tv News Nation MSNBC August 23, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT
shooting that left 13 people dead and 32 injured. he now faces a possible death sentence. nbc's mark potter joins me live now from ft. hood, texas. mark, good afternoon. what can you tell us about this verdict? >> reporter: well, hi, mara. that verdict came after about seven hours of deliberations by the u.s. army jury panel. as you said, they found nidal hasan guilty of all charges. they reached that verdict unanimously. he was found guilty of 13 counts of premeditated murder, 32 counts of premeditated attempted murder. hasan showed no signs of emotion in the courtroom. family members were there. they were silent, as instructed by the judge, but some of them were in tears. hasan, who never offered up a defense, never gave a closing statement, now faces a sentencing hearing beginning here at ft. hood on monday at 9:00 a.m.
13 membof the family members, e one of them representing the 13 people killed in that rampage, will be allowed to speak to the panel. the government will also have some expert witnesses. the most important point is that prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty. the other option is life in prison. we do not know in nidal hasan will make a statement. he has that right. he has not said whether he'll have any witnesses. he has said in the past that, and indeed he admitted in court that he was the gunman. he said he switched sides to protect islam. he has said outside of court that he shot soldiers to protect taliban leaders overseas. so he will have a chance to explain himself before the panel, if he chooses to do so. we'll find out monday, perhaps monday, if he does that. if he does get the death penalty, legal experts say it will be quite some time before he would actually face execution because of the automatic appeal that would follow.
again, to repeat, nidal hasan has been found guilty of all charges, a unanimous verdict reached by a u.s. army panel. 13 charges of premeditated murder, 32 counts of premeditated attempted murder. mara? >> mark potter live in ft. hood, texas. thanks so much. the news nation is also following president obama, who just wrapped up a town hall meeting at binghamton university in new york. now he heads to scranton, pennsylvania, the final stop of his two-day bus tour centered on his new proposals for cutting college costs. the president also remains focused on other issues, including the crisis in syria. here's what he told cnn in his first comments since an alleged chemical attack on wednesday. >> what we've seen indicates this is clearly a big event of grave concern. that starts getting to some core national interests that the united states has, both in terms of us making sure that weapons of mass destruction are not
proliferating as well as needing to protect our allies, our bases in the region. this is something that is going to require america's attention and hopefully the entire international community's attention. >> in egypt today supporters of ousted president mohamed morsi took to the streets in defiance of orders by egyptian authorities to end their protest. meantime, in his interview with cnn, president obama also addressed the possibility of cuts off u.s. aid. >> the aid itself may not reverse what the interim government does, but i think what most americans would say is that we have to be very careful about being seen as aiding and abetting actions that we think run contrary to our values and ideals. what we're doing right now is doing a full evaluation of the
u.s./egyptian relationship. >> nbc's ayman mohyeldin joins us live from cairo. ayman, good afternoon, or good evening for your. we know the protesters took to the streets today. have we seen any clashes? >> reporter: well, the numbers today and the protests today in general were a big test for the muslim brotherhood. obviously in the last couple of weeks the senior leadership of that organization has come under a lot of pressure, some of them have been arrested, others are on the run. some of its mid-level ranking members. so today was a major test for them. it's safe to say they did not bring out the kinds of numbers that they normally would have in recent years. but there were nonetheless some clashes, particularly in the city of tanta. there they clashed with local residents and police. according to local security forces, one protester was killed and 25 were injured. in places like cairo and some of the others, there have not been
large numbers or large accounts of violence or disruptions according to security sources we've been speaking to. so it is to some extent a day that did not show the kind of numbers that the muslim brotherhood has been known to bring out in the past. >> ayman, thursday, former president hosni mubarak was released from prison. what has the response been there to that development? >> well, among some of the revolutionary youth groups that were involved in the 2011 revolution, there has been strong condemnation for the release of the former president. in fact, they had organized protests today, but those were subsequently canceled because of security reasons. for the most part, egyptian society has been somewhat indifferent about the release of the president. in fact, even state media here did not spend a lot of time on it. neither did private media. a lot of concern, though, about his release, meaning the return of perhaps the regime he once oversaw here. a lot of concern that some of the remnants of his regime are still very active in egyptian politics behind the scenes and
among the security services. nonetheless, for the most part, the egyptian street has not reacted with rigor to it the return of the president like they did in 2011 when they demanded he be arrested in the first place. >> and turning quickly to syria, there are reports of new fighting today in the same suburbs of damascus where the opposition claims that more than 1,000 people were killed in a series of chemical weapons attacks on wednesday. what can you tell us about that? >> reporter: well, indeed syrian rebels say their offensive continues in various parts. they are citing they are making gains despite some of the setbacks from the chemical weapons and particularly from the regime's ability to fight back or at least continue to fight. there's no doubt that syrian rebels are saying that what happened over the course of the last several days was a weapons attack, a chemical weapons attack. obviously the evidence on that still remains somewhat inconclusive from an international perspective despite the fact that key u.s. allies and u.n. members like the
united kingdom are coming out more definitively saying it was a chemical weapons attack by the regime. nonetheless, on the ground the fighting around damascus continues. the syrian rebels say they have been undeterred by the chemical weapons attack they alleged was used. >> all right. ayman mohyeldin live in cairo. thanks so much for that. now for more on the situation in both syria and egypt, let's bring in "time" magazine reporter zeke miller. yesterday top officials from the pentagon, the department of defense and a number of intelligence agencies met at the white house for a number of hours to try to consider their best response to what's happening in syria. what do you think the most viable military and nonmilitary options are in this case? >> certainly the white house and administration has repeatedly, even today, ruled out boots on the ground in syria. they've already questioned the efficacy of a no-fly zone. that significantly limits their options in any event.
you're reduced to strategic air strikes. there's reports that there was bombing in it tthe same area wh the potential chemical weapons attack occurred on wednesday. the white house is calling this a mass casualty event. clearly from the video on the ground, that should sort of lead to some action. it's not clear, though. they've tied their own hands here, it seems. >> we all know that the president last year said that -- no, i'm sorry. it was a couple months ago. said that the use of chemical weapons would be a game changer. there was evidence in jung that chemical weapons had been used, and the white house virtually did nothing about it. many are arguing that that inaction then emboldened assad to escalate things and launch this potential chemical attack on his own people. at what point does the white house's inaction on this make us complicit to what's happening? >> the question of complicit,
it's hard to argue that the white house is in any way condoning this by not acting and is allowing it to continue. they're taking steps to, you know -- now reports coming out that the united states is arming the syrian opposition, even some elements of which aren't particularly friendly to the united states. the government is dealing with some unsavory characters to achieve an end they believe is very important. the question is -- there are steps they can be doing that they're not taking, whether it be air strikes, whether it be stepping up that military with heavier weapons and the like. the white house has said that won't make a difference. if there are 1,000 people being killed in a chemical attack, it's hard to see this president who in libya made the same justification of humanitarian concerns, the need for a no-fly zone for air strikes there and also special operations, you know, working on ground through the cia and the like. it's very hard for them to --
for those statements to be true. >> and i want to turn quickly to egypt. i want to read something that the "l.a. times" had to say about the situation happening there. they write, mubarak's court-ordered release from prison thursday in effect capped the end of egypt's brief experiment with democracy and return to military rule. do you think the country is better off now than they were before? has any measurable progress been made? >> certainly it's -- you know, we're not taking a step backward now to the return of the mubarak regime. you know, he's still going to be out of power. elements of his regime are still there. that's sort of, you know -- he had a firm control over the military, and the military only left him when mubarak's control was already fraying. so it's not -- there's still some -- it's better than it could be, which i think is the best way to put it. it certainly could get a lot
worse if the military even further lost control. certainly the military is engaging in some very questionable actions right now. that's something the country is going to have to deal with to come back to reform some sort of civil society. right now it definitely could be worse. mubarak is being released back out into the hoopen. he's going to be under house arrest. given the recent events, it could definitely get worse. >> all right. thank you so much. >> thank you for having me. developing news from san diego. mayor bob filner is expected to resign at a closed-door city council meeting that gets underway in just a few hours. more on what this could mean for that sexual harassment lawsuit against him. plus, the week-long celebration marking 50 years since dr. king led the historic march on washington. but 50 years later is dr. king's
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equality. i think this is inevitable. and i don't think our society will rise to its full maturity until we come to see that men are made to live together as brothers. >> that was reverend martin luther king jr. appearing on "meet the press" just three days before he would deliver his "i have a dream" speech during the march on washington for jobs and freedom. this sunday, "meet the press" will reair the entire august 25th, 1963, edition featuring dr. king. as we approach that anniversary, the 50th of the march on washington, events are being held throughout the nation's capital. we're also looking back at dr. king's legacy. part of it can be found in cities throughout the nation where streets bear his name. sadly, many of the streets are in the worst part of town. i took a closer look at what it's like to live on mlk street. for years melvin white's postal route took him along st. louis's dr. martin luther king drive, a street that hardly lives up to
the dream. >> crime, poverty, prostitution, drugs. >> the six-mile stretch has one of the city's highest crime rates, over the years driving away businesses -- >> we had everything. now it's just deteriorating. >> and visitors. >> people are afraid to come on martin luther king street because of the danger. >> just months after dr. king's 1968 assassination, a movement began to honor his legacy with streets bearing his name. today, more than 900 roads in 40 states and washington, d.c. are named after king, but it can be a dubious honor. many of the streets are in poor communities. violence and crime so common they've become a stereotype. >> if you're on martin luther king boulevard, there's some violence going down. i'm lost, i'm on martin luther king. run! >> white isn't running from the stigma. he's determined to change it. his nonprofit, beloved streets of america, wants to revitalize mlk streets around the country,
starting with st. louis. >> right now it's a vacant lot. >> soon to be transformed into a park. >> this will be the symbol of greater things to come. >> some mlk streets like new york's mlk boulevard in harlem are in thriving commercial areas in historic neighborhoods, but elsewhere getting a prime location can be an uphill battle. many have faced resistance and can be relegated to obscure parts of the city. derek alderman from the university of tennessee has been studying mlk streets for 15 years. >> this isn't really just about king. this is about bringing visibility to african-americans, their historical importance and a more broader general way. it goes to the heart of whose histories matter in america. >> i have a dream today. >> one of the dr. king's dream was, quote, the creation of the beloved community, a community that for many centers around his legacy. >> you have to look at these streets as beloved communities and main streets within people's
lives. >> it's about the whole country getting behind an effort and making this a reality and bringing back dr. king's legacy like it's supposed to be represented as. >> a nation of many mlk streets all leading to the same dream. joining me now, national action network president and host of msnbc's "politics nation," reverend al sharpton and joy reed. rev, i want to start with you. it's been 50 years since the "i have a dream" speech. in what ways has that dream been rae realized and in what ways has it not? >> in some ways, clearly we've seen great progress. you could attribute a lot of that to dr. king's work and the work of those in the '60s. the fact that we now sit in a nation with a black president and a black attorney general and black ceos of major corporations and the cultural figures that set the trends. you know, there was a time that
elvis was a big star and james brown was the black star. now the black stars are the stars. they're elvis and james brown. so in the curl churl arena -- and oprah winfrey in the television world. you've seen a lot of breakthroughs. but when you look in mass, you do not see the differences that we used to have reconciled yet. blacks are still doubly unemployed to whites as they were 50 years ago. blacks still are incarcerated more at the same averages they were 50 years ago, charged with the same crime. we still are fighting state laws that in many ways deny federal civil rights laws. stand your ground, for example, in florida. and we'll be talking about this at the march tomorrow. stand your ground is a state law that has nullified the federal civil right for trayvon martin to walk home and not have anyone
interrupt that. so i think that there is a long way to go in terms of our economic standing, in terms of the masses. i think there's a long way to go in terms of our dealing with those state laws that try to undermine it. the most egregious is that we are now even seeing a regression in our voting rights. when we look at the supreme court taking out section four, we look at north carolina and texas and other states trying to come with voter suppression schemes, we are not only going -- not moving forward in some areas, we are threatened with going backwards. this is the first time in 48 years that we don't have preclearance in the justice department before districts or states with histories of discrimination can do anything. that has never happened before. that alone is a reason for this march tomorrow. >> and joy, you hear some of the economic indicators that rev speaks about, about not having made progress in the last five decades.
it really is quite shocking. i want to read you some other numbers. a recent poll found that 54% of adults think people are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. when you break it down by race, it looks very different. 59% of whites agree with that statement. only 19% of african-americans agree. what do those numbers tell you? >> i think there is a growing disparity on issues of race. it's been particularly acute since barack obama's election. sort of the irony, i guess, of having this first black president is it is both a sign of progress, and it seems to be the thing that kind of kicked open the doors to the really uglier side of the racial conversation. blacks and whites do not perceive the country the same way. they don't perceive progress the same way and don't even perceive race relations the same way. there's this growing gap. i think it is not all african-americans or all white americans who have this sort of disagreement. but the most acute and loudest voices. i think it's partly a political conversation because barack obama is a democrat, because he's perceived as also liberal.
it's ignited really something ugly. but in a way, i think that had to happen. i think having an african-american elected to the white house was going to create some racial tumult. because we didn't have truth and reconciliation like they did in south africa, we have to go through this ugly period to get to a coherent conversation where we're all on the same page. >> reverend sharpton, one of the ongoing battles for civil rights around the country is the right for same-sex marriage. what do you think dr. king's position would be on that issue? >> i don't know that anyone could predict what he would think on any given issue. certainly martin iii and others have stated theirs. i think there are those of us that are out now in the front of civil rights groups and movements who have said you cannot have segregated civil rights movements. you have to be for everyone's civil rights or you're for no ones. people have the right to do whatever they want to do, even
if you disagree with it. to say that someone has a right does not mean you have to give consent. i tell that to preachers all the time. but it means that they have a right to disagree with you. i think that whether it's the lgbt community, whether it's women, whether it's immigration, we must consistently fight for people's rights, and they will be among the speakers tomorrow. >> thank you both so much for your time. reverend sharpton mentioned the events taking place tomorrow. be sure to catch a special edition of "politics nation" tonight at 6:00 p.m. eastern. also be sure to tune into msnbc tomorrow for full coverage of the anniversary march. we want to hear how you are advancing the dream. share your photo with us on twitter and instagram using #advancingthedream. [ male announcer ] running out of steam?
fast-moving wildfire burning near yosemite national park and threatening about 2500 homes. the fire grew overnight and has already consumed more than 63,000 acres. it's now crept into a remote section of the national park. the flames are only about 5% contained. >> it is very intense fire. with a wind shift or increase, you're going to see fire activity increase. >> california governor jerry brown has declared a state of emergency. it's the latest in a string of major wildfires to sweep the country in recent weeks and comes as officials say the cost of fires this year alone has already topped more than $1 billion. nbc's miguel almaguer has more from california. >> reporter: mara, this fire has now consumed more than 105,000 acres. the governor has declared a state of emergency as it moves closer to yosemite national park. it is the top priority fire in the country. some 2,000 firefighters are now on the ground. they are working the fire lines
24 hours a day, but they are losing the battle for containment. containment yesterday was close to 5%. it has now shrunk to about 2% as this place continues to expand in size, continues to make runs into the forest. crews are going to have to deal with scorching temperatures and gusting winds. yosemite national park is about 14 miles away from where we are. the park is open. skies are clear. as you can see here, the choking smoke is moving in that direction. firefighters say they believe they can stop the flames from reaching the park, but they certainly will have a monumental task on their hands. mara? >> all right. miguel almaguer live at yosemite. still ahead, senator tom coburn the latest republican lawmaker to entertain the thought of impeaching president obama. he says he's the president's friend, but is he really more of a foe? >> barack obama is a personal friend of mine. he became my friend in the senate. plus, the news nation political postscript. senator ted cruz made headlines
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[ whispering ] goodnight. there are so many people in our bedroom. [ dennis ] talk to an allstate agent... [ doorbell rings ] ...and let the good life in. developing news out of san diego where in just hours, embattled mayor bob filner is expected to officially resign. the mayor has been facing growing demands to step down in the wake of a string of sexual harassment allegation. nbc's joe fryer has the latest from san diego. joe, good afternoon. what can you tell us about -- go ahead, i'm sorry. we have a delay. >> reporter: that's okay. we're just 90 minutes away from the start of this all-important city council meeting. at the beginning of the meet, the city council will actually have a public hearing, an opportunity for taxpayers to sound off on some of the possibilities. then the city council is going to go into a private, closed-door meeting. during that time, they will discuss this tentative deal that was reached earlier this week.
all signs indicate that bob filner's resignation is part of that tentative deal. but the question is, what might filner get in return for that? will it involve any help with his legal fees and legal settlements in the future? how will the city council react to that, and how would the public feel about that? the city council will discuss this and vote on it in private, then come out afterward to detail what was actually in the deal and what actions they took. there are reports that bob filner has already signed his resignation, but it's contingent on what action the city council takes today. mara? >> all right, joe fryer live from san diego. we'll be keeping an eye on that story. thanks so much for that. well, he calls president obama his friend, but now republican senator tom coburn of oklahoma has joined a handful of other republicans warning that impeachment is a possibility. senator coburn spoke at a town hall meeting in oklahoma. >> i don't have the legal background to know if that rises to high crimes and misdemeanors,
but i think they're getting close. barack obama is a personal friend of mine. he became my friend in the senate. but that does not mean i agree in any way with what he's doing or how he's doing it. i, quite frankly, think he's in a difficult position he's put himself in. if it continues, i think we're going to have another constitutional crisis in our country in terms of the presidency. >> without using any specifics, senator coburn cited, quote, intended violation of the law by the obama administration as well as general competence of some of his appointees. meanwhile, at a town hall in his district this week, kerry bentivolio said, if i could write that bill, it would be a dream come true. well, joining me live for more on all this is the national political correspondent for
politico. james, thanks so much for being here this afternoon. >> good to be with you, mara. >> let's start with senator coburn. when "time" magazine made coburn one of this year's 100 most influential people, president obama was part of the write-up praising the senator. why is he raising this flag? is this just a dog whistle for the base? >> it is a dog whistle for the base. as they say, if you want a friend in washington, get a dog. the friendships, especially across the aisle, aren't very deep in a lot of cases. coburn's not running for re-election. he is a senator from one of the most conservative states. he built a reputation over the last decade as one of the more conservative members of the senate. the town hall, if you listen to the whole tape, it really does sound just like he was sort of musing, thinking aloud about some of these things. it really is amazing how at this stage in everyone's presidency now the country is so polarized. we remember it in 2005, 2006 with george w. bush and now with
obama. you're going to have partisans who call for impeachment. i think that's just where we are now as a country. >> and, you know, you'll remember during the height of the frenzy about the whole birther movement, donald trump said he had sent investigators to hawaii. he says you'll never believe what they're finding. they're finding this incredible stuff, without giving any actual information. so in terms of what they could specifically be talking about when they're talking about impeachable offenses, something that would rise to the level of high crimes, what specific instances might they be referring to? >> yeah, i mean, president obama has not committed a clear impeachable offense. like i said, this is just what you're going to get every presidency now. you know, coburn, you mentioned, cited incompetence. incompetence is not cause for impeachment. most americans don't think that the obama administration is incompetent. so this is just something that there's not, you know, a clear bill of goods against obama. there's not specific things that he's done.
obviously, there's an element of the conservative base that continues to feel that the president is not legitimate. i think that most washington republicans have moved on. >> now, even ted cruz have said there aren't the votes in the senate to convict president obama. so what's the end game here? what is the point of bringing this up through multiple people, multiple locations, multiple occasions? >> i don't think there's a big kind of conspiracy on the right to float this idea. i think it makes the basic -- it shows the activists that they also think obama is a really bad president. this isn't going to go anywhere. the house republican leadership has zero appetite to move this direction. they're focused on the real fights coming up this fall on the debt ceiling. >> all right. thanks so much for being here this afternoon. >> thanks. now we turn to to breaking news on another military trial.
a jury has decided that the soldier who bleed guilty to killing 16 afghan civilians last year will spend life in prison without a chance at parole. jim, what can you tell me about this verdict? >> well, this was staff sergeant robert bales, involving in one of the most horrific incidents involving the u.s. military in the entire afghanistan war. a year ago he left his base in southern afghanistan in the middle of the night, went to two separate villages and opened fire on civilians, killing 16 afghans, including women and children. while he attempted a defense at traumatic brain injury, he was on steroids, alcohol, none of that stood the test of the court. actually, bales, in a plea bargain, accepted life without parole instead of a possible death sentence. in his own apology to the
american people, to the court, certainly to the afghan people, he had no earthly reason for doing what he did, mara. >> such a terrible crime. jim, thanks so much. now for the news nation political postscript. it was a week dominated by heavy criticism of the president's foreign policy from the crisis in egypt to the red line over chemical weapons use in syria. ted cruz made headline when is he signaled his presidential ambitions by giving up his canadian citizenship. here's a look back at the week in politics. >> egypt's future is really damned. i make that point clear. it's to the just about the aid. it's about the relationship. we're the strongest nation on earth. >> for us to sit by and watch this happen ises a violation of everything that we stood for. >> providing foreign assistance is not like a spigot. you don't turn it off and on or turn it up or down like a
faucet. >> when the president of the united states says that if the use of these weapons, it would be a quote, red line and a game changer, he now sees that as a green light. >> there are a range of things we've done already. in terms of additional assistance that could be provided, i certainly wouldn't rule that out. >> joining me now, domenico montanaro. i just want to touch on what we saw in that piece, which is the issues in egypt and syria and the united states' involvement in those conflicts. you know, it seems that their influence has been limited lately on a global stage, whether it's russia ignoring the president's request on edward snowden, whether it's egypt's military ignoring the request for restraint, and now syria not only seemingly ignoring cautions about using chemical weapons, but if it's true they used them in june and then again now, seemingly escalating this. how much influence does the
united states have on the world stage? >> americans have been scarred by a decade of war. really, we're looking at polling that doesn't show a lot of support for wanting to get involved in a conflict in syria. ve very, very small numbers of americans that want to get involved in a place like syria. it puts the president in a difficult situation. even though he mentioned this red line comment, he's going to have to now figure out what to do, whether or not they, you know, put in a no-fly zone or wind up bombing military targets. the problem is they don't know what they would be getting from that, even if they were to overthrow the assad regime as it is. the president has no good options on this. >> let's turn now to domestic politics. plenty of speculation about ted cruz's ambitions for 2016. today he'll be in new hampshire. if he does run, given his politics, do you think he moves the entire gop field to the
right? >> well, look, there's always this divide in the gop between iowa and new hampshire. this is like what we see every time. the ted cruzs, the rick santorums, they're going to vie for an iowa. you know, chris christie and the rest, they're going to try to go for a new hampshire. it's this establishment versus more conservative wing of the republican party. ted cruz, he's very well liked among evangelicals, very well liked among tea party supporters, but he's in new hampshire today. it's a different animal altogether. it's certainly not iowa. it's certainly not texas, where he's from. >> all right, domenico. thanks so much for your time. >> thank you. still ahead, the 51st state? a push to form the state of northern colorado is now picking up steam. it's just one of the things we thought you should know. >> and hash tag better batman than ben affleck. news of the superhero's new role takes the internet by storm, but is it really that bad?
it's our "news nation" gut check. let's head to the one place with the flooring we want, the know-how we need, and low prices that won't trample our budget. then let's do some simple placing, locking... and admiring. a better-looking floor is just a few steps away. and... they're affordable steps. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. saratoga hickory laminate is a special buy. just 99 cents a square foot. that your mouth is under attack, from food particles and bacteria. try fixodent. it helps create a food seal defense for a clean mouth and kills bacteria for fresh breath. ♪ fixodent, and forget it. a man who doesn't stand still. but jim has afib, atrial fibrillation -- an irregular heartbeat, not caused by a heart valve problem. that puts jim at a greater risk of stroke. for years, jim's medicine tied him to a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested.
but now, with once-a-day xarelto®, jim's on the move. jim's doctor recommended xarelto®. like warfarin, xarelto® is proven effective to reduce afib-related stroke risk. but xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib not caused by a heart valve problem. that doesn't require routine blood monitoring. so jim's not tied to that monitoring routine. [ gps ] proceed to the designated route. not today. [ male announcer ] for patients currently well managed on warfarin, there is limited information on how xarelto® and warfarin compare in reducing the risk of stroke. xarelto® is just one pill a day taken with the evening meal. plus, with no known dietary restrictions, jim can eat the healthy foods he likes. do not stop taking xarelto®, rivaroxaban, without talking to the doctor who prescribes it as this may increase the risk of having a stroke. get help right away if you develop any symptoms like bleeding, unusual bruising, or tingling. you may have a higher risk of bleeding if you take xarelto® with aspirin products,
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a man and woman in las vegas are facing multiple charges in what authorities are describing as a domestic terror plot to torture and kill police officers. the roommates, 42-year-old david allen and 67-year-old devin campbell newman were arrested at their home yesterday. their alleged plot was part of a plan to attract attention to their so-called sovereign citizens anti-authority movement. what are we learning about this plot? >> the police in las vegas have had these two under surveillance since april. they planned to follow a policeman around, some random policeman in las vegas. when the officer went to make a traffic stop, they would grab the officer, take him away, put them, quote/unquote, on trial and execute them for having no legal authority.
it's not clear either of these two had any weapons. the police report goes into great detail about all the preparation they made, practicing to do this, talking about it, making videos that they would release after they did it. they even told some undercover officers after the first time they did it they'd probably have to keep doing it until one of them was killed. police say they were members of the sovereign citizens movement. now, we've known about this movement for several years. the fbi, the southern poverty law center, estimate that the group probably has about 100,000 followers around the country, almost all of whom are nonviolent. they believe, for example, you don't have to pay taxes, have a driver's license, you don't need a license tag for your car, that the local government has no authority over you. they oftentimes paper county clerks with paper they think is legitimate. some of them think the federal government sets up a trust account for you when you're born and you can ask for the money. some of them do turn violent.
there have been episodes in the past in which followers of the sovereign citizen movement have killed police officers and traffic stops tend to be the most dangerous times. >> all right, pete williams live in d.c. thanks so much. >> you bet. still ahead, the woman who talked down the gunman who walked into a georgia elementary school armed with an ak-47 gets a call from the president. that's just one of the things we thought you should know. and be sure to "like" the "news nation" on facebook. we're at facebook.com/newsnation. hey linda!
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today. here's some things we thought you should know. president obama called to thank antoinette tuff, who talked the shooter down in georgia. tuff said receiving the call from the president was, quote, awesome. >> the white house will hold a closed-door round table. among the topics to be discussed, hiv-a.i.d.s., domestic and sbe mat partner violence, mental health and bullying. and six counties in northeastern colorado have now opted to put an initiative on their november ballots, asking residents if they want to secede from colorado to create a 51st say t state. the counties are largely rural and republican. the vote is regarded as largely symbolic. those are the things we just thought you should know.
time for the "news nation" gut check. actor and director ben affleck has been cast at batman in the upcoming sequel to the superman movie. in the film, the two super famous superheroes will face off against each other. the announcement has unleashed a ton of negative reaction on social media, like this tweet. others have come to affleck's defense, including mayor and senate candidate cory booker, who tweeted this. senate or not, this comic book fan is very excited. so far, there are more haters than not. the #betterbatmanthanbenaffleck has been trending all day on twitter with suggestions of who would have made a better batman. either way, fans will have a lot of time to debate this issue. the movie hasn't been named yet, and it won't be in theaters until the summer of 2015. do you agree with the decision to cast ben affleck at bat man?
go to facebook.com/newsnation to vote. let's take a look at what the "news nation" is saying about yesterday's gut check. in the wake of the school shooting in georgia, we asked, should teachers have special crisis management training? 96% of you said yes. 4% said no. and before we go, we have to show you the first picture of baby kimye. that would be little kim and kanye's north west. kris jenner tweeted this picture today. she is, indeed, adorable. no word yet on when north will drop her first single. that does it for this edition of "news nation." i'm mara schiavocampo in for tamron hall. see you back here on monday. "the cycle" is up next. [ whispering ] uh! i had a nightmare!
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president obama is on his way to scranton, pennsylvania, right now, home, of course, to the fictional dunder mifflin paper company from "the office." he's there to talk about some very real problems with the economy. next hour's event will mark the president's fourth campaign-style speech in two days. he spoke to a packed town hall in new york earlier this afternoon. >> without buttering you up, i love nurses. doma is gone. "don't ask, don't tell" is gone. but more importantly, people's hearts and minds have changed. here's a general rule in the presidential town hall. if you want to get called on, wear the president's face on your shirt. bottom line is, we need to stop taking the same business as usual approach when it