tv American Morning CNN May 25, 2011 3:00am-5:59am PDT
more terror from an already-traumatized city. i'm ali velshi live in joplin, missouri, the city was forced to take cover again. i'll tell you about our about harrowing experience last night. the search for hundreds of people still unaccounted for. >> i'm christine romans. five massive tornadoes, five people dead, as new wicked storms rip through oklahoma. even workers at the storm prediction center had to take cover during this one. i'm kiran chetry. a busy day for president obama. he's at 10 downing street right now, a bit later he will be holding a news conference with britain's prime minister, coming up in about 90 minutes. he'll make history by addressing parliament. we'll have it all for you live on this "american morning." and good morning to you.
thanks so much for being with us on this wednesday. good to see everybody this morning. you know the pictures are coming in, new pictures, and the devastation, continues for the midwest. >> that's right. ali velshi in joplin, missouri, where they had a harrowing night. hi, ali. >> good morning, christine, kiran, it is a better morning here. people counting their blessings. a near miss last night in joplin, missouri. everyone taking shelter and bracing for another twister that thanchgfully never came. this city, as you know, is reeling. 48 hours after the deadliest tornado in recorded u.s. history the death toll stands at 124 people killed. the national weather service upgraded sunday's tornado to an ef-5, the highest possible rating with winds above 200 miles an hour. now in oklahoma, devastating storms carved up canadian county, which is west of oklahoma city. five separate tornadoes touched down and five people are dead. dozens more are hurt. the dallas area got pounded too.
texas rangers fans had to evacuate the stadium for a time before the ball game returned. several tornado sightings were spotted with heavy damage to homes in the ft. worth area, and then two people killed in arkansas, franklin and johnson counties, were bearing the brunt there. now around here in joplin county yesterday, it was the first time the weather cleared up. we had a chance to go up in a blackhawk helicopter to get a sense of the destruction. it was really quite remarkable to see it from the air. there's certainly no -- we can see the devastate around us. we got a sense of what it was. when you see it from the air you really get the sense, it looks shredded. homes look like they were shredded. look at the flattened trees. the homes that were destroyed actually looked like sawdust from the air. that's the medical center you're looking at that's just up the road. there were just entire areas that were completely, completely flattened that didn't have the characteristics, the typical
characteristics of a tornado, where it weaves in and out. these were flattened areas entirely. now that was during the day yesterday. then last night, we expected bad weather to roll in and suddenly late last night, after a little bit of rain started to show up, we started to hear the tornado sirens. we were here in this position, this is pretty high ground. we decided to seek cover. before we did that we went to the last place we had seen people. it was a warle hou -- warle hou the highway here. this is what happened when we got there. >> the last place we saw where there was a gathering of people was this waffle house near interstate 44. this is what they call the hotel district. we figured let's get a lay of the land, find out what's going on here. this thing was absolutely full about ten minutes ago. when we got here it was emptied out.
people are starting to take shelter. some went in the back. some are trying to make decisions where they should go. a lot of people have applications and are getting messages as to where the storm is, but there is some heavy electrical storms as you can see, not much in the way of rain right now, but the storm is headed in this direction and after what has happened here on sunday night i guess some people just don't want to take chances. everybody is looking for shelter right now. >> and, of course, we had heard at that point that there had been a touch down of a tornado very close to where we were. people started to -- sirens started to go off and folks started to take cover. in a few minutes i'm going to talk to a woman whose house is just a couple blocks from where we are. she survived after her hus collapsed on her and her husband. she will be here to talk about how she was found and rescued. one of the lucky stories here in joplin. with so many people unaccounted for we are uncertain as to where those people are, whether they
remain trapped or got out of town and are just having trouble communicating with their loved ones. >> ali velshi, harrowing moments captured on tape. we will be checking with you throughout the morning as you update us on the situation. can't get a break. >> here you have the national center that predicts these storms, the national storm prediction center, the weather is extreme when they have to evacuate as well. that's exactly what happened last night, too. >> it's in norman, oklahoma, a tornado was coming right at them. it missed, but others weren't so fortunate. you see that funnel cloud tearing a path of destruction. five people were killed in oklahoma. the national weather service says at least five tornadoes it touched down. ed lavandera is live in piedmont, oklahoma, this morning. you know, they had warned about this, they were talking about the extreme threat of these tornados and sure enough, we saw them unfold yesterday. >> kiran, here in piedmont where you're talking about is where
the five deaths occurred and the sheriff in this county expects perhaps that number could increase. in fact, there's a 3-year-old boy that is still missing after the storm rolled through here late yesterday afternoon. many of these storms caught on videotape. storm chasers following these tornadoes as they touch down and carve their way across this state of oklahoma. it's been a treacherous, long sleepless night for thousands of people. not only across here in oklahoma but down into the dallas area as well. if you look at this one house here in piedmont, this was a two-story home before the tornado rolled through here yesterday afternoon. and you can see the difficult part here out in this, we're northwest of oklahoma city, rather rural area in this town of about almost 4,000 people and the search and rescue here hampered. look out at it in the darkness. the search and rescue efforts had to be suspended as the darkness hit this area last night. they will resume here as soon as
the sun comes back up this morning. so, this is what they're facing here. as we've driven around over here in the overnight hours to get to where we are right now, you've seen in many places where these tornadoes come through and basically just carved off the top of tree tops, power lines down as well, and homes that in many situations, in many cases look just like this, kiran? >> unbelievable. any update or any word on whether more people are missing? >> well, what we do know is of the 3-year-old boy, that will be, we suspect here in the piedmont area, one of the areas where they quickly resume that search here this morning and as the sheriff mentioned, they believe that death toll number here in this area could go up, so those search and rescue efforts because they had to be suspended here, i mean it is absolutely dark once you start getting away into some of these rural areas. it makes it virtually impossible for these teams to get through -- see through there,
treacherous terrain and wooded areas to be able to do any kind of reasonable and thorough searching. they're going to need that daylight to be able to make any headway in that. >> so tragic. ed lavendandera in piedmont, oklahoma, thanks. tornado watches in place in st. louis, chicago and memphis. those could be today's targets. rob marciano is here with more on that. three days now of very extreme weather and tornadic activity as they say in your business. >> last night, i feel like -- we had such strong storms rolling through oklahoma and kansas and arkansas and missouri. some of the storms, luckily, dodged some of the more populated areas. that hasn't been the theme this year, has it? i mean that's why we've had so many fatalities. we've had big storms, big tornadoes but they've rolled through populated areas like tuscaloosa and joplin. a look at the storm reports, part of yesterday, or since about 8:00 last night. and in total, 56 tornado reports, over 600 reports of
wind and some of those reports stretch all the way to the northeast as well. we're looking at tornado warnings right now, just north of st. louis. looks like the last one was allowed to expire. southwest of st. louis and east of springfield and rolling through the east. tornado watch in effect for the next few hours here. you can see this well-developed storm system, pinwheeling slowly off to the east. the entire storm that spawned the severe weather the past few days is beginning to push off to the east and under the gun will be folks in indianapolis, st. louis, back to little rock, memphis. moderate risk for seeing severe weather today. that's one notch down from what we saw yesterday across parts of ek oak. more populated areas, a dangerous afternoon and evening for sure as this storm continues to push up. it's going to be tapping moisture from the gulf of mexico. that humidity is going to increase things as well and the heat also. it's another day and then this will push off to the east tomorrow and it will weaken somewhat, but still we're not done with this system yet. it's a big one. >> amazing how many of the
twisters caught on camera throughout yesterday. how -- i mean we just have so much visual evidence of the destruction. >> oklahoma city, they don't mess around in that television market. the choppers get up in the air and fly around these tornadoes. it's remarkable. and the residents of that state know what they're doing. >> a little more practice. >> they do. it's part of their daily lives, like brushing their teeth, get in the storm shelter or inside your home when the storms come through. they know how to cover it and warn their residents as well. that's another reason there weren't as many fatalities as we could have had. >> the funnel cloud is narrow and powerful, others we've seen monster wide storms. is there a difference of how they behave, the destruction or just different? >> they're like snowflakes, every one is different. the wider ones, wedge ones, can have multiple vortstysys within them. but the smaller ones, they don't look as bad but they pack a punch as well. >> explode a barn, pick up a car, amazing.
>> truly remarkable. >> also new this morning, officials say it is unlikely iceland's volcano will blow again, but right now the ash cloud is disrupting international air travel this morning. there's a look at it. you can see how wide, how dense the ash is at this point. germany shutting down two airports. ended up canceling 700 flights because of it. some good news, the european air traffic control agency says things could return to normal later today if the ash cloud continues to break up and dissipate. >> today is day three of president obama's tour of europe. he's in london right now. last night he and the first lady went to a lavish state banquet hosted by the queen, but the president's toast was accidentally interrupted when the orchestra started playing a bit too soon. >> to her majesty, the queen, to the vitality of the special relationship, between our peoples and in the words of shakespeare, to this blessed
plot, this earth, this realm, this england. to the queen. >> president obama and british prime minister david cameron will hold a news conference in just over an hour. "american morning" will have live coverage of that event beginning at 7:35 eastern time. we're expecting them to address libya, afghanistan, the relationship between these two countries and a whole lot more. >> and the whole global economic situation as well. >> that's right. there's a huge interest in this trial going on, three years in the making and a bombshell in the casey anthony case as opening statements in the trial in florida. the attorney for casey anthony basically accused -- who she is accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter caylee, her defense attorney told the jury that her toddler drowned accidentally and casey's father helped covered it up. her defense claims she was sexually abused by her father
from the age of 8 and this is a family used to covering up lies. we will be talking to sunny hostin about this defense. she is facing -- casey anthony is facing capital murder in this case. we'll talk to sunny hostin at 6:40. a judge rules against chris christi's state education budget. the state's supreme court ruled christie's school cuts are unconstitutional because they don't meet funding requirements. christy must include another $500 million in education aid back to the schools. a first look at nasa as it unveils its new space vehicle. exactly what it looks like coming up. more about oprah's final farewell. new details about her last how show. we'll tell you a little bit more about it. ♪ hello sunshine, sweet as you can be ♪
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starts over there behind the camera and extends all the way over here to the library of the church, a classroom, and goes all the way over there behind me. this whole area, we're on a hill, was a church that has just been destroyed. we're in the midst of this area in joplin destroyed. the only building that's still standing in very, very badly damaged is that medical center that we have been showing you for the last couple of days in which a number of patients died. we've been looking at all this, we've been surveying this all from the ground, but yesterday i had a chance to get up on a u.s. army black hawk and take a look around the damaged area. it's quite remarkable. let me give you a sense of the damage around here. it's about three quarters of a mile wide and about six miles long and doesn't have the characteristic, you know, some of the houses are destroyed or others are not. the tornado wrecked everything in its path and most of those
houses are just shredded. you can see, some of them are just entirely, entirely flat president. the foliage is gone, trees knocked over, if not stripped bare. the walmart we showed you pictures of and the home depot, also completely laid bare. a number of bodies pulled from the home depot. this is the kind of devastation that the storm has brought. a woman i want to introduce you to, i still will later in the show, lived in a house just nearby here. she went into her basement to wait this tornado out. the entire house collapsed upon her and her husband, but they did a little bit of space and their neighbors actually pulled them out. she actually went back to her house yesterday and got her pet bird that had also survived. there are stories of survival in here. however, there are still a lot of unaccounted for people. the list, according to the latest we just spoke to emergency workers here, about 1500 people.
now they are cautioning they don't know that there's anything wrong with those 1500 people. they don't know that they're hurt or trapped or dead. they are just people whose families have contacted authorities to say that they don't know where they are. it's entirely possible they've left the area, but all through the day yesterday and night, we are still having trouble communicating with people on the cell phone service because of the damage, the number of cell phone towers were put out, plus a lot of emergency workers and media in here. we don't know the state of those people. right now the death toll still standing at about 123 people in joplin, missouri, and the recovery continues. christine and kiran, if people want to find out more, they can help those devastated by the tornadoes in missouri, go to cnn.com/impact. we're going to link you to disaster relief in the other states that have been affected. this is a list of organizations and the ways you can help those in need. cnn.com/impact. christine, kiran? >> all right. ali velshi out there today. another day of devastation,
another day of uncertainty. we will be checking in with you throughout the morning. a former friend and aide of sarah palin has a new tell-all book. what he's saying about palin as a possible presidential candidate. the nba is trying to put a campaign forward telling people to watch what they say. yoakum noah, the latest player to use a gay slur. we'll talk about his punishment and why it was less than what kobe bryant got for doing the same thing. 20 minutes past the hour. [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible. [ beep ] [ male announcer ] find an italian masterpiece
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worker gets 18 vacation days but uses only 14 of them. one expert says the reason, some folks simply want to eliminate the temptation to spend money. fewer americans falling behind on their credit card bills. transunion says late payments have fallen to their lowest level in 15 years. one reason for that decline -- consumers are cautious about carrying debt, they've been paying down their credit card balances. nasa unveiling its new space shuttle. the multipurpose crew vehicle is based on the or ri yon capsule, designed to take out >>s back to the moon. it will be designed by lockheed martin. >> google and citibank are going green. the two companies announced they will invest $55 million into a california wind farm. once the project is complete it will be the country's largest wind farm able to power 450,000 homes. the best part of waking up will cost you more. the maker of folgers announcing it's raising the price of its coffee products by 11%.
j.m. smucker says the price hike is needed to offset high coffee costs. a group of high school students in washington state wanted to illustrate america's $14.3 trillion debt. check this out. they laid out 14,300 pennies, each of those pennies represents $1 billion. "american morning" will be right back after this break. ♪ ♪ ♪
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welcome back to joplin, missouri, where thousands of traumatized victims had to endure another night of terror. tornado warnings and the sound of sirens have people running for shelter last night. this city was spared a second direct hit. sunday's tornado left 124 people dead. search and rescue teams continue to look for survivors. 1500 people are unaccounted for this morning, but those may be people who just have not been able to contact their loved ones because of difficult cell service. the twister that wiped out 30% of this city was an ef-5. that is the highest rating for a tornado. it's been upgraded now. it had wind speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. when everything is added up, the damage from the deadliest tornado in recorded u.s. history could total $3 billion. and mother nature's assault on america's heartland also targeted oklahoma last night. five people there were killed in twisters. the national weather service confirmed five tornadoes touched down. most of the damage was done to
canadian county, which is west of oklahoma city. when the tornado hit the dinner shift was in full swing at a local ihop here in joplin. casey wian was out there yesterday, joins us with a story of 30 customers who wanted out of that -- those very tight quarters. tell us the story. >> well, ali, we met a man yesterday, who refuses to admit that he was a hero, but he played a big role in helping 36 people who were eating and working at an ihop survive after the tornado hit. >> we're going to start to just clean some of the debris around. >> reporter: danny is the manager of this demolished ihop restaurant in joplin, missouri. he was on duty when the tornado struck sunday. >> started getting dark, it was hailing outside, a lot of rain, and the siren went off and we sensed it, a tornado watch.
it wasn't very scary in the beginning, but after that just kept getting worse and worse. >> reporter: inside, 30 customers and six employees. >> debris started hitting the windows and stuff and you could hear the noises before the window breaks and stuff. everybody got scared and stuff. we thought the best way to go, go to the back and hide. everybody went through this way inside to the back, just away from the window, away from any glasses or, you know -- so nobody would get hurt. >> what were you hearing? >> just a lot of noises like a train and a lot of noises. people gathered and they are too many, they were crowded up here, they managed to get inside the walk-in and inside the freezer. so as you see, it wouldn't fit many people. >> reporter: 15 in the refrigerator, 15 in the freezer and the rest huddled outside. >> imagine being one of the 15 people who were crammed inside this walk-in refrigerator, waiting out the tornado. it had to be even scarier
because there was no light and they were in here for about five minutes hoping and praying. >> reporter: once the noise stopped, customers and employees got out and surveyed the damage. it had to be shocking to see near total devastation alongside plates of food that remain on the table. >> you got lucky, no one got hurt and everybody was fine. >> reporter: his house was also destroyed, yet two days after the tornado, the siryrian immigrant has nothing but kind words for his adopted town. >> i'm very proud of joplin people in our community. >> reporter: as for the future of the restaurant. is it going to be rebuilt. >> it's going to come back better than before. >> reporter: as it turns out, two of the diners in that restaurant who survived the tornado were members of the missouri state legislature, ali. just some of the incredible survivor stories that we're still learning about every day. ali? >> yeah. casey, you and i have been running into a lot of that around here. a lot of confidence that they're going to rebuild, they're going
to get back. while there's a lot of sadness around this town, there are a lot of people who are very, very hopeful. we'll chat later on in the show. also we've just spoken to emergency services in the city here and we do want to confirm the latest death toll is now 125 people dead from this devastating twister in joplin. kiran, christine. >> thanks, ali. certainly a sad update on the death toll. thanks, ali. new this morning the house appropriations committee approving $1 billion in disaster relief money for communities hit hard by the recent spade of natural disasters. this is a proposed increase to fema's budget, paid for by cutting a program that promotes the development of energy efficient vehicles. democrat kathy hochul won a special congressional election yesterday by campaigning against the republican party's plan to transform medicare. the seat had originally been considered safe for republicans. yesterday's election was to replace former republican
congressman chris lee. lee resigned back in february after a shirtless photo he e-mailed to a woman who was not his wife appeared on the internet. one-time member of sarah palin's inner circle blasting the former alaska governor in a tell-all book. frank bailey started working with palin during her 2006 governor's campaign. in an interview with both cnn and abc's "the view" bailey said palin loves to play the victim and her, quote, leadership style was absolutely chaotic. he also weighed in on whether she plans to run for president in 2012. >> i believe she is very ambitious and i believe she is seriously considering it. >> isn't that terrible for the country if she run? >> it would be a disaster for the country. >> an advise er to sarah palin's action committee released a statement saying mr. bailey has an ax to grind and abandoned truth in his book. he was found guilty and today brian david mitchell learns his fate. the homeless street preacher was
convicted of sexually assaulting elizabeth smart in 2002 and holding her captive for nine months. smart managed to escape during a trip to walmart. she's expected to speak at the sentencing. mitchell faces life in prison. chicago bulls center joakim noah paying the price for an anti-gay slur he made during the game. the league fining noah $50,000 for using a term to respond to a fan in sunday's game against the heat. noah says the fine is fair, it is half of what kobe bryant got for making an anti-gay remark to a referee, all happening as the nba has been trying to crack down on offensive language. this is a psa. we talked to grant hill, the sun's star, last week about it. this is a psa for the league sponsored think before you speak campaign, aimed at cutting down on gay bullying. >> yet you still hear these words in moments of heat on the court. >> and the defense from both of them, from kobe and joakim, i
didn't mean it like that. i said it in anger. that's the point of the psa, you have to think before you speak. >> right. a jun giving warner brothers the okay to release "the hangover 2" because of the mike tyson inspired ink on ed helms. the studio is not in the clear yet. the judge ruled the lawsuit can continue to move forward. of course -- i know. >> i know. i saw it last night, by the way. >> was it funny? >> i was not the biggest fan of "hangover 1". >> this is funnier, the same formula but they were creative. any time you throw a monkey into the movie. >> have you seen "bridesmaids". >> a lot of people say that's better than "hangover 2." a courtroom bombshell in the casey anthony murder case. this is an about-face and how could this impact the prosecution's case. sunny hostin will stop by with these stunning developments in this case. >> it's also the long good-bye.
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free, at thousands of reputable dealers. just say, show me the carfax. xxxix minutes pasts the hour -- 39 minutes past the hour right now. this casey anthony murder trial finally had their opening statements. she is on trial for allegedly killing her 2-year-old daughter caylee in 2008. the defense dropped a few bombshells in the opening statements yesterday. anthony's attorney saying that caylee wasn't murdered as prosecutors contend, but rather that she accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool and that casey's father helped cover that up. not only that, the defense also went on to say that casey was sexually abused by her father since she was 8 years old. george anthony, her dad, was called as the first witness. let's listen. >> have you ever sexually
molested your daughter casey anthony? >> no, sir. >> were you present in your home when caylee anthony died? >> no. when i heard that today, it hurt really bad. >> did you dispose of the body of your granddaughter? >> no, i did not. >> again some very gripping testimony and live questioning. sunny hostin a legal contributor for "in session" and joins us now. thanks for being here. >> sure. >> jose baez, casey anthony's attorney, shocked the courtroom, first this whole allegation of the incest, even brought the brother in at some point. >> that's right. >> and also that everything you've heard is completely wrong. this baby drowned accidentally in the family pool and everybody knew but the grandmother. >> out of the blue. >> it is.
bombshell is the right term because i've been covering this case and watching this case from the very beginning. i was riveted by his opening statement. he told "in session" that he would explain the 31 days, because that's the behavior everyone is talking about, kid is missing for 31 days. >> without her reporting. >> my kid is missing 31 seconds i'm going to report it to someone. he said he would explain it in the first mipg minute of his opening statement and that's what he did. he basically says, hey, listen, she didn't report her because she wasn't missing. she died. she died accidentally, tragically, but she wasn't murdered. she died by drowning in a swimming pool. why does that make sense? this is florida. in florida, drowning deaths for children under 4 is the top cause of death. and so this defense could certainly resonate with a lot of those jurors. >> the part hard to believe, you hear all of those conversations when she's in jail and all of the phone calls between her mother and her father. >> she mentioned sexual abuse, though. >> why in god's name if it was something as tragic but, quote,
you know, nonne fair russ what she not say that? >> that's the question. according to the defense because she was sexually abused by her father from ages 8 on. they talk about the fact she would have to go to school after being sexually abused and he said sexual abuse changes you. after this accidental death she was so traumatized she went into her corner and tried to live life as if her life was different. having prosecuted child sex crimes, and i've met with many victims of incest, sex abuse does change you. again, it's a defense, i'm not saying that it's true, but it's a defense that could resonate with some of the jurors. >> which is why it's a brilliant legal strategy but if you're the prosecution you're trying to say this woman has been lying over and over and over for three years. >> that's right. >> and in the end you have a 2-year-old little girl who is dead and her mother was partying around for 31 days without reporting her missing. >> and they did a great job, the
prosecution, in their opening statement. they said now is the time to tell the story of caylee anthony. and that is, as a prosecutor, what you need to do. as you said, christine, a 2-year-old girl is dead and let's not forget that. this is a tragedy. the victim is going to be in the courtroom because of the prosecution every single minute, every second of that trial. >> from the way that yesterday shaped up it's going to be a long, long trial. >> two months i'm going to be watching every single day. >> let's switch to the dsa case, dominique strauss-kahn, earlier this week, a lot of speculation and rumors about maybe the dna evidence is back, what does it show? where do we go from here with this case? once the dna evidence is officially back, who's going to see it and what does that do for the case? >> i haven't been able to confirm that the dna evidence is back. but this case is not really about forensics because the defense in this case is, either it didn't happen or it was consensual. that's not the issue. the issue is the credibility of
this victim. if i'm the prosecutor i want to take care of my victim, make sure no defense investigators are getting to her. i want to make sure she's not being bribed or trying to be convinced out of testifying. i want to make sure my victim is okay. i want her -- >> counselors. >> psychologists, protect her. >> certainly she's going to obviously headline any case they have. >> it's not a case without her. >> the other question is what about the potential for blood evidence and for other bodily fluid evidence and how that would shape the argument on either side. >> certainly it helps, right. especially if it corroborates any part of her story. she said this was a violent attack. if there are pictures of scratches on her body, if there's any evidence of forced sexual contact, that is going to be important. but again, it's really her story versus his story. i will say i don't think the prosecution and the new york police department would have yanked someone of his stature off of a plane going to france
if they didn't believe that she was credible. it's all about the victim. >> let me talk about the leak. wide reports this week of a dna match. which we have not confirmed. how does that affect the prosecution? where does something like that come from and who's leaking stuff like that and why? >> i've reached out to the d.a.'s office and they haven't confirmed anything like that. i'm sure that they are not going to prosecute this case in the media. this is a sex crime case and they want to protect their victim. they want to protect their evidence. leaks like this do happen. sometimes they come out of the dna testing lab. >> out of the lab? >> out of the lab. sometimes they come out of law enforcement agencies. but it certainly isn't coming from the prosecution. it may not -- >> trying to keep complete control of the situation. >> this is a sex crime case. this is a serious matter and they will not be trying this on "american morning." >> all right. we'll be talking about it. >> jinx. >> sunny hostin, great to see you as always. legal contributor for "in session".
>> oprah's final farewell. new details about her final show coming up. it's 47 minutes past the hour. [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible.
it's 48 minutes past the hour. time to get you caught up on this morning's headlines. the devastating weather situation continues for parts of the midwest. this is oklahoma. five people dead in oklahoma, a 3-year-old missing, after a devastating night of extreme weather there. five tornadoes touching down in the state.
most of the damage done to canadian county, west of oklahoma city. pakistan turning over the wreckage of the military helicopter damaged in the raid that killed osama bin laden. it arrived in the u.s. over the weekend. special forces destroyed that chopper after it malfunctioned ahead of the raid. an arizona judge expected to rule today about whether jared loughner is mentally fit to stand trial for murder. loughner is accused of the fatal shootings of six people and wounding 13 others in tu san, including congresswoman gabrielle giffords. the family of bryan stow, the giants fan, severely beaten in the stadium parking lot is suing the team and its owner, frank mccourt. the suit alleges lack of security and inadequate lightning contributed to the attack. a suspect has been arrested. "endeavour" making the third of four spacewalks on their final mission. they're laying power cables and adding a robot arm attachment
outside of the international space station. "endeavour" will return to earth next week. fun and games for president obama and british prime minister david cameron, they played a game of ping-pong yesterday, but the two will get down to business in less than an hour. they're going to be holding a joint news conference in london. we'll begin our live coverage at 7:30 eastern this morning. you're caught up on the day's news. "american morning" is back after a quick break. bombshell,.
ends today. >> that's the big glamorous event recently, but they taped the final episode yesterday. as our alina cho tells us, it wasn't the big, huge, fanfare we've seen. this was a more intimate affair. >> every single star seemingly on the planet was there. in fact, jerry seinfeld came on and at one point he said this is an exercise in finding out how much one person can take. everybody was there. as i said, seemingly every star on the planet kissed the ring that is oprah over the last couple days. a lot of people are wondering like the two of you, what will the final show have in store. this is a spoiler alert. consider yourself warned. >> pause. >> because we have found out. >> pause pause pause. >> that the final show will be oprah herself on stage, talking and saying good-bye to the 13,000 fans who were in the
audience at the united center and, you know, it was really interesting because a lot of people thought, who will be on the stage with her. it will just be oprah herself, after 25 seasons, 5,000 shows, and countless lives changed, as i mentioned it was taped at the united center. it was the house that michael jordan built. you saw him there on the stage a moment ago. so here's what it was like to be there in the audience. watch. >> really emotional. i had tears in my eyes myself. >> she said off the bat i'm not giving away any cars, no guests. >> they were there but in the audience. >> i sat on the side of stedman and also gayle on the other side of there and maria shriver and in the back of me was b.b. wian and sicily was on the other side. she had so many guests. >> imagine the whiplash if you were there in the audience.
in case you were one of the few who missed the shows, madonna, will smith, aretha franklin, usher, tom hanks, tom cruise, that's just to name a few. but one of the most moving moments certainly for oprah, she calls it one of her favorite moments of all time, was this moment here and you see the -- look at that. 400 plus men from morehouse university, walked on to the stage carrying candles while the broadway star christin chenoweth performed. she put all these students through school. this is just a fraction of the thousands of people she has put through school over her 25 years. it is the only time i saw her nearly sa lsob like that. we spoke to dr. oz and nate berkus. oz, some are calling him the next oprah, about what he learned from oprah winfrey and his greatest lesson he learned from her, was to listen. >> my biggest weakness of all, without any question, i'm a guy
and i'm a surgeon, that's two strikes. i mean i don't listen well. and so as soon as you come to me, i want to fix the problem before i even heard it. you can't fix a feeling until you heard it. oprah said take a step back, assess the issue and empathize what's going on. once they've been heard they'll want to hear your thoughts on it. >> that is why oprah calls him america's doctor. that's part of his gift. it certainly was oprah's gift. she would always say oz said, let the audience surprise you. if you listen and you let the audience surprise you, they will. you know, i asked oz what he thought her greatest gift was, and he said she's ordinary and extraordinary. so she understands what it's like to be on food stamps and why that's important, but she can also sit on a couch like this and talk to the biggest stars on the planet. >> and for her row say crystal. >> it's hard to imagine. >> the school, seeing those kids she put through school.
her greatest legacy. people say why didn't i have children, vie all of these as my children. from the school in south africa to the school here, she's made this one of, but a huge cause of advancing young people and helping them get ahead. >> we spoke to a young man who actually watches oprah's speeches and learns from them and has never missed a show, and he said the one thing that oprah said years ago that i remember, is she said, god said to me, use me until you can't use me anymore. and i took that to heart. and that's what she's taught millions of people around the world. >> fascinating stuff. thanks, alina. can't wait to see just her saying good-bye. that will be beautiful. >> down to joplin, missouri. ali is there where he's following the aftermath now of those tornadoes and another really rough night last night. hi, ali. >> yeah. really rough night last night. tornado sirens, heavy heavy weather. there remains hope in this town and across the heartland this morning and when we come back, i'm going to have a conversation
with a woman who sought shelter in her own house, the house collapsed on top of her, but her neighbors got her out. she's with me live on the other side. we're some joplin, missouri. this is "american morning." i love that my daughter's part fish. but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team. and i only need to talk to one person about her care. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. [ laughs ] not funny. act my age? -why? -why? -why? i love the sun. past sun goddess. every line has a story. [ female announcer ] we all age differently. now there's roc multi-correxion 4 zone moisturizer
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america's heartland getting battered. mother nature's latest target is oklahoma. five tornadoes touched down in the state yesterday. five people are dead and entire neighborhoods are destroyed on this "american morning." witnessing the raw, sheer power of mother nature all of it caught on tape. welcome to "american morning" for this wednesday, may 25th. i'm kiran chetry. >> i'm christine romans, ali velshi is in joplin, missouri, where last night the tornado sirens were blaring again where you are and in oklahoma city, in oklahoma, five more fatalities there. still searching for a 3-year-old boy who's missing, ali?
>> and it's got people wondering, what is going on. it's been weeks that we've been reporting on this very unusual, very violent weather. this was the deadliest tornado on record on sunday that pulverized this city, joplin, missouri. the people of joplin had to suffer through another night of terror last night. i'll get to that in a moment. but first, as you said, mother nature's latest victims arkansas, kansas and oklahoma. the national weather service says at least five tornadoes touched down in oklahoma yesterday. >> absolutely killer tornado that's now crossing -- it's going to be crossing i-40 here shortly. if you know anybody that's on i-40, going into or coming out of oklahoma city, tell them not to -- not get near i-40. it's got about a bunch of vorti vortisies. >> trained professional storm spotters getting that information. he said it was deadly, he was right. five people killed, dozens more injured.
parts of canadian county, west of oklahoma city, were flattened. more heartache in the heartland. two people are dead in stafford county in kansas. they were driving when a possible tornado uprooted a tree that slammed into their van. emergency officials say two people died in arkansas last night. heavy damage to trees and homes reported in denning and johnson county, that's in the northern part of the state. you know the weather is extreme when the staff at the local storm prediction center is forced to evacuate and that is exactly what happened in norman, oklahoma, last night. a tornado was coming right at them. it missed. but others nearby weren't so lucky. five people were killed in the state and the national weather service says at least five tornadoes touched down there. let's bring in ed lavandera, live in piedmont, oklahoma, this morning. ed, what's the story? >> ali, this is the area where those five deaths you talked about happened last night, and the sheriff in this area says that death toll could continue to go up. there is a 3-year-old boy that
is still missing and now that daybreak is upon us here, we understand that search and rescue teams will go out and resume the search for that young boy. that's one of the story lines that people in this community will be following closely. watch the destruction here that happened late yesterday afternoon. this home was a two-story home. this tornado that ripped through here in piedmont, oklahoma, which is just northwest of oklahoma city, just ripped off the second story of this home, has blown debris down the street from where we are. as you look here, it's a rather rural area, small area of about 4,000 people, and we drove in this morning from this direction and we've seen a great deal of destruction, power lines down, and a number of homes that have been destroyed and beaten down by this tornado. but this is one of the first areas that was hit by this wave of tornados that cut across oklahoma late yesterday afternoon and it was cause for a long, treacherous and sleepless night for thousands of people in oklahoma who have been battling
these tornadoes and the recovery process from what these storms cut through this state yesterday and all of the despair it has caused here in the last 24 hours. ali? >> ed, that same system that spawned those tornadoes, moved northeast last night and got us again in joplin. sirens, tornado warnings went out, we were right here in this spot when that started. we decided we would get out of here and go to where we had seen -- we had last seen a gathering of people which was right off of i-44. a waffle house. as soon as we got there, there were no people. they had all of a sudden been pushed by the workers into the back of the restaurant. here's what happened. >> the last place we saw where there was a gathering of people was this waffle house right here near interstate 44. this is what they call sort of the hotel district in joplin. a lot of new hotels and restaurants around here. we figured let's get a lay of the land and find out what's
going on here. this thing was absolutely full about ten minutes ago. when we got here it was all emptied out. people are starting to take shelter. some went in the back and you can see some people are trying to make decisions as to where they should go. a lot of people have applications and are getting messages as to where the storm is, but there is heavy lectrystorms. not much in the way of rain right now but the storm is headed in this direction. after what has happened here on sunday night, i guess some people just don't want to take chances. everybody is looking for shelter right now. moments after that the city became deserted as people went for shelter a quarter mile from where i was, casey wian was at the hotel he was based at. casey is with us this morning. the last thing these already traumaizized residents of joplin needed was another tornado scare and that scare became very real late last night. absolutely, ali. folks were on edge all day long because we knew the tornadoes were approaching the area.
9:30 local time there was a knock on my hotel room, hotel staff alerting people that tornado warning sirens were going off and advising us to get into the tornado shelter, the tornado shelter at this particular hotel is actually the first floor hallway. so i headed down there. i was on the third floor headed down to the first floor and i think we can show you some pictures my colleague photographer shot. people that were down there included family member eshs, dogs, people who had been displaced from this tornado who had lost hatheir home. people on ill-timed vacations. a lot of insurance personnel here to process the incredible number of claims sure to emerge after this big tornado. we sat in that hallway and in the lobby of the hotel about 60 people, watching the lightning flash, every couple minutes outside, and the wind and the rain coming in. one of the things it brought home was the fact that first of all, i never heard a tornado warning siren until i was down in the lobby of the hotel and
you hear people say they experienced the same thing before the big tornado, they didn't hear the warning sirens. the other thing you also understand is that people have tornado warning fatigue. you go through these things and nothing emerges of significance and you can see why people can have a tendency to maybe ignore these things. but clearly what you see behind me and the result of this tornado is a lesson that those warnings should not be ignored, ali. >> thanks very much. i'll check in with you later. my next guest did not have to wait to be rescued from the rubble of her home. come in, ella. ella smith. and her husband were dug out of their home right after it collapsed on top of them on sunday night. ella, you live just a few blocks from here. it took you a long time to get here because of all the destruction in between. tell us what happened on sunday when you first heard sirens and then what happened? >> yes. we heard the tornado siren. it went off for a little while.
then we ran down to the basement and we waited there for a while and then all of a sudden, the winds started and my husband got up and went to the basement door and looked out at the sky and he said, oh, honey, he said that sky looks terrible. and so he come back in and we put the -- a big old brick in front of the basement door to hold it shut and the next minute, the wind really started up and it just blew the door open and jim and i, we were sitting in lawn chairs and all of a sudden i says to jim, i said that wind is getting really strong. so then i went and hid behind the furnace, between the furnace in the basement and the hot water tank and i had my two dogs with me on chains and we crouched down there. and then all of a sudden it was really thundering and thundering
really rolling thunder, and then just all of a sudden, the winds started roaring and it just got really, really bad and it started -- it sounded like a freight train was coming through and it was coming through both sides of the house. and then all of a sudden i just got all this -- i put my head down and i got all this dirt and everything else in front of my face and everything and i couldn't see anything. and then a beam fell on the top of my head and then it went on to my shoulders and then hit my little maltese on the floor and i thought, my maltese was gone because i reached down there and it wouldn't move and stuff. and then i kept trying and then finally it came to, the dog came to, and stuff. and then after it was all over, we stayed down there for a while and then all of a sudden we
heard somebody say, is there anybody down there? and we -- i kept saying, we're in the basement, we're in the basement. it took them a while to hear us, you know. >> what's the condition of your house now? >> it's flattened. it's gone. >> i mean i'm looking, it's hard for our viewers to see, everything around us is flattened. i can't imagine there are people underneath that. your house looked like the same pile of rubble you see over there? >> yes. the only way we could get out of the basement, two guys came along and helped us over the foundation and then it was the basement was filling up with water and stuff so they finally got us out and -- >> wow. we're hoping that there might be some other people who did what you did and might still be saved, but it is -- you know, when you see this rubble, it's a miracle that you're here and we're glad to have you here, ella. you're one of the stories of hope in a story of such devastation. >> thank you. >> good to have you here. ella smith and her husband with us this morning and they are
safe. by the way, the tornado that crushed joplin on sunday night is now being called an ef 5, the highest designation, highest rating possible, winds topped 200 miles per hour, that's why you heard that freight train sound that you heard. rob marciano is with christine and kiran, he can tell us a little more about this, hey guys. >> thanks ali. there were near misses yesterday as well. >> it goes to show you just how lucky we are sometimes and how unlucky this year with joplin and tuscaloosa and birmingham taking the direct hits. last flight we had several large tornadoes scoot around and dissipate around oklahoma city and dallas saw some tornadoes as well. i want to show you this one graphic that's kind of interesting, out of el reno to the west of oklahoma city. this is a graphic of the wind speed and there's time at the bottom. notice the wind speeds go from about 20 miles per hour to 150-mile-an-hour wind gusts. pressure at about 950 millibami.
you think that tornado was passing over that site, you better believe it. let's talk about what's going to be happening later today and now. we have some thunderstorm warnings in effect around the st. louis area, but as of now, no tornado warnings are in effect. i haven't been able to say that in a couple days, it seems. tornado watch extended to the east of st. louis. notice the pinwheeling of the storm. it's slowly pushing to the east. this orange or red box there, from indianapolis to little rock and memphis, moderate risk of seeing severe weather through tonight. a good chance as the atmosphere gets cooking we start to see more thunderstorms that could produce tornadoes throughout the day today. as this thing pushes to the east we're not done with it yet. >> it's unfortunate. i mean we want to hear things are going to at least clear out. look at the devastation and wonder how long is it going to take these areas to rebuild. >> i want to make one point. the world is not coming to an end here. we've been unlucky. in et tro spekts you --
retrospect you realize how lucky we've been in the past years with the tornadoes as they move through this part of the world. it's unique that we have everything together for tornadoes certainly in april and may. >> all right. >> a try to be hopeful. >> thanks, rob. coming up next, sarah palin, a former aide coming out with a new tell-all book, speaking secrets, weighing in on her presidential ambitions and her camp is responding this morning. 13 minutes past the hour.
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16 minutes past the hour. we talk a lot about the special relationship between the united states and britain, sort of together as leaders on the world stage. now that certainly on display after a big toast yesterday by the queen at buckingham palace last night. president obama is now getting back to business this morning. he meets with the prime minister of britain, david cameron and the two leaders will be holding a joint press conference in
about 20 minutes. we'll bring it to you live. set to start at 7:35 eastern time this morning. later, the president makes his way to parliament. he's going to address both houses, also a historic event to have a sitting president of the united states to address the parliament. >> get him to talk about libya, afghanistan, the global economic situation, of course he heads on to a g-8 meeting in france after this. an awful lot on their plate. a big win for democrats, kathleen hochul won the special election for a congressional seat. she appealed to voters who are upset with the gop's plan to revamp medicare. yesterday's election was to replace former republican congressman chris lee. you might recall lee resigned back in february after a shirtless photo he e-mailed to a woman who was not his wife appeared on the internet. a former aide to sarah palin now speaking about his time working with the former alaska governor. frank bailey has written what some call a tell-all book. in it he said palin, quote, loved to play the victim and also gave an interview to brook
baldwin where he talked about what it was like when palin became senator john mccain's running mate. >> her style of leadership was absolutely chaotic. brook, you've got to understand that, you know, because i vested so much when she got tapped for v.p., i had -- i was absolutely overjoyed on one sense and in another sense, just absolutely terrified. what if this person did actually become vice president and president? she is not a -- she's not an organized leader, i will say, to put it politely. >> an adviser to sarah palin's action committee released a statement saying, quote, mr. bailey has an ax to grind and abandoned truth in his book. >> up next on "american morning," the price of your favorite coffee could be going up. why the best part of waking up is going to cost you a little more. that's right after the break. it's 18 minutes past the hour. ♪
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21 minutes past the hour. concerns about europe's debt problems and a slowing u.s. economy pushes stocks lower for a third day in a row. the dow slipped 25 points. the nasdaq and s&p 500 were also down. five oil speculators have been charged with manipulating the price of crude oil back in 2008. according to federal regulators these speculators made more than $50 million after buying enormous amounts of crude in oklahoma, creating a perceived shortage there and then betting against it. and the best part of waking up will cost you more. the maker of folger's announcing it's raising the price of coffee
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regional medical center everyone sensed things would never be the same in joplin, missouri. the hospital is still standing amid all the rubble but barely. joining me is gary, the ceo of st. john's regional medical center and dr. shawn smith, an emergency physician at st. john's. thank you for being here. as we saw our audience get the sense of it, we are facing the medical center. gary, what's the state of that building? >> the building is severely damaged and it looks like it might be a challenge for us to ever use that building again. >> it is probably one of the sturdiest buildings in the area, so if somebody wants to get a sense of how serious this tornado was, that will give you a sense of it. shawn, tell me what happened on sunday night? >> initially when the storm came through we had about a 25-minute warning the storm was expected to produce tornadic winds. >> that's the execute condition gray. >> that means high winds, potential for a tornado. at that time the staff moved all
the patients and staff away from the exterior walls to interior walls, away from glassed in areas and hunkered in the secured areas to prepare for the worst. >> you tried to make your way in here. there was a lot of debris. you did get here. doctors and staff came in who weren't in the hospital area. why? >> yes. because any time we have a disaster our staff knows to come in, to assist. that's what we do. we don't wait to be asked to come in. i did send out text messaging from the cell phone to all my staff, emergency physicians and nurses asking them to come in and they did within the first hour to hour and a half we had the hospital completely evacuated and cleared of all spashtss and staff members. the patients have been relocated to other facilities and we set up a mobile hospital and emergency department at memorial hall with our emergency department staff and physicians. >> tell me about those who weren't so lucky to get out. >> we had five patient patients, critical patients, large intensive care unit, 36 beds, a
few were on ventilators and it's tough with a fragile situation to keep them going, keep them alive. >> those who could easily be moved to the interior were able to get there, and i guess there was difficulty with others? >> there was difficulty with others. their own personal condition was fragile anyway. >> one of the questions that senator claire mccaskill brought up, as you decide what you're going to do with this and as youe buiyou rebuild this city is missing a major medical facility and there are doctors needed. what's the thinking for doctors and this facility? >> this facility, mercy st. john's, will be here. we're part of the mercy health system. they are committed, they've already met bit with all of our senior leadership. we will be bigger, better than we are now. we will be preparing to build a new facility. in the meantime we're going to have mobile hospitals put in, basically like m.a.s.h. units, similar to what has happened to kansas before when communities
have been destroyed. we will have the capability of taking care of emergency patients, surgical patients. i'm having equipment set up at memorial hall today. we'll actually have full dpra and cat scan and mri capabilities today. we will be functioning as a hospital. obviously not on a 370 bed capability like we were before, but mercy and st. john's will be here. we're here to take care of the patients and we will rebuild. >> all right. sean, thank you for that. and gary, tell me about what that process is. in the next few days, this will start to get cleared up. people will move on with their lives. what decisions are you making about how to rebuild and go on? >> it's like sean says, we have an immediate plan, bring this mobile hospital in, 60 beds, sunday it will be set up, and then short-term plans and long term, we're working already with mercy v a board meeting, for example, to discuss those plans and further that. the work of the next few months and next couple years will be to rebuild. we'll figure out how to keep
most of our critical staff in other hospitals locally. totally different than what we usually do. but it will come back together. >> in a big, heavily populated busy place like this, a major health care center is central to the decision people make to live here and stay here and work here. so the growth and the return of this medical center will be important to this community. gentlemen, thank you for being with us. sean, thanks for the great work you and your team did and gary, thank you very much for everything that you guys are doing. all right. it is time for us to take a quick break. up to speed with the top stories. let me send it to christine to do that. >> top stories here. five people dead in oklahoma. five tornadoes touched down in that state yesterday. very heavy damage reported west of oklahoma city in canadian county. you're seeing pictures of that twister there, flying debris. just one of the twisters that caused so much devastation there. >> i know. another one of the shots you literally see a pick-up truck torn apart. all of this caught on tape.
amazing pictures of the sheer force of that tornado. and also another night of terror in joplin, missouri, where a tornado warning sent everyone scrambling again for cover. it was a near miss after 48 hours after the deadliest tornado on record killed 125 people. >> president obama is wrapping up his stay in the uk. he arrived at 10 downing street this morning for talks with british prime minister david cameron. the two are scheduled to hold a news joint conference momentarily. we will go there live when it happens. we're expecting them to talk about afghanistan, libya, taking questions from the press. so this will be two very important world leaders talking about the global financial situation and a lot of other things as well. we'll have that for you live. >> i'm sure the middle east will factor in big there as well. this is coming up in just about three minutes. again, as christine said, we'll have it live for you. new this morning the case against former senator john edwards moving forward. a federal judge is reportedly allowing prosecutors to indict the two-time presidential
candidate and former senator. edwards is accused of violating campaign finance laws by illegally using more than $1 million in donations to cover up an extramarital affair in 2008. edwards can now accept a plea deal or face trial. former egyptian president hosni mubarak will stand trial for murder charges. he's accused of ordering his forces to kill protesters during a demonstration in cairo's tahrir square. he and his two sons allegedly used public funds for their gain. if convicted he could face the death penalty. he stepped down as the country's leader after the 18-day uprising in february. to florida where murder trial opens with a series of bombshells from the defense. the attorney for casey anthony, who was accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter caylee, told the jury that the toddler accidentally drowned in the family's swimming pool and that cas casey's father helped cover it up. the defense attorney for casey also went on to claim that her
father had been sexually abusing her since she was a young girl. meantime the family of bryan stow, the giants fan beaten in the stadium parking lot, is now suing the team as well as the team's owner frank mccourt. the suit alleging it was a lack of security and inadequate lighting that contributed to that attack. stow remains hospitalized and a suspect has been arrested. the u.s. helicopter damaged in the raid on osama bin laden's compound returns home. pakistan turning over the wreckage. it arrived this weekend. a malfunction during the attack caused the chopper to make a hard landing. u.s. special forces then deliberately blew it up to keep sensitive technology out of the wrong hands. nasa unveiling its new space shuttle, a multipurpose crew vehicle based on the orion capsule. the spacecraft originally designed to take astronauts back to the moon. now this new spacecraft will be designed by lockheed martin. and right now "endeavour" astronauts are making the third
of four spacewalks, their final mission. they're laying power cables and adding a robot arm attachment outside of the international space station. "endeavour" will return to earth next week. mother nature doing more damage in the heartland of america. oklahoma getting the worst of it last night. five tornadoes yesterday, five dead. a 3-year-old boy still missing. you're looking at powerful pictures here of just one of those twisters. we will have a live report on the new space of tornadoes last flight, that's coming up right after the break. we want to show you live pictures just coming in. you see the motorcade carrying president obama as he gets set for this joint news conference taking place with british prime minister david cameron. all of this is going to be happening within a moment. we will take a quick break and bring you that news conference live. it's 35 minutes past the hour. [ thinking ] oh, gourmet deliciousness...
the jaguar xf is a timeless blend of performance and craftsmanship. see how jaguar outperforms the competition at jaguarperforms.com or visit your local jaguar dealer. welcome back to "american morning." we're awaiting a live press conference between the british prime minister david cameron and the american president, barack
obama. that should start any moment now. historic press conference for where it is, in westminster hall. >> address to parliament. >> later after this press conference. we're expecting that to run maybe even an hour. >> yes. and, you know, they're going to be taking questions, so there are many topics, obviously, a huge issues globally that are going on from the situation in libya to nato to afghanistan to middle east peace. of course the whole g-8, all of those types of questions. brianna keilar is here with a preview for us. she's traveling with the president, with more on what they expect to discuss. what is their headline today? i know you guys are going to be asking a myriad of questions as well. >> we're going to be asking as many questions as we can, certainly. we'll probably get maybe a few in there. but the headline here is really for the u.s. and britain to renew its relationship in a way, and to really stress how important their alliance is. of course britain is the closest ally for the u.s. and i think
right now, the context in which this is being done, has to do specifically with the arab spring uprising. you heard president obama put forward some proposals last week, talking about ways that the u.s. can help trying to get democracy to take hold in the region, specifically he talked about egypt and tunisia. these are things that he's looking for support from european allies for, and that he's certainly looking for support from britain for. you're going to hear them talk a lot about the importance of democratic values, these are topics we're going to hear in this press conference and we'll also hear president obama talking about this later during really this anchor speech he's going to be giving before parliament here in a few hours. he'll just be talking about at a time of sort of uncertainty and change in the middle east, that this is really quite the opportunity and that it's really up to the u.s. and the u.k. to take the lead with some european allies and really make sure that democracy takes hold in the region and really do the best they can in moving that forward,
guys. >> and also, brianna, we talked about this is history making because the president will be addressing both houses of parliament, it's going to be in westminster hall. this is a place where the queen, where pope benedict, nelson mandela and others have spoken, as well. what is the significance of the locati location? >> the significance of the location is that a u.s. president has never actually given a speech there. so this is really going to be a first where he is addressing both houses of parliament. we're going to be hearing him talk about how the u.s./u.k. relationship is the corner stone of global security and it's very much up to these two countries to shoulder a lot of the burden in making sure that certainly their own security is safe, but for an even larger -- even larger reason, i guess you could say, for global security.
this -- britain, of course, is the closest ally of the u.s. we're going to be hearing president obama talking about libya, of course. he's going to be talking as well about afghanistan and the commitment that the u.s. and britain have had there. britain has a large number of troops serving in afghanistan. number two only to the u.s. and the prime minister has actually announced a timetable for withdrawing those troops, something we're awaiting president obama to do, announcing a timetable for withdraw beginning in july. but when you're listening to this speech, what you're going to be hearing is a lot of forward thinking. there was an op-ed in "the times of london" penned by both cameron and obama, talking about how they came of age both of them during the cold war, and that has really informed their perceptions of the world. you're going to be hearing sort of some likening of what's going on now in the middle east to this sbebeing kind of a change, looking forward, where he's going to be talking ability the
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