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tv   Americas News Headquarters  FOX News  May 17, 2014 1:30pm-2:01pm PDT

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thanks so much for joining me. until next time, i hope you're learning to be more of a healthy you. new fallout over the scandal rocking the department of veterans affairs in the wake of allegations of a cover-up at veterans hospitals. secret lists denied treatment and the destruction of records. hello and welcome to "america's news headquarters." i'm arthel neville. so glad you could join me. robert petzel, the v.a.'s undersecretary of health, stepping down. but it's not enough for many lawmakers. molly henneberg is live in washington with more. so, molly, why did robert petzel step down? >> petzel was the v.a.'s undersecretary of health until yesterday when he resigned under
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pressure from veterans affairs secretary eric shinseki. petzel was set to retire later this year until shinseki pushed him out in the wake of numerous reports from across the country of v.a. employees cheating -- sorry, creating secret waiting lists and falsifying records to make it look like patients were seen quickly when they weren't. after petzel's resignation, the white house put out a statement saying, quote, the president supports secretary shinseki's decision. the president has asked secretary shinseki to conduct a review of veterans health administration practices and procedures at its facilities nationwide to ensure better access to care and that review is ongoing. shinseki said he's not going to step down and for now has the backing of president obama. >> i understand the republicans are saying more needs to be done to address health care for veterans. what do you know about that? >> gop senator john mccain for
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one says congress should give v.a. administrators more flexibility to hire and fire workers. and he says the v.a. itself may need a top-to-bottom fix. here's more. >> the v.a. is suffering from a systemic cultural problem that congress cannot resolve with piecemeal responses. what's needed is a total refocusing of the v.a. on its core mission, stretching from the top leadership all the way through to its career civil servants. >> the white house wants to wait for an inspector general's report before taking any action. but senator mccain says that could take many months and wants the president and congress to act now. >> molly, thank you very much for that report. speaking of the president, president obama expected to tap san antonio's mayor to become the next housing secretary. mayor julian castro has been mentioned as a potential
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democratic vice presidential candidate and also as a potential candidate for transportation secretary but he durned down that offer. if confirmed, kras trio would replace sean donovan who's leaving the office. the centers for disease control reporting on the first american to test positive for the mers virus by contagion, meaning he caught it from someone here in the u.s. you'll recall an indiana man contracted mers or middle eastern respiratory syndrome while working as a health care provider in saudi arabia. he brought it back to the u.s. now the cdc saying an illinois man who came in close contact with that man has also tested positive for this potentially deadly virus. he did not require or seek medical care. however, health officials have been monitoring his health as part of the investigation. a huge effort now under way
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to fully contain a massive fire tearing through southern california. crews managing to fully contain five of the fires that have burned more than 20,000 acres and forced thousands of people from their homes. this comes as a 57-year-old man has been charged with arson in one of the many wildfires that swept through san diego this week. he has pleaded not guilty. dominic di-natale near the scene of one of the biggest fires in san marcos, california. dominic, this has been so harrowing and trying for the residents. how are they feeling now? >> it's frustration because some residents have been allowed back as evacuations get lifted. but particularly with the cocos fire which was behind me here in san marcos, they're not sure which direction that's going. they think it's heading towards escondido. the wind is going to push it in that direction.
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it could be just the other side of the 15. we'll have coordinates from later on knowing the precise location. but a couple of other communities affected as well. you have to remember what's happened here in the past five or six months. we've had 100% increase in the number of wildfires. that is just absolutely huge. and cal fire saying, look, it is far from over. >> it should be a wake-up call for all residents that dwell in southern california that this is just the beginning of what's going to be a very, very serious fire season. we normally do not have the type of fire behavior during the month of may. we see this type of behavior in october. >> because of the efforts of the fire crews, we've actually seen large containment for a lot of the fires. in the early part of the day, there were six major blazes they were worried about. we're now down to four. >> they're working very hard and everybody appreciates their hard work.
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dominic, every wildfire season has its own characteristics. what have we learned so far from this season? >> you know what, i think it's the intensity and the speed that these actually arose. they just came up in about the space of a week and we had 11 at one point. that's intense. people here are saying this is reminiscent of what we saw with the rancho bernardo fire back in 2007. that was a fire that burned intensely for eight days. and residents feel we could be going in that direction again. fire officials say this is going to be a tough season which is while you'll see that they are committing 1,400 firefighters to this area, just in case any of these flare up and it does get as bad as they fear it will. but plenty more wildfires to come throughout the summer. back to you. >> dominic di-natale, thank you very much for that update. meanwhile, african leaders meeting in paris, including nigeria he's president, goodluck jonathan, and agreeing to wage
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war on the terror group boko haram, currently holding nearly 300 schoolgirls hostage. the regional leader is agreeing to share intelligence and coordinate military action. meanwhile, demonstrations are under way in nigeria where protesters, including "bring back our girls" campaigners are demanding the government do more to find the schoolgirls that were abducted more than a month ago. and gunfire and bomb blasts echo across a russian stronghold in eastern ukraine. it is the latest round of fighting between ukrainian security forces and russian rebels in the city of slavyansk. the violence breaking out ahead of a new round of peace talks. greg is in ukraine with more. >> there is fighting across the region, armed pro-russian separatists bringing one of their leaders after a shootout at a ukrainian border post, the
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leader was coming back into ukraine from russia. and, yes, in that town of slavyansk, more trouble. overnight, sustained gunfire was reported. our contacts say some of the worst experience there in a while. the government claims that rebels are manning dozens of checkpoints around that town. ukrainian military is around the town, too, that's what's leading to trouble. just this past week, seven ukrainian soldiers were killed when they were ambushed by militants. it's trying to tamp this down, the aim of yet another round of talks here in the region. they involve national officials and local leaders, complaints about kiev were aired but as none of the militants' leaders were invited, most analysts don't hold out much hope for these. what we found in the city of
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mariopol, it is calm thanks to local steelworkers out on the streets. a deal has been struck with separatists there and they were nowhere to be found when we were there. the workers' boss is openly opposing breaking away for this region. for one thing, it is not good for business. we'll be looking to see if its approach spreads elsewhere. >> greg, thanks a lot. want to remind you, we'll take a closer look at the crisis in ukraine on sunday morning with maria bartiromo. she will talk with chair of the human rights foundation. that's sunday morning "futures" live tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern. they are supposed to help the people who need help most. why is the obama administration using your tax dollars to pay for health care subsidies for people who may not necessarily
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qualify? growing outrage on that coming up next. plus, heartbreak and anger following that devastating cold mine explosion in turkey. coming up, the national outcry and growing calls for their president's resignation. [announcer] if your dog can dream it, purina pro plan can help him achieve it. ♪ driving rock/metal music stops ♪music resumes music stops ♪music resumes [announcer] purina pro plan's bioavailable formulas deliver optimal nutrient absorption. [whistle] rina pro plan. nutrition that performs.
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brown versus board of education, the landmark supreme court decision that declared separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. and the arizona diamondbacks hiring tony la russa as their chief baseball officer, hoping the hall of fame manager can help turn around the team after one of the worst starts in franchise history. new numbers now showing a majority of americans still oppose the health care law. according to a brand-new fox news poll, 53% of americans think the law was a mistake. that's slightly down from last month. this comes on the heels of a new report that the government is providing health care subsidies to over 1 million people who may not necessarily qualify for it. matthew is the editor in chief of "the washington free beacon." nice to see you. apparently the discrepancies we're talking about, it's
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resulting from the income that people are listing on their insurance applications as well as what was on file with the irs. i want to talk to you, matthew, about who's getting them and what's the fix. tell us what you know. >> sure. this is a "washington post" story that came out. it found that up to 1 million people have had discrepancies between the numbers -- their income numbers they're putting on the insurance forms and then the forms that are filed with the irs. and so i guess this is why the irs has to hire so many agents with the passage of obamacare because now comes the problem of having to sort through who was doing this intentionally, who was just doing this mistakenly and were there cases of actual fraud here? >> basically the way i understand it -- tell me if i have this right -- they don't have the proper technology in place to confirm the income, so i could put perhaps whatever income level -- unfortunately there are some dishonest people out there. and i can say, this is my income level.
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and your subsidies are based on your income level, is that right? >> i think you have it right. of course, there are so many technological problems with obamacare. remember, they're still working on the back end of so it kind of makes sense to me that they wouldn't have any means of automatically checking for these discrepancies. but i will say, whatever you have kind of this means-tested welfare program like social security disability insurance or the earned income tax credit, you have cases of fraud. it wouldn't surprise me that we'll discover cases of fraud with the obamacare exchanges as well. >> i'm sure they're going to be on top of that. and one of the key people there with the administration overseeing health care, they say they want to point out that tens of millions of pieces of data have been processed successfully. let me pull up another fox news poll on president obama on health care. take a look for me, matthew. 43% approve, which is a slight improvement from two months ago. and 54% disapprove, which is a
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slight decrease from two months ago. so how do you assess this? over time, do you think americans are becoming more accepting of the affordable care act? >> well, i think the change in the polls -- the change is real. but i think it's not significant enough at this point to say that americans are rushing to embrace obamacare or the affordable care act. this is a law that majorities have opposed for years now. it's unlikely to me that they're going to start embracing it wholeheartedly, especially when we see these stories about the -- up to 1 million people filing incorrect insurance forms and let's not forget the people who have been kicked off of their health insurance plans because of obamacare. >> there is a group of health care experts close to the white house, they're urging the obama administration to appoint a new ceo who would oversee the online health insurance exchanges and basically safeguard the next open enrollment period that begins in six months. the idea would be to take the
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exchanges in the hands of a ceo who has private sector experience who could run them as a true e-commerce site. do you think this is a good idea, matthew? >> it would have been a good idea if it had been placed when they actually passed the law and started -- >> matthew, that's not what i asked. go ahead and speak to what's happening now. you're giving me negative answers. work with me here. give me honest answers, not just spin. go for it. >> this is my honest answer. i don't think it will work now. i think it's too little too late. the obama administration has never really rushed to hire people from the private sector. so i'm not certain they'll do it here now. that's not spin. that's my honest answer. >> let's take a look at another fox news poll. here's the e request, in the end, will the health care law be a good thing for the country? as you can see, a more positive response now as compared to february with 47% saying it is a
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good thing and 46% saying it's a bad thing. it's kind of still split down the middle. so once all the glitches are gone, all corrections are made, nothing's going to have a clean bill of health, if you will, can obamacare be a good thing or not, matthew? take it away. >> i think it will be a good thing for people who get health insurance that they didn't have. in many cases, they're going to pay more for that insurance when they're promised they would pay less and they're not getting the consumer choice that i think an effective health care reform would have. >> next time, i'm going to have someone else on with you who's more favorable of obamacare. i'm not working for obamacare but in the effort of trying to present a fair and balanced interview here, i had to give you some of those questions. thanks for being here, matthew.
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>> anytime. after that grew in execution attempt in oklahoma, one western lawmaker now has another idea -- death by firing squad. here's why he thinks it's more humane. thinks it's more humane. plus we'll take a look at nearly three quarters of a century but a wartime momentum finally reaches it's destination. so the question is what took so long? we'll tell you when we come back. stick around. [ female announcer ] there's a gap out there. that's keeping you from the healthcare you deserve. at humana, we believe if healthcare changes, if it becomes simpler... if frustration and paperwork decrease... if grandparents get to live at home instead of in a home... the gap begins to close. so let's simplify things. let's close the gap between people and care. ♪
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trwith secure wifie for your business. it also comes with public wifi for your customers. not so with internet from the phone company. i would email the phone company to inquire as to why they have shortchanged these customers. but that would require wifi. switch to comcast business internet and get two wifi networks included. comcast business built for business. it took more than seven decades but a postcard has finally reached it's destination. a missouri soldier was trying to send a postcard to his sister in
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1941. but somehow it ended up getting lost in the jefferson city post office. earlier this month, a postal worker discovered the mail and decided to track the recipient. thanks to facebook, the post office was able to find a family member and the card arrived at its destination this week. very nice. >> a state legislator is calling for a return to firing squads to carry out executions. the proposal coming after last month's botched legal injection in oklahoma. republican paul ray in the utah state house says he believes death by firing squad is more humane and wants to offer inmates that option. live in our new york city newsroom with more. brian, give us the details on this. >> you remember that botched legal injection in oklahoma last month. convicted murder's execution by lethal injection failed due to a
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blown vein. he died 43 minutes later of an apparent heart attack. now the representative paul ray wants to introduce legislation in january offering inmates in utah the firing squad option saying it's more humane. ray telling the associated press, quote, the prisoner dies instantly. it sounds really bad, but the minute the bullet hits your heart, you're dead. there's no suffering. utah eliminated executing inmates by firing squad in 2003. the last coming in 2010 when ronny lee gardener was shot and killed by five police officers armed with 30 caliber rifles. the proposal would give all inmates the option of choosing this over injections. >> to offer people a choice. do you prefer prison or flogging, you prefer exile or fines, do you prefer to be executed this way or that way, may in a sense be incompatible
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with the very meaning of punishment itself. >> proponents know legal injections have been botched at a higher percentage than any other method of execution. they say it's cheaper and less painful but there could be suffering saying inmates could move or shooters miss their target causing a slow and painful death. since 1976, just three people, all in utah have been put to death by firing squad in the u.s. and in that time, more than 1150 have died from lethal injection. >> oh, boy, brian, thank you very much for that report. and that's going to do it for us right now. i'll be back with more news in one hour from now. but don't go anywhere because "the five" is up next. i make a lot of purchases for my business. and i get a lot in return with ink plus from chase like 60,000 bonus points when i spent $5,000 in the first 3 months >> i make a lot of purchases for my business and i get a lot in return. and i earn 5 times the rewards on internet, phone services and at office supply stores.
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be there you must be. >> hello, everyone. i'm andrea tantaros, along with kimberly guilfoyle, it's 5:00 in new york city. and this is "the five." >> well, president obama made this pledge to our veterans during his first year in office. >> and we're keeping our promise to fulfill another top priority at the va. cutting the red tape in efficient sys that cause backlogs and delays in the claims process. america will not let you down. >> we'll take care of our own. >> nearly five years later the commander and chief has a broken sacred trust with many of our veterans still without health care and someh


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