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tv   John King USA  CNN  August 3, 2011 4:00pm-4:54pm PDT

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projectile -- >> faster than a speeding bullet. >> it'a bird. >> it's a plane! >> reporter: it's your funeral. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. thanks very much. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." for our international viewers, "world report" is next. in north america, "john king, usa" starts right now. >> thanks, wolf. good evening, everyone. tonight wall street breaks a losing streak barely with the jobs market and financial markets in such a struggle new warnings tonight the economy could fall back into recession. and as the president prepares to celebrate his 50th birthday with a giant re-election campaign fund-raiser, a would-be rival hits home and previews the 2012 showdown over jobs and the economy. >> yes, we can. thank you. if i don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition.
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>> another possible republican challenger is riled up, too, because of tea party criticism during the debt ceiling debate. >> yeah, right. independent patriotic americans who desire fiscal sanity in our beloved nation being called terrorist. if you were a real domestic terrorist -- >> we begin overseas tonight with two dramas unimaginable just months ago in syria, a vicious regime crackdown designed to crush an anti-government protest movement that is standing firm despite the deadly risks. and in cairo, a historic event that brought a collective gasp across the arab world, hosni mubarak on trial, wheeled into the defendant's cage in a hospital bed, dismissing with the wave of his hand allegations of corruption and complicity in the killings of anti-government protesters. >> translator: what do you say?
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>> translator: i deny all these charges. >> the 83-year-old mubarak was forced from office six months ago, but even some of the most ardent tahrir square demonstrators thought they would never see this. in the defendant's cage, the former president, his two sons the notorious former interior minister and six other senior police and security officials who helped mubarak stifle dissent during his three decades in power. it is hard to overstate the power of this moment. that man in the cage is this man, the once-trusted ally of the past six u.s. presidents. and in the arab world, that one of the dictators would come to trial is a breathtaking turn. the proceedings watched by millions in egypt and millions more on the arab satellite networks that have been so central to the wave of political upheaval across the middle east and north africa. cnn's frederik pleitgen was in tahrir square in the midst of it months ago and was in the courtroom today as the
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revolution took its latest turn. take us into the scene. hosni mubarak on trial. dismissing the charges against him. what was it like in there? >> reporter: well, it was pretty much utter disbelief on the part of anybody who was in that courtroom, john. i could see even the lawyers for the prosecution could not believe what they saw there in front of them. first of all, the former president inside that metal cage, and you said it, they never thought that they were ever going to see anything like this. one of the most important power brokers here in the middle east for so many years, someone who was also so important speaking with american presidents as you said as well, to many people here in egypt, this man was always larger than life, and now he was on that hospital bed. he had to remain on the bed the entire time that the proceedings went on. this was about five hours. he always had people attend to him. his voice was very weak. so, i spoke to some of the lawyers of the prosecution, john, these are people who were asking for the death sentence against hosni mubarak for ordering the killings of
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protesters during the revolution that started here on january 25th, and they said in their wildest dreams they could not have imagined what they witnessed in that courtroom today, john. >> and give us a sense, fred, for our u.s. audience here that is familiar with how courts might work in the united states, how similar, how different are the proceedings against the former president and his team? >> reporter: well, i mean, they're a lot more disorganized to put it that way. but this is really also a very unique case within the egyptian justice system, because one of the things that they say is that this is really a pivotal moment for this country altogether. basically what you normally have in an egyptian court, you have a lot of backroom dealings and in some cases you'll have verdicts announced on state tv before they're actually announced in court, so there's a lot of wheeling and dealing that goes on. for the first time what we're finding here is that everything according to the book, and so,
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therefore, they say this is such a pivotal case for their nation, because this is where they decide whether or not they are going to be a true democracy or whether they're going to stick to the ways that have been so common under hosni mubarak's regime, john. >> and, fred, outside the courtroom across egypt, you mentioned how pivotal this is, it is a hook back at the regime, a look back at the charges of corruption, charges of complicity in the killings. are there any who worry that it will hurt the effort to look forward, to get to a new government, to get to a fresh day politically? >> reporter: well, i mean, a lot of it is going to depend on the outcome of this case and how much of a cleansing effect it's actually going to have. i mean, one of the things we saw today in front of that courtroom which is heavily fortified is that there were massive clashes between pro and anti-mubarak protesters, so there is still a large rift between the two camps. a lot of people, of course, still looking back on that dictatorship and saying, listen,
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things were very stable back then. tourism was going very well. the economy was going fairly well. egypt was one of the most dynamic countries in this entire region, but there are other people who say we need this reform right now, we need deep, fundamental reform, we need people like hosni mubarak put on trial quickly and we need social reforms very quickly. this is a society very much in turmoil at this point in time and right now it's still sort of up in the air where they are going to go. is this going to be something where there's some mild reforms or is this really going to be fundamental change and this trial is very, very important in all of that, because it's really going to design how the justice system and how the society is going to move forward from here on out, john, so this is something that is very important and something that a lot of egyptians are really watching round-the-clock whenever it's on, john. >> fred pleitgen for us on the ground in cairo, dramatic moment there. i want to go to the magic wall
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to take you back in time. the fall of mubarak was one of the critical moments in what we now call the arab spring. it started in tu nearby thas tu falling, and ben ali fell, and his average population just below 30. that's something you see across the region. and then it happened in egypt, hosni mubarak, 84, the average age, 24. again, you see the huge generational divide, a lot of the protesters across the region are younger people disconnected from their leadership, and still ongoing is the battle in libya , gadhafi fighting to cling to power as it plays out. and to syria, a younger president, 45, but his family has been in power for 48 years, the average age of the pop ha s populati population, 21. watching in the region as this plays out obviously the president of yemen has left
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yemen to go to saab for health issues, president sala, 69, the average population in yemen, less than 18 years old in that country. and watching all this as it plays out a country where we've not seen any demonstrations as yet, closed society, but look here, the age of the king abdullah of saudi arabia, 88 years old. his family in power the past 79 years. the average age of the population, 25 years old. our national security contributor fran townsend standing by with usened tonigh. first to the history being ma id in egypt. many of the demonstrators thought they would never get mubarak to step down and they never thought in their wildest dreams that a military government run by his former generals would put him on trial. what does this day mean? >> you can under the sort of mixed emotion that we're seeing in cairo today, but it's really important, john, a couple of things. one, this has really got to be done in a transparent way where mubarak despite the crimes he's accused of committing, and
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they're heinous, but he's treated according to the rule of law, that it is predictable, transparent, fair process. he ought to be getting a fair judicial process that many egyptians were denied over the decades, but that's very important. and then it's got to be done expeditiously, you know, as the report pointed out, the egyptians want to move on. they need to see economic reforms. they need to see tourism come back. they need to see stability. they need to have a sense of accomplishment. and they'll get some of that from a fair and transparent trial of mubarak, but then they need to see legal reforms that benefit the people of egypt. >> benefit the people of egypt. and, fran, what of the sense of the pause, i don't know what the right word is here, but hosni mubarak going back to president carter, through president reagan, both president bushes and president clinton and the early days of president obama, he was the go-to guy for the united states. like it or not, there was criticism about punishment about who spoke out against the regime, he was the guy, the
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honest broker with israel, somebody that we used as a contact or intermediary with other arab governments. but what is the state of play, is there a pause button in the arab world or has the united states found someone else to fill the role? >> i don't think they will. i don't think anyone has filled the hole left by mubarak's loss in terms of the advice the united states would get on foreign policy vis-a-vis, the middle east, but this is a new day and there will be a new paradigm. frankly what the united states is struggling to get past is some of our allies like in saudi arabia, in bahrain, in kuwait, are concerned about where they haven't had the same sort of arab spring, are concerned about what are the loyalties of the united states if they were to have these sort of opposition movements, what would the united states' position be, and so i think as a result of that, you've seen the arab world go very quiet on places like libya, syria. we're not getting the support that i think the united states had hoped it would say in others of these foreign policy
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challenges we face. >> and i talked a bit about this with fred pleitgen, you've touched on this. is there a danger in the emotions at a time when there's such a delicate transition, when you're trying to form political parties, when you're trying to negotiate with a military government who says it doesn't want to be part of the next government but does want to protect its fiefdoms, is there a danger in bringing that man right there, bringing mubarak to justice and looking backwards whether it's for justice, vengean vengeance, pick another word, is there a danger in looking back when there's so much to be done looking forward? >> i think there is. the danger is to the future, right? because while there may be some sense of relief at sort of having mubarak pay a price, humiliating him really isn't part of the path to moving forward. he's committed crimes. you know, most of these trials of dictators focus on genocide of their own people. charles taylor, milosevic, saddam hussein, all were tried for the genocide of their own people.
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this corruption trial, and there are allegations about the abuse of protesters, has to be gotten through, gotten through quickly, but it needs to -- the egyptian people, frankly for their own sake and the sake of the country, need to look forward. and they have a very proud history, and so humiliating mu h mubarak won't serve much in terms of their future. >> fran townsend, we'll talk to you ahead later. the dow breaks its losing streak, but just barely, and some say it's proof the recovery could stall into a recession. and the syrian regime brutally cracks down on on government protesters and the united nations security council finally speaks up. that's next. excuse me? my grandfather was born in this village. [ automated voice speaks foreign language ] [ male announcer ] in here, everyone speaks the same language. ♪ in here, forklifts drive themselves. no, he doesn't have it. yeah, we'll look on that. [ male announcer ] in here, friends leave you messages written in the air.
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♪ granola thins. from nature valley. nature at its most delicious. tonight the united nations security council is belatedly in the view of mapny conde nin the many condemning the crackdown of the peaceful protesters in syria. there are no sanctions connected and no call or demand for an investigation, no, just words condemning the violence. just words despite the deaths of some 2,000 protesters in recent months, just words in spite of the green light to tend tanks into the city of hama after
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several days of artillery shelling, words despite this. and this -- cnn's arwa damon is tracking the developments for us tonight. arwa, this is a decisive escalation by the regime, why hama and why now? >> reporter: yeah, son, it certainly is, activists will tell you this is the way for the regime to deliver a decisive blow to hama, it's been the scene of the largest, if not the largest, demonstrations to take place in syria. people there, some of them going so far as to say they have liberated hama from the regime. many say with the anticipated,
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even larger demonstrations scheduled to take place during the holy month of ramadan, the regime decided it was time to bring this about to anened, when it comes to this regime, that means a military?aofñend. if you remember, this crackdown began on sunday. there were short military incursions into hama, not all the way into the center of the city, though, this morning 6:00 in the morning, residents who we spoke to say that the tanks went barreling through, firing indiscriminately, gunshots, snipers positioned on rooftops. that main square where we had been seeing all those demonstrations happening, now is a tank position. food shortages, water shortages, medical shortages. john, the situation is so dire that there is no accurate death toll. people still don't know how many casualties were caused by all of this. >> and so it begs the question, sadly, we've seen the anti-government protesters defiantly, resolutely and bravely in hama and in other cities even after bloody
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crackdowns, even after many of their colleagues and comrades have been killed stand firm. what is the sense of the strength in the wake of this? >> reporter: well, john, this most certainly, if, in fact, the opposition is not able to regroup in hama itself, a fairly devastating blow. what we heard from one activist that the military also plans a similar crackdown in the eastern part of the country, also a place that is seeing the large-scale demonstrations. if, in fact, the syrian government is able to brutally and militarily bring these two areas under its control in the sense that the demonstrators would no longer be able to take to the streets, it most certainly would make it incredibly challenging for the opposition to keep up the kind of momentum, the kind of pressure that it hopes to put on the regime to force it to its knees. at this point we're hearing an even greater call from the opposition, for the international community, to intervene. yes, we have this statement from the united nations, it's a
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presidential statement. it condemns the human rights violations. it calls for an end to the violence, but this really is not what the opposition is looking for. they want strong statements. they want sanctions especially economic sanctions, or else many of them that are saying the blood that is spilled is also the international community's responsibility. >> it fair to extend from that, we've talked about this in the past, the regime doesn't seem to, forgive my damage, give a damn what the international community says. is there a feeling that a statement from the united nations security council to convince outside government we better pull back? >> reporter: john, i would be stunned if this presidential statement had any sort of similar impact on the assad regime. this is a regime that has not given a shred of importance to the u.s., for example, saying that the president has lost his legitimacy, it has not given any importance at least publicly to the fact that the u.s. added additional sanctions, the european union added additional
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sanctions. a growing number of leaders are saying that this violence has to come to an end. this is not a regime that appears in any way, shape, or form as if it's going to be one that is going to bow down to this kind of pressure. and part of that is because the government realizes that all things considered, it's still in a fairly powerful position. they have been some defections from the military, but by and large, most units have remained loyal to the president. it still has the support of countries like russia and china, even though they did not try to block this presidential statement, and perhaps, most importantly, it has a very powerful original ally in iran and we also have not heard anything from any arab leaders condemning the assad regime's actions. >> arwa damon for us, it's a very troubling story. reporting from beirut tonight. arwa, thank you. today's crackdown is an esscalation, but ardly the first time the assad regime has used violence against its own people. march 18th police opened fire on peaceful demonstrators.
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in late may this horrific video emerged of a 13-year-old boy reportedly tortured and mutilated to send a message to pro-democracy forces. and then syrians began fleeing the crackdown for refuge in turkey and on july 4th syrian tanks and bulldozers prepared to roll into hama. today as the crackdown escalated yet again, human rights groups put the numbers killed at more than 2 ,000. why won't the international community do more? fran townsend is back with us tonight. a presidential statement from the security council saying we condemn the violence, we condemn the human rights abuse. no sanctions. no call for investigation. forgive me, but is that the best the international community can do, despite months of evidence of a brutal crackdown? >> look, this -- it's shameful and embarrassing that that's as much as the international community's been willing to do. i mean, look, the sanctions are important. and the united states and the
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european union as are a wa repo have increased the sanctions, but those alone will not topple the regime. when you look at the astrosties starting with the 13-year-old boy that you mentioned and through the raid on hama and the cities in syria and the protesters, have to ask yourself, where is the international criminal court. they didn't indict gadhafi in libya for similar types of activities and that's the kind of thing. assad has to see that he'll start paying a real price, not just as a leader, but as a personal matter. and when you begin that, when you -- when syria and assad see that, those around him will see that they, too, will have to pay a price. the military leaders. the leaders of the intelligence services who will support these activities, that target the protesters. there's got to be more than words. of course, there can be humanitarian aid into hama, but one of the most important things arwa mentioned is the silence of the arab community.
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that's what really needs to happen here. you need to generate some support, and i'm told by sources in the u.s. government that secretary of state and others are trying to build that sort of support. but, frankly, john, it's too -- too little and it's too late right now for those protesters particularly in hama. >> and do you have any reason to believe that these arab regimes that are worried about their own stability, worries about scenes like this, peaceful demonstrators, anti-government demonstrators in their own country, whether it be in bahrain, where we've seen it before, saudi arabia where we're watching to see if it could trickle up, jordan has had some relatively modest protests so far handled reasonably well by the government, but is that the reason they're not willing to get involved in syria because they're looking in the neighborhood? >> i think that's exactly right, john. and when you add to that, look, there has been a certain amount of strain particularly in the u.s./saudi relationship, because, of course, the king of saudi arabia and the saudi government did not think that the u.s. government should have supported the ouster of mubarak.
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and so there is some tensions that go to what -- how the u.s. hand egypt, how the u.s. has handled bahrain. there's a good level of mistrust between the remaining arab leaders and the u.s. administration, and i think they're unlikely both for their own reasons and the biellateral relationship also to make statements of support for u.s. policy that assad no longer has the legitimacy to lead. >> it's sad to see world bodies just words, when you watch these pictures and hear the stories. fran townsend, appreciate your report tonight. ahead tonight a white house economic adviser says the u.s. economy could slip into recession. what should you be doing to protect your family ? >> and the u.s. government said it has disrupted a heinous child porn network. man: be kind to your eyes
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after an ugly game in sports the team on top will probably say a win is a win. you can apply that old adage to wall street today. down most of the session, stocks rose at the end and the dow eked out a 29-point gain. weak, but enough to avoid a ninth consecutive down day. global economic worries are one drag on the markets, and after several days of weak u.s. economic data, a big topic today was a warning the economy might slip back into recession. our chief business correspondent, ali velshi here to take us behind the numbers. so, ali, the dow snaps a losing streak today, but i wouldn't pop the champagne. just up barely and froiday we'r
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expected a pretty grim unemployment report, right? >> going into friday i'm glad we lost the downward momentum going into the market and it's likely that we'll have more starting friday morning, even if things are as expected, it will be a lousy jobs report, and it's worse than expected which is becoming the expectation, we'll pay the price for it. it's been a rough month on the market. >> if it's worse than expected, it's becoming the expectation. that's a pretty sad play. what's driving this? we get consumed by debates raise the debt ceiling, cut the deficit a little bit. that's part of it, but it's only a small part, right? >> it starts to become believable when people say uncertainty is preventing hiring. here's the real truth of the matter. the main thing that drives hiring or prevents it is demand or lack of demand. we are still not seeing that pick-up in demand and what's been driving the market down this week and last week wasn't just the debt debate. it was on friday we got this sort of tepid gdp outlook and then on monday we got a bad
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manufacturing report and on tuesday we got -- this the most important to me -- a report that showed consumer demand has pulled back just a little bit. it's all of these things coming together that are causing businesses to say why would i expand right now when i'm not sure that the american consumer is on solid footing? it's mostly demand, john. >> and in that, when you look, you look more closely attal this data, all the reports, than anybody i know, is there anything in there that gives you any hope that there's a turnaround or when you hear from larry summers who not long ago was in the obama white house writing, do you know what, we are on the edge of the cliff and we could tip into another recession, is he right? >> look, it gets talked about. it was talked several months ago. it happens when a bunch of bad economic reports come out, people say it's likely to be the thing. credit is flowing freely and mortgage rates again down a new low. here are the bright signs. demand is down a little bit from the previous month. it's not actually down from last year. oil prices are down, that puts a
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little bit more money in people's pockets from when gas prices were a lot higher. credit is still flowing. it is available. we're sort of staying afloat. i -- something has to happen. there has to be some catalyst to make people feel better. the one thing that could be helpful is the pullback in the stock market is a buying opportunity for some people and as the market starts to strengthen, it will make them feel better. i don't think there's enough evidence in front of me to suggest we're on the edge of a double-dip recession, i would say things are a little less certain than they were a few months ago, though. >> ali velshi with sober insights, but important insights, thanks, ali. >> thanks. >> what can you do at this fragile moment, i'm joined by dave ramsey from the dave ramsey show and a "new york times" best-selling author. our 401(k)s pretty much across the board unless you're brilliant and moved things around took a hit this week. what's your sense, eight down days followed by a 29-point okay day, what should somebody at home be doing? >> i think the same thing that
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ali and i have been preaching for years and that is with your 401(k), you don't need to try to time the market. you need to ride that roller coaster. no one gets hurt on a roller coaster unless they jump off, even back with the debacle of 2008 late and early 2009 when the market took a nosedive, if you rode that all the way down, you've almost ridden it back up and then this week we've gone back down a little. that's part of the nature of a 401(k), i'm 50 years old and i got 20-something years before i cash it in. i'm going to ride this thing is what i'm going to do. >> some people don't like roller coasters, but that's probably good advice. first you look and you say maybe we'll see manufacturing come back a bit, that will get encouraging. we learned this week, boom. you learn this week, it's a consu consumer-driven economy, and it will pick up steam once it goes down the hill. but far data there. do you believe the far left and far right when they say it's possible we could topple back into a recession?
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>> well, it is possible, and this is where the policy wonks and those guys do come into play. i'm one of the people that doesn't believe washington has as much control over things as they think they do, but what they do have control over is setting perception and setting vision for the nation. and so when joe and susie hear from the left and hear from the right that we can't get along, we can't figure it out, this is a crisis, this is a crisis, this is a cry siisis, crisis, crisis crisis from every headline, joe and susie are sitting in front of the television and hearing that, they are not at the malls getting on with their lives and sitting at the restaurant and eating dinner. we need to go back to everyone feeling themselves again and having a sense of hope for the future, that fuels the economy. not pure consumer spending from a patriotic, twisted, toxic thing but this idea that i won't freeze like a deer in the headlights out of fear. >> one thing that might make people feel more confident if they started to see some movement or progress in the job market.
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the president had his cabinet around the table at the cabinet room in the white house today, and he asked a pretty important question. let's listen -- >> how are we going to put people back to work? how are we going to wage their raises and increase their security? how are we going to make sure that they recover fully as families and as communities from the worst recession we've had since the great depression? >> now, i'm in the same camp as you, i think that there are limited levers any president has to create jobs. to have incomes go up. but is there anything that you think the president and washington at large can and should do now to, "a," help the economy and, "b," help with the psychology of the economy? >> that's a great question. i think it's an unfair knock on the presidency, they say, well, the barack obama's jobs programs has failed, i think it's an unfair knock on a republican or a democrat to expect them to produce jobs. jobs are produced by businesses. and we've gotten reports out in the last two weeks, "usa today" and then this week it came out
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in wisconsin, "usa today" article on the state of texas and now the state of wisconsin, where job growth is real. and it wasn't government created. it was more of the thing of government getting out of the way and encouraging a climate of stability and predictability. business likes just what ali said a minute ago, businesses like predictability, the market likes predictability and state, we don't like going from crisis to crisis in the business world, we don't hire when we're doing that. we don't hire in a situation if we're afraid we'll get hammered with taxes and regulations, because we got to pull back and hold our cash to survive those kind of things. texas and wisconsin have proven the jobs creation program, but it was the government creating the jobs, it was the government getting out of the way. the president has a great and noble sentiment, but that would be my advice to him. >> thank you for your insight, we'll keep in touch as we ride the roller coaster together. appreciate it. >> thanks, john. still ahead, a republican candidate for president tries to
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spoil the president's first day homecoming. and next congress left without giving the federal aviation administration new spending authority. it means thousands can't work, but does it impact your safety in the skies? vrrooom...vrrroooomm vroom vrrooom vrrroooomm vrrroooomm vrroom vrrrooomm vrrroooooooommmmmm mmmm mm.
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welcome back, if you're just joining us, here's the latest news you need to know right now. the philadelphia eagles mike t patterson suffered a seizure
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today. he's said to we be doing well. sweltering heat was responsible for the deaths of two high school football players. a child porn ring has been busted with more than 50 people arrested. the justice department said the victims range in age from infants to 12 years old, the officials describe the crimes against them as unspeakable. and the united states government is said to be among the targets of a massive cyberscybe cyberstying opera ining spying mcafee said the finger-pointing is at china. the transportation secretary said you can fly safely, but the organization that oversees safety is running short of money because of the petty partisan political fight here in washington. [ male announcer ] this is coach parker...
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the agency charged with keeping you safe in the skies is hobbled tonight because a good old fashioned or bad old fashioned partisan fight here in washington and it could be that way until september, because both the house and the senate they're on vacation until after labor day. mark president obama down as unhappy. >> this is a lose/lose/lose situation that will be easily solved if congress gets back into town and does its job. >> the problem is this, the republican house and the democratic senate, well, they have competing views about some of the issues that fall under
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the umbrella of the federal aviation administration. house republicans, for example, want to cut millions of dollars in subsidies that go to little-used rural airports. let me show you the taste of that, rural airports out in places like you see them here, right? air force base, new mexico, it's been turned into an airport instead, subsidies because they're so little used, taxpayer subsidized to keep you open and running. nevada, the democratic majority leader of the senate lives there, an airport there. higher fares, federal subsidies go out to help keep the airports in operation, to subsidize tickets. montana, another location there. the senate democrats say the cuts go too fa to make sure tha is never compromised, that the people that do their jobs every day will eventually be compensated for this, because they believe in safety, they believe in the work they do, they're making great sacrifice, and i know they'll never compromise safety. and we won't either at d.o.t. >> transportation secretary ray lahood talking to us tonight from the white house. thank you, sir. >> thank you, john. up next, back to our top
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story. the voices of the egyptian revolution share their thoughts as the former egyptian president for almost three decades goes on trial in cairo. every day, all around the world, energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy developement comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing decades of cleaner burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self contained well systems and using state of the art monitoring technologies, rigorous practices help ensure our operations are safe and clean for our communities and the environment we are america's natural gas. [ male announcer ] this is our beach. ♪ this is our pool. ♪ our fireworks. ♪ and our slip and slide.
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call us at... or visit your local liberty mutual office, where an agent can help you find the policy that's right for you. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? a day of powerful images in egypt. this celebration outside a courtroom. look at the smile on the young man's face. what is he celebrating? this powerful image inside. the 30-year president of egypt, hosni mubarak, not only removed from power but today, today brought into a court frm, put on trial on charges of corruption and conspiracy in the protests -- the killing of some
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of those protesters in tahrir square. let's get some perspective from two very important voices and faces of the revolution. mahmoud salem is a blogger better known by his handle sand monkey. shaheed quit because the state regime was forcing media outlets to spread lies and propaganda. shahira as someone who as a lead anchor for nile tv, who understands the power of state-run media in the arab world, the power of satellite media in the arab world, what do you think, when millions across egypt see this scene and millions across the middle east and north africa see this trial, what impact do you think it will have on this trial obviously at a time of such great political uncertainty across the region? >> i'm sure it's going to send ripples across the region. people here are still reeling from shock at what they've seen. and i'm hoping that it sends a very strong message to leaders like gadhafi in libya and assad
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in syria. they should have taken the lesson when they saw saddam hussein come out of that hole in the ground, but they didn't. this is another very strong message. but i'm hoping, as mahmoud said, that it's the beginning of a process and not an end in itself. because for the military rulers it could be like throwing a dog a bone, you know. and seeing us wag our tails at this. but this is just one positive thing. and we hope that reforms are next. real reforms, not cosmetic ones. >> egypt is infectious. however egypt goes so does the region. for some reason nobody can really understand. there has been two trials before by former regime heads. one of them was saddam hussein. and that was done under the american occupation. so it looks like the americans are going to try them. and the other one was -- they this h. to try him in absentia
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because he wasn't there. this is the president, 84 years old, like you know, in a trial. you know, behind the cage. and this sent a message to the king of saud, age will not save you from the things that you've done to your people. this should send a message to basher assad of syria, more than ever now this has happened, this can happen to you. although chances are when this comes to syria and libya due to the amount of violence we are seeing they will not just be happy with trying him. i think some say street justice will take place. we're talking about, you know, i don't know, like the extremes that they have gone. i don't know how people will be able to forgive and ask for a trial. >> there have been a lot of conspiracy theories in recent months, has mubarak left the country, has he passed away, is he really in bad health or is he faking his bad health to try to avoid the trial. a new one came up at the trial today. one of the lawyers for the victim said something that at least to me sounds quite extraordinary. let's listen.
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>> translator: there is a big deceit. this accused man, he is not mohammed hosni mubarak. this is an historic case. egypt has been able to foil this zionist american conspiracy to invent this man who looks like the president. but the actual president died years ago. >> shahira, are there egyptians who believe that's not hosni mubarak, that it's some impostor? >> most egyptians find what they've seen today very hard to believe. and i think they're just very confused. they didn't expect this. and they're just trying to come to grips with it. we had our first miracle when mubarak was forced out. today was the second miracle, i think. >> but mohammed -- mahmoud, excuse me, does anyone actually believe, mahmoud, that the united states put an impostor into -- >> no, no. no, this is the joke of the day.
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i mean, honestly. i think the lawyer just wanted some attention. but listen, just look at him. it's the same i'm the king of the world, you don't matter, look that he


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