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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 16, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PST

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adorable. thanks for watching "around the world." world." "cnn newsroom" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- right now supporters of that budget deal are trying to round up votes. the agreement sailed through the who us but it faces a tougher time in the senate. we'll have the latest vote tally live from capitol hill. right now the debate over amnesty for edward snowden. he said he would come home if he got protection from prosecution. what is he saying about the offer? we're going to tell you. right now finals week back on at harvard after a bomb scare this morning briefly shut down parts of the campus. with nerves still raw from the boston marathon bombings, university officials were taking no chances. we'll have a live update from cambridge just ahead. hello, i'm wolf blitzer in
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washington. they say every vote counts and supporters of that compromise budget deal are counting every vote in the senate right now. they expect a deal to pass, but the outcome is not necessarily completely guaranteed. the margin could be razor thin. among the republicans who say they'll vote for the bill, senator susan collins, senator ron johnson, senator john mccain, senator mccain spoke about it on cnn's "state of the union." >> i hope it will pass the senate. i'll do anything, not anything but we must not shut down the government again. we can't do that to the people of this country and my state. >> dana bash is tracking the vote tally on capitol hill. give us the latest breakdown. >> you just mentioned the republicans who are going to vote yes, but before we get to that, tomorrow there is going to be a key procedural url measure that is going to determine the fate of this budget deal in the senate. and let's just sort of explain what is going to be needed. so viewers can understand. first of all, it will need 60
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votes to pass or break a filibuster. and we'll remind viewers what the breakdown of the parties are in the senate right now, 55 democrats, 45 republicans. now, let's just assume for argument's sake all democrats vote thor this. we don't know that's going to happen. it might not. you would need five republicans. we have them right now who would vote for this procedural measure, john mccain, susan collins of maine, jeff flake of arizona, he's the junior senator from arizona. richard richard burr of north carolina, and ron johnson of wisconsin. now, those are all senators who say, you see them up there, all senators on the republican side who say that they at least want to give this measure, this deal a chance to get to a final vote. and why does this matter? this matters because once it gets to a final vote, you just need a simple majority, 51. democrats are expected to have that. so that's why this key 60-vote threshold tomorrow is the one to batch for.
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going back to the democrats really fast, there very well could be a few democrats, maybe some of thome up for re-election in tough races, red states like mark pryor of arkansas, or kay hagan of north carolina. we haven't heard from her yet. but it looks as though democrats and republicans frankly behind the scenes are pretty confidence that this is going to go through. >> this is a compromise that sailed through the house of representatives. but with every compromise, you're going to end foo people on both sides unhappy with various aspects of the bill. one of the biggest complaints you're hearing from the left and the right? oh, well, starting on the left, certainly some of the biggest complaints you go to the far left are that in this doesn't have unemployment insurance, the extension for long-term unemployment recipients. that's a big problem. but interestingly, some of the democrats who are most squishy about this are those more conservative and they are concerned this doesn't do enough to address the debt and deficit, which is some of the complaints
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we heard on the republican side, too. but what is really different on the republican side which is making this a very new dynamic is that many of them are unhappy with the fact that this deal includes an increase in basically an increase in this military benefits. excuse me. let me rephrase that. increase in the cost of living adjustment for military recipients. so basically what that means is that people who are in the military would probably lose some of their retirement money as part of this deal. that is why you have a lot of republicans who are either unsure if they're going to vote for this or outright opposed to tend to vote for« compromises like lindsey graham of south carolina and others. who are saying they're not going to vote for this because they feel militaryport retirees get a raw deal. >> it's not only military retirees but civilian government employees would get a little bit less pension, as well. over 20, 30 years that number could add up. there are complaints coming in
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on that front. dana, we're going to have a lot more on this later. thanks very much. we're also learning more about edward snowden and the documents he took from the nsa. in an interview with "60 minutes," the man leading the snowden task force revealed the number, get this, 1.7 million documents, and he talked about the potential danger in leaking those documents to countries like china and russia. >> it would give them a road map what we know, what we don't know and give them implicitly a way to protect their information from the u.s. intelligence community's view. >> for an adversary in the intelligence game, that's a gold mine. >> it is the keys to the kingdom. >> let's bring in our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. one other part of the discussion was potentially granting him amnesty if he returns with all those documents. rick legedtee says that should
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be at least considered. here's what keith alexander says. >> this is analogous to a hostage taker taking 50 people hostage, shooting ten and then say if you give me full amnesty, i'll let the other 40 go. what do you do? >> it's a dilemma. >> it is. >> do you have a pick? >> i do. i think people have to be held accountable for their actions because what we don't want is the next person to do the same thing, race off to hong kong and to moscow with another set of data knowing they can strike the same deal. >> all right. so what's the reaction this morning, barbara? >> well, you know, so far, there doesn't seem to be a lot of official support for any dale of amnesty or pardon for snowden. in fact, the national security council spokes minnesota put out a statement saying "there's been no change in u.s. policy on this be issue. mr. snowden is charged with a felony, and he should return home to face those charges where
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he will be afforded all due process." but wolf, behind the scenes, what's so interesting here is that even the notion of amnesty or pardon has been raised. albeit mr. leggett said the it was his personal opinion. he is a top nsa official. what this goes to is the growing dred in the u.s. intelligence community that edward snowden indeed has more to disclose and that he has been holding on to a real -- they're calling it the crown jewels beyond the crown jewels. the real treasure trove of information that he might release in the coming weeks and months. they are really at a crossroads. they don't know how to deal with this, what to do about it. as long as he remains in moscow, they can't get their hands on him. so very quietly, it looks like this notion of amnesty being raised, it would be extraordinarily will controversial if it happened. >> it certainly would be. but in if in fact he has almost 2 million documents and only on released a few thousand so far,
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that is a huge issue for the u.s. national security community. we also learned, as you know, barbara, that the nsa went to great lengths to ensure snowden didn't leave behind a virus when he fled the united states. listen to this. >> all the machines that he had access to, we've removed from our classified network. all the machines in the unclassified network including the actual cables that connect those machines we removed, as well. >> this has to have cost million nz abmillions of dollars. >> tens of millions. >> president promised there would be changes ins the way the united states gathers intelligence. we're going to be hearing some of those details fairly soon, right? >> absolutely. a report from a commission went to the white house on friday. they are looking at it now. they're not ready to talk about it, they say but expect to see some of that in the coming days and weeks, perhaps as soon as right after the new year, what the administration will do now to try and reform intelligence
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collection, address these issues of potential abuse of their surveillance powers. this is the next step even while they still try and go after edward snowden and prosecute him. >> thanks very much. later this hour, by the way, i'll speak with cnn's national security consider the analyst fran townsend about these reports. 1.million documents stolen by edward snow eden from the nsa and only supposedly a few thousand released so far. meanwhile, a bomb threat at harvard university this morning appears too have been a hoax. no explosives were found. but several campusables were evacuated as a precaution. final exams scheduled for this morning in those buildings were canceled. the greater boston area still jittery after last april's terrorist bombing at the boston marathon. that attack killed three and wounded hundreds. let's bring in alexandra field on the scene for us. may have been a hoax, alexandra, but it still was a serious are
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crime whoever committed this hoax. so where does this investigation go from here? >> reporter: and actually, wolf, the investigation is still.haing on this campus right now. we've got state, local and federal officials here. minutes ago they told us they had officially cleared two of the four buildings that were targeted as part of the threat. there are still investigators in two of the other buildings. we know that this investigation will move forward both on campus and online. a source tells cnn's deb feyerick the initial threat was e-mailed this morning to harvard university police. we don't know what kind of e-mail account was used or whether an ip address is available at this point. certainly the digital trail is one that investigators will be looking closely at and it's worth noting here, wolf, this is a serious crime. a threat against a campus. it could come with a whole host of charges depending on the specific circumstances of this case. it could include anything from filing a false police report to reckless endangerment.
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it could bring federal charges here if the internet was used. >> alexandra, thank you. so will this weekend's storm play scrooge for millions of americans? i'm going to tell you why occur packages could be delayed even if you are not buriy eied under snow. what you wear to bed is your business. so, if you're sleeping in your contact lenses, ask about the air optix® contacts so breathable they're approved for up to 30 nights of continuous wear. serious eye problems may occur. ask your doctor and visit for safety information and a free one-month trial. open to innovation. open to ambition. open to bold ideas. that's why new york has a new plan -- dozens of tax free zones all across the state. move here, expand here, or start a new business here and pay no taxes for ten years... we're new york. if there's something that creates more jobs, and grows more businesses... we're open to it.
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rough and dry. along came gold bond, rich, absorbs quickly. legs look healed, healthy. gold bond. ultimate lotion, ultimate skin. the united states is covered by deep snow today. places like portland, maine are shoveling, they're plowing a foot or more of fresh snow. there's more actually on the way. chad meyers is over at the cnn weather center. chad, when will the next storm hit? how bad is it going to be? >> it will hit tonight. it's not going to be as big of a storm as we had over the
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weekend. but this is a lake effect storm, as well from woodford, vermont, 18 inches, connecticut over five, even central park had over 5 inches of snow with the last storm. and this storm is going to bring in cold air, down from north. this is a clipper storm that's coming in next. so a lot of these numbers you're seeing now will be the same type of numbers that we'll see throughout the rest of the week. here comes the snow across the lakes. we're seeing some snow right here. i can is it show you where it is coming across wisconsin up here across the u.p. of mirren gan and down toward chicago. it gets more organized tonight. and then it develops into something more sinister as it gets close to the ocean. picks up some ocean moisture and then tries to dump it along the berkshires maybe even parts of western new jersey and even into parts of upstate new york along the catskills. ing from 2 to 4 in duluth as we spread across into green bay. farther toward the southeast,
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this is where it picks up a little bit of energy. spots of 10 to 1 inches in places that have seen quite a bit of travel troubles across the past couple days and all the way across new york city, parts of new jersey, as well, maybe as far as as far as south as bucks county into pennsylvania. that's about a six-inch snowfall in the next 48 to 72 hours. now it's cold enough that everything is snow. no more ice. i go esthere's some good news there, wolf. >> for all those folks who is having snow about to hit them, their dreams might be coming true if they're dreaming of an i white christmas. >> a lot of white christmass compared to last year, 55% of the u.s. is covered with snow at this point in time. last year it was a third of that. we still have more snow to go. >> let's see if there's a white christmas for a lot of folks out there, they'll be happy. this week's storms are definitely going to be on santa's naughty list list. that's because they come at the busiest time of year for shoppers and shippers. alison kosik is over at the new york stock exchange. clearly a peak time for shoppers
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and shippers right now. maybe a lot of snow. how much you is this going to disrupt things? >> we've already seen a bit of, if you want to call it a disruption with fedex, with u.p.s. fedex said had had some delays at its memphis hub because of this weekend's weather. u.p.s. had delays in dallas. the reality is this comes at the most inopportune time. it comes like this every single year. it is the busiest shipping time and happens to be the worst time for weather, as well. now, today is u.p.s.'s busiest pickup day of the year and also one of fedex's top three delivery days. fedex is moving 208 million packages just today. that's double what fedex normally does. but fedex tells us that this is their super bowl. this is game time. they prepare for this all year. in fact, listen to this. fedex actually has 15 meteorologists on staff, plus it puts contingency plans in place when they hear of bad weather. they reroute rut flights, they
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move packages by trucks instead of flying. if it's unsafe. there's a lot of money at stake here, wolf. for u.p.s. and fedex, they made between $11 billion and $14 billion in sales in the last quarter of last year. there's a lot of money at stake. also, a lot of people hoping to get their gifts in time is at stake too, wolf. >> that's vet very important as we all know. it hasn't necessarily been a full banner shopping season so far this year. is there concern the weather's going to make things a little bit worse for retailers right now? who depend on the season so much for their annual take? >> you make a really good point. it's already this kind of high pressure cooker situation for retailers because sure, americans are out there spending, but the reality is, they're not spending a lot if you compare what it was like in 2010 and 2011. but the good thing for retailers is, hey, we're a bunch of procrastinators. the top sales days are yet to come. this saturday is sometimes called super saturday because it
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is the last saturday before christmas. so retailers get this final push. also, this coming friday through monday, these are also among the top sales days in december. after black friday, these are some of the top shopping days of the entire year. so what retailers are hoping is that people will still get out therein an brave the elements if they still need a gift by then, even if it is because it will be actually too late to shop online. >> what about the markets today? a little rough last week. things are looking a little bit better today, right? >> yeah, looks like the bulls are back in a big way. the dow up 11 points. it's inevitable the fed's going to pull back on stimulus. and invests are at least for today seem okay with it because the economy is showing stronger signs of improvement with housing, jobs, auto sales. so investors seem to be okay with it thinking it looks like the economy is strong enough that it is time to take the training wheels off that the economy can handle it. you're seeing the bulls come out to play today. wolf? >> thanks very much, alison, for
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the come promize budget deal that will sails through the house of representatives last week will have a tougher time in the senate this week. the bill still faces strong opposition from republicans but supporters think they'll be able to round up enough votes to get it passed and sent to the president for his signature. the latest tally shows they have at least 35 of the 50 votes they need right now. three republicans, one independent are joining with 31 democrats voting yes. so far, 20 republicans say they will vote no. our chief political and lis gloria borger is here watching all of this. a different dynamic in the senate now that it sailed through the house overwhelmingly. there's a different dynamic in the senate. >> there is. it's going to be much closer in the senate. i think in the end it will pass. i think what you've got are a bunch of senators on the
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republican side running scared, wolf. they're running scared because they're going to be primaried from the right. and you've got senators like hab senator graham, senator enzi, for example, even perhaps the leader of the republicans, mitch mcconnell although he hasn't declared one way or another, he's being primaried. they're worried that this deal is not purely conservative enough because it does lift some of those automatic spending limits. and so it's an easier vote for them to vote against it right now. >> paul ryan, the chairman of the house budget committee, the republican vice presidential nominee back in. 2012, be he's doing well in this brand new des moines register poll as far as potential republican presidential candidates. >> a little early, wouldn't you say? of course, we're talking about it. look, he's got name recognition. he was on the national ticket last time, wolf. and he's somebody who's kind of walking a fine line here because don't forget. in the government shutdown, he voted in the end to keep the
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government shut down, which was with the conservatives in the house, with the hell no caucus. he sided with them. and now he's cutting a budget deal. so i think he wants to appeal to both parts of the party at once and try and bridge that divide. so so far, at least in iowa, it seems to be working for him. >> let's say they get it passed. i think they will get it passed this week. they'll send it the to president. he'll sign it. he'll go on vacation to hawaii with his family on schedule. first time he's been able to do that during the christmas, new year's season there's another huge fight coming up to raise the nation's debt ceiling. otherwise, the country could be in serious trouble. here's paul ryan yesterday on fox news sunday". >> we as a caucus along with our senate counterparts are going to meet and discuss what it is we want to get out of the debt limit. we don't want nothing out of the debt limit. we're going to decide what it is
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we can accomplish out of this debt limit fight. >> the dilemma is, of course, that the president says he's not giving them anything in terms of raising the nation's debt limit. in is debt that's already been accumulated appropriated by the u.s. congress, the u.s. government owes this money to creditors and to others out there. they're not going to make in he concessions. he says we want something in order to raise the nation's dent ceilinskee -- debt ceiling. >> this is one way paul ryan is straddling the divide within the republican party so he cuts this deal because he wanted to avoid a government shutdown. government shutdown is really unpopular with the american public. we know that. having gone through it in october. but when you poll the american public about raising the debt ceiling, what the public says is, that should be accompanied by serious serious spending cuts. so they feel that they have public opinion on their side as far as raising the debt ceilinging is concerned. it's a better political argument for them to make.
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and so i guarantee you, he's not kidding around here, they're either going to ask for some kind of tax reform or they're going to ask for some kind of entitlement reform. the president says he doesn't want to do it, thes say they don't want to do it and then we're at another crisis. >> let them rest up during the christmas holiday season. hawaii, wherever they want to go on vacation because there's going to be a big fight in january, february,ing and march. i believe it will be significant. >> i agree with you. >> thanks very much. more than 1.58 billion documents, we have new details on edward snow deny. all the debate over offering him at least potentially amnesty. that's coming up next. ♪ ♪
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adt. always there. pop in the drum of any machine... ♪ wash any size load. it dissolves in any temperature, even cold. tide pods. pop in. stand out. 1.7 million documents. that's how much information edward snowden reportedly took from the nsa files to hong kong and then on to russia. the man leading is the snowden task force for the nsa spoke to cbs' "60 minutes" about how it was done.
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>> did he take everything he had access to, or was he a careful shopper? >> he did something that we call scraping where he went out and just used tools to scrape information from web sites and put it into a place where he could download it. >> joining us now is our national security analyst fran townsend, a member of the cia and department of homeland security external advisory board. it's hard to believe 1.7 million documents stolen, the vast majority have not yet been released. only a to you thousand documents have been released. and the nsa is claiming if all of them are released, these are the crown jewels of the u.s. how significant potentially would the release of all those documents be? >> oh, wolf, tremendously. we've seen the damage already done by the release of documents related to the prison program, is the metadata program.
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this has been an incredibly painful period. you realize he didn't zeal these one at a time . not like he had to cut and paste each document. he used advanced tools to go into the system as an administrator and basically vacuum it up quickly. but that begs the question, how could somebody do that even with system administrative privileges and not trigger sort of internal watchdogs as to why he was doing it. >> as far as you know, fran, and an you know a lot, has anybody been fired inside the nsa or any other government agency for edward snowden's being able to do what he did? >> not that i'm aware of it, wolf. i will tell you as you listen to the interview last night of general alexander who spoke in its graer detail than we've heard before, this was really a systemic failure. the sort of controls were not in place that would have permitted them to understand the breadth and scope of what snowden was taking and to prevent it in time. so i think it's being viewed as
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a systemic failure which means there's not a single individual you can hold accountable. >> has general alexander who's the head of the nsa or any other top official offered to resign as far as you know? >> yes. general with alexander's been pretty clear he went to the white house and did offer his resignation. but understandably, look in the midst of this crisis what you need are people who understand is the system well enough to help the president and white house fix it. so general alexander was told no, we're not going to accept your resignation. he's a career army officer, very accomplished and well respected. red. we need you at your job as the head of cyber command to fix this problem and he agreed to do that. >> many intelligence experts have told me, fran, they believe that whatever documents snowden has either the russians or the chinese where he's been holed up, he's holed up in russia right now, almost certainly already have had access to all those documents. do you believe that? >> absolutely.
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i mean, i think it's difficult. it's going to be difficult for the intelligence community to confirm that. but the right thing to do in terms of this damage assessment is if they can't confirm it for certain, this he have to presume that these documents have been compromised. after all we know russia was not excited about granting snowden asylum and there ma i have been some quid pro quo. he was in hong kong and met with chinese officials. we have to assume that whatever he had access to, that's what he used to buy his safety. >> so if the russians and or the chinese already have all these documents, what would be the damage to the u.s.? those are potential add ser sears of the u.s. what would be the damage if all those documents were released? >> what we know from administration and intelligence community officials are is that those documents basically set forth our collection priorities for electronic and other intelligence methods and sets forth what our gasp are, what we're looking for. if you get all of that flfgs --
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if you're china or iran and you understand what we're looking for, what we don't know, how we're looking for it, and what our collection priorities are, you begin to sort of adjust yourself and your communications to try and work around that. and so it makes it all the more difficult on high priority targets to actually collect valuable intelligence. >> one final question. so would you support giving snowden amnesty for coming back to the united states and not releasing all those documents? >> absolutely not. look, this is like, you know, negotiating with an armed hostage taker. the fact of the matter is, he took what he took. he's already shared it. whether or not it becomes public, we have to do the damage assessment and sort of plan for the potential release, but you cannot allow someone to steal this kind of information at a tremendous harm to the united states and then use that to negotiate his own asylum. it just encourages more bad
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behavior by people with access to classified information. >> fran townsend, thanks very much. >> thanks, wolf. a few other notes on the sa. president obama has promised a full review of intelligence protocols. changed expected to be announced very soon about what those changes will be. we'll stand by for that announcement. major tech companies also have asked the nsa to stand down collecting some of this information. they say it could hurt their bottom line. "60 minutes" is coming under criticism for the interviews inside the nsa suggesting it was a public relations move by the sa and the government to try to put a better face on the nsa after this huge, huge debacle. cbs acknowledged that to a certain degree in saying that the sa chief keith alexander thought the nsa had done a poor job of getting its message out. that's why they were willing to go ahead and cooperate with 60 minutes i can on this story last
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night. we'll have a lot more on then story coming up in "the situation room" later today. 5:00 p.m. eastern. inside the mind of an accused terrorist. we're learning that one of the alleged boston bombers may have been hearing voices and wasn't given the mental help he needed. that's next. ♪ i want to spread a little love this year ♪ [ male announcer ] this december, experience the gift of unsurpassed craftsmanship and some of the best offers of the year at the lexus december to remember sales event. this is the pursuit of perfection. at the lexus december to remember sales event. life's an adventure and it always has been. but your erectile dysfunction - it could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications,
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of a 17-year-old girl shot at a colorado high school friday is in a kom malright now. claire davis's family says she's in critical but stable condition. police say she was probably just a random environment in the
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shooting. they say the 18-year-old gunman was trying to get to a librarian before shooting himself. investigators have wrapped up their work and plan to release the school back to the district soon. classes at arapahoe high school won't start again till after the new year. instead of enjoying her honeymoon, a new bride is planning her husband's funeral. the newlyweds just left their wedding receptioning in crown point, indiana and spotted a car in a ditch and stopped to help. unfortunately, an oncoming car struck and killed him and the woman he was helping as they stood on the side of the road. police say alcohol did not appear to be a factor. what a tragic sad story. driven by voices, that's the claim in an investigation by "the boston globe" about accused boston marathon bomber tam mer lan tsarnaev. brian todd is joining us right now. the report suggests he was hearing voices that he may have had a mental illness. >> first indications of this from the globe's investigation
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that he possibly did have some mental illness. the globe spoke to a doctor who was a family friend who had had conversations with a psychiatrist who had actually treated tamerlan tsarnaev's parents. the doctor speculate the to the globe he thought tamerlan might have had schizo everyonia. the psychiatrist who treated his parents told the globe or at least said at some point he believed that sammer lan tsarnaev has some kind of paranoia. the globe is now reporting quoting friends and others saying tamerlan started hearing a voice in his head as a young man and that it continued later on. one man who went to the mosque with him was quoted as saying "he was torn between those twos people whatever was in his head and the persona he was in real life." first indications from this investigation maybe there might have been mental illness there. >> what about the links to the organized terror groups in russia or elsewhere. >> according to this
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investigation, the globe didn't find strong links to that. what they're saying from what they're putting together that the boston marathon bombing might have been the result more of the tsarnaev family breaking apart as a family and the series of failures these twos brothers experienced. that was more their kind of you know, just their life experiences that led to the boston marathon bombing rather than any islamic radicalization. because one of the reporters who dug into that didn't find up evidence of radicalization. we will ourselves have reported a series of family and personal failures on tamerlan tsarnaev's part. he didn't make the olympic boxing team. he was arrested in 2009 for slapping a girlfriend. he had financial problems. all of those things weise have been reporting on, t"the boston globe" reporting on other tidbits in their lives that leads them to conclude this was more a result of personal failures rather than any radicalization that may have led to the bombings. >> the older brother who died.
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the younger brotherly survived. what about had im? did he will have any mental illness problems? nel indication he was suffering from schizophrenia. >> nothing like that. but what the globe is now quoting anonymous friends and acquaintances of the younger brother saying he sold marijuana at dartmouth, that he sometimes made about $1,000 a week, that he was known as a marijuana seller there and that he sometimes carried a gun to protect his supply of marijuana. that is according to "the boston globe." that's new information we found in this investigation that the globe had in its report. that we had not seenen before, the evidence that he so would marijuana. we have you called the u.s. attorney's office in massachusetts and his attorneys and have not gotten comment. >> thanks, brian todd reporting. a teacher's racial incense activity turns an african-american student sour on christmas christmas, according to the teacher, only white people can be dress as santa. stand by. ♪
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mexico has been disciplined for ridiculing an african-american student dressed as santa claus. the teacher reportedly told the ninth grader he couldn't dress as santa because he was of the wrong skin color. the boy was crushed by the teacher's remark, and now his family wants the teacher fired. george howell has been digging
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into the story for us. >> this is the hat and the beard, fake beard, that christopher was wearing to school. >> the spirit of christmas was all but shattered for a new mexico high school student who wore this mask to class and was challenged by a teacher who told him he couldn't be santa because -- >> santa claus is white. what are you doing wearing that? >> this father called the school furious, saying he heard about it from another parent. his son didn't tell him because he was too embarrassed. initially, this parent said his outrage was dismissed. >> the principal hung up the phone on me and hasn't called back. hasn't said anything. >> michael tells our affiliate the only phone call he's received was from the teacher who spoke to his wife and apologized. the school district put out this statement saying, quote, he soefl-reported the incident to the principal and has apologized
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to the student and the student's parents. appropriate disciplinary actions have been taken. the incident comes the same week that fox news host megyn kelly said on the air that both santa and jesus were white. >> by the way, for all your kids watching at home, santa just is white but this person is arguing that maybe we should also have a black santa. >> comments that sparked a fire storm of criticism. she later issued a statement saying her comments were misunderstood. >> i think the criticism is needed because we all know that santa claus, of course, is a symbol. a symbol of hope, a symbol of the holidays. a symbol of love and giving. >> clinical psychologist dr. jeffrey gar dear. >> when a child hears comments like that from megyn kelly or from a teacher who puts his opinion out there like we heard in new mexico, what does it do to the child's self image? >> it begins to erowd that child's self-image. we are a society that says we
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are all equal and we can all participate in something that is generic as santa claus. >> the teacher still works at cleveland high school. but we've learned cristmer has been removed from his class after what happened. his father says he really wants nothing to do with christmas this year. michael says the teacher should be fired. >> for him to make a comment like that, there has to be at a minimum prejudice in him. and we don't have room for that. >> the teacher's name has not yet been released and it's still unclear, wolf, exactly what type of disciplinary actions were taken at the school. >> thanks very much, george. george howell reporting for us. >> up next, a story of building hope. how volunteers are building more than two dozen play grounds all in the memory of the newtown shooting victims. across america people are taking charge
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of their type 2 diabetes with non-insulin victoza®. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar, but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza®. he said victoza® is different than pills. victoza® is proven to lower blood sugar and a1c. it's taken once-a-day, any time, and comes in a pen. and the needle is thin. victoza® is not for weight loss, but it may help you lose some weight. victoza® is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes
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with or without vomiting. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you have any medical conditions. taking victoza® with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. the most common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, and headache. some side effects can lead to dehydration, which may cause kidney problems. if your pill isn't giving you the control you need ask your doctor about non-insulin victoza®. it's covered by most health plans. i'm bethand i'm michelle. and we own the paper cottage. it's a stationery and gifts store. anything we purchase for the paper cottage goes on our ink card. so you can manage your business expenses and access them online instantly with the game changing app from ink. we didn't get into business to spend time managing receipts, that's why we have ink. we like being in business because we like being creative, we like interacting with people. so you have time to focus on the things you love. ink from chase. so you can.
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a year after the newtown, connecticut, shootings, there's something special happen wrg. a group is building playgrounds to honor the victims and inspire hope around the country. tom foreman shows us this in this american journey. >> on the atlantic coast, a labor of love. a playground rising in memory of the children and staff members killed at sanda hook school. >> this is playground number 11. >> there will be 26, each to commemorate one life lost and all with a purpose. >> we learned in mississippi that a playground is more than just a structure. it's a symbol of hope and recovery. >> indeed, this effort was born amid stormy days.
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when katrina ravaged the south, firefighters from new jersey who received letters from gulf coast kids after 9/11, went down to build playgrounds to return the favor. then superstorm sandy and the sandy hook shootings battered the northeast, and they thought, let's do it again closer to home. so the sandy ground project was born. shepherded by the new jersey firefighters mutual benevolent association. >> his favorite color was blue-green, so that's why the teal. >> the effort has brought together donors. volunteers, and victims' families. >> are you on? >> yeah. >> like mark and jackie barden, who lost their son, daniel. >> all kids love playgrounds, but daniel did have a special thing for playgrounds. he would get in, didn't know the kids, and start playing with them and get a game going. >> the pink is for the flamingoes she loved.
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>> carlos lost his 27-year-old daughter, victoria. a teacher. >> and every playground we build, she's looking down where her students, saying this is a beautiful thing. >> in the end, that is what this is all about. wrestling against events of unspeakable ugliness to find beauty. happiness, and hope once again. tom foreman, cnn. secretary of state john kerry has gone back to the waterways of vietnam. 44 years ago, he was patrolling them as a young naval officer. this time he's there to deliver a message about the growing threat of climate change. water levels along the delta are dropping, threatening people in downstream cambodia and vietnam. secretary kerry is also talking with government officials in hanoi about releasing political prisoners. that's it for me.
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thanks very much for watching. i'll be back, 5:00 p.m. eastern, in "the situation room." i'm wolf blitzer in washington. "newsroom" continues right now with brooke baldwin. hi, there. i'm brooke baldwin. great to be back in the seat today. i am sorry i missed the fun last friday involving house speaker john boehner. >> are you kidding me? >> sorry. i have not seen that. john boehner critiquing his own side. his conservatives, his republicans. for the role in forcing october's government shutdown for which, surprise, surprise, they ended up getting the blame. roll it again. >> are you kidding me? >> sorry. so, with october's disaster in mind, speaker boehner rallied his troops last week,


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