tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC September 21, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
this bill under a situation that is going to shut down the debate and preclude republican amendment. >> so democrats are looking for the 60 votes needed to stop a republican filibuster and senator carl levin just said democrats are being fair. >> until you get to the bill, you're not in a position to work out such agreement. these are theoretical issues we don't even know what amendments are going to be offered. >> but republican leader mitch mcconnell insists the democrats are playing politics with don't ask, don't tell. he says "this is not a serious exercise. it's a show." luke russert joins us from capitol hill. where do we stand right now on getting the votes just to move the ball forward? >> reporter: all indications right now, contessa, the democrats will not have the necessary republican votes to break the filibuster on the defense reauthorization bill and hence the debite on it will not
go forward. it willie happen after the midterm elections. this is something harry reid deeply wanted to move forward. obviously the don't ask, don't tell is something that excites a lot of democrats, definitely fires up you their base. a lot feel it's morally the right thing to do. that being said, republicans don't necessarily have an adversement to repealing don't ask, don't tell. they're averse to doing it in the manner you're talking about. a lot of republicans have the chance of amendments will not be offered in debate. harry reid would be limiting the amount of the amendments, that's what's alienated voters such as susan collins we heard from as well as owe lip pa snowe. it will be interesting to see what happens at 2:30 p.m. it doesn't look like the democrats have the votes right now to move this forward. >> what happens with don't ask, don't tell? does it mean they go ahead and wait for mr debate on it?
does that delay then the funding bill as well, the defense funding bill? >> reporter: there's a few things on this. number one, primarily, this is actually more of a mru print for the defense department's budget. it it's not actually money going directly to the troops in the field or pentagon. it's more a bill where the money would be set up and where exactly it would go. that being said, they can afford to punt on it if need be. in the long run, there are a lot of republicans and even one democrat, jim webb, who want to see the conclusion of the defense department study is how don't ask, don't tell would be arepealed and how it would affect soldiers in the field and within the various ranks and departments. there's a lot of study, that could be done pi the even the year. in terms of don't ask, don't tell, what the future would be for it, if this it goes down today, it would probably wait until after the election. that being said, all indicators are that by this time next year it would likely be repealed.
>> a lot of things can happen in a year. a lot of people can lose their lifelong careers in the armed forces being outed if that's the case. the senate is set to vote on the repeal 2:30 p.m. eastern. we'll bring it it to you when it it happens. given all the issues our country is facing today, of course my question is, will there be consequences especially for moderate who refuse to repeal don't ask, don't tell? i'd like to hear your thoughts on twitter, facebook. might want to watch out for twitter today, but my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to avoid the twitter hacks more on that later. president obama got an earful even during his loyal supporters during msnbc's town hall meeting. some obama voters said they are tired of waiting for answers. >> i'm one of your middle class americans, and quite frankly i'm exhausted i'm exhausted of
defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that i voted for. and deeply disappointed with where we are right now. >> cnbc's chief white house correspondent john harwood yoins me. how does the president take that feedback and move forward? >> reporter: i think first of all the taking the feedback may be the point of the exercise. i talked to some obama political advisers. they are hoping that voters experience what happened yesterday as their chance to have gotten off their chest the disappointment and frustration they feel and get the impression that the president is listening to them and responding. now, in terms of what happens on policy doing forward, i think there are two different phases to talk about. one is before the election, one is after. before the election, not much new is going to happen. the president has laid down a new agenda of $50 billion for infrastructure, tax breaks for business, that's not likely to move anywhere because we're really in campaign mode right now. after the electrion, two
possibilities. one is democrats keep the congress. he'll have to decide how to pursue the same agenda he's been pursuing with democrats. but if republicans take over, their potential midcourse corrections and the president signaled a couple of those, possibility for changes in his economic team, the possibility for a payroll tax holiday or other measures like that that might be something republicans could work with him on, or a cut in the corporate tax rate in return for getting rid of a lot of loopholes. >> john, good to see you today. thank you. a deadly crash in afghanistan, nine americans killed. nbc news has confirmed the troops died when their helicopter went down in the southeastern part of that country. the taliban claims to have shot down the chopper, but u.s. officials say there were no reports of hostile fire. this year has been the deadliest for international forces in afghanistan since the war there began in 2001. iran's president declares the west's oppression of his country is over. he spoke a short time ago at the united nations. boy, does he have his share of
critics. there are protests outside of the united nations in new york mahmoud ahmadinejad, the punishment with not cooperating with nuclear inspection, his mere presence causes controversy. and israeli president calls ahmadinejad calls him a living -- perez doesn't think iran should have a role at the unites nations. joining us is a contributor to the daily beast and dan, a senior fellow for middle eastern studies for the council on foreign relations. dan, let me begin with you. why doesn't iran, which says it is using and developing nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes, if that's the case, why isn't it letting in these international inspectors? >> because the international inspectors are focused on preventing iran from weapon sizg any nuclear program. it's clearly what the iranians want to do.
they want access to the technologies, well on their way what we call a breakout, which is where they can get to a weaponizing program. they're spinning centrifuges to do that, supporting terrorist groups. any sort of international access on the inspections front will inhibit their capacity to do this and the speed with which they want it to do it. they are under more pressure today than they have been at all in the past 18 to 24 months and they don't want the pressure to develop momentum. >> iran has recently stripped two experienced inspectors of their capacity to go in and inspect. what they reported they said was just wrong. let me ask you now, when you're asking international experts about this nuclear capacity, they say it's evident that iran is increasing its proliferation. however, they point out everybody was alarmist about china, oh, if china gets nuclear weapons it's going to encourage rogue regimes in the area and the council of foreign relations in an interview says they have international inspectors saying
that's simply not the case. perhaps we're getting a little too worried about whether iran gets a nuclear weapon. what's your take? >> well, look, it's absolutely clear that for the cause of nuclear nonproliferation and for global security we need to make sure that iran does not develop nuclear weapons but it's equally clear that an iran with nuclear weapons will be as rational an actor as china or the soviet union was. this notion that iran wants a nuclear weapon because it wants to commit collective suicide with it by launching an attack on israel is frankly ridiculous. but let as be clear here. the balance of power and dynamics of power in the region would change dramatically if iran had nuclear weapons and so would the domestic situation. >> i would say first of all we can debate whether or not iran will have the same commitment to national survival the soviet union did. that's debatable. we don't know that.
what we do know is if they have a nuclear umbrella they can support terrorism proxy groups, they know they're protect by this iranian nuclear capability, what do i mean by that? it's not the fear that iran's actually going to launch a nuclear bomb. it's the fear that if anyone in the west wants to respond to one of the terror proxies of iran like hezbollah, hamas, they know they will be going against a iran that is now nuclear armed. it's the fear of the non-nuclear warfare that iran will be able to engage in with impunity once they have the capability. >> here's our options as the west and united states. there are sanctions that are being deployed. some experts say it's working, others say it's not working. ahmadinejad says it's not woging. you can use a military strike. what about diplomacy? the president says he's going to use his appearance at the united nations this week as an open door, he's encouraging iran but only if they'll let inspectors
go in and ensure -- here's the live pictures right now from the united nations -- that it is a peaceful program. reza, where do we stand on diplomacy? the president wanted direct talks. why hasn't it happened? >> part of it is, we're not sure who is calling the shots in iran. is it the president? the military, the mullahs? iran is more fractured, particularly the conservatives who control the iranian government, more fractured than they've ever been. they're busy biting at each other, going after each other and going after ahmadinejad in fact. so there's a real sense of chaoses in iran. but let's make something very clear. there is is no debate about whether iran has any self-preservation in it, whether it's going to submit suicide with a nuclear bomb. that's not a debate. but the issue of a nuclear
umbrella is an important one, we should keep in mind, however, that iran has not had a nuclear umbrella over hezbollah or hamas and that hasn't stopped those groups from attacking israel on numerous occasions. >> before i let you go, i have to ask about the two american hikers still in iranian custody. any chance given how many international leaders have access to ahmadinejad there's movement on that front this week? >> look, i think the iranians have actually demonstrated they'll be responsive when american international diplomats dedicate a lot of resorszs and a lot of energy to them. on the hostage release. on the nuclear front, though, i must say no one has made a firmer commitment and diplomacy and reaching out to the iranian leadership than barack obama. back to a year ago, june 2009, during the iranian elections where the iranian regime completely cramped down on the protest movement and barack obama was effectively silent in large measure suror gats said
because this will bring the regime to the table. >> and you encouraged the administration to support the oppositi opposition. >> to embrace them. here we are, there was no responsiveness on their part to the outreach and diplomatic efforts on theed administration. i think the obama administration is waking up to this reality. >> thank you both. when bears attack. the latest victim, a washington state councilman. we'll have that look. new accusations. tea party darling christine o'donnell misused campaign cash to go bowling? that's what you use your campaign contributions for? she's the major fodder for late night comics. >> she is out of touch with those voters in touch with themselves. she is so anti-mast ur bas, she even came out against this tv commercial. take a look.
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a city councilman in washington state is in stable condition right now. he was attacked by a 150-pound plaque bear friday. tops our search for stories far and wide. he is recovering from several reconstructive surgeries to heal puncture wounds in his face and head. his wife saved his life by calling 911. >> when wildlife officials arrived on the scene, they found the bear about 100 yards away from the attack and they killed the bear. a district attorney in wisconsin could soon be out of a job because he sent racy text messages to a domestic abuse
victim. governor jim doyle says he's deeply troubled by the messages allegedly sent by d.a. ken kratz, starting the process of having him removed. >> just beyond -- it's mindboggling. i don't think anybody could even -- it's just unimaginable. exactly what happened is obviously something that we should -- we will look into very carefully. >> ken kratz admitted he sent 30 text messages in three days last year to a woman while he was prosecuting her ex-boyfriend in an abuse case. he apologized last week and said he would get therapy. he's now on medical leave. we've joked about her past comments on witchcraft, but christine o'donnell is now facing very serious allegations. an ethics group filed complaints she used campaign money to pay her rent, even to go bowling. but the republican senate candidate in delaware is now
defending herself. >> i am confident that we have been ethical. we have not -- i personally have not misused campaign funds. we have our sec lawyer, a great attorney answering those charges if it ever goes anywhere. >> kelly o'donnell is in washington now. kelly, these charges stem here from a run against her opponent. what happened here? when she was running against joe biden. >> yes. the campaign finances we're talking about are not the donations that are coming in in droves now for her current run. she was also a candidate for senate in 2008 running against joe biden. she was deet feated, of course the reports that this watch dog group have examined date back to the funds to that campaign. they say they have found talking to former o'donnell aides who had knowledge about how the finances were handled say that the candidate was irresponsible, that she used money from the
campaign funds for personal things like rent, like paying for gas, some meals, those sorts of things. that's the allegation by this watchdog group that is asking the fec to do an audit. so it will be a long time before we have any idea if there will be official steps da s taken. but politically it's troubling now because she's being asked to respond to these things and there will be questions about her integrity related to this. as you heard, she says she has done nothing wrong. her campaign says it is in a political context. they believe the watchdog group, which is nonpartisan, has an agenda to it try to harm her in this race. that is their allegation and they believe it's politically motivated. that's what you get when there it is a campaign with this much attention. as you mentioned, contessa, a lot of what we've been talking about had to do with the sort of quirky things she said when she was a pundit. i had a chance to talk to bill maher, the comedian who has control of the tapes that reveal so much about christine o'donnell and he pokes some fun
as well, talking about her as a guest. >> who didn't have a sacrifice on an altar in high school? come on. it should not affect her being elected to the senate or not. she's the real deal. you know, i would not exactly put her on the intelligence committee if she gets to the senate, if you know what i mean, but she certainly is sincere, yes. >> so maher says he actually likes o'donnell, enjoyed her as a guest. she appeared 22 times. but politically she is very much opposed to her. he said he is not about the politics. this for him is about entertainment. >> kelly, thank you. bedbugs have become such a huge national problem, they made a summit for it. a summit? we're going to get the latest on getting rid of those nasty little buggers. everybody's talking about the twitter hack. mysterious tweets are causing pop-up windows to pop up by rolling a mouse over them. twitter called it it an attack.
i didn't get hit, but apparently the white house press secretary robert gibbs also a victim of this virus. britain has been crowned america's perfect team. now, how does that happen? she's gorgeous, talented, smart. her parents also have a vacation home in florida so she was allowed to participate. and a fireman in hot water over nude cooking. washington, d.c., police are investigating a firefighter was caught on camera preparing food for a party in the firehouse. as many as three firefighters may have prepared and then even served food in the buff. wall street is getting back on its feet. but the financial landscape is still full of uncertainty. in times like these,
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my job is to listen to the needs and frustrations of the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel or restaurant workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. our job is to listen and find ways to help. that means working with communities. restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion independently-run claims fund to cover lost income until people impacted can get back to work. and our efforts aren't coming at tax-payer expense. i know people are wondering-- now that the well is capped, is bp gonna meet its commitments? i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. i'm gonna be here until we make this right.
there's a bedbug summit outside chicago. nbc's kevin tibbles is there with the exterminators and the entrepreneurs. kevin, doesn't it just give you the creeps? i don't know, like maybe they dragged some with in with them? >> reporter: actually, i'm beginning to feel quite safe. i'm surrounded by all these guys that zap them, freeze them, fry them. they do all kinds of things to get the bedbugs out. you know, bedbugs in the empire state building, bedbugs in college dorms, in stores, bedbugs, this is the epicenter of the bedbug business at the moment. and there's one other thing i haven't mentioned to you. this is the best part of my day because i get to introduce you to xooby, but i also get to introduce you to linda. this is scooby. what does scooby do? >> he is canine trained in detection and trained to detect
the odor of bedbugs and odor. >> there's a bed. can we have a little demo here? >> wanna go to work? come on! >> okay. scooby is not -- >> good boy! >> reporter: he gets a little treat. >> good boy! and you will see that hidden in the bed here -- >> >> reporter: oh, what have you done? >> a vial of bedbugs. he was able to detect the presence of them. >> reporter: notice linda keeps the bugs and i will hang out with the dog. interestingly enough, they are calling this the nation's first bedbug summit. clearly this was something we thought we might pick up when we went to other people's countries on vacation. unn unfortunately, i guess we've brought them home with us in our bags. >> you are correct. one of the reasons we believe that the infestation has grown
so severely here in the u.s. is the amount of international travel. that and the lack of awareness and educational programs. >> but scooby is on the job. thank you for bringing her/him out. >> him. >> reporter: back to you, contessa. >> like scooby cares. doesn't care if it's a him or her. kevin, thanks. >> reporter: he gets the treat. a surprise sign of optimism in the housing market. >> we'll take a look at whether the slump is over. bristol palin goes dancing. and you know what? she's pretty good. in case you missed it, we'll show you what may have been the moment of the night.
time to face the pollen that used to make me sneeze... my eyes water. but now zyrtec®, the fastest 24-hour allergy relief, comes in a liquid gel. zyrtec® liquid gels work fast, so i can love the air®. good tuesday, everybody. i'm contessa brewer. here's what's happening right now. a critical vote for don't ask, don't tell, about two hours away. we're watching senators debating the policy on capitol hill. crews in utah are kraising to reinforce fire lines before
winds pick up later this afternoon. the 4300-acre wildfire was sparked by a military exercise. the man accused of killing the daughter of a north carolina police chief is due in a new york courtroom. police say michael neil harvey killed valerie hamilton monday at a home in niagara falls. denver broncos wide receiver was found dead in his home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. the 23-year-old was a second year player but currently on injured reserve. a helicopter has crashed in afghanistan, killing nine. nbc news has confirmed the nine american troops when their chopper went down you in the southeastern part of the country. the taliban claims it shot down the chopper, but the united states says there were no reports of hostile fire. nbc's john yang is in kabul now. john, are you able to learn anything new about the chopper crash? >> reporter: well, this was the deadliest chopper crash in about four years here in afghanistan. the choppers are used a lot in rugged and remote areas where
it's hard to get around on the ground. this was in an area that was a taliban stronghold, but the territory controlled by the taliban, also an area where coalition forces have been pushing back against the taliban, escalating their efforts to try to drive the taliban out. this is the deadliest year for coalition forces, 529 now coalitions forces have died this year with still three months to go in the year. and 351 of them were americans, also a record contessa. >> john yang reporting from kabul, afghanistan. thank you, john. we are seeing a huge jump in contractors building new homes, just getting the new numbers. new home construction jumped a whopping 10.5% last month. all the more surprising here because economists had expected that number to drop. the unexpected increase puts housing starts at their highest level in four months.
cnbc's diana oleg joins me live from washington, d.c. why are we seeing such a big jump especially toward the end of summer? >> because you have to look inside this number, contessa. this number is compiled of single family and multifamily housing starts and the real driver of the number this month was the multifamily, that is apartment units. single family was only up 4%, seasonably adjusted. when you take the adjustments out, they were actually down. we're looking at such low levels being you look at jumps percentagewise, when you're dealing with small numbers they tend to be larger than the numbers from previous years. looking at the multifamily, we saw a jump of 32% in apartments. that means the biltders are looking more toward condos, rentals. what the analysts are saying today is that americans are renting more because of the economy. they're moving toward that. homeownership is on the decline. so whether or not that's good or bad for the housing market, if people are moving toward rentals, it's great for
construction in commercial and for apartmentbuilders, but what does it say about the single family homes still out there? >> thank you very much. right now it does not look like democrats have the votes to get don't ask, don't tell pushed forward. the critical vote in the senate is in less than two hours. lady gaga headlined a protest in maine where she pled for equality. >> doesn't it seem to be that don't ask, don't tell is backwards? doesn't it based to be based on the constitution of the united states that we're penalizing the wrong soldier? doesn't it seem to you that we should send home the prejudice? the straight soldier who hates the gay soldier? >> dan choi was discharged from the army for being openly gay. so here you had lady gaga
drawing attention to maine and the role of these moderate republican senators, senator olympia snowe and susan collins. we just saw, lieutenant choi, susan collins on the floor of the house. she says she supports a repeal of don't ask, don't tell, but she doesn't like the way congress and the democrats are going about seeing the repeal passed. will there be consequences for her this afternoon if she votes to block the procedure moving forward? >> yes. there will be consequences, contessa, for all of us because whenever you continue a policy of discrimination, there are dire consequences for the fabric of what makes america what it is. though it's difficult for me to follow lady gaga, i want to say she's been a great leader in this. i some of our politicians can speak up you loudly and forthrightly as she has. >> i want to read what mccain
says about this. he's kind of been the one pushing for a filibuster of don't ask, don't tell. he says it's pushing for a vote on the don't ask, don't tell law before the defense department has concluded its survey of the opinions of our force on an important matter that will directly affect them and their families. i'm getting a lot of e-mails in, dan, from people who have served or are serving in the military, both sides here, some saying, no, gays should not be allowed to openly serve and some saying it's absolutely time to overhaul this policy. do the survey results at all change -- would it change your view about whether it's a valid policy? >> it's absolutely an invalid -- it's absolutely a destructive policy. you don't need a survey to understand that discrimination is anti-american. i don't know if any of the people conducting the survey took a look at the other countries in the world. they conducted polls and many people said the same thing that senator mccain and many other
elected officials are saying, that there's going to be some kind of negative impact. contes contessa, whenever you have a unit or a team that prizes honesty, integrity, that supports all families, not just straight families, but all families, you have an increase in cohesion. you have an increase in community. you have an increase in the strength of an organization. repealing don't ask, don't tell is going to do nothing but strengthen our communities and our families and our country. >> let me ask you, and some of the e-mails i get that do not support the repeal of don't ask, don't tell from former or current military members, this is the argument they make. i want you to address this since you served in the military. they say, what happens when a gay military member hits on a straight military member and then the gay military member gets punched in the face? does that happen? do gay soldiers hit on straight
soldiers? >> well, i think what -- let me just be really clear about this. when a gay soldier exists in a un unit, 99% of the time, they're not spending their time hitting on other soldiers. there's probably a fear that when a gay soldier exists that the other soldiers will say, oh, maybe i'm gay, too, and that's what's at the bottom of this kind of thinking, this kind of illogic. those incidents that people are bringing up never happened when i was openly gay in an infantry unit for over a year and a half. it it's common for a lot of people to focus on, you know, these pretend incidents that they will say will be widespread and they'll create a sense of
fear. but i'm not buying it. i'm not tricked by it. and i don't think anybody who pays attention to your program should be tricked by it either. >> all right. so, for instance, john in texas, there's an answer to your e-mail. thanks for sending it in. lieutenant dan choi, appreciate your time as always. thank you, sir. new york senator kristen gillibrand will be andrea's guest next hour. she spoke directly to lady gaga about the vote today. jimmy carter forced to clarify comments he made during an interview with brian williams. brian asked carter if a photo of him and his fellow former presidents was symbolic of carter feeling apart from the crowd in his post-presidency. here's carter's response. >> i feel that my role as a former president is probably superior to that of other presidents, primarily because of the activism and the ejection of working of the international affairs and to some degree
domestic affairs on energy conservation, on environment and things of that kind. >> after his comments aired, carter clarified saying, what i meant was, for 27 years the carter center has provided me with superior opportunities to do good. president carter was also on "the daly show." he weighed in on delaware's senate candidate christine o'donnell and her past admission of witchcraft, her views on masturbation. >> i haven't been involved in witchcraft. as a young man, i was not 100% against -- >> all right, all right, you don't have to -- >> i didn't mean to embarrass you. >> no, no, no. please. i will say this. was not expecting you to go there. >> put a crazy image in your
head, did it? former president bill clinton also hit the late night circuit stopping by "the late show with david letterman". he talked about what he and his wife secretary of state hillary clinton now thought about their daughter's marriage. >> hillary wanted this marriage because she wants to be a grandmother more than she wanted to be president, you know? she wants to be a grandmother. so i don't know. >> wow. >> clinton told letterman he's happy for chelsea's marriage because it now evens out the family, two men and two women. mama grizzly, sarah palin, did not show up last night to watch her daughter's first performance on "dancing with the stars." but bristol palin busted it out anyway, tearing off a little suit po reveal this sort of sleek flapper dress. she danced to "mama told me not to come." and her cha-cha wasn't thatted bad. but the moment of the night might have been when florence henderson, mrs. brady, issued a challenge to the "jersey
shore's" the situation. >> look out, mr. situation, you're going to get -- >> yeah, there she was, the big challenge from mrs. brady, flashing the cameras for "dancing with the stars." her bra looks very comfortable. the murder of the journalist in mexico prompts one newspaper to rethink how it covers that country's violent drug war. what impact does it have? we'll be right back. you exercise and eat right, but your blood sugar may still be high, and you need extra help. ask your doctor about onglyza, a once daily medicine used with diet and exercise to control high blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. adding onglyza to your current oral medicine may help reduce after meal blood sugar spikes and may help reduce high morning blood sugar. [ male announcer ] onglyza should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. tell your doctor if you have a history or risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. onglyza has not been studied with insulin. using onglyza with medicines such as sulfonylureas
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only 77 scrub % scrubbed up como 93% of women. breaking news from bell, california, this town about 40,000 people outside los angeles where the city council member and manager were making inordinate amounts of money, the city manager with his salary and benefits was making close to $1.5 million. at least eight of those city officials were arrested this morning. the l.a. county district attorney is preparing to announce criminal charges. in fact, they have taken these elected leaders away in handcuffs. they're filing a lawsuit against the former and current bell city leaders demanding that their pay contracts are nullified, that they pay back some of the salaries and the full audit has shown that bell, california, illegally overtaxed residents and businesses to the tune of $5.6 million. that some 40,000 people overpaid more than $5.5 million.
we're keeping a close eye on this and we'll bring you more details throughout the afternoon. a horrific accident for fans at a race car in brazil. more than 100 people were hurt when a section of bleachers collapsed at an auto race this week. police are trying to figure out why it collapsed. some believe the bleachers had structural faults that caused them to give way. firemen at the scene said the company that organized the event did not call them to inspect the bleachers before the race. grammy aed ward winning mu zik wyclef giuliani says he's not going to run for president of hate itty anymore. he's going to continue, though, his work for the haitian people. jean added he will resume his focus you on his music year. as the drug war mexico continues, safety also. juarez, mexico's most violent city, was forced to restrict drug war coverage after the killing of its second journalist
in less than two years. basically the war has brought this place to its knees. ilene is a reporter right across the border from juarez. when you're looking at the way reporters cover these drug cartels and the violence here, ilene, what's the biggest obstacle to trying to get the story right? >> well, basically, it it's just the fear. i mean, you go out there, but you don't know who you're talking to. you actually don't trust authorities and just in general, laypeople, it's living in fear. >> the drug cartels were asked what they wanted. please let us know which stories are going to set you off so that we can continue our work without further death, injury, or intimidati intimidation. are those the kind of discussions, aileen, you've had in your newsroom? >> this is different because we
live on the other side of the border. it's harder for them in juarez because they're living there. they are among the people who kill so it's easier for us just to go into juarez, cover the story, and come back and we're safe. but it's kind of different for the journalists who are actually staying in juarez. >> aileen, thank you for your time. rising waters, a sinking ship and a nailbiting "caught on camera" rescue. in croatia, crews spent hours trying to save this man caught in a rough current. the 56-year-old eventually had to be plucked from the ship. there you can see him just being taken by the helicopter. the rescuer was lowered down to the boat, lifted him off just in the nick of time before the boat capsized. in washington, d.c., today, here's what's happening. at the top of the hour, treasury secretary tim geithner and obama special adviser elizabeth warren hold a forum on mortgage
disclosure. just after 1:00 p.m. eastern, president obama will posthumously award the medal of honor to richard etch burger of the u.s. air force. he single-handedly held off an enemy force. 2:30 eastern, we're watching the senate expected to vote to end debate on military spending bill, attached includes the repeal of the controversial don't ask, don't tell policy. quick break here. we'll be right back. my name is vonetta, and i suffer from allergies. [ male announcer ] we asked zyrtec® users what they love about their allergy relief, and what it lets them do. the thing i love most about zyrtec® is that it allows me to be outside. [ male announcer ] we bet you'll love zyrtec®, too -- or it's free. [ vonetta ] it is countdown to marshmallow time. [ woman laughs ]
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why in the world does anybody think it's okay to text and drive? i mean, you know how many crashes happened last year because of cell phones and texting? almost 1.5 million. and those crashes killed nearly 5500 people. nbc's tom costello is in washington, d.c., now. so what are they doing about it? >> reporter: well, this is day one of a second annual summit into distracted driving and the bottom line is, there's a public now to have a national ban on
texting while driving. at the moment we've got state bans. let's start out where we look in teams of states banning the use of handheld cell phones. eight states plus the district of columbia right now ban handheld cell phones. that is essentially while driving. you can still use a bluetooth, but you this is a ban on cell phones. look at the 30 states, 30 plus d.c. to ban testing while driving. this is really gained a lot of national traction here. and the talk is that in congress they may tie states' highway funds to their decision to ban texting while driving. if they do that, that may be an incentive for state legislators nationwide to decide to also ban texting while driving. if they don't, they could lose like a kwaet of their highway funding, clearly not a good idea in this day and age. meanwhile, in washington today, they continue to address all of the issues here surrounding texting while driving and distracted driving. you may think you've heard it all, but did you know that some of the major automakers out
there are now actually talking about adding internet service to a car? wi-fi service to a car. so you can surf the web while you're driving. these are the types of issues that the transportation secretary says absolutely has to be addressed and there needs to be some common sense. >> great if you're the passenger. dangerous if you're the driver. tom, thank you. >> you bet. i've received a number of responses from people who practice pagan religions or wick ka who consider themselves witches. and they are not happy with christine o'donnell's take on witchcraft. reverend ray flemming e-mails, as a practicing pagan whose faith path is that of ancient's tarek beliefs, i find her statements to be offensive. witches do not worship satan as christine o'donnell would have you believe. and diane writes -- i'm wiccan. no earth/nature based religion
such as wick ka would ever be associated with any satanic, blood on the altar worship. that ends this hour from me. i'd love to get a message from you. i'll see you tomorrow. president obama speaks at the united nations general assembly. andrea mitchell is up next. she's talking to many guests today. have a good day, everybody.