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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  February 5, 2014 10:00am-11:01am PST

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new mayor. >> schools all throughout the northeast closed with the exception of new york city, which i think is inexcusable because the mayor has not closed the schools. it's dangerous out there. this school principal in kentucky is singing a different tune. ♪ school is cancelled school is cancelled ♪ ♪ because it's cold to everyone grab a snuggy ♪ ♪ and watch tv or play the wii ♪ ♪ play the wii >> schools you wush you could go to. pushback. we'll have a reality check. smoked out. the ground making move from cvs. is this just a good business bet
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after all? sochi surprises, from shaun white's big decision to the jamaican bobsled team's lost gear. we'll have the latest including who's going to cover the american flag for team usa at the opening ceremonies. but the security challenges remain, including the cyber threat. >>. >> there are computer hackers all over the world, but experts say in russia, they are especially sophisticated. now that so many people have come to sochi for the hacker, hunting season has begun. good snowy day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. two down, one to go. the majority of the country taking another beating today. a second round of winter weather this week. over 115 million people now have been impacted in 32 states. the wet, heavy snow has also
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made for icy conditions, causing thousands of power outages. dangerous commutes and school cancellations. except, of course, in new york city. this is the threat of a third storm is looming over the weekend. joining me now for a weather round-up, nbc's ron allen, joining us from behind the wheel somewhere in new jersey. and from the weather channel, julie martin in atlanta. ron, first to you, you've been driving around all morning. tell us how the roads are. okay. we apologize. ron allen has been talking all morning, and we'll fix that audio. but let's go to julie martin in the weather channel for a quick fix on the weather and the forecast. julie? >> all righty, andrea. the good news is, this system will exit by overnight tonight, so the commute tomorrow morning will be much better. but nonetheless, some of the damage done, we're dealing with about half a million power
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outages in places like pennsylvania, delaware, and new jersey. you see the purple here. this is ice actually moving now into the new york city area. freezing rain also here in southern connecticut. in philly where we had so many problems earlier today, that has now switched over to rain. so some good news there. snow for boston. in fact, some areas in boston, we've already picked up nine inches-plus. and that snow was coming down this morning at about a rate of an inch an hour. so widespread travel issues, as you can imagine on the roads. it's going to take a while to get it completely offshore. so by 11:00 midnight, that's when we will finally see conditions clear in boston and the state of maine and most of new england. so we're looking at a much-improved forecast for tomorrow, andrea. here's some of the damage that we're looking at. upwards of a foot of snow. in general, three to five in the
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blue areas. and then you mentioned, we have another storm system we are concerned about. this one very likely to impact the northeast by saturday and through sunday, this weekend. so we're tracking that one. still a little bit of uncertainty, though, in just how potent that storm system will be. just depends how close it gets to shore, but we'll continue to follow that for you as well. >> one of those areas that has already been hit hard is lowell, mass. mike seidel from the weather channel is also up there. what kind of snow are you seeing and how deep is it? >> reporter: we've got plenty of snow, andrea. good afternoon from lowell. we're about 40 minutes or so northwest of boston. out here in the merrimack valley, we've got plenty of it. eight to nine inches on the ground. we've had eight inches fall in six hours. that's at least an inch an hour. it's very dry and powdery. the plows and bobcats have been going all around. got a couple gentlemen out here. they've been shoveling since about 6:00 a.m. this morning.
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they're working hard out there. the snowfall rate has backed off. one thing is for sure, andrea. look at that. the u.s. mail -- what are we paying now, 46 cents an ounce? it's moving today in lowell. not much else is moving. all the schools across massachusetts are closed. the governor said nonessential state employees stay home. logan airport, much like the new york city airport, not a whole lot happening. 52% of departures, 214 flights or so have been cancelled. all the hotels around the airport are full tonight. i checked that out. most of the flights tomorrow morning were sold at least on delta because they had to move those passengers over. this is going to wind down. the warning goes until 6:00. it will be sunny tomorrow. it will stay chilly this week. i just took a look at the latest on the weekend storm. the american model, which came in about an hour ago, still advertising snowfall on sunday from new york to boston, but we're talking not a blockbuster storm. maybe several inches or more. that's it. the european model is now coming
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in. we're going to keep an eye on that and see how they jibe, but we still have four days out. but the trend right now is we may have some snow, but we're not expecting a huge snowstorm at this point for the big cities. back to you. >> that could be good news. thank you so much, mike seidel. sn ron allen, nothing stops you either. not even our audio problems. thanks for sticking with us, ron. what about the roads out there in new jersey? >> reporter: well, things have improved dramatically, andrea. apologies about that problem. it's a much better time to be out on the roads now. you can see if we pan out the window here that the roads are black top. we're getting rain, plain rain, not even freezing rain at this point in the day. there were plows out very early when we started at about 6:00 this morning. there was a fresh covering of snow, several inches. and then sleet and freezing rain, making it very, very difficult to get around. but now things are better.
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but the problem in this part of the state is the cumulative toll that all these storms are taking on the state of new jersey and other states, for that matter. we're past the amount of snowfall that we had all of last winter. i think we passed it in late january, the 26th or 27th in many communities. so budgets are under strain. there have been reports of many communities not having enough salt. rationing salt. or using it sparingly. for example, only doing hilly roads or only doing intersections and not as many secondary roads. there's that reality that a lot of communities are facing and people who live in these towns in new jersey who pay a lot of property taxes i can tell you are a little bit concerned about that and asking is this really good government. chris christie, the governor here, declared a state of emergency late yesterday evening, getting well ahead of it. schools were closed. so things have gone well. but there's going to be an accounting of just how prepared
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these communities are. how carefully they planned and budgeted for these somewhat unpredictable weather patterns, but still, you have to -- it's a public safety issue. but the bottom line is now the storm is tapering off. we're getting rain, plain rain. not even freezing rain. the roads are clear. so things will be probably back to normal, quote unquote, tomorrow. as you can see, as you look out here, stores, businesses are closed don. people stayed at home. heeding those warnings. but again, there will be a lot of concerns, questions about just how prepared, how robust these budgets are. and how carefully these communities have planned for this unpredictable weather pattern that we're having. >> thank you so much. keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. you're making me nervous, my friend. drive safely. and republicans are pouncing on one headline from that cbo report that came out during this show yesterday, that the health care law will cut into the growth of the labor force over the next decade.
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even as democrats are pushing back in a big way. >> cbo projects that people will be working fewer hours precisely because of the incentives created in this law. the effect will be severe. as if two and a half million people had stopped working full-time by 2024. >> what the chairman was focusing on was beginning in 2017, when the economy gets back to full employment, as a result of the affordable care act, more americans will be able to voluntarily choose, choose to work fewer hours or not take a job because they don't depend on that job anymore for the provision of health insurance. >> joining me now for our "daily fix," chris alisa, and pretolit senior writer maggie haberman. your post was why this is bad
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political news for democrats. explain. >> okay, i'll do it as quickly as i can. because, andrea, the reality of political campaigns is that ads are built around snippets of information, headlines, many things taken out of context. i would say that about both sides. remember how democrats used -- mitt romney said let detroit go bankrupt. well, mitt romney never actually said that. it was the headline of the piece that he didn't know was coming. this is the reality of how campaigns function, and i think for the republican base, and that's a very critical piece of the 2014 midterm election, this cbo report will confirm what they believe is the facts that obama care is a bad law, that the government has failed in implementing it, and it will further incite them to turn out in the midterm elections to send barack obama a message. i think if you're mary landrieu in louisiana, or mark begich in
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ago, all democrats in republican-leaning states, a really revved up republican base ready to send president obama a message on obama care is not a good thing. >> maggie, let's talk about whether the reality, whether the facts can ever catch up on something like this. or is this just another hit on obama care? >> i think chris is right. i think the facts are very unlikely to catch up. they might. it's going to take some very clever messaging by the democrats. talking about the point he just made, the way people feel about things tends to sort of lead how they view the political argument. and that is why after a year of six months of seemingly bad news about obama care, it has been one bad week after another. this just seems like another bad confirming headline. so there are a lot of fine print points within that cbo report, but i'm not sure that it's ever going to matter effectively for democrats who are in very tight contests in these states.
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>> let's also talk about some of the other political stories that are going on. what about bill de blasio. he's the new mayor of new york. he's already had one bad snowstorm and acknowledged that. and then you get to the situation where he doesn't close schools today. maggie, you're a new yorker and you've got young kids. >> i do. >> so talk about that. >> i have two children who went off to school today and i was not thrilled about it. you're hearing a lot of parents who are very unhappy about the situation. this is the second time there's been a snowstorm where the schools were open and people were surprised. i think people are still very willing to give the new mayor the benefit of the doubt, but i think that that is starting to get eaten away by some of these decisions. i think it's also worth noting one of the things that's been very interesting about de blasio, he's very deliberative and slow in how he makes these appointments. he is still relying on bloomberg commissioners to deal with these spate of snowstorms that have been going on. he's having trouble i think getting off the ground on his own. the school's decision has just
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been mystifying to me, candidly. >> let's take a look at de blasio responding to the criticism. >> it was the ultimate 24/7 job. >> right. >> but i love this place. i really love this place. and it's endlessly fascinating to me. but i'd like the snow to end. >> yes. [ laughter ] >> i've done the snow experience. i'd like to try something else now. >> chris, we've seen the mayors in the past here and in new york stumping their political toes on snow days. even mike bloomberg when he first was elected. how does he recover from this? or is it not really a big problem? >> let me first say i think bill de blasio should be concerned about a dissatisfied maggie haberman. number one. but look, i think in some ways, de blasio had nowhere to go but down. this is someone who was elected by massive margins. not just in the general election, which it's new york city, although it has elected us
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a -- ostensibly republican mayors. but in the primary, he overwhelmed everyone and the race was sort of over with. i think when you win like that, you inevitably will disappoint some people. expectations will be so high that even if you are doing everything right, and i'm with maggie, i don't think he's doing everything right, but even if he was doing everything right, i think you would see some people saying, well, this isn't the guy i voted for. i think it's the nature of winning the way in which bill de blasio won. with the amount of attention, both in the new york city market, but also nationally that he drew, that he's going to be someone that we're going to keep an eye on, and when he does do things like this, people like us are going to talk about it, where we might not in other circumstances. >> final thoughts, maggie, as a new yorker? the counterargument is that the schools do provide lunches for a lot of kids. there are a lot of working
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parents who can't make other arrangements at the last minute. >> the chancellor made that argument today and that's legitimate argument. unfortunately, there are also safety concerns. and when you have the mayor saying on the one hand people should stay home if they can, but also leaving the schools open, that becomes the choice of the parent. my instinct is always going to be for my child to be in school. so both of my children went off to school. but i can see both sides of his argument. i think that i'm with bill de blasio and i would like the snow to end. i think when it does, he will start having an easier time. >> we could have a problem with monday morning as well. it's great to see you. chris, as always, thank you very much. coming up, olympic excitement is growing in sochi with just one day to go until the competition begins. more on the u.s. athletes today chosen to carry the american flag at the opening ceremony. and another star of team usa checked in with matt lauer earlier about skiing in her fourth olympics and going for her fourth medal. >> it feels great.
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vladimir putin visited the olympic village in sochi today and declared russia is ready to host the games, announcing a 24-hour security operational center. will it be enough? joining me now is the chair of the house committee on homeland security, congressman michael mccall, who has recently returned from sochi and from moscow and has talked to all of the officials there. congressman, thank you very much. >> thanks, andrea. >> is sochi ready? we know the two warships are moving into the black sea. are we ready for emergencies? >> well, i know that the torch
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just got lit in sochi today. we're all hoping for safe, successful olympic games this season. there are some concerns. we've had two suicide bombers that are gone off. one at a train station, one at a bus. we have threat information that is out there. we have a state department travel alert. the athletes have been told not to stay, go outside the olympic village, which would be my caution to anybody visiting the olympics. but we do want to encourage people to attend and cheer on our athletes, and hopefully come home with a gold medal. >> at this point, there are a lot of other things that are not ready. the experience for some of the visitors has not been up to par, at least so far. what was your experience there when you were in sochi and in moscow? >> well, the state department does warn americans, and it's important for americans to know that when they travel to russia, it is a police state. and you will be monitored and under surveillance, as i was. your iphone or blackberry will
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be swiped for data. possibly your hotel room will have video surveillance cameras. so it's a little bit of an eerie experience, an invasion of personal privacy, if you will. but the russian government has been doing this for years. very open about it. they're sort of proud of the fact that they can do this with their technology. but i think to the average american traveling, it is a very eerie experience. >> the other announcement was that michael mcfall, not mccall, but michael mcfall, the u.s. ambassador to russia, is going to leave after sochi. he took them on on social media, supporting dissidents and protesters early in his tenure. but he says it's time to return home. he's very highly regarded as a russian expert. what is your takeaway as to whether the russians have made life so difficult for him diplomatically that it's time for him to leave, or is le behe forced out or is this the right
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time for him to leave? >> i spoke with ambassador mcfall before i left for sochi and met with him. his relationship with president putin is very strained. i think president putin is a little bit paranoid that mcfall was leading some sort of revolution within russia. it was very odd to hear that. and i think mcfall and the ambassador are very bright, talented, dedicated public servant. i'm sorry to see him leave, especially right before the olympics. but i give him high marks. >> let me also ask you about edward snowden. when you were talking to officials in russia, did you bring up snowden, and bring up the issue that mike rodgers, your colleague and the chair of the house intelligence committee has raised about whether snowden has had some russian help? rodgers raised it again as a hearing yesterday with michael flynn from defense intelligence. i want to play a little bit of that. >> do you believe that there's any indication that the nsa contractor who is now in moscow might be under the influence of
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russian intelligence services? >> chairman, i don't have any information to that effect. >> excuse me? do you believe that mr. snowden, who is in the custody of intelligence services in moscow today by your own information, has the possibility then to be under the influence of russian intelligence services? >> yes, there is a possibility. >> in a court of law, that would be called leading the witness, i think. as you know, your colleague chairman rodgers is a former fbi agent, and is experienced in law enforcement. but he really does seem to believe that there is some fire where there's smoke. >> well, i was a federal prosecutor. there's no doubt in my mind that mr. snowden is under 24/7 surveillance by the fsb, formerly kgb, as they surveilled myself as well. i think he's enjoying far less freedoms now in moscow, rather than the united states of america.
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and there is some evidence to establish he may have been cultivated by the russians, as he was met by russians in hong kong, take on the the consulate office in hong kong. and it's very disturbing the amount of damage that mr. snowden has done with the release of so much sensitive national security data is going to cost the american taxpayer billions of dollars. i think it's a real tragedy. >> you mean cultivated in hong kong, but you're not suggesting prior to that? i mean, obviously he had to have some contact with the russians in hong kong to know that he had to arrive safely in russia. >> yeah, i don't have any direct evidence they cultivated him in hawaii, for instance, but i think the fact that they greeted him in hong kong and took him to the consulate is some evidence that there's a connection there and they are -- believe me, they are greatly benefiting from the amount of data that mr. snowden has given them and it's working against the national security of the united states of america. right now, mr. snowden -- i know that some viewers think he's a hero. i personally think he's a
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traitor. and has handed the keys to the classified secrets over to the russians. >> and as you know, he has strongly denied this on a web chat. we look forward to chances to question him. have not had that opportunity. thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. >> you bet. any time. a united nations watchdog group issues a scathing report on the vatican's handling of child sex abuse. the watchdog for children's rights is demanding that the vatican immediately move all clergy who are known or suspected abusers and hand them over to authorities. the group says the church has not acknowledged the extent of crimes committed and hasn't taken necessary measures to address child sex abuse. the vatican issued a statement that reads in part, the holy see reiterates its commitment to defending and protecting the rights of the child, in line with the principles promoted." and pope john-paul ii's personal
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notes have been published against his will in a book published today in poland. he instructed his closest aid to burn the notes after his death. but he disobeyed those orders, saying it would be "a crime to destroy them." the archbishop says that the proceeds will go toward a memorial for john paul ii who is going to be canonized as a saint april 27th. if i can impart one lesson to a new business owner, it would be one thing i've learned is my philosophy is real simple
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heck, i saved judith here a fortune with discounts like safe driver, multi-car, paperless. you make a mighty fine missus, m'lady. i'm not saying mark's thrifty. let's just say, i saved him $519, and it certainly didn't go toward that ring. am i right? [ laughs ] [ dance music playing ] so visit progressive.com today. i call this one "the robox." executives for cvs care mark are making their stores tobacco-free, hoping this will make them the healthy choice for pharmacy customers across the country. tom costello joins me now. this is a big deal. it's a business deal. they will lose sales, but they're also betting on reshaping their image and becoming a health care company, which has a lot of built-in advantages. >> that's absolutely right. this is a $2 billion loss for
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them. if you're looking at the sales of both their tobacco products and then other products people buy when they come into the store to buy cigarettes. total $2 billion loss in sales, but they are now really trying to reposition themselves increasingly as an extension of the health care providers that you turn to every day. in other words, your doctor, your nurse practitioner. they want to be -- if not the place that you go through their minute clinics and that kind of thing, in addition to that, then the place that you go when your doctor's office is closed, or when the doctor's office can't take your appointment. so they are increasingly trying to position themselves as a health care provider, and they felt that it was inconsistent that they should at the same time be selling these tobacco products. they had been under pressure for years to do that, along with walgreens and rite aid and you name the other players in the space, from some of the biggest health advocates in the country, the ama, the heart association, lung association, cancer society, you name it. all of them pressuring these big
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retail pharmacies to get out of selling tobacco. so now cvs is saying they will as of october 1st be out of this business. the question then becomes, okay, will others follow suit? walgreens today said that it is examining this product line. it has been looking at this issue for some time. it's trying to balance needs and the desires of customers potentially who might want to buy tobacco with the other health care mission that they have. but increasingly, a lot of providers in this space are finding it is inconsistent when there really is absolutely no upside whatsoever to cigarettes or tobacco. unlike everybody buys candy, right? you buy a chocolate bar. that's not going to kill you. unless you have a million of them. and alcohol. but cigarettes, there is no upside whatsoever. so finally, cvs saying we're out of this business. >> and the president has applauded. as we've heard from the white house, the president's statement, "i applaud this morning's news that cvs caremark has decided to stop selling
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cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores. this will help advance my administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer and heart disease as well as bring down health care costs, ultimately saving lives." michelle obama tweeted from her account, thanks, now we can all breathe a little easier and our families can live healthier. i would still push back a little about alcohol. but in a lot of places, they sell alcohol and it's very accessible to those who are abusers of that and arguably -- >> that's a good point. >> a major health issue as well. >> that's a good point. that's right. but 18% of americans, only 18% of americans smoke right now, down from 45% or so, back 50 years ago. so the rate has been dropping. but of course, it's also kind of levelled off over the last few years. and there has been this real dramatic push over the last few months to reinvigorate, if you will, this attempt to get people to put down cigarettes or never start in the first place.
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3300 children pick up a cigarette for the first time every single day. >> tom costello, thanks so much. thanks for being with us today. coming up, one day before the big competition begins, the torch has arrived. there are some olympic surprises for team usa. anne thompson joining me next from the mountains of sochi. stay with us. re late. did you run into traffic? no, just had to stop by the house to grab a few things. you stopped by the house? uh-huh. yea. alright, whenever you get your stuff, run upstairs, get cleaned up for dinner. you leave the house in good shape? yea. yea, of course. ♪ [ sportscaster talking on tv ] last-second field go-- yea, sure ya did. [ male announcer ] introducing at&t digital life. personalized home security and automation. get professionally monitored security for just $29.99 a month. with limited availability in select markets. ♪
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not performing. first of all, the sad news that billie jean king is not going to make it for the opening ceremonies because of her mother's illness, so she will not be part of that delegation. >> reporter: yeah. >> so that is sad. >> reporter: right. >> but the point will be made by brian and other well-known gay athletes as well. >> reporter: right. and that's in defiance, if you will, of russia's law against homosexuality, and it is sad that she will not be here, but the u.s. will -- there will be a u.s. delegation here, andrea. but i think really the big news coming out of the olympics today is the fact that shaun white, the snowboarder, has said he is not going to compete in slope style snowboarding. that is going to be a first time olympic event here. qualifications begin tomorrow. and white said basically that he was -- he initially was going to compete in slope style and half pipe. he is the two-time gold medalist in half pipe.
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he has a clahance to make histo, becoming the three-time gold medalist. he has decided that's where he is going to put his efforts. the slope style competition and a practice day on the half pipe conflicted with each other. i've also talked to todd richards, who is nbc's snowboard analyst, who said that shaun white is actually kind of beat up going into these olympics. he wasn't a gold medal contender in slope style. richard said at best, white was looking at maybe a silver, maybe a bronze medal. so he wasn't terribly surprised that white has decided to opt out of slopestyle and go to half pipe. >> and what about the poor jamaican bobsled team. their gear didn't get loaded on the plane. they missed some of the trials. there's been so much interest in supporting their efforts. so what's going to happen? >> reporter: i know. they're here, their gear is not. they had the crowd-funding effort to pay their way here,
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and they are just trying to figure out what to do with their gear. so that's one of the problems facing the olympians. for some of the reporters here, the hotels have been an issue. not all the hotels are complete. i'm happy to tell you the hotel that we're staying in here, it is complete. they have been lovely to us. we have hot water. we have hot food. we have a roof over our head. the biggest problem we had is that there weren't garbage cans in the rooms when we got in. they rectified that situation, and not all the items that were listed on the menu were available in the hotel restaurants. every day a little more becomes available. so this is really an adventure for everybody because quite frankly, andrea, i mean, these olympics -- there was not much here just four years ago. all these buildings are new. all these restaurants are new. all these shops are new. so it's an adventure for everybody. >> well, i'm glad you're having an adventure, because it sounds
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like you're having at least a better adventure than some of the people that have been tweeting about their hotel rooms. >> reporter: yes. >> thanks so much, anne. thanks for being with us today. and then there's the issue of safety in sochi. u.s. homeland security is warning of cyber attacks in sochi. specifically mentioning a hactivist group known as anonymous caucasus who finance the games. richard engel reports on his firsthand experience. >> reporter: one of the first things visitors to russia will do is log on. hackers here are counting on it. so we decided to find out how dangerous that can be. welcome to moscow. with the help of kyle, a top american security expert. and two brand-new computers. for the purpose of this experiment, we start out with these fresh machines. and going to see what happens when you turn them on in russia. >> exactly. >> reporter: back in the u.s.,
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he created a fake identity for me. phony contact list with fake names and addresses. the only real detail, my name. so you're putting my profile on these computers. >> that's exactly right. >> reporter: with our new computers now loaded with potentially attractive data, we headed for a restaurant, where we used a new smart phone to browse for information about the sochi olympics. almost immediately, we were hacked. >> joining me now is michael leiter, the former director of the national counterterrorism center, now the cyber security and national security analyst. if you were going, would you bring a phone that you would just burn? what would you log into? >> as little as possible, frankly. the russian government does monitor a lot of internet communications. and if people can afford it and they have sensitive data on their computers, their phones, it's certainly good cyber practice to bring over computers or phones that you're not going to use when you come back because you might very well
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bring back things that weren't there when you went. >> what happens if you bring a clean computer, a new computer, or something that hasn't been used before. and log in to your own website and communicate by e-mail with any friends or business associates. >> we shouldn't exaggerate too much. i mean, the average spectator is going to sochi. frankly, the russian government is not reading everything they're doing. but if people are there for business or senior officials, things like that, there's a good chance that those electronic communications will be revealed by the russians. in that sense, people should be very careful what they say, what they log on to, and certainly standard good cyber practice, not clicking on e-mails or atashmeatas attachments that are coming from people they don't know. >> your successor matt olson was on the hot seat yesterday at the worldwide threat. >> better him than me.
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>> exactly. and mike thompson was asking him about threats at sochi. let's watch. >> do you know of any specific threats targeting the olympics? >> there are a number of specific threats of varying degrees of credibility that we're tracking. this is what we expected. it's what we saw in the run-up to prior olympic games like these. >> is it safe for americans to travel to sochi? >> i would say that americans should follow the state department guidance in that regard. >> just to be careful, not advertise that you're an american. don't wear your american flag and your olympic uniform outside the venues. >> that's basically it. what matt can't say in public but is probably good advice is be very, very careful if you're outside of sochi. traveling between moscow and sochi, especially via train, that is going to be much more dangerous than being in sochi because of the ring of steel that the russians had set up. there's no guarantee that people are staying in sochi either. we've seen attacks elsewhere,
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atlanta in 1996. >> with the two warships now moving into the black sea for a potential evacuation, if worst case something happened, what would be the communication level of support to get americans out to those warships? because they have to get permission to bring choppers in. >> this is one of the bigger challenges that we have in sochi as compared to previous olympics. the russian u.s. communications are much more limited. both before an event and even after an event. so frankly, i think it's good to have those warships there. the u.s. has some officials in sochi and in moscow for this. but any involvement by the u.s. is going to require a russian request and russian permission. that's much less likely to come. the russian response in terms of medical care and evacuation of people could very well be a lot slower than what we would like to see. >> michael leiter, thank you, my friend. stay with us here on "andrea mitchell reports." buy them thei, let alone for under $300. but this asus with windows is lightweight and has everything they need --
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autopsy reports remain inconclusive, but law enforcement officials did arrest four suspects in connection to the death of oscar winning actor philip seymour hoffman. police raided a new york city apartment last night, they found more than 300 bags of heroin. three men and a women were charged with drug possession. no word yet on whether they sold the drugs to hoffman. the actor's death is focusing a lot of attention on a troubling trend, the resurgence of heroin in the u.s. joining me now is eugene robinson. you've written about this rather provocatively. talk to me about heroin and what you think we should do about the grip of this growing epidemic. i interviewed dr. peggy handburg yesterday from the drug administration and we were talking about the fact that heroin is just a terrible addiction. >> it really is. for years and years, talking about heroin. when i first came to washington in 1980, we were talking about a
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heroin epidemic. there is a huge supply, and what appears to be happening is that some people who had perhaps been hooked on oxycontin, the very powerful painkiller that apparently has a similar effect, have switched to heroin because it's difficult now to get the prescription drugs and it's also more expensive if you're buying them on the black market. and so they find it cost effective to become heroin addicts instead of oxycontin addicts. addiction is a problem that we have had for years and years and years. and that is something that the war on drugs doesn't seem to address in any effective way. >> so, solutions? >> well, good question. >> some way of intermediating it? should we begin to prescribe heroin as something that you
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suggested? >> you know, i've raised the issue. first of all, i think we need to look at the problem. why do people use drugs in the first place? they use drugs to get high. >> and to escape other realities. >> right. realities. go >> right. you can certainly make a moral judgment and say they shouldn't. but they do. some people become hooked. and there is a point at which addiction becomes a medical issue, a medical problem. and i think that is acknowledged. but we make that acknowledgement, but we don't take the next step and begin to treat it like a medical problem. we continue to treat it like a police problem. and the result is that addicts are on the street in dangerous places doing dangerous things buying drugs whose content they no nothing about in search of this high that they medically need at that point. >> one argument would be that a lot of overdoses have to do with
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the additives of other things, they don't know that they're getting and if you could control the distribution legally, that might be safer. i have a real problem with that but i understand the arguments on all sides. what about doing more research on how to treat addiction? because we don't have enough real medical knowledge about how to wean people from these addictions. >> there is work that goes on. and i hear that there are some promising new drugs and new treatments. nothing has been found that works for all addicts. i don't think anything has been found that works for most addicts. some people can get help through traditional 12 step program and through abstinence and that is great for whom that works. it doesn't work for a lot of people. and the life expectancy of a
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heroin addict is really short. it really is. >> thanks for being with us. of . [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. [ m'm... ] great taste. [ tapping ] sounds good. campbell's healthy request. m'm! m'm! good.®
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tomorrow marks the last day for jay leno as host of "the tonight show" oig. on monday jimmy fallon takes over as host. but if fallon follow his lead when it comes to the targets of leno's monologues? a list compiled breaks down the top ten. bill clinton bared the bankrupt with 4607 jokes told about the former president. following him, george w. bush. al gore, barack obama, and hillary clinton. the only people not connected to d.c., o.j. simpson and michael jackson. and that does it for this edition of andrea mitchell reports. tomorrow on the show, carole king among my guests. tamron hall has a look at what
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is next. >> carole king? i'll be glued to it. she's amazing. in our next hour, the latest on the second of three winter storms now affecting more than 115 million people. several states have declared states of emergency and in new york city, some parents pretty outraged over the mayor's decision to keep schools open while also urging people to stay off the road. plus, four people being questioned in connection with the death of actor philip seymour hoffman. the case is bringing a lot of attention of course to the rise of heroin abuse. but specifically among the affluent, people who are able to function in jobs like being a professor but yet deal with this addiction. we'll talk with an official from the dea who says the problem touches every segment of society. plus, outrage today on what would have been trayvon martin's 19th birthday after news that george zimmerman will fight rapper dmx in is, quote, shrek brittity boxing match. as you can imagine, people are
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very upset about this and jonathan kay part will join us live. gs. you stopped by the house? uh-huh. yea. alright, whenever you get your stuff, run upstairs, get cleaned up for dinner. you leave the house in good shape? yea. yea, of course. ♪ [ sportscaster talking on tv ] last-second field go-- yea, sure ya did. [ male announcer ] introducing at&t digital life. personalized home security and automation. get professionally monitored security for just $29.99 a month. with limited availability in select markets. ♪ you've got to try this sweet & sour chicken helper. i didn't know they made chicken. crunchy taco or four cheese lasagna? can i get another one of those actually? [ superfan ] hey, america, we're here to help. ♪
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e*trade. less for us, more for you. several states including new york, new jersey, and massachusetts have declared a state of emergency after the latest winter storm that is affect aing more than 115 million people across this country today. more than would dozen states now find themselves having to dig out once again in a series of winter storms after pounding the midwest. and last night the winter blast put nearly one in four americans under storm warnings. the ice and snow has left over a million people without power right now and more than 700,000 of those people in the state of

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