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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  February 7, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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time for some of your comments as we do every day here on cnn. most of you are weighing in on sarah palin. really touched a nerve in her speech. one viewer says, here's hoping palin will start a third party movement and sail off into the sunset taking half the gop base with her. someone else writes, why do you news guys give her the time of day? she's ridiculous. hopi changey. what junior college did she change from? anyone to remember to uplift the audience needs serious help on and on. those are the comments we got. thank you so much for your comments. we appreciate it. twitter, facebook, myspace, or ireport.com. we appreciate you weighing in. developing story to tell you about. five people died in a huge explosion today at a power plant under construction in connecticut. the huge blast rocked the countryside and could be heard and felt up to 20 miles away.
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residents described it as an earthquake. here's what we know right now. explosion happened just before noon at 11:30 a.m. eastern time. at a gas fire utility owned by clean energy. unknown number of workers were on the site scheduled to go online this summer. now, in addition to the five confirmed deaths at least 12 people were injured and taken to area hospitals. susan candiotti at the scene in middletown, connecticut. what's going on there now? >> reporter: don, at this hour urban search and rescue crews are going through the construction site looking for any other possible survivors for those who made it and those who didn't. they're also using dogs to do this operation. a very difficult one. it is slow going because it is very cold and windy. at that plant construction site, that wasn't suppose the to go online until this summer. here's what the fire marshal had to say about the conditions. >> there has been extensive damage to the damage.
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there is a lot of sheet metal that has fallen off. it's quite a tall, metal structure. areas that have been burned and it's rough going. there's a lot of potential areas that have collapsed that have got voids that need to be searched by special teams. >> reporter: it's been very difficult for them to find out exactly how many people may have been at the site. that is because usually when they do conduct tests there to purge lines, as they said they were doing at this hour, back at about 11:30 or so in the morning when the accident, the explosion occurred. that's because they usually tell people to move away and evacuate the site. they're also trying to figure out how many people are there by contacting various contractors that were in charge of that location. the mayor discussed that, too. he went on to say they're trying to contact all the people that
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were in charge of the site as well as the general manager. on a normal day, on a sunday, they usually have about 50 different people working there. on normal days monday through friday it would have been far more people, up to 200 or so. so they may not have as many casualties as might have occurred otherwise. according to the mayor. it will be a long, difficult night for them and they will continue their operation into tomorrow. don? >> susan candiotti joining us on the scene. susan, thank you very much. americans will be glad to know the red cross on the scene helping out in this situation as they always do. we turn to middletown mayor sebastian juliano by phone. mayor, thank you so much. sorry we have to meet under such circumstances. we know now at least five people did. are you still searching for possibly others who are injured or may be trapped there? >> that process will go on nonstop and could go for as long as three days.
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>> do we know how many people were working in the plant at the time? >> that's the problem. because there are so many different contractors and subcontractors that are working on this project, and they all have different floor persons and different personnel offices. that's kind of a starting point that we need to know. who was there today? the simple fact is that, you know, we're trying to figure out who might have been on the job today who right now is sitting home watching the super bowl and who might be still under a pile of rubble and everything in between. >> this is my next question, then. if you are -- have you spoken to any of the contractors or are any of the contractors getting in touch with you or the company saying there are people who are unaccounted for or supposed to be working and they haven't heard from them?
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>> i haven't spoken to any of the contractors. i did speak earlier on today, this morning when i first got to the site, with one of the developers of the project and i don't think at that time any of us expected that this information would be so hard to come by. >> yeah, mayor, just stand by. i want to update our viewers. if you're just tuning in, at least five people died according to the mayor that we have on the phone, middletown, connecticut. at least five people have died from a plant explosion there. it's owned by a company called clean, the mayor joins us from the town. he says they're still searching for people who may be trapped there. this search could go on for five days. they don't know exactly how many people were inside of this plant because of the different contractors. they have who work at this plant. listen, mayor, have you heard any voices? we know they're searching with dogs. are they using other equipment? have you heard any tapping, voices, anything like that? >> i really don't know what they've heard or not heard in there. they're searching with dogs. they -- they're digging through
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there by hand if they have to. because you also have to secure the site and what you had was a large, basically empty space that was covered with, like, an aluminum sheathing, aluminum siding. the explosion shredded that and some of these people are still coming down. especially with the wind up there. so you get a rescue crew in there, one of the things you have to do is ensure the safety of the rescue crew, that they don't become casualties as well. so this is very slow, very painstaking work that they're doing. and i've seen some of the equipment they have. they have sounding equipment, they have -- the dogs can sniff and get the scent of somebody, but they have listening devices,
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they have thermal imaging equipment, they'll bring everything up there. >> listen, we said five people -- have you been in touch with any of the families? >> i haven't even been given identities. >> okay. so you don't know. >> so -- you know, we have gotten calls from people who have said, you know, i am a relative of so-and-so, i'm trying to find out what happened to him or her. we really have nothing to tell them. >> it's really quite a sad situation, mayor sebastian giuliano, we wish you the best of luck. i'm sure we'll be in contact with you the next coming days. let's hope the numbers don't go up. >> i'm hoping we've heard the worst of it. >> thank you very much. have a good evening. sarah palin was a smash last night at the tea party convention. was she completely accurate when she went on the attack against the administration and the president? we're fact checking her speech. a lot of plows and snow shovels in the mid-atlantic day.
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another blast of arctic weather coming your way. is it the government in d.c.? we have updated information. new information on that. also log on. we want to hear from you. ( whooshing )
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this is about the people and it's bigger than any king or queen of a tea party and it's a lot bigger than any charismatic guy with a teleprompter.
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>> sarah palin said this morning that she considered running for president in 2012. if she does she'll probably find a lot of support from tea partyers. last night she gave the keynote speech at the national tea party convention and the audience gave her a rousing welcome. >> you know, considering the recent conservative election sweep it's time that they stopped blaming everyone else. when you're 0 for 3 you'd better stop lecturing and start listening. the obama/pelosi/reid agenda is going to leave us less secure, more in debt and more under the thumb of big government. and that is out of touch and it's out of date and if scott brown is any indication, it's running out of time. this is about the people. this is about the people. it's bigger than any king or queen of a tea party and it's a
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lot bigger than any charismatic guy with a teleprompter. it's one thing to call a pay raise a job created or saved. it's quite another to call the devastation that a homicide bomber can inflict a man-made disaster. and i just say come on, washington, if nowhere else, national security, that's one place where you got to call it like it is. how is that hopy changey stuff working out for you? >> sarah palin covered the political landscape last night from taxes to terrorism, from national security to the stimulus act, but as with any political figure we found it's always good to run a fact check on these speeches. speeches like this one especially. let's bring in our political editor mark preston in washington. she's good for the one liners. some of those things are funny. how's that hopy changey thing working for you? if she winked that would have
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made it better. >> delivers a good speech, very engaging, very warm and can really get an audience to its feet. don, remember in 2008 when john mccain picked her to be the vice presidential running mate she was drawing thousands more people to the rallies than john mccain was. at one point the mccain campaign decided to have them do their rallies together. >> because of things like that. very cloakall appeal to the, quote, common man. listen, she started out really at one of the first things she talked about was scott brown, the surprise republican winner of the massachusetts senate seat. here's how she described him, mark. take a listen. >> thanks to you, scott brown. now, in many ways scott brown represents what this beautiful movement is all about. you know, he was just a guy with a truck and a passion to serve our country. >> so, mark, is scott brown
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really just a guy with a truck? we want to check that fact. >> you know, don, he is a guy and he does have a truck and he does have a passion to serve the country but the way that was presented you would think that she was just a blue-collar worker that really decided to run for the senate, you know, became the mister smith comes to washington. the fact of the matter was he was a state senator. the fact of the matter was he went to prestigious schools along the way. the way it was presented i think that it was a little bit of a stretch. that's not to say that mr. brown, coming to washington, doesn't have the passion to serve the country, but, you know, let's be a little more honest when we're talking about him. >> mark, i want to go check -- go back and check the video here. this is what i'm getting on -- i have something from twitter here. people have been asking, ask him, saying you, mark preston, about her cheat notes written on the palm of her left hand. when is he going to fact check all that? people are asking about the
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notes. did she have notes on the palm of her hand? i would like to go back and look at that video. >> i've seen still photos, seen the video. haven't actually been able to dig in and really see what did she have on her hand? was she looking at her hand? obviously it's an issue. something popping around the blogosphere. tune back in maybe at 10:00 we might have an answer. >> i think it was during the first question. i should have had the foresight to look at the video right afterwards to see. explain the tea party convention. does it really have legs to take off or is it going to siphon people away from the republican party, a republican votes at least? >> the tea party convention is more of a movement. what we saw in nashville was one part of the movement and it's not a centralized movement. the fact is what you have is angry people around the country that don't want to see the federal government coming in, telling them what to do. they want to see less government, less taxes. do they skew to the conserve ti side, more to the republican
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side? yes. the fact of the matter is i think there's as much anger at the republican party as there is at the democratic party. now, don, within that movement there are some outliers that i'll say. some people who might use incendiary language, racial end taths, especially when talking about president obama. i don't think we should characterize the whole tea party movement by the few. we saw a little of that in nashville. by in large seeing people angry at the government and trying to take it back. >> on twitter there's a hash mark -- by the way, how much this has been buzzing on the social networking sites. another twitter question says it's 6 more inches of snow on the way. they won't just be partisan politics that brings d.c. to a standstill. the government is closed tomorrow. good question from a tweeter there. >> yeah, well, you know what it was, here's the deal. what i find interesting, i got to tell you, i drove in from northern virginia about 15 miles away. roads are very treacherous here right now.
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it's not that the snow is so deep at this point. there's a layer of ice. i find interesting the d.c. public schools are going to be open tomorrow couple hours late. however, the federal government is going to be closed down. i think that would anger people out there watching us. >> d.c., snow? >> i wish the snow would go away. please go away. >> you didn't get that one. it was a snarky remark. mark preston, see you tonight at 10:00. thanks for being a trooper and coming in. everything good at home? >> all's great. >> glad you're okay. washington, d.c., crippled by bitter cold. virtually putting the deep freeze on flights at its major airports and now we're hearing of a second blast of snow may be on the way.
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lots of developing news and this one concerns the weather and our nation's capital. the seat of power in our country. government offices will be closed on monday. closed tomorrow. just getting word from the federal government, all government offices closed tomorrow and we shall see after that, because it's going to take days, maybe weeks before they can dig out. the snowfall was so huge. it was record snowfall. again, it's going to close government offices tomorrow because crews there feverishly
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trying to clear out major highways and streets there. the snow suspended all flights as well in and out of reagan national airport today. services at dulles severely limited. hundreds of thousands of people from pennsylvania to new jersey to virginia have no power right now. and it is cold. our sara lee at reagan national airport and she joins us. sarah, when you pan to the right there, i'm sure i'll see an empty airport. you're probably one of the very few people in there. >> reporter: take a look. it is just the folks that work it is just the folks that work here, so and some straggler passengers. here's why. take a look at the departure board. canceled, canceled. arrivals looks the same. in any given day 700 flights on average fly in and out of reagan international airport. since the storm nothing has moved around here and it's pretty much the same story up in baltimore, like you said, dulles international airport has had
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limited service because they were able to clear out one of the runways. take a look downstairs at the terminal here. also wide open. part of the challenge is that reagan national is a relatively smaller airport for being in a major city. so the crews, if you can take a look at some of the video from earlier today when the sun was up, see the crews were working really hard to get the snow out of the way. they can't just push it here, though, because they done have a lot of land. they have to actually pick it up, put it into dump trucks and haul it away. at dulles the reason they were able to open a runway because they had a lot more acreage and able to push a lot of the snow out of the way. again, looks wide open behind me. it's going to look a lot different once they re-open this airport which they hope to do tomorrow. there's going to be a lot of backup, a lot of residual effects after that. as you can imagine, don, plenty of domino effect regionally if not nationwide. >> in and out of that airport as are a lot of people.
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it would be great when we were trying to run to our flight that it was that empty. sara lee joining us from reagan national airport. meteorologist bonnie schneider has been watching the weather in the washington, d.c., area. bonnie, is it true they may get another blast this week? >> it's true. not as much. because look at this, don, it doesn't happen too often where you see almost 3 feet of snow in the city of washington, d.c. so over 2 feet. delless 32.4 inches. philadelphia, 28.5 inches of snow. these are two-day storm totals. yes, many of them did shatter the records. the national weather service folks i spoke to said they were having trouble tabulating the snowfall totals because of the strong wind. it took a while to get it all together because they kept fluctuating. we had spotters all over the region giving different reports as well. very useful and very helpful. here's the way it shapes up now. no snow falling from the sky. lake-effect snow into upstate new york. don't get used to that. we're looking at big changes in
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the weather. we have a winter weather advisory posted for the d.c. area, also for baltimore. it's not in effect right now, but it will be in effect 6:00 p.m. tuesday night into wednesday. get ready. we're expecting 5 inches of snow. some computer models say 8 inches. we're watching the storm closely because it looks like it's going to be worse for northern new england than what we're going to see further out to the west. here's what we're looking at to show you quickly. a slight chance for snow. 50% tuesday and on to wednesday. i think we have a better chance of seeing heavier snows in northern new england. don? >> bonnie schneider, thank you very much. new problems for those ten american missionaries in haiti. they remain behind bars on kidnap charges and now their haitian attorney tells cnn he has quit. federal air marshals were supposed to be the first line of defense against terrorists on a plane, but cnn investigative reporter drew griffin finds an agency in disarray.
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we want to get up to date, let's do it right now with top stories on cnn. at least five people killed today when a gas line blew up at a power plant under construction in connecticut. search crews will continue through the night to look for survivors. the mayor says it could be three days before they finish looking. not known how many construction workers were on the site at the time. at least 12 people were injured. the blast at the clean energy plant in middletown rocked the country side for miles. haitian lawyer for ten detained american missionaries tells cnn he has resigned. the americans face kidnapping charges for attempting to take 33 haitian children across the border into the dominican republic without proper documentation. court hearings scheduled tomorrow and tuesday and it is not clear who will replace him. president obama reaching out to republicans for a way forward on health care reform. the white house has scheduled a half-day meeting for february 25th in which the president will meet with congressional leaders on both parties and his words
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will go through systemically all the best ideas out there and move it forward. prosecutors say charges relating to michael jackson's death are to be filed tomorrow against his personal physician dr. conrad murray. police have disclosed in previous court papers they were investigating the doctor on charges of involuntary manslaughter. murray's lawyer and prosecutors have been negotiating to have murray turn himself in. for those negotiations reportedly have broken down and not clear how he will end up in custody. there's been a second arrest in connection with last week's house party massacre in juarez in mexico. investigators in mexico say the man identified was a co-conspirator in the killings. and in a press conference yesterday he confessed to being a hit man for the juarez drug cartel. he also said he acted as a lookout, as 14 gunmen entered the party and started shooting.
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the gunmen believed their victims were members of a gang affiliated with a rival cartel. released audiotape of his confession -- >> translator: can you tell me what your name is? >> melendez. >> translator: can you tell me your country? >> the country in 24. >> translator: which gang to you belong to? did you participate in the killings? >> yes, i accompanied 14 people and we crashed the people to execute members of the artist assassins. >> translator: how did you participate? >> i stayed outside to watch so that nobody came to attack us and there i shot a guy who was wearing blue jeans and a white sweater. >> translator: who were you going for in. >> for a young guy. >> translator: who gave the order? >> number 10 and number 51. >> translator: why did you shoot at the rest of the people? >> he told us to shoot everyone including women. >> chilling confession there. in those shootings.
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since the shootings community members and victims' relatives have called for the president to resign. human rights groups also petitioned the u.n. peace keepers to be sent to juarez. prominent british medical journal "the lansit" retracted a research report linking vak teens to autism. the doctors behind the study, andrew wakefield, engaged in dishonesty and misleading conduct. because of the 1998 report many parents skipped vaccines. i talked earlier with kim of connecticut, who has three children, all diagnosed with autism. she is a staunch defender of wakefield's research. i asked her if she still believes there's a link between the vaccines and autism. >> i certainly think there's a link for thousands of families between what happened to their children prior to vaccination. believe the parents. trust the parents. they know what's going on with their kids. there are studies going on, as
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dr. wakefield pointed out tlp for cases in vaccine court right now that have been won by the families where there was proven causation between a resultant autism diagnosis following an adverse reaction to a vaccination. it's not impossible. where the fear comes in for families, your lead-in of the toyota story really hit me closely to home. how would you feel if you were told by the federal government in order to drive your children to school tomorrow you have to do it in o 2010 toyota prius? you'd be very nervous. priuses aren't driving off the road and crashing, there may be a handful of them that have a problem. would you want to put your child into the car tomorrow and drive her to school tomorrow and know if you're not in that car you might not be able to go to school perhaps? that's how the parents feel in the newly pregnant soon to have a baby world. it's not the autism world. we have the guns pointed at our
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heads by the pharmaceutical industry, the government. nobody wants vaccines to be culpable. i want to protect my kids against every disease. there are instances where there are problems. to slam the doors on families and slam the door on science, that's the bottom line. the science is not complete and we must not fear the science. take my family. i am a perfect example of the potential for a vaccinated, unvaccinated study. take us. study us. that's what families want. more science. not fear and not a door slammed in faces. >> i also talked with dr. william shathner at vanderbilt university medical school. he says the retraction is the final nail in the coffin for the
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wakefield study. >> stl have been 20 studies. different investigators, different populations doing it each and their own way and all have denied this link. important thing is for parents, we need to focus our attention on research to find out the real causes of autism. early diagnosis and also much better treatments for autistic children. >> doctor, you heard her. she's concerned that people will not look at this. she thinks there is a possible link. the study refuted or not, and scientists should continue to investigate in this part of the story, this part of the treatment. >> sure, don. i think science has an open mind. most of the autism research today is looking at genetic predispositions as well as a whole array of environmental factors that can interact with the genetics. vaccines i think largely now for the vast majority of scientists have been looked at very, very
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carefully and they're now out of the picture. we need to focus on other issues. that's where we need to put our research. >> other research in what areas? what's the most promising? >> a whole array of genetic predispositions as well as other environmental factors, whether they are chemicals in the environment, things in our food, perhaps. could they interact with the genetics? >> okay. what about -- i don't know if you heard about this as report in the associated press that a new pill is studied to treat fragile x syndrome, a genetic disorder that may cause forms of autism. >> i don't know anything specifically about that. there are a lot of people now, once again, focused on trying to find out what the real causes of autism are. >> what do you say to parents and family members of autistic children? what do you think they should focus on now? again, these people are very passionate about it. many people believe when they gave their child a vaccine that's when the child started
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exhibiting, you know, behavioring that are, you know, close to autism. >> yes. we know why that is. that's because autism usually manifests itself largely in the second year in life and that's when vaccines are given, right? you have that coincidence. we like to reassure them, have them talk to their family doctors, pediatricians who care for them all the time and they will provide reassurance in this regard. >> dr. wakefield runs a research and treatment organization in austin, texas. quote, the allegations against me and against my colleagues are both unfounded and unjust. research into that possible connection between autism and vaccines, is still going on. after 9/11 we were comforted a bit by the thought of air marshals on u.s. flights. fast forward nine years and they're back in the news. cnn special investigation coming up. if you have overactive bladder
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days and weeks following 9/11 the government rushed to beef up a small agency few had heard of. federal air marshals. last december president obama called for their numbers to be
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increased following the christmas day bomber attack. our drew griffin reports there are real problems within agency. >> what we are hearing from this agency of police officers in the sky is that it is so dysfunctional the management is so bad that it's actually getting in the way of the mission which is to protect us. the federal air marshals mission, protect america's commercial aircraft from future terrorist attacks. with a nearly $1 billion budget, how many attempted terrorist attacks have the federal air marshals foiled? none that we've been told about. they did shoot and kill one man, a person at miami's airport with mental health issues who claimed to have a bomb in the backpack. as far as arresting terrorists or anyone else -- >> i have the statistics for last year that they made four arrests for an appropriation of over $800 million. it came out to more than $200 more per arrest. it's just ridiculous.
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>> reporter: so what's going wrong? air marshals cnn talked to for this story describe a federal agency in chaos, where bored and frustrated air marshals focus more on internal squabbles than watching for bad guys. the marshals ask we not show their faces. >> we don't have managers that provide training or provide leadership or do anything other than produce conflict. >> how can you say you're protecting the public when you're playing games? >> reporter: look at this dry erase board in an air marshal's office in orlando, florida. cnn was told managers use the board to keep track of how many minority air marshals had been disciplined. employees told cnn managers were awarding each other scores for their harassment activities. the transportation security administration says it's investigating and that all employees are entitled to be treated in a fair and lawful manner. orlando's not the only example.
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all over the country from las vegas to seattle to cincinnati, air marshals have filed official complaints, claiming age, gender and racial discrimination. in cincinnati, alone, 20% of the office filed complaints, according to their lawyer. six marshals say they were retaliated against in the workplace with undesirable assignments. managers allegedly spent nine months at an unknown cost to taxpayers investigating whether one female air marshal had her car registered in the proper state. >> at the conclusion of that she was notified the car in question belonged to a different air marshal so they were dropping the inquiry. my almost 1-year-old child would probably be better at picking up the phone and dialing the driver's license bureau than these guys are. >> reporter: then there is the story of this woman. a girlfriend, now wife of an air
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marshal, who complained to the department of homeland security she was followed, photographed and investigated by the air marshals because her then boyfriend has had a workman's comp claim. >> we're 40 miles away from the airport investigating private citizens. >> reporter: despite repeated requests the federal air marshal service and tsa declined to give cnn an interview. congresswoman sheila jackson lee believes the air marshal program put together hastily after 9/11 needs to be reinvented. >> if we have those kinds of problems we need to get a ready broom and sweep it out the only way we're going to ensure the security and safety of the american people is we have staff per excellence and i know they're out there. >> the allegation of discrimination of gay men, of lesbians, of minorities is so widespread that congress now is
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demanding an immediate investigation. the air marshals, themselves, say they are dedicated to carrying out this mission. they just say the management is getting in the way of it. don? >> thank you, drew. very interesting story. coming up we'll have the second part of drew's report in just a little bit. that's fun ! you didn't say i could have a real one. well, you didn't ask. even kids know when it's wrong to hold out on somebody. why don't banks ? we're ally, a new bank that alerts you when your money could be working harder and earning more. it's just the right thing to do. reliable, high-quality vehicles has been our first priority. ♪ in recent days, our company hasn't been living up to the standards that you've come to expect from us or that we expect from ourselves. that's why 172,000 toyota and dealership employees
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cnn special investigations unit drew griffin has been looking into the federal air marshal program and what's happened with the agency post-9/11. more of drew's report now. >> reporter: it was an immediate call from the president, from the secretary of homeland offense, get more air marshals in the sky. we went to find out if that was happening. on christmas day of last year umar abdulmutallab tried to blow up a u.s.-bound flight from amsterdam with a bomb hidden in his underwear. there was no air marshals on board. after this attack was foiled by
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passengers the president called for -- >> more air marshals on flight. >> reporter: homeland security secretary janet napolitano testified before congress -- >> we will strengthen the capacity of aviation law enforcement including the federal air marshal service. >> reporter: has it happened? not according to the federal air marshal or f.a.m.s as they call themselves, who are supposed to be making those flights. several spoke to cnn on condition we protect their identities. >> since christmas most of my domestic flights, a few of them have involved what we consider rjs or embraer 71s, smaller aircraft. plenty of internationals from the foreign countries, they aren't doing it. there's no excuse for it. >> reporter: there is a reason for it, these air marshals claim. lots of short-haul flights make
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the marshal service make more productive on paper even though many of those flights are considered low security risks. as cnn has reported for three years the odds of you having an air marshal on your flight is so low that air marshals tell us managers use creative accounting to pad the numbers given to congress. >> the way they do it is mickey mouse. they go to the extent of when you're flying personally they count that as a mission if you're flying armed, if you're going on vacation with your family. that's how they help keep the numbers up. >> reporter: though the actual number is classified it's been widely reported the number of air marshals covering 28,000 flights a day is fewer than 4,000. do the math like we did, consider that any trip requires at least two marshals, large international flights require even more, and at best without sick days, without vacations,
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the air marshals can cover only 5% of flights. the air marshal service tells cnn additionally trained officers are being put aboard an increasing number of flights worldwide to keep air money dow as far as i can see. >> reporter: this professor completed a detailed cost assessment of aviation security in the u.s. he found of the 20 layers of security used by the tsa to protect air travel, the air marshalls have been worthless since 9/11. >> with the underwear bomber, passengers are not going to sit around waiting for somebody else to do something, their lives are at stake and they're going to jump in. >> reporter: what should be done with the air marshals, republican congressman john duncan of tennessee says get rid of them. >> the solution seems to be we need to double, we need to triple, we need to triple down on this, get many, many thousands more air marshalmarsh
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>> we may do that, but i sure would hate to see it because it's just a total waste of money. i know that any time you create a federal bureaucracy the grows and grows and appropriations goes up and up. as i said, look at the record. they haven't done anything. >> reporter: last week, president obama asked for an additional $85 million to beef up the federal air marshall service. there are some security experts who believe air marshalls in airplanes may be detrimental to our security. for two reasons, one, you introduce a gun any time you bring an air marshall on board you bring a gun into the passenger cabin of the plane. that is a gun that potentially could be used by a terrorist if they overtake that air marshall. secondly, there is a risk that people believe or have this false impression an air marshall might be on their plane and isn't and they would be less likely to act when somebody acts up on board a plane.
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>> all right. thank you very much for that. your comments, your tweets right after the break. ( drop plinks ) brita-- better for the environment and your wallet. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the cadillac cts sport sedan. one of car & driver's 10 best for the third year in a row. ♪ and now, cadillac announces the new luxury collection lease.
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a significant anniversary coming up this week in iran but
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it won't be a day of celebration for everyone in the country. ivan has been manning the iran desk and going to give us a little contest about the date of february 11th, coming on this thursday u.s. >> absolutely. about 31 years ago, the iranian revolution overthrew the shah of iran and declared an islamic republic. every year around this time you get state sponsored demonstrations going out. it's different this year because there is a big opposition movement that has been declaring the government illegitimate and they are saying, we deserve to be able to go out into the streets, too. we don't agree with the injustices we see in the system and they're comparing them to the injustices that they say existed under the shah 31 years ago. >> you know, tensions are really running high in iran right now, all eyes are on this thursday, potential flash-point because of that date. what's the concern here? >> the concern here is that the government is saying we're not going to tolerate any opposition demonstrations.
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what we've seen before is brutal use of force by security forces. thousands of people being arrested. we've seen show trials on television. reports of torture in the prisons as well and the concern is that the use of force could be again used if the opposition tries to get back out on to the streets. >> very interesting. and also, thursday i think it's the anniversary of nelson mandela being released from thursday. >> i didn't know that. >> read something in the paper this morning. ivan watson, manning our iran desk, we look forward to your reports next week. >> thank you. >> we want to tell you at least five people died in a huge explosion in a power plant under construction in connecticut. the huge blast rocked the countryside and could be heard and felt up to 20 miles away. residents described it as an earthquake. more on this story on 10:00 p.m. if you work for the federal government in washington, d.c., tomorrow you will have the day off because of record-breaking snow. you probably won't have time to
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relax because you'll be digging out. they have record snow in the region there. lots to talk about on that issue. also, the president putting together a bipartisan group to talk about health care. really putting the republicans at their word, taking them at their word and going to meet february 25th and talk about that as well as creating jobs. big weeks to come in washington. now it's time for some of your comments. guess what most of you are commenting on besides my neck tie and ivan's hair cut. it says talking about sarah palin. sarah palin and apparently, according to some of the people on twitter, and some of the viewers, she had notes on her hand but yet she criticized barack obama for using a teleprompter. here's what some of you have been saying. ink on her hand means she's not authentic and that's putting it nicely. some say lift america's spirits written on hand. something like that should come from the heart. she is fake. just a low-tech version of
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obama's omni present prompters. teleprompter woman. the ing indicates how palin had the answer to the prescreened questions in advanced. she is not a genius or even a good cheater. you are being tough on her. knowing political dirty tricks, possible someone swiped her notes in route. that could be possible. what does it mean? it means that sarah palin asked the question, even if she did have notes on her hands, i read a teleprompters and scripts and notes. who knows. here's what someone says, sarah palin is a total fraud and the mainstream media needs to expose her. we'll get the video cued up for you at 10:00 p.m. eastern. logon to the social networking sites and we appreciate your comments. here we go. for years people had been trying to dispel the myths new yorkers are unfriendly. mark mallcough may have finally
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proven the point, getting a bit carried away in the process as well. he asked new yorkers to literally carry him the length of manhattan. check it out. >> the world thinks new yorkers are not nice. what do you think? new yorkers are nice, yes or no? new yorkers are friendly? >> no. >> we're nice but we ain't stupid. >> can you carry me at least a couple feet? have you ever carried somebody you don't know in new york city? >> once. >> can you carry me to the street over there? >> yes. >> sure. >> why not. >> do you think you could take me another block? >> i can take you another block. >> i found myself really enjoying the chit chat. >> two children. married. i work for the state banking department. >> how did you do wrestling boys? >> i left a bad relationship in boys. >> you don't see this every day in new york. >> no. >> how far are you looking it to go right now? >> a block. >> so tell us about yourself. >> you're kind of choking me i can't. >> it em

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