tv News Nation MSNBC August 16, 2013 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
continues to follow the bloodshed in egypt. reports of more than 80 people killed during today's protests in cairo and other egyptian cities as well. that's on top of more than the 600 killed in wednesday's crackdown. today's deaths come as thousands of supporters of the ousted president morsi poured into the streets across egypt answering calls by the muslim brotherhood for a, quote, day of rage. nbc's ayman mohyeldin joins us live from cairo. what's happening right now, ayman? >> reporter: well, a few different things that are unfolding. you are looking at those images on your screen of that building that was on fire. that was near ramsey square. it is an office building, we understand, belonging to a major construction company here in egypt. that has been set on fire. according to egyptian state television, as fire trucks were trying to get to the front lines to try to put out those fires, they came under attack. it's not clear yet who was behind the shooting, but they
have been hindered in being able to address that. now, this comes as a curfew here in cairo has gone into effect. it's been about an hour now since the beginning of the third night of a military-imposed curfew. very few people out on the streets. the government saying tonight it was really going to enforce that curfew and arrest anyone who remains out. obviously, that is coming on the heels of a very violent day, one that saw a lot of confrontation between supporters of the ousted president mohamed morsi and the muslim brotherhood and anti-coup coalition on one side and police and security forces on the other. keep in mind, we are still getting these death toll numbers. as you mentioned, in one area where all of these marches were supposed to converge, the death toll in that area alone stands at 80. tens more killed nationwide. it is very much a challenging security situation as it unfolds in the next couple of hours, craig. >> ayman, at this point, any sign of -- or word from the general? >> reporter: none whatsoever.
in fact, he has kind of taken a little bit of a backseat, at least in the eyes of the public, since this interim civilian government has been put in place. there's no doubt he still carries a tremendous amount of weight. a lot of the security decisions in the country are certainly being done or at least being carried out with close consultation with the military. right now most of the public comments are coming from the presidency and the prime minister, and they have vowed to crack down on any type of violence, including the use of live ammunition, if necessary, to try and thwart the type of attacks we are seeing on police stations, on government buildings, or public properties like those that are now on fire. >> what can we expect this weekend there? >> reporter: we can certainly expect more protests. the muslim brotherhood says it is remaining defiant. they have called off their protests for this evening. they want everyone to go home because of the curfew. they say they will call for more protests in the coming days. they will not stop street demonstrations until all of the events of the last six or seven weeks are reversed and this
country returns to a constitutional legitimacy, as they claim. obviously, that's going to be a serious challenge given the fact that the security situation across the country continues to break down with these daily clashes, these daily confrontations, and more importantly a real threat to a lot of the government institutions, a lot of the stability of daily life for ordinary egyptians in the millions. >> ayman mohyeldin in cairo for us. thank you. i want to bring in "time" magazine senior correspondent michael crowley. obvious question, how real is the possibility of a full-fledged civil war in egypt? >> well, i think it's real. it depends on how you define civil war, i suppose. for time.com this morning i wrote a piece in which analysts were envisioning something. maybe you would call it more like an insurgency where you had, you know, bombings,
assassinations, a lot of ongoing violence around the country. you know, there are different estimates to how much support the islamist movement has. i'm not sure that -- if you look at some of the low-end numbers, it's enough to say you have a full-fledged civil war. i think it's going to get worse before it gets better. there's likely to be more violence. this kind of crackdown is likely to produce a backlash. so, yes, short answer to the question, the possibility for widespread ongoing mass violence and chaos seems to be rising. >> republican senators john mccain and lindsey graham, michael, just issued a statement a short time ago. i'm going to read it in part here. just a snippet. the interim civilian government and security forces backed up unfortunately by the military are taking egypt down a dark path, one that the united states cannot and should not travel with them. they urge president obama to cut off aid. they go on to, in that statement, urge president obama
to cut off aid. has the united states, have we lost our influence entirely in that part of the world, in egypt specifically? >> almost all of it. you know, i think that the obama administration must surely judge that there's some influence left or some sliver or some hope of having influence because they clearly want to keep this aid going. i'm a little surprised, i guess, at this point that they haven't at least talked more explicitly about suspending it or cutting some of it, but you know, that aid really doesn't buy what it used to. that number was set around 1980, and it's never been increased for inflation. so its value when you measure for inflation has really dropped. i forget the percentage. i think it might be about 50% of what it was worth originally. and more importantly, it's completely dwarfed by the, i believe, $10 billion to $12 billion being pumped into egypt right now by saudi arabia and the united emirates.
those are the people who have real influence. as i wrote today on time.com, the obama administration's diplomacy might be better directed at those countries, at saudi arabia and the uae and trying them to get messages to the general. >> just quickly, michael, and i know this is a big question, but in the simplest of terms, how did we get here in egypt? what did we misjudge, specifically? >> well, that's a complicated question, and different people would tackle it different ways. one answer that comes to mind right away is a criticism that really goes against the entire american foreign policy establishment of both parties going back, you know, at least a generation, which is that we were willing to abide by the dictatorship, essentially military dictatorship of hosni mubarak and never really pushing very hard. although, george bush tried it a little before backing away, on political and economic reforms that would allow egypt to grow
as a country, have a more liberal political system. in the name of stability, we really sort of turned a blind eye to a lot of repression and economic backwardization. now, you know, one school of thought is it's all coming home to roost. it's kind of too late for us to do anything about it. we just have to watch the chaos unfold and sort itself out, unfortunately. >> michael crowley, "time" magazine. always appreciate your insight. >> thank you. back here, congressional lawmakers are vowing more oversight amid a new report that the nsa routinely broke privacy rules in its controversial surveillance program. according to "the washington post," the nsa exceeded its legal authority thousands of times since 2008 with unauthorized surveillance of americans or foreign targets on u.s. soil. senate judiciary chairman pat leahy says he plans to hold another hearing on the nsa surveillance
program. house speaker nancy pelosi called the report, quote, extremely disturbing in a statement saying in part,
congress must conduct rigorous oversight to ensure that all incidents, all incidents of noncompliance are reported to the oversight committees and the fisa court in a timely and comprehensive manner and that appropriate steps are taken to ensure violations are not repeated. the report stems from an nsa audit obtained by the post from leaker edward snowden. kelly o'donnell joins me now. what kind of
privacy violations are we talking about? >> what we're learning so far, these are not instances of eavesdropping on conversations or reading e-mails. it's not that kind of thing. it's that big sweeping data collection we've been hearing a lot about in the last few months. phone numbers or those kind of data were swept up while the nsa was looking for foreign intelligence targets. sometimes this was sort of sloppy, unintentional mistakes where they put in the wrong area code and swept up a bunch of numbers that way or they had some sort of break in their own
procedure. some of it, apparently, unintentional. but in some instances, the audits found that there were cases where they went too far and sometimes the fisa court that does oversee this pushed back and said they needed to adjust what they were doing. it is still unsettling to many members of congress because it's yet another new piece of information about how the nsa works. these are its own internal audits that were done. edward snowden provided these documents at first to "the washington post." the nsa is responding, although not going point by point through these new allegations but acknowledging that these kinds of mistakes do happen. when i contacted the nsa, they told me that the 2700 instances in one year was actually above average, higher than they normally see. so again, some of this is technical. some of it is sort of kind of the every day mess-ups that happen in a workplace. in this instance, it's involving issues that are really sacred to people, privacy and what the government can know about us.
>> kelly o'donnell, thank you so much. do appreciate that. i want to bring in an attorney with the aclu for national security programs. thank you for joining us on a friday afternoon, sir. you guys have filed a lawsuit challenging the nsa's phone surveillance program. what, if anything, do these new revelations mean for your case? >> well, i think these revelations underscore the need for greater oversight over the nsa and greater scrutiny by the courts. the revelations really highlight a few things. first of all, it's really shocking to see how many violations there were of surveillance laws that are extraordinarily per mmissiveper. these are laws that are hard to violate because they permit the nsa to do so much surveillance of americans' communications when they go into and out of the country that it's hard to understand how they violate them on average, if you take an average, about seven times every single day. but the other thing that the revelations really highlight, i
think, is that there's a lack of real oversight both by congress but also by the foreign intelligence surveillance court, which is a secret court that's supposed to oversee the nsa. in a companion article to the one that you've been talking about, the chief judge of the court recognized that the fisa court is not -- doesn't have the a capacity to scrutinize the government's claims. that's troubling. >> let's talk about that. this article that you mentioned, it was published this week in "the washington post" as well. it focused on the fisa court's ability to oversee the intelligence community. again, for our viewers at home, fisa oversees requests for surveillance warrants by federal law enforcement. in that article, quote, the chief judge of the foreign intelligence service court said that the court lacks the tools to independently verify how often the government surveillance breaks the court's rules that aim to protect americans' privacy. without taking drastic steps, it also cannot check the voracity
of the government's assertions that the violations its staff members report are unintentional mistakes. that's prettystriking. >> that is strikin b the central defense that the government has been making for years about these surveillance programs -- in fact, when this program was before the supreme court last year, the government argued, don't let the aclu's clients challenge this program because we have a secret court that's doing the job of the courts as a whole. now we've learned that court itself doesn't feel that it has the capacity to really meaningfully oversee the national security agency's surveillance. that's extraordinarily troubling. it signals we need to restore our system of checks and balances to keep our surveillance activities consistent with the constitution and consistent with the laws as congress wrote them. >> i want to play what president obama said a week ago at that news conference at the white house and talk about it on the other side. here's a snippet from the news
room. >> i am comfortable that the program currently is not being abused. i'm comfortable that if the american people examined exactly what was taking place, how it was being used, what the safeguards were, that they would say, you know what, these folks are following the law and doing what they say they're doing. >> that's the president august 9th. now, while this report discusses specifically errors made by the nsa, with regards to what we just heard the president say there, what's the likelihood that he simply just didn't know about the errors? >> you know, i really can't say, but it's very difficult to square his statement with what we now know. you know, it's worth pointing out that apart from the violations, the real underlying problem with the nsa surveillance activities are not the abuses. although these abuses are shocking and shock even those who have been studying this area for quite some time, the real
problem are the underlying laws. those laws allow the government to intercept the communications of americans. that is, to listen to our phone calls, read our e-mails in far more circumstances that the government has acknowledged in public. the american public needs to understand the consequences for our privacy that the nsa surveillance activities have, but we can't really understand them with government officials using misleading descriptions of the programs, descriptions that later turn out not to be true at all. >> alexander, thank you. have a great weekend. >> thank you. oklahoma students are now halfway through their first day of school since losing seven classmates in that violent tornado back in may. we'll go live to moore, oklahoma, after this. >> also, the cia finally admitting that area 51 does exist. newly declassified documents make no mention of aliens, though. so what's really there?
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the seattle police are crashing this year's annual seattle hemp fest, but the police won't be there to make arrests. instead, they'll be handing out free doritos. the police department wants to hand out informational material on washington state's new marijuana law, which legalizes pot for users over the age of 21. they figured, what better way than attaching it to free bags of chips given to the hungry masses? police are calling it operation orange fingers. the festival runs through the weekend. the cops will be on hand with the chips tomorrow.
bob young is with "the seattle times." bob, obviously the police are having a little fun with this. this is one tweet they put out. please ignore maliciously false reports that we're giving out bugles at seattle hemp fest. we would never do that. but apparently there's also a message that they're trying to get across. what kind of misconceptions or misinformation about the state's new law are they trying to clear up? >> well, they are, of course, having fun with it. they're pointing people to their faq, which answers a whole bunch of questions and does so in a cheeky way. it went viral for that reason. but for instance, they want to remind people that it's still not legal to consume in public. they want to remind people that it remains a crime to sell marijuana. and they want to remind people that it's a crime for minors still to consume or possess
marijuana. i think those are some of the major points they're trying to get across. and, you know, this is a good pr move for them. you know, this department is not exactly a bunch of hippies wearing daisies in their hair. they're under an agreement with the federal department of justice to reform their practices because of a pattern of excessive force. so, you know, this is just one more positive pr move, i think, on their part as well as a practical -- >> by the way, did you say marriage what now? i think it's mary j. what now, no? >> yeah, it's just a matter of pronouncing it. >> any danger this kind of thing trivializes marijuana use and its risk even though it is legal right now there in washington
state? >> i don't think so, because again, the police are emphasizing that it's -- they're taking very serious the matter, they say, of minors possessing marijuana. so they're not trivializing that. and you also have to remember that things are a little different out here in the most liberal city in the left corner of the country. the context here is that in 2003 the voters of seattle passed a measure that made enforcing pot laws against adults just for possession the city's lowest law enforcement priority. so we've had decriminalization in effect for years here. you know, our mayor, our city attorney are speaking at hemp fest. they have in the past. elected officials are very welcoming of this new industry. >> all right. bob, thank you so much. do appreciate that. up next on "news nation," --
>> a network that spends millions of dollars to spotlight hillary clinton is a network with an obvious bias, and that's a network that won't be hosting a single republican primary debate. [ applause ] >> republican officials move forward with its nbc/cnn debate boycott, but does it really mean anything, seeing as though rnc has never approved or sponsored a network debate? we're going to get the first read after this. it guides you to a number that will change your
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25 people were killed, including seven students who were hunkered down with their teacher at plaza towers. seven crosses, each bearing the name of one of those children killed in the storm, now serve as a makeshift memorial at the site where the school once stood. teachers say getting back to school will help the survivors heal. >> they need to come in here and know there's going to be books to read, car pepets to sit on, e chairs, their own desks. >> nbc's jay gray is live in moore, oklahoma. first of all, how are students, how are teachers doing today? >> reporter: hey, craig. it's been a rough day. you make a great point. it's not only the kids here. it's the teachers. it's the staff, the faculty at these schools that are also are having a tough and emotional time here. they are back in class, though. that's the good news. getting some structure, some routine back. a lot of people have healed. that's very important as they work through this difficult recovery.
there were a lot of long hugs, as you might imagine, before parents let their kids go today at the new plaza towers elementary school. it's a makeshift classroom right now. they'll continue to work on restoring and rebuilding both this school and briarwood elementary. but that's going to take some time. right now they're not focused on that effort. they're more focused on the recovery that continues. >> jay, the schools where the kids are today, do they have storm shelters? >> they have areas where they can gather. they do have safe places. i wouldn't call them shelters, but they're re-enforced areas where the kids can gather. so that's the good news. plaza towers location is in the back of a junior high school. it's a building that wasn't being used. so that school does have an area where the students and faculty gather if a storm is moving in. so they do have safe places. that was something that they had to have before they agreed on a spot to house these students as they come back. >> jay gray from moore, oklahoma. jay, thanks.
still ahead here, reaction to the pentagon's new plan to fight sexual assault in the military. and why some say it's not enough to actually solve the problem. plus, a west virginia judge accused of having an affair with the secretary and then using his position on the bench to frame her husband for crimes that he never committed. it's just one of the things that we thought you should know. so i'm checking out the jetta. 34 hwy mpg. check. no-charge scheduled maintenance. check. and here's the kicker... 0% apr for 60 months. and who got it? this guy. and who got it? this guy. and who got it? this guy. that's right... [ male announcer ] it's the car you won't stop talking about. ever. hurry in to the volkswagen best. thing. ever. event. and get 0% apr for 60 months, now until september 3rd. that's the power of german engineering. [ male announcer ] clearly this isn't one of those speed-eating contests.
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in today's political postscript, we continue to follow developments in egypt where there are reports of more than 80 people killed during protests today. that as supporters of ousted president mohamed morsi answered calls by the muslim brotherhood for a day of rage. today's bloodshed follows wednesday's crackdown on morsi supporters that left more than 600 dead. president obama condemned that violence yesterday. >> the united states strongly
condemns the steps that have been taken by egypt's interim government and security forces. we deplore violence against civilians. >> the president canceled next month's joint military exercises with egypt but did not cancel $1.3 billion in annual aid to egypt. he also did not call the egyptian military's ouster of democratically elected president mohamed morsi a coup. joining me live now, nbc news senior political editor mark murray. mark, the president increasingly under fire on that last point especially. in his column today, "washington post's" eugene robinson writing, there may be little the united states can do to end the salve laj bloodshed, but at least our nation can be loyal to our ideals by bearing witness top the truth. in this, president obama has failed. a day after egypt's military-backed interim
government slaughtered hundreds of protesters, obama could still not bring himself to call what is happening a coup. mark, does the president have good political options here? >> no, he doesn't. that's one of the frustrating things. eugene robinson in his column made that point, but one of the things according to u.s. law, if you declare what had gone on in egypt a coup, all of the sudden than $1.3 billion, $1.5 billion in aid goes away. now, there's a good question on whether the united states has leverage with that amount of money, whether if that aid goes away that somehow egypt can get that money from other sources. though are all parts of the debate right now. your original question is that right now the united states has very few good options. that's why this whole situation is so frustrating to many. >> when congress comes back from recess s how real is the possibility that they are going
to once again attempt to cut off aid to egypt? >> well, it's very possible they could. all the statements that i'm starting to see that have come out today from senators john mccain, senator lindsey graham, senator ted cruz, are all calling for this cutting of aid to egypt. the question is whether that could actually pass and also pass over president obama's veto pin, if he decided to veto such a situation. it's also important to see what the situation is playing out in egypt when congress does come back on september 9th. of course, the situation there looks really bad right now. maybe it improves. overall, this is a mess and a tragedy. >> let's pivot here and talk about the vote this morning, the rnc vote. delegates at a meeting of the republican national committee voting just a few hours ago to boycott any 2016 presidential debates sponsored by nbc and cnn if the networks go ahead with plans for a mini series and documentary on hillary clinton, who is seen, of course, as a likely democratic candidate.
cnn responded today saying in part, the project is in the very early stages of development. therefore, speculation about the final program is just that. we encouraged a e ed all intere parties to wait until the premiere before judgments are made about it. unfortunately, the rnc was not able to do that. nbc previously released a statement saying, nbc news is completely independent of nbc entertainment and has no involvement in this project. mark, since the rnc has never approved or funded primary debates, what's the practical effect of today's vote? >> that's a great question, craig. in 2008 and 2012, all the primary debates on the republican side and also on the democratic side actually came with the rnc not sanctioning the events. for example, in 2011, nbc partnered with politico to put on the debate. the rnc didn't have a role.
you could make the argument that this is more of a symbolic vote. however, what we have tried to see is that the rnc is trying to take a more active role on its debates. rnc chairman has previously said they had way too many debates in 2012. they want to be able to whittle those down. to be able to do that, you need to have fewer debates. i would make the point in 2008, there were some 20 or more democratic debates. that did not seem to hurt the party in that presidential election cycle. >> all right, mark murray from d.c. have a good weekend. >> thanks. you, too. the pentagon announced a new plan to combat sexual assaults in the military, but some lawmakers say it does not go far enough. among other things, it calls for expanding legal advocacy programs in each branch to give sexual assault victims legal representation. it also calls for ensuring pretrial investigative hearings that are actually conducted by a military lawyer. enforcing policies banning inappropriate relationships between recruiters and trainers and their recruits and trainees.
gives commanders the option to reassign or transfer a unit member accused of sexual assault. it also calls for regular reports from an inspector general. in a statement, new york senator kristen gillebrand said in part, quote, these are positive steps forward, but it is not the leap forward required to solve the problem. it is time for congress to seize the opportunity, listen to the victims and create an independent objective and non-biased military justice system worthy of our brave men and womens' service. what's your take on whether these steps go far enough? >> that's correct. unfortunately the steps are not substantive change. they're really just small tweaks around the march gin. they're not the fundamental
reform we need to see in order to address the crisis and in order to fix a broken military justice system. you really have to start with the foundation. senator gillebrand is speaking about removing the ability of commanders to make that unilateral decision on whether a case goes to trial. i think if you look at it in one perspective, from the civilian perspective, and say if there's a person in a job and that person is sexually assaulted by a coworker, and even if that coworker perhaps to be their immediate supervisor, it's the general manager of that business, of that organization that gets to make a decision on whether the criminal case goes forward. then it makes a lot of sense why victims don't want to report. they don't want their boss to make a decision about an investigation. they don't want their boss to be the one to look at the witness statements and see the evidence, which sometimes is very graphic and personal. so that makes a lot of sense. >> there are a lot of folks who have been following the story, reading the story, watching us cover this story, who really may not understand what the
opposition is to a number of these suggestions that your group have made, that some of the senators have made. what has been the opposition? folks who are opposed to some of these ideas, what do they say? >> they often say it will undermine good order and discipline. that's a catch phrase the military likes to use. but they haven't been able to articulate exactly how or why good order and discipline would be undermined by allowing independent military prosecutors to examine the evidence and make the call. if you really look at the numbers, we have 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact last year alone. that undermines good order and discipline. >> 26,000. again, that's the reported number, reported being the operative word. while the criticism has been that these rules don't go far enough, do you think that with what was suggested today, will they at least encourage more women, perhaps, to come forward? >> well, we think that there has to be trust in the system again.
our military leadership has acknowledged that our service members don't trust the system. they don't trust that anything will be done. in fact, 50% of victims -- female victims who didn't report said they didn't do so because they thought nothing would happen with their case. they didn't want their workplace, their boss to become involved. you really have to take measures that fundamentally restructure the system so that service members feel confident in it and trust it. >> thank you. >> thank you. still ahead, no girls on the gridiron. we're going to talk to the ohio seventh grader who's now fighting for a chance to join her middle school football team. we'll have that for you straight ahead. also, coming out on camera. wwe superstar darren young on what compelled him to reveal his sexuality to a tmz photographer. what he told matt lauer on an exclusive interview on "today." is like hammering.
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blade runner oscar pistorius is expected to face new charges. that tops our look at stories around the news nation today. the charges come from two accidental shootings unrelated to the fatal shooting of his girlfriend reeva steenkamp. south africa's national prosecutor would not comment on any new charges but confirmed pistorius will be indicted for premeditated murder on monday and a trial date for those new charges will be set for sometime early next year. hannah anderson has been spotted in public for the first time since she was kidnapped. she thanked supporters at a fundraiser yesterday. meanwhile, court documents show police who searched suspect james dimaggio's home found fire bombs, ammunition, and letters from hannah. no details about those letters were given. pro wrestling star darren young is speaking out about how he surprised a cameraman and
came out that he was gay. he told the cameraman he was day at an airport wednesday and said if a gay wrestler could succeed in it the wwe -- on the "today" show, he said he'd been suppressing his feelings for years. >> i felt like it was the right place and the right time. i feel by coming out i'm going to make a big difference in a lot of people's lives. >> world wrestling entertainment said it was proud of young for coming out. young said that nba star jason collins gave him advice on going public in the sports world. an ohio seventh grader has been told she can't play football for her school because she's a girl. mckayla jenkins has been playing rec league ball in her area for years now. but her school district doesn't allow girls to play in games or participate in contact drills. the superintendent says the policy does not violate title nine saying in part, quote, we have opportunities for girls, but those opportunities do not
include contact sports. mckayla says that's not fair. she says that she's practiced and she should be given the same opportunity as boys. mckayla jenkins joins me live now from columbus. mb mckayla, good to see you. first of all, what position do you play? >> i play receiver on offense and safety on defense. >> receiver on offense, safety on defense. why do you want to play football for the school? >> mostly because it helps me gain confidence and be more social. it lets me interact with people, and it helps me get up when i get down instead of just taking it and laying there. >> what are your friends saying to you? have you gotten feedback from some of your friends about what you're trying to do?
>> some of my friends say it's pretty cool that i get to do this so i can play football, but they also think it's unfair that i can't play just because i'm a girl. and that comes from the boys, too, not just some of the girls. >> what do you say to that? what school officials and what some of your friends apparently are say to you that, you know, you really shouldn't be out there because you're a girl. >> i don't think that's right. they should -- we should be able to play any sport. it shouldn't matter what gender we are. if we want to go out and play a sport, we should be able to do that without people telling us that we can't just because we're this gender and we have to play that sport, even if we don't want to. >> school officials have said among other things they are concerned that if you're out there with a bunch of boys, that you might get hurt. what's your response to that?
>> well, i talked to one of the players from the columbus commons. she's not really that big. she's a receiver, too. she's -- i'm almost her size, and she plays professionally. honestly, i don't think safety issues are going to be that bad with me. i can take a pretty hard hit. >> all right. mckayla jenkins, we're going to leave it there. you keep us posted. let us know how this plays out. >> yes, i will. >> all right. have a good weekend. still ahead, our "news nation" gut check. the government finally acknowledging area 51, but they say it's not really what you think. plus, which member of the bush family has joined the growing list of people who'd like to see hillary clinton run for president? it's just one of the things we thought you should know. it guides you to a number that will change your
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there's a lot going on today. here are just a few of the things that we thought you should know. former president george w. bush's daughter barbara bush telling "people" magazine she hopes hillary clinton will run in 2016. bush called the former secretary of state, quote, unbelievably accomplished, but it not say for whom she'll vote because she doesn't know who clinton will be running against just yet. could be a family member. a judge in west virginia could go to jail for 20 years if he's convicted of trying to frame his romantic rival. michael thornsbury was arrested yesterday on conspiracy charges. authorities say that he tried among other things to have drugs planted in his secretary's husband's truck. the judge allegedly had an affair with the secretary back in 2008, but she ended the relationship. plus -- >> nice day, huh? >> great day. >> gorgeous.
>> have a good time. >> having a great time, as always. hello, everybody. >> just got this new video in of president obama and his family taking a bike ride on martha's vineyard earlier today. good to see both of them wearing their helmets there. the family, first family scheduled to leave sunday. those are just a few of the things we thought you should know. time for the "news nation" gut check. it has long been the subject of wild conspiracy theories about ufos, extra terrestrials, alien autopsies, and lots more. newly released cia documents officially confirm a site in the nevada desert known as area 51 does actually exist. so exactly what does the government say was happening there? here's nbc's mara schiavocampo. >> reporter: conspiracy theory confirmed. the u.s. government has finally recognized the existence of area
51. according to recently declassified documents obtained by the national security archive at george washington university, the military air base is 125 miles northwest of las vegas. until now, it never officially existed, with all references to the area redacted from government files. >> they're no longer pretending the place doesn't exist. that's the first step to getting a lot more information in the future. >> reporter: that secrecy made the site the frequent subject of conspiracy theories, particularly that it was used to secretly hide alien spaceships, dramatized on tv and in movies. >> take my word for it. there's no area 51. >> that's not entirely accurate. >> reporter: no mention of flying saucers in the documents, but instead a different kind of flying. turns out area 51 was created as a test site for the lockheed u-2, a spy plane used by the cia during the cold war. >> they didn't want the soviet union to know about it.
to ensure that, they wanted a facility where it could be tested away from everybody else. >> reporter: area 51 has seen some out of this world action. apollo astronauts trained there for the moon landing. a radar and missile electronics engineer at the site was forced to keep his work a secret from family and friends for decades. >> my wife was mad at me when she found out i was working 85 miles from home. she had no idea where we were and thought we were in some other country. >> that was nbc's mara schiavocampo reporting there. so what does your gut tell you? do you believe area 51 was just used to test u-2 spy planes and to train the apollo astronauts? or do you think the government is still hiding information about ufos? go to facebook.com/newsnation to vote. take a look at what the "news nation" is saying about yesterday's gut check, about that bitter custody battle over the 3-year-old known as baby veronica. we asked, should veronica should
be taken from her biological father and returned to her adoptive parents? 74% of you said yes. 26% said no. and that is going to do it for this edition of "news nation." i'm craig melvin. "the cycle" is up next. [ male announcer ] this is claira. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for her, she's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with her all day to see how it goes. [ claira ] after the deliveries, i was okay. now the ciabatta is done and the pain is starting again. more pills? seriously? seriously. [ groans ] all these stops to take more pills can be a pain. can i get my aleve back? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap.
day of rage. i'm krystal ball. a curfew is now in effect on the streets of cairo, but i have a feeling no one is turning in any time soon. there's a spy gate bomb shell. i'm ari melber inside this tiny studio in seattle. through the power of tv, you can see me right now. but who knows what i'm doing when the cameras are off. i'm toure in l.a. a bush daughter says hillary should run in 2016. wonder what uncle jeb thinks of that. and i'm abby huntsman. you've heard of alcohol, drugs, and even sexting. thanks, anthony weiner.
but work? at least it's friday. ♪ it is 9:00 p.m. in egypt, and darkness has fallen on another bloody day on the streets of cairo and other major cities. dozens have been killed since this morning. that's in addition to the 600 confirmed killed wednesday. the military has fired live ammunition into crowds of pro-morsi supporters. the protesters now call themselves the anti-coup coalition and have dubbed today as the friday of rage. here's how one eyewitness describes it. >> what was new today is that the helicopters started to shoot us innocent people when we were walking in groups. if you have a brother or a sister who has been