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tv   American Morning  CNN  May 30, 2011 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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parts of the midwest hammered again by of the midwesd again. a powerful line of storms hitting michigan and illinois, bringing down trees, leaving tens of thousands this morning in the dark. and i'm alina cho. sarah palin launching her bus tour at a biker rally. the former alaska governor in black, head to toe, but is she running for president? she talks exclusively to cnn on this "american morning." good morning. this memorial day. >> good morning. >> kiran and ali are off today. we hope you will be doing some barbecuing later on. >> at least. >> waking up having a little coffee. >> that's right.
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>> on this holiday morning. >> and we've got a lot of news. we begin with the weather. first a new wave of spring storms is pounding the midwest. in fact, some of the worst damage is in battle creek, michigan. a storm packing 80-mile-an-hour winds snapped trees, brought down a lot of power lines. in fact, across the state some 100,000 homes and businesses lost power. >> a violent storm hit the chicago area. ferocious winds uprooting trees and sending them on the tops of houses and cars. >> the trees just doubled. it was the strongest wind i've seen in a long time. >> that's the important part. nobody got hurt. houses can be rebuilt, people takes a long time for them to get rebuilt. >> the severe weather grounded 450 flights at o'hare airport sunday. could be more of the same today. we'll let you know whether there could be more of this. >> that's not exactly the news you want if you're coming back from your holiday vacation. we want to know what's in store for you today. rob marciano in the extreme
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weather center with a look at that. so rob, what's it looking like this morning? >> well, good morning, guys. folks who live in the south, south of the mason dixon, you should be okay, but north of that, we have trouble. over 170 reports mostly of wind, damaging winds yesterday, across the stationary boundary and the bigger cities including chicago and detroit, got hit pretty hard. guess what? the bigger cities now off to the east will get hit hard too. a piece of that energy is rolling across the allegheny and the appalachians down through across delaware into the new york city area. severe line of thunderstorms stretching from the 684 interchange and 84 all the way down through trenton and this is moving rapidly off to the east at about 60 miles an hour. so the big apple about to get pounded with heavy rain, a lot of lightning and gusty winds with this. these are deemed severe. just be careful over the next 30 to 40 minutes, if you can, take cover, do so. we're also going to reinvigorate
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this line of storms that developed across parts of the midwest. moderate chance of seeing severe weather in this area across northern parts of the midwest. just south of fargo, back through sioux falls. as far as daytime highs today, searing heat, the other big story, guys. it's going to feel more like the middle of july or the fourth of july than memorial day today. high temperatures easily in the 90s across many states. back to you. >> and we thank you for the beautiful weather in the new york area, rob. thank you. >> we've been cursing him for months. we'll thank you today. >> we'll take it. president obama getting a firsthand look at the devastated landscape of joplin, missouri. the president toured the city yesterday. he spoke at a memorial service telling residents of joplin what happened to their community is a national tragedy. >> the question that weighs on us at a time like this is why. why our town, why our home, why my son, or husband or wife or
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sister or friend? why? we do not have the capacity to answer. how we respond when the storm strikes is up to us. how we live in the aftermath of tragedy and heartache, that's within our control. there's no doubt in my mind that joplin will rebuild. and as president, i can promise you your country will be there with you every single step of the way. [ applause ] we will be with you every step of the way. >> in joplin sunday they observed a moment of silence at 5:41 p.m., the moment the tornado hit a week earlier. >> cnn's ed henry has more on the president's message for
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joplin and also there will be a major announcement today. ed is live for us at the white house. ed, there was some criticism in some circles that the president didn't go to joplin sooner. how did he do? >> you're right, alina. that was the elephant in the room, when you say it struck last sunday, in the evening, that was when the president was about to go to europe and so he really had to get there and show the people of missouri how much this hurt him and how much the federal government was going to stand with the city, with the state. bottom line is that one of the reporters who was flying in on air force one with the president, basically said, that what the president saw as air force one was coming in for a landing over joplin, was almost as if a giant had come in to the city with a lawn mower and just shredded it to absolute pieces. the president himself noted he had just been in alabama a couple weeks ago to see devastation. this was even worse. the bottom line, this is a president who knew that, you
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know, this is an area of missouri he did not win to john mccain in 2008, he had the added baggage of having been in europe when this happened. he wanted to make this up to them, number one. number two, think back to tucson when there was a tragedy at the beginning of this year. he tends to rise to occasion at these kinds of moments and memorial services and it appeared there were a lot of people thankful for him being there, no doubt. >> also a big announcement for the president concerning the nation's military. that's what we're expecting on memorial day for him to make this big announcement. what can you tell us? >> yeah. he's going to name general martin dempsey as the joint chiefs chairman replacing admiral mullen, the army chief of staff, in the front lines of overseeing the wars in iraq and afghanistan and the bottom line of why he picked general dempsey, it's in the context of other moves being made. in june defense secretary robert gates will be stepping down and leon panetta is in line to
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replace him, already a member of the national security team, and so this boils down tocontinuity. even as iraq still winding down, few troops there, some troops there, about 100,000 troops in afghanistan, he needs countntiny to finish these wars, no doubt about it. >> ed, in addition to all of his credentials apparently general dempsey can sing as well. we'll talk about that, talking with the outgoing chairman of the joint chiefs admiral mike mullen at 7:25 eastern today. stay tuned. on this memorial day the president and first lady will be hosting a breakfast at the white house for families who have lost loved ones in combat. they'll visit arlington national cemetery where the president will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns. the situation is deterior e deteriorating quickly in yemen. take a look at these incredible pictures. troops open fire on protesters, government forces are also using water cannons and tear gas to try to break up the crowds
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there. medical officials say at least five people were killed, more than 90 wounded. the vie lengtolence in that cou that flared since the deal calling for the president's departure fell apart. violence between serbian police and demonstrators protesting last week's arrest of war crime suspect ratko mladic. some people in the crowd threw rocks at police who responded by beating and kicking them. nearly 20 people were injured, more than 100 people were arrested. mladic is accused of ordering the massacre of bosnian muslims in the 1990s civil war, most famously srebrenica where 8,000 men and boys were pulled out of the crowds and massacred in the woods. >> i think a lot of people were wondering if there was ever going to be justice, but finally came more than a decade later. meanwhile, imagine this happening to you on your holiday weekend. a scary end to a flight that landed in atlanta over the weekend. look at that. the dell sta airline flight from pittsburgh caught fire on the
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runway. all 49 people on board were evacuated from the plane. thankfully everyone is okay. there's some differing views on what happened. an faa official tells us the plane blew a tire while landing and that is what sparked the fire. but a delta spokeswoman says no, no. the plane's brakes overheated. either way, not a great situation. >> that's right. >> a helicopter on the way to the scene of a car wreck has a crash of its own. the florida highway patrol chopper went down on an i-95 ramp in south florida yesterday. the pilot is still in the hospital, being checked for possible spinal injuries. after 11 days, 17 hours, 41 minutes exactly the space shuttle "endeavour" has undocked from the international space station. that separation took place just before midnight while all of us were sleeping. the shuttle crew is taking pictures of the space station and will do some tests on its sensors. "endeavour" is wrapping up its final mission and returns to earth at 2:35 a.m. wednesday morning. we want to show you this
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breathtaking photo of earth courtesy of nasa. it apparently was taken from the international space station as "endeavour" circled high above the middle east. >> that's an awesome picture. called the greatest spectacle in racing and yesterday's indy 500 didn't disappoint. j.r. hildebrand cruising to victory when you can't believe it, he crashed on the final turn in the very last lap and that allowed dan weldon to win the race. >> hildebrand's car is sponsored by the national guard and the heartbreak could be felt in iraq where they were watching the race. oh. the accidental indy winner -- he is the indy winner, dan weldon, our guest at 7:35 eastern. >> they thought maybe hildebrand might pull it off and be one of the first people to win on three wheels coming in in the stretch. >> that's why every single lap counts. >> that's right. ahead on "american morning," sarah palin kicks off her one nation bus tour, arriving at a biker rally in d.c. on a harley.
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now she got a lot of attention for that, but is she running or is she just another donald trump? we caught up with her exclusively. hear what she had to say ahead. >> germany says it's switching off its nuclear plants. where will all that power come from now? it's ten minutes after the hour. [ whistle blows ] oh! [ baby crying ] ben harper: ♪ what started as a whisper every day, millions of people choose to do the right thing. ♪ slowly turned into a scream ♪ there's an insurance company that does that, too. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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[ male announcer ] introducing icy hot naturals with natural menthol. it's gets icy to dull pain, hot to relax it away fast. new icy hot naturals. the sarah palin one nation bus tour is under way, no sign of a bus yet, but there were plenty of bikes yesterday. there's the former first lady of alaska on a harley. actually the first governor of alaska telling bikers that the reallying thunder motorcycle rally in d.c., this is what she said, i love the smell of emissi emissions. didn't say anything about her plans for 2012. sandra endo caught up with citizen sarah for an exclusive interview. >> secretary of defense robert
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gates and joint chiefs chairman admiral mike mullen addressed the 24th annual rolling thunder on the national mall. and the group shines a spotlight on the mission to free p.o.w.s and bring back those missing in action. secretary gates says the government will not rest until everyone is accounted for. riding in with this group, this year, former alaska governor sarah palin. she's also a potential presidential candidate and she was not scheduled to address the crowd on stage, but we caught up with her after she arrived. >> i'm an american. i have no title, i have in office, and to be an american citizen with the freedom to come out and assemble and thank our veterans i can't tell you how honored i am to have been invited to participate. >> what about this bus tour? >> the bus tour is to get out there and remind americans about our foundation, our declaration of independence and the historical sites that should be a reminder every day to every
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american about how important it is to stand strong on our foundation and build upon what made this country. >> reporter: rolling thunder says it's a group that's not political, nonparty san and would welcome any american where they fall on the political spectrum. >> all right. so the big question is, is she going to be running for president or is she just another, as one of my former colleagues said, trump on the stump. it appears that sarah palin doesn't mind keeping us waiting for an answer. even the man who introduced her to america, john mccain, says he doesn't know exactly what she's up to, but guess what? if she does decide to run for president, the arizona senator says he has no doubt she can beat president obama. >> of course she can. she can. now whether she will or not, whether she'll even run or not i don't know. you know, a lot of things happen in campaigns.
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you remember i was written off a couple times and we were able to come back. she certainly is a major factor and i believe that she can be very competitive. >> be sure to catch john king usa at 7:00. he's aboard the cnn express following the palin bus tour. will we see her on the 2012 ballot. insights at 7:00 p.m. eastern on "john king usa." do you think sarah palin will run for president or is she doing this for publicity? we want to hear your opinion. e-mail us at, give us a tweet, @cnnam or we will read some of your responses later in the hour. you're @at christine romans, i'm @alina cho. hip-hop and reggae singer shaun king ston hospitalized after crashing his jet ski into a bridge in miami beach. police say the 21-year-old had a
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female passenger on board when he crashed. he is reportedly in stable condition. police investigating this accident. it's become this generation's elvis sight. imagine the shock when a story appeared on the pbs website saying rapper tupac shakur is alive and in new zealand. the fake story was posted by on-line hackers who say they did it in retaliation for the network's program called "wikisecrets." tupac shakur was shot and killed in las vegas in 1996. >> he is not in new zealand. >> he is not. >> germany announcing it will shut down all of its nuclear plants by 2022. they provide a quarter of germany's power. to make up for the loss germany will rely on renewable energy. japan's nuclear crisis prompted the german government to take its nuclear plants offline. >> a bribery scandal is rocking soccer's international governing body. fifa is suspending two senior executives, allegedly offered $40,000 to a group of caribbean
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dell gates to sway their votes to one who is running to be f a fifa's president. he's withdrawn from the race while the investigation continues. a day of the dragon, more than 20 teams competing in the china open dragon boat race. the annual event is one of china's traditional sports dating back more than 2,000 years. look at those pictures. >> wow. those guys are in shape. >> i would say so. >> 150-year-old sea turtsle that become tangled in a fisherman's net is safely back home. a fisherman says the turtle got tangled in his ropes in the waters off china. pulled it up, took it home, was going to sell it, but thankfully he had a change of heart. look at that little guy. this was identified as a green turtle, a protected species in china. scientists say it's one of the few speesh shears so old they watched dine know sauces evolve. >> interesting. >> look at that guy. he is healthy and back in the
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wild. >> up next on "american morning," find out why a member of the saudi royal family wants you to pay less for your oil. >> all right. plus -- the ipad about to go where no tablet has gone before. so where? we're minding your business. it's 20 minutes after the hour. ♪ ♪ membership rewards points from american express. they're a social currency with endless possibilities. there's another way litter box dust:e
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it's 22 minutes after the hour. minding your business. a member of the saudi royal family calls for lower oil prices. prince al waleed bin talal telling fareed zakaria that oil should be telling around $70 a barrel so the u.s. won't speed up its search for alternative sources. lockheed martin falling victim to what it describes as a significant and tenacious cyber attack that happened earlier this month. the company says no personal data was compromised. blockbuster hoping to lure customers back by lowering prices. if the one in your neighborhood is open, you can rent new movies for one night, will cost you
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$2.99 and 99 cents for each' dishl night. alaska airlines replacing its pilot flight manuals with ipads loaded with electronic versions. it saves more than 20 pounds in weight and allows pilots to store more in their carry-on bag. is the 3d movie fad starting to fade? ticket sales for 3d releases have been lower than expected. analysts tell "the new york times" higher prices are probably playing the role here and the novelty of wearing the glasses is wearing off. "the hangover 2" took in $86 million over the weekend. the best three-day opening for a live action comedy. "american morning" back after the break with a story of volunteers helping out an american hero. [ wind howling ]
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good morning. it's 28 minutes after the hour. happy memorial day. checking our top stories, the midwest getting battered again by spring storms. parts of michigan and illinois are littered with downed trees and power lines. some 100,000 homes and businesses in michigan lost power. more than 400 flights were canceled just yesterday. >> general martin dempsey set to become america's top military officer. president obama will nominate him to become the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff replacing admiral mike mullen when he retires in the fall. dempsey was just sworn in as army chief of staff last month.
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his nomination has to be approved by the senate. >> mike mullen will be with us in the next hour, after dominating general dempsey the president will head to arlington national cemetery where he will honor america's fallen heros on this memorial day laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns. one marine who gave so much and asked for so little is getting something back this memorial day. volunteers are building corporal daniel gaska and his family a new home. nearly three years after both of his legs were blown off by a roadside bomb in iraq, casey wian reports on a young man from texas who proves every day walking tall doesn't always require a healthy pair of legs. >> reporter: imagine changing your son's diaper in a crammed one bedroom apartment on prosthetic legs. two dozen surgeries make bending over painful. >> my back. >> reporter: then try heading down steep stairs, carrying the boy to take out the trash, while watching your 4-year-old ride his bike close to the balcony. >> hey. be careful with that thing.
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>> reporter: that's the kind of daily struggle marine corporal daniel gaska endures since losing both legs to an ied in iraq three years ago. >> the way i see it, you either come home or you don't. i never saw in between. >> what's it like being in between now? >> it's definitely hard to get adjusted. changes your life. completely. >> reporter: now his life is about to change again. ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ >> reporter: they celebrated his service and started building him a four bedroom house designed to accommodate the wheelchair he needs for some tasks. it's a gift he and his wife and sons from homes four our troops, which has built more than 100 houses free of charge for wounded warriors with special needs. >> these young men and women have given a lot, a loss of a limb, loss of both limbs, ability to care for their families when they come back.
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>> it allows them to renew their source of independence. i can no longer take care of these mens and women on the battlefield but can take care of them in the aftermath. >> reporter: the speed at which the volunteers work is incredible. a little more than an hour ago this was a cement slab. the walls are almost entirely framed. >> i'm blown away. i'm totally happy, excited. i can't even explain it. it's just happy. >> it's going to mean the world. daniel is so self-sufficient. he's going to just be himself back in that handicap house. >> reporter: the house scheduled to be finished in 90 days. they're imagining where to put furniture and leaving notes to each other on the wood frame. >> i want to say thank you to all the american people who donate their time, money, efforts, their skills, there's nothing i could do to repay them. >> you've done a lot to repay every american, i think. >> but that was my job. >> reporter: corporal gaska plans to leave the marines corps
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in july and pursue a career in law enforcement. casey wian, cnn, el paso. >> great story. >> casey's got it totally right. he already paid. >> that's right. >> and then some. new this morning, wildfires raging in texas. hundreds of people evacuated in amarillo. about 300 homes are still in danger. crews are still working to contain a fire that spread over randall county. texas fire fighters say this is one of the worst wildfire seasons in history. more than a million acres have burned throughout the state. a mud slide threatening homes in illinois. heavy rain and a broken water main are being blamed. one house on the edge of a bluff where the ground is giving way is in imminent danger. they've had mudslides before but nothing this big or dangerous. national guard is helping the flood efforts in north and south dakota. thousands of soldiers were sent in over the weekend to help finish levees, fill sandbags and protect water supplies. floods from the missouri river are expected to hit the capital
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cities in both states. rob marciano in the extreme weather center for us. wow, when you see those pictures of how ferocious all that water can be, it's amazing. >> yeah, we've been dealing with the mississippi river floods and now missouri river. the colorado rockies, all of the rockies, have seen a tremendous amount of snow pact. what doesn't drain into the colorado river on the west side is draining east and we're seeing some of that snow melt right now. montana is having its own issues as well. severe weather threat across the northern plains. moderate risk of seeing some thunderstorms here. but, little pulse that rolled through michigan last night did all that damage with at one point over 100,000 people without power. a little chunk of that energy has moved into the big apple. here we go, line of thunderstorms, severe thunderstorms that are rolling right into the new york city metropolitan area, stretching towards white plains and trenton. moving to the east at about 50 to 60 miles an hour. you're probably feeling it right now. give it 20 minutes and it will be done. right now it's pretty rough out there and certainly dangerous.
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there will be some gusty winds that will take down some trees and maybe some power lines as well. so, a nasty go of it, at least to start the day today. we do have heat as well. heat advisories out. feeling more like july or august this memorial day weekend and today is going to be no different. memorial day services, where everyone is dressed nice, and formal, just try to stay cool and grab some shade and water if you can. 88 degrees eventually once the storms move through. that will help rinse the atmosphere a little bit. we're going to get cooking again. 92 degrees for the high temperature in d.c. and 92 degrees in atlanta, georgia. just try to stay cool out there, guys. in the next 20 minutes, don't go out in new york city if you don't have to. back to you. >> we're busy for the next 20 minutes. >> i see. >> stay cool. >> thanks. >> thanks, rob. it was an entire generation's guide to eating right. more than two decades. the food pyramid apparently is out. it's replacement is the food plate.
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don't call it a pie chart, though 37. the department of agriculture is swapping the pyramid for the plate to help americans make healthier food choices. many complain the pyramid was too confusing. it was introduced in 1992. now the food plate will be officially unveiled on thursday. and the suspense is building into medical correspondent alina cho -- elizabeth cohen -- >> thank you very much. i got an upgrade. >> going to give us a sneak speak of what's on that plate. >> half the plate is fruit and vegetables. >> i remember the meat is supposed to be the size of a deck of cards. does anybody eat meat the size of a deck of cards. >> i think part of the problem. >> maybe a plate will help. he dropped the kid, then he dropped the ball. check -- i love this video. a dad holding up his daughter at the dodger game, lets go of her when a foul ball comes their way. and he didn't -- there she is. >> everything is okay. >> he didn't even catch the ball. the girl is okay but maybe
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bruised on the inside. he threw an elbow when he went in for a hug. what was he thinking? >> come on. it's all about the game. >> and the ball. >> okay. all right. we're glad everybody turned out okay on that. >> on memorial day, we're going to remember our fallen troops, including the hundreds of women who have been killed in battle. up next, we're going to talk to a woman who fought in iraq as a marine combat officer on the front lines, why she says the policy banning women from the front lines must change. >> today's question of the day for you, do you think sarah palin will run for president? send us an e-mail, tweet, tell us on facebook. we'll share some of your thoughts a little bit later in the program. [ male announcer ] breathe, socket. just breathe. we know it's intimidating. instant torque. top speed of 100 miles an hour. that's one serious machine. but you can do this. any socket can.
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there are more than 200,000 women serving in the u.s. military. thousands shipped off to iraq and afghanistan. >> that's right. while the u.s. still officially bans women from combat, there are many still fighting and dying on the front lines. joining us now is marines corps reservist jane blair, tells her
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story in "hesitation kills, a female marines officer's combat experiences in iraq." jane joins us now. i want to get why you named the book what you named it. first, so few countries allow women on the front lines. the u.s. is not one of those countries that does and they offer them -- women to do that in limited roles. so how did you end up on the front lines in iraq? >> thank you very much for the question. you know, today's battlefield is a lot different than it may have been, you know, just even 50 years ago. people find themselves in support units on the front line because the front line is no longer a defined space. people in support roles or in different units are finding that the battlefield is really everywhere. you know, serving in afghanistan or in iraq, you can find yourself really just confronted in any role that you are being on the front sflins you were doing aerial recognizance, so that's the role you were doing on the front line? >> exactly. i served in the aerial
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recognizance unit and my unit leaping ahead of a lot of the combat units because we had to go ahead of the infantry sometimes. >> you joined before 9/11. did you ever think you would end up on the front lines? >> you know, i get this question a lot. i didn't. i mean, of course when you sign the oath, that's part of the stipulation, is that you know what you're getting into. you know that could be a possibility. but i joined during peace time and there wasn't even really the thought that i might be going into this role. but, you know, i'm very proud of my service that i did overseas and i think that it was always a possibility. you have to prepare mentally for the idea am i going to be prepared to go into that role. >> the book is terrific, called "hesitation kills." why "hesitation kills." >> something an officer said to me in training, he pulled a group of us aside and said hesitation kills in combat. it's important that people are prepared to make that decision.
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killing is not something that i necessarily advocate. it should always be a last resort in the policy. >> you're, obviously, well aware of the debate about female combat troops. they're too emotionally fragile, not physically strong enough. did you experience a lot of discrimination from your male counterparts when you were overseas? >> you know, as a second lieutenant, when i was first in iraq, there was a certain amount of rites of passage every marine goes through. i personally wrote this book to show there is a role for women in the military, a positive role, and i felt once i learned to deal with the military culture, people accepted me just like any other marine. >> you wrote a piece for "the washington post" about five myths of women in combat, physical strengths, sexual tension and women can be a distraction on the battlefield. are those myths? >> i believe so. i think if an officer enlisted woman presents themselves in a positive manner, and shows
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herself first as a military member making any excuses or expecting any kind of special, you know, concessions, i think her role can be just like any other military member and whether that's serving in a support unit or serving, you know, in a role that she finds herself on the front lines i think so. >> you do believe that women should be able to serve in full combat roles, though, right? what's your best argument for that? >> as a military member, i support what congress says and i think that they have the best avenue of looking at the issue from all different angles. from my personal opinion, women are already serving in this capacity. i think there's a role for them that is out there, whether their cultural representative or providing some kind of language ability or service on the front lines, or serving fully as a female in those front lines. >> let's be honest. it's happening anywhere because of the nature of the wars,
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right? >> exactly. and you know, it's important that we do -- the fact that women are serving in this capacity. >> do you think since you've been on the battlefield with men and women, what men and women process, i don't know, some of the emotions of the battlefield differently? do you see or does your training take away sort of those differences so it is about the training and the experience in that way? >> you know, i think it's harder for women at first just because of the way women are raised in america to integrate into the military. i mean some women maybe not. but because of that, i think training sort of equalizes the playing field and certainly there's a longer learning curve i think sometimes for women to reach that role where, you know, you're part of the team and integrated fully. i think after a while, you know, serving in the military, you become like any other sailor, marine, you know, so it's -- you become fully integrated. >> one last question. it is memorial day, of course. i'm sure memorial day takes on a different meaning for you.
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your brother-in-law is in afghanistan right? >> yes. captain timothy blair serves with the wolf hounds in the mountains of afghanistan right now with the 27th infantry regiment and i just wanted to remind people there are men and women still out there on the battlefield and their families are always worried and thinking about them. it's important that we remember them. my brother-in-law's unit had casualties last week and i think it's important that people remember that there are still people serving out there. >> jane blair, author of "hesitation kills" also a marine corps reservist, thank you for joining us. >> thank you so much. ahead on "american morning," storms strike again. michigan and other parts of the upper midwest in shambles and also in the dark. we'll tell you where and when the lights will come back on. 45 minutes past the hour. that's a coffee and two pills. the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve.
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a lot going on this morning. here's what you need to know to start your day. people in michigan cleaning up this morning from a round of severe storms that left more than 100,000 homes and businesses without power. battle creek, michigan, suffered some of the worst damage. president obama hosts a breakfast at the white house this morning for families who have lost loved ones in war. before he heads to arlington national cemetery to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns. at least five people were killed, nearly 100 injured, when government forces in yemen opened fire on thousands of protesters. the violence there escalating after the president backed out
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of the deal to step down from power. sarah palin kicked off her one nation bus tour at a biker rally in washington yesterday. she'll make an appearance in gets burg today, and then no word if she's running for president. space shuttle "endeavour" is undocked from the space station. the crew will conduct final tests of the space station sensors before wrapping up its final mission and returning to earth at 2:35 a.m. wednesday morning. americans are spending this memorial day weekend with a second hangover. the movie sequel was number one at the box office with an estimated $86 million in ticket sales. "kung fu panda" in second with $48 million. you're caught up on the day's headlines. "american morning" is back right after this.
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parts of michigan and illinois the latest to be battered by powerful storms overnight in the midwest. >> not a great situation there at all. cnn's rob marciano has more on the severe weather.
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what's in store for today, rob? >> another batch of rough weather, but in different spots. some of the energy that moved through michigan and chicago, has moved off to the east. we had 170 reports of wind damaging winds in some cases knocked out power to 100,000 at some point. hail the size of golf balls and numerous spots across this stretch of real estate. michigan getting hit the hardest. big time trees coming down to do damage to power lines and homes as well that's the threat for these storms moving east into the new york city area. if you're in new york city, up towards say white plains and fairfield connecticut, queens and brooklyn getting it. as a matter of fact, the main punch of the line is already through manhattan and this will continue to move to the east about 50 to 60 miles an hour. these are severe. they've got gusty winds certainly frequent thunder and lightning and torrential downpours but will be brief.
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already starting to see a little clearing on the backside of this system. as far as what we expect farther to the west, storm prediction center forecasting the threat for severe weather across the northern plains, including parts of north and south dakota. moderate risk of seeing severe weather here as energy begin os come out of the rocky mountains. this is where we tend to see most of the severe weather as we get into june and july as this stuff begins to migrate to the north. feeling like june and july with temperatures well into the 90s. 94 in dallas, 92 atlanta, and 88 degrees in new york city. great day to go to the beach. maybe go to an amusement park after you get done with your services in the morning. just down the road six flags georgia, from the cnn center, they've got a new ride and got to take a little -- wet my beak in it. called the daredevil dive. take a look. >> what are the specs on this bad boy. >> we're going to go 2,000 feet in two minutes. the most important thing, first
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and foremost, is -- >> straight up. >> yes. ten stories straight up. >> okay. that doesn't look too intimidating. >> and at the back end of this is a 95 degree drop. not 90 degree, not straight down, you're going in and down, 95 degrees. are you kidding me? this is 90 degrees. >> just going to dangle here at the top before it drops you. >> oh this is a nice view. right here. ah! yeah! oh! that was awesome. nice work. >> my stomach still hurts.
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that was cnn international producer alex walker who convinced me to come out for that media preview and i am going to get back at him for that. i'm not sure if that rates up there with the cyclone out there in new york city, but nonetheless, not a bad day to take in -- >> did that rip your watch off your arm? >> yeah. i mean i had to grab it and hold on to it for dear life. you try to hold your hands up but when you come down from that after a 95-degree pitch going inverted and you hit the bottom of that, you got some g forces and i wasn't quite strong enough to keep my hands up. i slammed down. >> we love roller coasters. i don't know what you get -- i would still get on that one. >> i would totally do it. would you do it again? >> i did it again. after i ate lunch and that didn't end too well actually. >> come on, really? is that more information that you want to share? >> no. good times. >> thanks, rob. >> thank you, rob. sarah palin's one nation bus
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tour has begun, but no one is actually seen the bus yet. there she was just waving by on a motorcycle. the former alaska governor was seen in washington yesterday, all decked out in black. attending a rolling thunder motorcycle rally and discussing tattoos with the bikers. >> she's not discussing her plans for 2012, not yet anyway. we want to know if you think she's running for the gop presidential nomination. at vin 16 says via twitter. yes she'll run. it's time for a no nonsense president. all we need is chris christie to be the vp candidate. >> a blog post -- >> here this one from facebook, will she? most likely, should she? absolutely not. she has no chance of winning. >> on fab -- -- facebook -- just to prove we read all of your tweets, this was sent to both of
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us, you saw this too, aaron says sure palin will run, she will quit halfway through. serious, president will be too little money for her. keep your comments coming, send us an e-mail or tweet or facebook, we will read more of your thoughts throughout the morning. >> whether that was just on the rolling thunder rally or part of a precursor to a run, it looked like she was having a lot of fun. >> top stories minutes away. what's on your plate? the government replacing the food pyramid with a platter. how is eating healthy different now? elizabeth cohen will have the details for you. we'll tell you what that plate should look like in front of you this morning. except for the barbecue this afternoon. we'll be back in two minutes. where do you go to find a super business?
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[♪...] >> male announcer: book now, save up to 65%. call 1-800-sandals. violent storms cut through parts of the midwest again this morning. thousands waking up this memorial day without power. plus, revving up, sarah palin riding a harley into washington. but is she running? cnn catches up with her exclusively on this "american morning." and good morning. it's monday, may 30th.
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welcome to "american morning." i'm christine romans. >> good morning, everybody. i'm alina cho. happy memorial day. kiran and ali have the morning off. though it is a holiday, we do have a lot going on this morning. coming up, we're going to pay tribute to the americans who have served our country. we're going to take you live to arlington national cemetery where every president does, president obama will lay a wreath later this morning. our chris lawrence will join us live with that story. >> also ahead, helping our veterans find jobs. we'll hear from some former service members struggling to find work in this economy. a little help for them on this memorial day. >> but first, the race is on. the republican field of presidential hopefuls will begin to take shape, starting this week. hard to believe, on thursday, former massachusetts governor mitt romney is scheduled to officially declare his candidacy. no surprise there. next week former pennsylvania senator rick santorum enters the race we're promised an announcement from michelle bachmann will come some time in
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june in iowa. >> where she was born. this one potential candidate who hasn't signaled her intentions yet, sarah palin. the former alaska governor launched her one nation bus tour yesterday on a harley attending a motorcycle rally in washington, d.c. she was decked out in leather talking to bikers about tattoos. sandra endo got an interview wi with her. when the talk turned to. ticks she became citizen sarah. >> do you feel like you're politicizing this event? >> no. i'm an american. i have no title, i have no office, and to be an american citizen with the freedom to come out here and assemble and thank our veterans, i can't tell you how honored i am to be to participating. >> kind of hard to hear but politics, palin has ground to make up. two of the three front runners in a new cnn poll haven't announced their intentions yet. 16% of the republicans and
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independent surveyed leaning towards rudy giuliani to be the gop nominee with romney one point behind and palin three points back. jim acosta joining us live from gettysbu gettysburg, pennsylvania, the next anticipated stop for the palin bus tour. but jim, we say anticipated, because there is no official schedule. she has no advance team. >> that's right. >> how in the world do we know she's going to show up there? >> have we seen a bus yet? >> the only bus i see this morning, guys, is the one behind me, the cnn election express. you can say for a politician, a celebrity who likes to fly by the seat of her pants, it's fitting that she came into washington yesterday on the back of a motorcycle. that is the big question this morning. what is sarah palin up to? we certainly don't know this morning. but one thing that we can say, if she is running for president she knows how to make an entrance. she rolled into the nation's capital yesterday on the back of a motorcycle, part of this memorial day weekend and into
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this week planned bus tour she has with her family to go visit some historic sites up and down the east coast. the big question, obviously, does any of this have to do with the 2012 election? recently she said she does have the fire in her belly to run, and when our cnn's sandra endo caught up with her yesterday, she basically said this is really about remembering america's history. >> bus tour is to get out there and remind americans about our foundation, our declaration of independence and our constitution and the historical sites that should be a reminder every day to every american about how important it is to stand strong on our foundation and build upon it. that's what made us -- made this country. >> and she is scheduled to go visit the national archives this morning, that's where they keep the u.s. constitution. she is also supposed to go over to mount vernon. as you said in the beginning of all of this, the details of her
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bus tour are very close to the vest this morning, so obviously we're just sort of following her as she makes her way up the east coast and we'll bring every stop. we have the cnn election express behind us and we'll let you know what happens when she makes those stops, guys. >> jim, john mccain was out on the sunday talk circuit making a prediction about the 2012 race. if she runs she could beat the president. p. >> that's right. i mean no surprise that john mccain would say that. she was his running mate in 2008. he took a lot of flack for it. a lot of political experts believe he could have won that election had she not been picked as his running mate. he thinks she could beat barack obama. >> of course she can. she can. now whether she will or not, whether she'll run or not, i don't know. a lot of things happen in campaigns. if you remember i was written off a couple times and we were able to come back. she certainly is a major factor
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and i believe that she can be very competitive. >> reporter: and john mccain has a point there. don't write off sarah palin, even though she's just a few points back in the polls she has the ability to generate a lot of media attention, generate a lot of buzz. she's going to be doing that over the next several days and we'll watch every move for you. >> i know you will. jim acosta, thank you for being live for us from gettysburg, pennsylvania. that leads us to our question of the day, do you think sarah palin will run for president? we want to hear your opinion, e-mail us a the, give us a tweet or tell us on facebook, we will read your responses later this hour. after the barbecue catch "john king usa" at 7:00. he's aboard the cnn express closely following the palin bus tour, 7:00 eastern on "john king usa." we're heading to the midwest where they're cleaning up. some of the worst damage, battle
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creek, michigan, which may have been hit with a tornado. winds exceeding 80 miles per hour brought down trees and power lines. power knocked out -- was knocked out for about 100,000 people at one point. severe weather also raked the chicago area with storms uprooting trees, pushing them on top of cars and homes. >> the trees just doubled. it was the strongest wind i've seen in a long time. >> that's the important part, nobody got hurt. houses can be rebuilt, people takes a long time for them to get rebuilt. >> the severe weather grounded 450 flights at o'hare airport on sunday. forecasters say it could be more of the same today. if you're one of the people who your flight was canceled yesterday, now it's memorial day, you're trying to figure out how you're going to get home. >> that's not the news we want to be hearing. rob is in our extreme weather center with more on that. what's going to happen today? >> we're going to have storms, in different spots, farther to the west. your forecast and weather map,
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it's going to be hot, that's for sure. temperatures that feel like july or august than memorial day. that's for certain. we've got some severe weather that's going to fire up across parts of the northern plains and moderate risk of seeing that. and right now, we've got this little pulse of thunderstorms that's rolling through the new york city metropolitan area, almost stretching down to philly, but you're getting downdraft wind from that. that's about it. solid line here, severe thunderstorms with gusts of 50 miles an hour potentially, certainly some frequent lightning and thunder and torrential rains, moving to the east at 50 to 60 miles an hour. moving pretty rapidly and new york city west across the bridge towards jersey is where we're looking for already a little clearing, if not a little drying conditions. as far as daytime highs what you can expect today. check them out. 93 degrees expected in memphis, 92 degrees in chicago. we don't have a really good cold front that's pushing all this around. as a matter of fact, it's been a stationary front for the past few days that has been the focal point for the thunderstorms. 88 degrees expected in new york
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city after the storms roll through and 92 degrees in d.c. so for services this morning, and barbecues this afternoon, try to stay cool. toss it back up to you guys. >> rob, thank you very much. president obama visiting tornado ravaged joplin, missouri, and delivering a message of hope. the president promised the nation would be behind joplin every step of the way as it rebuilds. meantime a moment of silence was observed in joplin sunday at 5:41 p.m., that's the moment the tornado struck exactly one week earlier. dozens of people are still missing. authorities say they're not giving up the search for survivors. >> it is a matter of continuing all of the search and rescue efforts to continuing looking for individuals and taking every step possible to find each and every person. we will not give up until all people are accounted for. or laid to rest. >> let's get more on president
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obama's message to the people of joplin. ed henry is live at the white house. and ed, you know, he was in europe when the first days and frantic hours of the tornado rescue began. how do the people greet him a week on? >> that's right. good morning, christine. certainly a lot of pressure on the president. several days, just about a week had passed as you note since this terrible tragedy. this is an area of the country where the president lost to john mccain in 2008, and so he had to make that extra special effort to show he was going to get on top of this. i can tell you it seemed like there were a lot of standing ovations at that memorial service a lot of people grateful for the president coming in, and this is just utter devastation. i mean the president himself noting that he had just been in alabama where there had been tornado devastation. this eclipsed even that, which had been so awful, and a reporter on air force one with the president said that as they came in and saw it overhead, it almost looked like a giant had come in to this city with a lawn mower and shredded it and so
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when the president spoke at the memorial service, he wanted to convey a message that the federal government would be there. >> there's no doubt in my mind that joplin whiz rebuild. and as president, i can promise you, your country will be there with you every single step of the way. we will be with you every step of the way. >> important message for the president to send, obviously limited resources for the federal government right now, but from alabama, oklahoma, now missouri, they're doing all they can to help right now. >> ed henry at the white house this morning, thanks. keeping americans hooked on cheap oil, that is the goal of saudi arabia. in fact, saudi prince al waleed bin talal telling cnn his country would like to see oil prices which are currently at $100 a barrel, drop by up to 30 bucks.
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>> saudi arabia, we want the price to be between 70 and 80, not only to help the west but ourselves. we don't want the west to find alternaive its. the higher the price oil goes the more we have incentives to go and find alternatives. >> the prince blamed political uncertainty in the middle east and north africa for the current high price of oil. back in this country where they burned an awful lot of oil yesterday, the 100th running of the indy 500 featured one of the wildest finishes ever. rookie j.r. hildebrand this close to victory, but with the checkered flag in sight he crashed his car stunning the crowd and allowing dan wheldon to win the race. >> hildebrand's car is sponsored by the national guard. the heartbreak as you see there could be felt from indianapolis to iraq where troops were watching the big race. too bad. hildebrand was so close. almost made it there. across the finish line first on three wheels, but didn't quite
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do it. but later this hour, we'll talk to the winner, 7:35 eastern, the accidental winner some are calling him, but i don't think so. he worked hard for it. dan wheldon will join us at 7:35 a.m. still to come the u.s. government introducing a new way to help us eat healthier, getting rid of the food pyramid and swapping it out with something new. our senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen has the details coming up. >> this memorial day you need the burgers, the buns, ketchup, the whole -- and some extra money with that, please. find out just how much more it's going to cost you to fire up the grill this holiday. 12 minutes after the hour. [ woman speaking chinese ] thank you. do you have an english menu? no english. [ speaking chinese ] [ gasps, speaks chinese ] do you guys like dumplings? i love dumplings.
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it's no secret americans need to start eating healthier. >> that's right. >> so the u.s. government is making new moves to get us to eat better. this is the old food pyramid. it there it is, it's out. they're going to do something completely different. >> the department of agriculture is swapping the pyramid for
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another symbol to make it easier for americans to make the right food choices, a plate apparently. elizabeth cohen is here with a sneak peek at what we're going to see on the plate. don't call it a pie chart, right? >> that's right. you don't want to call it a pie chart. that would get the usda upset. they want it to be more user friendly than statistical. the pir ra plids is going away. we say r.i.p., nearly 20 years time for it to go and what they're going to introduce instead is something like a dinner plate. cnn has gotten some advanced word that it's going to be a dinner plate that will be divided basically into four sections. fruit, veggies, some form of protein and a grain and then as you can see, a little bit of dairy on the side. but the emphasis here, ladies, they want those fruit and vegetables to take up half the plate. this is not how americans eat and they want this to be how
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americans eat. >> you're right. it's not. i think i'm a pretty healthier eater. >> she's a very healthy eater. >> but i don't do that. so that's the goal. elizabeth, you know, i'm curious to know what is wrong with the pyramid? i was reading something about how it didn't differentiate between say whole grains and fish and white bread and bacon and that was part of the problem with the pyramid. is that right? >> that was one of the problems. let's take a look at it right here. here's one of the big problems. the stuff that you're not supposed to eat which is sweets, that's at the top of the pyramid and it's sort of counterintuitive, you think the top is best, but here the top was worse. also you're supposed to start eating from the bottom. this pyramid emphasizes breads and crackers and rice and puts less emphasis on fruits and vegetables which we not how people ought to be eating. you raise a really good point which is going to be an issue i think with this one to some extent that americans need to know not all protein is created
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equal. there's a difference between bacon and a bowl of beans. not all grains are created equal. there's a difference between white bread and wheat bread. so that is going to be a challenge even with this one is to tell americans what protein is good and bad and what grains are good and bad. >> i mean, i think of it as a symbol might help that half that plate has to be fruit and vegetables. that's a lot of fruits and vegetables. i think our life has to be reordered around it, our grocery stores, how we eat. half a plate of fruit and vegetables is a lot. >> everybody recognizes a symbol is not going to do it. you can show this to schoolchildren and it's not going to make a difference unless other things happen to make that plate half fruits and vegetables. >> you're right about that. but we can try. elizabeth cohen, thank you very much for that. and for all the latest news in health and nutrition, go to american astronaut katie coleman is back home after
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spending 159 days in space. she's going to tell us what it's like to be 220 miles above the earth. >> i never get tired of looking at that hair. do you think that sarah palin will run for president? it's our question of the day. e-mail us, send us a tweet @cnnam or we will read some of your responses later this hour. ♪ i thought it was over here... ♪
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extend their losses to four weeks in a row. markets are closed in the u.s. today, but we're looking ahead to get a new read on job growth and unemployment this friday when the labor department releases its all-important jobs report for may. the american dream is still a reality despite these tough economic times. according to a new poll, 68% say they have or will achieve the american dream. blockbuster hoping to lure customers back by lowering prices. the one in your neighborhood is still open, you can rent new movies for just one night, it will cost you $2.99 and 99 cents for each' dishl night. this memorial day it will cost you 29% more to fire up the gril. rising food prices mean the average party will set you back $199 before soda and alcohol. lady gaga's new album "born this way" is expected to sell a million copies in the first week, thanks to amazon which priced the album for 99 cents for two days last week. the sequel "the hangover 2"
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took in an estimated $86 million over the friday through sunday holiday weekend. that makes it the best three-day opening for a live action comedy. don't forget for the latest news about your money check out the coming up, admiral mike mullen talks about his trip to pakistan with secretary of state hillary clinton. "american morning" will be back after this break. [ male announcer ] fastidious librarian emily skinner had a place for everything, and everything had its place. each day was fueled by thorough preparation for events yet to come, whether that be next tuesday's bridge club or the precisely organized retirement that lay ahead. well somewhere along the way, something quite extraordinary happened. emily went right on living. longer than any person has ever lived. oddly enough, she took it right in stride.
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all right. welcome back to "american morning." just a few hours, president obama is expected to name a replacement for joint chiefs chairman admiral michael mull len who is retiring at the end of summer. >> mullen just returned from pakistan where he and secretary of state hillary clinton addressed the relationship that's been a bit strained since the raid on the bin laden compound. we're getting a chance to talk with admiral mullen live on this memorial day. lucky enough he woke up early to be with us and he joins us from the pentagon. admiral mullen thank you for joining us. you had a four-hour meeting with top pakistani officials.
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this is in the wake of the unilateral u.s. raid that killed osama bin laden. how much of this meeting was about mending fences? >> well, in fact, we had a very good, frank, open discussion that touched on a wide range of issues. we thought it was important to have the meeting face to face to reaffirm the commitment to the relationship and certainly there are very difficult challenges as a result of the bin laden raid. that specifically is something that i know the pakistani military, the pakistani intelligence agencies are focusing on. at the same time, it's a very critical part of the world. the border area still houses terrorists from many organizations. we have common interests. it's important that both sides continue to commit to eradicating those terrorists. >> are you satisfied, sir, they
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are working as well as they can, with the money that the united states gives them, to eradicate those terror elements? >> well, i think one of the things that doesn't get enough focus is the sacrifices that the pakistani military has -- have made over the course of the last several years. they've had -- they've lost thousands of soldiers in this fight. they've had ten plus thousand wounded as well. they've lost many citizens. they have a significant internal threat and i think it's vital that we continue to try to figure out a way ahead, even through these most difficult of times. >> admiral mullen, it's long been said that we have an interesting, to say the least, relationship with pakistan. there have been allegations for a long time that pakistan harbors terrorists. and yet, you said this meeting was very, very frank and you discussed the osama bin laden raid.
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can you tell us, did they express their dismay that they weren't told beforehand about the raid? >> well, i think one of the most important parts of the meeting was the fact that secretary clinton and i both said we've seen no evidence of the senior leadership had any knowledge of bin laden's presence there. although there certainly is a belief that there was some support network in both the united states and pakistan, specifically, believe that. again, i've seen them focus on this. we've certainly had differences. but we come from a time in the '90s where we had no relationship. we had a big trust deficit, so we're working our way back through that. certainly the recent raid put a significant dent in that progress, but both sides are continuing to commit to work our way through it because we both think it's a vital relationship. >> you mentioned there were people in some circles who believed that pakistan had some
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knowledge that bin laden was where he was when he was killed. what do you think? >> well, i really speak to that in terms of he had to have some kind of support network. i haven't seen any specifics on what that is and i haven't seen any evidence that the pakistanis have either. it's just a belief. i mean he couldn't just be living there alone. there was some kind of network that was insure that he had the necessary support that enabled to be able to sustain an existence. >> the pakistani's hear america's displeasure over that loud and clear. >> certainly. >> let's talk about your retirement at the end of the summer. i know you can't get out ahead of your boss and confirm that martin dempsey is the president's choice to replace you as joint chiefs of staff. what can you tell us about him as a soldier and as a leader? >> well, one of the things about this time as chairman, i've been blessed to serve with some
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extraordinary individuals and my colleagues who are committed -- every bit as committed to what we stand for and trying to get accomplished as any. i've known general dempsey for a significant period of time. he's as chief, there couldn't -- as chief of the army, he was a great selection. i knew him when he was the deputy down at central command. like many others, i have the highest regard for him as a soldier and someone who is very, very committed to our young men and women and their family. >> he has no political baggage we know of, no vocal critics. your support of him apparently was a significant factor in president obama choosing him. he said to note the art of combat and the power of diplomacy. what kind of advice would you give him going forward? what is his biggest challenge? >> your question presumes the president will make the selection and as you indicated earlier, that hasn't --
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>> let's say the president does. >> that hasn't occurred and we need to see what, you know, what the president's final decision is. >> but what -- if this does happen, as we believe it will, what advice would you give him in terms of challenges ahead? >> again, i'm just not going to get out in front of the president on this and quite frankly, the advice that i give him i would give my relief would be private advice that i wouldn't share publicly. >> this is an important day, memorial day, ten years of war in this country. can you tell us sort of what your hope is for our men and women serving the country today? >> well, i just would send them a message of how special they are and in particular, this memorial day, the losses that have occurred over the course of these wars over 6,000 now, and the sacrifices of their families, and through those losses, we as a country can commit to them, commit to our
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veterans, to commit to those who have sacrificed so much we make sure we take care of them for the rest of their lives, as -- for those who continue to serve and our veterans and that we remember those who sacrificed and made such a difference for such a great country. >> well put. admiral mike mullen, we thank you for your 43 years of service. it's just extraordinary. and again, we thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> he's not going to get out in front of his boss. >> that's right. >> thank you, sir. after 11 days, 17 hours, 41 minutes, the space shuttle "endeavour" has finally separated from the international space station. now the undocking took place while we were all sleeping, just before midnight. the crew will now conduct a couple of tests on the space station sensors. then "endeavour" will wrap up its final mission and return to earth at 2:35 a.m. wednesday morning. >> after a 159-day voyage to the international space station,
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american astronaut cady coleman is back on earth. >> she and two other iss crewmembers undocked and returned home last week landing without incident in kazakstan in a soyuz spacecraft. john zarrella live from miami with the first interview with cady coleman. what did she tell you? that it's interesting because we followed cady for a year of her training, some of the video we see of the year we spent with cady and i asked her, i said, geez, it's amazing, isn't it, you were gone five and a half months and it really didn't feel like it, but, you know, she told me that the landing was a bit hard coming down in kazakstan as you mentioned, because the russian spacecraft always come down and land on land and as she got out, she was waiting for her flight doctor to catch her as she's coming out of the capsule and he was standing down there ready and eventually said, okay, and she just went ahead and jumped. her flight doctor told me she was in better shape than anybody
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he has seen come back from the space station so far. i asked cady, what is the single visual memory you take away from that five and a half months? >> the view of new england, coming and going. i would -- every chance i had, i would go and look and cape cod has this distinct shape and in it, i'm so excited to see it and as it comes closer and you're over it, i can look down and see practically where our house is and take pictures and then it goes away so quickly. all this happens in a space of two minutes. and then it's gone for another couple orbits. and -- which makes me wistful for home ant at the same time i know it will be back. >> i also, now that she's back, she has to undergo all kinds of tests and right away, while we were out there, they were drawing blood from her, took a bunch of viles of blood and then
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she went through an extensive eye exam where they check everything from changes in your eyes to the pressure in your eyes and asked her if she was wearing her glasses because your eyes are, you know, do very, very different things while you're up in space and the way they act at that zero gravity. i also asked her, i said well, was this difficult, a difficult place, for you to leave? >> to me it was like that book "the lion, the witch and the wardrobe" where the kids go through the wardrobe and they enter this magical world and when they come back, you know, to where they really sort of live, nobody understands that world is out there. when they're in that world, that world is very real. and that's a little bit what the space station was like for me. >> of course she said to me it was like flying, not like floating. i had to ask her would you go back and her answer, absolutely in a minute she would go back.
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ladies? >> wow. >> go with her too. >> right. i love the way she talks about cape cod. she's poetic in her descriptions of what it's like talking about cape cod. >> it's great to hear from from someone who has been there. there's so few who have. talk about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. yesterday's indianapolis 500 had it all. take a look at this. rookie j.r. hildebrand was leading on the final lap when that happened. suddenly, crashed and that allowed dan wheldon to take the checkered flag. >> it's his second indy 500 win and dan wheldon joins us from indianapolis. good morning, and congratulations. i guess it is proof that every single turn, every single mile, every single lap really counts? >> yeah. that's what's fantastic about the indianapolis 500, it's so unpredictable. it's the biggest sporting event in the world, it's certainly the biggest motor race in the world and i'm happy to be a two-time winner especially this year with it being the 100th anniversary
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of the race itself. so it was a great day. >> take us through that final moment, at what point did you know you had it? >> well, that's a good point. i actually was trying to -- i was overtaking a car through turn four myself, a lap car, and the team had told me on the radio to make sure that i didn't let up because the chances of j.r. running out of gas towards the finish line were incredibly high. he was on a different fuel strategy to me. and as i cleared that car that i was overtaking i noticed that just in the corner of my eye he had got up in the gray and made contact with the outside retaining wall. at that point, i just focused on making sure that i didn't get caught up in any of the debris, made sure that he didn't come back across the track in front of me and then, you know, i just drove that honda indy car across the line like i stole it. i wasn't letting up until i saw either the caution or checkered flag. >> must be when you're running a race like this, you can't get
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overly confident. what does it feel like, those last laps when you're so close? you just don't know what's going to happen. >> well, i have to tell you, with 20 laps to go, there was a couple of different strategies different drivers and teams were playing out and for me, it was incredibly important to make sure that i really maximized the potential at the race car in every one of those laps. it's intense around this racetrack. we're doing speeds in excess of 220 miles an hour. with this race you never know what can happen. it's about staying focused and you really don't ever let off the power unless you have to and you know that's what i wanted to do yesterday and that's what i did. fortunately, i was able to drink milk in victory lane. >> i was going to say, we have video of you drinking that milk. i was expecting a spray of champagne but this is a long time tradition at the indy 500, right? >> well, that's what makes the indianapolis 500 so great. there's, you know, a very rich
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history and there's fantastic traditions. that's certainly one of them. it was a very emotional day for me for many reasons. just proud to be driving the car and getting it in victory lane for what was a very special day for a lot of people. >> you mentioned emotional reasons. you're raising awareness for alzheimer's. your mother was recently diagnosed. that was on your mind as well? >> yeah. i'm truly honored and privileged to represent the alzheimer's association. obviously it's, you know, touched myself and my family. i'm very close with my family it's like i say an honor and privilege to represent them and for me to get the word throughout, there's a lot more people diagnosed with the alzheimer's disease than, perhaps, people think certainly because we're living longer now. to get that word out there, to raise awareness, and hopefully, you know, maybe we can with this awareness we can raise more funding for potential cures would be very, very special.
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my thoughts and prayers are with everybody out there that has the disease and those loved ones that surround that person. >> dan wheldon, congratulations. we wish you all the best. to do it, hey, on the 100th anniversary of the indy 500, wow. what a special win. so we congratulate you and thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> a great guy. >> really. and nice he's dedicating this to raising awareness to alzheimer's, a disease that quite frankly affects every race fan, must know somebody in their family. still to come on "american morning," from the battlefield to the work place, why veterans are struggling to find work and what we can do about it. >> do you think sarah palin will run for president? it's our question of the day. we want to hear your opinion. we're getting some e-mails and tweets, feel free to join in the conversation. if you e-mail us, tweet @cnnam or tell us on facebook,
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sarah palin's one nation bus tour has begun. while no one has actually seen the bus, the former alaska governor was seen in washington yesterday all decked out in leather on a harley attending a rolling thunder motorcycle rally and discussing tattoos with bikers. >> she is not discussing her plans for 2012, not yet anyway. we want to know what you think. is she going to run for the gop presidential nomination? we're getting lots of responses including this one, john moody on facebook, i sure hope so.
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we need a real change. >> scott minor tells us on facebook, i pray she runs. she's smart, very committed and a great woman. ouch. >> facebook reached out to say to us -- >> and keep your comments coming. send us an e-mail, tweet or tell us on facebook. we will read more of you thoughts throughout the morning. >> still more to come, we will check your memorial day grilling forecast with our legendary griller, rob marciano. >> and stay tuned for a sneak peek at a new cnn special that's airing next week cnn contributor steve perry is giving one family an education make-over. he will join us at 8:00 a.m. to talk about it.
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a lot going on this morning. here's what you need to know to start your memorial day. your m. president obama is hosting a breakfast at the white house for families who have lost loved ones in war. then he heads to arlington national cemetery to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns. tens of thousands of people are without power in michigan and illinois after another round of powerful storms. hundreds of flights out of o'hare canceled with more cancellations expected today. germany announcing plans to close every single one of its nuclear power plants by the year 2022. government officials say renewable energy will take its place as they ramp up investments in energy research. one third of u.s. high school students entering college need some sort of remedial or
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developmental course in english or math. that's according to a report published by the policy fwrgrou alliance for excellent education in washington. politics a big part of this memorial day. sarah palin's commemorating the day with a stop in historic gettysburg. michele bachmann's in new hampshire, and presidential candidate tim pawlenty will be attending a pancake breakfast in iowa. and the top beach in america? siesta key in sarasota, florida. that's according to dr. beach. and dr. leatherman says siesta key's almost 40 acres of pure quartz crystal sand is like sugar. beautiful. you're caught up on the day's headlines. after the break, job breaks for our veterans. "american morning" is back in 60 seconds.
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on this memorial day, more than 2,500 boy scouts paying tribute to those who died fighting for our freedom. over the weekend, they placed an american flag at each of the 138,000 grave sites at the golden gate national cemetery in san francisco. >> this morning, there are new calls to help veterans suffering from ptsd, posttraumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injuries. and of course, there are a lot of them out of work and looking for work. peter key relly says the number of soldiers with mental health issues has jumped from 30% to 65% in just the past 2 1/2 years. and on cnn's "state of the
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union," he along with washington senator patty murray stressed the importance of making sure these veterans are taken care of. >> if we don't make sure that we help those men and women who are coming home today get a job, help with their physical and mental injuries, get through the benefits claim process, 20 years from now, our country will have on its conscience a high number of veterans who we've lost because of suicide, who are homeless on the streets, and who have been lost and i don't want to see that happen. >> senator patty murray is sponsoring a bill that would give tax breaks to companies that would make it worth their while to hire veterans. our national unemployment rate is 9%. for post-9/11 veterans, it was 11.5% last year, and for male veterans between the age of 18 and 24, it's 21.9%. this video we're showing you is from a career expo here in new york for vets.
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and some veterans told us why the job hunt has not been an easy one. >> veterans are very proud individuals. they serve selflessly. so when they get out and they're looking for a job, it's hard, because, number one, we've never worked in corporate america, so we don't really know how to package ourselves, pretty much, and so we don't have the right tools to help prepare us to exit. >> personally, as a veteran, i thought it would be easier, because we have veteran's preference. for example, government jobs, thought it would be easier to get one, and right now, haven't been too lucky. >> trying to break into that private sector now has become a challenge. with someone like myself that had to spend time rehabilitating. >> sometimes it's just learning how to speak the language of corporate america, taking your professionalism and your discipline and translating that into corporate jobs. there are some job resources for veterans, some great websites out there to make you aware of.,,,
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employerpartners, and we'll put this full list on our website to link you up with these great job resources. and there's great resources for career intervention for everyone in my new book, "smart is the new rich." but what's really important, translate that into the workplace, discipline, professionalism, results, this is what i get in the military, this is what i can give to you. >> when you look at those numbers you pointed out earlier, it's tough, and how do you get people to sign up to join the armed forces when they're looking at the at the other end. it can be a challenge. so definitely good resources to go to. >> and we'll link those up on the blog so everyone can see those. top stories, moments away. and nfl stars and wounded warriors back from their voyage up mt. kilimanjaro, the fourth tallest mountain in the world.
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tens of thousands of people in michigan are waking up this morning without power after severe storms in the midwest and it's not over yet. i'm christine romans. coming up, tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds will threaten many this memorial day. remembering america's fallen heroes on this memorial day. good morning, everybody. i'm alina cho. president obama will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns at arlington national cemetery on this "american morning."
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and good morning. it is monday, may 30th. it is memorial day. and many people checking the weather forecast this morning. they either don't have power in the midwest or they're wondering what it's going to look like for them for their barbecue. >> that's right. and many wanting to spend that holiday outside. but the big question in many parts of the country is, was it a tornado? whatever it was, it did plenty of damage in battle creek, michigan. people there will spend memorial day cleaning up after a violent storm, with 80-mile-per-hour winds. across the state of michigan, tens of thousands of homes and businesses are still without power. >> and severe storms forced hundreds of flight cancellations at chicago's o'hare airport on sunday. passengers could be in for more of the same today. certainly, they'll be checking the boards, trying to figure out if they can get out this morning. >> and watching cnn, we hope. rob marciano is in the extreme weather center with more on that. rob, good morning. what's it looking like today? >> we'll have the threat for storms as well. probably not over the same area,
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from chicago to detroit yesterday, that's where the line of storms really fired off. there were a handful of tornado reports across lower michigan, but the bulk of the reports were wind reports, and that's what did the damage as far as taking down a lot of those trees, power lines, obviously, and obviously doing some damage to homes. we also have south of where that trigger point was, the stationary front, a lot of heat and humidity. more so than we normally would see. record highs across parts of texas, kansas, and new mexico. that's a little bit too toasty for this time of year. feeling more like july 4th than memorial day weekend. storms, or at least a piece of energy that rolled through michigan, across parts of the tristate area, heading off into long island. it's moving off to the east pretty rapidly. it was severe when it rolled across the hudson river, and here it goes into long island and southwest parts of connecticut, including fairfield county. it's only lasting about 20 to 30
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minutes, so if it's over your area right now, hang tough for a bit and let it past and things will get a little bit more calm. but for flying out of laguardia or jfk, right now we have some delays because of what's going on there. all right, we're looking for severe weather to pop again across the upper midwest, including parts of north and south dakota. moderate chance of seeing severe thunderstorms pop that could produce tornadoes, according to the storm's prediction center. we'll be watching that for development later on today. and the heat's going to be certainly unusual for this time of year. 93 in memphis. 92 degrees in d.c. 88 degrees in new york city, and 92 in atlanta. going to be a good day after you get done with your morning memorial services, head to the beach, and we'll have the beach forecast later on in the program. >> great. we may actually have time to go to the beach. >> i think we might. i hear it's terrible weather outside, but shoeb over -- a little bird named robert -- >> we've got high hopes. president obama got a firsthand look at tornado-scarred joplin,
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missouri. he toured that area a week after one of the most devastating tornados in american history. he promised the victims that this nation will help the city rebuild. >> there's no doubt in my mind that joplin will rebuild. and as president, i can promise you, your country will be there with you every single step of the way. we will be with you every step of the way. >> 44 people remain unaccounted for in joplin following that tornado. at least 142 died. >> the deadliest u.s. tornado in history. meanwhile, later this morning, president obama will pay tribute to those who served our country and died trying to defend it. you are looking at a live picture of arlington national cemetery in virginia, where the weather is just spectacular. just about two hours from now, the president will take part in a memorial day ceremony, a tradition, really, laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns.
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>> chris lawrence is at arlington national cemetery right now and joins us life. good morning, chris. it's a very full day there today, isn't it? >> reporter: exactly, alana. they're going to expect about 75,000 people here over the course of the weekend, but i think the thing you notice most as you walk through this area, section 60, which is where the people who have died in iraq and afghanistan are buried, the numbers on the gravestones. these young men, these young women were born -- many of them, in the 1980s. how young they are. section 60 is also the busiest part of arlington national cemetery, because it's where the wounds are the freshest. many of these young men and women, as we said, fought in iraq, fought in afghanistan, so the wounds for their families are still very fresh. it's also changed memorial day for a lot of the families out here. a lot of them used to think of memorial day as a time for
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picnics and barbecues, as many americans do. but losing a loved one in the war, in iraq, or in afghanistan has really changed things, and now they come to really pay their respects. one of the things that really brings home just the cost of these wars is the fact that section 60 has been filling up so quickly and so fast, they've already started to break ground on section 61, because more room is going to be needed. alina? >> all right, chris lawrence, live for us at arlington national cemetery. chris, thank you very much. in just a few hours, president obama is expected to name a replacement for joint chiefs chairman admiral mike mullen, who is retiring at the end of this summer, after 43 years. >> 43 years of service. mullen just returned from pakistan on friday, he was there with secretary of state hillary clinton. they addressed the relationship that's been strained since the raid on the bin laden compound. earlier on "american morning," we asked him about concerns that pakistan's government may have known about bin laden's
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whereabouts. >> our presence there, although there certainly is a belief that there was some support network in both the united states and pakistan, specifically believe that. again, i've seen them focus on this. we've certainly had differences, but we come from a time in the '90s where we had no relationship. we had a big trust deficit. so we're working our way back through that. certainly, the recent raid put a significant dent in that progress, but both sides are continuing to commit to work our way through it, because we both think it's a vital relationship. >> admiral mullen would not confirm his replacement. it's expected to be general martin dempsey. he was just sworn in as army chief of staff last month. his nomination will have to be approved by the senate. and of course, we're expecting the president to make that announcement today, on memorial day. admiral mike mullen would not get out in front of his boss, no
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matter how hard alina tried. >> you know, after 11 days, 17 hours, and 41 minutes, space shuttle "endeavour" has finally undocked from the international space station. the separation took place just before midnight. the shuttle crew will now conduct a couple of final tests on the space station's sensors. "endeavour" is, of course, wrapping up its final mission and returning to earth at 2:35 a.m., wednesday morning. and take a look at this breathtaking photo. it's of earth, courtesy of nasa. it was taken from the international space station as "endeavour" circled high above the middle east. >> meanwhile, down here on earth, sarah palin roars into d.c. to kick off her east coast bus tour, but everyone wants to know, is this -- is she running for president? is this what this is all about? >> or, as some have said, she just trump on the stump? we should see. but she certainly, as jim acosta pointed out, knows how to make
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an entrance. but she will be in gettysburg later thrnlg, is morning, so st tuned for that. and a group of hikers, including chad lewis, reached the summit of mt. kilimanjaro for a cause, helping wounded veterans. we'll have the amazing details a little bit later. and are you a daredevil? check out six flags new roller coaster that will make you feel like you're doing a rolls and tricks on a fighter jet. that's our very own rob marciano, who got the awesome -- >> either the short straw or the tall straw. >> that's an awesome assignment. nine minutes after the hour.
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13 minutes after the hour. hip hop star shawn kington was hospitalized this morning after apparently crashing his jet ski into a bridge in miami beach. police say that kingston had a female passenger on board when he had the accident, which happened last night. he's reportedly in stable condition and police are investigating what happened. a bizarre accident at a hotel in atlanta leaves a model dead. police say la shawna threat and another woman were, quote, play fighting when they crashed through a tenth story window at the "w" hotel and they n fell t the ground. they were apparently celebrating threat's 30th birthday. politics now. sarah palin appears to be running up for a run at the white house, or is she? she's simply not tipping her hand just yet. she kicked off her bike tous to yesterday at a biker rally in
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washington. >> the bus tour is to get out there and remind americans about our foundation, our declaration of independence and our constitution and the historic sites that should be a reminder every day to every american, about how important it is to stand strong on our foundation. that's what made us the greatest country on earth. >> standing strong on our foundation and building on them. >> as for whether she will run, she told sandra, i don't know yet. so is she running? that's the question that everyone's asking, and it appears that sarah palin just doesn't mind keeping alling for. >> even john mccain says she doesn't know what her intentions are. but the arizona senator, john mccain, says he has no doubt that she can beat president obama. >> of course she can, she can. now, whether she will or,
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whether she'll even unor not, i don't know. a lot of things happen in campaigns. you'll remember, i was written off a couple of times and we were able to come back. she certainly is a major factor and i believe that she can be very competitive. >> that's if, of course, she runs. but we want to know what you think? do you think sarah palin will run for president? >> it's our question of the day. here's some responsing. a lot of people were going to come in and saying, either it will help the president, or she should, we need change. >> "as a vice presidential nominee, she didn't make it. as a governor, she quit. do we really think she can make it as our president? no." >> this one from twitter, "i think sarah palin might make a run for the white house in 2012. she thinks she can change america for the better. only time will tell." >> "we can only hope." >> and then darlene says, "after all these years of men in the
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office, we can only pray that sarah palin will run for office of the president of the united states of america. i know she will with win. go sarah. we love you." she's got a very fierce following of supporters. and then people like, nope. be sure to catch jo"john king, usa" tonight at 7:00 p.m.. >> and on monday, june 13th, cnn will host the new hampshire presidential the debate as republican hopefuls gather to go for their party's nomination. hard to believe it's coming up, but that is monday night, june 13th, only on cnn. >> and we will be there. coming up, word that germany will shut down all its nuclear reactors. what prompted the government's decision to get rid of nuclear power, completely. >> that's right. and get ready to fork out extra cash for this week's memorial day barbecue. but how much more? we'll tell you. it's 17 minutes after the hour.
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it's 19 minutes after the hour. minding your business this morning, defense contractor lockheed martin falls victim to what it describes as a significant and tenacious cyberattack. it happened earlier this month. the company says no customer data was compromised. and online harks also hitting the pbs website. they posted a story, saying that rapper tupac shapoor is live and in new zealand. the hackers said they did it in retaliation to the network's program call "secrets." germany promising it will shut down all of its nuclear plants by 2022. those nuclear plants provide a quarter of their power. japan's nuclear prices prompting the government to take its own nuclear plants offline. a member of the saudi royal family calls for lower, lower oil prices. prince ali ben that lal tells
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cnn, oil should be selling around $70 a barrel, so the u.s. won't speed up its search for alternative energies. right now it's about $100 a barrel. more relief for drivers. gas prices are down for the 18th day in a row. according to aaa, the average price for a gallon of regular is now $3.79. this memorial day, it's going to cost you about 29% more, though, than last year to fire up that grill. rising food prices means the average price will set you back about $199, and that's before soda and alcohol. the sequel "the hangover" 2 was first at the box office. "kung fu panda" came in second with $48 million. when we come back, artifacts left in tribute to the vietnam veteran's memorial may get a museum of their own. we'll tell you why. "american morning's" back after this break. [ male announcer ] finally.
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♪ the vietnam veterans memorial is one of the most visited and moving sites in washington, ever since it was dedicated, people have been leaving behind personal letters and mementos, items that are gathered at the end of each day and placed into a storage facility. joining me live from the facility where those items are currently being stored is jan scruggs. he's the founder and president of the vietnam veterans memorial
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fund. thank you for joining us. i want to tell you, on a very personal note, as a young girl in iowa, when i would go to washington, d.c. when this wall with was first built and see it, as a tourist, we would take a list of names of our friends and family, the people that they knew, they wanted us to get etchings or wanted us to take a picture of the name on that wall. this is a place that is so moving and so important for so many people in this country, and to think of all those things that people leave there. they come and they see the name, they get the etching on the wall, but they leave something. whether it's dog tags or assist clip from a newspaper or it's, even what i've seen what i was there was a six-pack of pbr. >> it's a great educational device to the veterans memorial. school kids come from all over the country, they make etchings, they bring tributes there, and that's why we're building the education center at the wall. >> i know that you're wearing
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gloves right now, because you want to preserve all of these things forever, so we can have a living, breathing, some kind of an example of what these people meant to all of us. tell me some of the things that people leave there? >> well, at the education center, at the vietnam veteran's memorial, which we'll be building in the next couple of years, we're going to remember people like gemmy dolan. see, when you go into the education center, you're going to be given that dog tagg, and that dog tag may belong to this guy, jimmy dolan. legave his life actually by annia absorbing the blast from a hand grenade to save the lives of his friends. so these are the types of values that we're remembering, and this was left there by some of his fellow veterans. we have here a very nice photograph left by the daughter of this marine, roger k. jones, who was killed in action, in vietnam in 1968.
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everything you can imagine has been left at the vietnam veterans memorial, ranging from guitars. and i'll tell you, one of the most moving things are graduation tassels from high school and college, so that people will bring them to let their father know, you know, symbolically, that they graduated. >> i know this is so emotional for you, as well. this has been a real mission for you, for many, many years now. in the very beginning, when the wall was built, i guess you could really have predicted that so many people would bring something else there and that those artifacts would tell a story about these 58,000 americans who gave their life in vietnam. >> you know, there's no sociological or ant hropologica
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precedent for this. the things that really matter are these items that are connected to the individuals on the wall, because it is their values of loyalty, duty, service to our country that we're commemorating, and indeed, at the education center, this entire experience will be about citizenship, and what are your duties to our country as a citizen, and how do you compare yourself to someone like jimmy dolan, for example -- >> to make it positive and make it something that people can take with them, as an american. and what about the harley davidson -- is that a motorcycle behind you? did someone really leave a motorcycle there? >> that is a magnificent motorcycle made by hand from some really great guys in wisconsin and attached to the motorcycle are the dog tags of the wisconsin machine action serviceman. this engine has never been
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started and it never will be started until all the p.o.w.s come back. it's a great symbolic gesture. it travels around the country as well, but it's a magnificent educational device as well, to keep the memory alive of those who are missing. >> we were looking at section 60 in arlington where men of the young men and women who have fallen were born in the 1980s. it's an important reminder, we have families who are still mourning men who died 20 years before that. thank you, jan scruggs, thank you, sir, and best of luck to you. >> thank. >> so great that he's doing that. and what a monumental effort it will take to put that museum together. but so great. >> a monument in stone, how it became something more and different than what the organizers thought it would be in the beginning. and all the things that americans bring to it, a monument in and of itself. >> so great they'll all be preserved in the way they will be, in a museum. our top stories now.
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the president remembering fallen heroes on this memorial day. we'll take you live to arlington national cemetery. that's a live picture. president obama later this morning will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns. the president will also host a breakfast at the white house for families who have lost loved ones in war. president obama calling it a national tragedy and promising to be with the people of joplin, missouri, every step of the way. exactly one week after one of the most powerful tornadoes in history killed 142 people. 44 are still missing. and the midwest is getting battered again by spring storms. parts of michigan and illinois are littered with downed trees and power lines. some 100,000 homes and businesses in michigan alone lost power. more than 400 flights were canceled yesterday, at chicago's o'hare airport. >> rob marciano in the extreme weather center. good morning, rob. it's been a hairy couple of days for weather. that's certainly going to tie up some travel forecasts for the day, aren't they?
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>> yeah, we have some thunderstorms that are rolling through the new york city airport right now. the latest at laguardia and jfk right now. this is a piece of the energy that rolled through chicago and lower michigan yesterday with the severe weather. quickly rolling off through long island, eventually cape cod, but so southern parts of connecticut getting it now. definitely have some gusty winds, lightning, thunder, and heavy rain. but once that gets through, we're looking at some clearing and then things will get on the toasty sides. things will soar into the 90s, upper 80s, maybe touching 90 in new york city. very, very steamy. the unofficial beginning of summer is feeling a lot more like the middle of it, and we're in this heat wave, so not a bad day to hit the beach. here's a quick look at what we expect across some of the beaches. the gulf of mexico waters in the lower 80s already, priming up for hurricane season. but a good day to go out there and put your toes in the gulf of mexico. temperatures in the upper 80s along the coastline. a slight chance of seeing a shower or two.
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tampa, not too bad, 95. better chance of seeing thunderstorms there. miami beach, south beach, always a good place to go, no matter the time of year. a little farther up the coastline, hilton head, savannah, temps in the upper 80s. but this is where we get to the area where temperatures in the 50s, water temperatures. it's only the brave souls or the really, really sweaty hot that jump into the waters of cape may up through jersey and out along long island. temperatures will be in the lower 90s there. so a good place to cool off. also not a bad place to cool off, got an opportunity a couple days ago to go down to six flags here in georgia. they've got a brand-new roller coaster, called the daredevil ride and i got to ride it. what are the specs? >> we'll go 2,000 feet in two minutes. but the most important thing, first and foremost, is ten stories, straight up. >> okay. that doesn't look too bad. >> and at the back end of this
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is a 95-degree drop. not straight down, you're going in and down. you're going 95 degrees. >> oh, my god, are you kidding me? >> this is 90 degrees. >> we're just going to dangle here at the top before it drops. >> oh, that's a nice view. >> here we go, right here, right here. >> ah! wow! whoa! yeah! nice! whoo! that was awesome. >> nice work. >> my stomach's still sore, guys. longtime friend, cnn producer, alex walker, talked me into this. i almost lost my watch from the force there, i had to hold on to
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it by force, along with everything else. by the way, six flags in jersey has the tallest or koecoaster i the world. >> let's go. >> did alex do it 100 times? >> he had been through it a few times. >> and being the smart man that you are, rob, you went up twice, right? >> i tid, actually, several times. a good day to ride. i love roller coasters and what a way to start the summer. >> we do too. i love roller coasters too. that's a lot of fun. >> all right, rob, thank. the 100th anniversary of the indianapolis 500 featured one of the wildest finishes in the history of the big race. you've gt ot to check this out. rookie jr hildebrand was leading on the final lap sunday when he crashed, you see it right there, and that allowed dan wheldon to take the checkered flag. >> earlier on "american morning," we asked wheldon about
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this stunning win. >> that's what's fantastic about the indianapolis 500. it's so unprotectable. it's the biggest sporting event in the world, certainly the biggest motor race in the world, and i'm very happy to be a two-time winner, especially this year, with it being the 100th anniversary of the race itself. so it was a great day. >> after the race, wheldon doused himself in milk, the traditional drink of indy champions. this is his second indy 500 victory. but when you hear them talk about fuel management, everything is like an economic decision around those corners. >> it's not just beginning 200 miles an hour, there's a big strategy behind these now. and he's cute as a button too. anyway. congratulations to dan. well, he dropped the kid, then he dropped the ball. check this out. a dad holding up his daughter at the dodgers game, did you see that? he let go of her when a foul ball comes that way in order to catch the ball, then he went back to the kid -- >> see, the commentators are
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talking about it. >> a little bruised on the inside. she throws him a, whoa! come on, dad. >> and she throws him an elbow when he goes in for a hug. >> talk about getting caught up -- >> not like the dad who caught the foul ball at the phillies game and gave it to his kid and then she threw it back. what should you do if your child is in danger of failing out of school? education contributor steve perry traveled to atlanta to help a family whose 14-year-old son was struggling and share his story, next. it is 37 minutes after the hour. [ male announcer ] to the 5:00 a.m. scholar.
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♪ good morning, atlanta, georgia, on this memorial day. sunny and 74 degrees right now. going up to a very hot 93 with more sunny skies. what can parents do to help a child who's struggling succeed in school? cnn is looking for answers. education contributor steve perry traveled to atlanta to help family whose 14-year-old son was in danger of failing the ninth grade. he recounts his experience in the cnn special, "education makeover," with principal steve perry. let's take a look. >> i want you to meet three teenage brothers. they're involved in a lot of activities. but one of them is struggling. >> but i'm looking at three fs and a "c" minus.
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>> is he in danger of failing that grade? >> it's up in the air. >> and then his divorced parents. >> if you were able to be there in the beginning -- >> when you say that, it's like you're punishing me -- >> no, i'm not -- >> reporter: what can we do to cut down on some of the communication breakdowns? >> steve is also the founder of capital preparatory magnet school and joins us now. hey, steve, good morning. you know, we were talking about this earlier, where we've seen all kinds of makeovers, including clothing makeovers, you name it, but not an education makeover. so, tell me about this family. how did you find them, why did you choose them? >> we chose them because they are the traditional family of today. they're divorced, which so many families are, like some families are single parented, or not married ever. and they're trying to find a way to raise their children and get them to be successful in school. i'm not a marriage counselor, i'm a principal. and very often, i find myself working with parents to get over
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their parent issues, so that we can get to the kid issues. and here we have a child in jacob, who's struggling, mightily. now, divorce has a different impact on different children. that's why this is very, very interesting. because they have three biological children, and then by extension, four on one side, another two on the other side. there are a lot of people involved in this. and when i watch that, my stomach tightened up, i remember how i felt when i first walked into the house and thought, oh, my god, we're never going to figure this out. >> so steve, what was the biggest problem or biggest problems, and what did you do to help? >> we did a lot. the biggest problems were the parents in this case. they're divorced for a reason, and they had some real issues with being able to communicate with one another. they had some practical impacts on the children's lives, but most specifically, we have a teenage boy in jacob, who's 14 and he's beginning to make decisions that are not necessarily the best decisions for him, or his family. so he's failing virtually all of
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his classes, and he's a very bright kid. so you have a mom whose job it is to work with parents in her school to help them help their children be successful, struggling as a parent herself. it's a compelling piece. and i'll be honest with you, i was surprised myself by the ending. it's a stunner. >> steve, we don't want to give away the ending, but do tell us. for those parents out there who are with watching, who might have a child who's struggling in school, what was the biggest takeaway for you, in terms of the advice to give others? >> yeah, the biggest takeaway in this one was, when the parents find a way to remove the discord, the children are happier. and that's whether you're married or divorced or have never been married and you're raising a child by yourself -- or raising a child alone in your home, but you have a biological parent. these parents, they were at lagerheads. and they like each other, but
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the level of discord, the level of discontent had permeated into the child's lives. >> but, steve, you can't change your circumstances. you're born with these circumstances, but what can can be done? what can the parents do separately to help these children, or together, and what can these kids do on their own? >> we talk a lot about that. what the parents can do in this case, they can set up a special, as well as they can help the children with regards to time management. the children can do a better job of making better decisions. these kids, at least one of them, was making very, very bad decisions. in fact, you'll see, just after we left, he got suspended for three days. so when i got the report that we had left and things were put in place and then he gets suspended for three days, i just drop my head in my hand. this is a real story, this is real tv. this is what i do as a principal. this is what i love to do and what many educators would love to do, follow the kids home and see how we can make an impact.
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here, you get a chance to see how i feel on what the parents can do. here's an example of how much an impact a parent can make on a child's life. >> steve perry, we thank you. and don't miss steve's special, "education makeover with steve perry," airs this saturday june 4th at 2:30 p.m. eastern time. it's 46 minutes after the hour. back after this. this past year alone there was a 93% increase in cyber attacks. in financial transactions... on devices... in social interactions... and applications in the cloud. some companies are worried. some, not so much. thanks to a network that secures it all and knows what to keep in, and what to keep out. outsmart the threats. see how at
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a lot going on this morning. here are your headlines. president obama honoring america's fallen heroes on this memorial day. you're looking at a live picture of arlington national cemetery in virginia, where he'll lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns in just a couple of hours. general martin dempsey is set to become america's top military officer. later this morning, president obama will nominate him to become the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, replacing admiral mike mullen when he retires in the fall. the choice does need senate confirmation. germany announces plans to shut down all of its nuclear plants by 2022. germany says it will make up for the loss of power by renewable energy instead. germany would be the first major industrialized nation to take all of its nuclear plants
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offline. sarah palin kicked off her one nation bus tour at a biker rally in washington, d.c., yesterday. she's expected to stop in gettysburg today. she's still not saying whether she is running for president. a few hundred people are being urged to evacuate because of a wildfire burning dangerously close to some neighborhoods in amarillo, texas. so far, the fire has burned about 700 acres and destroyed several homes. the midwest battered again by spring storms. parts of michigan and illinois littered with down trees and power lines. about 1,000 homes and businesses in michigan are without power. more than 400 flights were canceled yesterday at chicago's o'hare airport. now, the food pyramid is out and the food plate is in. more details are expected in an official announcement this thursday. you're caught up on the day's headlines. "american morning" is back after the break.
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welcome back. it's ten minutes before the top of the hour. a group of wounded u.s. soldiers and former nfl players say they never felt so high, literally, and figuratively, until the day they reached the top of the mt. kilimanjaro. they climbed the highest peak in africa, nearly 20,000 feet high, to raise awareness and money for injured service members. >> former nfl star chad lewis and nancy shaliro are back with us this morning to tell us about their trip to tanzania and their incredible climb to the top of
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the tallest peak. let's start with you first, nancy. it was more mental exhaustion than physical exhaustion. what was it like? five days, just ten hours, just to climb to the peak. >> oh, it was really mentally exhausting, especially going through the rainy season, so we were damp the whole time. so it was a little bit miserable, but you had that team there, and they just keep you going. >> what was the toughest part? >> the toughest was the last day to the summit. walking at night with just your head lamp on and just trying to get up there. and you never think you're going to reach the summit. >> were you short of breath? a lot of people talk about headaches and short of breath, and you can't get a breath, how you get closer and closer to the top, you really can feel a difference? >> you definitely can feel the altitude. the air is so much thinner, so now you're walking basically vertically up and it's ten times harder to breathe. it was very challenging at one point. >> i want to ask chad a question, because you're a former nfl player, clearly in
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great shape. how did you find the climb? >> it was unbelievable. there was absolutely no air at the top, and as a team, we were team hard target. and as happens in a football game, sometimes you got to get on each other. and right near the top, nancy's feet were freezing. and she was talking about her feet and she had no air, and teddy brewski, as a middle linebacker from the patriots finally said, nancy, sit down on that rock right now, we'll take off your shoes, put on some warm socks, we did it, and as soon as nancy had some warm socks on, she was a different girl. she was like, okay, let's go, but the whole trip to the top was amazing. >> how long were you there, by the way? >> it took five days to climb up and two days to climb down. the whole trip was 11 days, but it was 7 days on the mountain. >> now, you didn't all make it, right, chad?
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the whole group didn't get a chance to summit? >> right. we had four wounded warriors, we had two lower leg amputees, nancy lost her right eye, so as we were going up the mountain, two of them, ben and mike were not able to summit. and that was by far the hardest part of the whole trip, even tougher than the lack of oxygen at the top, was losing two of our guys as we were going to the summit. >> it looks cold, it looks wet, and i've got to tell you, there are a lot of people who are not wounded warriors who try to go up that mountain and don't make it. >> and nancy, obviously, there was a dual mission here. ed up to make it to the top, but you had another mission, which was to raise awareness about wounded warriors. and you had a slogan, 19k for those killed in iraq and afghanistan. we talked to admiral mike mullen earlier, the chairman of the joint chiefs. how do you think the government is doing in terms of taking care of wounded vets? >> i think, so far, so good. and each day, they're getting
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better, as well. they're taking -- they're realizing all the men and women coming home that are injured, mentally and physically. and they're really looking forwards the mental part now to. because everyone sees the physical disabilities, but no one ever sees the inside scars and the hidden scars we come home and carry with us. >> ptsd? >> and traumatic brain injuries. >> chad, you've seen in the nfl, obviously, discipline and hard work. what do these warriors -- what kind of a glimpse did you get into the military discipline and hard work of these people you were climbing with? >> just how much absolute courage they had, to get to the top. nancy was walking without any depth perception. brian wagner, who was walking as a lower leg amputee, he had to dig so deep to get to the top of the mountain. and then once we got to the top, we were only halfway, and he had to come down, and walking down on his stump, on his prosthetic leg, was excruciating. so for two days, he was grinding
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out, digging so deep to get to the bottom. and jeff fisher, teddy brewski and i, as we were walking behind, we kept shaking our heads, the whole trip, going, these guys are absolutely heroes, this is amazing. and for us to get an up close and personal look at our heroes and the people serving in our military and what they're doing and what it means to stand in harm's way, it was an unforgettable experience. >> chad lewis, former nfl player, you climbed it, you did it, congratulations. nancy schiliro, congratulations to you as well. >> and if any warriors are out there and they need the help or want to know how to get ahold of the wounded warrior project, they can go to >> all right, thanks so much. >> 56 minutes after the hour. ary and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world.
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a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. [ female announcer ] wake up to sweetness with honey nut cheerios cereal. kissed with real honey. and the 100% natural whole grain oats can help lower your cholesterol. you are so sweet to me. bee happy. bee healthy.
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