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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  April 5, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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field tests and the company wants to get some feedback from consumers. but it didn't take long for someone to highlight the potential pitfalls. take a look at this. >> oh, no, not them -- no, no, wait. oh! >> well, i can wait for them. that's all for most of the night. erin burnett's "out front" starts right now. iran playing a game of nuclear chicken with the rest of the world. the question is, who will swerve first? a new video shows government wasted unprecedented levels on tape. pretty wow. and the latest of the trayvon martin case. brand new analysis of the 911 george zimmerman call and what words he really used. let's go "out front."
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i'm erin burnett. "out front" tonight countdown to nuclear showdown. the rhetoric rising ahead of a make or break moment for iran and the rest of the world. a week from tonight, negotiators will be arriving to talk to iran about the disputed program, a debate about where iran will talk to the united states, britain, france, germany, china and russia may not just be rhetoric. this could be real talk and send the world down a path towards a military strike. now, ron suggested it might move the venue from istanbul to baghdad or beijing. here's what defense secretary cohen told me about this move. >> the iranians are not interested in reaching any kind of agreement. they are not interested in reducing nuclear power. they're interested in acquiring nuclear weapons. >> now, iran vehemently says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. but it isn't just the united states, which is frustrated by
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iran to delay or refuse talks. prime minister stepped into it today saying iran's offer to remove the venue was this. >> translator: the offer going around at the moment is a waste of time. it means it's not going to happen. the iranians are continually losing their international prestige. this is not the language of diplomacy. >> he continued off camera talking about what language it was saying, quote, the name of it is something else and i won't say it here, which was blunt and not very diplomatic. france's minister also jumped into the fray saying talks will proceed only if iran makes assumptions up front. they said, quote, our a semts of the program remains the same. we're concerned about where iran might be headed. deputy director of the cia
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counterterrorist center, offer of the eiatollah democracy. we followed this for many years, the kind of diplomacy, secrecy, lies that go on with these kinds of negotiations. are we going to have talks next week? >> i think we are, yes. i think both the iranians want it and the p5 as well. i think iran wants to punish turkey a little bit for their position is syria, their position on the missile shield. they don't want to award turkey for something that could potentially be a breakthrough negotiation so the turks can say, we were the ones to bring this together. >> it's interesting when you think about these talks, with the world so focused on this issue, is there any way to come out of this that doesn't head toward some sort of military reaction if iran doesn't give
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full activists all its nuclear sites? is there any in-between here? >> i don't think there is much in between. we're going to try to focus on diplomacy because the military is not a very good option. but the iranians have gone down a path here, and we're deluding ourselves if we think that path will be detoured by diplomatic talk. i think this is inevitable? >> what is inevitable? >> i think iran's development of a nuclear program with military intent is inevitable. we can hope that diplomatic talks will detour this, but hope is not a plan. >> you mentioned the other day that iran would need to put certain conditions on the table to actually have a breakthrough. what are those conditions? before you say whether or not they'll do them, what are they? >> i think it's expected that iran would stop their 20% enrichment, which is higher than what they were doing, which is for a medical reactor in tehran. i don't think the french are saying you have to do that before we start negotiations,
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but i think iran is prepared. >> you think they're prepared to do that? >> i do. ahmadinejad said that back in september. >> and allow inspectors there? >> inspectors are there. to allow unfettered access that inspectors want. i think they're also willing to do that, but they're going to need something back from the west as well. they're not going to do it just to say -- >> like what? >> an evening of the sanctions, at least, a road map of how the sanctions will be lifted over time. something the russians talked about almost a year ago. they'll need something in return. if they don't get it, no, of course they're not going to do it. >> but doesn't that involve, to a certain extent, the leadership of iran losing face? which is really hard to do diplomatically when you say you're going to do something and then you put it on the table. he doesn't want to look weak. >> no, but i don't think he's losing face because he already said he would do that. if you sell us steel rods, we
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don't need to enrich 20%, which concerns the rest of the world. there has to be something. he's already said that. >> this sound reasonable, sounds like it makes sense, yet even if this were to happen, it would be a whole lot of talk from all of these western countries that iran didn't really need it, iran wasobfiscating or not being honest. >> they have a missile ballistic program that i watched for decades. a thousand years of history and culture is going to step back now and say, hey, everybody else has got it, we don't want it. i think the program will continue. >> do you think also that there are some parallels in how the united states is treating iran with how the united states treated pakistan which, of course, has nuclear weapons? >> i think that's true. i think we wring our hands when these countries go down this path. in the 21st century with the
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spread of technology, diplomacy can bring these countries around when they can acquire this technology, and when they see threats from us and around the iranian gulf, talks are minimal. they'll engage in talks because they want to detour us, but we're not going to be able to shove the program aside. >> but it also seems at this point that there is a timeline that there's never been before. israel has been so vocal about that, they can't really back down, either. iran has been vocal and they can't back down. so if this is not clearly resolved, the ending seems pretty clear. any kind of military action is a question mark, but that there might be one seems it would be clear. >> i disagree with paul that the iranians definitely want to build a bomb or they want to do that imminently. i think it's pretty clear that once you have the technology that they have and they continue developing it, that they could
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make that decision to build a bomb, which maiy be good enough. >> you can get one within months as opposed to five years. >> right, and i agree if they decide that, there's nothing we can do to stop them including, in my opinion, military action. the best solution is to find a way to be incentivized to take that step. >> will the united states have to back down and accept that iran is moving this direction, unless they want to go to an all-out conflict which doesn't seem to be something this country wants to do? >> i would say yes. iran has one of the impossible programs. if we think we can eliminate with military strikes, i think we're wrong. i think the program is going to continue to step forward. >> horse it out of the barn. thanks very much to both of you. appreciate it.
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was the president backing down or was he just misunderstood? it was a shocking sentence from the judge today. a woman has spent more than a decade tracking him across africa comes out front. and you'll hear how to be healthier and happier. planning unnecessary.h wot but say the sun rises on december 22nd, and you still need to retire. td ameritrade's investment consultants can help you build a plan that fits your life. we'll even throw in up to $600 when you open a new account or roll over an old 401(k). so who's in control now, mayans?
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so another embarrassment tonight for the government. we're talking about the gsa, general services administration. that's the agency actually charged with minimizing costs for the government. so the head of the gsa resigned this week, you may recall, because of some details which came to light about a lavish conference held in las vegas that featured a clown, some mind readers, some trust games. now a web video has surfaced which shows another gsa employee joking about excessive government spending. dana bash has been covering this for us, and look at this video. >> you have to see it to believe it, erin. it is absolutely stunning. in that conference which cost taxpayers $822,000, it isn't just the clown and the mind reader that embarrassed us. they held a video in the
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regional office. listen to him making fun of excess spending and saying he would never be under investigation. ♪ >> now, the other thing you heard in that rap was him saying every gs-5 would get a top hat award. a gs-5 is an entry level government employee, and the top hat award, we've learned today, is something the gsa gave out to employees. it was an award worth $200,000 and it was taxpayer-funded ipods and gift cards. they actually held an awards ceremony at that conference for the video, and what you're about to see is the deputy commissioner of public building service, a federal employee, a top one, giving out the award. and listen to the way he mocks
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oversight, or appears to, of the gsa. >> now, there are just a couple small matters. the hotel would like to talk to you about paying for the party that was held in the commissioner's suite last night. you need to take care of that, and eleanor holmes morton, our chairwoman on the oversight committee, called. she has a couple questions about paid pieces for executives. the obama administration discussion about executive pay and incentive. >> we got this video from capitol hill today, and i'm told that the house oversight chairman daniel isis' office got this on a disk as part of the criminal investigation of all this excess spending. i also just obtained, erin, a letter that isis sent to the director that says it turns out
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they were briefed on this last may. that's right, 11 months ago, and they sat on it. >> wow. i mean, at least the kid doing the rap looks like he could be successful in another industry. everybody else seemed cool. thank you very much. okay, the department of justice has responded to a highly unusual demand from a federal judge in texas. with knowledge in writing, the court's power to overturn laws are unconstitutional. why would they have to do this? because president obama said this on monday. >> i'm confident that the supreme court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected congress. >> that's when you say, gosh, i
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wish i stuck with the prompter. some critics interpreted that statement as a challenge to the authority of the court system but asked today if the president misspo misspoke. the white house press secretary said president obama was only misunderstood because as a law professor, he was speaking in shorthand. >> the premise of your question suggests that the president of the united states, in the comments he made monday, did not believe that the supreme court could rule on the constitutionality of legislation, which is a preposterous presence. >> my committee joins me. each writer for president clinton with me in new york, leslie sanchez in washington. michael, as you said, these are the moments we live for in our industry. >> i think he was talking in shorthand, but what he was saying broadly was that it's very unusual, really
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extraordinary, for an economic measure like this to be struck down by the supreme court. believe it or not, there is actually a famous footnote -- i said i would get this footnote on television. ly, we want them to defer to congress given, and i think that's what the president was saying. it's a big issue and i'm actually glad he didn't. >> the commentary there means a lot less than what he actually said. >> washington is as much where you stand as where you sit. the court should have excessive, when there in the white house. the roles are reversed. it just shows how much of this
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is political. i know it's his loss, but you stay out of it because you are and they're deliberating on the one hand. on the other hand, it's a big. but it is really true. john, it is right to hear the conservative politicians. . ak. >> i want to ask you something that came out of this. they requested three-page, single space -- do kids even know what that is anymore? -- by noon that made reference to what the administration thought. could they overrule laws? they got it and they got it in time. the power of the dispute of
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courts to overrule legislation. that's strongly reviewed. this is an unusual thing to request a letter like this. is it out of wine? it would have acted. it is something that deserved merit and they. he did not ask us to write it 100 times on the chalk board, but. just agree with your two intellige intelligent. the president clearly misspoke, with all due respect, to where the debates are laid out. it's become a very dangerous debate because it's time to intimidate, it sounded as if
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they were trying to who has tried to positive lit sizist. there is a very dangerous presence being set there. the court know. so there's a lot more of a pril battle brewing here than there is a judicial one. >> but it really is very unusual for them to take something that is a signature regulatory economic law of the president's and strike it down, if they do it, because they basically don't like it. actually, for that reason, i think they will uphold it. it's up to the opponents of the law to prove it's unconstitutional. president obama is making these remarks in a vacuum. which he believes and i believe struck down the law. you almost have really a
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structural conflict between the do i understa kind of conservative justices, and they're facing, at least for a time, in the liberal branchs. >> i think the truth is the president is anticipating a political deceit on his major piece of groundwork. they're going to be the bad guy in this kind of tactic for the fall campaign. that's the concern people are talking about. >> i think there is battle lines drawn around the supreme court. it's going to be a general election issue for both sides. for the first time people are going to take the power of the president to supreme court justice seriously beyond abortion. >> that might be a good thing, people realizing how important this court is. >> president obama's comments were nothing compared to threats of the past like fdr trying to
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pass the cork. >> cork packing. >> that's a serious judicial brush-back speech with serious constitutional complications. >> thank you, all three of you. appreciate it. there's been a surprising sentence for some shocking crimes involving terrorism. late today, a federal judge gave the man known as merchant of death 25 years behind bars. that was the minimum. he could have gotten life. vic toor b o-- victor bout is w talking about. nicolas cage played him in 2005. he was the inspiration for the movie "lord of war." he was convicted of killing american citizens, delivering anti-crisis missiles and delivering aid. he spent 15 years alone tracking
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bout. we've had the chance to talk as you were getting ready for this case. what do you think about this sentence, 25 years, the minimum? >> erin, i'm both shocked and disappointed. i cannot believe the verdict. i think the prosecution went into this case thinking it was a slam-dunk. there are a number of us investigators who wanted to bring forth evidence of his past crimes, and the judge said, look, you haven't presented to me enough to show this was a violent individual, that he had bloodshed on his hands, so she gave the minimum sentence. >> i'm also curious on your thought about the money here. prosecution asked the judge to force bout to forfeit $20 million. that may sound like a lot of money to everybody watching, but apparently he has $6 billion in net worth. what's going to happen to that money? >> first of all, the judge
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decided she would only front him $25 million. so again, the prosecution failed to make a strong case where, at the minimum, $21 million would be forfeited. the biggest concern here now is. it goes into u.s. government coffers. none of the money will be pate rated back to the victims of the crimes for which victor bout is responsible, or for building the community and war crimes where his weapons have produced mass devastation. >> katherine, you obviously spent more than a decade tracking victor bout. are there american arms dealers who are doing things in places like syria, right now? >> we're really concerned about the brokers, the financial agents, the transporters who are
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bringing weapons into seyria. we've seen from the libya situation where weapons were dragged 1,000 miles across the desert to support that particular conflict. there are these intermediaries where it just seems like they're evading justice. they are the ones we should be going after, and like, again, we saw today with the victor bout trial, they just keep getting off lightly. >> kathy lynn, thank you very much for taking the time to be with us. kathy lynn continuing to do the task of finding these people around the world. out front, the trayvon martin tapes. we have experts listening to that tape to hear the words that george zimmerman used to describe trayvon martin. we know what that word was. a new gun to add to his
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we start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our own reporting, do the work and find the out front five. first, the masters began today without any sign of giometti in a green jacket. the past four ceos of ibm have given green jackets to augusta
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golf clubs. we're told they have never invited a woman to join. today at the white house, president obama's personal opinion says women should be invited to the club. mitt romney also took the twitter and said he believes women should be given membership. newt gingrich thought his wife should be a member. we're hoping giometti will break her silence. she got her job the hard way and history handed her a big moment. somali has called for a cease fire. they've accomplished their mission and have put down their guns. but the military leaders of the coup put off talks to talk about the future. neighboring countries have closed their borders with mali, hit the border with crippling sanctions. on the brink of a major humanitarian disaster. the agency called for access to
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the country. china hacking web sites belonging to the government. there is a message asking people to revolt against the chinese government. the government has blocked some web sites, spreading rumors of a coup in china. they emerged after the death and disappearance of a major leader. number four, initial jobless claims dropping from 600,000 to 257,000. this is a crucial jobs indicator. if you look at the one-month moving average, it also dropped. economists say this is a strong sign we'll keep seeing job growth in this country. tomorrow is a big day. the labor department will put out those job numbers. they predict 200,000 jobs will be added and the unemployment rate will go down to 8.2%. it's been 245 days, though, since america lost its credit
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rating. what are we doing to get it back? today the president signed the jobs act which will make it easier to start businesses. everybody agreed. this is incredible, if we keep getting more things like that, we'll get our aaa back. the reason we got downgraded is because they wouldn't get anything done. that's good news. >> race has nothing to do with it. >> we're asking for justice, justice, justice! did george zimmerman utter a racial slur minutes before he shot 17-year-old trayvon martin? expert owen says no. he used a computer to analyze zimmerman's voice on the 911 call. that's the call where many people said he used a derogatory word to refer to martin. after separating zimmerman's voice from the interference, he came to the conclusion that the word zimmerman used is punks.
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we put it on the loop to let you hear what it sounds like. martin's family says the volunteer neighborhood watchman racially profiled their son. zimmerman says he acted in self-defense. no charges have been filed. martin savage is in south florida for us tonight and he has the latest. martin, i know the tape is still difficult to understand, but you hear the nk or something like as opposed to the oo which would have gone along with the other word that people thought george zimmerman used on that call. >> you actually picked up the key part, the reason tom owen p said he came to the deduction that it was punks. he was listening for the oo sound that was never there. when he was able to take out the distortion that was in there
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that gave people that misimpression, you get more of the un sound or punks. he passed that by lis gnguistic and they agreed with him. >> why is this word choice so important to diminish between a racial slur? >> gz gz >> it's significant here, because, of course, if there was no racial slur, it probably will have a significant impact on a federal investigation, especially one that may be pertaining to violation of trayvon martin's civil rights,
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hate crimes, because, in other words, if george zimmerman, many people have felt because of the racial slur they thought they heard that he was actively going after trayvon martin for more reasons than just because he was the neighborhood watch captain. you remove that, you take away some of the inflammatory language and you may also remove some of the case. right now in ft. lauderdale, they're trying to evaluate this controversial law which is the law that prevented police from arresting george zimmerman. florida's stand your ground law says you have the right to kill if you feel you're being threatened, and it seems to not matter who is the instigator. it does protect people who are the agressor. remember this call zimmerman made to 911. >> are you following him?
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>> yeah. >> okay, we don't need you to do that. >> okay. >> all right, many believe zimmerman instigated the situation. because of that, he was told not to follow him. it's important to note that his attorneys have told us that they're using self-defense, not sandra brown as defense. justifiable homicides have doubles since 2005. senator, i know earlier this week you and i talked, you talked about this commission you're putting together to evaluate. what's happened? >> well, we met today and we're still meeting behind me. the state attorney, public defenders, law professors and criminal defense lawyers and former prosecutors and actually former judges, we're going through the statute line by line and trying to rule out the statute to see where the problems are, to come up with
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some actions to try to convince the government and the legislature that we need to clean up this statute and give people proper direction of what we consider the right and responsibility of floridians. >> would you consider keeping a stand your ground law but be very clear to change if you were the agressor, you can't use it in your own defense? >> that's exactly the point. we're meeting and we've been discussing what you mentioned, to get rid of the law, but the discussion has been amending the law and especially for the agressor, when someone starts the altercation or starts the fight, then using this as a shield for prosecution, we're looking for ways to more clearly define that, because i don't think we believe that in a civilized society. >> obviously, it's early, but
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does it seem you're going to try to push the government to repeal the law or just modify it? >> we're looking pho modito mod law. i think the law is being misused, but i think the premise is something the floridians are using it. we do not expect them to be the agressor, we do not them to start the fight and then avail yourself of this law and hide from prosecution. >> senator smith, thank you, and good to talk to you again, sir. there is a secret viral tape of 2012 that's come out. that's out front. ing. ing. what can we help you build? nice shot kid. the nba around the world built by the only company that could. cisco.
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we're back with our outer circle. we reach out to sources around the world and we begin in greece where crisis of devastating crisis turn to warning. a man took his own life in athens, his reaction to the debt crisis weighing on individual lives. i'm curious as to whether this suicide which we've heard so much about, whether it's an isolated incident or more widespread? >> erin, according to the greek health ministry, the number of suicides and attempted suicides have soared after a government reduced stiff austerity measures as a response to the country's
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staggering debt. 77-year-old mistula shot himself. in a suicide night, he said they made it impossible for him to live with dignity and he couldn't face a future, in his words, rifling through garbage cans for food. one left a note on the spot where he died saying, this is not suicide, this is murder. accusing the government for not taking care of its own people. erin? >> thank you, anita. now to south africa where after an editing delay and a bizarre semi-release featuring a video that would not play, part two of the most successful video of all time, kony 2012, is now out. eroll barnett is reporting on the new video. how has it been received so far? >> it's been received, except
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for this document. it has their insignia and cnn couldn't independently verify its authenticity. however, the group calls the campaign a facade and they say children are simply a front for the u.s. government to extend its influence in central africa. this response video, so to speak, addresses those concerns. they show on the ground how money is being used in uganda and neighboring countries as well. the chief prosecutor of the icc appears in the video saying thanks in part to what visible children is doing, it's more likely that joseph kony could be captur capture captured. what's coming, the death of trayvon martin, what exactly did george zimmerman say in those
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911 calls, the night trayvon martin was shot? some say they heard a racial slur, others harmless comments. this is a groundbreaking study, a hidden feature tonight, interracial dating. this shows the divide between teens and parents. anderson cooper sat down with kids who had some provocative things to say when it comes to interracial dating. it's all ahead at the top of the hour. >> thank you, wolf. so just a couple moments ago, i was talking about the unemployment rate and telling you how i saw signs of promise for the number of the unemployment rate. the question is, is it enough? our economy has been in a terrible position and the jobs we've seen has been not great. income in february grew
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two-tenths of 1%, not even close to what happened to gas prices. same thing in january. more than 12 million americans are still looking for a job. 5 million out of work for 27 weeks or more. it's having a long-lasting effect on americans' psychological health. more americans take anti-depr s anti-depressants than go to the movies every week. he has made a career out of helping people. he's written more than 60 books, including his latest, spiritual solutions, answers to life's greatest challenges. and he's sharing his idea for making america confident. >> all the creativity comes from yahoo stuff, from google stuff, from facebook, twitter, iphones, ipads, so it's on there still.
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what happened is we created an economy by creatinging these derivatives and they are not based on value or service or product, and we kind of bamboozled the country in spending money that they hadn't earned to buy things they need to do something they didn't like. now we have a crisis. so i think once we recognize the creativity, this is the level of innovation. once we realize that hasn't changed and the ability to create, innovation has not changed the psychological crisis. >> what do you say to people out there? the numbers are still stunning when you look at people that just don't have jobs but haven't had jobs in a long time, part-time jobs, full-time jobs. what can individuals do? you talk so much about meditation and spirituality.
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>> for an individual, i would say right this moment there are certain questions you should be asking dwrours. is there an opportunity fto overcome this crisis. if you kind of reflect on that question, you will have an insight for opportunities. >> you're thinking optimistically about opportunities -- >> yes, some people see problems, some people see opportunities given the same problems. secondly, connect. this is the time for you to cultivate relationships, especially with people who share the same interests, the same talents, the same abilities. thirdly, put it out there. there is no telling who is looking for work. join something like linked in. there are so many things people can do and people right now are using the crisis to make a better life for themselves and also figuring out what their priorities are, you know.
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their families, their relationships. >> and do we need to think about that differently, priorities? you think about so many people in the world have nothing, live on less than $2 a day. in the united states, it's not just a crisis, but it's a very driven society, and we have so many things in this country. >> it's a way to describe the human being consumer. here we are as human beings with insight, intuition, creativity, inspiration, imagination, choice, and we are consumers. it makes me shouudder how we describe human beings. what is the reason for my existence? >> deepak makes consumers seem bad. next, why consumers are
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consuming something that could be saving our country. and russia's ray gun. we're going to tell you how it works. that's next. earned with vented temperature control seats. earned with an 8.4-inch touch screen. and if you're driving one, you know what it means to earn something. ♪
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gas prices are up 20% this year, and that's a painful thing. it been hurting americans. according to the aaa fuel gauge report, prices were up 5% in march alone. the current cost for a gallon of gasoline, $3.84. considering the american economy is powered by consumer spending,
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there is a fear that gas prices will send america back into a recession because america doesn't have money to spend on discretionary things. 7.3. that's the percentage gained in sales from macy's and target in march. the limited posted gains of 8%. zoomie's up 18.1. whatever the reason is, americans gave the recession and doom and gloom issayers a piecef their mind. still out front, a russian president wants a ray gun. i explained how it will prick your skin. we're going to tell you how it works and what america has to fight back. [ nadine ] buzzzz, bzzzz, bzzzz, bzzzz,
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so we saw this headline in london's daily mail. prudent target foes with zombie gun which attacks nervous system. so russia is developing a gun that uses radiation to boil internal organs, control their behavior and drive victims to suicide. it has a mind control aspect to it. the russian military plans to use the gun against its enemies, and according to the report, against russian disdents. there is even a quote from vladmir putin comparing it to a regular weapon, but, quote, it's more acceptable in the terms of american idealogy. this is messed up.
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the media is more acceptable in terms of political and military idealogy. the media picked up the story as one more example of vladmir putin's relentless quest for power. we were suspicious, though, of a story of a zombie ray gun published just the day before. we tracked down the writer. he was at home with the flu, but he answered the question as to whether this is true. he said it is. the russians are developing this weapon and even though it's years away, the russians do have zombie technology and it confirms a lot of things we've heard about putin. some of them funny, some of them not. it's also a reminder, right, of how civilized america is. we already have a gun like that, it's called the active denial syst