issues or environmental issues, they all affect us in varying degrees. and if we want everyone to be part of this movement then all of us from every walk of life have to be part of these events.
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so if i can lend my voice, affecting 0.5% change, i'm happy to do my part. >> reporter: using your plarm for good. >> absolutely. >> reporter: when you see people calling themselves global citizens, what does the term mean to you? >> i actually have never ever thought of myself as just an indian or as just from the subcontinent of asia. never any of those term have i associated myself with. i've always thought this the world is too small, shrinking, our borders and boundaries are not about -- you're from a different part of the world, i'm from a different part of the world. we're human. we become global citizens. >> the earnest desire to put a spotlight on the issues. in some cases, these are people who have generated meaningful discussion. common with the oscar speech. one of the topics we heard from him. on we'll have more of the interviews throughout the week and look for these people -- i asked them, what do you say to
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skeptics who say this is an event without meaningful substantive outcomes. they said look at the results from previous concerts and events. there have been those, like the last time there was an event like this $65 million in extra poverty combating programming from the world bank came out of it. >> yeah. every about the counts. that's wonderful. >> exactly. >> you'll come back next, we have usher and will i. am. thank you very much. 20 years ago today the united states suffered the worst domestic terror attack in the nation's history. ahead, hear stories from people who were there the day of the oklahoma city bombing and how their lives have unfolded in the two decades since. if you're taking multiple medications does your mouth often feel dry? a dry mouth can be a side effect of many medications. but it can also lead to tooth decay and bad breath.
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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™. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." 20 years ago today the worst domestic terror attack in u.s. history. 168 people died, and almost 700 were injured whether a truck bomb went off outside the alfred p. murrah federal building in oklahoma city. among the victims 19 children from the facility's daycare
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center. survivors, family, and leaders including former president bill clinton gathered today in oklahoma city to remember. >> for a whole country, burned away all the petty squabbles in which we engaged, leaving only our basic humanity. when you strip away all the little things that divide us it's important to remember how tied we are and how much we all american owe oklahoma city. >> nbc's kelly o'donnell joins us from oklahoma city. kelly, with a good day to you. i know you met with several survivors of the day. what was that like? >> well, today has been a powerful experience for families who have come back and members of the community. i've spent the last half-hour or so by the chairs which honor each life lost here talking to
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families, reconnecting with people i've covered over the years. and for many, they talked about the two ends of the emotional spectrum. plenty of tears were shed here today. but there's also some warmth and comfort in reconnecting with families who know what they have been through over 20 years. many commenting on how hard it is to believe the that two decades have passed. and many talking about their progress, their journal i. i've also talked to -- journey. i've also talked to families who came through a different way. they had a survivor with them but survivors who have been dealing with the effects long term. >> wow. look at that tree. >> reporter: for jim and claudia denny, the oklahoma city bombing feels -- fills an entire family scrapbook. >> look at this. >> reporter: back in 1995 when a truck bomb destroyed the federal building their son, brandon, and daughter rebecca, were inside the daycare center. >> for me personally the bombing took part of my heart.
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>> reporter: brandon suffered serious brain trauma. a dozen surgery and years of treatment followed. >> look at this with your name on it. >> reporter: today his body and speech are still affected, but at 23 he has a part-time job. >> brandon's a person of few words, but the love that comes from him is overwhelming. i know it's -- >> hush. >> hush. >> reporter: daughter rebecca's recovery was excruciating. she was shredded by glass and debris. 20 years later happy news. >> she's graduating from college in may. she's getting married in june. >> reporter: can you believe that? >> i know. my baby's getting older. >> reporter: in 1996 the dennys were invited to the clinton white house to celebrate the kids' recovery. >> they were just down to earth. >> reporter: years of medical needs led to financial hardship. >> so you have to start your new world, and we did.
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and we started over. >> reporter: back in 2003 when he was ten i visited another of the daycare center kids p.j. allen. do you ever wonder why you were the one to survive? >> because god has plans for me. >> that was okay. >> reporter: today p.j. is a college student with dreams of running his own hotel. the damage to his lungs and breathing is still a daily challenge. >> i tell them, i don't hide it. i was in a bombing. i was -- it's a blessing to be one of the children that made it out. >> reporter: and out of that daycare center only six toddlers and infants at the time survived. i got to see the dennys at the ceremony today. denny onny, their dad, said it was a really hard day. he felt the emotion strongly. it is a privilege to come back. i was here in 1995 covering it for the broadcast. many times through the years, i've reconnected with the
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families. it's an important milestone, and i think what really you take away from this is each family goes through their process of healing and recovery in different ways. but there's such a strength in this community to come back and to be together. and more broadly, they're talking about something called the oklahoma standard. to try to do some act of kindness, some act of service and to honor those who were lost and injured here all those years ago. >> i'm glad you were this. you're the perfect person to do the report. thank you. the opt-out movement against common core testing is growing. superintendents throughout new york say that up to 70% of students in some schools are refuses to sit for standardized tests which continue this week. schools in maine, new mexico organization, and pennsylvania are also seeing similar backlash. in new jersey, an organization that represents educators put out a series of ads featuring parents and educators speaking out against common core testing. >> it's those years where we had that teacher who gave us a
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little extra, who spent a little bit more time with us, who made us stay after school, who kept calling our person. a standardized test is one of the weakest ways to assess student learning and knowledge. >> it's detrimental. standardizing testing is sucking the air out of classrooms. >> joining me now is michelle rhee rhee, former chancellor of d.c. public schools and ceo and founder of students first. that is an advocacy organization. michelle, welcome back to the broadcast. good to see you there from sacramento. let's talk about the standardized exams that are driving the criticism against common core that you heard in that clip there. an organization which represents large urban districts found that from the time a student's in third grade until they graduate from high school they will have taken 113 standardized tests. as a proponent of common core what is your reaction to this growing resistance? >> i think it's a couple of things. one, you know i think the pushback against common core tends to be based on two things. one is politics and two is -- is
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understanding or misunderstanding. you know, there are a lot of people out there who don't like president obama and see this as a -- a way to push back against him saying it's a federal overreach, et cetera. and a lot of the pushback that you're seeing is also based on misunderstanding. people say, you know this is a federal mandate, it's a curriculum that's being prescribed to the districts and we don't like it. but the reality is that the common core is just a set of national standards that are internationally benchmarked that say what our kids should know and be able to do at different grade levels. that is not an overreach. that is something that we have to have a national understanding of. how these standards are taught and what curriculum are used, those are things developed at the district and state level. so it really is i think a matter of understanding what the common core is and really focusing on -- in on the fact that we have
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to have a set of national standards so that our kids can compete internationally. >> and now, that's understandable, having a set of national standards, of course. but there's got to be something wrong when you have 70% of students, presumably with their parents' support, saying too many tests. is there some sort of a middle ground here? >> there absolutely is. i mean what you're -- the opt-out testing movement is in reaction to something that is very real. which i think is an overemphasis on the testing, right? so in some schools and in some school districts across this country, people have begun to see tests as the be all, end all. we have to have a reboot around the culture. test are important not because that's what we should be striving toward, but as a tool. the test are a tool that we can utilize to understand where kids are excelling, where they're
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falling short skprngand how to provide a better education. >> this week the senate education committee voted unanimously on a bill to revise the no child left behind law. that's where the common core standards and testing program stems from. it reduces the federal role in public schools by letting the states decide on the fate of low-performing schools. under the proposal schools would no longer be sanctioned for not meeting annual performance benchmarks. teachers would not be evaluated on test scores. michelle, the testing stays in place. and when we think about, say, the atlanta cheating scandal, how much of a role do you think overtesting plays as schools are trying to improve results from year to year? >> yeah. that's why i think what you said earlier, alex is important. we have to come to a middle ground. we have to have accountability. we have to have tests to ensure that we understand very clearly whether kids are learning and growing academically. nobody is going to den thigh we need that. but we have to get rid of this culture around overtesting and an overemphasis on testing.
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there's a way to do that though. we can say, look, here's what testing should look like. should take more than maybe two or three -- 2% or 3% of an entire year should be spent on testing. that evaluation is important. there is middle ground that's absolutely possible. >> yesterday michelle, i got a chance to speak with a denver teacher who started the hash tag, #-iwishmyteacherknew. let's look at that. there's one student who writes "i wish my teacher knew sometimes my reading log is not signed because my mom is not around a lot." >> we've used it as a way to build empathy with students. both building empathy for me to them but also with each other. >> how important is the home environment in a student's success? >> very important. research is very clear and shows that when parents are more involved in their child's education, then we get better outcomes.
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so we know that we want parent to be involved in their kids' education. at the same time, we have to understand, like that student said, that not all kids are in a position where their parents are as involved as they would -- as we would like them to be. we can't abdicate our responsibility to educate those children, as well. >> michelle rhee good to talk with you. thank you very much. absolutely. a family of sick missing for nearly two weeks is feared to be en route syria. details ahead. you show up. you stay up. you listen. you laugh. you worry. you do whatever it takes to take care of your family. and when it's time to plan for your family's future we're here for you. we're legalzoom, and for over 10 years we've helped families just like yours with wills and living trusts. so when you're ready start with us. doing the right thing has never been easier. legalzoom. legal help is here. ♪ ♪
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for his individual music. others including green day lou reed stevie ray vaughn and joan jett and the black hearts, the paul butterfield blues band and five royals. and new emails published from the sony hacking scandal have been revealed that ben affleck requested the pbs series "finding your roots" reveal he once had a slave-owning ancestor. he appeared on the show last fall. the detail was not included in the episode. however the show and host said the detail was not censored. they instead decided to focus on more interesting ancestors along with his mother's time spent as a freedom writer in the 1960s. the new report that fbi forensic experts knowingly gave flawed. it in hundreds of criminal cases over the last 15 years, the legal consequences to that, next. ♪ if you're looking for a car that drives you... ...and takes the wheel right from your very hands... ...this isn't that car.
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new today, the justice department is formally acknowledging that fbi experts overstated forensic hair evidence in almost all cases in
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the two decades before the year 2000. the details were reported in today's "washington post." let's bring in fact jenkins msnbc legal analyst and host of "judge faith," and bradford cohen, criminal defense attorney in ft. lauderdale. with a welcome you to both. faith, i'll start with you here. these cases covered by the fbi admission occurred before the year 2000 or fbi experts train local law enforcement forensics experts. do you have concerns that this is going to trickle down to local cases, and how much damage has been done to forensic. it? >> i think there's a lot of damage done here. first of all you're looking at the fact that there could be hundreds of people who are incarcerated based on this faulty forensic evidence and in. it. in fact, there's a -- when you watch shows like "csi," and his to address this when i had jury trials in manhattan, you have to tell jurors "this is not csi." no one's going to run in at the last minute and say, hey, we have a hair and it matches the victim. now we know the defendant committed this crime.
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that's not the way this testing works. it's not very reliable and now we've had dna testing, and it's shown a lot of cases where the expert testifies, that the hairs match, it wasn't, in fact, true the defendant was not the person who committed the crime. there are serious concerns. >> are you concerned about cases since 2000? current criminal cases? >> i am. but over time, in 2012, now there's an agreement where the fbi speshtszexperts testify, not there an agreement with the innocence projects with other criminal defense associations now that they will testify that there is no certainty with these hair comparisons and just to be clear, they will now testify -- they will say a specific person or could not be included or excluded from a pool of people that might be the source of this hair sample. it's new general. it versus coming in and saying a hair taken from the defendant is virtually indistinguishable from
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a hair taken from the victim. >> bradford the "post" reported of the 28 examiners with the fbi's laboratory microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in the ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95% of the 268 trials reviewed so far. as a defense attorney, what does this say to you about the credibility of prosecution experts? >> well specifically in this case it undermines the entire system. what -- you know, what i think is interesting is they keep saying they overstated it. thing like that, like how about that they lied? how about the truth? they lied. so whenever it's -- >> this is based on scientific evidence right? i mean -- it either matches or it doesn't. >> right. so now they're saying they overstated it. how did they overstate it? why is that the truth is not still coming out? we're sorry they overstated it. meanwhile, that sorry's not doing anything for those individuals that were wrongly accused and wrongly prosecuted and then wrongly put in jail and still in jail to this day.
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>> okay. next topic, i'm going start with you, bradford, because you practiced in florida. i want to ask about the gang rape of a woman in panama city during spring break week. authority said the assault occurred as hundreds were standing there. some of them watching. no one actsed to prevent the attack. how -- acted to prevent the attack. chow people let this happen without a phone call to police? are bystander at all legally obligated to do something? >> here's the thing -- i think morally they are obligated to do something. in the state of florida, there have certain situation where's they would be obligated to do something if they were medical providers or if there was an accident at the scene. this type of situation, it would be very difficult to prove anything against a bystander unless they were egging it on. if they were saying things to promote it. if they were filming and knew exactly what was going on. the problem they have it's spring break, they were probably -- everyone around were probably just as wasted as everybody else. the problem that you would have is to prove what their knowledge is. i don't think they're going to be able to do that. >> faith, panama city's been a
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willing partner in spring break. can you city be held liable for what happened? >> no. to be frank. we've seen a number of these tapes recently like, where people have been victimized beaten up. there was the incident here in mcdonald's where the girls pulverized this one young lady. >> beating. >> and 200 people stood around and didn't do anything. the fact is, you can't hold bystanders legally responsible unless they're under a legal duty to provide assistance when they see someone being beaten. it's going to take people coming together and standing up and intervening. in this case, spring break, these are kids, people sometimes don't want to intervene. they're afraid of what could happen to them. when you have this many people around standing around doing nothing, it is highly disturbing. >> bradford quick yes or yo. do you think this will change anything? >> yes. 100%. i think this isn't the spring break of old, this isn't where the boys are. this has gotten out of hand.
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i'm sure my college friends will call me later. this is not the spring break that i went on. i think the shootings are up three times in panama city. rape cases are doubled what they were in panama city. i think this is going to shut down spring break in panama city. >> okay, bradford cohen and faith jenkins. thank you. a canadian mom change her mind on the anti-vaccination movement after all seven of her children come down with whooping cough. and is there more to this than meets the eye? selective editing done on the part of the tow truck company. audible safety beeping audible safety beeping audible safety beeping the nissan rogue with safety shield technologies. the only thing left to fear is you imagination. nissan. innovation that excites.
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and do the same thing? i'm on television, and you're a [ bleep ] spoiler. >> cutting remark did. that tow truck company edit the industry make the espn reporter look even worse? and it's back. a big issue from recent presidential campaigns returns. but how are this year's contenders handling it? hey everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." a bit past 1:00 in the east 10:00 a.m. out west. dramatic video overnight capturing the moment a fast-moving wildfire sent the horses and owners scrambling to evacuate southern california. the fire has burned hundreds of acres near chino hills. nbc's jacob rascon has more on this fire. dramatic video there. >> reporter: very dramatic video. this morning, it isn't burning out of control like it was last night. you can still see the thick smoke for miles. this is burning in an area where
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a lot of folks own land and have horses, as you saw in the video. when the fire started around 6:00 p.m. yesterday, the winds were erratic, as see see this time of year. it started burning in an area miles from homes. the fire exploded and quickly grew to 300 acres within only hundreds of feet of some homes. and of course mandatory evacuations followed for about 300 homes. firefighters attacked it from the air and on the ground for hours. and then as they always do, they expect overnight that the winds will die down and the humidity will pick up giving the firefighters a chance to get containment lines around the homes. they often work harder when the wind is not strong when it's died down than they do when the wind subpoena. they're fourusely working on con -- they're furiously working on containment lines. overnight they that. they come back this morning and
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the winds have died down, evacuation orders lifted now. but just like yesterday, the winds are expected to pick up again around 5:00 and 6:00. they've got to work furiously again. as yesterday, that fire can explode. so those horses, as you view were evacuated to other areas nearby, other fields. you saute were all ready with their -- you saw there they were all ready with their trailers. they were scrambleing to get families and horses in the car. what a time. >> it's awful. it's one thing to see people leaving, but at least they have the understanding and you can reason with them and say, look time to get out. with these horses they're just so terrified. and i understand that area is also jacob, well known for an animal rescue clinic that they have. and they do a lot of work that way. do we know that all these animals are safe. >> reporter: we know the animals are safe and the people are safe. we know, in fact, that all of the structures are safe. if i can, i will also mention, as we know we're in the fourth year of an extreme drought.
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the basin where the fire started is supposed to be filled with water. and so part of the reason we have this fire at all is because we have this extreme drought. firefighters as well are working on water-saving measures. but their first priority is protecting life and property. so they just -- they let that fire have it with the water. again, the drought really, really is a problem. >> yeah absolutely. let's hope the santa ana winds cooperate and don't kick up too strongly, as you suggested they may this afternoon. thank you. and as jacob mentioned, the issue of water. coming up in about 20 minutes, a look at one possible solution to combat the drought. it is a system that produces fresh water, but some say it can cause even more environmental problems. a massive search and rescue operation is underway in the mediterranean sea after a migrant boat with up to 700 people on board capsized. it happened around midnight 120 miles south of the island of lampadusa, not far from libya.
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28 people have been rescued. 24 bodies have been recovered. officials expect the death toll will rise into the hundreds. the disaster could be one of the worst seen during the decades' long migrant crisis in the region. that ship was one of many carrying tens of thousands fleeing the violence in north africa and middle east for europe. a frightening video captured from an ohio police officer's body camera shows the tense moments the officer confronted a double-murder suspect charging at him. this video is getting a lot of attention as the officer dramatically -- it offers a dramatic wind into the everyday danger police officers face. it comes as the debate over body cameras heats up following the high-profile officer-involved shootings. stephanie gosk has more. pretty incredible video here. >> reporter: yeah, it really is, like. you know, it seems like we're seeing more and more video shot by police on body cameras or dash cameras. and in cases where there isn't police video people are wondering why. here you have a confrontation that ended well.
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an example not of excessive force but of remarkable restraint. [ siren ] get down on the ground! >> reporter: this arrest in suburban ohio could very easily have turned violent. >> put your hands up! get your hands up! >> reporter: a man suspected of murdering his fiancee and friend that same day charges a police officer who was wearing a body cam. >> i don't want to shoot you, man. i don't want to shoot you -- [ bleep ] [ bleep ] [ bleep ] >> don't do it man! [ bleep ] [ bleep ] [ bleep ] >> reporter: the officer is 27-year-old jesse kidder an iraq war veteran with a purple heart, but a rookie to the force. >> i was trying to open a dialogue with him. you know, i don't want to shoot you. get on the ground. he wasn't having it. [ bleep ] >> shoot me. shoot me! >> reporter: dispatch warned kidder that the murder suspect may try to get himself shot. and he may have a gun. >> be advised subject possibly has a weapon under the seat.
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could be suicide by cop. >> put his hand in a pocket there. my hand -- my eyes are watching that hand right now, and nothing else. >> reporter: backpedaling the entire time, kidder stumbles and falls. >> i'm thinking at this point that if he goes in to attack me i will have to use deadly force to welcome to myself. [ bleep ] >> get on the ground! >> reporter: backup arrived, the suspect was arrested, and no one was shot. >> for him to make the judgment call that he did shows great restraint. this officer would have been justified if in fact there was a shooting. >> reporter: confrontation took less than a minute captured on a body camera kidder started wearing on his own after the shooting of michael brown in ferguson, missouri. that incident among a string of others since have put police tactics and use of force in the spotlight. >> the difficulty is that you've got hundred of thousands of police officers in the country, some of them working in difficult conditions a country of guns. and for the most part they're doing a pretty good job. >> reporter: kidder says it was his time as a marine that helped
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him keep a level head. >> i wanted to be absolutely sure before i used deadly force. >> reporter: being sure in that split second can't be easy. stephanie gosk, nbc news new york. so like, i spoke with the officer over the phone and asked about the video. he says he turned it over to his police chief. it was the department that made it public. the police chief is looking to get funding for body cameras which cost about $110 each so every officer on his force can wear one. alex? >> i cannot believe the restraint that that officer showed. i mean you were here in the studio, and you could hear me. i was going, "what?" exclaiming -- it was remarkable. >> reporter: it is remarkable. it certainly is. but it also has people asking serious questions. if this string of cases that we've seen where police tactics have been under the spotlight, whether or not that is in some ways inhibiting police officers in the field and potentially putting themselves in danger. this obviously ended well. but that has a lot of people asking questions. >> important ones.
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thank you, stephanie gosk for the story. to politics and the long-delayed confirmation of loretta lynch to become the next attorney general. could move ahead early this week. lynch was nominated by the president to replace eric holder on november 8th of last year. tennessee republican senator bob corker said this morning that the senate is poised to move very soon on the nomination. >> my sense is over the next 48 to 72 hours, that is going to be resolved. and we'll move on to this iran issue. we have a number of things that i think are getting ready to hit the floor. this logjam that you're talking about over the nominee likely will be worked out in the beginning part of this week. >> nbc's kristin welker joins us from the white house again. senator corker said the nomination was tied up while they dealt with other legislation. what's the view at the white house? >> reporter: well, the white house thinks this is long overdue. they're not responding directly to senator corker. instead, white house officials point me to what president obama said this past week.
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during that press conference he said "enough. this is embarrassing." citing the fact that loretta lynch's nomination vote has been held up longer than the past seven attorney general nominees combined. president obama pointing to the fact that few people in congress have any real objection or any complaints it her actual record. now, i've been talking to aides on capitol hill who essentially say they do believe this issue will be dealt with this week. here's what's holding it up right now -- there is a sex trafficking bill republicans and democrats having a big fight over it. democrats are opposed to some of the language that relates to abortion in that piece of legislation. it looks like there has been some progress towards getting that passed. once that happens, that gets taken off the table. republicans who control the senate say they will move forward with bringing loretta lynch to a vote. what is also true, alex, is that the political pressure is mounting on republicans because if loretta lynch is confirmed
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she would be the first female african-american attorney general. and you have civil rights groups who have started to voice their opposition to the fact that her nomination vote has been held up for so long. you also have some republicans saying that she deserves a vote including republican presidential candidate jeb bush. so pressure mounting on all sides. so it seems likely that we will in fact see some progress on the loretta lynch vote this week. as you know in washington, it's not done until it's done. we will watch very closely. >> all right. not done until it's done. thank you. from there to the weather and the threat of severe weather in the south. powerful thunderstorms caused this hailstorm in oklahoma on saturday. and more bad weather on tap for today. the same storms are now moving east. the weather channel's alexandra steel with more. it, too, is not done until it's done. we've got a lot of severe weather. here's a look at the bigger picture. and right now, about 38 million
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people are under some sort of severe weather threat i.e. tornadoes, hail damaging winds. and one of the thing we're seeing are high precipitation super cells. a dump of rain. west of dough thand -- of dothan, we had 12 roads under water. that's a big concern, as well. here's atlanta points south, 75, i-20 big interstates, trouble on the roads here. here's a look at the picture. north and east you see that you will is moving north and east. also in addition to that we have a tornado watch, about five million under a tornado watch until 3:00 this afternoon. from atlanta to charleston and points north as well. and tornado watch, of course means that the atmosphere is right for tornadoes to develop. we will had reports of tornadoes. so these same cells moving here into the southeast have produced tornadoes prior. especially in alabama. under the gun earlier today. all right. here are the flood watches. flood watches means with this inundation of rain again, the
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ground is rat rated. even flood warnings -- saturated. even flood warnings, meaning we are seeing flooding. here's the movement of the whole thing. through the afternoon you see it move. it's not just the southeast. we're going to watch this move now into the northeast for tomorrow. with the potential for some strong storms. tornado, as well. here's a couple cities tonight. shreveport, alex memphis tupelo, mississippi. all have about a 40% for tornadoes tonight into tomorrow morning. >> pretty scary when those tornadoes come at nighttime, too. thank you for the heads up. appreciate that. it holds the promise of delivering fresh water to drought-ravaged california. there's a troubling catch. that's ahead. in the battle for the white house, the question that's dogged republicans resurfaces. how are they answering? and sudden regret. a stunning development make a woman change her mind about not vaccinating her seven children. ♪ where do you get this kind of confidence? at your ford dealer... that's where! our expert trained technicians...
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now political headlines. hillary clinton is taking her listening tour to new hampshire. on monday, she'll kick off her first campaign visit there with two roundtable discussions with students educators, and business leaders. just like she did in iowa last week. her two-day swing through the first in the nation state comes on the heels of a republican leadership summit featuring 19 potential presidential candidates. and they piled it on their potential rival. >> when i listen to this president, people like hillary clinton, i think they've got it all backwards. somehow they seem to think the way to grow the economy is to grow washington. >> like hillary clinton, i, too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe. unlike mrs. clinton, i know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment. [ applause ] >> i was starting to worry that when hillary clinton travels, there needs to be two planes. one for her and her entourage, and one for her baggage. >> we heard that a few times
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now. joining me howard dean former dnc chairman, and msnbc contributor and former bush/cheney solar adviser. good to see you both. governor, i want your honest assessment here. how did hillary clinton do on this first 2013 effort? did it feel at all orchestrated for you? >> i think it's great and not orchestrated. in full disclosure, i endorsed hillary clinton very a variety of reasons. i think she's the most competent person to be the next president. here's what's going. on the media has a big jones about hillary clinton. and they have for a while. they will have to get used to. she's delivering her message in the controlled way she wants to and doesn't want the media to speak for her. i think that's a good idea. i think this is, as they say, in 1988 when you do carbon monoxide ran, the field was seven on the democratic side, they called him
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the seventh dwarf. this is the 19 midgets. they have a long way to go. i'll see this rhetoric. the real candidate is on the other side of the aisle, and we'll see who comes out to oppose her. >> okay. before i get to roshtd robert, i want to ask how difficult is to t to project authenticity when a campaign must be stage managed? is it incumbent on the candidate to cast off some of the rigidness? >> hillary's main quality is not her ability to campaign. it's her ability to manage. a quality that none of the other candidates h. even the governor who i in general favor as a president, don't have management ability that she has. she's run an enormous number of things and -- there is nobody with the qualifications she has and certainly nobody with foreign policy experience. at the end of the day, i think people want a competent president. and i think that's what hillary clinton will be. >> okay.
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robert, 19 declared and potential gop candidates in the granite state this weekend. did any of them distinguish themselves in any significant way? >> i think the only two people that really distinguished themselves was governor bush former governor bush of florida, but also governor walker. as governor dean said a few minutes ago, the governors are unique. i respectfully disagree with him when he said that hillary clinton has managed something. being secretary of state clearly are you in charge of the state department. but your job obviously is to be america's diplomat around the world. and you have deputy secretaries running the day-to-day management of the department. with the governor as governor dean knows, are you accountable directly to the people and are running a multi billion dollar organization. so i think governor walker and also former governor bush really did stand out on many different ways from a policy standpoint but also from a substantive standpoint. >> okay. but in terms of governor walker robert, one of the issues that emerged this weekend for the gop was marriage equality. let's listen to casey hunt, posing a question to governor walker.
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>> would you attend a gay wedding? >> well, in terms of -- that's certainly a personal issue. for a family member i had a family member who's had a reception. i haven't gone a wedding but -- that's truly been my position on marriage is still that it's defined between a man and a woman. i support the constitution of the state. but for someone i love we've been at a reception. >> so is he hedging a bit there? saying look i'll attend a reception of someone i love not necessarily the wedding. and how big of an issue do you think this will be in 2016? >> well, two things. one, i think he's speaking his truth. he's telling the truth when obviously he said he feels strongly about marriage equality. however -- this is the case with most americans -- i know someone or knew someone that's close to me. so therefore, i wanted to support these two people who consent actually have fallen in love and wanted to join in a union. we know the supreme court most likely will rule in this favor
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come june. we also know that this is probably going to be an issue not only for republicans but also -- let's remind ourselves that secretary clinton shifted on the issue over the last years, along with president obama. it's not just a republican or democrat issue, it is an american issue that i think all presidential candidates are probably going to have to answer sometime this summer. lastly, alex it's been unbelievable how the numbers have been shifted in such a quick way when it comes to marriage equality. just -- seven or eight years ago, we were having a very different conversation about how americans were uneasy about marriage equality. and clearly, the country has shifted in a very quick way. simply because the vast majority of people have said wait a minute, my cousin's gay, or robert trainem's gay, or my brother's gay and i see that this is not a threat to my tradition marriage. i see that is someone truly in love with his or her partner. what's wrong with that? that is under the constitution when it comes to life, liberty,
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and the pursuit of happiness. >> okay. chairman, is it important for hillary clinton to get a tough primary challenge? would that steele steal her for a general election -- would that steal her for a general election? former governor o'malley openly criticized her. listen to what he said about her new stance on marriage equality and the issue of driver licenses for undocumented immigrant. >> i'm glad secretary clinton has come around to the right positions on these issues. i believe that we are best as a party when we lead according to our principles and not according to the polls. every election is about the future. and leadership is about making the right decision and the best decision before sometimes it t becomes entirely popular. >> has hillary clinton left herself open to criticism from the left? >> i think -- every time you run for anything you're always going to be open to criticizing from anybody who wants to criticize you. let me make it clear, i really like martin o'malley a lot, and he supported me when i was
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running for president. my default position was to support those who support me. so there's going to be a lively exchange. i not elizabeth warren, even though she's not running, has had an enormous influence on the race already. and so, i don't know if hillary will have a primary. she probably will. this is the most important issue -- position in the world. so i suspect she will. i suspect she's going to have a primary whether somebody's declared or not. and libya warren is a good example of that. i agree this will likely come down to jeb bush and scott walker, if walker can unify the conservatives early, i think he could beat jeb bush. the problem is this -- it is true that they were governors. bush's record on education in florida is controversial. scott walker took over wisconsin when it had the 12th strong estest economy in all of the states. now it's 40th in all the state. being governor, not only can you not vote on the side of every
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issue as you can in the senate or house, you have to be accountable for your record. they both have records which are going to be disputable. i think one is going to get the nomination. >> all right. gentlemen, unfortunately we are out of time. good to see you both as always. thank you. >> thank you. we wanted to let you know that chris matthews will bring an exclusive one-on-one interview with president obama. tuesday night at 7:00 eastern here on msnbc. it's a fresh approach to california's water crisis. why are some environmentalists worried? i can't find my discover card! wait, i can freeze my account. [touch tone] introducing freeze it, from discover. it allows you to prevent new purchases on your account in seconds if your card is misplaced. not here... ♪ and once you find your card, you can switch it right on again. hey...you're back! [touch tone] freeze it, only from discover. get it at discover.com.
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californians today are facing difficult choices as the state enters its fourth year of drought. the state imposed and revised some wide-ranging water restrictions as residents learn to cope with the new reality of less and less water. some options available are expensive and could have an environmental cost. let's bring in the mayor of carmel by the sea, jason burnett. and mayor, it's great to talk
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with. my first question -- how badly has your picture-perfect town of carmel been affected by the drought? >> well, we're in the same situation as the rest of the state. fortunately, we've been working on water conservation for many years and have now reduced our per capita consumption down to a remarkable 50-gallons per person per day which is roughly 1/3 of the state average. >> that is remarkable. i'd like to talk about your position as head of the regional water authority, as well. what is the authority doing to guarantee an uninterrupted water supply? >> we, the water authority, represent the six cities on the monterreyy peninsula. we are focused on bringing forward a portfolio of water supply projects for the drought and for the state-imposed cutbacks on the primary water source the carmel river. >> big projects like desalination plants currently
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being built. there's one in southern california that could go into operation this year. you've said you've become an unlikely supporter of desalination. kbha what what are the upsides and downsides? >> i'm a supporter in certain circumstances. we've found on the peninsula, the time is right for desalination. it will hopefully be the largest new component of our water supply. that's because we've already exhausted all other options. water conservation and other water supply sources. the problems with desalination are threefold. first of all from a drought perspective, it takes years to plan permit and build a desalination plant. so to doesn't help with a short-term drought. second desalination programs are expensive to built and operate. they require a lot of energy. and most other water supply sources are far cheaper than
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desalination. third, desalination plants are environmentally problematic if done done right. you have to figure out how to bring in the saltwater without harming marine life. you need to feel -- figure out how to address the large energy depends without increasing your carbon footprint, and you need figure out how to responsibly dispose of the brine created without letting it create dead zones on the bottom of the ocean floor. >> yeah. if not desalination then what are some other viable options? do you see any? >> well i would encourage other communities to look at the successes we've had here on the monterrey peninsula. a water conservation has been our largest success to date. we use roughly 1/3 of the state average. and we do it and are still able to maintain a good quality of life for our residents and our businesses businesses. >> and how do you monitor that? >> well there are a variety of initiatives that have been put
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into place over the years to promote water conservation, to provide incentives for water conservation and to require water conservation. really is a coordinated effort. there's no single silver bullet here. >> is there a sense that a huge rainy season just one would turn around the effects that have ravaged the state of california with this drought? or does it take more than that? >> it's going to take more than that certainly for us and most of the state. this is not something where one rainy season is going to get us out of the situation we're in. and really in my mind, what we need to be doing is more water conservation and then pursuing a variety of water supply options. and desalination can sometimes be part of the mix. but it is not the panacea that some people think it might be. >> yeah. for a lot of the reasons you suggested there. well jason burnett, mayor of carmel by the sea. thank you very much. i'm glad you guys are doing so
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well with your local conservation efforts. thanks. a new report suggests the video of that end special reporter was edited by the towing garage. it would matter anyway? and "star wars." chow celebrities make a different -- difference to combat global poverty? ♪ you're only young once. unless you have a subaru. (announcer) the subaru xv crosstrek. symmetrical all-wheel drive plus 34 mpg. love. it's what makes a subaru a subaru. it took tennis legend serena williams, fencing champion tim morehouse and the rockettes years to master their craft. but only moments to master paying bills at chase.com.
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..with just enough sweetness. ...multi grain cheerios. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." how it to the controversy over an espn reporter's rant at a towing company. brit mchenry is serving a one-week suspension after the company released a video ten days after the incident. our reporter for the "washington post" has been following the story. okay, paul i know you've heard this. a lot of people say she should have been suspended. others say look, it had nothing to do with her job. what is your sense of the public sentiment? >> i think the public sentiment is overwhelmingly against her. this was just boorish behavior, people recognize it as that. there aren't too many people on the other side saying this is excusable. it is sort of appalling, and
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hard to justify. >> i got to see our twitter responses yesterday were overwhelmingly against letting her keep her job. but "us" magazine is reporting the video was actually edited by the towing company to make her look bad as opposed to it being any sort of a two-way government between brit and the parking attendant. nbc has not verified independently this report. what do you make of this? >> i don't know if it was edited. if you watch the tape, there are gaps and jumps that suggest it might have been. i can't say that that was the case. i would also cut to the chase here and say even if it was edited, how would it be edited to justify the kinds of things she's saying? i find it difficult to get a context going that would suggest that she was completely in the right for saying the things she did. >> yeah. yeah. what about the argument that, look, she wasn't on the job so it their shouldn't affect her -- so this shouldn't affect her job? >> as professionals in any
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field, we have a standard of behavior. we represent our organizations. this is, as the military would say, conduct unbecoming. particularly when you're on television as anybody who's watched television knows, you are in the public eye. and you have to live up to the standards. i guess some level you're being watched all the time. in this case particularly, she knew she was being taped. she knew she was being recorded. she still wasn't ahead with the ugly rant anyway. >> that element, you're right. there's a slaps of judgment that which can't be denied. how about her ability to bounce back from this? do you think she can? >> i think we have a short attention span at america. i think probably she can, but anybody who's been paying close attention, next time they see her, they will say, that was the woman involved in the videotape. i remember her. i don't like her very much.
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you know there's some element that's going to make us say i don't understand why espn still puts her back on the air. i won't argue that a week is too little or too much. but the fact is that she is being punished for her behavior. she's got to live with that. >> the sentiments of so many that she should be fired. do you think that espn has reason to comply with those sendments? >> espn has a long history of suspending people. there's almost 30 people in the last 15 years or so that they've suspended usually for just this sort of thing. saying something unpleasant saying something that the person later regretted either on the air or, in some cases, off the air like this case. espn at least is fairly consistent that if you step out of line, you'll be punished. the way you'll be punished is a suspension. sometimes the suspension is worse than one week might be 30 days might be three weeks.
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nevertheless they're consistent about suspending people. >> all right. thanks thanks, paul. tens of thousands turned out on the mall to listen to music with a message. the gloel of the global citizen earth day rally was to building attention to global poverty to global change. we sent ronan farrow to washington. >> a dirty job. somebody's got to do it. >> you looked like you were having fun frat newsing with talented people -- fratnizing with talented people. all with a great message. >> we talked before about there's skepticism with events like this, but it generates discussion on the earth day celebration. the imf and world bank were having their meetings coinciding with the time period. president of the world bank jim kim, was there. a lot of ears that matter. and people capable of pouring more money into the core issues on the table at this event. ending poverty by 2030, around the world. of course, that's a big goal
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that's no small thing. what was interesting is those goals filtered down in a detailed way even to the acts on stage. not policy people, but this a lot of cases people with a very personal commitment to these issues and certain facets of the issues in particular. education was one big theme. i talked to two people for whom that's one of their main passions. take a look. kwh which of the global citizen issues that people are talking about on stage as you host do you connect with most? >> poverty in stricken areas. that could mean a lot of times when you say you want to end poverty in stricken areas, people don't realize that education in those areas are a part of ending poverty. just dumping money, eventually it's going to be used up. giving them skill sets to then, you know fix the neighborhood issues themselves as well as sustain the money that's given
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to them, poverty is the one that hits me the hardest. >> reporter: you mentioned of all the issues being championed that a concert like this poverty, women's rights that education is what hits home for you. >> well, there's not one more important than another. >> reporter: making a special effort on education. fascinating. you thought this was a mentorship. why mentorship? what in you weather expertconnection -- what in you connects with that? >> it's a passion of my own. i some n some way felt like the most influential role model for a child is a child. when i started at a youngidge age -- young age, i wanted to do something impactful and created a foundation that does the same. that allows our young men and women to lead the charge. it's not just me or a board of individuals making decisions. they're also involved and actually leading the camps, they're going out speaking to the kids to make them understand, hey, listen there's so many thing you can do. first, you got to get an
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education. you want to be a future leader, here's how you have to think. here's what you have to do. here's what it takes to motivate you. those words, those ideas of encouragement make a difference. >> and alex, it's a personal fight for those individuals in particular. will i. am grew up in rough circumstances, his mother made sure he office a bus to the palisades to get a better educational system. he's doing mentorship in neighborhoods like the one he grew up in. usher, his dad left when he was young. the mentorship is important to him. that was on stage and in front of the world leaders in the audience, as well. >> extremely cool. education, i believe, at the root of all of it. >> a core of a lot of the problems. >> thank you. good to see you. >> always a pleasure. in a moment what made a mother of seven realize she made a big mistake by not vaccinating all of her children? wait until you hear what happened.
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as the debate over vaccines continues to play out across the country, the story of a canadian mother who at one time refused to vaccinate her children is making headlines. she abruptly reversed her stance after all seven of her kids came down with the whooping cough. tara hill shared her story in a post she wrote early this morning for the scientific parent blog that's since gone viral. she describes being in quarantine with her sick children fortune over a week at their home in ottawa saying she was "lifting the consequences of misinformation and fear." and tara hills is joining me now via skype. tara, with the welcome, first of all, how are you and the kids doing? >> we're doing a lot better thanks so much, alex. >> glad to know that. you guys are better but there all started, there was a game night with family back in march? what happened? >> well, in march the kids started come -- >> yeah you guys, i did say we're on skype. this will probably come back up in a minute. but i will say -- she's back. let's go with you tara. >> i'm back.
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>> good. so i understand you partially vaccinated your oldest three but not the younger four right? >> that's right. >> so what made you decide ton vaccinate them? >> we started hearing conflicting information on line and from friends. we got spooked and stopped. >> so you wrote that for years your relatives had tried to persuade you to reconsider through e-mails and links. and that just irritated you. and people can continue to read along what you post thursday on your blog. but you -- why do you think so many parents despite what is the consensus in the medical community are skeptical to the research regarding vaccines? >> well, there's been 30 years of conflict. it seems like there's a lot of smoke, and there must be a fire. >> in the interview, you wrote that parents who are hesitant "can be reached if the right people use the right approach." what's the right approach?
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>> in my experience, it was someone treating me like an intellectual equal who did in fact care about her children but had serious concerns and questions. >> >> what about a doctor? do you not trust a doctor's advice? >> at first, i didn't. i realized that i was being prejudice and needed to set aside my fears and biases. >> what's the message that you want to give to other parents like yourself who have questions and who, by your own account, may be listening to misinformation? >> i would encourage them to go ahead and write their questions down, start looking for answers. be very careful to check your sources. >> okay. tara hills, i know you're on skype, but i'm glad to get your situation. thank you for talking with us. i'm glad your kids are healthy and well. >> thanks. opening the doors to elite colleges for those who can't afford it.
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bring economic diversity to american colleges. this month, a foundation in virginia announced it would award $1 million prize to reward a college that excels in re regarding and graduating low income families. vassar is one of many colleges that has announced plans to increase low income enrollment. joining me now is a student at the highly reviewed college. welcome, troy. i want to talk about you being an example of what works. i understand you did not learn to read until you were 14 years old, and yet, something happened that changed your life. talk about that. >> well i couldn't read until i was 14 years old. most times, i tell people until i was 12. actually 14 because my reading level was assessed on the first grade level. i think that change happened when i joined the church. i realized that you know my friends were going down the wrong road.
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seemed as if they pulled the card and they'd end up in prison, some ended up dead at an early age. really, it was learning these morals and virtues that the bible teaches us. love thy neighbor. work really hard to the best of your ability. those things changed me. >> you've worked hard at your academics as well. you don't get there without things going on in a positive way. michelle obama hailed your efforts and talked about college track, this group. tell me about that. >> college track is an afterschool academic support program that recruits high school students. students that are like rising 9th graders. they give them tutoring. to go through act testing. they give them a scholarship. it's a scholarship that helps students while they're in college, if they need extra funding or money.
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also, college track not only helps students with these scholarships, but they guide them in the right career path. they'd bring people to the college track program. >> that is so helpful. such a practical way. i'm curious, when you were growing up the attitude of your friends about going to college, what was that like? >> well they weren't interested. some was interested but they thought it would be hard for them because they didn't have enough money to get into college. because they wasn't as privileged as some kids they know. >> they gave up early? >> they didn't give up. they tried their best to get high scores. they worked hard but the money wasn't there. and i believe that -- like i talked to one of my cousins -- they were afraid thought they wasn't as smart as any other student at the college. but i kind of blocked that all out of my head and said you know what i'll just do it. i'll go and try my best. i'm a junior now. >> you are a junior at one of
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the most prestigious skills. thank you for being an inspiration. we're going to follow you. i think you're going places. thanks. >> thank you. that wraps up weekends with alex witt. up next, meet the press. heel right from your very hands... ...this isn't that car. the first and only car with direct adaptive steering. ♪ the 328 horsepower q50 from infiniti. when it comes to good nutrition...i'm no expert. that would be my daughter -- hi dad. she's a dietitian. and back when i wasn't eating right, she got me drinking boost. it's got a great taste and it helps give me the nutrition i was missing. helping me stay more like me. [ female announcer ] boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein
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you roam free. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance you switch to geico. it's what you do. ♪ two wheels a turnin'... ♪ this sunday off and running. republicans in new hampshire taking on hillary. >> when hillary clinton travels, there needs to be two planes. one for her and her entourage and one for her baggage. >> clinton trying to prove she still can't stop thinking about tomorrow. >> we need to be, we have to be number one again. >> but is yesterday really gone? >> and could we see a presidential announcement right here on the show? >> plus breaking through the noise. that gyrocopter incident, the flying mailman certainly got people talking, just not about what he wanted to be talking about. >> and lots of people are having fun with hillary's new logo. guess what? show are we.

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