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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  August 14, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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explosions. good morning, everyone. i'm tamron hall. we begin with the latest shocker in the 2016 presidential race. al gore is thinking about jumping into the race again. the former vice president lost to george w. bush. is there a path politically? a source tells nbc news there is nothing substantive happening. the buzz about al gore comes with vice president joe biden seriously considering a run for president, sources telling nbc news that the vice president, who is vacationing in south carolina, has started to reach out to close friends and allies to discuss a possible run. all of this underscores the concern by some democrats about hillary clinton's ongoing e-mail issue. nbc's kelly o'donnell spoke with one of clinton's democratic opponents martin o'malley while republicans are certainly also still weighing in.
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>> reporter: do you think clint clinton's e-mail issue provides an opening? >> i think people are hungry for an alternative. >> when you have the presumptive front runner losing in new hampshire and the race tightening in other places, i'm sure people like joe biden and al gore are seriously considering it. >> let me bring in republican strategist rich galen, anna palmer and blake zeff, a former campaign aide for barack obama and hillary clinton. thank you all for joining us. where do you start this morning? i mean, i turned on the television to peer into blake "morning joe" and here was the big headline. i want to point out al gore has been pointed to as a potential alternative for 2016.
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a spokeswoman said there is no point to it. is there a point to it or is this a football line-up here? >> i think we have to assume the latter. it's a bit of a fantasy thing. we hear al gore's name every time at election time. it's a rite of passage, it means summer is here. there are lots of opponents of al gore who will make lots of money because they'll be hired by him and it's good business for him, so it's in his interest also to fan this and get people excited. i'm not buying this until we hear from al gore's camp. >> let me invite you in since we heard from political spokeswoman mannix. joe biden has been contacting allies discussing a possible run as well, and that dialogue honestly has been ticking up since the passing of his son beau as that family remains in
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grief there. but what do you make of this? >> i certainly think there is a lot of talk and fodder among democrats that hillary clinton is weakening in some spots and this e-mail controversy continues, so there is a real desire among some of the consultants, some of the prai h operatives to have somebody jump into this race. joe biden's closest allies have urged him to take another look after his son's passing. they said there would be a decision in the coming weeks this summer. it's something we'll be looking at. i think vice president gore is something we'll just be talking about here for the next week or so. i have a very hard time seeing him actually wanting to wade back into this. >> you reported that the two clinton e-mails on a private server that an auditor deemed top secret had e-mails discussing the drone operation and some that could go back to
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highly classified material, and we have hillary saying she did not knowingly transfer classified information. it seems as though it's becoming more serious and you wonder for how long can the clinton team say they didn't know this was classified or it was classified after the effect. it just keeps this conversation of the clintons having their own rules on the front page. an anna? >> absolutely. i think you'll see the clinton campaign try to vociferously push back on this. but capitol hill really wants to have an investigation into this. they're going to try to push these headlines deep into the fall. they think this is one of her biggest weaknesses, shows that the clintons play by their own rules. it's something they think is a real weakness for her that the republicans will continue to seize on.
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>> we've already seen, for example, jeb bush having sharp words as well with the latest information coming out regarding this e-mail investigation. with that said, on the republican side, we've heard all along, this is a coronation, there is no one challenging hillary clinton. on the other side you have 17 or 19 gop candidates fighting out for who should eventually get the nomination. i think that it's interesting that you have republicans now playing in on both sides. one, is a coronation, and now, though, if you get the names of biden and al gore in the mix, how happy could republicans really be? >> these things are obviously connected. whether it's al gore or joe biden or neither, i really think the answer, i think you have to pull the camera back and widen the field of view. the fact that people are actively speaking about al gore without laughing out loud about al gore and/or joe biden means that there are, what, 18 democratic governors, 44 or so democratic sitting governors
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plus ex-governors on the democratic side, i guarantee there are literally dozens who are talking to their fundraisers and supporters saying, is this the right time to get in, and with respect to the servers, it's one thing to object physici -- obfiscate to the press corps and the public. once the fbi gets involved and they start calling people in for questioning, we've all been in washington a long time. it's not the act, it's the cover-up, and if there is a cover-up, this is heading down the wrong road. >> but rich, in fairness, you mention al gore's name without laughter, one could point to the person leading the polls for your party, which is donald trump. i know you laugh, but his supporters are not, and despite all the dust-up following the debate and the words that were deemed offensive about meghan kelly, his numbers are ever so slightly down. but look, he's still standing at 22% in iowa. and that's no laughing matter. >> it's not a laughing matter
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but it's not anything to start pulling your hair out about. this time four years ago almost to the day, michelle bach man w -- bachmann was leading the republican party, then she folded. they're interesting, they're fun to cover, and they're fun to watch being covered, but i'm not sure that means he has any staying power. but i'm wrong a lot, so he might. >> blake, let's go back to this issue of al gore and the larger picture since you've worked with hillary clinton's campaign, of this problem with the e-mails. i know that she has said the same line, that i did not know that -- she doesn't say she didn't know -- she says there was no classified information passed along in the e-mails she received. nevertheless, as i go back to this ap report, you have layers upon layers of questions regarding these top secret articles detailing the drone information, separate conversations that could point back to highly classified material in an improper manner.
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what would you advise her to do next regarding this? >> yeah, and to be clear, i'm not a clinton surrogate or any part of the campaign. it's clear they'll be dealing with this a long time, i agree with you on that. the republicans are interested in keeping this going and keeping this going. >> it's not just the republicans. i'm hearing from a number of supporters of hillary clinton who are wringing their hands saying, how bad do you think this is? they watch the crowds grow larger for bernie sanders and he presented option to the established candidate while he probably won't get the nomination while we keep hearing that dot, dot, dot. it's not just republicans who are concerned or hitting her on this. you heard martin o'malley. >> sure, martin o'malley is also running against her. to be clear, transparency is the best policy. >> is that what we're getting? >> she handed over the servers now and obviously there will be a lot of questions, and there is no question she needs to answer those questions. >> what do you think the trigger was for her to change her mind
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from -- i'm not being ugly here -- from this past march to two days ago when she said, no, no, no, no, no. >> we knew this would be inevitable, she would be compelled to turn over this information. it is better to get it on the front line, but i am not a surrogate for her as well, i'm a journalist. what do you think is the reason for them making this move now? >> politics dictate what you do. they need this story to go away and they're dictating their actions with what the imperatives are. as long as this goes, it puts them in a tough spot. >> it puts them in a tough spot but it also goes to trust and the clintons playing by their own rules. when you talk about decisions by candidates, all candidates are doing that on both sides, but we know the cloud that hovers over her specifically as it relates to some democrats believing they are getting a transparent
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candidate who has been through the wringer, in many cases unfairly from the other side, but there are legitimate questions here that should be answered from both sides. >> absolutely. >> that was easy enough. thank you very much. and you're right. thank you. i really appreciate it. have a great weekend. if only every friday could be that agreeable. thank you. we're also following developing news in cuba where for the first time in 54 years the american flag is now flying at the u.s. embassy in havana. ♪ >> with the world watching, the stars and stripes were raised at the embassy just over an hour ago. secretary john kerry was in attendance for the historic ceremony, making him the first u.s. secretary of state to visit the island since 1954. addressing the crowd, he acknowledged the differences both countries face while expressing optimism about what the future brings. >> a day for pushing aside old barriers and exploring new
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possibilities. this doesn't mean that we should or will forget the past. how could we, after all? let me be clear. the establishment of normal diplomatic relations is not something that one government does as a favor to another. it is something that two countries do together when the citizens of both will benefit. and in this case, the reopening of our embassies is important on two levels. people to people and government to government. >> joining secretary kerry were several members of congress, along with the three former u.s. marines who brought down the flag in 1961. that's incredible. a poignant moment this morning. they were reunited to fulfill a promise they made decades ago to return and bring the flag back up. this day follows months of negotiations first set in motion by president obama last year, and it's not, of course without
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the controversy. just this morning republican senator and presidential candidate, senator marco rubio whose family is from cuba had this to say. >> and as a symbol of just how backward this policy shift has turned out to be, not a single cuban dissident has been invited to today's official flag-raising ceremony at the new u.s. embassy in havana. human dissidents have fought for decades for the very democratic principles president obama claims to be advancing through these concessions. their exclusion from this event has ensured it will be little more than a propaganda rally for the castro regime. >> the administration acknowledges there is still a lot of work to be done. officials vow to keep pressing cuba on human rights and it will still be up to congress to lift the trade embargo between both nations. nbc's gabe gutierrez joins us from havana, and gabe, how much do those major issues that still exist, how much did that hover
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over this ceremony today? >> reporter: hi, tamron, good morning. there are still deep differences, as you mentioned. secretary kerry alluded to some of those during his speech, but as he mentioned, this was something unthinkable several years ago. fidel castro had referred to this building in years past as a nest of spies, and now you can see the u.s. flag is flying here for the first time in 54 years, since 1961 when the u.s. severed those diplomatic ties with cuba. secretary kerry in those remarks, and he was joined in the audience by those three marines who lowered that flag in 1961. secretary kerry says this is not something that's done as a favor to another country, that this thaw in diplomatic relations is not done as a favor to the cuban government, but that this new relationship could help both countries and also help the cuban people. but he also called on the cuban government to fulfill its obligations. take a listen. >> the leaders in havana and the cuban people should also know
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that the united states will always remain a champion of democratic principles and reforms. like many other governments inside and outside this hemisphere, we will continue to urge the cuban government to fulfill its obligations under the u.n. and american human rights covenants, obligations shared by the united states and every other country in the americas. and, indeed, we remain convinced the people of cuba would be best served by genuine democracy, where people are free to choose their leaders, express their ideas, practice their faith with a commitment to economic and social justice. >> reporter: now, secretary kerry is meeting with the cuban foreign minister, and later this afternoon, he will meet with specific leaders here in cuba as well as those cuban political dissidents who were not invited to this morning's ceremony, but will be invited to a much larger gathering at the u.s. chief of mission's office in havana. secretary kerry says the u.s. is
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now looking at cuba not as an enemy or as a rival, but rather as neighbors. >> gabe, thank you very much. now to an ominous development concerning isis. the u.s. now believes the terror group may have used chemical weapons this week against kurdish fighters in northern iraq. richard engle joins us from kabul, and what do we know about this news here? >> reporter: we know the allegations are credible. a senior kurdish official, a member of the kurdish council, tells us that three years ago, in northern iraq, a series of projectiles were fired from an isis territory. it is presumed they were fired from isis. they landed and exploded in kurdish territory, an area dominated by one of the many
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kurdish factions fighting in iraq. and shortly afterwards, several of the kurdish fighters known as peshmerga, started to show signs that were consistent with chemical weapons. several were short of breath, had dizziness, and burns on their skin. it has been described as a small-scale event. there were no fatalities as far as we know. the kurds immediately suspected that a chemical weapon was used. there was talk that mustard gas had been used. they took samples. they shared those samples with coalition partners, and now u.s. officials believe that they are credible reports and that it was probably mustard gas, although an investigation is still under way. it is an escalation from isis. not a surprising one when you consider the brutality of the group, that they would use almost any weapon they can find, but as an escalation in the past, isis has been accused of
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using chlorine, but mustard gas is a military grade banned chemical weapon, quite a different kind of action than using chlorine. >> and richard, this comes after, of course, the report and now, i believe, confirmation that another individual, a man from croatia, was beheaded by isis, this in egypt, though. >> isis has been spreading and doesn't see syria and iraq as its ultimate goal. it has established many different branches, copycat groups that want to be part of isis. egypt and sinai in particular has a very aggressive isis branch, and according to numerous reports, this croatian man was first kidnapped by one group, a ransom demand was made, the ransom wasn't paid or negotiations couldn't be worked out, and then he was passed on to isis and then isis made a
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threat and then apparently has beheaded him. >> all right. richard engle live for us in istanbul. reports coming out of china that's a city of a scene of utter devastation. look at this video of two massive explosions. there's been another blast, this after a young survivor is pulled from the rubble after being trapped for more than a day. plus -- >> this is the godzilla el nino. if it matures and actually comes to fruition. >> a dire warning from scientists, this could be the year of the monster el nino that could be devastating to parts of the west. what it all means, straight ahead. and the fda has approved the powerful and highly addictive painkiller, oxycontin for children now as young as 11. it is one of the stories we just thought you should know. you can join our conversation on line. you can find the tea
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team @newsnation on twitter and you can find me on twitter and instagram. we'll be back with more news. za? oh yeah. i can almost taste it now. tastes like victory. and pepperoni...
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there are several new developments this morning in that massive explosion, two explosions that rocked the chinese port city of tiangen, and now reports of possible toxic fumes. more than 48 hours after the two explosions, some fires are still burning. there was a small explosion at the site of the rubble earlier today. this as teams of chemical experts and military toxic waste specialists are scrambling to figure out what materials were being stored at the now leveled warehouse. right now 56 people are confirmed dead with more than 700 others injured and over a dozen firefighters still missing. nbc's ian williams has more from
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t ir tiangen. >> reporter: at least some comforting news this morning, a teenager pulled out alive. nobody expected that. biochemists have now arrived, saying they don't precisely know what toxins they're dealing with. the fire rajd ged on this morni thick, black smoke bill lowibil into the sky. more than 20 died in the blast and 13 are still missing. officials say firefighters themselves may have triggered the blast by hosing water on an initial fire in the warehouse containing t ining a chemical. that fired an explosion, and later a bigger explosion.
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caught in this cell phone video. he continued to film until it became too terrifying. >> let's go down! >> he told me he thought they were going to die. >> it was just monumental. that was a nuclear bomb going off in my face. that's what it looked like. >> reporter: officials have tried to reassure nervous residents that pollutions are normal, while admitting they don't know what toxins are in the air. they told people to move out of apartments in the site and move to shelters. police have now cordoned off the blast area which now resembles a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a clock marking the deadly moment the city will never forget. this is a city in shock after the explosion but also one in fear as residents look at this fire, they look at the smoke, and in spite of attempts to reassure them, they wonder what deadly toxins they're breathing. ian williams, nbc news, tianjin.
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still outrage this morning after connecticut's stream court rules the death penalty is unconstitutional. one of those speaking out today, a father whose wife and daughters were murdered by two men now on death row. we'll have the update. plus, in today's first read, hillary clinton gets a big endorsement as she competes with bernie sanders' surge. we'll get a peek at the political weekend going down in iowa in just a few minutes. equa. equa. it's a fact. kind of like shopping hungry equals overshopping.
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welcome back. the family of the victims of one of the most notorious crimes in recent history is now speaking out after connecticut's supreme court decided yesterday to strike down the death penalty in that state. now, the court's ruling means none of the prisoners previously sentenced to connecticut's death row will be executed. that includes two men convicted in the brutal rape and killing of the wife of a prominent doctor and their two young daughters back in 2000. nbc's kristen dahlgren is here not only with the family's reaction but the reaction of so many people when they heard this news in that state. >> it is, the supreme court deciding to vacate those death rows and instead sentence all those men on death row no life in prison. they did abolish the death penalty in 2012, but at that
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time they decided the sentences would stand for those on death row. now the supreme court has reversed that, so the men, like the two men convicted of killing judith pettitte and her daughters, just a horrible crime people might remember from 2007, the family is speaking out. not just the husband that survived the brutal attack, but also her sister saying she disagrees with that decision, how difficult it is for family members. this is a case that has caught so much of the public's attention, but there are other victims' families out there speaking out as well as connecticut makes this decision. >> absolutely, and you said there are 11 people on death row? >> 11 people on death row, so all of those will now be converted to life without the possibility of parole. >> did we get any more detail or explanation as to why this decision was made? >> yeah. in its decision -- and let me find the exact wording here so that i don't get it wrong --
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whoops. sorry, where are we here? they're saying how difficult it was, and the high court said this state's death penalty no longer comports with contemporary standards of decency. >> i know you've been covering this extensively. a lot of moving parts explaining the law as well as the emotion that i think many people would understand as it relates to this decision and how it impacts families of 11 victims greatly affected by this. thank you, kristin, for covering this. we greatly appreciate it. a terrible crash caught on tape. a school bus packed with children plows into a liquor store. we are updating the news nation. plus, a summer job used to be a staple to help students pay for college, but new numbers show the jobs are barely helping at all. are summer jobs even worth it at this point? i'll talk with a writer from forbes next. but first, there's a lot going on this morning and here
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we are back with our first read on politics this morning. presidential hopefuls are in iowa this week at the iowa state fair for presidential hopefuls. that includes donald trump and hillary clinton. both are expected to visit the fair tomorrow, but neither will speak on the fair's famous soapbox. this morning, though, it was jeb bush's turn to get on that soapbox. we'll get to that in a moment, but first here's a look back at the week in politics. >> ladies and gentlemen, president of the united states, donald j. trump! >> leading in iowa, leading in new hampshire, leading in north carolina, leading everywhere. you're fired! you're a pig! you look terrible! you only have half a brain! >> it's entertainment. look, it's all entertainment! >> i think i'll do more for women than hillary can ever do. >> a new poll out of california
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this morning shows bernie sanders leading hillary clinton for the first time. >> the united states disengaged from the middle east, and where was the secretary of state? >> hillary confirmed she has turned over her private server to the fbi. two of her e-mails should have been termed top secret. >> joining me live now from the iowa state fair in des moines, msnbc political correspondent casey hunt. casey, good to see you. you are all smiles there, but certainly we know not a lot of smiles, perhaps, from hillary clinton's campaign, another headline regarding these e-mails, and jeb bush, still trying to find a way to get his footing and being very heavily criticized with his foreign policy speech blaming the crisis in iraq on the obama administration and hillary clinton. >> absolutely, tamron. and we just heard from jeb bush on the soapbox here at the iowa state fair. he said this is the first time he's been back at least since 1980 when he said he might have
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been campaigning here with his father, although he couldn't quite remember. he was in a hurry to try the fried snickers, which is on the menu here, but he also took some tough questions at the soapbox from people who wanted to know whether he, for example, supported his brother's plans to privatize social security. he said, of course, that he did not, although he said that plan might have been acceptable at the time. but tamron, if you look at the polls here in iowa on both the republican and democratic side, you're seeing a lot of interest on bernie sanders on the one hand, and on the republican side you've got donald trump and ben carson silgt tting on the top o those polls, and what they have in common is they are outsiders in the political process. i asked jeb bush if he was part of that. >> i'm from washington, d.c. i can barely drive. i can get to senator grassley's office maybe by gps.
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i've never lived there. there is a yearning -- i got the family thing. i'm blessed with a great family. but my record of success is something people yearn for in washington, d.c. we've had gridlock in washington. >> wow. >> reporter: so his record of success is what he's trying to sell here. the challenge is going to be, of course, overcoming the fact that the thing most people know about him is his last name. bu i told him to fly into dulles airport if he wants to get to senator grassley's office. >> being accepted and having a response, whether it's a canned response, and it may even sound as though you practiced it every day in the bathroom mirror, but nevertheless a response, and not one that i don't even know how to drive in washington, d.c., thus, i am not an insider.
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>> it is, i am not an insider, tamron, and that family question is one he gets over and over again not just from reporters like me but from voters who, again, basically know his last name and not that much else about him. and he's pretty quick to be dismi dismissive, as you heard there. i think that will be a challenge for him as he goes forward. he is a campaigner who is -- he's very competitive, he's measured in how he approaches things. the chaos of the state fair is not necessarily a natural habitat for him. you can sort of tell that. there was a lot of noise at the soapbox. at one point somebody was trying to yell over another questioner. he said, wait, don't let your head explode, i'll get to you in a minute. that's the kind of style he has. we'll see if that bears out in iowa over the course of the next six months. >> we know the chaos of politics does not lend itself to a controlled atmosphere. he was heckled by the black
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lives matter protesters, being able to react to those hot moments. that kind of chaos may not be familiar to jeb bush, but someone like donald trump, it's intriguing that he's taking the stage there and hillary clinton also. >> reporter: that's right, tamron. jeb bush has taken dozens of questions from reporters here today. he got applause when he said he's walked the campaign on a tightrope. donald trump and hillary clinton are both planning to be at the fair on saturday, but as you pointed out, neither one of them will be on the soapbox. but trump has a lot of security detail around him, but he tends to just walk right into these crowds and engage with people. hillary clinton, on the other hand, has used actual ropes to hold reporters back. i'm interested to see if she's here and touching the voters, shaking hands, doing the things that are expected here, or if she's operating in more of a bubble. >> and past the stylish use, you
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do have substantive information regarding former u.s. senator tom harkin announced his endorsement late yesterday of hillary clinton. >> reporter: pretty significant, tamron. he's not somebody who always endorses in these processes, and sometimes he endorses late. but it says a lot about his loyalty to the clinton family at this stage, her loyalty to him, that he and his wife ruth are going to be campaigning with hillary clinton at the fair on saturday. >> all right, casey hunt on the ground in iowa. it looks beautiful behind you, even though politics can be a dangerous game sometimes. >> it is beautiful. on sunday chuck todd will go one on one with donald trump in a face-to-face interview. check out your local listings for the times. it is nearing the end of the summer -- can you believe it -- and for a lot of college students that means back to school and the end to a summer job. that money often helps pay for tuition and perhaps some much-needed pocket money in
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these ever-increasing expensive times to go to college. in 1981 a student working a summer minimum wage job and receiving a maximum government p pell grant would have to work nine hours a day, seven days a week to pay for tuition, and that includes extra spending money. in 2014, that same student would need to work 20 hours a day every day all summer, and nothing is left over. joining me now, forbes' katheri katheri katherine dell. katherine, most people worked through college, and that money is not just so you can hang out at the movie theater. we're talking real bills that people face after leaving college and during. so what's happening here? >> we're seeing record lows for employment for teens, that's people 16 to 19, over the summer, june, july and august. last summer just about a third of this group was employed. and at the peak of that employment in 1978, about 60% of
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that group was employed. so we're seeing lower numbers than ever before, and it's reflective of the youth employment situation at large. >> now, at the height of the adult unemployment, people were saying a lot of these jobs that would normally go to college students and young people were being taken by adults who needed work. now we've seen, obviously, the improvement of the overall unemployment number, so why are we still seeing this issue at the college student level? >> of the teens that were working last summer, that 30%, about 50% were employed in retail, food service, hospitality, all those jobs we remember having when we were kids that age, and we're seeing those numbers skew a lot older in those industries. they're still being held by more experienced workers that can stay year round and are just more attractive to employers. >> by the numbers again, college tuition comparison from 1981 to 1982 to 2014-15. '81 to '82, $2,870.
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2014 to 2015, $18,943. minimum wage comparisons, $3.35 in '81 and '82, 2014 and 2015, $7.25. you look at the numbers, the math is never going to be tlohe. >> no, and there is an increasing number of teens that don't want to work over the summer, and the takeaway from that is kids are lazy, but i think it's the opposite. the expectation of kids are huge. they're hired more than ever before. they're enrolled in course work over the summer. they're doing unpaid volunteer work, unpaid internships, which, by wait, the bla does not consider that being unemployed. these kids are incredibly busy
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and the expectations are high, it's just not the same as it was for previous generations. >> there is not a happy ending in sight here other than, hopefully, you get the college degree, and we've seen people with college degrees have a lower unemployment rate. maybe that is the silver lining to some degree in that. thank you, katherine, for being with us on this friday. still a warning about el nino. parts of the west could see record-breaking monster storms this weekend. from summer jobs to winter storms. we're keeping this rolling and that's next. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. isn't it time to let the real you shine through? introducing otezla, apremilast. otezla is not an injection,
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welcome back. a new study linking private gun ownership to police officer deaths. the american journal of public health shows officers are three times more likely to be killed on the job than states with high gun ownership, compared to states with low gun ownership. the research also shows that domestic violence calls are one
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of the most common situations where officers are killed. a man was killed at an amusement park in ohio while looking for his cellphone. police say he entered a restricted area and was hit bay roller coaster. no one else was injured. very frightening situation there. new jersey police are investigating an accident between an skuf and school bus filled with children. and the accident was all caught on camera. the bus crashed into the suv before smashing into a liquor store. thankfully none of the injuries are life threatening. turning now to what forecasters are calling a, quote, godzilla el nino, event expected to hit the west coast this winter. it could trigger the strongest storms on record raising the risk of floods and mudslides. officials say the ongoing drought and wildfires in california are a big factor in this. nbc's miguel almaguer has more on this threat. >> reporter: this is what they call level five. the highest fire danger rating
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in the nation, the drastic move signals tinder box condition on the verge of exploding. this year of extremes, feeding on each other. fire fueled by crippling drought. exacerbated by a heat wave. and now the forecast calls for a monster el nino this winter. storms capable of triggering floods, mudslides, and mayhem. >> we have four-year record drought. we had late spring rains. and now we're seeing conditions that firefighters have never seen. >> reporter: for now, the biggest threat on the fire lines. this year already proving historic. nearly 40,000 fires torching 6.4 million acres. firefighters from every state mobilized and moving west. when fire season is finally over here, a new threat will begin. these drought-stricken hills will be ripe for mudslides if el nino predictions hold true. scientists say warming ocean waters are surging towards the u.s. with it, the potential for once in a lifetime storms.
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this el nino could be among the most powerful ever. >> this is the godzilla el nino if it matures and actually comes to fruition. great droughts always end in great floods. >> reporter: a year of extremes after an explosive start. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. time for the "newsnation" gut check. earlier this hour we discussed the report indicating that al gore could be considering jumping into the race for democratic presidential nomination. buzz feed is reporting that the former vice president is discussing whether, quote, there's a path financially and politically. however, a high level democratic source is pouring could water on that saying there's no substantive -- nothing substantive happening there. so what does your gut tell you? do you think al gore should run for president in 2016? go to "newsnation" to cast that vote and that does it for this edition of "newsnation." i'm tamron hall.
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[ drum roll ] [ applause ] ♪ >> we are gathered here today because our leaders, president obama and president castro, made a courageous decision to stop being the prisoners of history and to focus on the opportunities of today and tomorrow. >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports," history is made in havana. the stars and stripes returning after more than a half century.
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good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell live in cuba to witness a moment in history that millions of americans did not believe they would live to see. the united states flag flying once again at the reopened embassy here in havana. the latest sign of an evolving relationship between america and a decades long adversary only 90 miles to the south. joining me here in havana on this this special day is a special guest, carlos gutierrez, former commerce secretary. secretary gutierrez was bornd in cuba. family left for miami in the summer of 1960. he was 7 years old. this is your first day back. your first trip back. >> it is. my first day back. >> well, what were the emotions going through your heart and mind? you were standing right over there, as guest of the state department. >> well, you know, i woke up this morning. i didn't know i would feel. if i would feel sad, how. i woke up feeling joy. i woke up

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