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tv   Way Too Early With Willie Geist  MSNBC  March 21, 2011 5:30am-6:00am EDT

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was whipped by a tenth-seeded acc also-ran. the question is, did you have marquette one of your last two big east teams left in the tournament? you're lying. way too early for this. good morning, i'm willie geist and it's way too early, the show that does not judge you for those pajamas you're wearing right now. shoot me an email and let me know why you're awake on a monday. or you can do what jimmy behan does and text the word "awake" to 62239. the next 30 minutes will be your cram session for this monday, march 21st and a lot going on today. including street fighting from yemen to bahrain, to syria. what will the u.s. do in those countries, if anything? plus, does the united states have a responsibility to intervene in the humanitarian
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crisis that was this woman trashing a liquor store when she did not receive prompt attention from a clerk? we'll discuss. first, let's get to the news live at 5:30 a.m. at 30 rock in new york city. american military officials are claiming initial success in isolating moammar gadhafi's regime, after a weekend of punishing allied air attacks in libya. according tocy officials, coalition strikes have crippled gadhafi's air defenses and a no fly zone is in place over the country. although gadhafi himself is not a target of what is being called operation odyssey dawn, at least not now. one of the strikes caused extensive damage to the libyan leader's compound in tripoli last night. at this hour, gadhafi's whereabouts remain unknown, but he has vowed to fight a quote long, drawn-out war with western forces. meanwhile, the pentagon says there is so far no evidence that civilians in libya have been harmed in the conflict, although it would be too soon to check all the areas they've bombed at
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this point. speaking on air force 1 yesterday, defense secretary robert gates said the u.s. expects to relinquish control of the mission over to a coalition within days. >> we expect in a matter of days to be able to turn over the primary responsibility to other. we will continue to support the coalition, we'll be a member of the coalition, we'll have a military role in the coalition. but we will not have the preeminent role. >> we'll get to the skepticism about that statement in a moment. making the rounds on the sunday talk shows, joint chiefs of staff chairman admiral mike mullen stressed that the u.s. role in libya would be limited. but he did not give an exact date or how long the u.s. would remain involved. >> expectations are that we would continue to support the mission, particularly with unique capabilities that we have, which would include intelligence support, jamming capabilities, and focus on the continued enforcement of the no fly zone and the mission overall. but i don't have an exact date
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in mind. and i don't have, i haven't been given a date by the president where u.s. military participation here would end. >> asked about the end game in libya, mullen said there is a chance gadhafi could stay in power. >> certainly the goals of this campaign right now again are limited and it isn't about seeing him go. it's about supporting the united nations' resolution, which talks to eliminating the, his ability to kill his own people, as well as support the humanitarian efforts. >> so the mission could be accomplished and gadhafi could remain in power. >> that's certainly potentially one outcome. >> with us from the capital city of tripoli, nbc's jim maceda is standing by with the latest. what are you seeing and hearing right now? >> reporter: hi there, willie. right now it's relatively quiet
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in our morning, that wasn't the case last night or the night before. we're in the target zone not far from this hotel where we're staying, 130 journalists are, command and control centers and some target. it's been wave upon wave, usually about a dozen or more, between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. it was no different last night. you can't hear planes flying overhead -- [ inaudible ] [ inaudible ] hear and see the reaction on the ground to them. often indiscriminate fire, they call it defensive fire. it's tracers going in every which way. and last night, last night there was an explosion. it was the first time that our building was actually impacted by it. we saw smoke in the general direction of the gadhafi compound. we were invited by our minders to go there. some of us said yes. others like myself said, don't think so. so that's too much of a human shield situation. those who did go were shown a building that was hit. clearly by shrapnel and chunks
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of what looked like a cruise missile piece with serial numbers on it. otherwise, we know that he is not a target. but there is a very important command and control center there. >> and jim, we heard from gadhafi yesterday saying he's willing and ready to fight a long, drawn-out war against the west. but based on what you've seen so far, will he be capable of that given the damage the united states and the coalition have done to his forces there? >> reporter: i think he'll be capable of holding on. it seems unlikely. but he might just be capable of doing it. but it doesn't depend so much on him. it depends on what kind of, what kind of ability and freedom now the rebel forces have. are they going to be able to push and fight and drive all the way to tripoli. that's the question. back to you. >> jim maceda, thanks so much, we appreciate your reporting, we'll be talking to you throughout the day there in tripoli.
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while military officials describe the u.s. involvement as limited in libya. that's not stopping criticism on both sides of the aisle of members in congress. arizona senator john mccain went after president obama for not acting sooner. >> he waited too long. there's no doubt in my mind about it. but now it is what it is. and we need now to support him and the efforts that our military are going to make. and i regret that it didn't, we didn't act much more quickly. but that's not the point now, the point now is let's get behind this effort. >> meanwhile, south carolina republican senator lindsay graham slammed obama for not seizing the opportunity more forcefully. >> we used to relish leading the free world. and now it's almost like leading the free world is an inconvenience. i want to be a good partner. i want the arab world, young arabs and young iranians see us as a strong, effective partner for their hope and dreams of being free. and i think the president has caveated this way too much.
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it's almost like it's a nuisance. this is a great opportunity to replace a tyrannical dictator, who is not a legitimate leader, who is an international crook, and we should seize the moment and talk about replacing him. a lot of people asking what the end game is here. what's the mission? house speaker john boehner said this in a statement, the president is commander-in-chief, but the administration has a responsibility to define for the american people, our congress and troops what the mission in libya is. better explain what america's role is in achieving that mission and make it clear how it will be accomplished. the president getting hit by democrats as well. a group of liberal house democrats is questioning the constitutionality of the strikes on libya. with one member of the group, ohio congressman, dennis kucinich raising the prospect of impeachment. senate armed services committee chairman john kerry endorsed the attack on libya. >> it's not to get rid of
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gadhafi. that's not what the united nations licensed and i would not call it going to war. this is a very limited operation that is geared to save lives and it was specifically targeted on a human tearian basis. it is not geared to try 0 get rid of gadhafi. he has not been targeted. that is not what is happening here. >> a lot of the democrats in congress suggest that the president needs to come to congress to get approval for action like this. meanwhile the arab league, the chief of that group says he respects the u.n. resolution authorizing military action on libya. after earlier comments suggested he was concerned by actions taken by western powers. now he is rallied around. in other news around that region, egyptians have voted overwhelmingly now to improve constitutional amendments allowing the country to move forward toward parliamentary and presidential elections in the coming months. among the changes, a reduction in presidential terms to four years and a two-term limit for individuals serving in that post.
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meanwhile, yemen's embattled president has fired his entire cabinet. that comes after members of his own tribe demanded his resignation yesterday over the government's recent attacks on unarmed protesters. around 100 people have been killed so far in that country's month-long uprising. this morning, tanks and armored vehicles are reportedly being deployed in the capital. human rights groups are accusing syrian authorities of using excessive force on a crackdown in anti-regime protesters that killed at least five people. known as one of the region's most repressive countries, demonstrators in syria are angry about mass arrests, calling for officials involved in the violence to be fired. and in bahrain, opposition groups are asking for united nations and american intervention in that country's clashes with shiite protesters. speaking yesterday, bahrain's king said a foreign plot against his kingdom had been foiled. and he thanked his troops
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brought in from neighboring countries for helping to end increasing unrest there. namely troops from saudi arabia. on "meet the press" yesterday, admiral mike mullen talked about the situation in bahrain. using it to help explain why the u.s. intervened in libya and not in some of these other arab countries. >> there are also questions about the double standard here. why do we make a move on libya and yet in bahrain, where saudis send troops in to help a monarchy, we stand back? >> well, again, this mission is very focused on libya and we're paying a lot of attention to what's going on in bahrain. and in the persian gulf as well. and the other thing is each one of these countries i think is different. we've got one of our main naval bases are there. and we're working hard to support that in a way to certainly see a peaceful outcome there in terms of how it ainvolves. when the bahraini people are asking for change as well.
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>> a lot of people wondering out loud over the weekend why the united states not stepping in in humanitarian crises in bahrain and yemen, but doing so in libya. in a trip overshadowed by the conflict in libya, president obama visited brazil over the weekend, the first stop of his three-nation tour of latin america. president obama declared his support for latin america's largest economy. while saying a pro freedom movement, the ones in libya and the arab world can take some inspiration from brazil. >> when young people insist that the currents of history are on the move, the burdens of the past can be washed away. when men and women peacefully claim their human rights, our own common humanity is enhanced. wherever the light of freedom is lit, the world becomes a brighter place. that is the example of brazil.
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>> president obama will head to chile late they are morning to lay out his vision for deeper ties within latin america. in japan, new problems at the country's crippled nuclear complex are overshadowing some success at cooling the plant's overheated reactors over the weekend. there had been some optimism. this morning, workers at the facility were evacuated after gray smoke rose from the spent storage pool at the plant's number three reactor. it development comes after officials said they had successfully restored water pumps to two other reactors, putting them under control in a state known as a cold shutdown. the crisis, far from over with the discovery of radiation-tainted vegetables and tap water adding to public fears about contaminated food and drink. all that as officials now predict the death toll there in japan will exceed 18,000 from the earthquake and tsunami that followed. the situation in japan has raised questions in the u.s.
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energy secretary steven chu weighed in on a controversial nuclear reactor in new york city. >> we'll have to look at weather the reactor should remain. again, i don't want to jump to some judgment about what we should do going forward. the nrc will be looking at that, i'm sure. based on the events. but again, this is not to say that we believe that reactor is unsafe. we believe that the reactor is safe. there have been, there's constant scrutiny of the reactors in all our plants around the united states. we'll have much more on japan coming up on the top of the hour on "morning joe." still ahead, more from libya. the question everyone wants answered. ha is the end game. what are we doing there. we'll whip through last night's ncaa tournament action. including a great finish in the texas-arizona game, a game the longhorns looked to have won, until they hadn't. and what's up with the big east? and i'm not totally sure what's happening in this video behind me. i just know it's, it doesn't
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look real good for the reporter. you'll see in a second. the ending to this story and a check on weather on way too early comes right back. [ shapiro ] at legalzoom, you can take care of virtually
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5:47 in the morning, a live picture of times square in new york city. let's get a check of weather from nbc meteorologist bill karins. >> not a nice start to spring. >> first day of spring? >> first complete day. we went into it last night. not pretty, we have snow, sleet, cold temperatures, remember friday? it was beautiful, warm, in the 70s? we won't come close to a day like that for at least another week or two. right now we've had sleet reported in central portions of new jersey.
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we have snow being reported in northwest jersey and also up through the poconos. and light rain is about to move into new york city here shortly. and you may see some sleet in the very beginning, even in the 'burbs outside of new york city. the white on the map is snow and we'll get a good chunk of it in areas of upstate new york, vermont, new hampshire and maine. three to six inches with the mountain areas getting six to 12. there will be people shoveling later on today in boston, hartford and providence, you'll see some snow, but the roads will be wet. the forecast today, it's going to be cold and chilly, especially from connecticut to boston. new york southwards, rain early today. the rest of the country, no the too bad. the west coast had a big storm and that's going to be a travel trouble spot if anyone is flying out there today. >> rough day at the airports, all right, bill. time for sports, we begin with a late game in the ncaa basketball tournament. you might have policed it in you didn't stay up to watch. big east player of the year, been hansbrough leading second seed notre dame against ten seed florida state.
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the 'noles get out to a strong start, catch and shoot three-pointer. the florida state up 34-23 at the half. second half, hansbrough tries to keep it close, he bury as three. he was 5 of 13 shooting last night. florida state runs away with this game, 71-57 blowout. they play virginia commonwealth in the sweet 16. here's why. 11 seed vcu against purdue. one was not even close. a lot of people thought vcu shouldn't have gotten into the tournament. they beat up georgetown and last night looked sharp. vcu understands purdue, 94-76, their third win in five days. they get florida state next. the big east matchup. syracuse taking on marquette. both out of the big east. game tied, 59-59. darius odom clutch, triple, gus johnson on the call. the golden eagles of marquette going onto the sweet 16.
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they play second-seeded north carolina. marquette one of only two teams along with uconn from the big east out of 11 in the tournament to make it to the sweet 16. wild finish here, five seed arizona four seed texas, game tied 67-67, brown drives, hits a jumper in the lane up two. 14 seconds to go, texas's corey joseph has trouble inbounding the ball. he calls for a time-out but is called for a violation. derrick williams, the lay-up to tie the game -- the free throw to put them ahead. a three-point play. one last shot for texas. brown drives to the rim. he can't finish. no foul called. arizona hangs on to win 70-69, coming off a five-second violation. the sweet 16 begins thursday. number one seed duke taking on arizona, it should be a good game. uconn and san diego state, byu taking on florida and butler. butler back in the sweet 16 after an incredible finish
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against pitt. they'll play wisconsin friday in the east, 11th ranked marquette takes on the tar heels of north carolina. ohio state gets kentucky and the southwest, kansas trying to end richmond's cinderella story and as we said, vcu taking on florida state. coming up at the top of the hour on "morning joe," the latest out of libya, where moammar gadhafi's is vowing to fight a long, drawn-out war with the united states and the west. even as american officials scramble to assure us, we won't be there long. we'll debate that claim. when we come back, we'll huddle up around the water cooler and take a break from the serious news and break down what exactly led to this woman's liquor store rampage. an important story, no family will want to miss.
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the pentagon saying this morning that forces supporting libyan leader, moammar gadhafi are in disarray after a weekend of air attacks, including those launched by the "uss barry." the destroyer was one of the launch platforms for the tomahawk cruise missiles. if you want to sound smart, tell your friends that the first operational use of cruise missiles was during operation desert storm. the u.s. navy notes nat first
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sale of tomahawk missiles to a foreign country, the uk, took place. what could have less impact than this story right here. a woman in the nyack area of new york was refused service at a liquor store. some clerks said she had been drinking a little bit herself. she went around and knocked down all the bottles in the store. about $1600 worth of damage. she got 51 bottles smashed. that lady wants service, she'll be in court today in central nyack. she's being held on $2500 bail. we'll brief you more as it becomes available. a local sports reporter out of san diego was covering san diego state playing in tucson, arizona. he was doing a live shot for his station, kgtv. and a truck sneaked up behind him. >> the aztecs live to fight another day in the ncaa
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tournament. they've never been able to say that before after a 68-50 win over the university of colorado -- whoa, they think they still have some unfinished business here in tucson. i have to thank my camera operator jeff levalle who saved my life for running in front of the truck and making him stop. >> good lord, nice work by the cameraman, how could you have seen it. only bright lights shining and a man talking on television. still ahead, your soul-crushing texts and emails are next. what can you do with plain white rice? when you pour chunky sirloin burger soup over it, you can do dinner. 4 minutes, around 4 bucks. campbell's chunky. it's amazing what soup can do.™
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[ female announcer ] new purifying facial cleanser from the new line of neutrogena naturals. everyone is the stories on gadhafi vowing long war against the u.s. and the west after u.s. and allied strikes. one correction earlier in the show i said that john kerry is the chair of the senate foreign relations committee. no, what did i say, armed services, he's the chair of the foreign relations committee. emails, rob, what are we looking at? >> michael writes, he woke to the smell of his brackets


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