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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  December 2, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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moments you can't really turn away from, and how these moments really help forward the story that we are all over here on cnn. that is night, "in case you missed it" 11:30 eastern, 8:30 pacific. do not miss it. with that, i'm brooke baldwin here in new york with your "cnn newsroom." let's toss things to john berman sitting in for jake tapper. "the lead" starts right now. our guest today is bill gates which means our entire studio audience gets the new xbox 1. just kidding. we have no studio audience. i'm john berman. this is "the lead." the national lead. what caused it, four people dead after a train flies off the tracks in the bronx. just moments from now investigators will give us answers. the money lead. these days he makes more headlines for how much he gives away than how much he makes. our guest, bill gates, on his legacy and his battle against the epidemic that has killed millions. and the pop lead. fast cars made him a star, but
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then robbed him of his life. paul walker was in the middle of shooting another "fast and furious" movie, not to be indelicate but fans want to know what will the series do without him. welcome to "the lead." i'm john berman filling in for jake tapper. we do begin with the national lead. any moment from now we are spaeare' expecting new information on the deadly crash in the bronx that killed four people. the national transportation safety board holding a news conference, again, any minute, we will bring it to you live, the whole subject is something none of us wants to think about when we board a train. there are commuters who have taken the metro north hudson line literally hundreds, maybe even thousands of times, and yet yesterday, it all went awry when a train suddenly derailed on a sharp curve. all seven of the cars flying off the tracks. you can see the pictures right there. four people are dead, dozens more are injured. today, crews began righting the cars.
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they used enormous cranes to do this. investigators recovered two recorders from the wreckage so they can hopefully begin answering the many questions left in the aftermath. our own nic robertson is at the crash site in the bronx. we are expecting this news conference any minute now but still, some details have come out over the course of the day about what investigators have been finding out. what's the latest? >> reporter: well, we know that the second of the event recorders has now arrived in d.c., the data has been downloaded. that will be important to determine the speed of the train and whether or not any braking was applied before it entered that curve. if you take a look over my shoulder now, you can see that all of those cars have now been pulled out of the dirt, not only pulled out of the dirt, but put back on the track and moved away from the scene of the derailment. that in itself is something that the engineers from the ntsb will be able to look at and analyze to see how these carriages, if any of these cars, rather, were
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damaged prior to the accident. there will be information there they will be able to glean as the cars are moved away from the scene. we understand from metro north that the train operators have had routine tests for drugs and alcohol. there were no cameras on board this train. there were no cameras at the front -- in the front car or monitoring what the operators were doing, and other information as well that will be important for the investigators, at least of the four people killed in the accident, three of them actually thrown from the car that they were in. again, all this information important for the investigators and no doubt, more details on that in just a few minutes when that press conference begins. john? >> from the beginning everyone said how lucky in a sense everyone was that this happened early on a sunday morning of a holiday weekend, when there weren't the hundreds, even thousands of commuters who could have been riding that train. still, there were dozens and dozens of people injured. can you give us an update on the victims? >> reporter: we know there were
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67 people taken away to be treated sunday, 16 at least remain in hospital. of those, three are in critical condition. one hospital, st. barnabus in the bronx, have nine of those injured passengers, one of them in critical. seven still in icu but the doctor we talked to there telling us it's not just a physical injury, there is going to be a lot of emotional trauma going forward as well. >> for a lot of these people, the metro north train from upstate to new york city was their way of commuting to work, and i think a lot of these people are going to have to contend with, you know, getting back to normal life at some point and having to get back on the metro north train that goes right through, you know, that same area at some point. and you know, i think that's going to be very difficult for them, honestly. i don't know how they're going to deal with that. i assume with the support of their family and whatever mental
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health providers, you know. i'm sure there will be some degree of post-traumatic stress for a number of the people. >> reporter: one of those injured passengers, a 14-year-old boy, rides the train to work every day. the doctor had to tell his mother not just about his injuries and how he had treated him but about the boy's father, who's got a broken spinal cord injury. that very traumatic for the family and that boy, the doctor told us his mother told him that boy is going to have to ride the train every day and go through the trauma of getting back on the train. >> that has to be so difficult. as you look at the pictures of these train cars on their side, you get a sense of how fast they must be going and the force of this accident, what it must have been like. nic robertson at the crash scene right now, just north of the henry hudson bridge. i want to get an expert's opinion on what may have caused this deadly derailment, what the factors have been. we have a former member of the
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national transportation safety board. john, thank you so much for joining us. apparently the train operator says that he hit the brakes, but the train would not slow down. this is according to law enforcement who is at the scene. what could have caused that? >> well, it's two pieces. when did he hit the brakes, was he too far into the turn before he hit the brakes, so the recorders are going to tell us when and how much of an application he applied the brakes to. i assume he tried the emergency stop. so the recorders are going to tell us when that happened and just what that means to the accident, but there's a lot more to it than just the speed that this person was going or this train was going. if the condition of the rails, don't lose sight of the fact there was a previous derailment just months before this one at this location, so was the rails repaired properly, was there a problem with the underlying structure of the rails.
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all of those will be investigated thoroughly. >> the fact that there was an accident close to this location, does that set off warning bells to you? >> oh, yes. yes. the ntsb will focus in on that, definitely, for track condition and geometry. >> in the curve, this went from 70 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour along this curve. it is one of the sharpest curves in the system. is it possible that it's just asking too much, do they have to perhaps look at the rules and regulations managing how trains go around a curve like this? >> well, there is a formula that's used and that's why the speed drops to 30, which is a major reduction. so that we're going to have to look at that and look at what the signal said and look at when he applied the brakes. did he apply them too late. he said that they were ineffective but they may have been ineffective because he was going too fast at the time. >> lot of analysts -- >> we need a little more time. >> a lot of analysts suggest
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that something called positive train control could be something that helps prevent accidents like this. explain to our viewers and me, frankly, what positive train control means. >> it means that there's an outside influence on how the train is operated. so if you have a computer driven system, the system is going to tell the train to slow down, regardless of what the operator's telling it to do. let's not forget that we have a lot of trains in this country operating with no operators whatsoever. right there at jfk, we have the air train that leaves jfk airport every day multiple times going to jamaica station. there's no operator on it. it's all computer controlled. so we need to take advantage of the automation that's available to us and apply it to our rail system in this country. >> it is something i think that will be implemented over the next few years across the country, at least in part. i'm not sure replacing the conductors and engineers on a system like metro north is what people have in mind, but they do
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have in mind some kind of stopgap for this positive system. talk to me about what kind of monitoring systems are now in place for the engineers, for the people who run these railroads. there's the black box, so-called black boxes, the recorders, there were two of them on this train. what about video cameras? is anyone taking pictures of what's going on inside these trains? >> not that i know of. i don't believe anybody has got a video system on board. they do review the operation of the train and there are people that ride the train, safety inspectors, if you will, to make sure they are abiding by the rules, but it's not as robust as it should be. >> thank you so much. let's go right to the news conference. ntsb telling us about the metro north crash. >> -- were transported to washington, d.c. and a preliminary readout was accomplished. the preliminary information and let me emphasize this is
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preliminary information, from the event recorders, shows that the train was traveling at approximately 82 miles per hour as it went into a 30 mile an hour curve. that speed again was 82 miles an hour at the entrance to a 30 mile an hour curve. approximately six seconds before the rear engine of the train came to a stop, the throttle was reduced idle. approximately five seconds before the rear engine came to a stop, the brake pressure dropped from 120 psi to zero, resulting in full application of the brakes. at this point in the investigation we don't know what the initiating event was for either the throttle going to idle or the brake pressure dropping to zero. our investigators will be carefully reviewing all the data to determine the functioning of the brakes throughout the trip and to determine why the throttle went to zero, brake
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pressure went to zero. as you may know, this train made nine stops prior to derailing. we need to understand how the brake system was working throughout that part of the trip. at this point, we are not aware of any problems or anomalies with the brakes. also today, we began interviewing the engineer. that interview will be continued over the next couple of days. we have interviews in process with the other three crew members. investigators from the track group have completed the assessment of the track, have conducted a detailed engineering survey of the site. earlier this afternoon, we released the track back to metro, metro north. investigators completed some of the signal testing. the rest of the signal testing will have to be accomplished tonight, late at night when the
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traffic is minimal on the tracks. earlier this afternoon, mta provided us with a copy of a surveillance video from a nearby bridge. that surveillance video was of low quality. we have sent it back to washington, d.c. to our laboratories to see if it can be enhanced. the engineer's cell phone has been recovered, as is part of our routine process, and the forensic evaluation of that cell phone will be provided to the ntsb. finally, all seven cars and the locomotive have been rerailed and our team has conducted the preliminary assessment of five of those cars and the locomotive. the two remaining cars are in the process of being inspected at this point. as soon as that's completed, all of the cars and the locomotive will be moved to a secure facility for further examination
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and evaluation in the next few days. our investigators will continue their on-scene work tomorrow, including interviews, inspections and documentation gathering. with that, i would be willing to take a few questions. >> just to be clear, was this human error or was this faulty braking system that led to this derailment? >> so the question is was this human error or faulty equipment. the answer is at this point in time, we can't tell. at this point in time, the data is preliminary, but we can say here's what happened. we know speeds and positions and power settings and brake application. we don't know whether the brakes went to zero pressure because of a valve change or because of the train break-up. that will be determined, of course, as the investigation continues. >> what does it tell you so far? when you tell us that the throttle was released to idle at
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six seconds, at five seconds the brake pressure dropped to zero. in layman's terms, what does that tell us? what does that tell you? >> that says six seconds before the engine came to a stop, but when it came to a stop, it had derailed. you know, it laid over partly on its side. six seconds to come into a stop, the throttle had been at some power setting. so it was only six seconds before everything came to a stop that the throttle went to idle. >> this was late in the game. >> very late in the game. >> and at 82 miles an hour, that train was going too fast even for the zone leading up to that curve. >> the zone leading up to the curve was a 70 mile an hour zone, and yes, it was in excess of that speed. >> i guess the question is why, then, was the train going so fast? >> that's the question we need to answer. at this point, as i said, this
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is preliminary data. this is raw data off of the event recorders, so it tells us what happened. doesn't tell us why it happened. >> can you tell us what the locomotive engineer has told you so far? >> i can't do that. the interviews have started, but we don't release any of the interview records until all of the interviews have been conducted. >> how many seconds going into that curve should the throttle have been pulled? does the black box reveal the timeline before, the seconds before? >> the black box provides quite a bit of data. we will be looking at that data to understand how the train was being managed, how it was accelerating coming up into that curve, but at this point in time, again, this is very early data. basically, raw data right off the recorders. >> six seconds before that train stops, the engine stops, do you know approximately where that location of that train is six seconds before it stops? where is the locomotive?
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>> the locomotive, and you have probably seen the pictures as much as i have, was basically just nearly inside the turn. so it was not very far through the turn. >> how far would it have traveled in six seconds at that speed? >> i guess what i'm asking is, does the throttle come off at that place where it comes off the rails? the locomotive? >> that would be close together. >> excuse me? >> that would be close together. but i don't -- without analyzing it, it's hard to say exactly what that sequence was. >> we'll take one more question. >> any toxicology tests done on the driver? >> there was drug and alcohol testing that has been completed but the results have not been made available to us. >> what has he said? >> can you just explain about the brake pressure going to zero, what it means?
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>> brake pressure -- >> and the time of that again, please. >> the brake pressure went to zero five seconds prior to the stop -- to the complete stop of the locomotive. the brakes are held off by pressure so at 120 psi, the brakes are held off. when the pressure diminishes, particularly when it goes to zero, full braking application happens. >> you think the application occurred before the train derailed or after the train derailed? >> don't know that at this point. >> the mechanics of this, can you explain to us how it works, the engine's at the back and the engineer might be i guess at the front of the train, how does he operate the train? >> okay. last question. how does he operate the train in a pusher configuration. the engineer is in the cab car up front. >> okay. what, is there -- are there lines that run back? >> there are controls that run back to the locomotive because all the power is at the locomotive.
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thank you. >> okay. let me just say a couple words here and then senator blumenthal. first, it is very good that the ntsb is in full charge. they are smart, they are competent and they are independent, and i have worked with them on unfortunately numerous tragedies here in new york, both on the ground and in the air, and they come up with thorough data, they give it to you as quickly as they can but they don't rush. they want to make sure everything is completely squared so when they tell you it's going at 82 miles an hour, it's a pretty safe bet that that's exactly what happened. they are -- the ntsb was set up by congress to be independent and to come in, sort of come in on top, if you will, or swoop in and give a complete independent investigation, so no one who has
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biases will be involved. and i have complete, and i know senator blumenthal does, complete faith in this investigation. when they -- oftentimes when they finish their investigation, congress takes their findings and puts them into law. that's what happened with the crash in the buffalo airplane. we now have laws that -- because the ntsb found there was so much pilot fatigue. we were briefed and i have been on the phone with not only the folks here, but miss hurstman and let me just say a couple of things first. when i heard about the speed, i gulped. >> you have been listening to a news conference by the ntsb. that's senator chuck schumer. the ntsb giving key new information about the crash of the metro rail train line just north of the henry hudson bridge in the bronx. the headline is absolutely the fact that the train was traveling 82 miles an hour just before it went into a curve where the speed limit was 30
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miles an hour. the zone it was traveling 82 was a 70 mile an hour zone but this train, any way you look at it, was going above the posted speed limit. i want to bring back in nic robertson, who is out at the crash site right now. also, john golea, former member of the national transportation safety board. nic, one of the things people have been talking about all day indicating governor andrew cuomo this morning said he believes speed will end up being the major factor in this accident. we now know that this train was without a doubt, according to the recorders, the black boxes, going faster than the posted speed limit, 82 miles an hour. >> reporter: that certainly appears to be the case. that's certainly what we're hearing here. the other detail that we heard there was that what was considered the brakes coming on and the throttle coming off, quote, late in the game, that was the analysis there, six seconds before the locomotive came to a standstill. that's when the throttle came
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off, five seconds before the locomotive came to a standstill, that's where the brakes were applied. he described how the pressure went to zero when the pressure is zero, that's what brings the brake pads on to the mechanism to slow the cars down there. so that very interesting and he was asked about that specifically. he said that timing, six seconds to the throttle coming off, five seconds for the brakes to come on, that was pretty much when the train itself and all those cars were leaving the track late in the game, he said. that seems to be a big headline out of this in reference to the speed here, john. >> absolutely. john, nic brings up another key phrase here, late in the game to reduce the throttle, to put on the brakes, and again, this is all happening around a very sharp curve. remember the crash in spain some time ago, that was also a train going very fast around a curve. if you are taking your foot off the throttle, so to speak, and
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applying the brakes very late in the game, that seems to be a recipe for danger. >> no question about it. trains don't stop very quickly. you put the brakes on now and you stop quite a distance down the track. so putting the brakes on that late brake application coming six seconds or five seconds prior to the locomotive coming to a stop, that's way too late. so now the focus is going to be on what the operator was doing, was he on his cell phone, which we find often to be a factor in these types of accidents, or if there was other mechanical failure where he called for the application of brakes and the signal didn't get back to the locomotive. that's why there's two event recorders and i'm sure that the ntsb will focus very, very closely on that piece of it. was it operator error or was it a fact that driving the train from the opposite end of the locomotive played a factor in
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this because of the communications link between the driver in the front and the power in the back. >> right now, they don't know the whys. they only know the what. the what is that train was going 82 miles an hour above the posted speed limit of 70, going into a sharp curve. remember, again, this summer in spain a train was going nearly twice the posted speed limit and had an accident there as well. this will be a focus, i am sure, in the coming days. nic, john, thank you very much for joining us and helping explain these findings that we're getting in just now here. appreciate it. coming up next for us on "the lead," a drone delivering a package to your door in less than an hour? that's what's next for amazon, according to ceo jeff bezos but does bill gates buy it? i will ask him when he joins us, next. at verizon. let's go... let's go... let's go... let's go!
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welcome back to "the lead," everyone. i'm john berman in for jake tapper. in our money lead, $29.7 billion. that's how much president obama has allocated for hiv and aids prevention and treatment in fiscal 2014 budget. that's up nearly $2 billion from 2012. more than 30 million people around the world are now living with hiv. president obama marked world aids day at the white house just a short while ago, announcing some new research initiatives and giving credit to those who have fought for progress against the disease. >> it's the result of countless people, including so many of you working together. >> one of the people in the room sitting in a plum seat in the front row was microsoft co-founder bill gates, the co-chairman and trustee of the bill and melinda gates foundation, which has committed billions to hiv research and grants. he and his wife were just listed number one on the forbes list of america's top giveres, nearly $2 billion in 2012 alone.
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bill gates was kind enough to leave the white house to join us now. i really appreciate it. we have better hors d'oeuvres anyway. thank you for being here. >> great to be here. >> i want to start with your friend bono who has worked with you on the aids issue. he had some comments which raised some eyebrows over the weekend. this is what he said about the fight against aids. let's listen. >> there's a chance of having the first aids-free generation by 2015-2016. we can see it. we could lose that if we lose the political will. >> an aids-free generation in just a few years. do you think that's realistic? >> we're making great progress on aids, but we have over 30 million people who are living with the disease. we don't have a cure and so we have to keep them on drugs to keep them alive and that requires not only generosity about h we reach that kind of
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a numb. we a vcir a tool to prevent peopl from still a lot done even though we have made progress. we are going to -- we are going to be living with some level of aids for decades to come. >> an aggressively rosy scenario then from your friend bono, perhaps. >> people talk about thee end, generosity from the u.s. and others is whye hav made this pro has president obama done as much as his predecessor? >> it's very phenomenal tha aids initiative and for global fund, which the u.s. participates with many other countries in giving. and bush took the leadership, but he had democrats really supporting him. now you've got president obama taking the lead, taking this to a new level and he's got strong republican support.
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so even though it's kind of exceptional, it's really made a huge difference that everyone's come together to have the u.s. lead the way. >> you are incredibly focused on the issue of giving. you have pledged along with warren buffett and mark zuckerberg to give a majority of your wealth to philanthropy. forbes lists you as the richest person in america at $72 billion. a lot of people ask this question. have you decided how much you are going to leave to your children? >> well, certainly melinda and i think that kids starting off with $1 billion or some huge -- any huge amount of wealth is not necessarily in their interest as well as in the interest of society, and so the vast majority of our money will go to the foundation and we are putting all our energies into making sure that money is well spent and has a big impact, including giving to things like the global fund. >> is there a number in your head, though, when it comes to your kids?
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>> it won't be a huge percentage of the wealth. they will have a chance to make their own mark, earn their own salary, exactly how you strike that balance, i guess you think about it, you wait until you grow up and see how they develop, but it's clear and they are very aware that most of this money is to go back to society and save lives. >> i want to turn to an issue that's big right now in the realm of technology. obviously you are a pioneer in this field. last night, amazon's ceo jeff bezos announced that his company amazon is working on a drone delivery system. he calls it octocopter i think and he says it will be delivering books to your doorstep in a relatively short period of time. let's listen to what he said. >> could it be, you know, four, five years, i think so. it will work and it will happen, and it's going to be a lot of fun. >> five years until it drops off the book you ordered.
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is that realistic? >> well, books of course are going electronic and jeff, through amazon, has been one of the leaders on that. something like books, you can get literally at the speed of light. physical products delivered by drone, i would say he's probably on the optimistic or perhaps overoptimistic end of that. it's great that people have dreams like that. if we can make the cost of delivery easier, then it's not just books, it's getting supplies out to people in tough places. drones overall will be more impactful than i think people recognize in positive ways to help society. >> was this a dream, though, or an advertising gimmick? he has amazon in the news right on cybermonday and for the holiday shopping week when, as you say, it may be overoptimistic, to say the least, to suggest that drones can be dropping off your package at your door in the next five years. >> well, tech pioneers dream big dreams.
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and you know, i think he's allowed to have a vision there and you know, it would be great if we can come anywhere close to that for a lot of products. >> bill gates, thank you so much for joining us. really appreciate you coming from the white house. coming up next for us, his life was cut tragically short. now his last work is in limbo. will the franchise that paul walker leaves behind now continue without him? every day we're working to be an even better company -
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welcome back to "the lead." time now for the pop lead. he was famous for an unnerving need for speed but an eyewitness says "fast and furious" franchise star paul walker was not drag racing when the porsche he was riding slammed in a light pole and burst into flames on saturday. the 40-year-old movie star was killed along with his -- with the driver and racing partner, roger rodas. despite that report, investigators say that speed was
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a factor and are still pursuing the possibility that another car veered in front of the porsche and caused the crash. an autopsy will be performed tomorrow. another possible clue, tire skidmarks on the asphalt near the crash site, perhaps suggesting that a car was doing doughnut spins. this news all hitting hollywood hard. walker was in the middle of filming the seventh installment of the "fast and furious" movies and it's unclear if production will continue. but now the actor's fans could be left mourning both the men and the hugely popular character that he played. it's the kind of plot twist no one wants to believe. a star pulled from the story far too soon. >> there's nothing. we tried. we went through five. >> as the reality of paul walker's death settles over hollywood, questions surrounding his fictional fate begin. walker was best known for his work in the billion dollar "fast and furious" franchise.
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the actor was killed in a car crash saturday, just one day before filming was set to resume after taking a thanksgiving break. >> right now we're in a limbo period where universal needs to decide what to do and how to put the pieces together now that they've lost one of their stars. >> reporter: for now, production has been postponed but in show business, of course, they say the show must go on. the question is, how? >> we have seen situations where cast members die and studios have to resort to doing things like going into cgi and using special effects. they're going to have to figure out a respectful way to explain his character's absence. >> i don't know what's going to happen with the film right now. i mean, we're almost done with the film but we're not even thinking about that. we're just thinking about him right now, his family. >> reporter: heath ledger was posthumously awarded an oscar for his role in "the dark knight" which hit theaters six months after his death. when ledger accidentally overdosed in 2008, his next film
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was still in production. to complete that film, not one but three of ledger's contemporaries, colin farrell, johnny depp and jude law, stepped intoersions of his character. with so much money at stake, it's not surprising that studios strive to complete productions. oliver reed's character in "gladiator" was originally supposed to survive the plot, however, when the actor suffered a heart attack before his final scenes, producers used a body double to reflect his character's demise. >> it's not easy to just stop production on a film if a star dies in the middle of the film, because you've already invested in a crew, in scripts, in the budget. you have millions of dollars invested into a film so you can't just pull back and say we're not going to do the movie anymore. >> reporter: sadly, the unfortunate and often sudden need for plot changes happened with the big screen and on tv, when "glee's" cory monteith died
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in july, the tribute show captured the emotion of his still grieving castmates, including his real life love, lea michelle. ♪ there's a place for us >> reporter: as paul walker's fans mourn, the destroyed red porsche at the crash scene is reminiscent of another involving an actor gone too early. james dean, most famous for his leadole in "rebel without a cause" was killed in his silver porsche in 1955, just one day after wrapping the film "giant." walker on twitter account descrid himself asn adrenaline junkie who does some acting on the side. leaves behind a 15-year-old daughter. other news, a tense turf war racheting up between china and japan enter into this nasty nflict, vice president joe biden. what role will he play in asia's air battle? stay with us.
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welcome back to "the lead."
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turning to the world lead, let's hope he's got enough cash in his wallet for the trip or at least in travelers checks. vice president joe biden has arrived in japan for the first leg of his tour through asia and this comes right in the middle of rising tensions in the region after china seized a bigger air space over the east china sea last month. both japan and the u.s. have flown planes right through the zone that china is now claiming, but they haven't given beijing the heads-up that it demanded. china has responded by scrambling fighter jets in the region. the vice president will travel to china during this trip and u.s. officials say he will raise concerns about the air defense zone and push for more dialogue to ease the tensions. coming up on "the lead," they went from rivals to besties but if hillary clinton does decide to run in 2016, will her friendship with the president be over?
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i don't just make things for a living i take pride in them. so when my moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis was also on display, i'd had it. i finally had a serious talk with my dermatologist. this time, he prescribed humira-adalimumab. humira helps to clear the surface of my skin by actually working inside my body. in clinical trials, most adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis saw 75% skin clearance. and the majority of people were clear or almost clear in just 4 months. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common.
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tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. make the most of every moment. ask your dermatologist about humira, today. clearer skin is possible. they went from fierce opponents to fast friends, from
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hypothetical 3:00 a.m. phone calls to you hang up, no, you hang up. at least on camera, that is. remember this? >> i consider hillary a strong friend. >> i mean, very warm, close -- i think there's a sense of understanding that sometimes doesn't even take words. >> doesn't even take words. telepathy aside, can the bond between president obama and the former secretary of state survive if she makes a run for office, or would a candidate clinton inadvertently turn the current president into a lame duck before his time? and then there's this bigger meta-question. is the specter of a run doing that already? let's bring in our political panel. cnn political contributor and republican strategist, kevin madd madden. co-host of cnn's "crossfire" van jones and associate editor for "the hill," a.b. stoddard. van, i want to start with you here. if hillary runs, how many times
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can we start a sentence with those words, if hillary runs, how complicated is her relationship with the president? does she need to run with him in the primary but against him in a general election? >> well, basically, you got to look at her as a very strange woman. she has two husbands. one's name is bill, the other's name is barack. she can't divorce either one of them. she's going to have to hug them, warts and all, and run with them. if she turns against this president at any point before she has this thing wrapped up, the base is not going to have it. this president has come back from the dead 57 times. he will be back. but she cannot get away from him any more than she can from bill clinton. >> complicated. a.b., i'm not going to follow up on the two husband metaphor. that was van jones, cnn, ladies and gentlemen. that's all his. but a.b., there's a provocative piece in politico today with a quote from our friend who says that hillary clinton is the liferaft on obama's sinking ship. alex is talking about the now, saying that democrats who want
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to split from the president even now can look somewhat to hillary clinton for safe harbor. do you see that happening, democrats in a way distancing themselves from the president and trying to move to her now? >> well, she's not making many public statements. she's really only come out and said some things to back him up on syria. you know what her husband did at a critical moment right after the news broke that the president sort of knew people were not going to be able in the self-insured market to keep the policies that they like, even though they have been told by the president that they could. bill clinton said he should honor that promise while his wife was somewhere staying silent. in the years to come, what you'll see is probably the former president, bill clinton, doing a lot of the dirty work to provide that separation and distance. at what point is she going to give, you know, senate democrats running in red states up for re-election in '14 or '16 cover, you know, she's going to have to go out there. she'll either agree that the policies are not popular with
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their constituents and need revisiting or she has to back up the president. i think that's going to be challenging for her. i think she's more likely to stay quiet. >> kevin, on the subject of cover, a.b. just brought it up there, the comments from bill clinton about obama care, when the former president said the current president should honor its commitment to allow people to keep their health care plans. let's play it once more, just for feeling. >> so i personally believe even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they've got. >> does this give the secretary of state the cover that she needs from the obama care situation right now? >> well, look, you know, i think that one of the big problems -- i think, look, bill clinton is the best strategist that the democrats have right now so i think he was essentially acknowledging the risks that many democrats face right now, being so closely associated with some of the mistakes of obama care. but in reality, i think that a.b. has a really good point,
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which is that he is actually going to be somebody who helps drive the wedge between president obama and hillary clinton but i think that van has a good point in the sense that there's really not a whole lot that can be done to really separate the two, and it could become a very -- a big problem if hillary looks like she's trying to run away from obama in a democratic primary. >> everyone is right but i'm not going to stop that here. i want to play a clip of something rush limbaugh has said which is getting a lot of attention, talking about pope francis, and pope francis' comments about capitalism. let's listen. >> somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him. this is just pure marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. >> you know, rush limbaugh is not running for office but there are a lot of republican catholics who one day could be, kevin. chris christie, paul ryan, among others. do you expect any of them to
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have anything but glowing words to say about pope francis? >> well, look, i don't know what their personal relationship is with their church, how each individually will handle it but i will say this. anybody who has followed pope francis, they recognize that he doesn't make these remarks as a politician. he doesn't make them as an economist. he makes them as a pastor. he's the leader of the catholic church. having worked for mitt romney who also had questions about his faith and how he handled it, one of the things he always reminded people was that he's not running for pastor in chief. he was running for commander in chief. his religion, his faith, has to be reflected in how he lives his life. that's a much more important approach for the folks in the political arena to take. >> kevin, a.b., van, thanks so much for being with us on this monday. really appreciate it. coming up for us next on "the lead," we'll be right back. no, a rookie in the nba is making millions but thanks to his mother, he's not able to spend any of it. that's our sports lead. la's known definitely for its traffic,
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congestion, for the smog. but there are a lot of people that do ride the bus. and now that the buses are running on natural gas, they don't throw out as much pollution into the air. so i feel good. i feel like i'm doing my part to help out the environment. to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow. from the families of aig, happy holidays.
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welcome back to the sports lead. it is pretty obvious what the sports lead is. it is hard to ignore what many people are calling the greatest college football game ever played. auburn's stunning, really unheard of walk-off win over its bitter rival, number one, alabama, formerly number one, alabama. you get a true sense of the agony and the ecstasy through the play by play guys. they probably think they've seen it all and they probably pretty much did, until this weekend. first, here's the play as the crimson tide's broadcasters saw it. >> 57 yards to win the iron bowl. he spots it, kick on the way. it's got length. it is sailing. it is short.
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it is grabbed about eight yards deep in the end zone. brought back to the near side. run down the near sideline. there's nobody there for alabama. auburn's going to win. auburn is going to win the iron bowl. >> so that sounded stunned but pretty stoic. now, listen to the auburn guys call it. same play, whole different ball game. >> 56-yarder. it's got -- no. does not have the length. chris davis takes it at the back of the end zone. he'll run it out to the 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 45, there goes davis! >> oh, my god! oh, my god! >> davis is going to run it all the way back! auburn is going to win the football game! auburn's going to win the football game! he ran the missed field goal back. he ran it back 109 yards! they're not going to keep them off the field tonight! holy cow! >> that's the sound of popping blood vessels from a sports
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announcer. i have seen that like 20 times and i still can't believe it. the missed field goal that became the miracle end to the iron bowl for the ages. check out our show page. that's all for "the lead." i'm john berman filling in for jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, breaking news. deadly speed. investigators have just revealed that the train that crashed in new york city was traveling almost three times faster than it should have been but why? there's an urgent search for answers. we will talk to the person leading the investigation. coerced confession. an elderly american veteran detained in north korea apologizing for alleged killings and crimes during the korean war. is this real or is it simpl


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