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tv   Today  WBAL  August 19, 2009 7:00am-9:00am EDT

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good morning. cat 4. hurricane bill strengthens to a powerful storm overnight. this as a tornado tears through a busy shopping center in texas and strong storms pound parts of the east coast. breaking his silence. dr conrad murray, michael jackson's personal physician and the focus of a manslaughter investigation, speaks out for the first time since the pop star's death. > >> because of all that is going on, i am afraid to return phone calls or use my e-mail. >> and he had even more to say in his first interview. and arrested just hours after our exclusive interview with the first "survivor" champion, richard hatch, police take him back to jail. what happened? we'll ask his sister and his attorney in an exclusive interview today, wednesday,
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august 19th, 2009. captions paid for by nbc-universal television and good morning and welcome to "today" on a wednesday morning. i'm matt lauer along with natalie morales this morning, who's in for ann, who was supposed to be in for meredith -- >> who's on first? >> but mother nature had other plans. >> as you saw by some of the pictures we were showing you here in new york city. what a wild storm we had last night. ann, of course, was on assignment in washington, d.c., yesterday when this storm hit. she was actually at the airport, and of course, her flight got canceled. so unfortunately, ann can't be here this morning. you've got me instead, but look at the cleanup here. >> i'll tell you, these storms were crazy with heavy winds and the lightning. >> and the lightning. >> look at this. >> a viewer sent us this picture. it's absolutely unbelievable to see that bolt of lightning right over the new york city skyline there. kind of a beautiful shot, actually.
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so thanks to the viewers who sent that in to us. >> if you weren't standing out in the storms, it would be beautiful. >> exactly. >> meanwhile, in the atlantic, bill became a major category 4 hurricane this morning, and forecasters say the conditions are right for bill to gain even more strength as it moves closer to the east coast. let's get the latest on all the weather news. al is standing by. al, good morning to you. >> all right, thanks a lot, matt. first of all, the heat gets worse in the pacific northwest, temperatures 15 to 20 degrees above normal. look at temperatures, up into the 90s through a good portion of the pacific northwest. look for records. here in the northeast, the heat continues, although the area's shrinking just a little bit because of this bermuda high. oppressive temperatures again, into the upper 80s to low 90s. and we've got, of course, hurricane bill. we've just gotten some reports from some radio son drops, little radios that hurricane hunters drop into this. winds are 135 miles per hour with gat graey 4 storms, but the winds are at 158 miles per hour.
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so we'll see this maybe make it up to a category 5 storm, moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour. now, the track of bill brings it to the west of bermuda as we head on into the weekend but stays to the east of the united states. however, within that cone of uncertainty, take a look. cape cod. so, we have to keep an eye on that. and no matter what happens, all weekend long we are going to be looking at dangerous rip currents, waves of ten feet or higher from florida all the way up to bar harbor, maine. so, that's going to be bad. and in the midsection of the country yesterday, 2:00, without warning, tornado touchdown in beaumont, texas. winds of 115 to 130 miles per hour flipped cars like toys, throwing them around parking lot, causing damage. ten people injured. four people are still hospitalized today. so, again, unfortunatelunfortun watches or warnings before this storm because it sort of popped
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out of a system that popped through. today we're looking at a risk of very strong storms in missouri today, so we'll be keeping an eye on that. and we'll have more of your weather later on. matt? >> all right, al, see you in a couple minutes. thank you very much. now to dr. conrad murray, the man at the center of the michael jackson manslaughter investigation. well, he's speaking out for the first time since jackson's death. nbc's jeff rossen is in los angeles. he's got the latest on this. jeff, good morning to you. >> reporter: hi, matt, good morning to you. this is our first real look at dr. murray, and it comes in a new video he posted on youtube. the video itself is simple. dr. murray stares right into the camera and reads off a teleprompter. he says he's been living in fear and told the truth. >> because of all that is going on, i am afraid to return phone calls or use my e-mail. therefore, i recorded this video to let all of you know that i have been receiving your messages. >> reporter: in the one-minute youtube video titled "dr. conrad murray thanks supporters," michael jackson's personal
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physician makes only a vague reference to the manslaughter investigation now focused on him. >> i have done all i could do. i told the truth and i have faith the truth will prevail. >> reporter: but police sources tell nbc news they have more questions for dr. murray and haven't been able to schedule a third interview with him. they've already searched his luxury home, offices, storage units and the pharmacy he used. the sources say he administered the anesthetic propofol to jackson on the day he died. his lawyer maintains dr. murray did nothing wrong, but the video doesn't address any of that. >> i want to thank all of my patients and friends who have sent such kind e-mails, letters and messages to let me know of your support and prayers for me and my family. your messages give me strength and courage and keep me going. they mean the world to me. >> dr. murray gets to get out and make a statement without being cross examined by prosecutors or asked any probing
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questions by pesky journalists. he just gets to float his side of the story without being challenged. >> please, don't worry. as long as i keep god in my heart and you in my life, i will be fine. >> reporter: as dr. murray posted his video online, the jackson family announced plans for michael's funeral. after all the talk of a neverland burial, it won't happen. instead, he'll be laid to rest here at forest lawn cemetery, 15 minutes from hollywood in glendale, california. the service will take place on what would have been jackson's 51st birthday, saturday, august 29th. jackson's body will be placed inside a mausoleum. >> where michael's going to be buried now is highly secure and remote. there are other big-name movie stars there, and it's not the kind of place that people are going to be able to visit. >> reporter: we're told it will be a private ceremony for family and friends. one other note about the dr. murray video, matt. i'm sure you noticed he has an
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accent. that's from his childhood growing up in the caribbean. >> jeff rossen in los angeles. jeff, i have one question. investigators say they have more questions for dr. murray. they would like to interview him for a third time, but we keep hearing over the last couple of weeks that they have been unable to schedule that interview. why is that such a problem? >> reporter: look, there's nothing in the law or anywhere that says you have to help police build a case against you. for now, it's fully voluntary. remember, dr. murray has not been labeled an official suspect. he hasn't even been arrested yet. and so, police have a couple of options here. they can either keep asking him to voluntarily come in for an interview or they can get enough evidence, arrest him and haul him in for questioning, whether he likes it or not. and many legal experts say, and these are both former prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers i spoke to, say they probably wouldn't have had him talk to police even the first two times, because anything you say can and will be held against you, as they say, in a court of law, and could actually help police build a case against you. and so, many of the criminal defense lawyers say they wouldn't have him speak either.
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>> jeff rossen, jeff, thank you very much. also on tuesday, dr. murray sat down for his first interview with gerald pozner, chief investigative reporter. good morning to you. >> good morning, matt. >> we heard jeff say, in the piece, in this way, he gets to sit down in the video, it's a freebee. he's not asked probing questions. did you get to ask probing questions or were there restrictions placed on you? >> well, there were no restrictions. i had been trying to get this for weeks and somebody in the firm read my book on 9/11 and i had done books in texas on ross perot and the kennedy administration. they were familiar with my work. it took a long time to sit with dr. murray. it shapd to be by coincidence to the day this released this video. but he wouldn't speak on the case because of an indictment pending. so nobody's going to ask him things about what happened with michael jackson, but he did talk in a very frank way and he comes over very personable. i must tell you, you know, 6'5"
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tall, lanky, he has a caribbean tint accent. he sat in the chair. has sort of expansive gestures, speaks very deliberately. he's very credible about -- >> what has he said about his life since michael jackson's death? >> here's his quote, he says "terrible." he has a bodyguard now. he's received death threats. he's viewed the press, he sees the articles about him. he believes that what sells, as a matter of fact, are things that are more salacious, gossipy and just filled with bad news. when i asked him what his biggest worry was, he said it is being made a scapegoat. he talked quite passionately about his 20 years of medical service, how he had sold a house when he was 19 to get the money to go through medical school, and he said that he thought all of that was lost, because as he put it, he was the last man standing with michael jackson. and what was so irritating to him about that is that he was very adamant that he's not a concierge doctor, that he was not an enabling doctor. yet, this is how he's being portrayed. and you know, before, in the
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piece coming up to this, matt, you heard from some defense lawyers, or you know, jeff said there were people who said he should have never spoken to the police. his attorneys are convinced that the nearly six hours of conversation that he has had with the police, he has never changed his story. i don't know what that story is because they won't release it -- >> right. >> but they say those are the facts that will get him xbox rated if he is charged. >> clearly, he is under suspicion. they are trying to build a manslaughter case against him. they have searched his storage space and offices. does he think charges will be brought? >> look, the attorneys believe that now that the prosecutors have it and are looking at it, they hope the charges won't be brought, but these are realists. the legal team are realists, and dr. murray is as well. what was intriguing is he said he doesn't just want to be acquitted. he used the word exonerated, meaning he doesn't want an acquittal where somebody says you had a better witness, you had michael bodden versus henry lee, or you got off because the jury was in your favor. he wants an exoneration, and he
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really believes -- this is a man, let me tell you, when i used to be a lawyer practicing, we would rate witnesses "a" to "f." he's an "a" in terms of how he comes over. he's very personable, has a warm smile. the prosecutors, if he gets on the stand, will have a difficult time, because he will connect with the juriy. >> gerald posner, thank you for your time this morning. i appreciate it. >> thanks, matt. >> it's 11 minutes after the hour. here's natalie. >> matt, thank you. now to washington and a rough patch for president obama. a new nbc news poll shows his job approval rating has taken another hit as he struggles to sell his health care reform plan. chuck todd is nbc's political director and chief white house correspondent. chuck, good morning. >> good morning, natalie. look, it's been a very heated three weeks of debate on health care, and right now it looks like history might be repeating itself, as president obama looks like he's facing similar political problems that faced the clintons back when they tried to tackle health care in the '90s. >> constitutional -- >> he, he -- wait a minute.
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>> reporter: there's passion. there's anger. >> we have had it with government. we are fed up. we think it stinks. >> reporter: there's fear. >> i don't want this country turning into russia, turning into a socialized country. >> reporter: and even after president obama hosted three town hall meetings to sell his plan last week -- >> getting a good deal from the insurance companies. that's what i'm fighting for. >> reporter: the public is still wary of his efforts to reform health care. >> i'm not for sure if he isn't touched with the true feelings of the people who live here in america. >> reporter: a new nbc news poll shows that most americans are skeptical of the current attempts to reform health care. a majority, 54%, are worried the president's efforts go too far, changing the system for the worse. while only 41% say his reform efforts don't go far enough. and the poll also finds that large numbers of americans still believe the myths about the obama health care plan. 45% believe the plan will give the government the power to cut off care for the elderly. 50% believe the plan will use taxpayer money to pay for
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abortions. 55% believe it will mean illegal immigrants get health insurance. while independent fact-checkers say none of those statements are true, the misperceptions remain. >> people over the age of 65, god forbid if they have a serious illness, such as cancer. they're going to be pushed off to the side and they're just going to be left to die. >> reporter: but according to our poll, when they hear the facts, it's another story. after being read a statement that includes actual details of the obama health care plan, a majority, 53% say they are in favor of it, while only 43% oppose it. and almost everyone surveyed agreed that some kind of reform is necessary. >> i think that it's good for the nation, because there's a lot of people that are suffering that need health care. >> reporter: but many we spoke to still expressed concern. >> i think that when government gets their hand in things that they muck it up pretty good. >> well, natalie, as you noted, with the president's job ratings, this is the third straight poll it's dropped. it is now sitting at 51% with
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40% disapproving. >> chuck, what really stands out in that piece, too, is a lot of misunderstanding over the president's health care reform here, and when you look at the ratings there, the poll numbers, only 36% really believe that it is still a good idea. 42% say it's a bad idea. so, how concerned is the white house over these numbers, and really, more importantly, over whether or not they believe they're losing control of the message? >> well, i think they feel like they've stopped the bleeding when it comes to losing control of the message. it was a bad end of july, early part of august. the last week they feel like at least they didn't lose any more ground. so, when they look at the field, they say, okay, it could have gotten worse, but the town halls that the president held at least started acting as a counterbalance to what was going on with those congressional town halls and some of that information. but i'll tell you, it is getting tough, it is why, for instance, you see the president starting to think about, okay, what's it going to take to just get a deal and get something done quickly.
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i can tell you, the white house would love to hurry up, get a bill passed in september and try to get this debate behind them. i don't think they can ever win the pr battle right now. at this point, they just want to get a bill passed, which that they can get done, even if it means politically taking a hit. >> and a lot of the debate this week has centered on the public option. >> right. >> over, you know, the private insurance, and our poll found that 47% now oppose the public option while 43% support it. and that's a shift from last month, when 46% supported it. so, how do you explain this? is there still just a misunderstanding over what this is all about? >> well, here's the big problem. about 60% of the country has private insurance, and these folks are the ones that are most skeptical of any idea of a public option, a government-run insurance plan. and because of that, they sit there and say, oh, geez, a government plan, that's going to somehow limit me, that's going to hurt my insurance. that's what they're hearing out there. and so, what the white house has to figure out and what our pollsters told us is at the end of the day, people don't feel
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like, what's in it for me? what am i getting? and most people have insurance. and that's why you've heard the white house try to talk about this as insurance reform. look, we will do this, we will do that. but right now that isn't what they're hearing. they feel like all they're hearing is what they're not going to get anymore, what they may not get, what could be limited to them. and that's something that the white house hasn't been able to figure out how to turn around. >> all right. chuck todd there in washington. thanks so much, chuck. >> you got it, natalie. let us get the rest of the morning's headlines now from hoda kotb at the news desk. >> good morning, everybody. we begin with news that two north korean diplomats are in new mexico for two-day talks with governor bill richardson. the white house says the north koreans requested that visit. nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell broke the news about the meeting and joins us now from washington. andrea, is this some sort of diplomatic thaw, do you think, in relations there? >> reporter: well, it certainly is a change of mood. the meeting comes one day after bill clinton and president obama met at the white house to discuss clinton's recent trip to
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pyongyang when he brought back journalists laura ling and euna lee. on that trip, clinton found that kim jong wail not as frail as the u.s. had thought and the leadership is less divided. north korea's longtime nuclear negotiator sat in on the meeting. in new mexico today, the two north koreans visiting governor richardson are the same diplomats who invited him to north korea two years ago to recover the remains of missing u.s. soldiers. all this activity is the first sign of a real opening possibly after a year of escalating tensions, including north korea's nuclear tests and missile firings. asked about that possibility, hillary clinton says that we continue to offer north korea a dialogue that could offer many benefits to the people of north korea, the choices up to north korea and more signals today. south korea canceled a test minutes before launch and north korea says it will send a delegation to the funeral of south korea's former president. hoda? >> wow, interesting developments, andrea. thank you so much for that. a series of explosions struck iraq's capital this morning, leaving at least 75 people dead, wounding more than
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300 others. the bomb and mortar attacks targeted iraqi government buildings near the green zone. gunfire erupted in afghanistan this morning, where three militants try to take over a bank in kabul. the taliban has vowed more attacks ahead of tomorrow's presidential election. friends and fellow journalists are remembering famed columnist and tv commentator robert novak. he died tuesday in washington after a battle with brain cancer. robert novak was 78 years old. a casual bike ride for lance armstrong turned into a mob scene in scotland on tuesday. several hundred people turned out to catch a glimpse or get an autograph from the seven-time tour de france champ after he twittered that he'd be taking a bike ride. and retirement? what retirement? three-time mvp quarterback brett favre announced tuesday that he has signed on with the minnesota vikings. despite a torn rotator cup, favre will suit up for the vikings' preseason game on friday. it is now 18 minutes past the hour. so, he'll be 40 years old in october -- >> i think he's like 73. >> i think it's like the third
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time he's come back from retirement or something, right? >> probably. never know. hoda, thank you very muchch >> we are anticipating a few scattered thunderstorms this afternoon. temperatures still in the city's drought much of the state. as today, 87 to 91 degrees.
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>> that's your latest weather. matt? >> all right, al, thank you very much. and now to a question that's causing controversy in florida. when a convicted sex offender has served his or her time, where can they live? nbc's kerry sanders is in miami, where some residents are not pleased with the answer to that question. kerry, good morning. >> reporter: well, matt, this is the short-term solution right now. i'm alongside a highway on biscayne bay, and you can see the tents. more than 50 sex offenders live here because they cannot live near where children congregate. one businessman saw this as an opportunity, and that's not making everyone happy. the investor buying foreclosed homes in this florida neighborhood doesn't want to show his face or reveal his name. >> i am a sex offender. >> reporter: but what he's created with his property is right there on his website -- average cost per renter? >> $400 a month, and that
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includes everything, cable and the internet. >> reporter: the statistics tell the story. two years ago in this one-square-mile neighborhood, the state sex offender registry showed four living here. now 110 live in this unincorporated fort lauderdale neighborhood. all their pictures with limited details of the crimes are posted by law enforcement on the internet. one convicted of raping a 9-year-old. others had sex with underage girlfriends. sex offenders argue, they've served their prison time. where are they supposed to live? >> they're here everywhere. >> reporter: parents like jennifer de la hora see it another way. >> how do i know somebody can't come over my six-foot fence, you know? it's scary, very scary. >> reporter: of all the spots, why this neighborhood? turns out, this community was unknowingly boxed in. local governments 150 miles in all directions from here set strict limits. a mandatory buffer of at least
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2,400 feet between a convicted sex offender's home and a school or a playground. but the government for this tiny, unincorporated neighborhood never enacted that same law. now this residential zone has become a pocket where newly releas sex offenders can legally live. it's become so popular, there are up to nine men per house. and some offenders waiting for a room to rent have pitched tents under the bridge here. a government task force is now trying to establish a new law here, but -- >> it's a long, drawn-out process. >> reporter: and even with a new law, sex offenders cannot be forced out until their leases run out. and that was anticipated. some leases run 25 years. the folks who live in this tent city say they beg for a little compassion, that they are former sex offenders. but clearly, matt, this is a case of nimby, not in my
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backyard. >> kerry sanders in miami this morning. kerry, thank you very much. still ahead, the first "survivor" champion, richard hatch in jail again. why was he arrested just a couple of hours after our exclusive interview? we'll ask his sister and attorney. but first, this is "today" on nbc. need a lift? hey buddy, i appreciate the ride, you know. no problem. ♪ mind if i take a shortcut? yeah, sure. ♪
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still to come, a good choice or a bad one? the debate over michelle obama's decision to wear shorts in public. plus, valuable advice if you wantell your old gold for cash. what you need to know after your local news and weather.
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>> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am stan stovall. a 74-year-old man remains in shock trauma after he was attacked in what police are calling a hate crime. and at an early one morning as the victim and his wife were packing up their fishing gear in south baltimore. the wife tells police that three young men were yelling racial slurs and starting beating her husband, leaving him with the severe head injury. they also stole his truck, but police were able to track it down. they have one suspect in custody but are searching for two more.
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time for the morning commute with kim dacey. >> a bunch of little things around the area. in towson, a water main break at roland you road. at downed tree at harford road. in nottingham, a disabled the vehicle at honeygo boulevard. a report of an accident and reisterstown road and old court road. we will give you a live look at the west side of the beltway. a bit of a slowdown there from security boulevard down to route 40. watch out for that. that is the latest on traffic pulse 11. >> another muggee start to the day. in the rain continues to push its way off the coast. more showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. a little bit cooler than that. 83 in ocean city, 77 in hagerstown. as it is warm and humid.
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temperatures reading -- to about 87 to 91 degrees. -- check the bottom of your screen for updated news and traffic information. our next live update at 7:55.
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♪ we're back now at 7:30 on wednesday mornin 19th day of august, 2009. that is the wildly popular youtube video of nora the piano-playing cat. apparently, this is a talent that she picked up by watching her owner. and nora is standing by live to tickle the ivories for us a little later this morning. set your tivos if you've got to go off to work. i'm matt lawyer alongside natalie morales. meredith has the morning off and ann got stuck in some bad weather. also ahead, richard hatch is back behind bars. he was arrested just a couple of hours after we aired our exclusive inteiew with the original "survivor" champion, his first since being released from prison for tax evasion. the question this morning, why? was it something he did or was it something he said in that
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interview? we're going to speak to richard hatch's sister and attorney in just a couple of minutes. >> and he had permission to talk with you, right? >> we cleared it through the board of prisons -- bureau of prisons, and so did richard hatch. so it's still a mystery as to why he was taken into custody. >> we'll find out in a little bit. plus, the wife of mark sanford breaks her silence about her husband's affair. we told you some of what jenny sanford had to say saturday in an interview with "vogue" magazine. we'll have more just ahead, including her impact her words could have on other politicians who stray. and you've probably seen the commercials that proclaim now is the time to sell your old gold jewelry for quick cash, but just how much money will you actually make? well, you might not like what we actually uncovered. let's begin this half hour, though, with the arrest of richard hatch. it happened just a couple of hours after we aired our exclusive interview with him. "today" national correspondent amy robach is up in newport, rhode island, whereatch w serving time under home confinement. amy, good morning to you.
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>> reporter: good rning, matt. well, the past 24 hours have changed dramatically for richard hatch. he has gone from house arrest re in newport, rhode island, back to jail. it all happened after your interview aired, an interview where hatch said he had permission to speak. >> the winner of the first "survivor" competition is rich. >> reporter: from winning the reality show"survivor" in 2000 and taking home the million-dollar prize -- >> any comment today? >> reporter: to serving nearly four years in prison for failing to pay taxes on those winnings, richard hatch has never been afraid to speak his mind. >> i know people perceive me as cocky and arrogant, and a big part of that, if not all of it's my responsibility. i grew up as a fat, gay kid in a community that doesn't appreciate fat, gay people. so, you develop some insecurities and you cover those insecurities sometimes, i think, with an overreaction.
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>> reporter: for the last three months, hatch has beeunder house arrest in rhode island, fitted with a monitoring bracelet around his ankle. tuesday on "today," he broke his silence for the first time since his tax coiction, telling matt he was innocent of the charges against him and claiming he's a victim of discrimination because he's gay. >> are you saying to me that if you were heteroseal, you would not have gone to prison? >> i didn't mean to allude to it. i meant to state that definitively. yeah, i do. i do believe that. >> reporter: just hours after that interview aired, hatch was once again taken into police custody. his lawyer says hatch was told he had imprope contact with the public, but when he talked to matt, in a part of the interview th did not air tuesday, hatch said he had permission to speak to nbc. >> you know, i've been denied the opportunity to speak for nearly four years now. i've been told by the burea of prisons, no. no permission, period. but finally, we got permission to do this, and again, i'm just grateful. why have i wanted to talk? well, if you were innocent -- and i'm absolutely innocent --
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it's not a question, it's no objective observer could possibly think anything other than i'm incent. and i've been denied the opportunity to speak for 3 1/2 years. >> you're not worried at all that by doing something they don't want you to do, you're going to somehow impact your future in this? >> well, i can't do something they don't want me to do. if i do something they don't want me to do, even something simple, then i'm back in prison. >> then, by sitting here talking to me right now, are you placing yourself in jeopardy? >> no, i got permission. we got permission to do this interview, and that's why i'm doing it. >> reporter: the barnstable county sheriff's office confirms they have richard hatch in custody but we fuse to give us any more information. they did, however, refer us to the federal bureau of prisons, who they work with. that agency also declined to comment. matt, back to you. >> all right, amy, thank you very much. kristen hatch was there when her brother was taken into custody. she's with us now along with cynthia rivas, richard hatch's attorney. ladies, good morning to both of
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you. >> good morning, matt. >> good morning, matt. >> kristen, you know, i had a chance to meet you on monday. we were at your house, which is where richard is serving out his home confinement. and then after this interview yesterday, the interview aired yesterday, you were there, what happened? >> the sheriff knocked on the door, which he typically does once a week. he usually calls first. and actually, yesterday, they just knocked at the door. when i went up to the door, he came in with another gentleman around 7 feet tall, fully dressed in uniform, which he had never come there with before, and walked down the stairs and told rich that he needed to go with them, they were taking him back to prison. rich said, do what you need to do. can you just tell me why? and he was more concerned with finding the battery for the ankle bracelet than really giving rich an explanation at that point. and as he sent me off to get the ankle bracelet, i heard him tell rich he did an interview and
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that's why he was going back to prison. >> we talked about this when we were up there. richard had gone through the right channels and he had gotten permission to do the interview. we also went through those channels and got permission to sit down with richard. but there was a rather tense or turse phone call earlier in the day before we did that interview with a sheriff's deputy. can you tell me about that? >> initially in the morning when people were here to set up for the interview, we received a phone call at my house and the sheriff demanded that i get rich. and i explained to him that he was in the shower, and he was adamant that i hand him the phone in the shower right at that moment, so i did. and i could hear rich, on rich's end, saying that he had permission. he didn't knowhat he was talking about, that he would need to speak to the b.o.p. and his attorney but had already been cleared and everything was set to go. after that, rich left and spoke with his attorney outside, and cynthia got on the phone with the b.o.p., and hours later assured all of us that it was
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fine and that rich was cleared to go. >> okay. >> so, my understanding is that rich believed he was all set to do the interview. >> that's a good segue. let me bring cynthia in. you know, everybody thought the proper permission was granted, and now he is being -- apparently, the reason he is back in custody is for having improper contact with the public. cynthia, what more can you tell us? you've spoken to richard overnight. >> i have spoken to richard, and matt, i'm so sorry to say i really don't know what the grounds are for why they have him back in jail. i haven't had any response yet to my very many phone calls, to all of my contacts at the bureau as well as the barnstable county sheriff's department and then i also, of course, talked to the jail, to see if someone would explain to me why they have taken rich into custody when the interview, as you know, we worked with your people, your producers. we got out of the clearance with the people, the b.o.p.
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i'm confident i will have more information soon. >> let me ask you a question some people at home might be wondering about here, cynthia. is it possible in your opinion that it is less about the fact that richard did an interview, and perhaps more about what riard said in that interview, claiming prosecutorial misconduct and discrimination, even on the part of the judge in his trial? >> i don't think so, but i really don't know. i mean, everything richardaid is public record. that is our best understanding of the case is that it's a combination of prosecutorial misconduct and discrimination based on sexual orientation. 's the modern-day hurricane. i know you and i have had that conversation, though, in deference to reuben carter. of course, reuben spent 20 years in prison before he was zox rated. >> let me ask you this, cynthia, he is in jail right now, not a
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federal prison. is it your understanding he'll stay there or might he be taken back to prison? quickly, if you will. >> i really don't know. they haven't returned any of my calls. the prison -- the barnstable county jail and the sheriff's department has to take their directions from the bureau. so -- >> you're waiting to hear. >> i can't imagine why they would -- yeah, that's right, i'm waiting to hear. and i'm troubled that i haven't heard at this late date anything. i did get -- i did reach one of the sheriff's, but she was grocery shopping last night and said she couldn't talk to me until the mning. >> all right. >> so, i'm hoping this morning i will get calls. >> we will follow up on it. cynthia ribas and kristen hatch. ladies, thanks to both of you. >> thank you, matt. >> thank you, matt. >> we'll get the latest information on this story and bring it to you when we have it. >> wild. so many queue
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>> and for your latest weather information, check out the weather channel on cable or online. matt? >> all right, al, thanks very much. still ahead, the debate -- and believe it or not, there is one -- over first lady michelle obama's shorts. inappropriate or okay? we'll get into that. but up next, cash for gold. what you need to know before you race out to sell your old jewelry, right after this.
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>> announcer: "today's consumer" is brought to you by bank of america. get the most out of your everyday purchases today. back at 7:45. and this morning on "today's consumer," turning gold into cash. while the economy may be down, the price of gold is way up. so, the question is, is now the time to sell your old jewelry? consumer reporter janice lieberman is a contributing
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editor on "reader's digest" magazine. janice, good morning. >> good morning. we see these ads everywhere. the value of gold has skyrocketed in the past several years, just like it did in the 1980s, and you see the ads everywhere touting gold parties and mail-in offers. it all sounds tempting, but is it too good to be true? we decided to find out. there's cake and conversation. >> thanks. >> oh, thanks. >> reporter: but it's cash that these golden girls crave. >> you're $5,443.49. >> wow. >> reporter: pawn it, package it or have yourself a party. the gold rush is on. and women like dot gerber who mailed off her jewelry are striking. >> i got a check back for $1,800. >> reporter: so, is it worth it to sell your jewelry? well, we decided to have some fun with this. we took one item, shopped it around to find out how much we would actually get.
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at, we bought four of these 14-karat figaro gold chain necklaces for $69.99 a piece. we tried this simple non-scientific experiment. at a pawn shop we were offered just $3, a jeweler $5. we also mailed one to cash4gold and one to red swan, where we got a check for only $3.46 and $7.34 respectively. why so little and why the disparity? we asked a gem expert to explain. we purchased this necklace for $70 online, and had we tried to sell it at various outlets, we got quotes from $3 to a little more than $7. that doesn't seem like much. you can barely get a cup of coffee for that. >> you paid a very full, very high retail price for it, not an unfair price, necessarily. you have roughly about $19 or $20 worth of gold in this chain,
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but you have manufacturing cost, you have marketing cost, packaging, and of course, the company has to make a profit. >> reporter: that's a significant profit in all these cases. david taffett owns lippen cots, the parent company of several gold jewelry buying stores, including red swan, where a former nbc news staffer is an executive. how do you determine the price? >> the price changes every day just like the stock market, where gold prices can go up or down and then we pay a percentage. >> reporter: barring unique designer items, most used gold is just melted down. so, what you get all boiled down to the karat, weight and its daily value. >> if you sold a piece of gold, something that cost you $70, the real value between the wholesale price of that gold on the market might be $15. >> reporter: so, if you're thinking about selling your gold, consider an appraisable. to maximize your money, shop your items around at various local and reputable dealers. when you're ready to sell,
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whether mailing it in or bringing it to a local jeweler, you should first say no thanks. >> you should never accept the first offer. our experience has proven that companies will make two and three additional offers. >> reporter: if you're still not happy, don't accept the check and request your items back, because as we discovered, you might get much less than what you expected. unless, of course, you're like dot gerber, you have no big expectations and you're just happy with some extra spending money. >> i was thrilled to death because i had no idea that it was worth that much, and i'm going to use it. just go with the money to buy a new oriental rug. >> sounds good. experts say the number one way to get the most money is to shop it around, which is easiest, of course, if you do it in person. take your gold to a number of local jewelers and compare the offers, and you can send it in as well. >> now, you have that $70 necklace that you tried to sell, 14-karat gold.
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why do you think you didn't get not even a fraction of the price? was it because the actual gold value was too low? >> no, we're paying for marketing and advertising and the retail space. it was only worth $19 in actual gold. so, that's why we got a fraction of it. >> all right, janice lieberman, thanks so much. coming up next, get ready to feel old. life through the eyes of the class of you want to, the class of 2013.
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still ahead, nora the cat that plays piano. >> we will have a special live performance after your local news and weather. >> boy, she's really good, huh? >> she's just getting warmed up. >> love the charlie brown tune.
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>> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am stan stovall. let's check on the morning commute with kim dacey.
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>> things are picking up quite a bit on the roads out there. accident on the outer loop of the beltway approaching perring parkway. quite a backup. we will give you a live look in a minute. on the outer loop of the beltway at merritt boulevard, a water main break. role in the road. possible lane blockages there and water in the street. a downed tree at harford county. in glen arm, the downed tree is at harford road in both directions. we will give you a live look at the north side of the beltway. traffic on the outer lips barely crawling along there. in the back up from paste the'. 76 in baltimore, 73 at b.w.i., 77 and hagerstown. the afternoon will be warm and humid with thunderstorms. 87 to 91 degrees. we will do it again tomorrow. friday, a little bit of a
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washout at 89. things get very nice very quickly after that. saturday, 85 degrees with scattered storms. sunday, beautiful and 84. >> check the bottom of your screen for updated news and traffic information. our next live update at 8:25.
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8:00 now on a wednesday morning.
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it's the 19th day of august 2009. we've stepped outside to say hi to the nice people who are spending some of their time with us this morning here on rockefeller plaza. i'm matt lauer along with natalie morales and al roker. natalie's in because ann got stuck in bad weather. ann was in for meredith and this is getting too confusing. >> i'm sure she was on the first flight out this morning, though, making it home safe. >> she's not on the plane, she's asleep. got anybody on vacation here? ladies, who's wearing shorts this morning? shorts, shorts, shorts? okay? so, it's okay when you come to the "today" show to wear shorts. >> when you're on vacation. >> right. >> yeah. >> is it okay, though, for the first lady of the united states to wear shorts on vacation out in public? michelle obama did it recently, and some people are not happy about that. we're going to get into that discussion coming up in a little while. >> she's on vacation. >> i was going to say, come on. >> they're out in the grand canyon. >> crazy. >> in the heat.
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hot, hot, hot. >> it was 100 something degrees. >> that's a lot of chafing if you're not wearing shorts. >> or for some, even if you are wearing shorts. anyway. >> too much information there, right. also ahead, another political wife in the spotlight. jenny sanford, the first lady of south carolina is now speaking out about her husband's affair. question is, is this the best idea? also, can their marriage be saved? we're going to talk about all of that coming up in a little bit. and she's what everyone's talking about, nora the piano-playing cat. >> everybody's talking about it? >> everybody's talking about this cat. her video on youtube a big hit. this morning, nora will grace us with a live performance. she's already been cracking her knuckles, ready to go. >> we've all put in our requests. should be interesting. all right. >> and nora being accompanied by zz top. >> everyone's crazy about a sharp-dressed cat. >> yes, very nice. >> let's go inside.
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hoda kotb is at the news desk with the headlines. >> good morning, guys. good morning, everybody. today in iraq, at least five explosions struck near baghdad's heavily fortified green zone, killing at least 75 people. more than 300 others were hurt. the bombs and mortar attacks targeted iraqi government buildings. meantime, new violence and intimidation by the taliban as afghanistan prepares for its presidential election tomorrow. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel has more from kabul. richard? >> reporter: hoda, as u.s. soldiers fighting in this country well know, the terrain here is daunting. so, to help get out the vote, afghans are using about 3,000 donkeys in this election. preparations for voting are under way in the pensheer valley northeast of kabul, with mountains rich with emeralds and adobe villages by rivers still high and quick from the melting snow. but the trucks carrying the ballots, boxes, chairs and tables are at the end of the road. and where the road ends, the
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donkeys begin. the pack animals are loaded up and secured with ropes. it's a special day. the donkeys are dressed in flowered bridles but remain uncooperative as they begin their large march. caravans of donkeys are on the move across afghanistan to reach the most isolated villages. this one is carrying about 10,000 ballots. they'll walk for five hours, always accompanied by armed guards, to make sure the ballots aren't stolen or tampered with along the way. the sure-footed animals are the only way to travel through dry river beds and past villagers who silently watch the curious traffic. 52-year-old mobl shaw, father of seven and retired teacher, told me everyone here will vote. "it's our duty to select the next president," he said. but who will win? with less than 24 hours left before the vote, there are two clear front runners, president hamid karzai and his former prime minister, abdullah abdullah.
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abdullah has been crossing the nation courting the rural vote, promising to build roads, schools and hospitals. >> this is the people who will decide about their own future. >> reporter: karzai's strategy has been to build alliances with powerful tribal leaders and men some here call war lords. in a debate this week, karzai even reached out to the taliban. but karzai's government has been accused of corruption and taliban violence is on the rise. polls opened thursday morning and then the donkeys will ferry back the ballots. we're told results will come in when they come in. the contest between abdullah and karzai is supposed to be so close, analysts say it could go to a runoff. >> richard engel in kabul, thanks. new mexico governor bill richardson is hosting two north korean diplomats today for two days of talks. according to his office, richardson is not representing the obama administration, saying the north koreans requested the visit to discuss energy initiatives. the debate over health care continues to heat up around the
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country. on tuesday, representative barney frank faced off in front of a skeptical and sometimes contentious crowd. at a town hall meeting in massachusetts. >> why do you continue to support a nasty policy, as obama has expressly supported this policy? why are you supporting it? >> when you ask me that question, i'm going to revert to my ethnic heritage and answer you question with a question. on what planet do you spend most of your time? >> at least nine lawmakers will be holding town halls on health care around the country today. they are cleaning up in southeast texas after a tornado struck without warning tuesday, collapsing the roof of a department store in beaumont. vehicles were flipped on top of each other and several people received minor injuries. we've got some rough weather out there. it is now five minutes past the hour. let's go back outside to matt and natalie.
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>> another hot and humid day on the way. temperatures are ready in the 70's all across the state. 87 to 91 degrees. some of these thunderstorms could be heavy. >> birthday, birthday, birthday! matt. >> all right, al, thanks very much. when we come back, is south carolina's first lady blazing a
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when i really liked to be outside, i did not like suffering from nasal allergy symptoms like congestion. but nasonex relief may i say... bee-utiful! prescription nasonex is proven to help relieve indoor and outdoor nasal allergy symptoms like congestion, runny and itchy nose and sneezing. (announcer) side effects were generally mild and included headache. viral infection, sore throat, nosebleeds and coughing. ask your doctor about symptom relief with nasonex. and save up to $15 off your refills. go to for details, terms and conditions. back at 8:11. and now to the first lady of south carolina, jenny sanford, opening up about her husband's affair. in a candid, new interview, she says governor sanford was "obsessed" with seeing his mistress. norah o'donnell's in washington with more. >> reporter: good morning. jaevenl sanford may be the new model for the wronged political spouse. she's moved out and put her
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husband on notice that he needs to clean up his act. for the first time, jenny sanford is coming clean about her husband's infidelity and how she's moving on with or without him. >> that i'm really focused on one thing and one thing that matters only and that's my family. >> reporter: until now, she's avoided the spotlight, but in a new interview with "vogue" magazine, she's remarkably candid, calling the governor "obsessed" with wanting to visit his argentinean lover. she says, "i have learned that these affairs are almost like an addiction to alcohol or pornography." >> i've been unfaithful to my wife. i developed a relationship with what started as a dear, de friend from argentina. >> reporter: it was in june that governor sanford, a rising republican star, admitted in an emotional and rambling press conference that he had had an affair with maria belenshipur.
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>> i hurt her, i hurt you all, i hurt my wife, i hurt my boys. >> jenny sanford says he was suffering a midlife crisis. "i think when a lot of men get to this midpoint in life, they start asking questions that they probably should have asked a long time ago." she is just the latest of first wives wronged in public, starting with edwards, even hillary clinton. but jenny sanford says she understands why it's so common among people like politicians. they become disconnected. "they'll say they need something and ten people want to give it to them. it's an ego boost and it's easy to drink your own kool-aid. as a wife, you do your best to keep them grounded, but it's a real challenge." and as for the revelations there were other instances where the governor crossed lines as a married man -- >> was there ever any physical contact with women who were not your wife? >> mm-hmm, but again, i didn't
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cross the sex line. >> reporter: jenny sanford calls that news "punches to the gut." for now, she's moved out of the governor's mansion and is living alone with her four boys at her home on sullivan's island. >> just take everything, you know, each moment as it comes. >> jenny sanford says she's focused on her kids and getting them started in a new school. she does say she is open to reconciliation and repairing their marriage, but that "the ball is in his court." natalie? >> norah o'donnell, thank you. and robi ludwig is a psychotherapist and contributing editor at "cookie" magazine. good morning. >> good morning. >> as we saw there, jenny sanford, she is not standing by her man, as we have seen with other political spouses caught in these infidelity scandals. she's handled this differently. but at the same time, governor sanford says in his mistress, he found his soul mate. did she have a choice in what she could do? >> this is a very different situation. i mean, when other politicians have been caught, they did not say, listen, i was having an
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affair with my soul mate. >> mm-hmm. i'm in love with this other woman. >> i'm in love with this other woman. either it was a mistake. they recommitted to their wives on some level. so, this is very different. i mean, what's a woman to do when your husband says he's found his soul mate and it's not with you? >> she likens, you know, her husband's obsession with the mistress to an addiction to alcohol or pornography, in saying that he is basically obsessed with her. >> yeah. >> do you agree? i mean, in your years of this practice helping save marriages that that's what it becomes? >> well, when i think of a love addiction, i tend to think of somebody who is chasing a fantasy or somebody who wants somebody, unrequited love. when she might be calling an addiction is someone who is confusing sexual attraction and someone who is longing for love. and that may be the case. but in addition to that, she's also giving him an excuse. if someone has an addiction, they have an illness. and if somebody is ill, then you
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almost, you look -- >> you write it off. >> -- at the behavior in a very different way. >> and she said to "vogue," i think my husband has some issues that he needs to work on about happiness and what happiness means. i think when a lot of men get to that midpoint in life, they start asking questions that they probably should have asked a long time ago." so, what is it about men and the midlife crisis? i mean, is there truth to that? >> well, i mean, there's a conflict between the calendar and how one experiences themselves and dealing with loss and having the life, perhaps, you never had or pursuing those dreams that maybe you feel you won't have another opportunity to pursue. one of the things that i think was very interesting in this "vogue" article was jenny sanford describes her relationship with her husband as not love at first sight, but a slow burn and more of a friendship. so, one of the possibilities is maybe this relationship was never passionate for him. i don't know. i'm not in his head. and maybe he wanted to experience something he never had with her. and these are the questions we will really never know at this point. >> and really quickly, can their
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marriage be saved? >> if they really want it, absolutely. sometimes you can overcome the problems in your marriage. >> she said the ball's in his court, so we'll have to wait and see. robi ludwig, thank you. coming up next, appropriate vacationwear or a first lady faux pas? we're talking about the shorts and the controversy over michelle obama's wearing them. deanna: it is definitely challenging. the curriculum isn't something from ten years ago, it's always current. what i'm learning i can use today. tavares: it gives you real world experience. i have the information directly from people who are working in the field. i'm learning new management techniques. i'm learning new ways to interact with people. i've had so many teachers that have really done so much for me. you have that personalized attention, um, faculty's always available, around the clock. when i was out looking for a job, looking for a reference, the first person i thought of was one of my instructors 'cause i knew she could speak to my character. i just love the atmosphere, being able to have the interaction - between other students. - it's a networking community
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>> reporter: perhaps there's a reason why there's no fashion district in the nation's capital. washington seems suspect of anything too trendy or too revealing. the first lady surprised a lot of d.c.'ers with her bare arms, so you can imagine what happened when she stepped off air force one last weekend with bare legs. >> i was surprised people were like, look at her legs, look at -- it's like, look at how cool she is. >> reporter: while fashionistas the world over rave about how comfortable the first lady seems in her own skin, just how much skin she shows seems to strike some kind of puritanical nerve. >> i think people are beginning to see her as someone who is breaking a lot of barriers and boundaries in terms of fashion, in terms of what people think is appropriate for a first lady to wear. >> reporter: the "huffington post" ran a poll -- "does michelle obama have the right to bare legs?" it asked, tongue in cheek.
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one person responded "get a life." >> she's wearing midshih shorts. you can't say they're hardly inappropriate. they're not even sexy. >> reporter: some point out that other first ladies were formal to a fault, laura bush, hillary clinton, certainly barbara bush dressed the part. but the obama family prides itself as being as regular as possible. after all, this was a vacation to the grand canyon, not a grand ball room. >> most women look at those shorts and say that's what i would wear when i'm on vacation. >> reporter: a lot of internet space this week has been taken up over a single pair of shorts that are at best only shortish. is it really disrespect for the office or just a prudent clothing choice in 106-degree weather? take that to the water cooler. lee cowan, nbc news, los angeles. >> mary is the author of the upcoming book "mrs. o.: the face of fashion democracy" then the
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editor of "the washington post." hi, ladies. >> hi, matt. >> i don't usually start a section by saying this is a bit crazy, but this is a bit crazy. this is a woman in 2009, she's on vacation and it's 104 degrees. i think there's nothing wrong with it. >> i think the question is what could be more appropriate than shorts for hiking the grand canyon with your family in mid-august? i don't think a skirt suit is going to cut it. >> and i want to be respectful of all opinions. you're not quite so sure about all this, are you? >> i am ambivalent about it only because the photograph that to me is the most residence nant is the one in which she is stepping off of air force one, and that's a very formal photograph. that's the photograph that the press corps gathers around to take. and i think it is in many ways symbolic of the office. >> should she have gotten off the plane wearing slacks and then gone into a car, gone in a restroom in 106-degree heat and change into shorts? i'm not trying to be sarcastic
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here. >> yes, you are, matt. >> i'm not. should she have done that? first, it's a plane. it's not like she's going for a state visit. she's on vacation. >> and that's why i said i'm ambivalent about it because i do think that one of the reasons we are so struck by the photograph is because we don't see first ladies looking that informal. and i think it's a wonderful thing that she's bringing informai informality to that position, but on the other hand, we're still grappling with what the first lady is supposed to be all about. >> but mary, robin raises the question, and i think in paraphrasing here -- this office of the presidency. so, does the office shape the family or should the family have some role in shaping the office? and she's a modern woman. >> exactly. i think women have really connected to michelle obama, recognizing that there are moments when she's dressed down, moments when she's dressed up, that she's playing different roles that speaks to different women. >> jeans would be bad coming off air force one, a baseball hat? i wonder where the line is.
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>> well, i think it's a constant tug-of-war and i think there's a lot more leeway for the president, who regularly gets off of air force one in jeans or a baseball cap. he has been photographed in shorts and no one responds with a second glance other than to suggest, perhaps, the press corps erred in taking the photograph. whereas with her, the error perhaps is on her for allowing herself to be photographed that way. >> all right, ladies, thank you. but we are talking about it, aren't we? >> indeed. >> we are. >> mary and robin, thank you very much. we want to know what you think about michelle obama wearing shorts in public. go on to our website,, to weigh in. we'll give the results of that informal poll tomorrow. and just >> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. police in baltimore county are searching for a suspect who robbed two fast food restaurants
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in a matter of minutes. he entered a burger king, forcing employees into the freezer. after getting the cash from the safe, he crashed -- crossed the street to the arby's. no one was hurt in either incident. >> good morning. let's start with a live look at the problem spot. quite a back up on the outer loop. approaching perring parkway, we will look at the map and see why that is the case. we have an accident on out of the beltway. approaching perring parkway, 21 miles per hour on the northeast side. a water main break in towson. rolling the road is closed in both directions. in pikesville, an accident at reisterstown road in old court road. out about the beltway, 22 minutes.
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895 northbound between 95, 16 minutes. >> we are seeing temperatures will be one of the very nicely now. 79 downtown. 77 in annapolis. for the rest of today, it will be warm and humid. 87 to 91 degrees. some storms could be heavy at times. we will do it again on thursday. friday is more of a washout. after that, a gorgeous and of the weekend on sunday. >> we will have another update at 8:55.
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♪ i am unwritten, can't read my mind ♪ 8:30 now on a wednesday morning, 19th day of august 2009. that is british pop sensation natasha bedingfield, and she is going to bring her beautiful voice to our plaza this friday morning for a live concert. if you're in the area, come on down. she's a great performer and a really nice lady. and then, a week from friday, a huge crowd expected on the plaza for that young lady right there. that is miley cyrus. and she will be rocking the plaza friday, august 28th. so, a couple of big shows coming up here on the plaza. >> that one is going to be huge. >> oh, yeah. it's going to be huge. >> coming in for that one. >> already got the kids' list lined up? >> that's a list to get on. >> we've got connections. we can help you out.
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>> we know a guy. >> exactly. i'm matt lauer along with natalie morales. natalie's here while ann is stuck and meredith is on vacation. we've got al roker here as well. hoda kotb is in for natalie, who's in for ann, who's in for meredith. >> i'm really confused. >> hoda will be playing shortstop next. >> if ever a distraction. >> exactly right. speaking of concerts, we've got a bigg
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>> it is going to be another hot and humid day outside temperatures close to 80 downtown. 80 in salisbury. crested today is hot and humid. 87 to 91.
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>> and that's your latest weather. now let's head on down to washington, d.c., and say hello to mr. willard scott. did you see ann down there, willard? >> i've been looking for her. i think she's up in that tree hiding from me. hi, andy, we love you. no, i'm thrilled to watch that pussycat. >> okay, well, you stand by. >> i understand both paws this time, big finish. that's it. happy birthday from smucker's. how sweet it is. i like the orange marmalade, too. strawberry's my favorite. connie benemerito of buena park, california, 101. attributes longevity to her filipino diet and taking vitamins. favorite memory is meeting president nixon in the philippines. bless your heart. happy day. elizabeth hord of white plains, new york.
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100 years old. has lived in the same house for 92 years! loves to plant flowers. gwilym and dorothy davies, harrisburg, pennsylvania, right up the road from us. 75 years they've been married. he's 98, she's 92. attributes their marital happiness to holding hands. how about that? now, that means a lot, holding hands. esther rattray, reading, massachusetts, 107 years old. enjoys reading mystery novels and claims there is no magic to her longevity, just god's will. and that's it. happy birthday to you. albert gehl, and he's from milwaukee, wisconsin. 100 years old. retired accountant. moved on over to his old family farm and bought the business and loves to joke and travel. happy days. and we have elsie greenridge, richmond, virginia, 100 years old. worked in the new york city supper clubs years ago playing
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the piano. still plays duke ellington favorites for her friends. and that's it, that's all. and now back to mr. matt, the man who's the cat who can play the piano. >> well, we'll get to that in a second. that's right. willard, thank you very much. good to see you. you have seen her do it live -- or you've seen her do it on the internet. can she do it live? nora the piano-playing cat is going to put on a show for us. but first, this is "today" on nbc.
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cash for clunkers is available at your chevy dealer. with more eligible models to choose from than anyone. if your clunker qualifies to be recycled, you can get a $3500 or $4500 government rebate. and just announced! if you qualify for the clunker rebate, you may also qualify for 0% apr for 72 months.
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that means you can buy a '09 malibu for $271 a month after a $3500 government rebate and no down payment. go to for details. ♪ we are back at 8:37, and this morning on "today's pets," yes, the piano-playing cat, nora, who's become a smash hit on the internet. as we said, nora now began actually tickling the ivories a few years back, shortly after being adopted by betsy alexander and bernal yao, and they are with us now from philadelphia. nice to see you there. >> hello. >> nice to be here. >> now, let's begin by saying
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where's nora? i know she's there with you. and she actually, i understand, is a little bit of a diva, is that right? because she needs to be in her own studio in her own home to play the piano, right? >> that's right. she's a studio musician, right. and she -- you know, we had her off in the green room, and we brought her down. she doesn't like being held, so, she's sort of putting up with us holding her right now. we're hoping that doesn't interfere with her artistic inspiration on the piano, because she's never played live before. it's always been on tape, so -- >> betsy, you teach piano -- i'm sorry, i didn't mean to interrupt. you teach piano. >> i do. >> so, your idea is that nora is imitating you after watching you for so long? >> oh, absolutely. i mean, she was obsessed with the piano from the time i brought her home as a kitten. she would dance in circles on top of it. i don't know if you saw the video "whose piano is it anyway?" but she dances in circles. she used to do that all the time when she was a kitten. put her head over the kids'
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music. oh, here she goes. >> is she starting to play? >> hopefully. hopefully, she's going to. >> go ahead, nora. >> oh. are you going to play? >> she says too much pressure. live television. >> what exactly is she playing there, betsy? >> interpretation. >> a stage mother here. yes, i'm feeling greatly relieved because i really didn't know if she was going to. this is her own thing. it's not a trick. it's not something we taught her. she plays when we're not in the room, she plays when we're in the room. sometimes she plays when we don't want her to play. i can be teaching a child or an adult who's trying to concentrate and then nora hops on the bench. it's crazy. >> betsy, when we see her, she seems to love the ivories there. i've got to ask, though, some people may be cynics and say do you put catnip or anything to entice her in the keys? >> oh, my god. >> because she likes -- she rubs her face on the keys. >> look, if i put catnip on
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those keys, nora would be rolling her entire body on the keys, because she's like a total catnip addict, okay? she would be rolling around in there, and then she would lay on the bench and roll around. then she would lick all the catnip off her body. of course, i wouldn't do that. by the way, this piano has a computer in it. and if i put a drop of anything on here, that would be like good-bye to my piano which i mortgaged the house to buy. >> i notice that nora is staring at her reflection in the back part of the piano. can't take her eyes off herself. it's like meredith, actually. so -- >> meredith is off vacation. oh, wow. >> that's why it's safe to say that. >> you know how when you pass a mirror? >> yeah. >> when you pass a mirror, you have to look in it, check out your reflection. that's sort of where nora's head is at. she does it for hours. >> what is next for nora, betsy? >> well, she just finished a brand new book called "how to
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live the purfect life and make every day a catnip day," and we're looking for the right publisher for it, but it's all about her philosophy about why she's so happy and a talented cat and how you, too, can be happy and talented in your life. >> that's cool. >> she's very philosophical. >> bernal hasn't said anything. bernal, when is zz top getting back together? [ laughter ] >> you know, that really depends on how long the beard is. when it's about three jchz shorter, i'm willie nelson. >> i'm hoping it gets long enough to braid it. that's my plan. >> it's a good look. it's a good look. >> you know artists, we're like -- >> we got it. >> we're artists. our look is our thing. >> that's great. >> but she -- have you heard catcerto, where she plays with the orchestra? >> you know what, i'm going to go on youtube right now. >> unfortunately, we're out of time, but we will logon to that. thank you. we appreciate it. thank you, everybody. >> thank you, nora, for playing.
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thank you. >> thanks. coming up next, our hot chef pat milochi does some cooking to the tunes of norra. first, this is "today" on nbc.
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♪ this morning on "today's kitchen," back to basics. "top chef" host padma lakshmi. the show's sixth season kicks off tonight on bravo, and this time, 17 cheftestants are packing up their pots and pans and heading to vegas, baby. padma lakshmi's here to tell us about that and to cook a recipe from her book "easy exotic." thanks for coming back. >> thank you for having me back. >> how are you doing? >> great. >> can we start off with a congratulations for an emmy award. along with the guest host. i mean, six years, but it's not like you've been a tv host -- >> it's actually five seasons for me. it was shorter. >> that's right. >> actually, about 2 1/2 years
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for me or 3 years, so. >> are you excited about the potential of winning an emmy? >> i'm excited to take my mother. i think she's looking forward to it and i'm happy for the show. i think everyone works really hard in the show, and if our nomination gives them one more for the show, then all the better. i think it's great. >> what's going to be different about the show in vegas? does the location actually impact things? >> the location always impacts things. you know, we try and bring as much as the environment into the challenges and the food as we can. that's what a good chef would do. >> right. >> you know, use local ingredients. so, a lot of citrus, seafood, caribbean in miami. in vegas, you know, you have the desert, which doesn't give you a lot of stuff to work with, but you know, we have cactus in there -- >> and you've got magicians and showgirls, which is good. >> which is the thing. all of the environment in vegas, the gambling lingo and all of those tricks do take a part in the challenges. >> chefs take greater risks, maybe? >> they should always take greater risks, but yeah, they do. there's more at stake. for instance, we have high-stake
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quick fires where you can give up immunity for a $15,000 chip, or you know, you can decide to double down or things like that. >> i was kidding about the showgirls. you do have the showgirls. >> we had to have them, you know. >> okay. >> they tried to get me in one of those outfits and i drew the line. i thought it was -- >> they try to get me in those here as well. as we continue to talk about the show, you're making a recipe today. >> it's so easy. >> you said that to me outside. you said this is going to take a minute, matt. >> it's very easy. >> what are we making? >> i chose this recipe because it's really simple. it's a spanish dish with chick peas and spinach. and it's made traditionally with cooked spinach that's been squeezed out, you know, the moisture's been squeezed out. so, i have that here and i've got both ways later to show you. >> do you have to use fresh spinach or can you use -- >> you can use frozen spinach in a pinch. this is so easy. i like raw spinach because i think it contains more of the nutrients, the iron and all of the minerals and vitamins. and you know, when you mix the
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olive oil and lemon juice in, it starts to wilt anyway after it sits. here we have a little bit of chives. so, the ingredients are just olive oil, lemon juice, chick peas, which you can boil, soak and boil your own and use -- >> some red pepper. >> red bell pepper. >> what's this? >> these are cucumbers. now, i just -- >> can i put them in now? >> yeah, go ahead. and you can add olive oil for me while i add the lemon juice. >> tell me when. >> add about half of that. there you go. >> okay. >> and this is a great, versatile recipe, so -- >> is this done? >> salt and pepper and it will be done. >> just a pinch? >> that's it, yeah. and you can make this with black beans or black-eyed peas, arugula or any greens. that's why this is a great recipe. you can take this template -- >> you also asked if i like spicy foods, so you can make this -- jazz this up a little bit. >> yes, totally. in fact, i have some crushed red pepper for you, which i'm going to add. and that's it. you can serve it as an hors d'oeuvre -- >> serve it with peanuts?
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>> take that over here. bring that with me over here. >> as we do that, i saw an article you were featured in the other day, talking about chefs and how they eat all this food and tend to have a roly-poly image. and yet, you have managed to stay in great -- how do you do that? >> it's hard. it's not easy. i mean, right now i have about five pounds to go to still lose for my "top chef" weight, but you know, you just exercise. i box -- here, let's spoon some in here and you can taste some there. i've added some red chili to make it spicier. >> let's taste some of the freshest stuff here. >> yeah. it might need a little more salt. i saw you were easy on the salt, but -- >> mm-mmm. >> see, it's done. again, it's very easy. it's vegetarian, but it has protein. and if you did want to lose some weight, this would be a great way to do it. >> very healthy. since you are an emmy-nominated host and i have a mouth full of food, why don't you read the tease that's up there? >> okay, a reminder -- >> no, you're supposed to say padma, thank you. >> oh, padma, thank you. a reminder, "top chef las vegas" premieres tonight on bravo.
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and we will be right back. this is "today" on nbc. >> nicely done. the emem
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kids all across the country are starting to head back to school, and that means it's time for high school football. in kansas, the smith center redmen enter the season with 67 consecutive wins. that's the longest streak in the country.
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and five state titles in a row. but that's only part of this team's incredible story. "the new york times" reporter joe drape is the author of the new book "are boys a perfect season." joe, good morning. >> thanks for having me, natalie. >> nice to have you here. this is a really great story, because it's about a lot more than football and this team. it's about a community, right? >> it's about a community and it's about the old values of love, patience, hard work. you know, i went there in 2007 and did a story for the "times," and the first thing the coach told me, roger barter, was none of this is about football, it's about raising kids. it's what we do real well here. and you know, that resonated with me, natalie. i had a 3-year-old -- at the time, jack was 3 -- and i need help raising kids. i think most people would like to have help raising kids, and so, i was intrigued and i wanted to go back. >> and you brought your family back and you moved in with them for a year to write this book. you thought there was a much bigger story here than not, you know, more than their winning streak and more than the football game. and over the course of the season, what you learn is that even though they lost in the
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2008 season, they lost 12 seniors, so, they lost, you know, pretty much their team and they started out with a new crop of seniors. you see this group of young men, though, really gel and grow in their confidence and become an incredible team. >> yeah. and they were following the greatest high school class in kansas football, legendary. and they were an unconfident bunch. they weren't very good in junior high. they didn't have confidence. and i watched them grow from boys to men. and that's what was really touching to me. and i watched a coaching staff be educators and be teachers and move them incrementally. i mean, all the time they talked about life's lessons. you know, their philosophy is, 15 years from now, i hope you learned something in this locker room that's going to make you a better person and a better man. >> and you know, tell me about the town of smith center, because i think this town really is, you know, sort of, in football, the life blood really of the values of what these boys are raised with, right? >> you know, it's a wonderful
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community and it's a community of mentors. they all take care of their kids. i mean, it's that it takes a village to raise a kid. you know what's important, what i found great was the same people who were at the friday night football games were at the thursday afternoon junior high school volleyball games, were at the school plays, were at the school concerts. i mean -- >> this is a town of less than 2,000 people, though, i understand. no shopping malls. >> there's not a mcdonald's or a walmart within 90 miles. >> so, that gives them the ability to really, i mean, spend time with their kids and focus on their kids. >> they focus on their kids. and you know, the other thing, they're just like us. i mean, both parents work, both parents are rushing their kids to it. their moms do tremendous stuff for them back there. they're up early, getting them ready for school. they're cooking dinner late at night. you know, everybody's involved. >> winning isn't everything, as you say. i mean -- >> no. you know, and that's what really appealed to me. "friday night lights" is the benchmark -- >> the book and the movie and tv
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show here on nbc to follow. >> and you know, i found the bright side. i found the uplift there. i mean, they're doing it to raise kids and make better people. they're not doing it to play football. >> so, there's a story that we can all take away from it and learn. thank you so much for bringing it to us. the book is called "our boys." joe drape, thank you again. >> thanks, natalie. still ahead, the financial questions you want answered with our "money 911" panel.
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>> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. here's a look at some of the top stories. please continue to look for who opened fire please -- continued to the -- police continue to look for people who opened fire, and the commissioner is advocating a more direct approach to suspected gang members. some critics call this approach racial profiling.
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>> now let's take a look of a forecast. >> another very muggy day is on tap today. we will look for a chance for the afternoon and evening thunderstorms. 87 at 91 degrees. could be heavy at times. important to watch out for that. we will do it again on thursday. 90 degrees with scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. friday is 89 and more of a washout. after that come into the weekend, boris by sunday and monday and tuesday. >> today is the day that our own and sandra shaw is in new york to co-host with regis to tune in at a wbal-tv 11 at 10:00 a.m. to watch. sarah caldwell will provide behind-the-scenes information. only an hour left to set your
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dvr or tivo. we will have another update at 9:25.
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