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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  January 20, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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progress-oh! [ female announcer ] with 40 delicious progresso soups at 100 calories or less, there are plenty of reasons people are saying "progress-oh!" share your progress-oh! story on progresso.com. i'm craig melvin, in for tamron hall. we're following new niegz from the christie administration from the latest allegations in the so-called bridge scandal. with less than 24 hours before he's set to take the oath of office for his second term, his administration is spending today, fighting allegation s frm the mayor of hoboken, new jersey, that sandy relief funds may have been tied to support of a private development project in
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the city. she responded to the claims made by mayor dawn zimmer this morning with a flat out denial. >> mayor zimmer's version of our conversation in may of 2013 is not only false. but is illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined. any suggestion, any suggestion that sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in new jersey is completely false. >> zimmer then responded to those remarks in a statement saying, quote, i am genuinely disappointed that the lieutenant governor has lived up to her promise that she would deny linking hoboken's application for sandy hazard mitigation funding with expediting a
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private development project. the latest back and forth comes after mayor zimmer's appearance on msnbc's up with steve kornacki. >> the lieutenant governor came to hoboken. she pulled me aside in the parking lot, and she said i know it's not right, i know this thing should not be connected. if you tell anyone, i'll deny it. so the bottom line is, it's not fair for the governor to hold sandy funds hostage for the city of hoboken because he wants me to give back to one private developer. >> the governor spokesman responded to that interview in a statement, reading, quote, it's very clear partisan politics are at play here as democratic mayors with a political ax to grind come out of the woodwork and try to get their faces on television. mayor zimmer is also confirming she met for several hours with paul fishen, who is investigating christie's office.
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she said she turn ed over a journal and other documents and is willing to testify under oath. meanwhile, in an interview published today on yahoo news, governor christie also talk eed directly in the scandal saying, quote, i'm going to lun from this. he said, i can't tell you what it is i'm going to learn, but i am intent on learning from this. we should note christie's interview with yahoo was done before zimmer went public with her allegations. michael isikoff continues to follow the story closely. we have this picture here from the daily news of the property for that redevelopment, which is at the heart of mayor zimmer's allegations. this is the picture here. there it is right there. you brought up an interesting point earlier that i thought needed to be repeated and perhaps even expanded upon, that while the lieutenant governor denies the allegation of sandy funding being tied to the project, she did acknowledge there was in fact a conversation she had with mayor zimmer in may
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of 2013. >> right. she acknowledged there was a conversation. she said that mayor zimmer's account of the -- version of the conversation was not accurate. she denied it. but she didn't say what took place during the conversation and did not address whether or not she raised the issue of this project, the rockefeller group project, which we know was represented by the law firm of david samson, one of governor christie's closest advisers, the chairman of the port authority. it looks like what we've got right now is a she said-she said account of a conversation. we know one of the shes, mayor zimmer, has already given her account to the u.s. attorney. it's inevitable that the lieutenant governor will be asked to give hers as well, and then the next step will be to see what, how sandy funding was decided upon by the christie administration, and that can
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only be done by subpoenaing all of the documents. so it looks inevitable at this point, given the u.s. attorney's interest in quickly talking to mayor zimmer, that we are going to see the christie administration's awarding of sandy funds come under federal scrutiny here, and that, i think, means this is going to go on for quite some time. and it's a very serious matter for the christie administration. >> mike, really quickly here, the meeting between mayor zimmer and the u.s. attorney on last evening, that takes it to a whole new level, does it not? >> absolutely. and in some ways, it's a game changer. we have gone from all yesterday, before that, the pushback from the christie camp is, this was a partisan investigation being run by democratic lawmakers who were out on a partisan witch hunt. and then once that statement came out last night from the mayor's office that she had met with the u.s. attorney, it now
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is an entirely new arena. one with a veteran u.s. attorney, paul fishman, who is known as a bipartisan guy. he's an obama appointee, obviously, but he's gone after democrats, he's gone after republicans. he's got a good track record, and known as a straight shooter. and that makes this a very different matter and makes it a lot harder for the christie folks to sort of portray all this as partisan politics. >> all right, our national correspondent, mike isikoff. joining me now live is lou greenwall. let's start there. i want to get your response, first of all, to the lieutenant governor's remarks from this morning. >> about the partisan investigation? >> yes. also the flat out denial as well, with regards to what mayor zimmer said. >> well, let me take the first
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part of the question, which is this is not a partisan investigation. the state legislature was overwhelmingly re-elected with the democratic majority. this is our responsibility. we have made this a bipartisan commission. it's a bipartisan investigatory committee. it's made up of republicans and democrats. it got unanimous support, which means every member of the republican party voted for the committee, voted for the make-up of the committee, and voted for the scope and the roles of the committee. the fact that it's, you know, that it's led by the democratic party is by the voters, just like governor christie was overwhelmingly re-elected by the voters. as to the other point i would make is there are a number of investigations taking place right now. obviously, the u.s. attorney's office, federal investigation into sandy funds through hud, the office of the inspector general is also inspecting this. these are all nonpartisan entities. this is thought being driven by politics. this is being driven by the
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actions of the front office that have led to the governor himself saying there was an abuse of power. this investigation is literally from our perspective nothing more than to see where did that abuse of power begin? what was the root of the abuse of power, and how deep did it go? >> you have the one panel investigating the lane closures near the george washington bridge, one in the lower chamber, one in the upper chamber in new jersey. are you going to form a separate committee to investigate the latest allegations by the mayor of hoboken, or will that be rolled into one of the existing investigations. >> the committee we established in the assembly, as we reorganized with the new assembly and new legislature coming in last tuesday, we created a new committee. we did not run this through the committee done in the last legislative session through the transportation committee because we recognize that this had become bigger than just a transportation issue. and that's really the scope is now much larger than that, so the committee we have established would allow us to
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look at this additional testimony coming in from mayor zimmer. let me just comment on that for a second. from our role of the committee, we are taking mayor zimmer at her words, and i'm actually very pleased that the lieutenant governor came out today and make an affirmative statement as well. we're taking the lieutenant governor and governor at their words. the investigation will lead to, not this he said/she said, but really where is the truth? >> how do you find that out? how do you find that out, speaker? >> i'm the majority leader. i don't want to upset our friend, the speaker. i wanted to clarify that, but i appreciate that. the one thing i would say, the way we find that out is to really go through the evidence. go through the evidence and determine as the documents come in from the subpoenas, as the people come in and testify, it will lead us down the path of where the truth is. and what would be very helpful in discovering the truth is that as the evidence is presented, unlike the last batch of e-mails, that they be presented
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without the redactions so we can see who knew what and who was involved in that chain of discussions and really lead us to, i think, who was involved in the decision making process and why they made the decisions that they made. >> all right, new jersey democratic assembly majority leader, not the speaker, lou greenwald, thank you so much. >> thank you very much. united states and russian sources are telling nbc news that russian authorities may be searching for as many as four female terrorists now, dispatched to carry out olympics related attacks. at least one of those women is believed to already be in the sochi area, and nbc news has obtained a document circulating around sochi that gives a detailed description of the woman. here it is right here. all of this follows yesterday's release of a chilling video from an islamic group threatening to attack the olympics. in the video, two men claim responsibility for last month's terror attacks that killed 34
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people in volgograd. meanwhile, the olympic torch relay passed through volgograd today as it heads toward sochi, some 400 miles away. richard engle is live in moscow. let's start with the suspected female terrorists being sought. what more can you tell us about them? >> well, we know the most about the one woman whose picture has been released to police that wanted poster is being circulated at airports. in hotels, in train stations in sochi. she's 22 years old, according to her police file. she's the widow of an islamic militant killed about six or seven months ago in dagestan, killed by russian security forces. and after he was killed, she allegedly became so-called black widow, a militant who would be used as a suicide bomber in part to avenge her husband's death. she, however, is only one of the
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suspects that russian officials, we're told, are looking for. there are at least three others, maybe not in sochi, we don't exactly know where they might be. but we have been told that russian officials do believe that the woman, the 22-year-old whose poster they're circulating, did enter the sochi area earlier this month on either the 11th or 12th of january. >> richard engle for us in moscow, thank you. i want to bring in former secret service agent dan mangino, involved in security in the 2002 olympics in salt lake city, and also the author of "life inside the bubble, why a top secret service agent walked away from it." he's also a republican candidate for mayor in maryland. let's start with the news that russian authorities are now looking for as many as four female terrorists dispatched to strike at the olympics. wouldn't it be extremely
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difficult to smuggle bombs or weapons into sochi, or am i oversimplifying? >> well, you're not oversimplifying, but no, it's not that difficult, because these things can be taken as in pieces. they don't have to be taken in entire parts. and remember, a lot of these ingredients are commercially available. if you're looking to put together a bomb, their ingredients are commercially available. you can smuggle it in in pieces. it's going to be exceedingly difficult if this woman, this black widow, is in the city of sochi, to find her at this point. >> how vulnerable are some of these olympic venues? >> very vulnerable. anytime i hear ring of steel, i get nervous. one thing we see is conflating of access control with security. >> what does that mean, conflating of access control? >> a ticket for a local redskins game, as i said on a prior hit here, is an access control
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device. it's not a security control device. unless the rules of engagement are clear where what you're going to do with a person who shows up without a ticket, the ticket is in fact meaningless. you may have a ring of steel, quote, around your olympic village, but if when you leave the olympic village the more holistic plan isn't developed, you effectively have nothing. you're inviting an attack. >> house intelligence committee chairman mike rogers has been complaining that the russians are not doing enough to share security information with this country. i want to play what he said and talk to you about it on the other side. >> they have now moved some 30,000 armed troops down to the region. that tells you that their level of concern is great. but we don't seem to be getting all of the information we need to protect our athletes in the games. i think this needs to change. and it should change soon. >> what do you make of that? >> well, there's a lot to talk about. one, brute force security
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measures, manpower only measures rarely if ever work. remember, they only have to be lucky once, as the ira once said. the security force has to be lucky every day. sejdly, having done presidential security in five years of my 12-year career, cooperation is an absolute must. we would have countries that would give up very sensitive information about sensitive programs because they didn't want the president of the united states to be hurt in their country. the fact they have only authorized 40 fbi agents to watch the security plan, that's unprecedented. i would not be comfortable at all advising an athlete to go over there. i don't think it's safe or will be safe right now. >> we'll leave it there. thank you. now to a winter storm watch. the east coast bracing for another major snow storm tomorrow. washington, d.c. is expecting its biggest snowfall in three years. this as another blast of arctic temperatures is moving into the midwest and northeast.
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kim cunningham is standing by from the weather channel. kim, wow. how bad is this going to get? >> it's going to get bad again. but we're going to see probable the coldest air we have seen probably in a couple weeks. remember that cold blast we had a couple weeks ago? this won't be as bad, but it is going to be cold. the pattern is like this. a big ridge over the west, the trough over the east. that means we're going to get the cold air coming in from canada. shots of cold air coming in. i'll put this into motion and we'll start to see this clipper systems or areas of low pressure from alberta, canada. with each one, they're going to bring really cold air. two, by the way, bringing arctic air and really way below average temperatures. what this is going to mean for the east coast is one of these will actually develop an area of low pressure moving through the ohio valley with snowfall. it gets to the east coast tomorrow, and we're going to see d.c. and baltimore, 3 to 6 inches of snow possible for you guys, and very windy conditions,
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during rush hour, which will be worse. is going to head up the coast and we'll see even new york city and boston seeing snowfall from that, looks like tomorrow night. the timing is tear brriblterribf folks getting off work having to deal with the snow and the wind, where the winds will be gusting over 25 miles per hour, maybe blowing the snow around. then the bitter cold is coming in. windchills maybe around zero over the next couple days as we watch. snow totals, maybe the ohio valley won't see as much. cincinnati, 3 inches, 4 inches. once you get to the east coast, pockets of areas getting as much as 6 inches of snowfall. especially the elevations. if you're traveling the blue ridge parkway, this could be a problem. ski resorts liking this, but travelers, we're talking airport delays, roads having major problems. not a major snow storm, but enough to disrupt travel for a lot of people. >> kim cunningham, thank you. detained american kenneth bae speaking out in a new video
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from north korea, saying he committed a, quote, serious crime, and he's asking the u.s. to secure his release. we're going to have more of the so-called news conference, and why experts believe it was likely made under duress. >> also, a wide ranging interview from president obama in which he says mare wanna is no more dangerous than alcohol. what else the president said about pot, and a quote select few getting punished. and as always, you can join our conversation on twitter. we are @newsnation. one word. hour to go, 1 hour to . when you don't have the time, there's crest 3d white 1 hour express whitestrips. removes years of stains in just 1 hour. whitening without the wait. crest 3d white 1 hour express whitestrips.
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a new video coming out of north korea shows an american missionary jailed for more than a year pleading for his release.
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kenneth bae was arrested in november of 2012 while acting as a tour guide and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for crimes against the state. he was flanked by security guards in a press conference. he spoke only in korean and said his situation could be resolved by closer cooperation between the two countries. he also said he has not been treated badly. we should note here, it's not unusual for prisoners in north korea to say after their release, they spoke in similar situations under duress. nbc's michelle kaczynski joins me from london. what if anything is the state department saying about all of this? >> well, right after we saw this video, the state department did put out a press release from a spokesperson saying we remain very concerned about kenneth bae's health. we know that he lost 50 pounds, according to his family. he had to go into the hospital, suffering from the effects of diabetes, among other health problems, including claims he was going blind, and the state department said we continue to urge the dprk authorities to
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grant bae amnesty, immediate release. that's what we're hearing from the u.s. government, which has continued to try to get his release through diplomacy from the swedish embassy there. they have visited with him. he also received a visit from his mother. he's been detained for more than a year. first, at a farm labor camp, that's where his sister said he lost 50 pounds. and then moved to a hospital. i mean, he gave this press conference today saying that it was sort of something that he had organized, but just how controlled it was may have beeneft from the fact he started out by denouncing what he called, quote, the propaganda that has been disseminated against the north korean government and insisted he had not been treated badly, that nun of his human rights had been infringed upon. he used language to that effect and urged the united states to use not just words but action to secure his release and he believed that his release could
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be secured through close cooperation and agreement between the two governments. craig. >> michelle kaczynski for us in london. thank you. still ahead, ceremonies, marches, service projects, all to honor the legacy of dr. king. just some of the rememblances happening across this country today. and the obama administration taking on disparities in school punishment on this king day. >> american students are over three times more likely than their white peers to be suspended or expelled, often for very similar offenses. >> more on the so-called school to prison pipeline that critics say unfairly exposed young minorities to the criminal justice system. >> they grow top grade fruits and vegetables on their farm, but getting national name brand recognition was tough. they broke through when they put
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and their daughters are helping prepare meals at a community kitchen in d.c. this morning, the martin luther king foundation laid a wreath at the mlk memorial in washington, d.c. meanwhile, at an annual mlk day breakfast in washington, vice president joe biden talked about this country's continuing battle over voter rights. >> i have to admit, i never thought we'd be fighting the fight again on voting rights. i never believed -- i really didn't. this has been the ultimate fight because our opponents know, they know the single most dangerous thing to give us is the right to vote. they know what that is. >> joining me live from atlanta, philip agner, executive director of the dream defenders, an organization with the state admission of bringing social change by training and organizing youth and students in nonviolent civil disobedience. it's good to see you. how are you and the group
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observing mlk day? what did you do? >> i'm in atlanta. i had the pleasure of observing mlk day with the king family at ebenezer baptist. what's more important is our dream defenders in florida. they're heading up a march in broward county, florida, and building with young high school students and college students there, growing our chapter there, and working so we can really preserve the legacy of dr. king in action and not just in commemoration. so folks are all around the state, in florida, working with some high school students there and teaching them how to stand up for themselves, build some real power and see change in their communities. >> philip, we all know your group was formed roughly two years ago in the wake of the fatal shooting of trayvon martin. what has your group turned into? what has it evolved into? >> we've evolved into a state-wide organization with chapters all up and down the state, at colleges and in some communities around the state. and what we're doing is building
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up a campaign, building up a movement that places young people at the forefront and at the table in their future. and so what we've seen is in the state of florida, we're arresting a record number of young people from schools. and so because zero tolerance policies -- >> we're going to talk about that. what you're talking about we're going to talk about in the next segment, but keep going. >> okay, well, i think it's important especially in the state of florida, that young people are engaged in that process. so what we're doing is building a campaign and a state-wide movement that puts young people at the table and at the forefront in deciding what their schools and communities look like. >> philip agner, we always enjoy having you on, sir. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> good mlk day to you. and it's good to see that you're actually out engaging in some activity on mlk day, engaging in service. not one of those folks enjoying the free holiday off from work. >> absolutely. you never get a free holiday.
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>> still ahead here on "news nation," president obama weighing in on the pot debate, saying in a new interview that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, and that it's important for laws that decrimin decriminalize pot in washington and california, to move forward. we'll have more of that new interview. >> plus, some of the sanctions that crippled iran's economy lifted after word this morning that it's started shutting down its most sensitive nuclear work. what the united states is saying about that today. my daughter's gym meet, and being there. yeah! nailed it! i got back to doing what i love. that's my daughter. hi sweetie! gotta dial it back a little bit on the rock climbing. one weekend can make all the difference. unlike the bargain brand, depend gives you the confidence of new fit-flex® protection. it's a smooth and comfortable fit with more lycra strands. it's our best protection. take your weekend on with a free sample at depend.com
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quote, as has been well documented, i smoked pot as a kid and i view it as a bad habit and a vice. not very different from the cigarettes i spoked as a young person. i don't think it's more dangerous than alcohol. nbc new's casey hunt joins me now. a lot of people are talking about what the president had to say about pot in that interview. has his views on marijuana legalization, have their evolved from his early days in his presidency? >> well, he has previously said before he wasn't in favor of decriminalization of marijuana, and this certainly seems to take him in a different direction. he emphasized in particular not only, you know, the societal effects of using marijuana, but also the disparities between how people of color may be treated if they're caught smoking marijuana, and it's illegal, versus how middle-class people or white people are treated, and how the laws can disparagingly
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affect different groups of people. he described that an as ov overarching concern, and senator rand paul has made this something he's focused on as well. he focused on the disparities and problems with the criminal justice system. >> president obama also big sports fan, not a secret. he enjoys watching football. he also addressed the concussion issue in football as well. what did he have to say about that the. >> the author of the piece described sitting on air force one and watching a football game with president obama, andoma says, quote, i would not let my son play pro football, but these guys, they know what they're doing. they know what they're buying into. and the president was watching the dolphins game with the author of the piece on air force one. i can't help but wonder if his response had been stronger if he had been watching last night's seahawks game. he didn't get that much further ahead of where, say, brett favre
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has been. he said he would also be leery of his son playing football. obama also, though, compared this to smoking. he said these guys know what they're getting into. while on the one hand, i can see his point. on the other hand, there's no one offering someone millions of dollars to smoke cigarettes, which is obviously what is happening with players in the nfl. >> the president talked about race as well in the article. this is some of what he had to say. quote, there's no doubt there are some folks who really dislike me because they don't like the idea of a black president. the flipside is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really, really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because i am a black president. is this the first time the president has directly talked about how race has affected his standing as president? >> he's always been very, very careful to avoid talking about race in these sort of strictly political terms, if you will. it's something that, you know, those in his inner circle or his aides will discuss as being a
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potential factor in how he's treated. obviously, in the 2012 campaign, you saw a lot of instances where race bubbled up underneath. he's been dealing with issues related to his birth certificate as many democrats point to as ultimately being a race issue, but obama has tebded to focus on it, when he has focused on it, more in personal terms. you saw how he handled it with trayvon martin. he said, if i had a son, he would look like trayvon. this is an instance of his evaluating how it affects him from a political perspective and hits his approval rating. >> casey, thank you. >> thank you. the easing of sanctions against iran has already started, as the u.n. nuclear agency confirms iran has halted its most sensitive nuclear activity. it's part of that landmark deal with world powers that became effective today. that deal was struck back in november. our bureau chief joins me live from the iranian capital. first of all, let's start here.
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what did iran agree to, remind us of that? and what is it doing today? what happened today? >> well, craig, iran has agreed to stop enriching uranium at 20%. it's also agreed to turn its stockpile of some 415 kill agrams of enriched uranium to 20% to use for electricity purposes or to dilute it. if they embark on that process, it's almost impossible to make it bombs grade uranium. they're diluting their whole stock pile and stopping enriching at 20% and they're not going to do work at the center of the heavy water refinery. iran has agreed to all this, but having said all that, iran hasulse said they can reverse all of this immediately. they said that if america doesn't uphold its end of the bargain, it can start enriching at 20% in just a day. iran has also been very outla
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outlandish about what's happened with the sanctions. it deputy foreign minister who is also one of the negotiators, said the whole structure of the sanctions is going to fall apart now that this one brick of the sanctions has come out. they're very confident at this stage. craig? >> ali for us, on duty in iran. thank you. still ahead on this martin luther king jr. day, a closer look at the zero tolerance policy of discipline at many schools that critics say disproportionately affects many students and creates the pipeline from schools to prison. also, madonna. now apologizing for using the n-word in a post about her son on social media, but not before lashing out at critics with language that was really just as offensive to some folks. indulge in the pleasures of parmesan
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outlined by the obama administration on how schools punish students has brought new attention to the debate over the use of so-called zero tolerance policies. earlier this month, the department of education and the justice department unveiled new guidelines on school discipline. the steps are meant to reduce suspensions and expulsions practices which officials, including arne duncan say, disproportionately affect minorities. >> youth of color and students with disabilities are far more likely to be removed from school for disciplinary reasons that other students. african-american students are over three times more likely than their white peers to be suspended or expelled, often for very similar offenses. >> dr. dowdy is a professor of humanities at seattle central community college. he's also written a book. it's called "6:00 in the morning, west coast hip-hop music 1987 to 1992 and the trance formation of mainstream
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culture." you have outlined what you have called the achievement discipline gap among african-american students. you say african-american middle school students are three times as likely to be disciplined as other groups of students. they make up only 20 persh of the student population but account for more than 40% of suspensions and expulsions, two thirds of which go to males. why? >> well, i think, first of all, i think there's a lot of overlap between what we're talking about here and what we had with the work that mr. agnew was doing, i believe, down in atlanta. you know, you look at the kind of cultural character istics tht students and teachers bring to the class room, we talk about the mainstream american class room, informed by mainstream values that speak to kind of a respect for authority, facts-based, discourages emotion
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and impulse, whereas, afterc african-american students sometimes bring in a lot of the opposite, in terms of being assertive, gaining the floor through participatory action. >> it sounds like you're talking about a vast cultural chasm between students, many of which look like me and you, and teachers, and many elementary schools that do not look like me and you. >> yeah, there's a term for it, it's called cultural distance. when that cultural distance exists between teachers and students, you start to have these cultural conflicts. and so, you know what i'm saying? the participatory interactive call of response, anybody who has been to a black church knows what i mean. sometimes that means speaking while the authoritiative speaker is speaking instead of being called to join in. when you have these dynamics at work, what you have are teachers
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who consider these behaviors rude, inconsiderate, insuboardinate, and breaking rules. so you have the groundwork, the foundation for these conflicts that exist in the classroom between students and teachers laid out right there. >> you also outline discipline air offenses which you say are objective and subjective. explain the difference between the two in a classroom setting. >> as i was writing my dissertation on this exact thing on how to lower classroom discipline rates in african-american students in grades four through eight, which is where this achievement gap and discipline gap starts to reveal itself, this distinction between two types of discipline came up. one is objective discipline. these are offenses that fall under the category of things like faulting, assault, bringing drugs or weapons to school. situation where there's not a lot of room for interpretation. on the other side, you have
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objective offenses. and these fall under the categories or insuboardination, disruptive conduct, rule breaking. in the city of seattle, in the case of public schools, these subjective offenses account for more than 50% of the reasons given by teachers and administrators as to why african-american students in seattle public schools are suspended and expelled. >> doctor, this is a fascinating conversation. i wish we had more time. i want to invite you to come back and spend more time talking to me about this. that's an open invitation. >> yes, sir, let's do it again. and go hawks. >> i knew that was going. i knew you were going to let the segment get through. and thank you for that. we did not get a chance to talk about the sherman thing. but we are going to talk about madonna. madonna, of course, no stranger to controversy. she's found herself at the center of a new one. this time involving her own child, a racial slur, and an
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apology that's drawing just as much criticism from some. late friday night, she posted this photo of her son, rocco, during his boxing practice with a caption reading, no one messes with dirty. mama said knock you out, and then she followed it up with the n-word, using a hashtag. fans quickly flooded the post with comments, criticizing the hash tag. after deleting the post, she reposted the pic with another caption and another expletive that told her haters to leave her alone. in a statement, a traditional statement on saturday, she apologized, writing in part, quote, i'm sorry if i offended anyone with my use of the n-word on instagram. it was not meant as a racial slur. i am not a racist. lily joins me live now. lily, a buddy of mine said to me recently, this just reaffirms what many have said for some
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time with regards to the n-word, best practice, never use it. >> agreed. i definitely agree. i think the issue is madonna is a 55-year-old pop icon, the mother of two black adopted children. and she used a term that is so racially charged and so controversial and in such a public space. i think the only issue personally is to either push the discussion on who can and who can't use it and to actually find a solution as to where this whole thing stems from, i don't think she was right in using the term. i feel like other celebrities have used the term. there's people like rihanna and matt barnes who have come out and been attacked for also using the n-word, but i feel as though blacks in black society feel like they have the right to use it. >> does anyone have the right to use it? >> personally, i don't think so. if you look back on the word, it stems from a racially tormented racial history that is extremely controversial. i personally don't think it's right for anybody to use it, and simply adding an a at the end of the word or saying it in a
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different context doesn't erase centuries of racial torment behind it. >> for our viewers who may not know it, madonna adopted two children from malawi, no stranger to african american culture, no stranger to african culture. does this speak to sort of a greater discussion about some people thinking that it might be more acceptable for them to use the word because they have adopted a black child or because they're married to a black person? do you see what i'm saying? >> i do, and i don't think it gives any additional reasons behind or any additional excuse for her to use it. she's a pop icon, and the word itself has been glorified, desensitized and popularized in pop culture and has been in thousands and thousands of rap songs, but in madonna's instance in particular, her people the mother of two adopted children speaks to the fact she shouldn't use the word. >> i think she thought maybe she was going to gea pass. >> i think she thinks that way about a lot of things. >> we'll have to end the segment
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here. thank you so much. hope to have you back soon. we'll be right back. has got it goin' on ♪ ♪ stacy's mom has got it goin' on ♪ ♪ stacy's mom has got it goin' on ♪ [ male announcer ] the beautifully practical and practically beautiful cadillac srx. lease this 2014 cadillac srx for around $319 a month with premium care maintenance included. ♪
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there's a heck of a lot going on today. here are just a few of the things we thought you should know. republican congressman james langford of oklahoma just announced he'll seek the senate seek being vacated by longtime senator tom coburn. he's the first person to enter the race. senator coburn announced last friday he's going to be resigning at the end of the current session of congress. >> a royal transition of power may be under way in the united kingdom. britain's daily mirror reports as queen elizabeth approaches her 88th birthday in april, she's going to turn over some of her responsibilities to her son and her heir, prince charles. the newspaper reports the first step will be the merging of the queen's and charles' press offices this week. you can check out today's gut check online. it has to do with president obama's comments about marijuana.
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that's going to do it for this edition of "news nation." i'm craig melvin. the cycle is up next. grains, new multigrain cheerios dark chocolate crunch is breakfast... with benefits. start your day with a delicious new crunch. healthy never tasted so good.
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i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief! in the cycle, cycling now, chris christie's lieutenant governor is defending herself against allegations made by the mayor of hoboken, new jersey. >> you need to hear me say this out loud, and i will. in short, mayor zimmer's version of our conversation in may of 2013 is not only false but is illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined. any suggestion, any suggestion that sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in new jersey is completely false.
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the suggestion that anyone would hold back sandy relief funds for any reason is wholly and completely false. >> hoboken mayor dawn zimmer fired back, saying, quote, i am genuinely disappointed that lieutenant governor quadagno has lived up to her promise that she would deny linking hoboken's application for sandy hazard mitigation with expedited a private development project, then adding, i stand by my word, willing to testify under oath and i'll continue to answer any questions asked of me by the u.s. attorney's office. this is the latest allegation to surface after the george washington bridge scandal. a news of a federal audit of hurricane sandy aid used for a tourism campaign featuring the governor. kelly o'donnell explains the breakdown of the new allegation, another that team

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