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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 18, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PST

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>> just keep postponing it. no, actually february. september. >> i'm glad he apologized at the very least. >> okay. that will do it. >> thanks for watching around the world". "cnn newsroom" starts right now. "cnn newsroom" starts right now. have a good afternoon. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com right now, wall street is watching and waiting. next hour, we expect some big news from the fed, news that could impact the booming stock market and your investments. right now, outrage over the arrest and strip search of an indian diplomat independent new york city. the feud and the effort to keep it from escalating. and right now, president obama is showing russia just what he thinks of the country's anti-gay laws through his picks for the u.s. delegation at next year's olympic games. how strong of a message does it send?
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hello, i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we're only an hour away from a potential game changing decision by the federal reserve, a decision that could impact mortgage rates, the record-breaking stock market and a whole lot more. at issue, the $85 billion a month the fed pumps into the economy. will the fed governors end that and let the economy go it alone? to help us explain what's at stake, global business analyst and time magazine assistant managing editor, also our o yor bell aber. mayor bell, tell us first of all about the $85 billion a month of bond buying from the fed and why that potentially could end fairly soon. >> hi, wolf. the fed has been pumping stimulus money into the economy since late 2008. with that $85 billion figure per month that you've been talking about since september of last year when it started it was part of an effort to help stimulate the economy. remember, we were in the middle of recession.
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people didn't have jobs. they weren't spending money. things have improved since the start of this year. major averages up 20 to 30%. you've likely made a ton of money in your 401(k). and the jobs have been making their way back, too. we can debate what jobs are coming back but the jobs number has been improving. many think this might be a good time for the fed to pull back a little bit on all this easy money, see whether the economy and the market can stand on its own. of course, there are fears that they won't be able to, but the economic data has been pretty good lately, wolf. >> so how is the market reacting so far? and what could we expect to happen after the decision is announced in the next hour? >> sure. right now, looking at stobs stocks trading around the flat line all day. and the past couple weeks haven't been so great either. mainly because of all this uncertainty surrounding the decision. remember, the markets is like certainty. the dow has lost 1.3% since the
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start of december. this is normally the month where we get a santa claus rally when investors are waiting to see, but what the fed decides before making any big moves. the decision we get in the an hour will likely be a main driver of where stocks head for the rest of the year. market can be fickle so hard to say what type of reaction we might see, but if the fed pulls back, it might be a modest taper, then gains could hold. if it's a bigger stimulus slowdown, we could see red arrows. the fed will need to tread carefully to not spook wall street too much. >> stand by for a moment. rana, "time" magazine, rana, you listed three things we need to know what the fed's decision could mean. let's go through them. you point out it could mean a market correction. we'll see a flight from risk and electrical rates will eventually rise, but not immediately. let's start out with that third one. why the won't interest rates go
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up right away? when would they go up? how high could they go? >> well, the fed has been very clear about the fact that tapering doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to raise rates immediately. in fact, we could ceelo rates into 2015, even 2016. i think the fed is still uncertain about the robustness of this recovery. and if we do see a taper t next few months are going to be very indicative, can this market and this economy stand on its own without that extra mey flowing in? or or is the recovery still very fragile? if it is fragile, you're not going to see rates going up soon because that would increase costs on houses, cars and student loans. that would create burden in the economy. >> for people who have money in the market right now, what does this neen potentially for them? >> if you look back to last summer when the fed started hinting at the fact it was going to pull back on the money
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spigots, you did see a correction in risky markets like emerging markets, in commodities and areas where investors tend to try and put money into risky assets in the hopes of getting a higher yield. "uss stocks, blue chip stocks actually did okay. so i think unless we see a very surprising announcement, we're not going to see a major correction in the u.s. markets right now. what we do need to see once tapering begins is that recovery continuing because if corporate earnings don't stay high, that's when you need to worry where stocks are headed. >> rana, thanks very, very much. we'll see what happens at the top of the next hour. this is going to be a potentially significant decision by the federal reserve. maribel, thanks to you, as well. a lucky few don't need to worry about the fed's impact on their wallet because they're holding the winning tickets for the megajackpot. $636 million, the second largest prize in u.s. history. two tickets matched all six
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numbers. those numbers are, 8, 14, 17 is, 20, 39, and the mega ball number 7. one ticket was sold in san jose, california. the other one sold in atlanta, georgia. 20 tickets matched five nonmega ball numbers, each winning a cool $1 million. right now, flames are ripping through a recycling plant in lils, tennessee, huge billows of dark smoke can be seen miles away from the two-alarm fire. wtvf is reporting everyone within a four-mile radius is being vee vacuated because of alcohol on the site. that area includes homes and schools. firefighters are on the scene right now. an indian diplomat is arrested and sfrip searched in new york city. now in new delhi is not pleased. the latest in the escalating feud between the united states and intia and what's being done to try to temper it. that's next. people don't have to think about
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rough and dry. along came gold bond, rich, absorbs quickly. legs look healed, healthy. gold bond. ultimate lotion, ultimate skin. . tensions between the united states and india clearly are ratcheting up right now following the arrest of a top indian diplomat in new york city. devyani khobragade was detained last week on fraud charges. she was strip searched and held in a cell with other women. and new delhi, the government there is up in arms. deborah feyericking is following the story for us from new york. first of all, deb, what was she accused of doing, this senior
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indian diplomat? >> well, actually, wolf, she is actually the deputy consul general for economic, commercial and women's affairs. a different status than most diplomats given immunity. she only has immunity between 9:00 in the morning and 5:00 in the afternoon, the hours in which she is working within the consul general's office. she has been charged with making false statements on a visa application, specifically as relates to her housekeeper. who also spent time baby-sitting, as well. she said that the housekeeper was going to receive a fair wage under u.s. law and that she was only going to work 40 hours per week. now, on the application, she says the housekeeper is going to make $4500 a month, in fact, the woman made significantly less, according to criminal complaint, instead of the minimum wage of $9.75 here in new york, she got a third of that just over $3 an hour working very long hours,
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not the 40-hour week, but according to what we're hearing, she worked twice that long. now, she was arrested after taking her daughter to school and then she was processed by the u.s. marshal's office. once she entered the system, she was strip searched, that is procedure, and then she was put in general population. india clearly very upset over this, but this comes after a five-month long investigation by the u.s. attorney's office here in the southern district as well as the state department. wolf? >> what's the u.s. response to india's outrage and there's huge outrage in india right now. >> well, there's huge outrage, but the united states is basically saying look, she was handled as anyone would be handled. there was a proper investigation. five months it took the u.s. attorney to investigate this case. it's a very detailed criminal complaint. but again, once you're turned over to the u.s. marshals, they have to follow procedure or protocol and that's exactly what they did. so she was searched as would
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anybody be being put in general population. and then she was put in general population with others accused of crimes. wolf? >> deborah feyerick, thank you very much. the feud over the diplomat's arrest is certainly having a direct effect on the u.s. embassy in new delhi. the question is whether the steps taken by the indian government are simply symbolic or i an security risk. mallika kapur has details. >> i'm right outside the gates of the u.s. embassy in new delhi. there used to be large concrete barriers right here outside the gates. plu new delhi police have removed them saying the barriers had been placed to prevent cars from coming close to the u.s. embassy and it was a security measure that local authorities extended to it the u.s. government more as a courtesy. it was not a diplomatic requirement. them do insist that all u.s. diplomats remain safe in india, that they are not scaling back security for u.s. diplomats in any way. wolf? >> malcal kapoor reporting for
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us. we'll have a lot more on the story later in "the situation room," as well" president obama sends a clear message to russia about its tough anti-gay laws with who he has and has not included in the u.s. delegation for next year's winter games in showchy. we'll we're taking a closer look at his picks, the ronan behind them, that's next. that's why yoe of your future. your retirement. ♪ ameriprise advisors can help you like they've helped millions of others. listening, planning, working one on one. to help you retire your way... with confidence. that's what ameriprise financial does. that's what they can do with you. ameriprise financial. more within reach. [ male announcer ] this december, experience the gift of true artistry and some of the best offers of the year
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guaranteed! ♪ sleep train ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ russia know what he thinks of those anti-gay laws in russia and doing so without saying an actual word. all in who he picked to
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represent the united states in the official delegation to the 2014 sochi winter olympic games. here's cnn's jill dougherty. >> wolf, president obama will not be going to the sochi olympics himself but the official u.s. delegation will include two prominent gay athletes. the first is billie jean king, the tennis star well-known in the united states and around the world. and the second is caitlin cahow. she is a hockey player and also a medalist. this decision by president obama comes after russia passed what's known as the gay propaganda bill. that now is a law. it's not clear exactly how it will be enforced at the olympics. but president putin has said gay athletes will not be disdiscriminated against at the olympics. also on the delegation, janet napolitano. she is a former homeland security secretary. and the athlete, the figure skater brian boitano.
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wolf? >> jill, thank you. dennis rodman meanwhile is raising eyebrows once again. the retired nba star is going back to north korea tomorrow to train the country's basketball team, despite the political tension there since the execution of the leader kim jong-un's uncle. here is cnn's anna coren. >> the 52-year-old is currently in beijing and travels to pyongyang on thursday where he will spend four days training the north korean basketball team preparing for an exhibition match to celebrate the birthday of north korean leader kim jong-un next month. last week, kim had his uncle executed after he was convicted of treason. and analysts believe there are more punches to come. rodman considers kim to be a close friend and says this trip will not be political. but activists have asked him to raise the issue of human rights and the imprisonment of american missionary kenneth bae who was sentenced to 15 years jail for attempting to overthrow the
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regime into thank you. let's discuss both of these issues right now. our chief international correspondent christiane amanpour is joining us. let's start with president obama's picks for the u.s. delegation to the sochi winter olympic games. how significant is the message, the message he's clearly sending to the russian president putin? >> well, it's quite brilliant really. there is no more high profile athlete than billie jean king known all around the world, not just for her massive grand slam and history-making tournament wins but also for her work on equality, equality for women and equality for all regardless of sexual orientation. so this is a big deal to have somebody like that who's going to be walking in the opening ceremonies and being an official u.s. delegate. she's also had the presidential medal of freedom. clearly she is an important u.s. figure. she hasn't said much since. she said she was proud to have been made a del, but it really does -- we still don't know what
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exactly will happen during the olympics because the olympic committee has said that they're going to put a little area where people can protest for and against anything. we're not sure whether this russian law, this anti-gay prop gan dan law means that gay athletes or anybody, for instance, competing or indeed going into the opening or closing ceremonies could wear any kind of significant pins or anything like that. what actually does this all mean? but certainly having billie jean king and that incredible prominent hockey player as delegates is important. >> it's the first time in a long time, as you know, christiane, neither the president nor the first lady, the vice president, d-jill biden, the vice president's wife, any members of the president's family, they're not going. janet napolitano, the former secretary of homeland security heading the u.s. delegation is also sending a message, i suspect of irritationing with russia right now because of the edward snowden asylum he's been
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granted at least for a year there. some of russia's policies toward syria, other sources of tension between washington and moscow. >> you're absolutely right. this is a very bad relationship. and you're absolutely right about that. they've had a very difficult time. and so much for the restart with russia which was a hallmark of the obama presidency. it has not gone very well at all. there are some areas for instance in the iran deal and all of that where they're having more cooperation, but in general not very much at all. and so this is a time of high tension between both countries and particularly between it seems both leaderships. >> yeah, i agree. what about dennis rodman, his trip to north korea? this week. do you really believe something positive can emerge from that? for example, like bringing kenneth bay, the american missionary held there in prison back to the united states? >> well, i mean,ing i don't have any reason to believe that's going to happen. dennis rodman has never given
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any indication anything he does in north korea has the slightest bit of political intention at all. he has said he's going as a friend of kim jong-un. he's going with the documentary crew as he has done in the past and he's going to prepare for apparently the sort of big bang tournament of basketball former nba stars and north koreans that it's going to be held on kim jong-un's birthday. this is becoming increasingly unpalatable if it ever was palatable to certainly people around the world. human rights activists and many others who realize there are huge issues in north korea that need to be raised. and let's face it, the united states doesn't seem to have much you know, any kind of connections officially really with north korea. dennis rodman as odd as it sounds is the only u.s. person who's met kim jong-un but he's resolutely apolitical and this at a time of manifest brutality, this public execution and it's
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not the first and likely not to be the last. ha there home run massive punches going on. there's anyone's guess whether there might be another nuclear test or more threats against the united states. you remember not so long ago, threats of a nuclear attack. obviously they didn't happen. this is an incredibly ruthless leadership and we're going to unpack that on my program shortly with a former british ambassador to north korea. and we'll report what he has to say. >> we'll check back with you, thanks very much. we'll see what, if anything, dennis rodman does positively in north korea if he gets the american missionary out, that would be good news. let's see if he does that. coming up in about 20 minutes, i'll speak live with caitlin cahow. one of the members of the u.s. delegation going to the winter games in sochi. we'll get her thoughts on the games coming up shortly also, another item that compromised budget deal is causing q an
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uproar right now. lawmakers are upset over plans to reduce some military retiree pensions. you're going to find out who's affected, what can be done about it straight ahead. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. i just served my mother-in-law your chicken noodle soup but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. afghanistan in 2009.
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the white house is set to release full details of a recently submitted report on the nsa. the white house press secretary jay carney announced that the full report from the review group would be released this afternoon. he says the release is needed because of inaccurate stories being reported about what's in the report. the group was put together by the white house to review nsa surveillance procedures in the wake of the information released by edward snowden. a rare event on capitol hill today. a budget vote without the last minute partisan drama or the threat of a government shutdown. the senate votes later this afternoon on the compromise budget deal. it's expected to pass and president obama has promised to sign it quickly. the budget deal cleared a major hurdle in the senate yesterday after sailing through the husband of representatives last week. final senate approval require asimple 51-vote majority. on nn's "new day" this morning, senator patty murray was asked how democrats and republicans
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were finally able to agree at least on something. >> i think the most important thing was for chairman paul ryan and i to agree that it's easy to sit on the sidelines and throw bombs at each other and to have political talking points. the challenge that we faced is that our country needed some healing. they needed some certainty. and that we needed to establish some trust between each other to find common ground. >> lawmakers on both sides of the aisle found something not to like about the budget deal, but one issue is causing significant concern. the agreement calling for reducing retirement benefits for some members of the u.s. military. dana bash has that part of the story. >> retired admiral norv ryan pounds the marble halls of congress refusing to give up, urging senators to restore cuts to military pensions in the bipartisan budget deal. >> soldiers are lucky if they're under the same roof as their family for eight out of every 36
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months and they've done that for ten years pay agenormous price up front. this is really, really a disgrace. >> as part of their budget, rule ryan and patty murray decided to reduce by 1% the cost offing adjustment for retirees who retire after 20 years of service. it would go back up at age 62. it saves $6.2 billion. right savings, wrong targets say some republicans. >> of all the people we could have picked on to screw, be how could we arrived here? how could we have done this? >> but lindsey graham's best senate friend and well-known military vet disagrees, effectively asking how could we not. >> in the words of former secretary of defense mr. gates said that these entitlements in the military are "eating us alive." >> john mccain says this gives him heartburn, but noted military pensions cost $52
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billion last year. and skyrocketed 49% over a ten-year period. >> we're going to have to look at this whole issue of the pay, benefits, and retirement and all of that and of members in the military in a prospective fashion. >> and dana is joining us now from capitol hill. dana, those projected cuts in military pensions don't take effect what, till 2015. so they have some time to reinstate those cuts next year, right? >> they do. and based on the conversations that we've heard on the senate floor, all day long, it looks like that is very likely to happen. we've heard senators come on the senate floor saying they are going to vote for this bipartisan budget because they think it's important to have some kind of consensus. and it's important to have certainty in the economy, meaning that the government likely won't shut down for two years. but they noted what you said, that it's actually two years
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before these kick in, and they've got to try to find some way to find that $6 billion in savings that doesn't affect people who fought in wars for this country. so you've heard that from democrats and from republicans. having a little bit of buyer's remorse even the senate democratic chairman of the budget committee, patty murray who negotiated said on cnn this morning she's fine with changing if they can find savings elsewhere. you definitely see a groundswell of desire to do that and it would not be sprying at all if when they come back next year, they find a way to do so. >> there's plenty other money out there where they can make significant cuts to more than pay for that, including the billions of dollars the u.s. continues to spend for example in afghanistan. $100 billion this past year alone. and that funding is going to continue assuming that deal is reached with the afghan government for billions more. we'll stay on top of the story together with you. i know there's going to be a big
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debate up on capitol hill on it. we'll watch the vote later today, as well. we assume that will pass relatively easily in the senate. president obama's enlisting moms to help sell obamacare to young people, including the mom in chief, michelle obama. i'm going to speak with our chief political analyst gloria borger about this strategy, whether it's likely to help. ♪ i love it! ♪ thank you grandma for the dolls. ♪ ♪ i love it! ♪ i'm ninja kicking through the halls. ♪ ♪ i love it! ♪ mom's posting pictures on your wall. ♪ ♪ that's my kind of holiday. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of all day pain relief. this season, discover aleve.
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president obama turns to a powerful group to try to help sell young people on health insurance. he's enlisting moms including the mom in chief, the first lady michelle obama and the president
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meet with a group of mothers at the white house in the next hour. it's all part of a major push to try to get younger people to sign up for the affordable care act or obamacare. the administrationing is also turning to videos like this. >> your mother and i -- >> have joined a circus. >> we're deaf punk. >> i'm a wizard. >> i'm just a muggal. ♪ >> i am the one who knocks. >> grandma is a dragon. >> we got matching tattoos. >> so what did you want to talk to me about? >> we know you don't have health insurance. >> we love you no matter what, but it's time to get covered. >> that's it? health insurance? >> it's important. >> i know. and i'll do it. i just thought -- never mind. >> gloria borger is joining us right now.
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how much of an effect could all of these efforts, the videos enlisting moms actually have in convincing young people, healthy people out there to go ahead and sign up for health insurance? >> i'll tell you, the white house hopes it has a tremendous effect, wolf, because in order to make this law work, they need to have those young healthy exchanges like the young man you saw in that video. he needs to join a health care exchange. to help pay for the older sicker people who are going to be covered under obamacare. so that's why they're pushing. michelle obama, look, is very popular. she's a lot more popular than her husband. she's a mother. she can talk to women. i think women, there's a theory that women are the one who's kind of nag their kids. of course, i wouldn't know that personally, but they nag their kids to get things like their health care coverage. >> yes, you know the administration has set a deadline of next monday to be able to sign up and make sure that everyone has people who are
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signed up by monday have health insurance starting january 1st. how is that working out? >> you know, you're getting a lot more people enrolling than you had, of course, at the beginning. that's a very important date, wolf, because what they don't want is for people to have any lapses in coverage, particularly if they were canceled. if their health policies were canceled. we just heard word this morning from some insurers that ahip, america's health insurance plans that health plans according to them are voluntarily extending the deadline for consumers to pay their first month's premium. so that they won't be caught in a bind either if they extend their health care coverage with private insurers. >> obviously, even though the website seems to be doing better, the administration is still having major problems selling obamacare. take a look at this "washington post"/abc news poll.
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do you think the problems with healthcare.gov are isolated or a sign of broader problems? 55% see it as a sign of broader problems. 36% see it as an isolated incident. what else can the white house do to fix this image problem they have out there? >> look, this he have to make it work. i mean, and right now, this is of course, affecting the president's own ratings because the notion of how competent a manager he is has taken a real hit. the notion of how honest and trustworthy he is has taken a real hit. i think people look at the rollout of obamacare and the big question they raise is should we trust the government to manage a program of this size. and this is a real problem if you're a liberal and you believe in big government and so far, big government has really messed up the roll out of something that is so important to americans. and so i think they have to get this working. they have to have people feel good about their health care
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coverage. they have to believe that it's competitive cost wise, and they have to believe that the president has actually delivered what he promised he would deliver. we won't know for a while, wolf, what the results are. but in three to six months, we'll have an idea of how the public really feels about this plan. >> yeah, the president still has an opportunity to change that image problem he has. >> he does. >> if this thing starts working well. all right, gloria, thank you. she's been hand picked by president obama to represent the united states at the winter olympic games in sochi, russia. it's an honor, sure, but it's also a play the tent message to president putin about his stance on gay rights. we'll talk to the ice hockey player kaitlin kcaitlin cahow. that's next. ya know, with new fedex one rate
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police wrapped up a news conference on that deadly saluting at a medical building in reno. police say the gunman walked through the first and second floor ooze of the building and
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opened fire only when he reached the third floor indicating the shooting was not random. >> the preliminary investigation has revealed that the suspect entered the building, made his way to the third floor, to the offices of ourology of nevada. as we have pieced together the information, preliminary investigation also has revealed that the suspect went past the front desk, into the area of the patient examination rooms, armed with a .12-gauge shotgun. the suspect fired a total of five rounds. one of which appears to be the shot that fatally wounded him. as he moved through the examination area, the suspect fired at least four rounds from the shout shotgun, striking three victims. fatally wounding one and critically wounding two. >> police say the victim who was killed was a physician and one of the wounded victims was a patient. they have not identified the gunman. yet or speculated on a motive. a harvard university student an us coo of sending out phony
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bomb threats to avoid a final exam is making his first court appearance today. 20-year-old eldo kim, a sophomore at the prestigious ivy league school allegedly sent e-mails to several harvard offices warning the bombs were to go off on campus. bomb technicians found no explosion ebs. authorities say kim admitted to the hoax. if ikt requested he could face up to five years in prison. take a closer look at the markets right now with only a few minutes left till the big news from the federal reserve at the top of the hour whether it will continue the $85 billion a month in economic stimulus programs. checking the big board right now, the dow is up only about five points. we'll continue to watch the dow. stand by for important news from the fed at the top of the next hour. protecting the rights of job applicants, one u.s. senator has stepped up with a new bill looking to stop potential employers from performing one
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specific background check on potential employees. that's next.
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over the past few years, credit checks have become an important part of the employment process, and bad credit could be an important factor for some companies out there as they
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decide who to hire. now the massachusetts democrat senator elizabeth warren wants to put a stop to the practice. brian todd is joining us norb wru you just finished speaking with senator warren. what exactly is she trying to stop and why? >> wolf, she's introduced a bill that would prevent potential employers from requiric potential employee abknts to go thru the credit check, and it would prevent employers from rejecting an applicant because of a bad credit. one was from a left thinking tank said 1 in 10 americans have been denied a job due to the information on their credit reports. people lots of times have bad credit for reasons they can't control or can't help. they might have a family calamity, going through a
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divorce, how their finances get impacted and their credit becomes worse through factors they may not be able to control. i spoke to senator warren a short time ago. >> there have been studies that show no correlation between your credit check, no or little correlation between your credit check and your ability to do the job. >> and senator warren is proposing an exemption for people who need clearance, some kind of security clearance to get their jobs. she's fine with them having to go through the credit checks but not people who have ordinary jobs who are maybe struggling with these problems that a lot of people go thru. want think to point out, there is opposition to this. someone from the national federation of independent business businesses, they say the credit checks are a important tool for potential employers for reasons that don't have much to do with people's finances. one of the people said employers can tell whether you've lied
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about a job you had in your past and they can tell through a credit check sometimes about a source of income, whether someone has lied about a job they had. they say these credit checks are an important screening tool and they don't want this bill to go through. >> what's the expectation? how likely is it the bill will become the law? >> that's a little unclear. senator warren introduced the bill yesterday. we're told it does not have bipartisan support in the senate yet, but this just got introduced so it's very early on in the process. not sure about the house side yet, either. there are some 40 organizations, though, advocacy groups for people seeking employment and things like that, and for others, that do support this bill. so there is a lot of support initially out there, outside of congress. how it fares in congress, that's another story. >> certainly is. all right, brian. thank you. as we told you earlier, the obamas won't be attending the winter olympic games in sochi, russia, in february. ? stead, some of the picks for the u.s. delegation seem to be a
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direct response to russia's controversial anti-gay laws. jay carney said just a few moments ago that the choices are only meant to reflect the diversity of the united states. joining us now is the formal olympal hockey winner caitlin cahow. you'll be part of the opening delegation attending the ceremonies. what is your initial reaction, for example, for having be selected by the president? >> well, first off, wolf, thanks for having me. it's an incredible thrill. a deep honor for me to represent my country. i did it at two olympics and i'm just thrilled to even be considered as part of this great group of delegates. i can't wait to go to russia and support team usa and show the nation and the world what american athletes are capable of and what we stand for back home. >> clearly, you'll be sending a message to the people of russia, especially those who support
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this anti-gay propaganda law that was recently enacted that has caused so much criticism around the world, right? >> absolutely. i think that the president's decision to send the delegation he has is definitely a statement. albeit, a respectful one in many ways. allowing the athletes to take centerstage and allowing the delegates to do their job and support them. at the same time, he is making a statement about what the united states will tolerate and the kind of rights that we espouse, and i think in addition to making statements in russia, it's a great opportunity for us to put the mirror to our own faces back home and say we have come a long way. it's been remark nl, but we have a lot more to do, and we'll take the enthusiasm and inspiration from the olympic games and bring it home and get back to work. >> you were never among those who were calling for a boycott of the winter olympic games because of the anti-gay laws in russia right now, right? you never supported any boycott?
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>> no, i didn't. in fact, in statements i made about this, likening the situation to jesse owens in germany. he didn't go over with the view he was going to protest and make a scene. he went over and competed peacefully and won and demonstrated the greatness of who he was. i think the athletes headed to sochi are there to do the best they can and compete and win and represent the country, and just show the greatness of american athletes. >> will you be making any statements, do you think, when you're in russia during the winter olympic games? supporting equal rights for gays and sending a direct message to the people of russia or will you be mostly on the sidelines watching the games, ice hockey in particular, and the other sporting events? >> my number one goal is to support the athletes. my teammates, all of team usa, and to represent my country with dignity. if that means making a statement, then so be it, but my main goal is to go over and be
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as supportive as i can and be in russia and have my presence demonstration that this sort of regulation won't be tolerated in the united states because we believe in dignity and equality. that's what we're sending over with our athletes, we're sending those values. >> i know your suffered some concussions and had some serious medical problems. how are you feeling right now, caitlin? >> actually, to be honest, i sat a three-hour long constitutional law exam, so i'm doing okay. as okay as i'd can do. i've had a really tough road with concussions, a serious injury, something i do hope to speak about as part of this delegation, but i'm doing great and looking forward to a great experience in russia. >> how did you do in that? i know you're at boston college law school. a graduate of harvard. how did you do on the exam the. >> i don't know. maybe we can give a shout out to my professor. it's blind grading, so i'm not sure it would help. i did pretty well. a lot of it was on the 14th
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amendment, so i feel like i have been pretty well versed as of late in a lot of these issues. >> we need another lawyer in the united states, as you well know, right? >> yeah, so i've heard. so i've heard. >> all right, caitlin, thanks very much. i know you'll do an excellent job representing all of us in sochi, in russia. enjoy the winter olympic games and cheer on our team. we'll all be cheering from back here as well. thanks so much for spending a few moments with us. >> thank you, wolf. a terrifying close call for a blind man and his service dog. cecil williams and his labrador retriever fell on a set of subway tracks in new york as a train was approaching. an alert mta employee ran over, told the man to lie still and not try to climb out. the conductor of the approaching train applied his brakes when he saw williams, but couldn't avoid running over the tracks where wi williams and his dog were lying. neither were seriously hurt.
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williams' girlfriend calls it all a miracle. >> this quick reminder, we need your votes for the top stories of 2013. go to cnn.com/yir for year in review. you'll see 20 of the biggest news stories of the past 12 months. we need you to choose ten. results will be announced online and on tv on december 30th. i'll see you at 5:00 p.m. in "the situation room." "newsroom" continues right now with brooke baldwin. >> here we go. i'm brooke baldwin. great to be with you. thank you for being with me. we're waiting for a big, big moment happening right now involving your wall lt. so in his very last move here, as the chairman of the federal reserve, ben bernanke will soon reveal whether he intends to pull back on the stimulus that has been keeping many investors very happy. whatever his decision, as we look at the big board,

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