tv CNN Newsroom CNN March 1, 2010 11:00am-1:00pm EST
mcmcconnell, both of them drawing battle lines on capitol hill today. the fight for health care reform taking on brand-new strategies this week. and bert bifulco, night shift worker. cnn putting people who labor after the sun goes down in focus. la quonda waters, bartender tefshed lab tech. good morning, everyone. i'm brooke baldwin in for tony harris, and you are in the "cnn newsroom." aftershock after aftershock. really just keeping the ground shaking in chile. we have an i-report. take a look at the video here. this is a rock slide in the capital of santiago. and this was triggered by one of the more than 90 aftershocks from saturday's 8.8 magnitude quake. checking some of the numbers, the latest number we have when it comes to the death toll, it
is 708. according to the chilean president, michelle bachelet, that number is rising and the rescues are ongoing. straight to a rescue under way right now in the town of concepcion where karl penhaul is standing in front of this building for us. karl, if you hear me, if you can just pick up the story for me. i know you're in front of this building. there are reports of tapping and people inside. >> reporter: exactly, brooke. what i'm going to do is i'm going to stand out of the way. bu because this building didn't as much collapse as simply fell on its side. i'm going to stand out of the way and take a look what's going on. what you can see is each of those floors have now been numbered. so where you see three firefighters standing, that is floor six. there are 15 stories in this billing. it's on floor six, pre sisly apartment 602 where firefighters believe that they've heard tapping. now, what they must now do is get in through those triangular holes.
they then have to burrow in, get to apartment 602 and drill a hole in. and that way they will be able to see through about an inch diameter hole whether, in fact, people are still alive there and how many people are alive there. according to administration records of the building, there could be about three people alive in that spot. somebody also was saying to me, why are they triangular holes they've cut in the side of the building? that really is for speed. they make three cuts rather than four cuts for a square. each cut is about a meter long. what that means is if there are survivors in there, if there are dead people, at least they can get a stretcher in there and get the stretcher in and out of those triangular holes very effectively. so everything working towards, first of all, seeing if there are any more survivors in there, bringing those out. and, if not, then they will try and recover the dead. >> karl, forgive me if i missed this. did you say there had been some
survivors who have already been pulled out of this building that's now toppled on its side? >> reporter: in the last two days, yes. people have been pulled out. 24 people, in fact, firefighters tell us, have been rescued from this building. five dead have been pulled out. that still leaves, according to administration records, 40 to 50 people unaccounted for. now, firefighters say that they could be somewhere there in the stairwell. but they haven't heard from them in at least the last 24 hours. so far no real way of knowing whether they are alive or now dead, brooke. >> unbelievable. karl penhaul following that story for us out of concepcion. we're also keeping our eye on another headline. really looting a big issue in concepcion and surrounding cities. thank you. we'll check back in with you. meantime, checking other stories today, haitians left homeless by the january earthquake, they're now bracing for even more misery. you see all that? that is rain. the rainy season is expected to start shortly.
but rain you can see already causing a whole bunch of problems. heavy downpours over the weekend drenched people living in tent cities and flooded streets with just debris. government says flooding killed at least eight people in southwest haiti. two bombings reported today in southern afghanistan. in one attack a car bomb exploded headquarters in kandahar. in the other attack we're hearing a suicide car bomber killed a nato service member and four civilians. president obama is putting the focus on education today. you heard him speak last hour. he announced $900 million in grants to turn around failing schools. these grants would require drastic action. he's talking about replacing principals, closing underperforming schools. the president also addressed the problem of school dropouts. >> the graduation gap in some places between white students and classmates of color is 40% or 50%. and in cities like detroit and indianapolis and baltimore,
graduation rates hover around 30%, 40%. roughly half the national average. now, it's true that not long ago, you could drop out of high school and reasonably expect to find a blue-collar job that would pay the bills and help support your family. that's just not the case anymore. in recent years, a high school dropout has made on average about $10,000 less per year than a high school graduate. >> so that's education. let's talk health care reform. democrats, they're moving on right ahead this week apparently ready to bypass republican opposition. cnn's jim acosta tells us what to look for in these days ahead in this process that's called reconciliation. >> brooke, just because the democrats are talking about reconciliation doesn't mean both parties will be joining hands and singing kumbaya on capitol hill. with health care reform clinging to life in congress, democrats are about to try a radical
procedure to save the patient. and house speaker nancy pelosi said on cnn's "state of the union," they'll do it with or without republican support. >> they have had plenty of opportunity to make their voices heard. >> reporter: the likely path ahead would require some tricky legislative surgery. first the house would vote to approve the senate bill that's already passed. then the senate would use one of its little known rules called reconciliation to fix its original bill. removing portions that were unpopular like the last-minute sweetheart deal to nebraska democrat ben nelson. >> i think americans should know that when we hear the words about reconciliation, it is simply a majority vote. >> reporter: under reconciliation, only 51 votes are required to pass a bill. no filibustering allowed. while the procedure was designed for budge elt matters, it's been used in the past to expand health care and then some. reconciliation was used to pass welfare reform under president clinton. and to push through tax cuts under george w. bush.
when they were in the majority, republicans also tried reconciliation to authorize new oil drilling in alaska. >> if you've got 51 votes with your position, you win. >> reporter: now in the minority gop leaders see it differently. >> just because it's been used before for lesser issues doesn't mean it's appropriate for this issue. >> reporter: republicans are waving this letter by one of the creators of reconciliation who said last april using the procedure to pass health care reform would do serious injury to the constitutional role of the senate. >> the danger of what's happening right now in terms of using reconciliation is the purpose of the senate's going to be defeated. and that is to bring consensus to big issues in this country. >> reporter: but democrats argue they've tried bipartisanship by dropping the idea of a government insurance plan or public option from what's likely to be in the final bill. >> let me say this. the bill can be bipartisan even though the votes might not be
bipartisan. because they have made their imprint on this. >> reporter: if you look at the reconciliation score board, you'll find that republicans have used it more when they've been in the majority. 16 times. compare that to the number of times used under a democratic majority. just six times. brooke? >> all right, jim, thank you. he said no kumbaya on capitol hill. if you're still sitting there scratching your head, what is reconciliation, we'll be taking a closer look at what this means with our very own senior congressional correspondent dana bash. what does it mean for republicans, democrats, backlash, stigma wp we've got you covered. our fact check desk will discuss just how often reconciliation has been used in the past. a potent storm has brought misery to western europe. dozens are dead. parts of france are simply under water. jacqui jeras checking weather here at home with folks digging out from another winter blast. the question is as we roll on into march, is another winter storm on the way for us? before we go to break, let's take a quick look at some of the latest numbers on wall street.
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where advanced degrees advance the quality of life. we've been talking a whole lot about severe weather. i want to take you to europe for this story. this is an unusually violent late winter storm. they've named it xynthia. ripping across western europe. at least 58 people have died. most of the storm deaths have been in france. that is where we find cnn senior and international correspondent jim bittermann joining me live from paris. i know the french prime minister described this as a national catastrophe. describe some of the damage for me. >> reporter: well, i'll tell you, it was really a bad storm. it occurred about 3:00 in the morning. i think that's what caused all the deaths. the death toll here is going to be going well over 50, probably, once the final death count is in. they're still looking for about 30 people that are missing.
the storm struck early in the morning, as i said. people woke up, they heard some funny sounds in their houses. they got up and realized that water was suddenly rising. it was something similar to what happened in new orleans, in fact. because sea walls and dikes gave way under the pressure of the storm. 100 mile an hour winds. plus the fact that, in fact, this week, this last week there's been some of the highest tides along the coast that they ever get. the very high tides during the week, those two factors coupled with a very strong low pressure area brought in this storm, and the water just flooded through areas. many places where houses had been built below sea level. when the dikes gave way, they flooded out. sea waters rose up. sometimes six to eight feet in a matter of minutes. >> jim, i read that there were hurricane force winds felt from portugal on to the netherlands. seeing these pictures, is it a bit of an anomaly, this kind of severe weather in this part of europe? >> reporter: it's very rare.
in fact, the last time there was anything similar to this was back in 1999. a storm which killed more than 90 people back then. so they're comparing it to that storm. but this was different because of the flooding. a lot of people were caught by the water suddenly rising and were drowned in their own homes. it was very sad. today there's a lot of people out of homes, out of their homes. there's a number of homes, about a quarter million or so that still don't have electricity today or probably won't have until next wednesday or so. the situation is still around. but it's a real tragedy for france. >> it's unreal to see all the water. give me a quick update if you will, jim, on just the flight situation, particularly out of charles de gaulle in paris. >> reporter: well, yesterday i can tell you, because i was out at charles de gaulle yesterday. in fact, a lot of flights were delayed, and some canceled because of the high winds. they just couldn't take off because of the high gusting winds which was pretty much throughout all the afternoon yesterday. now things have gotten back to normal. by the way, it wasn't just
flights. some of the trains were affected, too. today, however, things have calmed down a bit. flights are back to normal. and the trains are running as normal today. >> back to normal, i guess, as much as normal can be given some of these amazing pictures we're seeing out of paris. jim bitter hmann for us out of france. more than 1 million americans may see their unemployment simply run out because the senate stalls. we have some tips on what you can do about that. ies who need assistance getting around their homes. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little or no cost to you. imagine... one scooter or power chair that could improve your mobility and your life. one medicare benefit that, with private insurance, y entitle you to pay little to nothing to own it. one company that can make it all happen ...
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are you out of work? filed for unemployment benefits? these benefits for more than 1 million americans are in limbo today after the senate failed to pass an extension. if you are worried about losing your benefits, poppy harlow of cnnmoney.com has tips on what you should do. >> well, we are, of course, covering the unemployment crisis that is affecting more and more people in this country. nearly 1 out of 10 americans out of work right now. that is roughly 11.5 million people counts on this unemployment checks from the government. when you look at how long people are unemployed on average right now in this country, it's a record. near eight months. but there's help out there. we want you to know about all the resources you can tap if you are looking for work. goodwill.org is a site. you can go to your local goodwill store as well. a number of resources including
job placement, child care help, counseling and life skills programs all there, all at your fingertips. also usajobs.gov. find all the government jobs out there. there are actually a lot of them. i checked it out myself. search by the type of job you're looking for, specific city, it'll tell you exactly the salary that's available as well. keep this in mind. if you're unemployed and when it comes to your health insurance, it's critical if you're going to lose your cobra subsidy, try to get on your spouse's health care plan as soon as possible. or make sure to compare individual plans out there. there's a lot of competition when it comes to that. finally, check out coverageforall.org. this is a great place to find out what low cost health insurance options are out there. finally, also, one thing to keep in mind. if you're having a hard time paying your utility bills this winter, a lot of people are, check out the low income home energy assistance program liheap.org.
it's a federally funded program. you pay for it in your taxes. they can help you offset your heating bill. hope that helps. he took just a brief detour from prime time. but tonight jay leno, right back where he started. i've been an ameriprise financial advisor for 24 years. 23 years. 21 years. 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 ameriprise.com.
wreckage of saturday's massive earthquake. we're hearing more than 700 deaths reported. and people are scavenging. doctors examine a dozen factors among the sleeping, eating habit ts and even mothers who smoke. they found almost every one was more common among african-americans and hispanics glnchts the busiest runway at new york's jfk airport closed today for four months of construction. officials say widening the runway will cut flight delays by 10,000 hours a year. in the meantime jfk trim 250 flights a day to ease those construction delays. you have snowmen, and then you have snowmen. these kids, petty cl-- pretty clever kids. this is on a dare. they've been building this
three-level, two-story tall snow cylinder. they say it will eventually become a snow man or snowzilla. they say they really started ticking it off when they rigged this trash can snow pulley system thingy. i guess it's supposed to be some kind of massive snowman. jacqui jeras, i can't say i could make that kind of snowman back in the day. i thought it was cool when i could do the snow angel. that's serious snowmanage. >> who has time to do something like that? >> these kids in cleveland. guess they're out of school. >> they need jobs. >> what you going to do? >> i know. have some fun with it. if you can't beat it, play with it, perhaps. and, boy, they've had a lot of snow across the ohio valley as well as into the northeast. and the latest storm that we dealt with late last week that was so brutal and brought more than 2 feet of snow and hurricane force winds is still lingering, moving backwards again. it's finally starting to
dissipate a little bit. high pressure from the west is finally going to take control, push it out of here and bring you some improving conditions. in the meantime, still some rain into the coastal areas. winds will continue to be a big issue here. these are sustained winds. i want to keep in mind that's like the three-minute average. you're dealing with 20 pushing on you all the time, but we could see gusts well beyond that. that could cause more power outages. hundreds of thousands of people still without power from that storm. certainly not comfortable conditions. we worry that some more of those pow r lines that might be a little unstable could blow over if winds get strong enough this afternoon. temperaturewise, upper 30s to lower 40s. you're going to kind of stay there pretty steady throughout the day today. not a whole lot more rising. the other storm system we're dealing with today, another upper level low, little spin in the atmosphere. showers and thundershowers here across t
. our affiliate in denver, colorado, 30 degrees. skies are cloudy. hazy. occasional snow showers. not a whole heck of a lot in terms of accumulation. we'll be watching the storm as it heads off to the east in the next 24 hours or so. because as that cold air wraps around behind it into the southeast, we could start to see a layer on the northern fringe of this of some snow. it's going to be a real tough forecast just like the last couple of ones of who's in the snow and who isn't. right now our best estimation is that up in the northern parts of alabama and in north georgia and the carolinas we could see accumulating snow. atlanta, we're a little iffy right now. latest models are coming in indicating a greater chance of maybe some of that snow instead of rain. for those of you looking for a little bit of hope, brooke, it's march. which is the meet lodteorologic beginning of spring. temperatures still looking average across the south. above average, though, across parts of the north. >> now that it's march, this is the last hurrah for the snow,
jacqui jeras. >> you'd like to think that. >> yes, you would. >> we do get snow, you know, in places, especially the midwest and northeast into april sometimes. >> maybe this is the last biggy? maybe. >> definitely not ready to say that, my dear. talking about reconciliation on health care reform. what does it mean? instead of everyone actually getting along, democrats prepare to go it alone. we'll explain. for all the moments that make every day special. 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.
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signed off from his short-lived prime time gig admitting the show was a bomb. >> it seems like just yesterday i was telling nbc, this is not going to work. but no. >> reporter: will his late-night return also be a bust? leno's back on "the tonight show" after a highly publicized shake-up. >> we have exactly one hour to steal every single item in this studio. >> reporter: that pitted the comic against conan o'brien who bitterly left the network when he was forced out of his time slot after just seven months. >> i've had an opportunity to work in television. some of what television networks do, like i said, it defies logic. >> reporter: comedian d.l. hughley says leno can get back on top. >> like l.l. cool jay said, don't call it a comeback. he's been there for years. if anything, he was on a brief sabbatical. but i think he'll hit the ground running like he always had. >> reporter: hughly says viewers want to see leno back in the chair now that the nbc controversy has cooled. thanks to the ratings success
from the winter olympics that replaced leno's struggling prime time show this month. >> the fact that the olympics is doing well and he's get a good advertising push there, i think he's going to get some eyes. i hope that he takes that opportunity. >> reporter: still media critic andrew wallenstein says it could be a slippery slope. >> it puts the pressure on leno to win the gold in terms of late night ratings. >> reporter: david letterman has been carrying the torch as the late night leader since leno's departure eight months ago. the audience that helped leno stay on top for more than a decade must return to the show to succeed. >> so many of his followers who were conditioned to watch him at 11:30 may have gone on to find new viewing habits. this will be the test. >> reporter: a test for leno who must also repair his battered image. leno found him on the receiving end f jokes during the nbc
deback kl with comedians like letterman taking aim. >> jay is like a whack a mole, you know. you think you've canceled him and he pops up on another time period. >> reporter: leno has avoided the spotlight since his hiatus but recently talked to oprah about the backlash. >> yeah. i think it's a little unfair. i'm going to work hard to try and rehabilitate that image. >> do you think now that that has happened, you will be able to revive, rehabilitate "the tonight show"? >> i hope so. >> reporter: jay is getting a little help with a star-studded lineup of guests. jamie foxx, brett favre, and sarah palin. and that's just in the first week. kareen wynter, cnn, burbank, california. nurses, cooks, police officers, oh, yes. even tv anchors. i put in my time. we're talking about working the night shift. an eye-opening look coming up in the "cnn newsroom." whoa, my cut's still there.
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parliamentary procedure known as reconciliati reconciliation. republicans are crying foul. >> if you use reconciliation on this health care bill which you see today what you're going to have a thumbing of the nose at the american people. they don't agree with it. we need to change it. we're willing to work to get it changed to where we don't have a massive increase in the government influence on health care. >> time to get used to this word reconciliation. you're going to be hearing it a lot as health care reform heads toward a shoudown. so we're going to do a little reconciliation one on one for you. reconciliation is a measure to pass contentious budget legislation while avoiding a filibuster threat. got it? it was used in 1989 to pass a medicare overhaul for physician payments. in 1996 it was used to pass the welfare overhaul. it was used to enact the bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. so since we got that established, let's get an update on where things stand with health care reform right now and the prospect of the all the democrats here going it alone.
senior congressional correspondent dana bash joining me live from capitol hill. all right, dana. i know you reported last week the democrats look like they are moving on ahead with plans to use this reconciliation to get health care to the president's desk. what now is their next move? >> reporter: all right, brooke. i hope you have your weed wacker. we're going in. anybody who handled seven hours of a health care summit can definitely handle this. here are the tentative plans. the house would pass the senate health care bill. and then the house and senate would both pass a package of changes to that bill. that would be the issue in the legislation put through the reconciliation process that you just laid out. that would only need 51 votes or a simple majority in the senate. what democrats are working on right now is the package of changes. what exactly is in that? and it's actually the president who laid out the road map for it last week when he put his plan out there. changes like a change in how plans, health care plans, are
actually taxed. and also giving more government subsidies to people to make the health care more affordable that they would be required to get. what it looks like, really, brooke, is going to depend on what is needed to get votes in the house of representatives. the votes are not there right now among democrats. even among democrats. this is how the house speaker laid out how she would sell it on "state of the union" yesterday. >> when we have a bill, which we will in a matter of days, then that is the bill that we sell. then when we have a bill, as i say, you can bake the pie. you can sell the pie. but you have to have a pie to sell. when we do, we will take it out there. >> reporter: so there you go. talking about pies. i mean, everybody is trying to figure out a way to explain this in the most understandable terms. but one of the other issues, never mind, you know, what can sell with regard to votes, it's what's even allowed to be in
this package. because the reconciliation process is something that is very limiting. it's only supposed to be used for issues that directly affect the deficit. so they're working right now with the parliamentarians in the house and the senate to try to figure out what, if any, of these changes, used in this process. just for example, they can talk about the tax cuts. that has been used before. that can be put in this process. but abortion probably doesn't have anything to do with the deficit. so that might not be allowed if they do need to make changes on that issue. >> let me ask you, let's not put the cart before the horse here, i want to talk about just about the language. we heard speaker pelosi say we will have this bill in a couple days. on some of those same talk shows yesterday we heard republicans. we know there are major, major obstacles for the democrats when it comes to a stigma. because these legislation would not be bipartisan. >> reporter: that's right. that's right. that is why you were hearing democrats, first of all, not use the term reconciliation, just
call it a simple majority. you heard the house speaker use that term very forcefully last week and all through the weekend. you're hearing them, they're armed with information, armed with facts and figures, some of which you put up at the beginning of this segment, brooke, talking about the fact that republicans have, in fact, used this in the past. so it is going to be a tough political battle as much, if not more, than the legislative and procedural they're about to wade into here. >> hang on to that weed wacker. we'll check in with you in the noon hour. let's talk more about reconciliation. republicans are railing against using reconciliation to pass health care reform. sounds like a good time for a fact check. suzanne simons joins us. suzanne, okay, reconciliation. i had to read it a couple times over just to make sure i'm getting it. i'm no congressional correspondent. we have heard from the white house saying when you look at the health care summit from last week where we saw those eight republican senators and they're
saying no to reconciliation, yet you've checked out the past. >> yes. one thing we want to do to kind of help get through the weeds we've been talking about, take the things people are saying on our air. -- has voted in the past on reconciliation issues in favor of. we wanted to break that down and see if it's actually true. that's what we did. >> what did you find? >> if you take a look back in 2001 which you talked about briefly already, president bush pushed through tax cuts that totalled 1.35 trillion with a "t" doctors. five senators at that summit voted for the economic growth and tax relief sec silluation act. in 2003, once again, five republican senators who were present at the summit voted for the jobs and growth tax relief
reconciliation act. now, jump ahead a little bit to 2005. there was a reconciled deficit reduction act. we heard senator tom coburn saying it's not a good idea, it's not going to work. wait a second. he also voted in favor of that act in 2005. then in 2007 the remaining republican senator who was in that room last week of wyoming voted in favor. holding people accountable, david axelrod was actually right. that every single republican senator who was in that room last thursday during the 7 1/2 hour summit has voted in the past for reconciliation. >> so any time i think it's important to point out to our viewers, any time we see something at cnn pop up, a guest pop up on our air and we think, wait a minute, is that right, you're the gal. >> exactly. the fact check des k. we have a whole team of really bright people. reach us at factcheck.cnn.com. let us know. we're going to check it and hold them accountable for it.
>> excellent. suzanne, thank you. checking some of the top stories now. an attorney for jeffrey skilling will try to persuade the supreme court today to overturn the former enron ceo's 24-year sentence. killing was convicted of securities fraud, insider trading, other charges on that collapse of the texas based company. in western europe they are really recovering now after this powerful weekend storm that battered at least six countries. thousands without power right now. transportation had at one point come to a standstill. at least 58 people lost their lives. seeing red over an ad for blue jeans. can you see this? the billboard in newark, new jersey, turning a whole lot of heads. some in the city are saying they don't like what it's selling. what do you think? here's your chance to sound off on our blog. go to cnn.com/tony. we have a better picture of that billboard for you if you missed it. we have some of your comments. we'll read them live coming up in the next hour.
cnn is putting the nightshift in focus, the social and health impacts are well documented but, yes, people do it. sometimes we don't have a choice. others do it because they love it. bert bifulco, one of our faces of the story today. this prepared by cnn photo journalist, debra brunswick. >> we sell peppers, cucumbercum squash. we get a rush. people go to atlantic city to get a rush. this is a rush. always something to do. my name is bert bifulco. the market is a receiving area for most of the produce that's distributed up north. it's really a different world than maybe a lot of other night businesses. we talk different. we sit and argue over prices. we curse out a buyer. he curses us out. five minutes later, we start all
over again. sometimes you hear a lot of words you don't want to hear. but it's part of our business. and it's meaningless. that's what makes it fun. makes the night pass. and makes our business what it is. anyone who works night, it affects you physically, mentally, your home life, everything. your health. it's probably all screwed up, you know what i mean? i have sleep apnea, high blood pressure, i have it all. a lot of it's from the business. this is what i chose. home life, listen, i've been divorced once. you're not home. you're not around. you don't see the kids grow up. you miss out on a lot of things. you don't give them your time, but, listen, you're making -- you make a good living that you can afford to give them what you want. just they don't have you. i've been doing it so long, i don't think i could workdays. just in the habit of working backwards. like a vampire. i don't know how else to explain it. but i enjoy it. i mean, i like the produce
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i want to share this one with you. this is from santiago. it's the capital city. he described the horror of hearing the parking garage collapse from his condo. keep in mind, he's way up on the tenth floor. he was thinking his building was crumbling. fortunately, the condo tower was just fine. just a whole lot of cars crunched. look at that. cnn has set up a special chile desk to monitor developments in that earthquake zone. i want to check in now with senior latin american affairs editor raphael romo. you're keeping your eye on a lot of moving parts over there including a pretty interesting comparison between, what, haiti and chile? >> that's right, brooke. we've been getting a lot of questions here at the chile desk about what happened in haiti in comparison to chile, and we started asking some questions and trying to find out some facts about comparing the two. what i can tell you at this time is that based on what we've seen, chile is a very different country from haiti. it's a wealthier country. much better prepared with strict
building codes and emergency crews trained for exactly this kind of catastrophe. the buildings there are built to ride out earthquakes with steel skeletons designed to sway with seismic waves rather than resist them. also, analysts say chile has more world renounced seismologists and earthquake engineers per capita than anywhere else in the world. now, let me bring your attention to the following graphic, which is going to show you the difference in terms of intensity. this is what the u.s. geological survey calls a shake map of chile. saturday's quake was centered offshore, under ground, in a relatively unpopulated area. as a result, cities there suffered only what is called by seismologists, severe shaking. that's the orange area that you see there. and i want you to pay attention to the different colors in this map. because once i show you the next map, that one from haiti, you're going to see the big difference. take a look at the shake map for
may haiti. the quake there struck much closer to the surface, right on the edge of port-au-prince. the red area is where eight cities and towns along with 3 million people in haiti's capital suffered violent to extreme shaking. again, violent to extreme compared to severe, what it's being called in chile. the quake in chile measured 8.8. in haiti, the measurement was about 7.0. the difference also when it comes to death toll is just enormous. in haiti, there were 220,000 people or more who died as a result of the earthquake. in chile, so far, brooke, we have heard of a little more than 700 fatalities. >> real quickly, airports still closed in santiago but public transportation up and running today? >> they tell us for the next 48 hours the airport will be closed. but the subway system is mostly back up and running. >> got it. rafael, thank you. jobless benefits, they are
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14 million americans are out of work. you know if you're one of them, it doesn't stop the bills from piling up, does it? no, to you a new forecast says a record number of americans will be asking for help this year. allison, i know this affects everyone from coast to coast. but specifically when we talk about home heating bills here, what's the latest there? >> try this number on, brooke. 9 million, i'm talking about 9 million americans expected to ask for federal help this year to pay their winter energy bills. that number coming from a group that represents state energy officials. and if the number of people reaching out for this help this year reaches that 9 million mark, it would break last year's record and actually be the third record high in a row. now, the issue here isn't energy prices but it's unemployment. i mean, energy prices have been
relatively stable this year, but it's unemployment. unemployment has doubled over the past two years. people are just struggling to pay their bills. so they're turning to this heating assistance that's funded by congress. this year it got $5 billion, the same amount as last year, but even with more people expected to need the help this year, the hope is there's enough money to go around because what can happen is if these people can't pay their utility bills the utilities many times cut them off. >> a lot of people have been struggling. it has to be a nationwide problem. my question is, it particularly problematic for people maybe in one region of the country? >> people from new york to california are all asking for help. look at this map here. it shows states where the number of applications for energy assistance surged more than 20%. there are 17 of them. the biggest increase is mississippi. take a look, up 70%. what many of these states are finding is that these are new applications.
people who have never applied for it kind of help before. washington, michigan, nevada are also near the top. the unemployment rates in these states are also high. something a little more cheery. stocks rallying. aig selling its asian life insurance business helps to shore up its balance sheet and pay out its bailout. the dow up 73, the nasdaq higher by 29. looks like we're keeping up this positive momentum today. >> alison kosik, thanks. using his sales skills and asking for help, an advertising exec left his job to start teaching scuba diving for people with disabilities. guess what, he's making 80% less and loving it. jack elliott's career change is at cnnmoney.com. here is what we're working on for you. tony harris will be dropping in on a church in savannah trying to make sure everyone is counted in this year's census. and elizabeth cohen will be
talking medical weight. we're talking about needless we're talking about needless charges in your medi those stories and a lot more coming up in the "cnn newsroom." >> no it's a sale. nothing beats a sale! wrong move! you. you can save up to half off that sale when you name your own price on priceline. but this one's a deal...trust me. it's only pretending to be a deal. here, bid $79. got it. wow! you win this time good twin! there's no disguising the real deal. the smell of home made chili
laquonda waters is one of our faces of this story, an example of how government stimulus can work for you. sarah lee has her story. >> lab technician laquonda waters says she wears her white lab coat with pride. not too long ago, her outlook wasn't that bright. >> i served customers all day. at 6:00 we were opening the doors. >> her paycheck, $6 an hour. it wasn't the future waters wanted. but with just a high school education to compete in a tough economy, her options were limited. until a program supported by federal stimulus dollars convinced her to leave her job at the bar and go back to the books. >> i saw the ad in the paper and said, did you like science? do you want to learn? >> as congress considers legislation to create more jobs, nationwide unemployment rates for african-americans and latinos are considerably higher than that of whites. in the shadow of capitol hill, a report issued by d.c. area
governments shows minority joblessness here is even higher. >> as you look at the question around minorities here, unemployment numbers are extremely high. i think the key becomes education. >> and we're also going to transfer the material. >> career training programs like this one at baltimore's biotechnical institute of maryland are working to offer that education. here, tuition-free classes train lower income and predominantly minority workers to become lab technicians in maryland's growing biotech industry. >> there is a shortage of trained workers. and the jobs of today and the jobs of tomorrow have -- are proving themselves to require more than a high school diploma. >> reporter: the institute operates on private and fill lan trof pick funding but donations are drying up. this year the program is depending on stimulus money to help more students like laquonda waters who says it's made the difference between standing behind the bar and setting it
higher. >> i went from being not knowing what i wanted to do to having a stable job that i love. >> the biotechnical institute of maryland boasts an 80% placement rate for graduates. some of whom like laquonda waters, the woman in our story continue to study for more advanced degrees. sarah lee for cnn, washington. >> time for your top of the hour reset. i'm brooke baldwin in the "cnn newsroom." it's the 1st of march, 2010. 2:00 p.m. in chile where rescuers are rushing to pull quake survivors out of piles of wreckage. it is noon in washington where democrats look set to begin their push on a health care reform bill without republican support. and all across the northeast, crews struggling this hour to get electricity back to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. let's get going. first up, health care reform appears to be headed for a showdown. democrats are considering this end run around republican
opposition pulling out a controversial tactic called reconciliation, pulling it out of their playbook, ready to roll on that allows a measure to pass on a simple majority, that is 51 votes. we have the story covered from two different angs. ed henry and senior congressional correspondent dana bash. ed, i want to begin with you. we just mentioned the simple majority, 51 votes. is the white house confident they can get that? >> that's still an open question. when you talk to top white house aides about this notion of going ahead with only democratic votes, no republican votes, they say look, we've been trying for a year to get some republican votes. there are limited numbers in the early stages of this debate but by and large, this has been essentially a democratic only.effort because they feel here at the white house that republicans haven't been willing to meet them halfway. those differences were aired out last week at the summit where you heard a lot of republican pushback on that notion. i think the bottom line is we're going to hear from the president. we're expecting on wednesday
about what is his sort of way forward, what's the next move. reconciliation does seem like the most likely scenario where they'll need a simple majority. i think the most honest and candid admission we saw on the sunday talk shows yed was is nancy-ann deparle is the health car czar at the white house saying on nbc when pressed i think three times, do you have the votes now, she kept saying we will have the votes, which is clearly dodging whether they have them now but confident that they will down the road. as dana knows full well, a lot of work to do on the hill to get those votes. >> dana bash, you're on the hill banging down doors talking to your sources. what are you hearing where these votes may be? >> they still aren't there yet. ed is right. first of all, start in the senate. they need 51 votes. they believe they are going to be likely okay there, but not 100% sure. but ironically, the biggest challenge is the house where democrats have a huge majority. but there are a few issues here. first of all, the issue of
abortion which has been a vexing issue on this health care debate between democrats for some time. .bart stupak is an anti-abortion democrat from michigan says that he has maybe a dozen or more democrats who say if they go down this path and that would be to accept senate language on abortion that they say is not restrictive enough, they'll lose a number of democrats. then you have democrats who are vulnerable who are in very tough re-election races and they're in swing districts hearing from their constituents about this, and they're jittery. the last thing, this is again, back in those weeds brooke an that you and i were in in the last hour, there is a lot of mistrust in the house among democrats of the senate. so one of the things they are trying to work out and it will depend whether they can get votes is who goes first. will the house vote for the senate bill first or do this package of changes first. house democrats don't trust that the senate will the actually
pass those changes if they go ahead and approve the senate bill, that they don't like. >> there is mistrust and as you outlined, this is certainly some controversy within some of the key points within the bill itself. ed, given that fact and simply the fact there's a lot of controversy just over the idea of reconciliation, talk more about what kind of controversy -- i mean the backlash that this -- that democrats specifically would see is massive potentially. >> there could be a backlash. when you talk to senior white house aides they basically relish this fight because they think the facts are on their side that while reconciliation is rarely used, it's not something you see every week in the normal course of business, they point to almost two dozen times in the last 30 years where republicans have used reconciliation to give viewers a recent example, it was used twice by the most recent bush administration to pass major tax cuts. when you hear republicans saying how are you going to remake one-sixth of the economy through health care reform through this
process? they say waked, it was almost $2 trillion in tax cuts passed by the last administration and they used this very maneuver. the white house is ready to fight that battle. >> i was talking to suzanne simons the fact those eight republican senators alt that health care summit in the past all eight have indeed cast votes for reconciliation. dana and ed. thank you both. >> thank you. here's a question for you. would you be willing to pay 140 bucks for one tylenol pill? one pill. that is precisely what a hospital charged a patient. later this hour, senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen begins her special reports on hospital waste, and how it ends up costing every one of us. but first, let's check today's other big stories. a bill that would extend jobless benefits is now stalled in the senate. kentucky senator jim bunning says he's blocking it till he hears how to pay for it. what that means is just about 400,000 americans lost unemployment benefits today. the bill also funded highway projects. the department of transportation
furloughing 2,000 workers and halting construction on a number of sites nationwide. in chicago, a funeral is being held this hour for veteran animal trainer dawn brancheau who died last week when a six-ton kirl whale tilly come dragged her underwater in seaworld in orlando. the whale has been linked to two previous deaths. the government looking into whether workplace standards were violated. searching for survivors here, take a look at these pictures coming out of chile. that is a top priority security and rescue. two days here after one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded. cnn's special correspondent soledad o'brien is at the scene of a major rescue effort in the city of concepcion. i can tell it's loud. i know there are rescue efforts going on behind you involving some firefighters. walk me through what's happening right now behind you.
>> let me describe what's going on behind me because it's hard to hear you. as you can tell, they just brought in the drills. they're drilling these sort of triangular cuts into the wall there. that wall is actually an apartment building that was standing straight up and has now fallen on its side. and you might be able to make out those numbers, five is where they're doing the drilling right now, six you see somebody climbing in. those are floors because this building has tilted over completely on its side. they're trying to make their way in floor by floor but coming if through the ground here. they're drilling because of course, that area is where the most damage is. that's where the impact was with the ground. they're very concerned about that. it's a 15-floor apartment building. there are 48 people they cannot find in this building, eight confirmed dead, 63 by their count got out alive. now they're cutting these shapes, they're about a meter by a meter by a meter which means you can fit a stretcher in if
they can find somebody inside who is a live. what the guys will do, meaning men and women, are tunnelling their in and working their way through the entire building. there are sort of windows on the other side. they're doing this from the other direction to see if they can pull out anybody at this point. there are two sub floors, as well, and where they tell me most of the dead were found were in those sub floors because this building basically landed on its own sub floor. if you'll pan over to the right a little bit, a complicating issue for all the rescue workers. this building which is under construction, look at it and you say it's 20 stories high and it withstood the earthquake so that's good. they're very concerned about its continued standing. we've been having numerous aftershocks, up to a 100 by some counts. they're very worried what would happen to this building if we get another aftershock. they're working very aggressively. and chileans are well phone for
their ability in search and rescue, the same team, 8 oo% of the guys are the same people ho are working, men and women who are here, same people who are working in haiti doing search and rescue having come straight there. but they are, when i asked what's the likelihood of finding somebody inside at this point, we've got to tell you, we do not know at this point but they're going to keep trying. >> soledad, thank you. 48 people she said still possibly trapped inside. 63 walking out alive. hopefully we'll see some progress and some survivors, soledad, thank you. almost 3 billion stimulus dollars spent on education in one single state. are taxpayers actually getting their money's worth? we're digging deeper on the stimulus desk. first though, our random moment in 90 seconds.
hey, guess what, mass nudity happens and oh, yes, when it does, you can bet it's our "random moment of the day." 5,000 naked aussies carpeted the grounds of sydney's opera house with goose bumps today. thankfully, cameras keeping the proper distance. the display came at the request of the american photographer spencer tunic who's made a name for himself by snapping groups of nudes at iconic locations around the world. brr.
about two hours ago. >> government can help educate students to succeed in college and a career. government can help provide the resources to engage dropouts and those at risk of dropping out. and when necessary, government has to be critically involved in turning around lowest performing schools. >> so talking about education, we have josh levs over at the stimulus desk. josh, i know you have this first point you want to make how the stimulus money has affected education jobs in particular. >> when people hear stimulus a lot of think of shovel ready jobs on the street. education is by far the biggest recipient of jobs from that massive pile of stimulus funding that came out a year ago. let's do this. i want to see how you can get this information yourself. show some of it right now. we're going to go to the web cnn.com. what we've got up for you here,
we link you to recovery.gov, the main web page that shows people lots of information about the spending. what we've done in here is we've gone to the section called agency reported data. i'll go fast with this but basically when you look at these words over here, it shows you who gets the most money to spend from the stimulus. department of cakes is the third thing on the whole list. let's go to the full screen that's going to show the jobs breakdown. check that out. stimulus jobs, top agencies no comparison. you have ten times more education jobs funded by the stimulus than those shovel ready jobs on the street, about 410,000 education jobs funded by the stimulus and when it comes to the transportation jobs so far, 41,000. so brooke, this is a good example of what we've been seeing in this respect. this is place in which a lot of the stimulus money is getting teachers back to work. people can argue about whether this is a good use of public money about, all the debt we're going to pay and all the borrowed dollars but the fact
is, right now there have been billions of dollars that have gone into education to pay for teachers to be in schools, brooke. >> my mom was a teacher. we need our educators. give me an example of how one state was affected by all of this. >> one that's particularly interesting. we often like to look at michigan because michigan is by far the most struggling state out there. the highest unemployment rate. we know what's been going on with detroit and in general with this economic slump so much of the country is suffering through. you're seeing right there, michigan got $2.8 billion for its schools. when we look at the job creation, you've got numbers telling us they have funded more than 9,000 jobs in education from that stimulus money so far. and you know, the stimulus money, most of it still has yet to be spent. we are going to be seeing all over the country more and more examples of teachers being paid for out of that will stimulus pile. ultimately really, one of the big questions about all this is sure, it's a good use of money.
you can often look at funds and say it's good to have teachers in schools. long-term is the recovery act going to be getting this country out of the recovery. to pea that's the big, big question. that's what we'll be seeing in the years ahead. >> thank you. when one thor hows, power lines come tumbling down. thousands across the northeast welcomed march in the dark and cold. around h house. these are people who chose mobility. and they chose the scooter store. if you're living with limited mobility, call the scooter store today. i guarantee, no other company will work harder to make you mobile. if we qualify you and medicare denies your claim for a new power chair or scooter, i'll give it to you absolutely free. i expected they'd help me file some paperwork with medicare and my insurance. i never expected them to be so nice or to work so hard to get me a power chair at no cost to me. you don't qualify for medicare? no problem. we'll work with your insurance company, even
help with financing. if there's a way, we'll find it. call the scooter store for free information today. call the number on your screen for free information. checking our top stories, we're not staying far from the situation in chile. rescuers going building to building looking for survivors. saturday's disaster blamed for 708 deaths. the number could be rising. police are reporting people are taking food and water from supermarkets, but they're crack down on those looting things like kitchen appliances, even tvs. the man accuse in the suicide attack on a u.s. outpost in afghanistan appears in this newly released video and says the target of the attack was a
jordanian security agent. seven cia officers were killed. the man says his chance to attack them was an accidental "blessing from allah." crews across the northeast are struggling to get electricity to the 200,000 homes and businesses. a fierce storm knocked out power friday. new hampshire officials say some spots in that state will be without period for an extended period. it is march meaning winter should be on its last gasps, but it just won't quick. jacqui jeras, i was trying to get to you say no more snow. you wouldn't do it. >> i wish i could. >> a lot of people in the northeast out of power. that is a tough situation starting the week. >> it is. if it were spring today, thank everybody but the ski resort owners would be celebrating, right? unfortunately, we're having a last hurrah with our system across the northeastern u.s. right now. this is the same storm that caused all those power outages. it moved backwards and the rain
and the snow was heavier this morning. starting to weaken a little bit and eventually high pressure will push this thing out of here and tomorrow promises to be a much better day in the northeast. in the meantime, take a look at this picture out of the boston area. it makes you nauseous looking at that a little bit, doesn't it? that's because those winds have been gusting 35, 40 miles per hour for new boston. the good news is the temperatures have warmed up enough that this is rain rather than snow. that's going to melt is it your snowpack a little bit and it's not heavy enough we don't think it will aggravate the flooding issues you already have on going here. thanks to ccbbtv in the boston area. let's show you some of the winds. we're going to pop some of those on there. these are the sustained winds not to mention the gusts. 20s out there, whoops, boston it moved on me. i hate it when that happens. close enough, cambridge, how about that, bar harbor, maine, 26. maine getting the brunt of the storm at this time.
if you're trying to travel because of those winds, we've got some delays in the northeast. the jfk issues really runway issues. you probably heard about that. until may closing one one of the runways. newark 45 minutes there due to winds and san francisco a couple of delays. here's your temperatures then into the northeast. it's a little chilly for you, the middle 40s for this afternoon. that's what you can expect. our other storm system will be a big one in the next coup of days as this moves eastward. heavy rain here across the arklatex into the lower mississippi river valley. that's going to put down a good inch or so as it moves in. the storm is starting to wrap around cold air on the backside of it. snow into northern texas as well as into oklahoma as it slides eastward, it's going to continue to meet up with an some of that cold air. uncertain how much snow we're going to be getting here. we think the carolinas and eastern tennessee will see heavier accumulations. north georgia, south carolina,
north alabama, we could start to see accumulating snow. i don't like what i'm seeing, brooke, for atlanta. north georgia for sure could get several inches of accumulating snow. atlanta kind of on the fence but should be prepared by midday tomorrow for potentially a couple of inches. good news, ground a little warm over the weekend that hopefully a lot of that will melt right off. >> snow in the southeast. thanks for that, i guess. serious rain, deadly downpours in haiti. the race now to save earthquake survivors from a whole new crisis.
quake survivors desperately needing a roof over their heads and soon. deadly downpours have already started. david mckenzie reports from the capital city of port-au-prince. >> reporter: reeling from tragedy, another layer of misery in haiti. in south western haiti, rains hammering the people leaving at least eight dead and a warning of the coming rainy season. more than six weeks after haiti's devastating quake, hundreds of thousands are still stranded. anger and frustration spill over. one of the biggest tent cities they've been waiting all day to get registered to move. but moving half a million people seems unrealistic. >> the scale of the problem is absolutely enormous. it's really hard to actually explain how big it is until you're in a place like this and you really get the sense of we have an entire city that needs to be basically reconstructed
rebuilt. >> rudy waited all day to register. he's no idea how it will help him but he's clinging to help. i don't know what is going to happen, only god knows, he says. they told me to come and register. what happens afterwards i don't know. rudy isn't alone in his confusion. at first, the government said it would move people to large camps outside the city. now they say they want to send them home or to smaller camps. but displaced haitians just don't know their fate. so i put the question to the man charged by the government to rebuild haiti. >> they're not hearing anything from the government. why is there not communication to the people? >> i think that the government is not very good at communication, but they are working very hard to get material. >> he told me that the government is holding on to tens of thousands of tents still structural engineers can assess which buildings are safe and which need to be destroyed. most haitians are too afraid to poof back inside.
if the government wants to fix people's homes before they move there, they'll face an uphill battle. just here in ft. national neighborhood alone there are hundreds of destroyed homes. one of those homes belongs to rudy who lost his business and six relatives in the quake. including his 2-month-old daughter. he says he relives the quake every time he comes back. when you look at it, you shiver, he says, because you see it's a disaster. it's like a desert because there's nobody around. rudy says he wants to stay in his tent like thousands of haitians, the only thing he can salvage from his home is painful memories. cnn, port-au-prince, haiti. the importance of being counted. the message coming from a historic african-american church as the government kicks off the census. thanks for coming.
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hey, just a quick reminder. cnnmoney.com, a great resource to check the latest numbers on wall street. let's show you some of the numbers. nasdaq up 31 points right now. dow jones industrial up 76 points. let the rally continue there in new york. you should be starting to receive your census forms in any day now. the bureau is kicking off its 200 count today. a whole lot of people avoid the census for several reasons, especially minorities and illegal immigrants. tony harris takes a look at a historic african-american church pushing for everyone to be counted. this is the first of our week-long series on the census. ♪ >> reporter: nor for more than
two centuries this church in savannah, georgia, has been a cornerstone of support for african-americans who in this nation's early years literally did not count. >> if we knew our history, that at one point in history we were only counted as three-fifths of a person and that's all you could be counted. >> now with the 2010 census, first african baptist church has a mission. built in the 1800s by slaves it claims to be the oldest black baptist church in north america. >> the country here is 233 years old, first african is 232 years old. >> the oldest information that is held here first african baptist is scratched into the side of the pews up here in the balcony. on the side of each of the pews you can see written in a language of cursive hebrew. >> she has been telling the history of the church for seven years. >> beneath the floor is where slaves hid as part of the underground railroad.
>> today it's a place where many african-americans gather to work for change. >> i see the faith-based community as being a tremendous part of awareness, making everyone aware how important it is to participate in the 2010 skens us. >> pastor thurmond tillman is keeping in step like the pastors he's followed working with the census in 1990, 2000, and now in 2010. >> we're making people aware in our congregations that the census is safe, easy and important through our literature, we have put it in our bulletins. >> the church also opened its doors to host a precensus rally. >> this is a bedrock for getting everything else done. this one really makes a difference because when people fill the forms out and send them in, that determines the amount of money that comes back to their community and also determines representation. >> many church members also get the message of this desennal skens us. >> the pastor has done a tremendous job of educating us
about the census and allowing us to become informed. we can go out and tell others. >> if you don't participate, it's going to be another ten years before you get to be counted before your voice gets to be heard. that's going to have an impact. it's only ten minutes. participate, be honest, accurate and stand up and be counted. >> with this church's rich history, it is no wonder that its latest mission is to make sure every african-american is counted. >> it's a self-enumeration. one of the main messages is that it is safe, it's okay to fill the forms out. >> it's just that simple. tony harris, cnn, atlanta. iran's nukes peaceful purposes or deadly intentions? we'll have a live report as international watchdogs discuss uranium enrichment in the islamic state.
days, how concerned are they regarding tehran's nuclear program? >> well, it seems that the iaea, the u.n.'s nuke war watchdog is very concerned about the possibility that iran is in their words, currently working on plans for a nuclear war head. they haven't presented any evidence for this specifically, any new evidence that is, but they have cited repeated refuses by iran to answer questions regarding the nature of its nuclear program and the new director general of the iaea, the u.n.'s nuclear watchdog amano spoke very clearly of the need. for the islamic republic to open up its nuclear sites to greater inspection and cooperate more fully. listen to what he had to say. >> the agency continues and there is comprehensive safeguards agreement with iran to verify that nondiversion of declared nuclear materials in iran but we cannot confirm that
all nuclear material in iran is in peaceful activities because iran has not provide the agency with the necessary cooperation. >> well, iran for its part denying that it has any kind of secret nuclear weapons program saying instead, its nuclear program is designed purely for peaceful purpose. they intend to build nuclear reactors and generated electricity, according to iranian officials but that doesn't sit well with many countries in the west led of course, by the united states, deeply suspicious of iran's ambitions and calling now for much tonguer sanctions for the islamic republic. >> as the suspicions grow, sanctions possibly the next step. what happens when this meeting is concluded after four days in vienna? >> we're expecting to see some pretty critical comments from various parties at these meetings in vienna about iran's
controversial nuclear program. the organization itself won't make any decisions about what measures to take iran, if any. that will be taken by the u.n. security council. but the words that are spoken over the next few days in eenna will very much inform that debate whether or not tougher sanctions are appropriate, what kind of sanctions should be used against the islamic republic. in the past, russia and china have been very much opposed to tougher sanctions against iran. there are signs at least here in russia, the situation is changing. the kremlin growing much more imparent patient with iran's failure to cooperate with the u.n. >> matthew chance from moscow, thank you. a billboard in downtown newark, new jersey, getting a whole lot of attention and grabbing a lot of things, including just that, attention. listen. >> my daughter asked me what that girl was doing. >> how did that make you feel as a mom? >> bad, because i don't know what to explain to her.
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and post your comments here. here's my twitter address, tony harris cnn. one other way for you to contact us directly. talk to the show. call us. pick up the phone. 1-877-742-5760. let's have more of your views, mof of your thoughts on the program. cnn newsroom with tony harris. we'll get more of your views on that billboard. more than a million americans who receive federal unemployment insurance could see those benefits end soon. an extension expires today. the senate could vote this week. also, also, western europe, a deadly storm swept through at least six countries. look at the water there. france hit the hardest. 50 people were killed. a combination of winds and tie tide swamped parts of the coastal region there. guess what, more delays ahead for folks flying into new york's jfk airport.
busiest runway, it will be closing today for four months of reconstructi reconstruction. it is hoped this $376 million project will ease a little bit of the traffic and congestion as one of the world's busiest airports. time to take a look at some of the stories generating a lot of buzz on the internet. iness fer ray joining me to talk through this. the story happening pretty who the in chile, that has to be a pretty big trending topic i imagine on twitter. >> that's one of the top stories we're looking at. starting with twitter and one of the most linked stories on twitter after that tremendous tragedy that happened in chile, google has created a person finder. a way for folks trying to find loved ones to post their information on the search engine. well, now, some are trying to find out how they can remove that information. there isn't a way to do that yet. you can update the information to say you've found someone, for
instance. also. >> can i ask you the different red dots are those different missing people? >> right and beacon the left, you can put if you're looking for somebody or if you -- or if you have information about somebody and this is the kind of thing that the people can update right now. >> got you, got you, got you. just curious. >> definitely. one of the most e-mailed stories on cpn.com, it's about that unusually powerful winter storm that you were mentioning that slammed western europe this weekend. >> france. >> if you logon to cnn.com, you'll find a photo gallery of the devastation left behind by xynthia knocking out power and bringing planes and trains to a stand still. at least 58 people lost their lives. also, we're going to new jersey for a story prompting a lot of conversation. take a look at that billboard. it's an advertisement for hmm, blue jeans from a clothing line by rapper t.i.
some are saying it's hard to tell what it's selling. as you can see. >> her hands in some places and. >> she looks like she's pulling down the pants or maybe pulling them up. >> i don't know. >> you can judge for yourself. >> yeah, so we've been asking a lot of people, what do you think of this ad. you see this one woman one hand between his legs another maybe kind of pulling it down. the ad is for blue jeans but some people in that will neighborhood of newark saying hang on a second. get this billboard, right, out of the neighborhood? >> yeah, and the mayor of newark saying i've got a problem with kids that have their merchants on too low and using inappropriate language and this is not the kind of ad ta we want here he says he's going to -- he says he's going to see if the city council can do sting to prevent these kinds of ads from going up in their area. >> i want to share comments from viewers. ines, thanks.
comments from the blogs. we've been posting this picture and wanted to know what you thought. the first one from fefe, the truth is the billboard is only suggestive and though it is not something i would want to see, i have to look at it as art and art is subjective. got another one from jessica. i'm not sure why this billboard is getting negative attention and 1,000 other ads that are much worst as far as objectifying women are construed as normal. another one from chastity. it is a shame that advertisers think they have to go g to this level to sell a product when your 8-year-old son asks a question like, mom, why is she pulling his pants down. how does one answer that? shame on advertisers. logon to cnn.com/tony to share your comments. it is enough to give you a make. we're talking about this hospital that is apparently
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office. the prognosis? while the commander in chief is in excellent health overall, his cholesterol numbers are creeping higher. the doctor recommends a spaul change in eating habits and he would like to see the president quit smoking. we have a new story to tell you about. medical waste. we're not talking about used syringes here but 1,000 bucks for a toothbrush. consider this. for every dollar you spend on health care, 50 cents is wasted. senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen here to kick off her new series "health care a prescription for waste." $1,000? you've got to be kidding me. >> i'm serious, that's what a hospital charged a patient was $1,000 for a toothbrush. when we started looking at medical bills, the examples we found there was no shortage and what it adds up to is in this country a trillion dollars is wasted on waste. when you or i go shopping for a toothbrush, how much do we pay, 2, 3, maybe $4? guess what one hospital once
charge aid patient for a toothbrush? $1,000. can you believe it? $1,000 for a toothbrush. and you know who ends up paying for that, you and i end up paying for it. it comes out of our pocket in one way or another. that's not the only crazy hospital cost i've run into. come on, come with me. at the store, how much does a bottle of tylenol cost? $10 for 100 pills. well, we know of someone who at the hospital was charged $140 for one tylenol. can you believe it? $140 for this. now here's a box of disposable gloves when you buy them at this store, they come out to 24 cents a pair. i know of a hospital that charged $53 for a pair of gloves. that's right. $53 for a pair of disposable gloves. what the heck is going on here? so i'm here in the home office of a medical billing advocate. this is cindy hultsman. she helps people include through
all of these crazy charges and has all sorts of examples. i've got to tell you, this is one of my favorite ones like a little il alcohol prep swab. how much did a hospital charge for these once. >> $23 apiece. >> for this tiny piece of cotton. >> on one bill there were 44 of them. becomes very expensive. >> my goodness. this isn't the craziest thing you've seen. tell me about one of your crazier charges. >> recently i had somebody charged for 41 iv bags when she went to the er for a two-hour visit. >> oh, yes, you heard that right. a woman went to the emergency room with a migraine make and they gave her one bag of saline and then they charged her for 41 bags of saline. to the tune of $4,182. now, the really crazy thing about this is that her insurance company actually paid this bill. they didn't even question it. so why did her insurance company
pay for this when it was obviously wrong? >> there's not many people working at these companies anymore and they're very busy and usually any kind of bill that's under $100,000 they don't look at the detail. >> so they just write a check. >> they just write a check. >> all right. so did you your due diligence. did the hospital and insurance company say. >> is the hospital that made this erroneous charge did eventually fix it but declined to speak with us and the insurance company that paid for this karch said they couldn't talk about it for privacy reasons. >> i had read earlier about the fact the president still smokes, i didn't realize this. >> a lot of people thought he quit. but apparently he hasn't. he is still smoking using some kind of nicotine replacement to quit. a lot of people are saying what's going on here, dude. >> on rick's list at 3:00, you guys will be talking about what specifically. >> what's going on here, dude. why are you still smoking. that's a quote from someone who reacted to a blog on cnn.com.
not me. it is not cool. he's obviously got all the resources he could have to try to quit. at 3:00, rick and i will be talking about this. >> elizabeth cohen, thank you. beyond the politics of health care reform, the battle hits home for a georgia couple. they're among american who have fallen through the cracks in the system. half-inch ratchet, three-quarter standard socket. from one of these rascals. 3/4" deep well. - and i can't reach it. - 12-inch extension. because this big 'ole grizzly bear is in the way. universal joint. my man. the largest tool selection in america... and the people who know them best. come in now and fi all portable power tools, bench, and stationary tools on sale. sears. life. well spent.
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they're turning to this process known as reconciliation that only requires a simple majority that is 51 votes. now the health care reform battle hits home for so many people. including a couple we met here in georgia. the hartshorns make too much for medicaid but aren't old enough for medicare. tony harris has an update on their story. >> where is she. >> she's in the kitchen. >> i first visited them 17 months ago for a homemade chili dinner. at the time, the family was struggling but still in good spirits. >> i mentioned blackberry cobbler but got peach. >> okay. >> garrett's been looking for work for nearly two years. he was a veteran of ford motor company making good money as a quality control engineer when the plant shut down. >> we could produce a car at 15.7 hours per unit. >> you're still proud of that. >> i am extremely proud of my friends and everything that has to do with that plant. >> the downward spiral was just
starting. soon after garrett lost his job, his wife, the mother of their two children, developed serious health problems. >> tell me what you're dealing with. >> i'm dealing with losing like three points of blood, and i'm a diabetic. high blood pressure. but finding out why i've lost the blood, we just don't have the insurance to do that. we have to meet a real high deductible first. >> their deductible was $2200. part of garrett's 70s pay from forward. >> we just spent $200 of real important money to go have us checked out. you know, you see how white she is. she's anemic now. i've got to find a way that i can produce enough cash flow where she can be taken care of. and i will. i'm very close right now. >> how close he was.
listen to what he's doing now. >> i talked to underwriting. everything is fine. all they need is your doctor information. >> it sounds like he's on the phone arranging health care for his wife. but he's not. this is garrett hartshorn's new job, arranging health care for other people. he's a health insurance agent but like so many other independent contractors, his job has no health insurance benefits. >> garrett is living a much loneliyer existence since his wife's health has gone downhill. robin stayed in her room when we came to talk to her. she wouldn't come out. >> she's not the girl she wants to be. >> a year and a half after robin's doctors told her to check herself into a hospital to get the necessary tests, she still hasn't done it. >> her blood cell count keeps going down. seems like her circulation is not all that good in her hands and feet and legs. i'm concerned about that. because her hands are like ice
and you know, and she's sort of like, i don't know, she's sort of like a real old woman now. >> garrett hartshorn can't even write a policy for his own family. the insurance broker can't afford the insurance he sells. >> in all honesty, that's $1,000 a month. and because of our diabetes, a pre-existing illness and that's just the way it is. and right now, $1,000 a month is like a million dollars. i'm a half a month behind on my house payment. and two months behind on my credit cards. and have exhausted my 401(k). >> he tries to stay positive. he reads self-help books on positive thinking. but he is very angry at congress. >> they've failed miserably. both sides of the house, independents, too. if they can't realize how serious this is, then they don't feed to be