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tv   MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts  MSNBC  April 22, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm PDT

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preschooler can understand gender identity? head to pulse.msnbc.com to let us know what you think. we start with developing news in paris. prosecutors say the heightened state of watch has been extended for 48 hours now. it came as official said they were able to stop a potential terrorist attack in its tracks. the suspect is now in custody. officials say a 24-year-old computer science student was planning an attack on one or perhaps even two churches but was prevented from going through with the attack after he accidently shot himself in the leg. >> we know that this man possessed multiple weapons so he was thinking of getting rid of them by throwing them in the river, in the seine. he hurt himself, we think, and wasn't able to. he actually shot a gun, a bullet into his leg.
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>> nbc's kelly cobiella has been following this for us from london. at this point, what more do we know about the suspect and what he was planning? >> reporter: well, as you say, he was planning to attack two churches according to prosecutors, possibly on sunday morning. they say they found a stockpile of loaded guns in his car outside his apartment building along with ammunition a bulletparagraph vest, two bullet proofvests formy, and -- bullet proof vest two bullet proof vests potentially, and recovered phones from his home. they believe he was talking to someone who could have been in syria, but they were very careful to say there was no immediate evidence he had any direct ties to any organized groups outside or inside the country. they also, craig, say they've linked him to the murder of a 32-year-old woman near one of the churches sunday morning. she was found dead in her car from a bullet wound. a security official tells the
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associated press she appears to have been a random victim. >> was he under surveillance at all? i know there was talk a few years ago that he was being surveilled. do we know whether that's true? >> reporter: we don't believe he was under any formal surveillance. he had been marked as sort of a risk after indicating that he had some interest in going to syria. he had been checked on a couple of time. french prosecutors say there was no reason in either of those cases to arrest him. that he hadn't committed a crime. >> kelly cobiella following all of this from london. we'll check on you again later. thank you. today the penalty phase in the trial of dzhokhar tsarnaev is in its second day. witnesses testified this morning about the death of mit officer sean collier including his father, police chief. collier died in the manhunt for tsarnaev and his brother. the jury heard from eric waily, a 67-year-old moon who said he had -- man who said he had between 2 and0 and 25 surgery.
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and some arguing for the release of john hinckley jr. from the mental hospital. since 2013 he's been allowed to leave washington st. elizabeth's hospital for 17 days a month to stay with his mother in virginia. hinckley's lawyer insists he's no longer dangerous. prosecutors oppose his release saying he has a history of deceptive behavior when he's been on the leaves. to baltimore now. more demonstrations planned for later today over the death of freddie gray. at least 1,000 people took to the streets yesterday in peaceful demonstrations calling for answers and demanding accountability. gray's mother and other family took part in the march. meanwhile, the department of justice has opened the civil rights investigation into the death of the 25-year-old. it is just one of four investigations into the incident at this point. that's according to the "baltimore sun" which includes an independent review. police have already suspended six officers with pay. in an exclusive interview with nbc affiliate wbal police
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commissioner an anthony batts says the investigation will take time. >> if i was a parent and that was my child that i lost i would be concerned. i want to know and want to react. our job is also to have balance and not to rush to a conclusion. >> adam vooes live-- adam reece is live in baltimore. what more can you tell us where the investigation stands? >> reporter: good afternoon. the just department opening their investigation. i can tell you that is welcome news here in baltimore as they just don't trust the police here to police themselves. last night about 1,000 protesters marched from the location where freddie gray was arrested to the local police department in west baltimore chanting "black lives matter" and "justice for freddie gray." they want to know how is it possible that he could have suffered such a severe spinal cord injury that resulted in his death in what appeared to be a routine arrest. for his part the commissioner has been going door to door
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meeting with local residents trying to calm tensions. it's a community that has a long running fight with the police department. six officers on administrative leave including a lieutenant sergeant, and three others. the baltimore police department promising a thorough and transparent investigation. craig? >> adam in baltimore. thank you. the new mayor of the small town of part amissouri, faces a police shortage after five of its six officers walked off the job citing "safety concerns." tyrus bird is the town's first-ever black female mayor. the police department has not responded to multiple requests for more than for comment. but a former assistant police chief told the "st. louis post dispatch" that he resigned because he assumed that his job was in jeopardy. some people in parma think that race may be playing a role here. >> are they -- they're trying to make like it's race, but it's
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just coming about. >> if they're racists they need to get over it. >> a story we're following closely. we'll have much more coming up the next hour. switching gears now to a story by nbc news that is getting a lot of attention. correspondent kate snow brought us this moving story about transgender children. she followed jacob, a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted preschooler with two sisters. but it wasn't always this way. in the beginning, his parents were raising three daughter. >> i remember crying because i -- i imagined her being on the playground and nobody playing with her. imagined her going through high school not having a date. honestly, still worry about that because i think we have a long way to go as a society to accept transgender people. i feel we're on the way. >> we'll have much more on this story, as well, in the next hour. i'm going to talk to jacob's parents here at about 2:30 on more than live. this story, as you might
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imagine, getting a lot of buzz on line. we wanted to make it the topic of our bing pulse question today. frances with more. a lot of folks talking about the story over the past, you know 20, 24 hours. >> a lot of controversy coming out of it. some debate on what you would do if you were in the situation. we're asking viewers at home if you think a preschooler can understand gender identity. we launched the ebola ten minutes ago. we want to bring you where we're standing now. the scoreboard shows people how you are responding in real time minute by minute. so far, 69% say no. 31% of you say yes. and we invite you to keep voting here as far as do you think a preschooler can understand gender identity. the majority here so far saying no. pulse.msnbc.com is where you can continue to vote this afternoon. >> frances, thank you. we'll ask the parents about the
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response to that story. has been overwhelming. let's go back to st. louis. the new mayor of parma, missouri facing a police shortage. five of the six police officers walked off the job, citing safety concerns. steven deer is with the "st. louis post dispatch" and joins me via skype. you know you're familiar with what folks are saying out there. town's first black female mayor. all of a sudden you've got cops that quit. a lot of folks saying it's race. some other folks saying that there's something else at work here. what can you tell us? >> well, you're right. some say it's race. there's actually four cops that walked off the job, not -- not five. it was four of the city's six police officers. the safety concerns go back to that some of the cops think that, they say they've had run-ins with members of her extended family.
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and -- >> what kind of run-ins? >> they've arrested a couple of her cousins in the past apparently. they saw some facebook message that to them indicate that those individuals would be allowed to do what they want. and the cops wouldn't be able to do their jobs. >> what kind of facebook messages? >> you know, one -- assistant police chief actually did some screen shots and sent them to me. they were fairly innocuous messages. they were message like simply congratulating the new mayor on winning election. one of them did mention with the police chief and assistant police chief live. not their addresses but the towns. that scared the assistant breech. >> the picture is the new mayor in parma tyrus bird. the department has not responded to us yet. have they given you any
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timetable, whether we could learn more about their decision walk off, those four folks? >> you know, i only spoke to the assistant police chief, rich medley. what he told me was what i told you, that they were worried about her extended family being able to do whatever they wanted to. >> they're not coming back? >> oh no. no. he flat out said no, he didn't planning on coming back. i don't think anyone expects him to come back. >> steven deer "st. louis post dispatch," thank you very much, sir. >> you're welcome. coming up "hard ball's" chris matthews will join me on set one day after interviewing president obama. we'll talk about what the president said about iran, about trade, also talk about some other things, as well. also politics at play. the findings of a republican-led investigation into hillary clinton's response to the deadly 2012 attack in benghazi libya, delayed. we'll tell you when the report is now expected to come out. also, ben affleck speaking
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out about his slave-owning ancestors. why he says he tried to keep his history a secret.
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more air strikes launched in yemen despite the announcement of the end to the air campaign yesterday. two ships headed to the water off yemen. their official role to protect shipping lanes. also reportedly, it's to show support for the saudi-led initiative to support yemen's government. yemen is home to a proxy war between the saudis and iran which support the rebel houthis. in his interview with president obama tuesday more than's chris matthews asked the president about iran's role in yemen's civil war. >> mr. president, we're all watching what's going on with the iranian navy. how do we -- it seems like the old cuban missile crisis where we're trying to send signal back
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and forth. what signal are you sending as commander in chief to the iranians? >> we've been actually straightforward to them. right now, their ships are in international waters. there's a reason why we keep some of our ships in persian gulf region, and that is to make sure that we maintain navigation. and what we've said to them is that if there are weapons delivered to factions within yemen that could threaten navigation that's a problem. and we're not sending them obscure messages, we send them direct messages about it. >> chris mathews is host of " "hardball" on msnbc every night at 7:00. did you get a sense of how involved the president is prepared to get in this proxy war? >> yeah, and i was surprised -- he uses the rationale protecting navigable water. he's clearly saying we're doing what we have a right to do as a major power to keep waterways open. as you listen, it sounded more like rationale for taking sides
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against the iranian allies. >> how much more difficult does all of this make the nuclear deal to? will. >> it doesn't -- to whom? to the ayatollah? i think the ayatollah is messing with us. of course i think with regards to bringing in the s300s, the surface-to-air missiles they're using. they're doing a lot of thing that make this difficult. and i think that the question is the president's still pushing forward. and there are people in iran who want the deal. and there are people in iran who don't want the deal as there are here. if you look at this issue and the trading issue with the pacific rim countries, the president is try willing to be bigger. trying to be like jack kennedy. let's expand our relations in the world positively. not with power. stop using military power everywhere we go, try to expand the united states influence in the islamic world establish potentially down the road a better relationship with iran. try to expand our relationships with asian countries, pacific countries.
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and challenge to china which is peaceful. it's peaceful competition is what he's trying to do. >> let's switch to hillary clinton for just a second before i let you get out of here. campaign, ten days old now. what's your assessment so far? >> no harm done yet. no great shakes yet. you know. no great shakes and no harm done is a pretty good assessment. >> if you're not failing, you're succeeding. what do you make of the meetings that she's having round table discussions, you have yet to see her in front of a large group. >> i think it's language training, to be blunt. gradually getting used to the conversation, you and i are engaged in this all the time. if you're in the public affairs world, a journalist or the other side politicians, you're constantly talking about this, you're carefully learning how to talk. you're not making a fool of yourself. people that join the conversation out of nowhere have a harder time. she's not a natural like bill clinton is. bill can do it blindfolded. he can show up. where am i? mars. great, what do you do here? he'd be dancing in mars, doing everything up there.
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but i don't think she's a natural. i think she's smart as hell. but the question is how does she -- she has to define herself. the democratic party's angry now. it's easy to fall into the column on the left and talk like elizabeth warren and be angry about wealth at the top. talk about the 1%. get really angry at like some labor guys have previously all the time. she could do that, but that will kill her for the general election probably. she also can't look too much like a moderate, like somebody's too nice and can't be the way things are, a rich woman. she has to find the right hybrid somewhere between a change agent and a person who can win the center in the election when it comes around. personally, if i were a campaign manager, i'd be going for 55% in 2016, bring in the house bring back the senate, get things done. if she squeaks in, left wing candidate, 50.2%, she'll lose the house, lose the senate and they'll screw her. they'll hurt her as bad as they can.
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make sure she get nothing done. i would think the center left is where she belongs. move in close enough to the senator to -- the senate to take the house back which is doable. and if you don't do, it we've seen presidents come in -- actually haven't seen a president come in with no power in congress. that would be difficult for her. >> chris matthews, always a pleasure. thank you very much. of course, "hardball" every night, 7:00 eastern on msnbc. today, earth day, by the way. president obama marking the occasion with his first presidential trip to the everglades. just moments ago, mr. obama arrived in miami. he is expected to talk later today about the threat of climate change to the u.s. economy. the white house says that this trip is also an effort to raise the climate change debate. on this earth day, msnbc and nuns universal are celebrates -- and nbc universal are celebrating are the reduction of food waste in the environment. right now, msnbc correspondent tom colicchio, hostation chat to talk about the no food wasted campaign. there he is.
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you see him on twitter. you can join by tweeting your questions with the hash tag #nofoodwasted to @tomcolicchio. there it is on the screen. you can learn more about food waste and rescue by watching the u.s. premiere of the documentary "just eat it." that's tonight, 10:00 on msnbc. still ahead, a humane way to die or untested method? msnbc's rachel maddow will join me here on set to preview oklahoma's new method of lethal execution that involves zero scientists. when we come back jacob's story. the compelling look at a controversial and courageous decision one family is making for their 5-year-old transgender child. the subject of our bing pulse question of the day, do you think that a preschooler can even understand gender identity? vote at pulse.msnbc.com.
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breaking news. terrifying moments in buffalo, new york. a skywest airlines flight from chicago's o'hare was headed to hartford, connecticut. it was forced to make an emergency landing. tom costello covers aviation for nbc news. the details here are frightening. >> reporter: here's what happened. this was skywest flight 5622. 5622, coming from chill ord to brad -- chicago ord to brad lead in connecticut. apparently they suffered a rapid decompression event at altitude. what appears to have happened is they started to lose their main cabin door. at least that began to open up. and in that process, the cabin began to lose pressure. we are told that there were several passengers who may have lost consciousness because of that rapid decompression event. as a result, the flight skywest 5622 diverted to buffalo, did not continue on to bradley. diverted to buffalo. there was an emergency landing there, buffalo airport fire rescue met the aircraft.
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and everybody was evacuated safely. so again, this occurred the flight left ord, left chicago o'hare at 9:14 central time, 10:14 east coast time. they made a landing in buffalo at 11:40 a.m. east coast time. so all of this happening within the past hour and a half, two hours or so. everybody on board this 170 is safe. this is about 130-seat passenger plane. flight 5622 with a rapid decompression event in the air at altitude. and we're told several passengers lost consciousness. everybody now is on the ground, and they are being treated. and everybody we're told is safe. back to you. >> quickly this main cabin door that opened, at this point any idea -- i know it's early. any idea how that door wound up partially open? >> we're told that this may have been some mechanical problem. a mechanical issue that current up. and we don't know if it wasn't
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closed properly or if the latch didn't hold. we simply don't have the details to that. as you might expect this is kind of a worst-case scenario. thankfully they didn't completely -- it would appear now didn't completely lose the door because at altitude that can result in -- in passengers and objects even being sucked out of the plane. that does not appear to have happened in this case. instead what happened is a rapid loss of cabin pressure which forced this emergency landing, the cabin declared an emergency captain declaring an emergency, and landing in buffalo. >> tom costello for us in d.c. tom, we know you will ton follow this. we'll check in with you later. thank you. yesterday, we shared this story of jacob lemay. the 5-year-old transgender child, jacob's parents had a very difficult decision to make when the young daughter they were raising insisted that she wanted to live as a boy. nbc national correspondent kate snow has the very personal story.
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>> reporter: when the lemay family windyent to disney world, they let their son dress as prince charming. >> everybody was saying he's so cute. he was freaking happy, being perceived as he wanted to. >> reporter: what he wanted was to be a little boy. jacob is transjected gender. do you know what transgender means? >> yeah. >> reporter: what does it mean? >> you're a girl then you want to be a boy or you're a boy, then you want to be a girl. >> reporter: like jacob, at birth joe and mimi named jacob mia. >> ready to blow on the candle? >> reporter: but by age 2, their middle child was saying "i'm a boy." >> he was talking about hating his body. he was saying, "why did god make me this way? is god stupid?" >> reporter: he rejected the matching dress mimi dressed her three girls in and it wasn't just the clothes. >> when people would give him
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things or speak to him, "what a good girl you are," you could see him flinch withdraw. and that never wavered. >> reporter: when someone braupt the term transgender, mimi and joe were terrified worried about their child's future. >> i remember crying because i imagined her being in the playground and nobody playing with her. as shy of going through high school -- as she was going through high school, not having dates. i'm using "her," because that's what she was at the time. now it sounds odd to say her. >> reporter: driving home with the kids, mimi nearly had a terrible car accident. >> i said to myself, if this was the moment where i lost her, what would i have wanted to have done? would i have wanted to force her to be mia for that one last day? and i think at that point my mind was made up. >> reporter: last june, they showed jacob a video about another transgender little boy.
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what did you think when you saw that? >> i thinking about transgender wasn't so bad after all. >> reporter: after watching the video over and over again, they gave their 4-year-old a choice. >> i explained to him that we can bring you to a new school, and everyone will know you as a boy from the beginning. >> reporter: what did you say to your mom and dad? >> i wanted to be a boy. >> reporter: he was only 4 when you made the transition. some people are going to say that's really young. how can you be sure, how could he be sure? >> he'd already spent half of his life telling us that he was a boy. >> reporter: he hasn't had any medical procedures -- >> no -- >> reporter: not on hormones? >> way too soon for that. >> way too soon for that. >> the big place for gender is our brain, our heart, and our soul. identity who we are. which isn't parts. >> reporter: pediatricians like dr. michelle fo orsher who specialize in transgender kids
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are seeing more and more patients at a young age. how do parents know it's not a phase? >> all kids experiment with gender roles and maleness and femaleness. but jender con-- gender conformity is different, it's consistent and insistent. >> reporter: what about people who think parents should be in charge kids shouldn't dictate? you've heard this? >> i hear it all the time. parents do need to be in charge. but whether a kid is told i don't see you, i don't hear you, i don't love you just the way you are, that's a pretty powerful message. >> reporter: mimi and joe say when they listened to their son they realized there was no question about his gender. >> you look really handsome. are you ready for today? are you ready for school? >> yeah! >> okay. >> ultimately, jacob has made that choice. in his mind and heart. it's whether or not we accept it or not. >> accept it. that's right. i want him to know how proud i am of him, how prafbrave i believe
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he is, and how no matter what i am in his corner. and i love him, and i always will. he's my son. >> that was nbc's kate snow reporting there. part two of kate's report will air tonight on "nbc nightly news." coming up in the next hour jacob's parents will join me live here, 2:30 eastern on msnbc live. this has been the subject of our bing pulse question today. let's check in with frances to say how you're responding. what are folks saying? >> craig as parents, both of us of two young kids, you can understand the tough predicament for the lemays. we're getting viewers involved, asking if you think a preschooler can understand gender identity. so we launched the poll at the top of the hour. we want to bring it up to date where we stand. it's dropped a bit -- now at 46% who think a preschooler can't understand gender identity. 54% say yes, you can. when we started earlier in the
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hour, that was up to 60%. let's break it down with gender. women tend to believe more than men that preschoolers can understand gender identity. in just the past couple of minutes when we brought you jacob's story, most people females, responded toward neutral or even no. and now we have a response from some men who said no that preschoolers cannot understand gender identity. and look at the political party now. democrats believe a preschooler can understand gender identity. independents and republicans are in between. and again democrats voting again when we were airing that story, skewing more toward yes. so interesting to say how this -- to see how this will progress in the next hour, especially when we hear from the lemays. >> i'm going to actually ask them about the numbers, as well. so frances thank you. coming up, what could have happened inside the baltimore police van with with freddie gray? what could have happened to his neck? we'll talk to a forensic pathologist. still ahead, ben affleck
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let's go back to baltimore. another police-involved case is making headlines there. protesters are peacefully demanding answers and accountability in connection with the death of freddie gray. an attorney for gray's family says the 25-year-old died from a spinal injury he suffered while in police custody. an internal investigation is underway at the baltimore police department. plus, there's also a doj civil rights probe that's been launched. frances is back with timeline, tick tock of sorts of how this unfolded. >> a complicated case with a lot of nuances to consider when you're going through it here. so let's break it down with a help hitds from our friends -- a little help from our friends at the "baltimore sun." april 12th 8:39 a.m. four officers on a bike tried to stop 25-year-old freddie gray and another man. they run, and police say a
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lieutenant begins to pursue gray. one minute later, at 8:40 a.m. gray is arrested. this is san image of that moment -- this is an image of that moment. no force is used because gray stops voluntarily. an officer takes out his taser but doesn't use it, according to police. two minutes later, police request a van and gray requests an inhaler. 8:46 now. police stop the van the driver believes gray is acting "irate in the back," and an officer asks the driver to stop to complete paperwork. gray is placed in leg irons and put back in the van. multiple witnesses tell "the baltimore sun" they saw police beating him. police dispute the account. and that brings us to this time. 8:59 a.m., the van's driver asks for a unit to check on gray. during this time, police say there's some sort of communication with him. and then 9:24 a.m., paramedics called to take gray to the hospital. he is in serious medical distress. two days later, april 14th
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surgeons operate on gray. his family says that he has three broken vertebrae and an injured voicebox. an image here of gray at the hospital. gray slips into a coma one day later. this image being released from his family. on april 18th peaceful protests begin in baltimore where gray of arrested. they hold signs reading "black lives matter" and "no just no peace. "one day later april 19th freddie gray degrees. craig, a lot to process here, especially with the department of justice looking into it as well. and also what we'll be telling -- the autopsy results that baltimore has yet to release. >> a lot of folks want to see that. six officers suspended with pay. we'll continue to follow the story closely. thank you. i want to bring in forensic pathologist dr. cyril wecht now. we do not know what happened in the van. but considering what has been reported, what could have caused that fatal spinal cord injury?
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>> if those injuries had been present before he went into the van, he would not have been able to walk. if the fractures are of the thoracic vertebrae, then he would have been paralyzed from the chest or waist down. if they are higher up in the cervical vertebrae he would not even have had use of his arms. so if he was indeed intact, so to speak, although somewhat hesitant about getting into the van, and he was able to walk and talk in that van, then either one of two or two things happened. there would have been some significant compression on his back and on his neck. i mean great force -- remember a 25-year-old man. somebody with strong bones, this is not a brittle osteoporodic 75 or 80-year-old woman. that pressure would have been significant to compress the vocal cords. the other thing that could have happened by itself or could have been a sequel to some initial
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compression would have been tremendous and unrestrained movement of the body in a hyper hyperflection, hyperextension to the nth degree. if the legs are shackled and he's not able to control his body, and if the van deliberately recklessly negligently, unavoidably -- >> could you show that again? we didn't get the gesture on camera. >> this would be flexion and hyperflexion all the way down. extension all the way back. the whiplash injury that people sometime sue for. well just think if your head is going violently forward violently backward and you are -- you have no control and especially if your legs are shackledand. you can't use them to give you support and some balance and strength to control your body,
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then that super whiplash-type injury could produce fractures. then if the van continues and he has these fractures, then the fractures can lead to severance partial severance of the spinal cord. so that is the likely scenario. this is not a high-speed motor vehicular accident where we see these injuries. something in the van, the -- i would like to know every minute, every second of that transportation. that's the key to this case. how fast did they go, what curves did they turn around it was done deliberately. it was done unintentionally? did they have a near crash with somebody. the only thing that can explain this is that body moving back and forth in an uncontrolled fashion, especially with a head. the neck moving in whip-like fashion, producing those fractures or maybe aggravating fractures that might have been caused by some kind of direct pressure trauma preceding that
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kind of scenario. >> dr.ect with -- dr. wecht, police have incested they did not use any great deal of force. they've talked about autopsy results. they have not released the results. is that normal in a case like this? >> no, i don't believe it is. if i were the coroner, as i have been, and if there were fractures, then i would release that information. if there was a severance of the spinal cord, i would release there. there are certain things that you might want to wait for, toxicology results and so on. i don't know -- i don't know the protocol there. certainly knowing the family's anxiety that the young man had been operated. . you have that documentation from the surgeons. it's not as if you need to wait to have word from the pathologist. we know what the surgeons found two, three days before he went into a coma and died. that information was available to the medical examiner.
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coupled with then the autopsy findings. so they know what they are dealing with. and you put that together with that scenario regarding transportation, and you should have some definitive answers by now. >> dr. cyril wecht. we learned a lot. thank you. >> thank you. folks, take a look at this incredible video just coming in to us. this is from florence township new jersey. and that is a massive, massive landslide. homeowners are being evacuated thanks to a collapse of a steel -- to steep ravine threatening to swallow homes overlook the delaware river. you see the landslide reportedly follows monday's torrential rains there in part of new jersey. when we come back, rachel maddow is here. she'll be talking about oklahoma's brand new capital punishment law. is it possible that it's going to be executed entirely without scientific input? meet the world's newest energy superpower. surprised? in fact, america is now the world's number one
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we want to update you on the breaking news, skywest airlines headed to hartford connecticut's, bradley airport. forced to make an emergency landing after a door, the main cabin door partially opened. the cabin lost pressure. several passenger lost consciousness, as well. fortunately, we can tell you no injuries reported. we continue to follow the story closely. oklahoma is the first state to approve gassing prisoners with nitrogen to carry out death sentences. just friday governor fallon signed the bill into law making nitrogen hypoxia an alternative option to the use of lethal injections. this allows oklahoma to continue executing inmates should the supreme court rule that the use of lethal injections are unconstitutional. or if injections become available because of an ongoing drug shortage. executions are on hold in the state while the high court considers a case on lethal injections. governor fallon insists
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execution through nitrogen hypoxia is painless. critics argue the method is untested. >> people being led to the death chamber, they're not going to just lay there and breathe nicely through a mask. they're going to struggle. if someone's trashing around, it might be hard to keep the mask on their face which would prolong the death. it could be like a long time struggle. and yes that troubles me greatly. >> the rachel maddow show has done exclusive reporting on it and rachel is here. no doctors no scientist were used to conduct the research that led to this? >> no. it's really interesting. i got to tell you i first got interested in this because i saw the report that was filed with the oklahoma state legislature recommending that they pick this process. and the report is a little weird. like you're familiar with the merck manual, the manual that doctors use for prescribing stuff. they describe the merck manual as the meric-manuel, they
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spellies arespell ies are -- spell respiratory. and a magazine written by a writer in san francisco, the other was a 1995 conservative magazine opinion piece written by a guy who's an amateur screenwriter. this was their main evidence. no doctors no scientists participated in the process. participated in the. it. it was two high school friends. won of whom was a state -- one. whom was a state senator. and another a criminal just attorney. and they came one the idea themselves. that's the nation's newest execution method. >> they didn't just buy in oklahoma. they bought all of it -- this was not a close vote. >> not at all. it was an overwhelming vote, something like 80-10 in the house. a unanimous vote in the senate. and governor fallon signed it into law. what's interesting is this -- i mean, it's amazing to see the number of other states that might be interested in this. the sponsor of the bill in the oklahoma legislature told us they've had inquiries from 19 other states that are interested
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in doing this. louisiana and texas have already taken steps toward maybe adopting this. oklahoma is the state that first came up with lethal injection in 1977. every state in the country that the country that had capital punishment endorsed and now oklahoma has done it again. when you look how they came up with this idea, it is freaking bizarre. >> you talk about the firing squad, is what we're seeing a direct result of the drug shortage ar more to that? >> that seems to be what it is. the reason there's a drug shortage for lethal injections because the drug companies say, with some pause, you are deliberately miss using our products by using them to cause death. they stopped selling to prisons and compounding pharmacies that homemake you drugs were the next methods, now compounding pharmacies have decided they don't want to be in that business either. whether or not the supreme court strikes down lethal ingestion as a constitutional method there's
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still a method of getting drugs. this nitrogen idea invented by a guy who went scuba diving and heard about the benz with the supreme court ruling in this case next week or because they can't get the drugs. >> one will have to assume if oklahoma decides that this is -- that someone is going to die this way, there will be some sort of legal action before that happens. >> presumably, i were the prisoner they were going to try this on first, i think i would have a good case not wanting to be the subject of experimentation. they haven't gotten to the point how they get them to breathe it a gas chamber a tent, but it's the way they are going to start killing people as the first alternative. rachel will have more tonight. thanks for stopping by. week nights 9:00 eastern right here on msnbc and we will be
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quts"people" magazine says sandra bullock is the most beautiful woman in 2015. 50 years old the oldest person to win the honor. >> that's i would people love her. >> you were in the top ten? >> that is a full out no thanks. >> that is not true you were in the top ten i heard. >> ben affleck apologizing for asking a show producer to edit out that an an sester was a slave owner. >> they traced his family tree back several generations and in a facebook post, he says he regrets his initial thoughts that the issue of slavery not be
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included as part of his story and goes on to say, we deserve neither credit or blame for our ancestors but now speaking -- this has sparked a couple of days ago and now he's saying, no credit, no blame. >> the cover-up is always bigger than the crime. >> it seems like it. . more on this busy wednesday in our next hour as questions remain unanswered and protests continue over the death of a man in police custody in baltimore. also, the president sending a quote direct message to iran over their possible arming of rebels there with the presence of warships in the region. the background on the conflict. we'll dig into that. >> and also the story of jacob la may, a 5-year-old transgender boy, i'll talk to his parents and the subject of the bing question, do you think a preschooler can understand gender identity? i'll talk to the family about that question as well.
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this hour, tensions high in baltimore, maryland more protests planned today calling for the prosecution of six suspended police officers. >> there's pain in our community. i think there's also pain within the police department too. >> coming up the department of justice civil rights investigation now underway into the death of freddie gray. also ahead, dr. oz strikes back. his fiery response to fellow doctors accusing him of pushing, quote quack treatments. >> jacob has made that choice in his mind and heart. it's whether or not we accept it or not. >> that's right. >> transgender at just 5 years old, i'll talk to the parents helping a daughter born mia to live and grow as a son named jacob. do you think a preschooler can
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understand gender identity? we want you to weigh in now and during and after that interview as well. good wednesday, we start in maryland where month protests are expected today in baltimore. protesters have filled the streets there the last two days calling for the prosecution of six police officers involved in the arrest of freddie gray. gray died sunday. he died a week after that arrest was captured on cell phone video. sometime during that arrest his spine was severely injured and detached according to his family's attorney. the city police commissioner spoke to affiliate wbal. >> our officers and task force are interviewing witnesses to the event and then finding out things and going back and reinterviewing witnesses at the same time. that just takes time. >> department of justice just launched a civil rights investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death. joining me from baltimore jeff johnson a communication
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specialist who helped the city of cleveland as they worked with the department of justice. good to see you, my friend. what are you hearing on ground from protesters about the investigation so far? >> i think folks all over the city of baltimore are frustrated because they don't feel they've gotten enough answers and frustrated because i don't think everyone on the ground here is clear on who's leading the investigation. there's an investigation by the city itself and investigation by the state's attorney now they are hearing there's going to be an investigation by the federal government. i think folks on the ground are frustrated because they haven't gotten clear answers about what happened to broermg gray in between the time he was taken into custody and time he was at the hospital. >> a lot of folks specifically seem to be wondering about the release of this autopsy the findings of the autopsy, police have talked about the autopsy results. we know the autopsy has been done. are you hearing anything about when we might be getting more information about this autopsy? >> no and i haven't -- and i've
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tried to talk to more than a number of people. they don't seem to know when they plan to release any of that information and that's part of the problem. you're going to continue to see protests and let's be honest they've been peaceful and focused and people want information. they want to be -- as much information that can be given that directs the protesters here. they are not just looking for information on the autopsy but a lot of answers they are looking for by way of who's really leading the investigation so they can be clear on who to hold accountable. and then what the next steps are. >> jeff, thank you so much. folks, we need to clarify a story that we brought you last hour about an an emergency landing in buffalo. tom costello is in washington. what can you tell us? >> southwest is contradicting souths which told us of this emergency landing from chicago o'hare diverted to buffalo
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because of government sources said there have been a depreciate you arization issue and as a result our source said there were several people who had lost consciousness on the plane. sky west pushing back, we made an emergency landing because a single passenger became ill and lost consciousness but no problem with the depreciate depressurization. we're trying to get the details worked out. there was an emergency landing and one single passenger having lost consciousness. as we get more information we'll pass it on to you. >> tom, really quickly, is sky west saying anything about the passenger who reportedly lost conscious sns? >> they were saying a single passenger who became ill and passed out but not a situation where the cabin door that in some way become ajar or there was a loss of cabin pressure which is what the government sources had been telling us. we'll try to get this nailed down and pass on to you. >> tom costello thank you, sir.
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we're also following breaks news in new jersey as well. look at this incredible video from florns township. homeowners are being evacuated because of this. it's threatening to swallow at least two homes that overlook the delaware river. the landslide follows some torrential rains there on monday. we saw a lot of rains in this area and this is apparently the result of that. we're going to continue to keep an eye on that story for you and bring you updates as the situation warrants. we also continue to follow developing news in paris. officials there have stopped a quote, imminent terrorist attack, a 24-year-old computer science student is in custody right now accused of planning an attack on one perhaps two churches. they are trying to figure out whether he is connected to the death of a woman who's body was found sunday. nbc's kelly cobiella has this story from london.
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>> good afternoon, french prosecutors haven't connected the dots between the death of this 32-year-old woman in paris and this suspect in a terrorist attack. they say this man was planning to attack two churches possibly on sunday morning. they say they found a stockpile of loaded guns in his car outside his apartment building sunday morning along with ammunition bullet proof vests and they say detailed plans for the attack. they also say they recovered phones from his home. they believe he was talking to someone who could have been in syria. but they say there was no immediate evidence he had any direct ties to any organized terror groups. they say they have linked him connected him to the 32 -- the murder of that 32-year-old woman but the connection in terms of who she was or whether he knew her is not yet clear. france has been on alert since those attacks in january when islamist extremists killed 17 people at the magazine quts"charlie hebdo" and jewish supermarket.
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this is the first time we heard of a plot against christian sites in france. >> kelly thank you. developing right now saudi led coalition reportedly launched more air strikes in yemen today despite announcing an end to the air campaign yesterday. yemen is home to a proxy war of sorts between the saudis and iran which support the rebel houthis. in an exclusive interview with president obama, chris matthews asked the president about iran's role in the civil war. >> what we've said to them is that if there are weapons delivered to factions within yemen, they could threaten navigation that's a problem. and we're not sending obscure messages, we send them direct messages about it. my hope is generally we can settle down the situation in yemen. >> ayman mohyeldin is here to
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break this down. let's start with the strikes today and where they are happening. >> the saudi government although it did as you mentioned announce that the operations were over has resumed strikes and these took place in the city -- we know sanaa had fallen into the hands of houthi rebels. the port city of aden major waterway entry point into the country but it seems the air strikes took place in and around the city of toois. to give you a sense how big of an operation this has been this is what had happened since march 26th the air campaign began, according to world health organization, 9 44 people killed and 3400 wounded. no longer decisive storm now renewal of hope and coming with that change of the operation is a pledge of emergency aid. they say they want to get to a political process quickly and also pledging $273 million in emergency aid to some of those
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civilians and destroyed areas as a result of the ongoing fighting but this is a situation that is far from over. everyier we were reporting on the iranian convoy of ships and you heard president obama address it. the iranians sending support to the rebels of yemen, the houthi rebels, those ships have been surrounded by members of the coalition and saudi arabia right now off the coast of yemen. not clear if the iranians will try to break the blockade on yemen. but it is a tense standoff. to give you a sense of how many vessels, you have nine iranian ships coming into close proximity with the 12 u.s. naval vessels in addition to other countries. it is a situation far from over but one as we heard from president obama saying he wants to bring the situation to a political end if possible. that's not going to be as easy as everyone thinks given the fact you have iranians trying to
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send in weapons and saudis backed by the united states still carrying out air strikes. >> ayman thank you. let's change gears after helping to broker a major diplomatic truce between cuba and the united states, the vatican announced today that pope francis will be heading to the island nation on his way to the united states. frances will be the third pope to visit the deeply catholic nation. >> pope francis will make a historic stop over in cuba on the way to the united states. he'll represent a lot more than a pilgrimage. he is credited with playing a crucial role in the easing of the relations between u.s. and cuba. he wrote personally to both barack obama and raul castro asking them to solve humanitarian questions and both leaders acknowledged the role of
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the pope and visit on the island will likely strengthen relationship between the two countries. pope francis has made full use of his role as head of state and leader of the world's 1.2 billion catholics to weigh in on key foreign issues but normalization between cuba and united states is seen as the first major diplomatic coup. >> thank you, frances has an update on today's bing pulse. what are folks saying? >> we told you the story of the 5-year-old jacob lamay earlier born mia, a little girl and transition that he and his parents agreed to and we're asking do you think a preschooler can understand gender identity? how look this has drastically changed. 34% said no and 66% said yes. earlier it was actually about reverse there, so it's interesting to see how viewers
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have changed as we share jacob's story. the oldest voters over the age of 55 believe a preschooler understands gender identity in the past couple of minutes most of different age groups spiking up to yes. 55 years old, kind of skewing around neutral here. let's look at gender, more women than men believe a preschooler can identify gender identity. you can see here most men, they really spiked in the last few minutes and women spiked earlier in the 2:00 hour and kind of been fluctuating. very interesting to see since we launched this at the top of the 1:00 hour, craig, how this is pretty much reversed with the majority saying they think a preschooler can understand gender identity. we invite our viewers to keep voting, pulse.msnbc.com. >> i'll talk to the parents about 15 minutes from now. we'll go into the investigation
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of the freddie gray an an attorney for gray's family will join us next. >> ben affleck funpublicly apologizing for asking pbs to hide his slave an sester. jack's heart attack didn't come with a warning. today, his doctor has him on a bayer aspirin regimen to help reduce the risk of another one. if you've had a heart attack be sure to talk to your doctor before your begin an aspirin regimen. nobody told us to expect it... intercourse that's painful due to menopausal changes it's not likely to go away on its own. so let's do something about it. premarin vaginal cream can help it provides estrogens to help rebuild vaginal tissue and make intercourse more comfortable. premarin vaginal cream treats vaginal changes
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due to menopause and moderate-to-severe painful intercourse caused by these changes. don't use it if you've had unusual bleeding breast or uterine cancer blood clots, liver problems, stroke or heart attack, are allergic to any of its ingredients or think you're pregnant. side effects may include headache pelvic pain, breast pain vaginal bleeding and vaginitis. estrogens may increase your chances of getting cancer of the uterus, strokes, blood clots or dementia so use it for the shortest time based on goals and risks. estrogen should not be used to prevent heart disease heart attack, stroke or dementia. ask your doctor about premarin vaginal cream.
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more demonstrations are planned in baltimore over the death of freddie gray. this is the scene yesterday in baltimore, maryland as at least 1,000 people took part in peaceful demonstrations calling for answers and demanding accountability as well. department of justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the death of 25-year-old. the baltimore sun says it is just one of four investigations looking into the incident one of which includes an independent review. i'm join by jason downs co-counsel for the gray family.
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everyone wants to know what happened inside that police van. i talked to a forensic pathologist last hour. this is what he told me he would want to know if he were given in case. take a listen. >> i would like to know every minute every second of that transportation, that's the key to this case, how fast did they go. what curves did they turn around. was it done deliberately? was it done unintentionally, did they have a near crash with somebody? the only thing that can explain this is that body moving back and forth in an uncontrolled fashion. >> that's an angle i have not heard get a lot of attention. jason, have you heard anything from the police about how the van was driven when he was in the back? >> no, we certainly have not heard anything from the police about how the van was driven. those are a few questions that we would like to receive the answers to.
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those are just a few of the questions we want to know the answer to. we want to know who had access to mr. gray at every single point. who touched mr. gray. and exactly why in the first place was he arrested because frankly he should have never been in the back of that police van. >> this is what commissioner anthony bats, what he said yesterday, i want to play a snippet of that. >> we had a loss of life and i think if you can imagine what the family is going through at this given point in time. they want answers and deserve answers. much like the media, much like myself. and the fact that it takes a little time to get to those answers. >> it takes a little time. jason, i'm sure you have heard that over the last few days. what's your reaction to that? >> there's been a passage of too much time at this point now, frankly we are -- we don't want to rush the justice. we want justice but there are things that could be released right now for example, the
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radio runs. what exactly were the officers saying to each other at the beginning of this incident and throughout this incident? that could be released right now today. there are things that take time, like autopsies. we do understand those take time. but there are other things that could be released right now today. >> any word on when we might get the autopsy results? >> no, we don't know exactly when we will receive the autopsy report but we are looking forward to the autopsy report so no we don't know just yet. >> are there any 911 calls from folks in the area? we know a number of folks were there using cell phone cameras to take video any 911 calls that were placed, anyone calling to say i'm watching the police beat the heck out of this guy? anything like that to your knowledge? >> there are 911 calls that could be released. at this point we don't know whether they exist but the point is the police department could tell us whether the 911 calls exist and if they do exist, they could be released to us today. that's another example of
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something that does not take time that could be released right now today. we're anxiously awaiting whether the results of any 911 calls because we don't know. >> jason downs co-counsel for the gray family. keep us posted please sir. >> thank you. >> we want to get back to breaking news we continue to follow today, conflicting reports about what forced a sky west airlines flight to make an emergency landing in buffalo new york. it was headed from chicago to heart hart ford, the faa initially reported this plane lost cabin pressure after a main cabin door opened and several lost consciousness. sky west is telling us one passenger became ill and lost consciousness and nothing happened to the door. i'm joined on the phone by aviation expert jim tillman. first of all, what can be behind such differing information from the faa and airline? >> well, the faa could be
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getting information from air traffic control. that means that the aircraft crews had the radio and asked for permission to make this diversion to buffalo. and the rationale generally is given for making that kind of change of destination. so it sounds like the air traffic control received information that they've had an emergency and required to request landing there and it sounds like the rationale may have been that they had emergency -- now the airline of course has special interest in trying to say that of course they did not have a problem with a door, which that led to some decompression -- >> again again, to clarify here, jim, i want to make sure i understand this and viewers at home understand as well. when something like this happens, the pilot phones
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essentially -- air traffic control and they'll say, hey here's what's going on and then air traffic control reports it and makes a determination about whether that plane should land. if a pilot calls and says, hey, the plane is losing pressure because of something wrong with the door, how does that then become well, nothing happened to the door? does that make sense? there's a pretty wide kas many between the explanations? >> it doesn't make any sense at all. let's face it the crew would know that they are having a decompression problem in the cockpit. they'll get an indication that there's pressurization has dramatically changed to the point where they need to get the airplane down. they are going to call an emergency and let the air traffic control now they need to make a descent and land as soon as possible. if you clear to the nearest
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airport and go in there. the airline of course once the airline gets on the ground, you know when you have decompression like that you only have a few minutes at the altitude you start with. and it is an emergency, a bona fide emergency. >> aviation expert former pilot jim tillman. thank you for trying to make sense of all of this. we'll come back to this later. we'll be right back. ♪ building aircraft,
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>> i long believed that doctors should never fight their battles or each other in public. but now i believe i must. >> dr. oz now striking back at a group of doctors who questioning his ethics. >> these doctors are criticizing me for promoting interests and cures in the interest of financial gain. something i tell you every day on this program i never do. >> reporter: the response to air in full on thursday is aimed at doctors who sent a letter to columbia university where dr. oz is the vice chairman of the surgery department. those physicians claim dr. oz has exhibited an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain. the group singles out iz his opposition to gmos like corn and soybeans, making them more resistant to pests and weather.
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a base less and relentless -- to the engineering of food crops. he addressed the topic repeatedly on his program. >> you are probably eating it today. should it be labeled? that's the big question we have to answer this year. >> reporter: gm os could alleviate world hunger some question the science. this is not first time he's come under fire. why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that? even called in front of the senate subcommittee last summer for claims about a diet supplement made on his show. >> it's an intent to engage viewers, i use floweringy language, language that was very passionate but not beingincendiary. he is showing no signs of backing down. >> i vow to you right here right now, we will not be silence and will not give in. >> stephanie gosk reporting there. it should be noted several of the doctors who authored the
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letter that have ties to the genetically modified food industry and columbia university is quote committed to the principle of academic freedom and upholding faculty members for freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion. tonight at 10:00 eastern, msnbc will be airing the u.s. television premiere of the award winning documentary just eat it. a food waste story hosted by msnbc food correspondent and host of "top chef" on bravo. when the moment's spontaneous, why pause to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom? cialis for daily use is approved to treat both erectile dysfunction and the urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex.
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sometimes the present looked bright.
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sometimes romantic. there were tears in my eyes. and tears in my eyes. and so many little things that we learned were really the biggest things. through it all, we saved and had a retirement plan. and someone who listened and helped us along the way. because we always knew that someday the future would be the present. every someday needs a plan. talk with us about your retirement today. a judge is hearing arguments over whether john hinckley jr. should be allowed to live outside his mental hospital. the 60-year-old has mostly lived there since a jury found him guilty -- not guilty by reason of insanity. he spends 17 days a month at the home of his 89-year-old mother but today his lawyers argue that
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hinckley is not a danger and quote clinically ready to live full-time outside the mental hospital. prosecution pushed back saying more restrictions are needed to keep hinckley and others safe. the hearings are expected to last several days. 70 years after the end of world war ii a man who workeds a prison guard at the auch wits concentration camp stood silently while doctors decided which jews would work in the camp or be executed. bill neely talked to a holocaust survivor who testified earlier today. >> this is an old man who lived -- was all the wrong hes had done in his life. and in my opinion the reason it was important for him to do that, to cleanse his own conscious. >> being tried on 300,000 counts
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of accessory to murder between may and july 1944. >> the jury in the dzhokhar tsarnaev trial is in the second day of the penalty faze, they are hearing more dramatic and emotional testimony from survivors and families of the victims. among the testimony, adrian davis, a victim who broke down on stand telling the jury about the moment of the explosion. nbc's ron mott covering the trial joins me now from boston. ron, a few moments ago we got some video in here, this is the first look at tsarnaev captured making a vulgar courtroom in a courtroom cell. this is a graphic image. the prosecution introduced it as an exhibit. what are folks saying about it now they are seeing this image for the first time? >> some folks have been really following this case closely knew about this as early as about december and winter of 2013 as
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seven or eight months after the boston marathon bombing because it was leaked to the "boston globe." the word of this video has been out for folks closely watching it. but to see it will jar in people and folks in the courtroom yesterday when they showed the still image of taken from that holding cell back here at the courthouse of dzhokhar tsarnaev looking at the camera and putting up his middle finger. it's going to em bodden people who believe he should pay for his crimes to think that that's the result they want this jury to come to when this case is all said and done. including some victims who don't want him sentenced to death. there's a wide division between both sides, people for and against the death penalty. >> it is a powerful image, no doubt. who else can we expect to hear from today? >> we're hearing from now someone considered an aunt of lindsay liu, the young graduate
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student from boston university. this person says testifying to her family and parents she was an only child by chinese customs the one child rule. her family lost their only daughter. her mother is so devastated she couldn't get out of bed to travel here in the aftermath of learning they lost their loved one here. she may be the last witness we hear today. we'll have to wait and see. we do expect this to go through tomorrow and then maybe even friday the prosecution bringing on more victims to recount the horrors of that week two years ago. >> ron mott in boston. thank you. the gop led committee investigating the 2012 ben gazdy attacks are delaying their report until just before next year's elections. nbc news confirmed that delay with trey gowdy previously he had said he wanted to issue a report this year. john boehner laid fault at the white house's feet and former secretary of state hillary clinton.
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>> clean this up a whole lot quicker if the administration and former secretary clinton were in a position to actually cooperate with the committee and turn over the kind of information we've been seeking for some time. >> hillary clinton talked in d.c. today honoring women who help bring peace to war torn regions around the world. >> i can't see women as victims. we must see them as so much more. they are agents of change. they are drivers of progress and yes they are makers of peace. >> clinton right now running unopposed for the democratic nomination but facing a big test inside the party on foreign policy specifically whether she supports fast track authority for the asian trade initiative. when asked if he would support it harry reid said, quote, hell no. opponents say the trade deal would kill american jobs. clinton previously praised the
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deal and called it quoelt the gold standard of trade deals while secretary of state but now she's not taking sides when asked about it tuesday, she only said what a gr trade deal should do, not whether this one is a good trade deal. we want to go back to breaking news we've been following today. we have clarification now on conflicting reports about what forced that sky west airlines flight to make an emergency landing in buffalo. the flight was heading from chicago to hartford. tom costello has been following this for us. >> trying to figure out exactly how it is that the faa reported there was a cabin loss of cabin pressure on board the plane and sky west said no they didn't have loss of cabin pressure. here's where the breakdown occurred. the pilot as they were in route to hartford the pilot becamed concerned that he may have a cabin pressure issue because he had been told by flight attendants that somebody on board had just passed out. out of an abundance of caution
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the pilot brought the plane down rapidly and told atc he thought they may have a pressurization problem. because of that, they landed on an emergency basis at buffalo, that single passenger who we now believe had taken ill and passed out, was taken by paramedics to the hospital. according to sky west no other passengers had become ill. so this appears to have been a case where a bit of communication breakdown between the pilot radioing air traffic control reporting a possible cabin pressurization problem because one passenger passed out and then the ripple effect. as it stands now, this appears to have only been an medical emergency. they detoured to buffalo, that passenger was taken to the hospital. nobody else has been in any way affected and sky westin sifts they had no mechanical issue with the cabin door as had originally been reported. >> tom costello, thanks. still ahead, ben affleck's
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apology, the actor admitting he asked pbs to hide his slave owning owning ancestry. >> why did god make me this way? why did god make me wrong? >> the story of parents allowing their 5-year-old daughter to live as a boy named jacob. his parents join me on the other side of this break. we enacted the lowest corporate tax rate since 1968. we eliminated the income tax on manufacturers altogether. with startup-ny, qualified businesses that start, expand or relocate to new york state pay no taxes for 10 years. all to grow our economy and create jobs. see how new york can give your business the opportunity to grow at ny.gov/business i'm brian vickers, nascar® driver. i'm kevin nealon comedian. and i'm arnold palmer, professional golfer. know what we have in common?
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we've been telling you about jacob la may all day, the 5-year-old transgender child whose story is bringing attention to transgender kids. named mia at birth he started to tell his parents he was a boy and persistly continued to do so. after voicing these feeling repeatedly the la mays made the decision to allow their daughter to live as a boy. jacob spoke to nbc national correspondent kate snow. >> were you always the brother?
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>> not always. >> what were you before? >> i'm the sister. >> how come it changed? >> because i wanted to be a boy. >> i'm joined by jacob's parents. so thanks so much for coming on to share and talk about this very personal story, i know it had to be a difficult decision. why did you guys choose to come forward? >> you can answer that, joe. >> i think really the reason why we came forward is there was so many stories that helped us as we face this decision and became really clear that this wasn't just a phase that jacob was going through and we had to make some decisions to have him go to a new school, cut his hair take on a boy name, all we've done so far and all we faced as far as decisions. as we face that, it's hard and confusing and seeing some stories of some other families who had faced these decisions
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and had dealt with this was immensely helpful for us. so i think that we're happy that we're changing people's opinions and influencing the whole world by this story but more to the other trans gender kids and their families just seeing another face out there and another story that is relatability is important. >> i'm sure you know the response to the nbc story has been overwhelming. are you surprised at all about the response? and what have you heard from friends and family? >> the response has been overwhelming but it's been amazing. it's been an eye opener to me how fast social media moves and how fast the storty can get out. when i wrote the letter to jacob for his fifth birthday, i was hoping to have parents in similar situations read it and be comforted and having a feeling they are not alone and influence some opinion for
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people who didn't understand transgender children so that the world jacob grew up in would be more hospitalable. i never expected this kind of response. i'm delighted because it gives me so much courage and hope that people are beginning to understand transgender children and to create a better environment to enable children to transition. >> what if, hypothetically, what if three or four years from now, jacob decides he wants to be mia again. then what? >> he certainly knows at this point that he has our support for anything that he needs to do and feels intrinsically that he is. we have stood behind him. we have asked him in giving him the opportunity to express anything and everything he needed to express to us and we'll always continue to do that. it's about creating relationship of faith with your children.
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and i think we've established that with jacob. >> go ahead. >> if i can add to that. >> sure. >> when we went through this decision and talked to jacob about it and everything we decided to think what if we're making the wrong decision and we thought about it both ways and if it's the wrong decision and this is a phase, then pace basically we face embarrassment having to reverse our decision but the other way around is much more risky depending on what polls you look at transgender people face attempted suicide rate above 40%. so spending the next year from ages 4 to 5 if he truly is transgender to be kept as mia would be another form tif year he would be spending in that year of shame and we would start -- those signs of shame that we're already starting to see would be embedded deeper and deeper. that was our fear.
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these are the stakes we're dealing with here. it comes down to not just his happiness and ability to be himself but his pure mental health. >> we've been asking viewers to weigh in do you think a preschooler can understand gender identity. during the course of the conversation, numbers shifted dramatically. 71% do believe a preschooler can understand gender identity. i've got to be honest with you, the fact that the number is so one sided, that surprises me. does it surprise you at all? >> i don't know for myself i wasn't so sure of it until i experienced this, so this experience has did he have netly shifted my opinion. if it shifted others -- >> i'm an optimist by nature always been. and i believe that people are good and that people at heart, most people have the interest of others at heart. they just need to experience
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through somebody else's eyes something that might be unusual and different and variant. and i believe our story has done that for some people and i am beyond honored and thrilled that it has shifted opinion. >> we'll leave it there. thank you so much for coming in and sharing jacob's story. >> this story has prompted our bing question of the day as well, do you think a preschooler can understand gender identity? frances has been tracking results. again, i'm surprised not just the overwhelming response to the story but what appear to be a fairly lop sided answer. >> a total flip flop to when we started. this is the first time we had such a reverse in response. let's bring you the results. we asked, do you thenk a preschooler can understand gender identity. 29% of you viewers saying no,
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71% saying yes. it has completely reversed from the top of our 1:00 hour eastern time when we started this. interesting trend we're seeing as far as education is concerned, voters with high school degrees fluctuate in their opinion but other education levels believe a preschooler can't understand gender identity. this is kind of all over the place. even in the last couple of minutes, people with high school degrees, associate's degrees all skewing towards yes. let's take a look at political party overall. democrats and independents say yes, a preschooler can understand gender identity. republicans have been split in the last five minutes and even during the interview here the republicans saying neutral -- they don't think that's the case here. very interesting to see this and how it shifted for first time with our coverage and hearing from the parents, you can see
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how that shift the view of our viewers. >> frances, thank you so much. we will be right back. coming up next though, the cycle will look at "people's" most beautiful issue. you know who won. we'll dig into a little bit more 3:00 eastern. ♪ turn around ♪ ♪ every now and then i get a little bit tired ♪ ♪ of craving something that i can't have ♪ ♪ turn around barbara ♪ ♪ i finally found the right snack ♪ ♪ ♪ "ride away" (by roy orbison begins to play) ♪ i ride the highway... ♪ ♪ i'm going my way... ♪ ♪i leave a story untold... ♪ he just keeps sending more pictures... if you're a free-range chicken 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'... ♪
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ben affleck is apologizing as fallout continues over revelations that he asked show producers for the pbs show "finding your roots" to sensor his family ancestry after discovering a distant relative owned slaves. affleck's move to have the information omitted went public after e-mails part of the sony hack published online last week. in a statement posted on facebook he says he regrets his initial thoughts that the issue of slavery not be included in the story. he said he was embarrassed and that the thought of including a guy who owned slaves left a bad taste in his mouth. pbs is now conducting an
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internal review. tour'e is here host of "the cycle", it's an interesting story on a number of levels. i understand you actually talked to dr. gates. >> i talked to dr. gates and he con tends they did not whitewash or clean this up for ben affleck. they shoot a large number of moments with the person who they are digging into their genology the ones the most dramatic and work artistically for the show are the ones they use. they are talking about a relative, disstant relative who was an o cultist and that they found more interesting. there are other people in this very season on this show who have slave owning ancestors like the great film maker ken burns, who they are unearthing or exposing. they are not sort of cleansing people's backgrounds. that's what they say and i tend to believe dr. gates. >> a lot of folks are mostly frustrated that ben affleck would send this e-mail if we
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can keep this hush hush i would appreciate it. >> i understand that don't you? >> yeah, but you would think that -- >> i understand ben affleck's desire to cover this up but also, look he doesn't have to be ashamed. if he is not actually owning slaves and not directly benefitting from that then he doesn't need to be ashamed. >> tour'e is coming up next. we've got breaking news right now we want to pass along. this is from capitol hill. u.s. capitol hill police hazardous incidence response team responding to a room in the canon house building to the report of a powdery substance there. the immediate area has been restricted while the investigation is under way. there's a report of powdery substance found on capitol hill. we will of course continue to watch this very closely. stay tuned to msnbc for more right after this.
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iran. >> good day to you, as we come on the air the first day of nuclear negotiations wrapping up. the comprehensive deal on iran's nuclear program. they have until the end of june to get it done. some problems already surfacing though. iran demanding sanctions be removed immediately. that would be even before they comply with the very terms of this proposed deal. the u.s. is saying that idea is a nonstarter. another complication, american warships now off the coast of yemen in an effort to stop iran's proxy war there. senior military officials telling nbc those warships are prepared to intercept a convoy of iranian ships they suspect are sending weapons to the houthi rebel forces in yemen. so far there's been no confrontation. we'll get into more of that this hour but first president obama making news speaking to chris matthews yesterday

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