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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  February 2, 2010 11:00am-12:56pm EST

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all right, going to start with this. it may be the beginning of the end for don't ask, don't tell. top military leaders are on capitol hill and next hour they're expected to outline the first steps to integrate gays and lesbians into the u.s. military. here's pentagon correspondent barbara starr. >> reporter: the president made his intentions clear. >> this year i will work with congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. >> reporter: but the stone-faced joint chiefs of staff didn't react to the sensitive matter. we now know more about what they are thinking. a senior pentagon official tells cnn the chiefs are expected to support the president, but they will tell him to what extent they believe allowing gays to openly serve will hurt morale
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and readiness of the force. the official says of the chiefs, all they want is a little bit of time to come up with their ideas on how to implement a change in the law, if it's approved by congress. as a first step, defense secretary robert gates is expected to call for no longer discharging people who are outed by others. other the last 12 years, nearly 11,000 people have been discharged from the military for being gay. defense officials privately say the appetite to enforce the law is declining. many say the debate now is how to live with the change. >> one school of thought says just do it. it won't be that big a deal. >> reporter: existing regulations governing sexual behavior may be enough to allay concerns about living in close quarters but that may not work for everybody. >> we can talk about this delicately or be fairly direct. there are a lot of 18-year-old old-fashioned testosterone-laden
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men in the military who are tough guys, often politically old-fashioned or conservative. they are not necessarily at the van guard in many cases of accepting alternative forms of lifestyle. >> barbara star joins us live from the pentagon. one of the big questions in all of this talk is how are the troops reacting to a possible policy change. >> reporter: the troops are just like everybody else in society. there's this wide spectrum of views and opinions. some troops say, look, all i care about is the practical matter of staying alive in the war zone. i don't really care about the sexual orientation of my buddies. others, obviously, have a lot of personal concern about living spaces and how all of this would work. so what are we looking at this afternoon when gates sits down at 12:00 noon in that witness chair and starts talking about this. he is expected to announce he's going to appoint some experts to
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study the matter for another year. this is an effort really to sort of diffuse any political firestorm people say, take time, look at how it all might work and try to build the support in congress and within the military for doing what the president wants, betty. >> we'll be hearing from him live next hour. barbara starr, as always, we thank you. well, a number of countries have progressive policies in place about gays empty military. according to a think tank at the university of california santa barbara, some 25 nations permit gays to serve openly. the palm center's list includes australia, britain, canada, france, israel and south africa. former army sergeant darren menzela served openly until he was discharged in 2008. i'm going to talk with him later this hour about the new momentum to roll back don't ask, don't tell after nearly 17 years. happening right now on capitol hill, senators unite to
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cut off funding for the trials of 9/11 conspirators in civilian court. it's a bipartisan effort, republicans, joe lieberman and a democrat. they are holding a news conference to introduce the legislation. they want the september 11th suspects to face trial by military commission. and then there's this, president obama hits the road this hour to promote his economic agenda. the president heads to new hampshire where he'll tour a local business. he's pitching his plan to use money repaid by big banks to help small businesses. the president also holds his second town hall meeting in less than a week. well, treasury secretary timothy geithner is on capitol hill facing questions about president obama's $3.8 trillion budget. geithner told members of the senate finance committee the president's plan focuses on jobs and keeping the economy growing. >> now, this recession has caused tremendous damage and millions of americans today are
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still living with the consequences of that damage. and we all know that the road to jobs, to greater economic security, to fiscal sustainability, start with economic growth. today in large part due to the policies congress enacted and we put in place to put out the financial fire, our economy is growing again and last quarter it grew at an annual rate of about 6%, more rapidly than any time in the last six years. now, this is progress. it is not enough, though. that's why we need to renew our focus on job creation, on investment and on innovation. >> we want to turn now to the plane crash near buffalo, new york, that killed almost 50 people almost a year ago. today investigators are getting ready to deliver their findings and safety recommendations. joining us live to talk about it is allan chernoff. what is the ntsb discussing right now. >> reporter: well, they're discussing the failings of the
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pilot, the investigation has shown that mr. renslow made some big mistakes. when this plane flying approaching buffalo was slowing down, the altitude was declining, there was a warning that the pilot and the co-pilot received called the stick shaker. the control column began shaking. it moved forward. and the pilot instead of allowing the column to be forward to push the nose down to accelerate the plane, he pulled back on that control column, pushing the nose up and that turned out to be a fatal mistake. >> his failure to make standard call-outs or even a declare afternoon statement associated with the recovery attempt further suggests that he was not responding to the situation using a well-learned habit pattern. thus the captain's improper flight control inputs were instead consistent with startle and confusion. the captain had a history of training failures, indicating
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weaknesses with instrument flying skills which may have contributed to his deficient performance during the stall event. >> reporter: betty, that tragic accident pointed to a number of very important changes that aviation safety experts have been saying have to be implemented. betty. >> so what are they? what are some of these lessons that were learned from this crash? >> reporter: right. well, first of all, training. marvin renslow had received training in the classroom regarding the stick shaker and what to do in a stall situation, but apparently had never received that training actually in a simulator, so the faa has been pushing for airlines to make sure that these trainings are given in simulators. they are trying to make sure that all airlines improve their training, because colgan air has said we did only what the faa required. we were clean. that was their explanation.
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we've also seen certainly issues regarding the pilot background check. he had failed repeated check rides, but his employer, colgan air, didn't know about all those failures, so the faa has been pushing for the airlines to make all the background information clear. two-thirds of the airlines have agreed to do so thus far. the faa is pushing for a new law in that regard. >> besides that, what else is the faa doing in light of all of this? >> reporter: well, they have had a committee looking into the issue of pilot fatigue. remember the pilot had been seen, the captain had been seen napping in the crew lounge at newark airport before the takeoff. that was against protocol. and the co-pilot had actually flown overnight from seattle, had a cold, so this issue of pilot fatigue is very much at the top of the agenda and the faa says it will be coming out with new recommendations come this spring on that very
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critical issue as well. >> good information today. allan, as always, we appreciate it. thank you. so flying through heathrow today. smile, you could be on a very candid camera. yep, europe's busiest airport is using those body scanners that you've heard so much about and they can see through clothes, making it easier to spot anything hidden. this is a security guard testing the system. now, not everyone will be scanned. only those who raise suspicion. and they will be able to see everything. some new developments in haiti on the case of americans accused of trafficking children from the quake zone. we'll have that story. and rob marciano is tracking weather on this groundhog day. he's going to check in with us. and we're going to check in with punxsatawney phil in just a few minutes as well. plus here's the latest on the dow. we'll give you a check of the numbers. it is up 53 right now at 10,239. we'll be watching it for you. well, the job market tight
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right now, but if you are looking for work, why not check out the best. fortune magazine is out with its list of the 100 best companies for work for, so see if you can guess this next company. >> it's a bare business that's gone to the dogs. what company leds you work side by side with your four-legd friend? find out after the break. oh sure, we have plenty of employees that... you can label as "different." like janice. uh-huh. yeah. fashion deficient. and tom... copy incapable. it's open kimono time. looking good, dan. oh, we want to make sure all our ducks in a row. yeah. volume control syndrome. but we focus on the talent and skill that each person... brings to the team. i mean, no one's really concerned about labels. not even mine.
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labels get in the way. disabilities rarely do. visit to evolve your work force. what company lets employees bring their dog to work? build-a-bear workshop, and kids are welcome too. >> i feel so well taken care of here because of the family environment that we have. >> at the toy store's head
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quarters in st. louis, employees can opt for a compressed workweek but other benefits also make working more bearable. a even fido picked up for doggy day care. they are 80th on the list of the 100 best companies to work for. a hearing is set this morning in port-au-prince for ten americans. they were arrested saturday at the border of the dominican republic with a busload of children. now, the americans, who say they are baptist missionaries, were detained on charges of illegally trying to take 33 children out of haiti. >> certainly no part of this trip where we can have any adoptions take place. the idea really was let's go. just as many americans have done, they saw a need in haiti. they wanted to go and take care of some kids who had physical, medical needs and care for them there in haiti. adauoption wasn't a point of th question at this point.
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>> taking a child now out of haiti, not only these 33 but talking about children out, you're running the risk to separate children from their family because there's a lot of reunion work to do in the next months to come. >> also in demand, treatment for the injured. doctors have been overwhelmed by the number of people hurt. the most severely injured are rushed aboard a hospital ship and john voss takes us there. >> reporter: the biggest and best equipped hospital in haiti is floating a mile offshore. the usns comfort. patients who make it here greatly improve their chances of surviving. when the comfort's crew got the call, the ship was in dry dock for a major refit. they went to sea in just four days, taking operating rooms and wards to haiti. almost two weeks into the mission and the seriously hurt keep coming. doctors have performed more than 200 surgeries. all operating theaters are still
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working around the clock. >> my friends and colleagues that have been in iraq or afghanistan tell me the volume of what we're seeing here is much greater than they saw in any single day. >> reporter: while there are beds for a thousand patients here, nearly all of the victims of the quake suffered serious, complicated injuries. some requiring a second or third trip to the o.r. >> this is the most -- >> reporter: to relieve some of the pressure, less serious patients are being sent to hospitals in port-au-prince. the first group left by boat and by chopper monday. these patients have been brought to st. damien. normally it's a children's hospital, but since the earthquake, they have treated thousands here. now doctors are getting ready for hundreds of extra patients to be transferred from the "usns comfort." the start of a long-term plan to care for haiti's injured. >> many of these people are amputees who need to be triend use crutches or be fitted for
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prosthetics before going home. >> reporter: making way for those who still need urgent treatment, like these two men, one with a broken back, the other with a shattered leg bone. they have been waiting for surgery for three weeks. well, autism and a possible vaccine link, a big development today on that front. our elizabeth cohen is following the story and will join us with more right here in the "cnn newsroom."
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autism alert, the medical journal, the lancet it retra retracting its story that linked autism to vaccines. there was a lot of discussion back and forth whether indeed there was a link, a lot of controversy surrounding it, but now they're saying there is not a link? >> right. what happened was there was this study published in the lancet back in 1998. and that sort of started off this whole movement of saying that there was a link between autism and childhood vaccines, because that's what the study said. people pointed to this study over and over again to show that there was a link. well, now many years later, the lancet is saying basically, oops, sorry, shouldn't have published that. you've got to see it in black and white to really appreciate it. they say, this is from the lancet, it has become clear that several elements of the 1998
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paper by wakefield et al are krin correct. therefore, we fully retract this paper from the published record. i've got to tell you, betty, you hardly ever see this. we talked to some journal experts, people that have been editors of journals, you almost never see a medical journal say oh, sorry, we take that away, we didn't really mean it. the bottom line of why they think they need to retract it is because they wouldn't fully explain it and wouldn't around our questions but the editors said the study wasn't done in a fully randomized way. when you do a study, you're supposed to randomly choose your study subjects and study them and see what the cause and effect is of what you're looking at. basically they said the subjects in wakefield's study were not randomly chosen. if you don't choose them randomly, you don't have a valid study. >> but there's been a whole lot of credit sizziticism surroundi
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study. jenny mccarthy and others say there is a link. >> right. folks have said for years and years there is a link. we believe that childhood vaccines contribute to autism. so we talked to one of the people who are in that camp. not to jenny mccarthy but somebody else and they basically said this doesn't matter. they said in the years since that study was published that many other studies have come out showing that there's a link between autism and vaccines. so i think it's safe to say that the folks who were in this camp who believe in the link between autism and vaccines, they're going to believe it. >> they feel a little more validated now? >> i don't think they'll feel more validated. >> no, because the study said there's a link and the lancet said i'm stepping -- >> we step back from it. >> we step back from it. >> oh, okay. >> so they don't feel validated but they still believe what they believe. >> gotcha. >> it doesn't matter what happens. they wales believe that. >> thanks for straightening that out for us.
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thank you. this just in, pennsylvania congressman john murtha is back in the hospital. the 77-year-old democrat is in intensive care in arlington. now, murtha had been in the hospital last week for gallbladder surgery, but again he is back in the hospital after undergoing that surgery and we of course will continue to follow that for you. all right, let's get to this. illinois voters are at the polls today deciding democratic and republican nominees for the u.s. senate seat once held by president obama. senator roland burris was appointed to the job, but is not running in this election. voters are also choosing candidates for governor. ladies and gentlemen, you're not in kansas anymore. >> nominees for the academy awards were announced this morning. "avatar" has nine nominations, tied with the most with "the hurt locker." there are ten movies vying for best picture. a full roundup of the nominees
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is coming up shortly. sad news to tell you about today. producer david brown has died at the age of 93. his film "the sting" won the best picture oscar. four other brown movies were nominated for best picture. among them "jaws" and "a few good men." the athletes aren't the only ones in training for the winter olympics. the snipers, yeah, snipers, security teams and military personnel are also sharpening their skills. we have cnn security checks coming up right here in the "cnn newsroom."
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it is the largest security operation canada has ever seen with police and guards watching from air, land and water. cnn homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve shows us what you can expect if you're headed to the upcoming olympics. >> reporter: a canadian navy
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diver plunges into frigid water off vancouver, honing his underwater bomb detection skills. a small part of a massive effort to keep the olympics safe. >> we've prepared for the worst case scenarios which includes terrorism and we'll be able to respond to the worst case scenarios. >> reporter: the murder of 11 israeli coaches and athletes by palestinian militants at the 1972 munich games has hung over every olympics set. the threat of international terrorism in vancouver is currently assessed as low. the bigger concern, domestic political protests. the olympic torch relay has been disrupted several times by demonstrators. at critical locations in vancouver, some roads are already closed. police presence is heavy and 900 surveillance cameras stud security fencing. you see the cameras everywhere, but officials say there will be other technology to detect chemical, biological and radiological threats. massive inflatable barriers keep
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boat traffic away from cruise ship that say will house some of the 15,000 security personnel. military, police and coast guard all patrol to keep the city safe and commerce moving in canada's largest port. >> we're going to see the container ships coming in. the tugs and tows working their trade in the harbor. it's business as usual for the port of vancouver. >> reporter: but it is a big city with a multitude of potential targets, like transportation hubs. >> there are infinite places where things can occur and there cannot be a presence in all of them. >> reporter: some events will be at the whistler's ski area two hours north of the city, requiring a whole different set of security measures. >> soldiers are deployed up there with snowmobiles, track vehicles, foot patrols, snow shoes, skis. >> reporter: connecting the two venues, just one critical road. much of which hugs the coast. it too will be heavily patrolled. there will be air restrictions leased by norad, the north
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american aerospace defense command and armed forces with special skills and equipment are in reserve if needed. the budget for this multi-agency security effort led by the royal canadian mounted police, $900 million. despite this tremendous mustering of personnel and capabilities, the canadians say they do not want security to overshadow the games and the athletes. jeanne meserve, cnn, vancouver, british columbia. well, rob marciano is tracking the weather for us. we'll check in with him right here in the "cnn newsroom."
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well, you better hang on to
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those mittens and don't put away that heavy coat just yet, because we are in for six more weeks of winter, if you believe punxsatawney phil. yep, the famous groundhog saw his shadow this morning and, rob, you know this guy doesn't really have the best accuracy record. so is he going to be right this time around? >> i don't know. look at this guy. he doesn't exactly spell credibility. >> no, he doesn't. >> even though we have him here. let's go to the video. i'm not sure -- oh, this is the real deal. this is the granddaddy of them all. that's punxsatawney phil there on gobbler's knob, an annual tradition that goes back probably millenia, who knows. according to the folks there, he saw his shadow. even though it looked rather cloudy to me. that means six more weeks of winter. there's another guy in staten island who didn't see his shadow. there's another one in georgia, who didn't see his shadow so it
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depends who you believe. the last five years of phil shadow, no shadow, shadow, shadow, this year shadow. i also point out that this guy right here, he's got about a 40% at best accuracy rating. so let's just keep that in mind and have some -- that's a nice-looking -- >> well, that's why we keep you around, rob, because your accuracy rate is way higher than that. >> i can flip a coin and do 50% at least. my goodness. all right. i'm not sure how long i'm supposed to go but i want to point out a couple of thing, betty. one, record-breaking amounts of rain yesterday across parts of southern florida. tampa to daytona seeing some rain. miami saw almost 3 inches yesterday. seeing less today. there's a bit of a problem across the mid-atlantic and also some white and pink mixing in there on the radar scope. that means winter precipitation. so winter weather advisory up along the i-81 corridor and that
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has been extended to d.c. and baltimore with snow arriving later on this afternoon, maybe 1 to 3 inches of snow expected later on tonight. >> all right, rob. we'll be watching for it. thank you very much. and we want you to watch for this because we're going to give you some live pictures from andrews air force base where president obama is about to board a plane and head to nashua, new hampshire, to talk about his plans for boosting small business. we are digging into the details of the plan right here in the "cnn newsroom." you want to stay here for that. fancy feast appetizers. [dinner bell chimes] high quality ingredients like wild alaskan salmon in a delicate broth, without by-products or fillers. fancy feast appetizers. celebrate the moment. people think that honda is always the most fuel efficient choice. well, this chevy cobalt xfe has better highway mileage than a comparable honda civic. this chevy traverse has better mileage than honda pilot. the all-new chevy equinox has better mileage than honda cr-v.
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garlique's clinically tested ingredient maintains healthy cholesterol naturally. eat right. exercise. garlique. welcome back to the "cnn newsroom." we've got new video coming in. there you go, during the commercial break we saw this
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just seconds ago. the president there at andrews air force base as he just boarded air force base one. he is heading to new hampshire this hour to talk to a small business there. he's also going to be holding a town hall meeting as well. but these pictures coming to us, again, from andrews air force base as the president is doing a little traveling today, talking about the economy. let's get the latest on all of this with stephanie elam who joins us now live from new york. he's got a lot on his plate today, stephanie. >> reporter: a lot on his plate and going for his favorite format of the town hall meeting to talk a little about the small business lending program. what the idea here would be is taking $30 billion of the t.a.r.p. funds that have been repaid by the big banks, using that and moving it into a small business lending program. he wants congress to go ahead and do this so they can help these community banks boost small business lending and these small banks, they're talking about ones that have assets of less than $10 billion. that's who they're targeting.
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the reason why the white house is targeting this group of banks because small banks do more than half of the small business lending in this country. the reason why he cares about small business is because small business employs more than half of the people in this country. so, therefore, if small businesses are able to get money, if they can get that lending, then they should hopefully be able to go ahead and hire people. that's what they're really concerned about here, seeing jobs come back into the markets. that's what they want to do here. one thing that i should point out is that this program would be very different from t.a.r.p. when they originally floated the idea, when the obama administration floated this idea in october, a lot of community banks weren't interested in it because it had that t.a.r.p. taint on it and didn't want to be associated with that. now the trays treasury is putting is into a separate fund so it would not be associated with t.a.r.p. and hopefully get the banks lending. again, this would have to go through congress, it's not just a mandate. >> thank you as always, we appreciate it.
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should gays be able to serve openly in the u.s. military? that question about to be discussed on capitol hill. just ahead we'll talk about it with a former army sergeant, darren manzella. he served in the military very open as well. we'll talk about his experience and all that coming up right here in the "cnn newsroom." ♪ ♪ ♪ we one tribe, y'all ♪ we are one people ♪ let's catch amnesia ♪ let's catch amnesia [ male announcer ] what do you care about? introducing the pepsi refresh project. we're giving away millions for ideas that move the world forward. every pepsi refreshes the world. the blue goes on the left. (announcer) getting ready for the big game? ohhhh... bring it. bounty extra soft-- the bounty with a little extra softness!
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gays could soon serve openly in the military. now will that mean savings for taxpayers? well, carol costello compares the cost of maintaining don't ask, don't tell and what it will cost if the policy is repealed. >> reporter: betty, there are plenty of people in high places who say now is not the time to be talking about this issue. america has bigger problems to deal with. government spending, the deficit, jobs. but others say those things are precisely why this is the time. they say don't ask, don't tell is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. >> economic crisis. >> reporter: with the country gripped by economic anxiety, republicans say it's not exactly primetime to revisit such a divisive issue. >> at a time when americans are asking where are the jobs, why do we want to get in this debate? >> reporter: but those who support repealing don't ask, don't tell say now is the time. if americans want fiscal
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responsibility in government, then -- >> repealing the ban would save money in the long run absolutely. >> reporter: since 1994 the pentagon has discharged around 13,000 troops because of don't ask, don't tell. the government accountability office says the policy has cost taxpayers more than $190 million. the university of california put the price tag closer to $363 million. if you factor in the cost to recruit, train and then discharge gay troops. but critics say none of this justifies repealing don't ask, don't tell. $363 million is a drop in the bucket. >> the discharge of 13,000 or so people is minuscule in comparison to the overall administrative burden the military pays every year discharging 230,000 people a year. >> reporter: others say repealing the policy could end up costing taxpayers more. a 2008 military time survey showed 24% of military personnel would eventually leave the
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service if gay troops served openly. and what about the cost of sensitivity training, and the possibility of creating separate barracks for gay and straight troops. >> most people think this is a dumb law. >> reporter: david ha, who's gay, served six years in the air force before he was outed by a fellow cadet. he said talk of a mass exodus is ridiculous and notes the survey also showed 71% said they would continue to serve if don't ask, don't tell is repealed. as for separate barracks. >> that makes no sense. i mean gay people are already serving in the military and everybody knows that. >> reporter: but under don't ask, don't tell, at what cost? both sides hope tuesday's congressional hearing will answer that question. those in favor of repealing don't ask, don't tell say it's clear that the pentagon will at the very least soften the policy making it harder for gays in the military to be discharged. as for whether congress will actually vote to repeal the policy in an election year,
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they're not holding their breath. betty. >> all right. well, darren manzella served two tours in the middle east as a combat medic treating the wounded from iraq. he was kicked out of the military after he revealed that he is gay in a 2007 "60 minutes" interview. he joins me life from buffalo. darren, do you think if it weren't for that don't ask, don't tell policy you'd still be empty military? >> i'm sure i would be. my contract wasn't up until 2011. if it weren't for don't ask, don't tell, i'd still be serving my country today. >> besides your own personal situation, how do you feel about others in the military? do you think this definitely needs to be off of the record and should be repealed and should not be in place? >> absolutely. it's been proven in other countries, including israel and great britain, who lifted the ban on gays serving openly in the military rather quickly, that it had no detriment to the military or the armed forces. >> you don't think it's going to be a distraction? some of the critics say, look, this is going to be a distraction to soldiers who really need to be focused on the
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job at hand. of course the u.s. is fighting two wars right now. >> i think a lot of the arguments are personal opinions of individuals, which i respect their opinions, but i don't think someone's opinion is enough to say that i should not serve in the military. at the same time i'm sitting here in a studio in buffalo doing an interview where former colleagues and friends of mine are serving their third, fourth or fifth tour in iraq or afghanistan. >> what about unit cohesiveness, that's another shaissue. do you think this would diminish it if people serve openly in the military? >> i have a perfect example for that. i served openly for nearly two years in the military. 14 months of that serving in the middle east. my commander knew i was gay, my peers, my colleagues knew that i was gay. foreign military personnel there were there knew that i was gay. if anything, i thought it brauft us closer together. it brings trust closer together
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and brings unity stronger. >> so you never felt like you weren't accepted in any way once you finally came out, because you did write a letter where you said i don't think most people can understand how hard it is. you went on to say to be scared that you'll be ostracized for being different. >> true. that is something you feel under don't ask, don't tell. once i was able to be out in the open and be who i truly am. i found that my peer group was not just gay and lesbian service members, it was a group from people from all branches of the military, all races, male, female, gay, straight, bisexual. it was a huge, diverse group which is kind of exemplary of the united states. >> okay. but what about the issue of hate crimes. do you think by repealing this that possibly there could be more of those reported? >> hate crimes occur in the united states as it is. in the military, i think it would be hard to say if it would occur with or without don't ask,
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don't tell. the important thing to remember is the uniform code of military justice, the law in the military is in place to discipline people that break the law in the military and that would be enforced whether, again, you are gay or straight, male or female of any race. >> you know, we're going to hear from the defense secretary in just a few minutes in the noon hour eastern, and we're looking forward to seeing what he has to say about that. nothing specific, but some of the things on the table include money, include logistics and the possibility as we heard in carol costello's piece about maybe separate barracks. does that make sense? >> separate barracks doesn't make sense to me. when i was deployed in my second deployment i lived in a barracks with 60 some other soldiers and i had no negative altercations with anybody. >> you think it would just create a bigger divide if that is indeed the case? >> i don't think that's an issue and i think it's ridiculous at times to bring up a case of separate barracks. they're talking about wasting money so why consider building new barracks when obviously gay men and women are living
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alongside of their straight counterparts right now. >> let me ask you this. some people are saying this is a waste of money, we are in a difficult economy time. why are we talking about spending hundreds of millions of dollars on repealing don't ask, don't tell. your answer to that is what? >> i think this is a long overdue repeal. i think this should have been done before. if not now, when we had the perfect political climate, we have accepting service members in the military and armed forces saying we want to serve regardless of the person to our right or left are gay or straight. we want to trust them, we have their back and we have their back. >> darren, thanks so much for your time today. we really appreciate it. >> thank you, betty. a quick reminder, defense secretary robert gates discusses changes to the don't ask, don't tell policy. live coverage is coming your way at the top of the hour. let's get to some top stories right now. nasa doles out $50 million to private companies.
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the firms will use the stimulus money to develop technologies and concepts for commercial spacecraft. president obama wants nasa to rent space on private vehicles once the shuttle fleet is retired next year. five americans being held in pakistan for allegedly planning terror attacks say they are being tortured. the claims are written on a tissue the men threw from a van window on their way to court today. they say both u.s. officials and pakistani police have tortured them. it is the second time that they have made such accusations. and six more weeks of winter. are you ready for it? well, that's what punxsatawney phil's prediction is today after seeing his shadow. don't be too upset, though. cnn meteorologist chad mier says phil is right only about 40% of the time. you can label as "different." like janice. uh-huh. yeah. fashion deficient. and tom... copy incapable. it's open kimono time. looking good, dan. oh, we want to make sure all our ducks in a row. yeah. volume control syndrome. but we focus on the talent and skill that each person...
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president obama is on his way to new hampshire to pump up the economy. one stop nashua which received a fair share of stimulus money. our josh levs is manning the stimulus desk for us today. all right, josh, what have you found? >> reporter: here at the desk today we have literally looked into every single project in nashua, new hampshire, and how much money they got. take a look at this map we have that shows you the highlighted projects inside the country that we've been taking a look at. we'll zoom into nashua. we have taken a look at all those projects which are funded by the stimulus. we also did a little math that
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you might find interesting. we see how much money in total from stimulus funding that nashua, new hampshire, has gotten where the president is going. you have $14.4 approximately million dollars spent in stimulus funding. we looked at the population. it's about 87,000 that you see here. so that works out to about $166 per person. now, if you to the national averages and look at how many billions of dollars were in this package divided by our population it's not that high. it's interesting that the president goes there to take a look at what those projects are. our researcher right here, emily smith, has looked into all of these and she's going to tell bus two of them. >> we looked at the boys and girls club of greater new hampshire. they received $42,000 and were able to save two key youth development positions, which otherwise wouldn't have been able to do. >> reporter: $42,000 will pay for two employees. >> two employees. full-time positions for $42,000. >> reporter: man, okay. and obviously we know the kind
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of work that the boys and girls club does. they're saying, hey, we feel good about this use of stimulus money, right? >> yes. they were very grateful for it. >> reporter: the president is highlighting his small business plan and i understand you looked into a small business in new hampshire? >> yeah, it's a construction firm. they received received $1.2 million and were able to create two jobs -- >> your mike went out all of a sudden. use mine. tell us about the small business. the images on the web. >> they were able to save five jobs and create two. and they renauovate a va hospit. >> how many jobs? >> two created and five saved. seven total. >> emily, thank you very much. this is exactly what we are looking in to at the stimulus desk mine newspapers the foibles. the binefinders are filled with filled with the stimulus
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projects. and we've looked at more than $10 billion funded by the stimulus, including every single project in nashua, new hampshire. >> that's not bad, but you got a lot more reading to do, my friend. >> don't remind me. red bull, anyone? see you. >> see you. and we'll be tracking the stimulus projects all week in the "cnn newsroom" and josh will have another investigation for us tomorrow. i do really love what i do. ♪ i have clients down the block. across the street. in the same zip code. basically next door. i see the rewards every day of the people that i help. she said, i couldn't have done this without you. -i'm craig. -i'm mark. my name is kari. and i'm an ameriprise financial advisor. [ male announcer ] meet us at a we don't go lower than 130. ts a room tonight for 65 dollars.
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all right. the best of the best in hollywood, finding out today if they made the cut. nominations for the oscars, the biggest prize in movie entertainment were announced this morning and our kareen wynters joins us live from l.a. on who made it who got snubbed. hey there. >> reporter: hi, betty, and i bet you have a few favorites on the list. >> of course. >> reporter: of course, we'll get to all of that good stuff, but the big story this morning, "avatar" going against "the hurt locker." "avatar" is the highest-grossing film in history. as it stands now more than $billion in ticket sales, you have the giant, giant film going up against the little film that could, "the hurt locker," the war thriller, and what's interesting, betty, it actually lost money its theatrical release, it cost $11 million to make and as it stands it has
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made $16 million worldwide. >> it gives it a little boost. >> reporter: a little boost. it's really on the minds of many this morning and it received a lot of critical acclaim. all awards season, so, again, that's another film to watch. another thing that's interesting, you have the exes teaming up, james cameron for "avatar" as well as katherine bigel bigelow. they were once married. katherine going with the momentum because she walked away with the directors guild recently over the weekend. and this category is new this year, ten categories. the last time the academy did it was 1944, they are hoping -- hoping -- to bring on some ratings. >> is it for inclusiveness, to get people interested in the oscars? >> reporter: absolutely. you have the disney's pixar movie "up" which is also in the category. it's fantastic. you don't see it too often the last time you had a disney
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animated film in the best picture category was back in 1991 with "beauty and the beast." it opens the door to films like "up" "the blind side" with sandra bullock, "up in the air" with george clooney, an amazing line-up. >> usual sus spects on the list, but new ones as well, thank you, careen. let me know what you think about the oscar picks. do you like the fact that there are ten pictures up for best picture? do you think it's too many or a way of being inclusive? you can write to me at my facebook and twitter sites at betty you can add nine academy award nominations to "avatar's" acclaims. the highest grossest movie of all-time join "larry king live" tomorrow 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. here's what we're working on for the next hour of "cnn newsroom" -- dismantling don't ask, don't
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tell. defense secretary, roberts gates, talks about rolling back the policy on gays in the military. we'll bring you his remarks live. and too poor to care for children? people in haiti say they gave their children to american missionaries. karl penhaul talks about the desperate acts by the parents and the acts against the americans. i'll just use my pho. let's say we crashed. whoops, you lost your phone and you're disoriented. i'm not disoriented. now you are. onstar automatic crash response can call to see if you're ok. onstar emergency. is everything ok howie? you don't answer, they can automatically send help to your exact location. i think i'll ride with you. the award-winning malibu. from chevy.
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time now for your "time." hello, everybody, i'm betty nguyen, in the "cnn newsroom." it is noon on capitol hill,
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where defense secretary, robert gates, is set to announce a review that could end don't ask, don't tell. across the nation, toyota dealers brace for the big fix. millions of recalled cars about to roll in for pedal repairs. and in haiti, parents who say they gave their children away to americans so that the kids would have a better life. let's get you started. it is battle time in congress over gays in the military. the administration's effort to repeal the don't ask, don't tell policy begins this hour with president obama's defense secretary taking the first steps. take you live now to pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. she joins us and the question is what is the secretary expected to say today? are we going to hear specifics? >> we do expect to hear specifics, betty. let me explain to everybody what is going on right now inside the senate hearing room. the secretary has actually been in the witness chair for about three hours talking about the annual defense budget. $700 billion in spending. but at the stroke of -- and
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we're just about there, of course -- the topic is expected to shift to don't ask, don't tell, what the pentagon will do to try and implement president obama's proposal to repeal the law. of course, it's up to congress to repeal the law. gates has to convince congress to do that, and the support right now is not overwhelming on capitol hill to repeal the law. he has also to convince his own troops that it's a good idea, so what he is going to do is say he's appointing some experts, to study it, for the next year, to look in to all this one more time, what's the impact of having openly gay people serve in the u.s. military. is it really a problem? there's a wide range of opinions. gates says he wants to get some honest answers over the next year, and then come back to congress, betty. >> yeah, it looks like they're taking a little bit of a break. we'll follow this and bring you some of his remarks live. but in the meantime, let me ask you this, are you hearing any pushback at all from the
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military when it comes to this talk of repealing don't ask, don't tell? >> well, you know, i think gates is going to address that, in fact. because he's going to say that he wants to look in to all of the issues. there are issues with housing, with working and living in close quarters? are the regulations enough to govern any problems someone might have? a lot of people say that, you know, the existing regulations governing any sort of public behavior apply to everybody, whether they're heterosexual, homosexual or whatever, you know? that the regulations govern your personal behavior and this shouldn't be a problem. but gates knows there are still many people who are very sensitive to this issue, and he's got to present a case, a very thorough, comprehensive case, that he's looked at housing, that he's looked at the workplace, that he's looked at all of the regulations and the law and that the congress can move ahead on trying to repeal this, betty. >> yeah, there's a lot on the table here. and i've just learned that
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they're taking a little five-minute recess, and when they resume, they will be discussing don't ask, don't tell, and, of course, when it happens, we'll bring it you to live. in the meantime, barbara starr, thank you very much for that insight. we want to let our viewers know we have firsthand accounts on active troops on what it's like to be gay in the military. that's coming numb about ten minutes in the "cnn newsroom." npresident obama arrives in new hampshire to talk about helping small businesses. he wants to front $30 billion to small banks so they can lend to small companies. the financing would come from bailout money. and the president said small jobs are his main focus, and small businesses generate most of the new jobs. the president's plan for small businesses set off a heated debate during a hearing on his $3.8 trillion budget. white house budget director, peter orszag, stepped into the line of fire at a senate hearing
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committee. he clashed with judd gregg in terms of the payments to help out small businesses. >> one of the linger problems in our financial markets is access to credit to small businesses. it's why in this budget -- >> no, no, no, you can't make that kind of statement with any legitimacy. >> okay. >> you cannot make this statement. >> they're not suffering -- >> let me tell you what the law says, let me read it to you again because you don't appear to understand the law. the law is very clear. the money's recouped from the t.a.r.p. shall be paid into the general fund of the treasury for the reduction of the public debt. it's not for a piggy bank because you're concerned about lending to small businesses. and you want to get a political event when you go out and make a speech in nashua, new hampshire, that's not what this money is for. this money is to reduce the debt of our children that we're passing on to our children and you ought to at least have the integrity to be forthright about
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it and say that's what you're doing, you're adding to the debt that our kids will have to pay back, when you're claiming at the same time that you're being fiscally responsible. >> told you, it was heated. well, the secretary of the tres treasury, timothy geithner, pushing the budget. he told the senate the economy is stronger than it was a year ago but the government still has to take action to stimulate job growth. geithner said the president is trying to create jobs and reining in the budget deficit. so, did toyota sales tank last month? well, today, we'll get a clue about how the company's massive recall is affecting its business.'s poppy harlow joins me live now from new york. poppy, how bad could these numbers actually be? >> pretty bad, betty. we're going to get the toyota january sales numbers in just a few hours here, and what is expected by auto analysts is their market share will fall
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pretty significantly. expected to fall to 14.7% of the u.s. market, compare that to where they were a year ago in january, when they had 17% of the market. when you look at the numbers, it's pretty drastic, the decline that this recall will have had on toyota's january sales. to give you some perspective here, ford just a few minute came out with their january sales, up 24%, and their market share is just about 16%. so, you see the competitors gaining the ground where toyota is hurting because of the recall. the projection is that they will have the lowest market share, toyota will, since march of 2006 in this country. why? a big reason is because of this recall. what they have done is stop producing all of their recalled models, that includes, of course, the very popular toyota cam camry, that's hitting them, and there's the public perception problem that we have been talking for days now. we went to the streets of new york and talked about it, have you heard of the recall, what do
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you make of it? here's what they said? >> well, there will be a lot f cars and people will not have the respect for toyota. >> my parents decided they will not be getting another toyota ever. >> toyota always seemed like a brand you could trust. it almost makes me feel like it's an american car and that's, you know, the way things used to be. the japanese cars were always cleaner, better, easier to run. >> things happen. they'll fix it. they'll be fine. things have happened in the automotive business like this all the time. and they'll fix it. i'm sure they'll rectify it, it's a great company. >> a mix of feelings there, betty, but toyota is hoping that most people agree with the last guy there. but you also heard the woman who said her parents will never buy a toyota again. that's the problem the company is facing. >> let's do a rewind for a second. take us back to how this all started. because it seems like we just heard about it the last two weeks. >> we'll pull up a timeline and show you what's going on. toyota first heard about the recall back in october, so they
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first heard about the problem in october. they took about the next 90 days to assess the issue. they said, come up with the solution. that was key. they didn't talk about it publicly then. january 21st, two weeks ago, that's when we, the public, heard about this millions of toipts recalled in the toyotas recalled in the u.s., and many more globally. it's been two weeks since then and then the head of toyota u.s. came out on national television and announced the fix they have. and at the end of this week consumers will start to find out when they can bring in their cars. so, a long timeline, but let's look back over the last ten years, not just toyota cars but other cars have been part of the problem of this unintended acceleration with the gas pedal, that's what we're looking at here. and for toyota alone what some analysts have said is that they can link 19 deaths to unintended acceleration in toyotas. now, we talked to one of the toyota pr reps this morning, and he said he couldn't confirm that number, but he did say they are deeply, deeply sorry, and i'll quote here, for they any
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concerns they have caused customers. toyota has known about this issue since october and also it really goes back years and years and years. and a lot more on and you can get many more details there and we'll keep updating you as we hear more from the company. betty? >> poppy, thank you. >> you got it. we're also hearing from toyota owners about what they feel about the entire situation and some viewers are sending in their i-reports. aviator guy says this -- and then you have this from larry, of milford, michigan, he says --
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so, you've got two very different sides of this. still want to know what you think. you can share your thoughts with us at cnn, all you have to do is go to as americans continue to be held in haiti on charges they were attempting to traffic in children, some of the parents of those children are speaking out. first, though, our "random moment" in 75 seconds. [ male announcer ] when you buy a car,
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will not see during sunday's super bowl. you can see it now, though, it is our "random moment." take a look. >> this is what we're talking about, baby. what? you suck. yeah, right. ♪ ♪ i want to kiss this guy >> cbs won't air this commercial from which is a new dating site for gay men. activists are angry, but mancrunch may have gotten its money's worth for nothing. it said 30,000 more people have signed up since all of this controversy began.
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they're willing to put their lives on the line for their country, and now they may be putting their careers on the line for their cause. three u.s. service members
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talked to our ted rowlands about being gay in the military. >> reporter: three active members of the u.s. military, all gay, all possibly risking their careers, talking to us. that's why we're not showing their faces. an army sergeant with ten years of service who's done a tour in iraq, a female army mp who has been in for five years and has also been to iraq and a navy sailor who joined a year and a half ago. they all argue despite what's going on in the world, including two wars, now is the time to change don't ask, don't tell. and, listen to what they say about living a lie. >> i am terrified that somebody in my chain of command is going to find out. there's always that pressure. >> i agree. it is a near constant thing, because you're almost always putting up some sort of a front. that band of brothers that everybody talks about? i'm kind of that brother with the secret, and, yeah, it does
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wear on you. >> reporter: why do this interview? >> being in an institution doesn't mean you can't tell them when it's broken. we're giving voice that something is truly screwed up here. >> the best thing for the military and all of the services and the best thing for the country. >> reporter: why now? why do we need to deal with it now? >> it is a problem now. i think that our deployed soldiers deserve to have their full rights. >> gays, lesbians, transgendered are in the military now. people know about it. and the people who are against it who don't want to take a shower with -- with us, that stuff already happens. it's not going to change. >> reporter: do you find that people, through the process of elimination, figure you are gay? >> i've been aware of people who knew that i was gay. and never really felt like i was threatened. i never felt like i had to keep watching over my shoulder for, you know, the witch-hunters to
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come after me with their torches and pitchforks. >> i would say that everybody in my group where i work, they all know that i'm gay. if, you know, i can be open to them, i would be able to trust them more, and they would know that they can trust me, because i trusted them with something so, you know, important. >> reporter: would you all come out right away if don't ask, don't tell was lifted? >> i wouldn't go up to everybody saying, hey, i'm gay. but, you know, the people that are very important to me, they will know. >> i'm not going to hang a rainbow flag in my office, but i'm definitely hag a coming-out party. >> reporter: all three are surprise also thsurprised that e president mentioned repealing don't ask, don't tell in his state of the union address. senators unite to cut off funding for the trials of alleged 9/11 conspirators in civilian court. the lawmakers want the terror
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suspects to face a military commission instead. here's republican senator, john mccain, as he and others introduce the bipartisan legislation last hour -- >> should not try these people in new york. we shouldn't try them in illinois. we shouldn't try them in phoenix. we should try them in the courtroom in guantanamo bay, and we should try them according to the military commissions act. that's the thrust and the intent of this legislation. in other news -- ten american missionaries accused of child trafficking in haiti could soon learn their fate. they're scheduled to appear in court today, and it turns out many of the children that the missionaries were trying to take out of the country were not orphans. they were hand eed over to americans and wanted to give a better life for their children, karl penhaul has the heartbreaking story. >> reporter: family photos taken before a desperate father gave
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away his baby daughters. he says he habited over 4-year-old saria and 5-year-old mayla to american missionaries. they are now in jail accused of trafficking 33 haitian babies and children. this man's story said he was too poor to compare for his kids after the quick. he hoped the americans would offer his girls a brighter future. "i put them on the bus with the americans with my own hands. i played with them up until the last minute. then i kissed them both good-bye, and told them don't forget, daddy," he said. he says he earns a dollar a day fixing computers, shows us around his quake-damaged home. he finds the grubby bear his little girl called dijon. he packed nothing for his kids. he said the americans promised
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to give the children schooling, a safe home in the dominican republic, new clothes and soft toys. "i was crying because i didn't know when i would see them again. but it's okay if i suffer, but at their age, they should not suffer. they can't go hungry," he said. in the grassy square, villagers say 21 of the 33 children taken by the americans were from here. they say at least 14 had one or both parents. in a weekend jailhouse interview, the americans told cnn they believed all the children they attempted to bus in to the dominican republic were orphans who had been abandoned. >> believe that we've been charged very falsely with trafficking which, of course, is the furthest possible extreme. >> reporter: in a temporary refuge for the rescued children in port-au-prince, this 10-year-old plays alone on a swing. hoping her mum will change her
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mind and come fetch her. we find her moth er in kalabass the same mountain village. she remembers how she sobbed when she left last thursday. "i told her to call me once in a while just so i know how she's doing, so i would know if she's fine" she says. her parents scrape by farming vegetables and bananas. they are the poorest of the poor. she said the only thing she could give her daughter was her love even if it meant sending her away. "i told her, she should go, and i promised one day i would go and see her. after she left, i was very sad," she says. the haitian government is now investigating what the americans planned to do with the children who had no passports and no permission to leave, and whether
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they knowingly committed a crime. ultimately it's the authorities who will decide whether this is a case of kidnapping or child trafficking. but what it clearly is, is a story about poverty, a place where parents who say they loved their children believed the best chance to get them a better life is to send them away. karl penhaul, cnn, calabas, haiti. >> just a heartbreaking story there. want to take you now to washington. because the defense secretary, robert gates, is speaking right now, on the pentagon's plan to repeal the don't ask, don't tell policy. let's listen in. >> -- i fully support the president's decision. the question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we must -- how we best prepare for it. we received our orders from the commander in chief, and we are moving out accordingly. however, we can also take this process only so far as the ultimate decision rests with you, the congress.
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i am mindful of the fact, as are you, that unlike the last time this issue was considered by the congress more than 15 years ago, our military is engaged in two wars that have put troops and their families under considerable stress and strain. i am mindful as well that attitudes toward homosexuality may have changed considerably, both in society generally and in the military over the intervening years. to ensure that the department is prepared, should the law be changed, and working in close consultation with admiral mullen, i have appointed a high-level working group within the department that will immediately begin a review of the issues associated with properly implementing a repeal of the don't ask, don't tell policy. the mandate of this working group is to thoroughly, objectively, and methodically examine all aspects of this question and produce its finding and recommendations in the form of an implementation plan by the
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end of this calendar year. a guiding principle of our efforts will be to minimize disruption and polarization within the ranks, with special attention paid -- special attention paid to those serving on the front lines. i am confident this can be achieved. the working group will examine a number of lines of study, all of which will proceed simultaneously. first, the working group will reach out to the force, to authoritatively understand their views and attitudes about the impact of repeal. i expect that the same sharp divisions that characterize the debate over these issues outside of the military will quickly seek to find their way into this process, particularly as it pertains to what are the true views and attitudes of our troops and their families. i am determined to carry out this process in a way that establishes objective and reliable information on this question, with minimal influence
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by the policy or political debate. it is essential that we accomplish this in order to have the best possible analysis and information to guide the policy choices before the department and the congress. second, the working group will undertake a thorough examination of all the changes to the department's regulations and policies that may have to be made. these include potential revisions to policies on benefits, base housing, fraterization and misconduct, spra separations and others. we will enter the examination with no preconceived views, but a recognition that this will represent a fundamental change in personnel policy, one that will require that we provide our commanders with the guidance and tools necessary to accomplish this transition successfully and with minimum disruption to the department's critical missions. third, the working group will examine the potential impacts in a change on the law on military
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effecti effectiveness, including how a change might affect unit cohesion and recruitment and other issues crucial to the force. the working group will develop ways to mitigate and manage any negative impacts. these are, generally speaking, the broad areas we have identified for study under this review. we will, of course, continue to refine and expand these as we get in to this process or engage in discussion with the congress and other sources. in this regard, we expect that the working group will reach out to outside experts, with a wide variety of perspectives and experience. to that end, the department will, as requested by this committee, ask the rand corporation to update their study from 1993 on the impact of allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military. we also have received some helpful suggestions on how this outside review might be expanded to cover a wide swath of issues. this will be a process that will
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be open to views and recommendations from a wide variety of sources, including, of course, members of congress. mr. chairman, i expect that our approach may cause some to wonder why it will take the better part of a year to accomplish the task. we've looked at a variety of options, but when you take into account the overriding imperative to get this right and minimize disruption to a force that is actively fighting two wars and working through the stress of almost a decade of combat, then it is clear to us we must proceed in a manner that allows for the thorough examination of all issues. an important part of this process is to engage our men and women in uniform and their families over this period, since, after all, they will ultimately determine whether or not we make this transition successfully. to ensure that this process is able to accomplish its important mission, chairman mullin and i have determined that we need to
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appoint the highest-level officials to carry it out. accordingly, i am naming the department of defense general counsel, jay johnson, and commander ham, to serve as the co-chairs of this effort. simultaneous, with launching this process, i have also directed the department to quickly review the regulations used to implement the current don't ask, don't tell law. and within 45 days, present to me recommended changes to those regulations that within existing law will enforce this policy in a fairer manner. you may recall that i asked the department's general counsel to conduct a preliminary review of this matter last year. based on that preliminary review, we believe that we have a degree of latitude within the existing law to change our internal procedures in a manner that is more appropriate and fair to our men and women in uniform. we will now conduct a final detailed assessment of this proposal before proceeding. mr. chairman, senator mccain,
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members of the committee, the department of defense understands that this is a very difficult, and in the minds of some, controversial policy question. i am determined that we in the department carry out this process professionally, thoroughly, dispassionately, and in a manner that is responsive to the direction of the president and to the needs of the congress as you debate and consider this matter. however, on behalf of the men and women in uniform, and their families, i also ask you to work with us to in so far as possible, keep them out of the political dimension of this issue. i am not asking for you not to do your jobs fully and with vigor. but, rather, that as this debate unfolds, you keep the impact it will have on our forces firmly in mind. thank you for this opportunity to lay out our thinking on this important policy question. we look forward to working with the congress and hearing your
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ideas on the best way ahead. >> thank you. admiral mullen? >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> and you've been listening to defense secretary, robert gates, as they review the don't ask, don't tell policy. he said he expects sharp divisions over ending it. we heard earlier from senator john mccain, who said while the policy may be imperfect, it is effective. we'll continue to watch it for you on cnn. also going to get you the latest on the weather outside with meteorologist, chad myers, who is working very hard back there in the severe weather center. stay with us.
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well, it is groundhog day, and according to punxsutawney phil, six more weeks of winter. but, chad myers, you've been
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looking at the forecast for florida, and six more weeks of rain? >> it's an el nino season and it's classic. it's raining farther north than where it was yesterday, but here's what happened yesterday. showers sat over the area and roads flooded, 6 to 8 inches of water in the roadways. nothing that i've heard of deeper than that, but when the rain came down so fast, it just could not run off in time and the water went up. we are going to see another situation today, maybe 2 to 3 inches in d.c. of snow. now, the word "snow"? d.c. puts the fear in everyone's minds, and kids, i don't know if you did this, i didn't do this when i was a kid, but they all wear their pajamas inside out hoping for a snow day. >> what is that all about? >> whenever a chance of snow in georgia, they wear the pajamas inside out and rooting for a snow day tomorrow. >> maybe it's a good luck sign. i don't know. >> i don't think it has anything to do with reality. >> no.
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>> neither does phil when it comes to punxsutawney. snow, washington, d.c., it may be up to petersburg, seeing snow. 2 to 3 inches of snow west of d.c. and that puts a hurting on the beltway for sure tomorrow. you absolutely need to wake up a few minutes early to see what's going on in d.c. and baltimore as well. and punxsutawney phil saw his shadow, said six more weeks of winter. here's the good news. here's the good news, betty. punxsutawney phil is 39% accurate. >> so who needs him? >> 39% accurate and he says winter, i'm going 61% chance for spring. >> that's a good bet. >> how about that? >> but you don't have to bet, you're a meteorologist, you know this. >> i have quarters. that's all i need. >> 50/50, better shot than punxsutawney. thank you, chad. >> you got it. president obama is heading to new hampshire to talk about jobs today, and our josh levs, as well as our stimulus desk team, they are looking in to how
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call the scooter store today. the president is on his way to new hampshire, where millions of stimulus dollars went to boost the economy there. well, josh levs is over at the stimulus desk and he's joining us now. been crunching the numbers. are we getting the most for our money in new hampshire? >> well, you know, it depends who gets to decide that stuff. but i tell you this, we have some big figures for you. the reports from new hampshire, how many jobs have been created in that state. the figures just came in over the weekend, betty. december of 2009, almost 1,300,
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1,295 jobs reported funded by the stimulus. as we've been taking a look today in advance of the president's trip on what some of these projects are, we found an interesting one about solar energy. i can show you the summary here. it costs $223,000, and zero jobs created. about a quarter million dollars, they are working to advance solar technology. they want to create the new generation of solar technology. they have a few people working on it. they say they are using the money to pay people, a few faculty and a couple of grad students but they can't say the people wouldn't be working otherwise. hopefully they say they hope it will lead to better solar energy projects throughout the country that could lead to jobs. that got us to thinking about solar energy. take a look at a figure from the energy department. how much stimulus money has gone in to the other kinds of energy, solar and geothermal energy, $467 million. out of that massive pile, that passed last year, $862 billion.
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so, $467 million have gone into solar energy efforts nationwide. we're talking about new hampshire, while we're talking about, though, i want to talk to you specifically about nashua, new hampshire, where the president is today. we've looked in to literally every single project that's going on in nashua, about a dozen of them, and the funding. and you can go to the computer behind me, because what we have for you here is some information about the specific project that works for the homeless. let's go to the computer. it's called harbor homes, and the website is, it's for the homeless in nashua, in that area. it offers medical services, it's a home that also offers medical services for the homeless in nashua. and we can finally show this screen here about how much this costs. not all that much compared to some other projects, but your call. $1.8 million total we're seeing there, three full-time jobs created, six part-time jobs created to work with the homeless, and they say there's other benefits as well, keeping
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people off the streets, hopefully helping rehabilitate people to get them into the workforce. it's a snapshot there, betty, and you can say it's a good use of stimulus funding, i don't think it's a good use of stimulus funding, a lomb of people have opinions but we are seeing projects. >> it's subjective, when you look at the solar project and no jobs created, and you say, wow, is the stimulus paying off. but if it does well, hopefully it will create jobs in the long run, a way of balancing it out. >> you got it. speaking of your money, we'll have a check of the markets. rankings. seems like a lot of work to play catch up. the award winning chevy malibu. offering 33 miles per gallon highway. may the best car win.
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after all, it's where much of the recession started, and today we have a new report that shows where the sector is headed. so, let's take you now live to felicia taylor at the new york stock exchange. recent home sales reports have been pretty bad, so some economists are talking about a double-dip housing recession. really? >> well, let's take a look at what we've seen and actually the future looks pretty bright compared to where we've been. over the past couple of weeks which is where existing and new home sale s fell by double digits. but the pending home sales shows you what will happen over the next couple of months, because it's under contract but not necessarily closed, and it can take a couple of months to close. also thanks to that first-time buyer tax credit we've been talking a lot about, there have been some big monthly swings. you can take a look at, you know, from october/november when pending sales fell 16%. now, the national association of
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realtors chief economist said the underlying trend is for improvement, and that's very positive. new h year-over-year sales look better. so near term it looks better. betty? >> what about the second half of this year when the first-time home tax credit runs out. >> there's a but, and there always is. it will slow down after it expires. and mortgage rates have been very affordable up to now. but the good news is the supply of homes on the market is falling down. it's now at a seven-month supply compared to what we've seen more like record highs of 11 months which helps home prices to stabilize. the housing market will be in much better standing when the stimulus measure runs out. it's a little bit better on both ends, the tax credit runs out but housing prices are stabilizing compared to what
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we've seen. >> thank you. >> sure. a check of the top stories after this. i've been thinking... no. you know how... no. so, doc, i've got this friend... [ male announcer ] talking to your doctor about erectile dysfunction isn't easy. actually, doc, there is something i want to talk to you about. but it's definitely a conversation worth having. twenty million men have had their viagra talk. when you're ready for yours, visit for helpful conversation starters and to learn how viagra can help. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. don't take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects may include headache, flushing, upset stomach, and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing. it's time to take a deep breath... and ask your doctor if viagra is right for you.
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top stories for you right now -- getting rid of don't ask, don't tell. defense secretary, robert gates, unveils plans to do away with the policy involving gay and lesbian service members. he's appearing before the senate armed services committee. president obama called for the change last week in his state of the union address. it would have to be approved by congress. a british medical journal is retracking its landmark study
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linking autism to childhood vaccinations. the "lancet" said the study is flawed and it is fully withdrawing it. when it comes to things you care about, leave nothing to chance travelers. insurance for auto, home and business. [ male announcer ] welcome to the now network, population 49 million.
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i watched what i ate. i worked out. personally, i thought i was invincible. once it happened, i realized it's a different story. i'm on an aspirin regimen now because i never want to feel that helplessness again. [ male announcer ] aspirin is not appropriate for everyone. so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. i was the guy who was doing everything right. i was wrong. talk to your doctor, and take care of what you have to take care of. [ male announcer ] learn more about protecting your heart at okay. so claiming tax credits, cashing in on a valuable gift, our personal finance editor, gerri willis, gathers the help desk teams for tips on managing your money. >> time for the help desk where we get you answers to your
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financial questions. joining me this hour, greg mcbride is the senior financial analyst with and patricia is a personal finance author. ryan asks, my wife and i are buying a new home. the closing is the first week of february. congratulations. we qualify for the $6,500 tax credit. can we claim our new home on our 2009 taxes? greg, this tax credit complicated. what should do they? >> yes, they can claim the tax credit on the 2009 taxes. now, if they've already filed their taxes for 2009 by the time the closing takes place, they can still claim the credit by filing an amended return. you do have to file form 5405 and keep in mind you're going to have to show that you actually qualify for the credit, so be sure to include a copy of your settlement statement as well as proof of the home they owned, the previous place, things like property tax records, mortgage interest statements for at least five of the last eight years. >> i don't think a lot of people realize how many people qualify for the credits.
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it's a benefit to many people not just people buying for the very first time ever. annmarie from toronto asks, my daughter was given a u.s. saving bond when she was worn, she is now 22 years old, she would like to know how she can cash them in. this is something grandma always gave you. >> yes, it is. god bless grandma. the mother and the zadaughter a in canada. go to the u.s. embassy or consulate to get your signature notarized, you can use form pd-1522. your savings bond and your address and you'll mail it in to the bureau of public debt which is in parkersburg, west virginia, if this is mumbo jumbo go to google and type in ums embassy, canada, saving bond, and get all the information there or go to >> getting you
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answers. you can get your answers by logging on tohelp desk. more wings ! no way he'll be in first thing tomorrow.
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well, the race for oscar gold heating up in hollywood, now that we know who the official nominees are. they were announced this morning in l.a., let's get to it. the nominees for best actor, jeff bridges for "crazy heart," and george clooney and colin firth, and morgan freeman for "invictus," and jeremy renner for "the hurt locker." and sandra bullock for "the blind side," and helen meren for "the last station," and carey mulligan for "an education," and gabourey sidibe for "precious," and meryl streep for "julie & julia." and "avatar" for the best picture, and then "the hurt locker" and "inglourious basterds," and others on the list including "the blind side," sci-fi thriller "district 9" and rounding out the list are "an education," seriousman,
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"precious," and "up" and george clooney for "up in the air." so, may the best picture win. what do you think about expanding the best picture category for ten films? is it inclusive or way too many? let's go to my facebook page, because we are hearing from you. goose said it's a lot with ten of them, why pick five more if they don't even have a chance? we know who will win this year, "avatar," i don't know, is it a forgone conclusion. let's go to actually my twitter page right now, and keving says as much of a fan as i am of "avatar," all are in favor for "the hurt locker," many say "the blind side" and "up" but we don't know yet if "avatar" will win, place your bets -- don't do that, it's illegal. at home you can pick your favorites as well, and let me know what you think at my facebook and twitter sites. sustaining every living thing.
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