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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  December 5, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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>> some of paul walker's "fast and furious" moments released online in the wake of his death. production for the seventh "fast and furious" movie has been officially halted. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much as always for being with me today. see you back here same time tomorrow. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. happy repeal day! take it easy, obama care fans and foes. i'm talking about repealing prohibition. it ended 80 years ago this hour. cheers! i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the world lead. it's the city where terrorists attacked and killed a u.s. ambassador and three other americans more than a year ago. today, another u.s. citizen has been slain in benghazi, libya. who was ronald thomas smith ii? can his family expect justice? the national lead. with his son's suicide, this has been the worst year of pastor rick warren's life but he has relied on his faith to get through it. pastor warren joins us live to
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share his theory that faith can lighten the burden not only on your soul but on your health. and the politics lead. how to talk to a woman. no, it's not a book full of cheesy pick-up lines. it's a crash course for the men of the republican party. they are getting tips on communicating with female voters. lesson one, lose the idiotic remarks about rape. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with the world lead. ronnie smith, an american teacher working in benghazi, libya, awoke this morning, put on his running shoes like he's probably done countless other mornings, and he went out for a jog. he never came home. gunmen shot and killed smith right in the streets of benghazi, libya. at this point it's not known who did it or why smith may have been targeted. benghazi is, of course, the city where terrorists attacked u.s. diplomatic posts on september 11th of last year, killing our ambassador, chris stevens, and three other americans. no one has been arrested for that attack. in fact, the libyan government has barred the fbi from entering the country to make arrests.
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the government there has struggled enormously since the four decade reign of gadhafi came to a bloody end. armed militants and easy access to weapons make it an extremely dangerous place. i want to bring in nic robertson, our expert on libya and paul crookshank. thanks so much for being here. nic, what do we know about this shooting? >> reporter: we know that he was running on the street, that the gunmen pulled up in a car next to him, they shot him as he was running along. there are some indications that perhaps they sort of moved up next to him, moved back, moved up and shot him. he was shot in cold blood, no chance of self-defense. he is a chemistry teacher at the international school in benghazi. benghazi has been getting increasingly dangerous. i was in libya just two months ago and at that time, westerners were being evacuated from hotels because it was so dangerous. but why was ronnie smith running on a road in benghazi? he must have felt to a degree that it was safe.
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well liked by his students, we're told there. >> what have we learned so far about ronnie smith, this teacher with a wife and child? >> reporter: you know, he's got a young son, a wife. he's well-liked by his students. many of them have been posting messages on social media websites saying that they like him, that he was one of the reasons they came to class, he inspired them, they liked him because he had come to libya. the principal at the school said he was a very sweet man. every indication that he was all those around him liked him, jake. >> thanks so much. i want to turn to paul. american born al qaeda spokesman adam gadan recently called for attacks on westerners in retaliation for the arrest of al libi. based on what you know about terrorism investigations, do you think investigators are looking into a possible connection? >> they are definitely looking at a possible connection. benghazi is a city where there's a strong presence of groups who have sympathy with al qaeda groups, who are linked to al
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qaeda, including the group thought responsible for the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi in september 2012. so they will definitely be looking at that. these groups which have extended their influence across eastern libya, entrenched their position over the last year. >> and in terms of the smith family eventually, they are going to get -- i don't know if they will ever get over their grief but they will want justice, they will want answers. we still don't have answers for what happened in benghazi last september 2012. what are the odds in a place like libya that we will ever know really what happened? >> it's pretty unlikely, perhaps. still not many answers over benghazi. very, very difficult for the fbi to get over to places like benghazi. very difficult even for the libyan central government to actually operate in benghazi. but there's one encouraging trend in the last couple weeks, and that's that the people of benghazi have been rising up against these islamist groups so
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it's possible they may be pressured to actually leave the city in the coming months. >> nic, i want to make sure i understood, when you described how he was shot, he was running, the car pulled up, according to early information, a car pulled up, targeted him and drove away, so it doesn't sound as though there was a robbery. it sounds like he was targeted specifically, maybe just for being a westerner but specifically an attack on him for being who he was. >> reporter: certainly the intelligence will look at this and say why was he targeted. one of the reasons that people are going to conclude is that it was because he was an american, and perhaps an easy target. one of the things that terrorists do when they are going to target someone is work out and watch for patterns of behavior. if he was regularly running the same route at roughly the same time, that could be something that could play into terrorists' hands. so if they were responding to
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the message and there are certain similarities with that message or the message that al qaeda leader zawahiri put out days before the killing of ambassador chris stevens which was to target americans in libya, then they would have had perhaps a ready-made target there, an american, a soft target, he feels that he's relatively safe, and he's got a routine that they have already calculated and worked out. so it's very difficult at this early stage to know what the facts are. but when you analyze it, that's one of the ways that certainly intelligence analysts will analyze what's happened here. >> thank you so much. appreciate it. turning to our national lead, if you have a facebook, google, twitter, linkdin or yahoo! account, listen to this. the cybersecurity firm trustwave reports that hackers broke into nearly two million accounts of these websites and thousands of others over the past month by using a virus that infected
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computers and captured log-in credentials. this affects more than 300,000 facebook accounts, 70,000 g-mail, google plus and youtube accounts and 22,000 twitter accounts. trust wave said many of the compromised accounts involved weak passwords like the trusty 1234. they recommend updating virus software. i want to bring in shawn henry, former executive director of the fbi where he oversaw computer crime investigations and now is president of crowd strike, a security technology organization that helps companies protect sensitive information. we talked to him a lot about cybersecurity. good to see you. you say this is a symptom of a much bigger problem that the world is facing. explain. >> i think that that's right. what happened here is that it appears that these are home computers that were compromised by this malicious software. they implemented keystroke loggers so everything that somebody typed into their computer was captured by these adversaries. user names and passwords for those accounts that you just
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described, linkd in, et cetera, going into a server where those accounts can potentially be accessed. not a breach into those companies but into people's home computers. it is indicative of a much larger problem and that's because we store and transmit data electronically. we don't keep it in file cabinets anymore. it's done electronically in an infrastructure that is inherently insecure. our adversaries know it, they know what the value is and are constantly targeting our data. 24/7, 365 days a year. >> so let's go small and then big. people watching at home, what should they do and then what should the u.s. government be doing? >> so i think it starts with awareness. people need to be alert to the fact that anything that you put on an electronic medium has the potential to be taken to be revealed. that's important for people to do. they need to take necessary precautions and we talk all the time about ensuring that you've
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got a good password system in place, you just touched on that, that you've got antivirus, et cetera. what the government needs to do is look at how do we identify who the adversaries are and take actions to mitigate that threat. much like we do in the physical world, we don't merely build up our defenses. we have to have good defenses. that's important. but that in and of itself isn't enough. the most sophisticated adversaries have the capability, they've got the time and are taking the effort to get on to the networks and until we actually stop them through some type of actions, whether they be law enforcement actions or actions government to government, some type of civil sanctions, et cetera, until that happens, this continues unfetered. >> very briefly, if you would, when he was cia director, leon panetta told me the one thing that kept him up at night were fears of a cyberattack. is this related at all to that? >> it is in that it really highlights the fragility of our infrastructure and the fact that nothing is really safe. what secretary panetta had said, mr. panetta had said regarding
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the infrastructure, is something we talked about for a long time both in and out of government, is the potential for adversaries to access electric power grid, water, sewer, transportation, communications, and look to have an impact on this country similar to the way they did by flying planes into buildings ten years ago, 11 years ago. there are adversaries who are looking to do that and this type of attack really just highlights the concern we should have about the fact that the infrastructure itself is insecure and we need to be taking stronger action to be much more vigilant. >> sobering words. thank you so much. coming up, he spent 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife, even though dna from the real killer was collected near the crime scene. how many more men and women are behind bars right now and dna evidence could prove their innocence? plus, his fate has gotten him through tough times. now he's using it to help his health. pastor rick warren joins us to talk about his faith-based weight loss plan. [ male announcer ] this store knows how to handle a saturday crowd. ♪
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time now for the buried lead, that's what we call stories that we don't think have gotten enough attention. this story, there was actually something literally buried, evidence that proved a man was locked away for a quarter century for a crime he did not commit. michael morton was convicted in 1987 of killing his wife christine even though he repeatedly denied it. the documentary "an unreal dream" airing tonight on cnn, morton recounts his confidence that he would be found not guilty. >> i didn't think i was going to get convicted. it was going to be a longish trial, but then it would be revealed that there can be no there, there. there's nothing to convict. there's nothing hard. there's nothing that says look, this guy did it. there's nothing beyond a reasonable doubt. and i couldn't imagine what could possibly be manufactured to make 12 people think that i had killed my wife. >> he was wrong. he was sentenced to life and spent 25 years in prison before his attorneys and a group called
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the innocence project found holes in his conviction. they discovered that a blood-stained bandanna police found near the crime scene was never dna tested. it proved that a convicted felon named mark norwood was the real killer. michael morton was freed in 2011. norwood was convicted of christine's murder earlier this year and police believe he killed another woman, deborah baker, in 1988. ashleigh banfield spoke with morton and asked how he felt about being wrongly convicted. >> a lot of anger inside. i felt like i was justified at the time. but today and now, i understand that that sort of anger and revenge and hate isn't going to help you any. but the one thing that will work that people should and often do latch on to is transparency and accountability. >> while this case has a somewhat happy ending with morton trying to build a relationship with his now adult son, we have to ask how many innocent men and women sit in
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prison right now when dna evidence could exonerate them. i want to bring in chris asplundh, former prosecutor, now a director with the alliance for rapid dna testing. thanks for being here. i know you followed this case closely. what do you make of the fact there was evidence, this bandanna with blood and hair that was never tested for dna? >> well, it's certainly a tragedy. it's a tragedy in a number of ways. it's a tragedy not only for what happened to michael's life, but what happened to his son's and his relationship. it was also a tragedy for what happened to deborah baker and the fact that she was killed when, if we had identified the right perpetrator early on rather than have this tunnel vision for michael morton, we very well may have prevented her murder also. >> we should note that the prosecutor in this case from 1987 is named ken anderson. he briefly served time in jail last month for criminal contempt of court involving this case. we have a statement from his
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attorney, eric nichols. mr. anderson has not been and never will be prosecuted for any alleged crime in connection with the michael morton trial or any subsequent proceeding relating to the morton trial. in light of the dna results obtained in 2011, mr. anderson has consistently expressed and continues to express to mr. morton and his family his regret for mr. morton's prosecution and incorrect incarceration, unquote. how common is this, where a prosecutor is involved in the withholding of evidence for whatever reason? >> you know, it's a system run by human beings, and so there are going to be times when humans fail. we don't know how many times wrongful convictions are the result of prosecutor misconduct. it's really probably not that many. we certainly don't have many instances where prosecutors have been subsequently pursued for their misdeeds originally. but actually, that's not the bigger problem. the bigger number of cases that we need to be concerned about are all those cases wherein
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prosecutors do the right thing and they think they've got it right, where witnesses all think they've got the right person, where the other forensic evidence seems to point to that person and we still get it wrong. that's really the larger number by far, are the cases in which the system appears to work well and then just doesn't, because we don't look at the kind of evidence that we can look at now. >> give us an idea of what dna testing was like in 1987 when morton was convicted, compared to where we are now. >> well, it was -- it was very, very, very rudimentary at that stage. very few places were actually doing dna testing at all. admissibility wars were still being fought throughout the country to try to get it legal in the courts. we are now light years ahead of that. originally, what we went through with dna was to try to make it reliable and very discriminatory, and the technology was designed to try to do more with less. in other words, how could we get a good profile from smaller and
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smaller pieces of evidence. now that we can get dna profiles from evidence we can't even see, now the issue is how do we do it more quickly. now it's reliability and speed, because when you're doing dna testing, how quickly you get to do that testing may literally save someone's life. >> thank you so much. you can watch the story of michael morton tonight at 9:00 eastern on cnn. coming up, the republican speaker of the house sees a problem. too many of his male colleagues need coaching when it comes to women. and salting the streets and shoveling the snow in dallas? weren't people wearing shorts there just a day ago? we'll have the latest on the storm making its way across the nation.
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and our giant idaho potato truck is still missing. so my dog and i we're going to go find it. it's out there somewhere spreading the good word about idaho potatoes and raising money for meals on wheels. but we'd really like our truck back, so if you see it, let us know, would you? thanks. what?
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welcome back to "the lead." in national news, i hope you can hear me over the sound of your own chattering teeth, because it's brutally cold across a huge section of the country right
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now. this is dallas, texas. take a look. just yesterday, temperatures there were flirting with 80 degrees. tonight it could drop down into the 20s. that's dallas. you hear me, folks, dallas. i want to get to our meteorologist chad myers in the cnn severe weather center. chad, it's nasty out there. >> it sure is. in all my years of talking about ice storms, i'm not sure i have ever heard the weather service talk with the word catastrophic. but memphis and little rock both said that areas in their forecast region will have a catastrophic ice storm. that's what we're expecting. we're expecting an inch of ice on the roadways, on the branches, on the power lines. there will be millions of people without power and they may be without power for a couple of weeks in the worst possible scenario, because it's also cold. when you don't have power, you don't have heat because your furnace can't blow the heat around. without the electric fan you won't get any heat out of it. there's the storm right along the same front we talked about
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yesterday. it's the front that took dallas, texas, dallas-ft. worth was 80. right now they're 31. in 24 hours, they are down now all the way down to 31 degrees and it's now starting to see ice, sleet and freezing rain. i hope that you get to see sleet because an inch of sleet, you can deal with it. it bounces off stuff. if you get an inch or half inch of this frozen, freezing precip, this is where the catastrophic word comes in. as it hits the ground, it freezes up. 25 degrees right now in muskogee, oklahoma and it's rain. every drop that's hitting the ground is instantly freezing on everything and you can't get around in it. this isn't going to stop for 24 hours. we could get 24 hours with this precip of ice just coming down all across the region. sure, there will be snow. i can drive in snow. i can't drive on any ice and neither can you. stay home if you can.
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>> chad myers. heed his words, people. the politics lead now. for want of a clue, the senate was lost. or so believed many republicans who look at senate races in missouri, indiana and elsewhere last year and some unfortunate talk of legitimate rape and the like and think why did we nominate these people. house speaker john boehner trying to get ahead of the problem before the 2014 midterms. he wants to make sure the republican men in the house get a little sensitivity training. to learn how to go toe to toe with female opponents and also to learn how to appeal to female voters. >> trying to get them to be a little more sensitive, you know. you look around the congress, there are a lot more females in the democratic caucus than in the republican caucus, and some of our members just aren't as sensitive as they ought to be. >> in the film version, the role of john boehner will be played by alan alda. cnn chief congressional correspondent dana bash joins me now. boehner being unusually candid
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there, dana. >> reporter: he is. sorry, i'm just stuck on alan alda. we are showing our age, jake. i get what that meant. he is being candid and that really was his goal coming out in that press conference. it is not a secret that republicans since the end of the last election have been licking their wounds and trying to figure out the best way to do two things. one is close the gender gap among voters and also, try to recruit more female candidates here in congress to be members of congress. this is something that came up this morning when i interviewed the house majority leader, boehner's number two, eric cantor. here's his take. >> do you not know how to talk to women, sir? >> we have any number of republican women in our conference who are real leaders on all kinds of -- >> but is there a problem with men in the republican party, your rank and file, who don't know how to communicate to reach
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female voters? >> you know, it is our policies that are going to appeal to both female and male voters. >> but they haven't. >> when we're talking about health care right now, our health care starts with people and patients. >> mr. boehner a little more candid than his number two there. dana, a lot of this is obviously about trying to prevent the kind of gaffes we heard, for example, from former congressman, senate candidate todd aiken in the 2012 missouri senate race, when he made a reference to legitimate rape and shutting that whole thing down, et cetera, as if there were types of rape claims that weren't legitimate, as if that wasn't biologically accurate. that became a national issue aided by a liberal media, republicans would argue. one way or the other, they are trying to avoid this happening again. >> reporter: that's exactly what's going on. what's happening behind the scenes is all candidates, this happens constantly, you know this, in both parties, they go
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through media training. house republican strategists, in their media training, are putting an emphasis on learning how to answer questions that they're going to get about abortion, about rape, and not make the gaffe that you just played before. in addition to that, what we're told that they are encouraging republican candidates to do, both genders, is to have more events in and around women's issues, to have a women's coalition and not just have like one event per election season as some of these members do, but to do it constantly and really bring these issues to the floor. another interesting thing, and i actually heard this with eric cantor this morning, is that they are being encouraged not just to talk as politicians, but to talk as fathers and as husbands and to humanize themselves when they're talking to voters. >> you also spoke to speaker boehner about gay candidates running. congressman -- republican congressman randy forbes has said the republican election house, the nrcc apparatus,
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should not be helping gay republican candidates, and we reached out to forbes for comment. what have you heard about this issue today? >> reporter: well, congressman forbes does not have the support of the leadership on this. i asked speaker boehner if he supports the party giving money to openly gay republican candidates, one in california, one in massachusetts and he had a two-word answer, i do. he's trying to put that to rest and move on. our understanding is that is exactly what's happening. in the case of the candidate from massachusetts, he came very close, jake, beating the democrat last time around. he had a lot of support, a lot of money from the republican party nationally and he is going to as well this year. >> that's right. i should have been more precise. openly gay republican candidates. thank you so much. dana bash on capitol hill. coming up, fighting fat with faith. one of the country's most famous pastors, rick warren, joins me live to show us how strengthening the soul can save your body. and in sports, with the
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heisman trophy within reach, charges of sexual assault just dropped for a rising college star. did his fame affect the case? stay with us. [ female announcer ] thanks for financing my first car. thanks for giving me your smile. thanks for inspiring me. thanks for showing me my potential. for teaching me not to take life so seriously. thanks for loving me and being my best friend. don't forget to thank those who helped you take charge of your future
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welcome back to "the lead." in national news, one of this country's most famous pastors was right in the middle of baptizing more than 800 people into the christian faith and as he lifted each body out of the water, he says he couldn't help thinking wow, everybody is fat. pastor rick warren, already the author of the hugely popular book "the purpose-driven life" was not blinded by the plank in his own eye. he knew he had a health problem, too. so with the help of some experts, he came up with the daniel plan, 40 days to a healthier life, a road map to better living through five key factors, faith, food, fitness, focus and friends. pastor rick warren and dr. mark heiman join me now. good to see you, gentlemen.
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pastor, this book is about community as a source of strength but so much of our community is based around food, especially this time of year. how do you work around that? >> well, we have to redefine what community's all about. it's about relationships. it's not about the food itself. and actually, community can be a positive force or negative force and what we're doing is trying to use it in the right way. we have all of these efforts in our culture to get us to eat the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong way, and we just thought well, maybe we could use community to support each other. study after study has shown, and mark, you can talk about this, has shown we actually change better in community. >> absolutely. absolutely. the science shows that the way we change behavior is by working together in groups. that's what the science shows, for all sorts of conditions, diabetes and so forth. so the daniel plan, we had 12,000 people lose a quarter of a million pounds in a year and
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they did it together. those who did it together lost twice as much weight as those who did it alone and got twice as healthy. it wasn't a weight loss program. it was about the science of creating health. the weight loss was a side effect. they supported each other, they helped each other, they cooked together, they shopped together, they exercised together. they were there when they had issues and troubles and struggles to support each other and get back on track. that's the power of community. the community was the medicine. >> i know you want people to get the book, but how does this relate to daniel from the bible? >> well, daniel was a young jewish leader who, during the captivity of the jewish nation taken to babylon, he was being tutored by the babylonian king and one of the perks of being in the king's house is you got to eat all his fine foods, the rich sauces and things like that, and daniel said i'm not going to eat what's popular i'm going to eat what's healthy. he challenged the king to a
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contest and said tell you what, you eat all your junk food and i'll eat the healthy food and we'll see if it makes a difference. he and his friends at the end of the contest, you could see such a difference in their countenance. they were far healthier in the radiance of their faces. the king had to admit you're right, let's go your way. so he won the contest. we named the program after him. it's not a diet. it's the daniel plan because as mark pointed out, it involves far more than just food. it involves fitness and friends and faith and your focus, five different areas. we're far more than what we eat. sometimes it's what eats you that brings you down. >> this diet was working really, really well for you. i saw you last year and there was a lot less of you. then you had a tragedy earlier this year which i'm sorry to bring up, your son committed suicide. i'm very sorry for your loss, as you know. >> first let me say, jake, thank you for your own personal note and your condolences. i want to thank everyone who is
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watching who sent prayers and condolences. it has been the most difficult year of my life. you don't get over something like that. you get through it. 2013, in the daniel plan, when we started it, by 2013 i had lost 65 pounds toward my goal of 90 pound loss. then i had kind of a triple whammy against me. one, i had back surgery, back problems, and i had to be involved in -- i had to go to the hospital and i couldn't exercise for four months. then my son died, i didn't sleep for six months. then people were bringing me all these foods so i actually gained 35 pounds back. now, as soon as i kind of got through that grieving time, i went back on the daniel plan, i've lost 30 of the 35 and am back on the way down again. i'm going to be the first guy to prove that this thing works twice and it works effectively, and actually, it's a good example that, you know, setbacks are part of the recovery. >> doctor, that's kind of the point i was making earlier,
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which is all these people bringing food to pastor rick and to his wife, food provides comfort, it's all part of community. we live in a society where food, especially not celery and carrots, is considered a way to nurture and heal people. >> but how are we nurturing people by giving them junk that makes them feel lousy and feel tired and have no energy to do the things they want to do in life? the daniel plan is about abundance, about thriving. how do we create thriving people, thriving community members. it's by eating food that makes you feel good, by taking away the junk and putting in the good stuff. by doing it together. we redefine abundance, redefine the understanding about what is it that we want food to do to us. it's delicious, it's fantastic, great food that tastes good that is not deprivation in any way. there's no restriction of calories, no limiting of anything but the things that aren't really food, the processed junk that's making us fat and sick. >> i only have a minute left. i want to ask you one quick question, pastor rick, which is your son suffered from a
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borderline personality disorder. he was able to get hold of a gun that he got online. you've said that you think he would have -- you don't support a law that would have prevented him from being able to get that gun because he would have found a way to kill himself no matter what. i was talking to a doctor who said the truth of the matter is suicide attempts not with guns are far less successful, 2%, 3% when it comes to overdosing on pills as opposed to guns. they are usually successful. is there not some logic in people who have emotional problems not being able to get guns because of this tragedy? >> absolutely i am in support of the fact that no mentally ill person should be able to get a gun. i'm grateful for the fact that actually in california, we have some of the most strict gun control laws in the nation, and i'm sure that kept matthew alive because for years, he tried to get a gun but the bottom line is, even when it is illegal in
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the nation where or state where it's extremely strict, you can always find somebody who is unethical who will eventually sell it to you, and that's what happened. so we have to hit this issue on multiple issues. we have to deal with the violence in our society and the fact that we are raising kids on shoot 'em ups and games that are involving killing people, we have to change the way we think about mental illness since the reagan administration, the number of psychiatric beds has gone down by ten times, and we have to deal with gun issues and make it harder for these guns to get into the hands of people who should not have these guns. >> doctor, pastor, thank you so much. the book is "the daniel plan, 40 days to a healthier life." we are going to breaking news with wolf blitzer. >> all right, jake, thanks very much. we are expecting south african broadcasting television to be
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making a statement. there he is, the president of south africa on the health of nelson mandela. let's listen in. yeah. we obviously are interested in the health of the 95-year-old former president of south africa, and this statement is from the president of south africa. it's on south african television. of course there's been a lot of concern about nelson mandela's health, how he's doing. he's been ill now for at least a year back and forth. he's 95 years old. he was president of south africa after serving more than 25 years in prison because of his battle against apartheid. i think he is about to speak.
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>> fellow south africans, our beloved nelson mandela, the founding president of our democratic nation, has departed. he passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20:50 on the 5th of december, 2013. he is now resting. he is now at peace. our nation has lost its greatest
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son. our people have lost a father. although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss. his tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. his humility, his compassion and his humanity earned him their love. our thoughts and prayers are with the mandela family. to them, we owe a debt of
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gratitude. they have sacrificed much and endured much so that our people could be free. our thoughts are with his wife, his former wife, with his children, his grandchildren, his great grandchildren and the entire family. our thoughts are with his friends, comrades and colleagues who fought alongside him over the course of a lifetime of struggle.
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our thoughts are with the south african people who today mourn the loss of the one person who more than any other came to embody their sense of a common nation. our thoughts are with the millions of people across the world who embraced nelson mandela as their own and who saw his cause as their cause. this is the moment of our deepest sorrow. our nation has lost its greatest son.
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yet what made nelson mandela great was precisely what made him human. we saw in him what we seek in ourselves. and in him, we saw so much of ourselves. fellow south africans, nelson mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell. our beloved son will be accorded a state funeral.
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i have ordered that all flags of the republic of south africa be lowered to half mast from tomorrow, 6 december, and to remain at half mast until after the funeral. as we gather to pay our last respects, let us conduct ourselves with the dignity and respect that he personified. let us be mindful of his wishes and the wishes of his family. as we gather wherever we are in
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the country and wherever we are in the world, let us recall the values for which he fought. let us reaffirm his vision of a society in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another. let us commit ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage to build a united, nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous south africa.
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let us express each in our own way the deep gratitude we feel for a life spent in service of the people of this country and in the cause of humanity. that is indeed the moment of our deepest sorrow, yet it must also be the moment of our greatest determination. a determination to live as he has lived, to strive as he has strived, and to not rest until we have realized his vision of a truly united south africa, a
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peaceful and prosperous africa, and a better world. we will always love you. may your soul rest in peace. god bless africa. i thank you. >> tragic news for the world. south african president jacob zuma announcing the death of former south african president and much more than that, the man who fought for freedom in south africa, nelson mandela, who died at 95. i want to bring in robin kurnow in johannesburg. this has been a day that many of us have been expecting for some time, he's 95, has had health problems, but truly a devastating loss not just for the people of south africa but for mankind.
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>> reporter: absolutely. just think, this is a man at the age of 95 who has finally succumbed and it's a man who never succumbed, who never gave up against the unrelenting apartheid machine that put him in jail for 27 years. he came out of prison and he led this country into democracy. he still continued to persevere, never giving up, even in retirement. he kept on fighting, fighting for those causes, those charities that were so close to his heart, and there was always a sense of stubbornness and resilience about him. people always called him a stubborn old man, saying father will always be with us. there's a sense now the inevitability that he's gone, that for once, he's given up and you know, he's given up to the march of time, to the inevitable -- to the inevitable that people were expecting here in south africa. he has been so ill, he has been
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very grave. we know the family has been preparing particularly for this in the last 48 hours. it's not a surprise. we know he's been on a ventilator for the last six months, he's had dialysis for failed kidneys. we know his heart wasn't that strong. all of these things played into a concern but i think south africans who see him and still feel for him as the father of their nation felt that he would never go. so i think there's going to be a lot of soul searching in this nation tonight and it's midnight. this is a piece of news a lot of people might not hear. it will take a few hours before this news reaches the far corners of this country. >> what do we know about his last moments and what exactly was the cause of death? >> reporter: we haven't had any detail on the last moments. we know that he was at home and that the bedroom, he was being treated in the last few months, was like an intensive care unit.
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we know, though, that his room overlooked his garden. it didn't overlook the road where all the journalists were camped out. there was a sense that this bedroom was peaceful even though it was a very sterile environment and that he had 24 hour medical care, military doctors and nurses looking after him. we also know that he really has taken a turn for the worst, particularly in the last 24 to 48 hours, and in the last two, three weeks, we have also had indications that his body was starting to reject the antibiotics that had been treating him particularly over the last year for this lung infection, and it got to the point i think the doctors had been expecting it where his body just literally became resistant to every antibiotic, every drug that they could throw at it. i mean, they have really tried to deal with it, tried to give him some sense of peace and calm, and they have tried to ease his pain, but there came a point and i think it was in the
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last two or three weeks where there was a realization that perhaps these drugs, these antibiotics, no matter how strong they were, were not working and of course, if you speak to doctors who deal with elderly people, particularly a frail man on a ventilator with failed kidneys, you know, they say that what starts to happen is that septicemia sets in and your organs slowly start to fail. so this is what we can imagine has happened over the past few weeks. there hasn't been any official updates. we've had absolutely no indication except for, you know, a sense that things were moving ahead and there was this inevitability coming from those close to him. >> i want to bring in wolf blitzer here in washington, d.c. to cover more of this death. truly a remarkable figure, wolf. handing it over to you. >> thanks, jake. he really was an amazing, amazing leader. i spent some time with him in south africa when he was president in 1998 and it's amazing what he did there in
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south africa despite all of the persecution he went through, the imprisonment, everything he had to endure from the apartheid regime. when he was elected president, he wanted to make sure there would be no revenge, there would be a peaceful transition to democracy. he almost single-handedly avoided a civil war that could have been so, so brutal. christiane amanpour covered this story with me over the years. a sad, sad day, but 95 years old, he lived a very wonderful, long life and really made a difference to the world. >> reporter: he did indeed. he lived an incredibly difficult life. you heard president zuma pay tribute to the incredible sacrifice he made over his life, for 27 plus years in prison and also to his family, paying tribute to his family for making such a sacrifice on behalf of the world. you know, this is the towering moral giant of the 20th and 21st century. it is very unlikely that we are
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to see the likes of mandela again for a very, very long time. what he accomplished was not just being an icon for democracy and freedom and justice, but he was able to come out of jail after all those years of the most violent apartheid regime with no bitterness that he showed to the world. he kept the country together when it could very well have spun into a terrible civil war, and in fact, that was the fear around the time of the first election, the freedom party was on the verge of violence. he had to do everything he could to make sure that didn't happen. during the negotiations with then president de clerk, there were many, many times when they broke down, each side accusing the other of bad faith but then they got together again and continued to work this out. the world embraced nelson mandela. every time you ask anybody who is your most inspirational leader, everybody says nelson mandela and that's for a reason. in fact, tonight at the u.n. security council not far from
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where we are now, they are calling a moment of silence to remember and to honor him. he was the most incredible leader for our time, especially as we know, the possibility of violence, of division, of paralysis and partisanship, he really was able to overcome that and his long walk to freedom has benefited the whole world and how ironic it is that the film of his own biography is coming out right now. there are premieres right now, last week in the kennedy center in washington, tonight in london, where his own daughter has been, and there is so much now that is coming out for people to be able to read and to reflect and to pause and remember just what gift this amazing man gave to the world. i interviewed f.w. de clerk, who was his partner in the end and the dismantling of apartheid, one of the world's most violent racist regimes that endured for so long, a