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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  May 25, 2011 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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his corruption trial. what emanuel said on the stand. plus -- a clear message to republicans on medicare reform. senator keers tin gillibrand, what she thinks it means for paul ryan's budget plan. i'm tamron hall. the "news nation" is starting off with breaking news on yet another unbelievable day of severe storms pounding the midwest. a short time ago a tornado spotted near kansas city, prompting a tornado warning for the area. residents are urged to take shelter. and this follows a series of deadly tornadoes that we watched rip through oklahoma and parts of missouri yesterday. >> oh, my god! back up. >> you are looking at brand-new video that's come in to us.
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one perspective of a storm chaser, his encounter with one of the tornados in oklahoma. you can see the twister ripping pieces off that huge building in its path and the debris tossed everyw. let's go to nick walker for more on the path of this latest storm. nick what you tell us we have an update on the situation in kansas city. >> there was a tornado, tamron, that went through kansas city. damage reports spotty. we have had some reports south of town of some damage. kansas city no longer under that tornado warning but continuing to see the threat here as we get through the evening as more thunderstorms are off toward your west. the threat toward the north and the east here in northern and central portions of missouri. interstate 75. i tell you what, between columbia and kansas city, people need to park it, get off the road into, a sturdy building. numerous thunderstorms over the freeway and some may have tornadoes with them. we've had reports of extensive damage around the sedalia area. those thunderstorms moving off
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toward the north and east. columbia, missouri, need to be on your guard. no warnings now but you coupld e next in line for the thunderstorms. tornado watch, areas from ohio and indiana back toward missouri, kansas city still under that tornado watch. memphis, st. louis, even paducah kentucky, toward little rock, under a dangerous situation as we head into the evening hours. i'm afraid, tamron, this is only the beginning for today. >> unbelievable. another day we're facing this. thank you, nick. in oklahoma, the latest storms responsible for at least eight deaths and those injured, buried under debris. her son was found barely clinging to life. >> it's overwhelming. i think, is everybody okay? >> as you can see, it's devastating. >> half of the houses, roofs are gone, they're torn up. i lived here all my life.
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>> we're safe, so that's all that matters. >> let's go to piedmont, oklahoma, where the weather channel's mike seidel is standing by for us. >> reporter: good afternoon. another deadly day yesterday and most of the fatalities were right here in central oklahoma, north and west of oklahoma city, and here in piedmont. first, let's me take you back to the tornado as it formed south of i-40, near el reno. we got some still photos at the weather channel showing how quickly this developed. in under ten minutes it became a large wedged tornado. as it crossed interstate 40, it killed three and went over the wind measuring device, winds clocked to 158 miles an hour. it's rare that wind measuring device would survive a tornado. by the way, that's the high end ef-3 scale. piedmont, it's next stop. rich line, one-story beautiful brake houses in the plains and none are standing.
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as far as the eye can see. what we have today now, piles of rubble and bricks. friends and family member, heavy equipment coming out, trying to salvage anything they can and starting the long cleanup process in the piedmont neighborhood. the weather is fine but not fine so far this morning and early this afternoon. more tornadoed reported damage across the midwest. as we rev up for another dangerous day of tornadoes but not here in this part of tornado alley. tamron, back to you. >> thank you very much. joplin, missouri, at least 125 people now reported dead and the search continues for an unknown number of people still missing. the city's worst tornado on record destroyed over 1,000 structures with the devastation stretching for six miles. officials have not disclosed how many people are missing but workers from the missouri national guard have not begin up their search and rescue efforts. nbc's charles hadlock joins me live with more. the days have turned -- jay, i
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apologize. we know the day's turned to night. the worry, how many people can you pull from the debris, jay? >> reporter: look, tamron, this is the debris they are working through. i'm in the middle of what was a home. a roof is gone, so is the picture window. i'll come through this area and give you more perspective on what they're dealing with here. they are finding signs of life. yesterday they pulled two people from the rubble and they say they won't quit until they are sure there is no chance of survivors. rain today, expect more through the day. the a difficult task. today moving day. families getting the chance to come back to homes like this one, take a look, see if there is anything they can salvage. talking to some of them in this neighborhood, they can't focus on the recovery because they are still stunned and shocked by what happened here late sunday. >> and, jay, as far as the
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number of people still missing, as i pointed out, we don't have a confirmed number but we know stories, for example, an 18-month-old child unaccounted for. do we know anymore as to why officials aren't giving a better estimate of now many people they're looking for? >> reporter: what they're telling us, tamron, they can't get that estimate because it's not really clear to them at this point. look, cell towers continue to go up, temporary cell towers, after others collapsed in the storm. they're hearing from people who moves far away, to other states, other areas to be with family and friends. so as that happens, they are thankfully able to check some names off of that list and don't want to put a number out there that going to frighten people out there who may be look fog loved ones. every day when you're in neighborhoods like this you run into somebody looking for a friend, a brother, a dad. there are a lot of people still missing here. >> jay gray live in joplin,
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missouri. if you would like to help the tornado victims you can donate $10 to the red cross, text redcross to 90999. tucson, right now a hearing under way, any minute a federal judge will rule whether jared loughner is mentally fit to stand trial arc excused of shooting gabrielle giffords and 18 others in january, killing six. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams joins us. take us through what will happen or what we're expecting to hear today. >> reporter: all indications are doctors examined jared loughner concluded that he is mentally unfit to stand trial. what does that mean? under federal law that means that he can't sufficiently understand the proceeding in court and can't adequately help his own lawyers with his defense. and under federal law if that's the judge's conclusion -- and we expect it will be, and we'll hear about it shortly -- federal law says the judge must send jared loughner to a hospital for
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treatment. he'll be in essence turned over to the custody of the federal government, sent most likely to a federal prison hospital, possibly back to the one in springfield, missouri, where he was examined for mental competency and the question is, can they restore him to mental competency, can they give him treatment that will allow him to come back into court and a trial? the trial process stops the question is, can he be restored to competency. that happens, restoration of competency happens in 75%, 80% of felonies. it doesn't always happen. and so the indications are that jared loughner is go to-ing sent to a hospital to see if he can be restored competent enough to stand trial. >> pete, thank you for the update. we'll bring our audience break developments. chicago mayor and former white house chief of staff rahm emanuel testified just a over hour ago at retrial of former illinois governor rod blagojevich, accused of trying
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to sell president obama's former senate seat. live from the federal courthouse, rahm emanuel was not the only big name to testify, nick, right? >> reporter: that's right. we had brief testimony from a pair of high-profile politician witnesses. the defense got what they wanted from rahm emanuel, but may have gotten more than they bargained when they had jesse jackson jr. on the stand. emanuel, chicago's mayor for nine days was on the stan for six minutes saying he was unaware of any illegal deals allegedly proposed by rod blagojevich. prosecutors say it's enough that blagojevich did propose those deals to his aides and set the wheels in motion that it is irrelevant whether emanuel knew about that. the day's big surprise when jesse jackson jr., the congressman, was on the stand. jackson had been asked for $25,000 campaign contribution when rod blagojevich first ran for governor in 2002. he testified blagojevich did not choose his wife's to be the state's lottery secretary and
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six months later jackson came face to face with blagojevich and said the governor in classic elvis presley fashion and said you should have begin me that $25,000 and did a pantomime, he snapped his fingers, pointed and said, thank you very much, which got as you imagine a laugh in the courtroom. it is the first time that that story has been made public. while it's not directly relevant to the crimes that are alleged in this indictment, certainly would establish for prosecutors some pattern that rod blagojevich, a guy willing to trade official actions for campaign donations, a big point in the case. >> thank you for the live report from the federal courthouse in chicago. will john edwards face criminal charges in the alleged coverup of his affair? the justice department gives prosecutors the okay to indict the former presidential candidate. we've got new details. the senate could vote today on the gop budget that proposes major changes to medicare, it comes as congressman paul ryan
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acknowledges medicare play a role in the republican loss in new york's special election. and new details emerge from casey anthony's murder trial about her demeanor in the days after her daughter's death and the latest reaction to the defense saying that the child actually drowned and was not killed. [ female announcer ] kiss everything you know about cookies goodbye. new newtons fruit thins. real blueberries and blueberry brown sugar... crispy whole grain. newtons fruit thins, one unique cookie.
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>> welcome back. following developing news in the casey anthony trial out of florida. three witnesses testified that casey anthony partied while her daughter was missing. today, her ex-boyfriend's roommate said, casey show nod signs that her daughter caylee disappeared and that casey was never sad or angry while she stayed at their apartment. casey's defense attorney said caylee accidentally drowned in a pool june 16th, 2008.
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during questioning one of the witnesses said casey show nod indication anything was wrong at that time. >> did casey anthony ever tell you that her daughter was missing? >> no, sir. >> did she ever tell you that her daughter was kidnapped? >> no, sir. >> ever tell you that she was out looking for her? >> no, sir. >> and today's testimony was far less explosive than yesterday's when the defense claimed that casey covered up her daughter's death under pressure from her father, george anthony who helped, she claims, dispose of the child's body. the defense claimed casey was molested by her father, which is something he denied while on the stand. joining me, wendy murphy, former prosecutor, and nationally syndicated talk show host, michael smerconish, also on "news nation" every day. obviously, the prosecutors there are trying to paint a picture of casey anthony and what her life was like when the child was missing. >> well, it would seem they've
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succeeded. watching from the video transmission, that doesn't comport with the mother who just lost a child through drowning, which apparently is the defense theory in this case. there were a lot of statements offered by the defense lawyer in that opening yesterday. i don't see any conceivable way that he's going to be able to show evidence in support of any of them. and one wonders whether in the end they were there to plant seed of doubt in the jurors' mind, and she might not even testify. >> it is interesting, we never heard this version of the story that caylee drowned and you have this testimony coming up, and then the defense would allege that george anthony, a man who defended his daughter while she was being accused of horrible things, now they're turning the tail on him saying he molested casey. what do you make of the defense strategy here? what does the prosecution do to counter it? >> i'll say this, there's no question the family's dysfunctional.
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i think that's the only thing i can agree with jose baez in terms of his opening yesterday. i thought his opening was like a "saturday night live" skit, it was preposterous. times prosecutors were glynning because they knew it was so silly. these going to get in trouble with the jury, because he made a promise that is so precise. at the end of the day he's not going to have any evidence at all that the child died in the pool and jury's going to think, while you, tried to snooker us, we're going to be angry at your client, we're going to find her guilty. i don't doubt she was sexually abused who knows what was going on. i don't think it's relevant. i think it was an attempt to create some degree of sympathy for a woman who doesn't deserve any sympathy, period. >> but is it an attempt to get eyebrows raised and a new look at george anthony? we know he had the background as a police officer when this story first broke, it was george and cindy anthony who called authorities after they smelled
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something unusual in the trunk of that vehicle. we now know that prosecutors allege that's where the body of caylee was. is it, wendy, an attempt to get, i don't know, the jury to look at george anthony for some reason? >> one of the best tactics in any case, if you're a defense attorney with a tough case, use two family members and point the finger at each other. they can almost agree as a family to let reasonable doubt be built on the backs of each other. it's a nice tactic, family members agree to it. the jury doesn't know who they like less and that can create a kind of reasonable doubt just because you come to really dislike both of them and they both seem capable of killing, so it's reasonable doubt, which one did it? she gets a walk. that's the defense hope. >> the other hope of the defense you have, with the cause of death, they never concluded a cause of death with little caylee anthony and now the defense is throwing out this option that she wasn't killed, that she drowned, and with the
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autopsy not concluding a cause of death, some think that certainly that strategy could possibly get some traction or they're hoping. >> but i think what's insur muntsable for the defense is the inability to answer the question, unfortunately infants drown in particular in florida, a lot of swimming pools. why didn't they call 911? there's no conceivable explanation as to why a grieving family in the aftermath doesn't pick up that phone. so i don't see how they get out of it. i think they've painted themselves into a box. it will be entertaining to watch it. it's just so damn sad. >> it is so sad, when you see pictures of that little girl. thank you both very much. the nbc family is mourning the death of our cnbc colleague mark haines. mark died unexpected at his home. he was just 65. mark had been a fixture at cnbc since 1989, anchoring "squawk
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box" and "squawk on the street." we offer our condolences to his wife cindy, son matt, and daughter, meredith. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics...
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welcome back to "news nation." fallout from the special congressional election in upstate new york turned into a referendum of republican congressman paul ryan's tloon overhaul medicare. kathy hochul used the issue to become the third democrat elected in the district in the past century, defeating republican cand jane corwin and tea party candidate jack davis. congressman ryan reacted on msnbc's "morning joe." >> there is a medicare story to be told and the story that's being told the president and his party decided to distort and demagogue medicare. we're going to see a new mediscare campaign. you scare seniors into thinking their current benefits are being affected that's going to have an effect and that's what took place here. >> democrats reacted the a news
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conference over an ago. kirstin gillibrand was one of them. she joins us live. thank you for your time. let me get you to react to what conmang ryan said about the mediscare story. >> congressman ryan's plan is out of touch with the american people. he wants to change medicare as we know it. he wants to make a program be entirely regulated by the insurance companies. our seniors need to know that medicare is strong and will be there for them when they retire and when they need it. >> would you agree that we do need to look at entitlements there needs to be some change if we're going to have medicare to exist those far younger than you and i. >> of course we have to worry about the debt and the deficit. we can all cut spending and that's the hard work that we will be doing. but we do not need to balance our budget on the backs of our seniors and that's what paul ryan's plan intends to do. >> paul ryan said this on "meet
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the press" and "morning joe," i've put a plan out there. the democrats have not. >> the democrats have been asking for a debate about all issues, how do we rein in spending, pay down the debt and the deficit. we'd like to talk about tax poll sy. the republicans between continue to give billion of tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaire billionairebillionaire. >> and let's talk about district 26. i mean, this something that has not happened in the past century, a democrat defeating a republican there. some republican strategists thought that or have blamed this not on medicare but the tea party candidate, jack davis, who only got 9% of vote and they were hoping he would be in double digits, to justify the thinking there. i want to read what congressman sessions says. if special elections were an early warning system they failed to alert the democrats of the political tsunami that flooded
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their ranks in 2010. do you believe people are running away with the thought this is a referendum on medicare and paul ryan's budget? >> this is a referendum on paul ryan's budget and his ideas of taking medicare away from seniors and privatizing a plan and making sure seniors don't have support they need for health care. this election was about an excellent candidate, kathy hochul, to protect them, make sure they have the health they need and not asking them to pay for more health care. kathy hochul took the important issues to the voters and this in was an overwhelming republican district. 30,000 more registered republicans in the district, and she won 47% of the vote. yes, it was a three-way race but she earned a number of republican and independent votes to come up with the victory. >> kirstin gillibrand, thank you for your time, reacting to the big race. quite a night. >> a great race. a jury reaches a verdict in
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the murder trial of nancy kerrigan's brother. budgets are so tight, listen to this, some public schools students and families are being charged to enroll in classes like spanish and to join the choir. details next. president obama is in london where he became the first american president to address parliament from westminster hall. plus -- >> the vitality of the special relationship between our peoples and in the words of shakespeare, to this blessed plot, this earth, this realm. >> hear what president obama is saying today about a gaffe he made during a toast he made to the toast to the queen at last night's state dinner. too much on your plate?
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welcome back to "news
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nation." the justice department gives prosecutors the go ahead to file criminal charges against john edwards. will the former presidential candidate go to trial. president obama becomes the first american president to speak to the british parliament from westminster hall. a live report from london. one of the stars of "law and order svu" stuns fans with an announcement that star is leaving the show. "news nation" gut check. a town pays tribute to a fallen soldier and a power company slaps it with a bill. we'll explain. developing now, nbc news has learned former presidential candidate john edwards could soon face charges surrounding his sex scandal. for two years prosecutors have been investigating if edwards violated campaign finance laws to keep his mistress in hiding. now we're learning charges could come in days. senior investigative correspondent lisa meyers joins me now. >> reporter: sources close to the investigation tell nbc news
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that the justice department has green lighted criminal charges against edwards for alleged violation of campaign finance laws. it's related to more than $1 million, provided by wealthy supporters, money that was used to cover up his affair. sources say an indictment's expected very soon, unless edwards agrees to a plea bargain. >> reporter: john edwards may face criminal charges but last weekend you'd never know it. here in north carolina, the former presidential candidate was being a good dad, watching his son jack play ball. no visible sign of the big trouble ahead. ironically, at the same field that day, 100 feet away, the government's key witness against edwards. his former aide, andrew young. young claims edwards directed the coverup of his affair with campaign videographer rielle hunter with whom edwards now admits he has a daughter,
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3-year-old francis quinn. young kept hunter in hiding and provided 50 voice messages to prosecutors. >> andrew, hey, it's john. i had a wonderful conversation, long and wonderful conversation with bunny. i think we can completely count on her. i wanted you hear that. and once again tell you i love you. i really love you andrew. >> reporter: rachel bunny melon is the now 100-year-old hair es and ardent edwards supporter. her decorator brian huffman says she sent him checks totally $700,000. one enclosed in a fancy box of chocolates, check his forwarded to andrew young. >> payments were being made to keep rielle hunter happy and payments were being made to keep the story from ruining john edwards' presidential campaign. >> reporter: huffman and melon, through their attorney, say they were asked to help edwards with a personal problem but had no idea what it was been hunter was hidden away in lavish homes,
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flown around in a private jet. much of that was paid for by edwards' campaign finance chair, fred barrett who claimed, before he died that edwards didn't know anything about it. >> i never paid a dime of money to any of the people that are involved. i never asked anybody to pay a dime of money, never been told that any money's been paid. nothing has been done at my request. >> reporter: now, sources indicate the government can prove otherwise. arguing the money contributed by two wealthy donors was not a gift but a form of political contribution used illegally. >> a source with knowledge of the case says this still could end up with a plea bargain. however, we're told that prosecutors are insisting that edwards plead to a felony, which friends doubt he will do. we're told action could come within days or stretch out for a couple of weeks. and, tamron, the edwards team
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has had no comment. >> lisa meyers, live for us on this. thank you very much. in london, president obama and the first lady about to host a din for queen elizabeth and her husband prince philip. earlier the president held talks with david cameron and at a news conference the two expressed unity on the missions in afghanistan and libya. >> the president and i agree we should be turning up the heat in libya. >> i absolutely agree that, given the progress that has been made over the last several weeks, that gadhafi and his regime need to understand there will not be a letup in the pressure that we are applying. >> kristin welker traveling with the president. a split between two leaders on the middle east peace process as well. >> reporter: that's right,
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tamron. president obama has called for those peace talks between the israelis and palestinians to resume based upon the 1967 borders. today he also said he condemns the palestinians unilaterally seeking statehood through the u.n. how far, prime minister david cameron said, it wasn't the right time to address such an issue. essentially, leaving the door open to possibly support such a move in the future. we'll have to see what happens there. but as you mentioned, the overarching theme of this day was about unity. president obama spoke before both houses of parliament today and stressed that the ling between the was the uk has never been stronger. here's a little bit more of what he had to say. take a listen. >> with courage and purpose, with humility and with hope, with faith and the promise of tomorrow, let us march straightforward together and
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during allies and the cause of the world that is more peaceful, more prosperous, and more just. thank you very much. >> reporter: now, as you mentioned, tamron, president obama really stressed that the u.s. and uk were linked on a number of issues. that also played out throughout president obama's speech before parliament. he said that they stood squarely behind the pro democracy movements emerging in north africa, the middle east and said that we need to do more than just talk. we need to fund tunisia and egypt. again, this speech was a rousing speech, one to highlight the history and the strong link between the united states and uk. >> krichbtstin welker. nancy kerrigan's brother has been acquitted. the jury agreed with the defense
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that daniel kerrigan died of heart disease. 46-year-old mark kerrigan convicted of assault and battery charges stemming from the fight back in january 10 2010. >> my family has never believed at all that my brother had anything to do with my father's death and he would -- my dad -- would never have wanted any of this. >> the family of bryan stow is suing the l.a. dodgers, beaten on opening day. the security cutbacks were partially to blame for the attack. the family seeks damages to cover stow's medical care. still in a coma. an arrest was made in the beating. elizabeth smart will confront her kidnapper for the first time when he is sentenced later today. smart is expected to speak at today's sentencing. she was 14 years old when
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kidnapped from the bedroom of her family's home in 2002 and held captive for nine months. it seems to be a growing and disturbing trend, you might think, across the country. the "wall street journal" reports more and more public schools are imposing fees on students and families, not only for extracurricular activities but, in some cases, academic classes as well. those fees can top $4,000 a year. joining me on the phone is the associate professor, teacher education at penn state altoona. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> this article, obviously, i can't imagine any parent feeling good about hearing you have public schools charging for spanish classes, for students to join choir. why would this be necessary? >> one of the issues is, is that states are facing a budget deficit, which we've heard across the country, and it's true. there's a deficit that the states are facing. so the states are making choices
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how to balance the budget. one of the first things currently in most states that people are looking at is the appropriation of public education that states make. so, for example, in my home state of pennsylvania, the cut has been drastic. so you've got people doing, discussing the same things in the "wall street journal," pay freezes and everything along those lines. so what's pushing this is the state budget position, you know. but there are different ways. and i think parents have a right to be a little bit annoyed by this because there are different ways that we can be attacking that. >> a little bit annoyed. i think it might be putting it mildly. one family's tab to kept their child in these classes, families total, according to the article 4,446 and change to keep them in activities. yes, there are budget shortfalls certainly but there are families who budget shortfalls they're dealing with to take care of expenses day to day.
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we know public schools are financed through taxes that we pay to keep them running and we're not talking about choir here. you can live without choir but earth sciences, for example, even spanish, making a student well-balanced, well-rounded so they can compete in the workforce when they finally graduate. >> i do not disagree with one word you said. you asked for the question so i could lay it out there. i agree with what you're saying. most parents should be outrageously, you know, with pitchforks in a sense because what we're making cuts for, typically, though, don't pan out when we do look at the budgets. we talk about this as we scared the public into believing there a bunch of problems and decided to cut public education. i ask parents one of the first things they do when the state asks them to pay a fee, ask them if they'd look at reducing the budget. one of the biggest reductions that we can, in america right now, would to be get rid of no
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child left behind, any type of exit exams. for example, the california state exit exam costs $500 million to administer right there. it you did that my guess is that nobody would have to pay to be in the band or to be in a.p. history. so we've got real issues here. and that's -- what's happening people don't want to talk about the real issues, where are the real costs. we want to cut. i ask people to look deeply and say, have you looked at cutting out the necessities versus are you cutting out things that people just were being told to believe this. we're shocked by this whole idea. and we're being led to believe that this is the only way out of the darkness when the reality is there are many ways out of this darkness. >> you make great points there. perhaps it will open some eyes. i think it would be sad they couldn't participate because they don't have money to join a public school program. appreciate you coming on. coming up, reality tv star
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kim kardashian, have you heard, she's engaged. but wait until you hear how much the engagement ring costs and the size of that thing. courtney hazlett has the scoop. some of the things we thought you should know. two separate gaffes for president obama yesterday. signing the guest book, he mistakenly wrote the year as 2008 and last night's state dinner toast, threatened to cut short his remarks to the queen. he just toasted queen elizabeth when the band started playing "god save the queen" the president spoke over the music and said the band gave a soundtrack to his remarks. >> to her majesty, the queen, the vitality of the special relationship between our peoples and in the words of shakespeare to this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this england.
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to the queen. sarah palin -- so funny, the queen's reaction -- sarah palin subject of a new documentary film by steven kay, the two-hour million dollar epic, concals her time as a joan of arc like figure. those are the things we thought those are the things we thought you should jusgot more . introducing precise pain relieving cream. it blocks pain signals fast for relief precisely where you need it most. precise. only from the makers of tylenol. had sparked a battle and we'd stop at nothing until they were ours. surrender the chewy gooeys! [ male announcer ] new chips ahoy! chewy gooeys
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where an agent can help you find the policy that's right for you. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? i'm martin bashir. coming up at the top of the hour, watching events unfold as a new series of tornadoes threaten millions in the midwest. and john edwards, how the mighty have fallen, and an indictment imminent. we explore how everything went so wrong for the one-time presidential hopeful.
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and kim kardashian engaged and has a massive ring on her finger. who will perform on "american idol's" finale? law and order svu loses one of its main actors. let's get the scoop from courtney hazlett. >> another kardashian off the market. i'm glad you brought up the ring. for anybody's asleep for most of the day, she's engaged to chrkr humphri humphries. i want to put them in new york. i want them to in be brooklyn. anyway, she has been dating him for six months. he proposed to her with a 20-plus carat diamond ring. >> $2 million. >> $2 million. i don't -- i can't wrap my brain around that. to go out in a public with a ring that big? do you have a fake one? this is absurd. at any rate, the two -- we'll get to hear about the planning of their wedding every day between now and then.
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>> "american idol" finale. >> tonight. nigel tweeted this today, what can you expect? he said, a great mix of old and new artists on "american idol," gospel, metal, mor, pop, jazz, r&b, country. >> and he said love kirk franklin. he's going to have kirk franklin on? >> i'm glad he's having a mix because the finale with two country singers is flat. last night's competition was boring. they start singing, wake me when it's over. should be interesting to see how to pans out. a country singer will win, we know that much from "american idol." finally, "law and order", elliott stabler is leaving the show. announced yesterday, couldn't come to a contract agreement on his 13th season of "law and order svu" comes amidst a lot of shaking up because mariska hargitay is not long for this show either.
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she wants to expand her family. she signed on for part of the 13th season, sounding like a 14th season isn't going to happen. ice t. has a reality show with coco. >> he's busy. >> richard? one thing's for sure, megan o'connor, i wish we could get a shot of the studio camera, starting up facebook -- refuses to go on camera -- do keep christopher maloney on the show. >> if there's a big fan uprising, something could happen. starts with o'connor, there's no telling how fast. >> megan's on twitter. tell her your along with her to get the cast together. logon to or be a fan on facebook.
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welcome back. we are following breaking news regarding jared loughner. he was in court today in tucson.
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of course this is the suspect in the tucson shooting spree. we've learned that jared loughner was removed from the courtroom after an outburst, loughner in court before a federal judge to determine if he's mentally fit to stand trial for the murders of those that he killed, that he allegedly killed in the tucson shooting. loughner accused of shooting gabrielle giffords and 18 others in january, killing 6 of those people. we've gotten information that he was removed from the courtroom after an outburst. time for "news nation" gut check. there's a showdown between a new york city area power company and the parents of a fallen u.s. soldier. it all started when the people of shelter island, new york, decided to honor an arm lieutenant killed in afghanistan and wanted to honor him with a parade of flags. reporter greg sergel from new york has more on what happened. >> reporter: accessible only by ferry, shelter island a small,
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tightly knit community -- >> reporter: justice for all. >> reporter: -- honoring country and dozens who die ford it still matters. no surprise at the local hardware store the flap over flag was greeted with disgust. >> just dumb. >> disappointing. something stupid. >> i think that's outrageous. >> reporter: that outrage came after the long island power authority alerted shelter island town it would have to pay a fee for every american flag attached to 19 utility poles. >> someone was very dumb or very arrogant. >> reporter: the town put out the flags last week during a visit by the comrades of army lieutenant joseph finert, killed in afghanistan last june. money to buy the flags had been raised by the local american region. >> a lot of the guys in the unit are angry. it's crazy. >> reporter: lipa shares that frustration but new york state law requires the charge and lipa had to follow the law. >> change the law.
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>> reporter: that's what local lawmakers are vowing to do. lipa's coo offered to pay the fee himself. the cost for the flags $23.75. >> gotten a half dozen calls from people who want to pay the fee. >> reporter: joe's stepdad calls the controversy another demonstration of smalltown values at their best. >> keeping the flags up and we're not paying the fee. >> reporter: the push to change that state law lipa says required it to charge for the flag is under way. joseph's stepdad says maybe the town should pay off the $23 and change because lipa needs the money. >> thanks to greg cergol for that report. should there be a fee to fly flags on a utility pole honoring that lieutenant who lost his life serving this country, even if it is $23? the family is being insulted by being given this bill. what do you think?
2:57 pm i'm tamron hall. martin bashir picks up the coverage next. [ female announcer ] experience dual-action power, with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only listerine® that gets teeth two shades whiter and makes tooth enamel two times stronger. get dual-action listerine® whitening rinse. building whiter, stronger teeth. [ beep ] [ beep ] [ beep ] ♪
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