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tv   Happening Now  FOX News  September 4, 2013 8:00am-10:01am PDT

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are. catch you tomorrow. martha: bye, everybody. see you tomorrow. jenna: right now brand new stories and breaking news. jon: the senate could vote today to authorize a strike on syria, as senator john mccain, one of the president's allies up to now says he is not in favor of the proposed resolution and the president today saying he did not draw a red line when it comes to syria. the world did. ambassador john bolton weighs in. the big guns making a big push for the obamacare rollout with the deadline less than one month away. can bill clinton win hearts and minds when it comes to the president's signature legislation? karl rove with his take. and a monster takes his own life. kidnapper and rape it ariel castro found hanged in his prison cell. the latest from cleveland just ahead, all "happening now." jon: and good morning to you on this wednesday, lots of action already today on capitol hill as
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a possible vote on a strike on syria gets closer by the hour. i'm jon scott. jenna: that's what some say. jon: it could happen. jenna: we'll see what happens. hi, everybody, i'm jenna lee and the senate foreign relations committee said they could vote as early as today on a draft resolution. it sticks with the president's call for a narrow and limited response to the assad regime's reported use of chemical weapons against its own people. authorizing a strike for no longer than 60 days, with an option for the president to extend it 30 more days but only if congress approves. it also bars american boots on the ground. now the just spoke out about the syria situation in a stopover in sweden before going to the g20 summit in moscow. the president said it was never up to him, the united states to decide if these atrocities went too far adding that the credibility of the entire world is now at stake. >> i didn't set a red line.
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the world set a red line. the world set a red line when governments representing 98% of the world's population said the use of chemical weapons abhorrent and pass ad treaty -- passed a treaty for bidding their use even when countries are engaged in war. jenna: chief washington correspondent james rosen is live at the state department with more for us now. >> reporter: jenna, good morning, for secretary of state john kerry the thorniest moments in his marathon testimony yesterday before the senate foreign relations committee, an experience by the way he is soon to repeat today involved around his initial reluctance to embrace a new draft resolution of authority from the congress that would explicitly bar the placement of u.s. troops on the ground in syria. the reason for that reluctance, kerry explained he could envision a scenario where u.s. troops made be neat needed on emergency basis to prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into the wrong hand. later there was an attempt at
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clarifying. >> would you tell us whether you believe that a prohibition for having american boots on the ground, is that something the administration would accept as part after resolution? >> mr. chairman, it would be preferrable not to -- let me be very clear now, i don't want anything coming out of this hearing that leaves any door open to any possibilities so let's shut that door now as tight as we can. all i did was raise a hypothetical question about some possibility and i'm thinking out loud about how to protect america's interests but if you want to know whether there's any, you know, the answer is, whatever prohibition claire fiz it to congress and the american people there will not be american boots on the ground with respect to the civil war. >> reporter: meantime syria's most important ally, russian president vladmir putin in an interview this morning at his residence outside moscow told reporters the video footage from
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the august 21 chemical attack is horrible but putin says the video does not answer the question who perpetrated the attack. putin said he wouldn't exclude joining in a strike against the syrian regime if it is found culpable but putin add ad very important caveat. >> translator: only the u.n. security council could sanction the use of force against a sovereign state. any other pretext or method which might be used to justify the use of force against an independent, sovereign state is inadmissible and can only be interpreted as an aggression. >> reporter: russia of course has made clear it would veto any such pro-proposal at u.n. security council. so much for the russians joining in such a campaign. i mentioned secretary kerry will repeat yesterday's experience a short while from now. he will testify again back in the witness chair on the capitol hill before the house foreign affairs committee. jenna. jenna: we'll continue to watch those comments. james, thank you. jon: right now on capitol hill house speaker john boehner is offering his support of the president regarding syria. after yesterday's meeting in the
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white house he is encouraging the entire congress to unite behind the commander-in-chief. listen. >> this is something that the united states as a country need to do. i'm going to support the president's call for action. i believe my colleagues should support this call for action. jon: house majority leader eric cantor and, i'm sorry, house minority leader nancy pelosi also voicing support for the president's request. over in the senate republican leader mitch mcconnell who also attended the white house session has not endorsed a resolution authorizing force. he remains non-commit. and now senator john mccain, an outspoken advocate of intervention against syria's regime has just come out against the latest senate resolution, saying he can not support the resolution in its current form. it put as 90-day limit on action and says no american troops can be sent into syria. karl rove served as senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to president
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george w. bush. he is a fox news contributor. it was somewhat ironic, karl, having seen john mccain run against barack obama in 2008 and disagree on just about everything to have him leap to the president's defense in terms of potential action in syria and now this morning he is saying he can not support the resolution that is in front of the senate. what business? >> yeah. well the resolution which had been drafted by senate foreign relations committee chairmen mendez of new jersey and minority member bob corker of tennessee, this represents one of the three big challenges the administration has. will a military strike, the question mccain is asking, will a military strike make a difference? the president earlier this month referred to this as a shot across the bow and there will be some members ever congress who will say, look, if this is going to be just a pinprick that doesn't change the trajectory of the conflict in the middle east then why do it? this is one of three. the other two are quickly, the
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president has to convince members of congress it necessary the national interests of the united states to affect the outcome of the struggle inside syria. and the argument is, if assad remains in power, after committing this act of, use of chemical weapons, it will be a victory for iran and hezbollah and will embolden other actors including non-state actors like hezbollah to use chemical weapons. the third issue the president faces is, if we take action and it affects syria will it make things worse? the concern here is that al qaeda elements of jihadists in the syrian opposition, they're better armed and better trained than the rest of the free syrian army. the question is, will they assume power if assad falls and the president's got to make the case look, they are dominated by foreign fighters and the syrian people are not going to, going to accept a domination by a movement of foreign fighters and we have the ability through saudi arabia and turkey and others to influence and
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strengthen the more moderate elements of the free syrian army but it's a complicated task and he doesn't have a lot of time and it doesn't help he is abroad while this needs to be done. jon: and there is the opportunity or the option for syria to escalate this thing if there is american intervention. bashar assad already said he will go gunning for israel. >> well that's bluff, that's talk. he is not going to draw israel into this. he knows exactly what israel could do to him. the biggest military power in the middle east is sitting on the sideline in the form of israel. if he, if he starts poking that tiger he knows he is going to regret it. this is more bluff and bluster than it is reality. jon: all right. so how, it was interesting going back to speaker john boehner's remarks, he said that he supports the president and essentially he said that hopes that the rest of the congress will but he didn't say he will urge other republicans to support it. didn't sound like he was going to be getting behind the
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president and pushing his caucus? >> well, i had a different response. i think he took the appropriate language and said, you know, i hope the rest of the congress will and i intend to do what i can. i thought it was a big move. boehner, cantor and pelosi all within a matter of hours, that was a signal. here is the calculus, jon, they're thinking about. this is not popular, let's ab honest about it. in the latest nbc poll, 26% favor military action, given choice of militarying action, humanitarian aid or no act fun, 26% say take military action. however if you say what if this is response to use of chemical weapons by syria? support goes to 42, opposition drops to 50. if you say what if it is limited strike to units and infrastructure that undertook chemical attack, it is 50-44. interesting enough for me, if use of chemical weapons a red
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line ought to have a significant response including military action from the united states, the general principle is, 58-35. so, what this says to me we support the general principle but there is a lot of distrust in the administration specifically and its handling of this. jon: the president has another big issue on his plate, the key aspects of his signature domestic achievement, obamacare, set to take effect in the coming months. we're looking at podium in little rock, arkansas, where he called on former president bill clinton to try to help sell this thing. mr. clinton going to be one of a few people, high-profile people who are trying to tout the aspects of obamacare in coming weeks. what do you think about that, calling on the former president to help sell this program? >> yeah, look, if one speech could solve the problem of the affordable care act it would have been solved a long time ago. we've been subjected to a lost presidential speeches. they're pulling out the stops. we had magic johnson. we have got katy perry. president obama is tweeting with
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katy perry. now he has president clinton to make a speech. look, this will not have a huge impact on the situation of the affordable care act. it is unpopular after president clinton's speech, it will remain unpopular. i think they made a mistake by doing this. think about this. one of two things are growing to happen. either president clinton will give a speech and it will remain up popular, or more unlikely president clinton will give a speech and make it more popular which case the question is, why couldn't president obama make it popular by all of speeches and appearances he subjected us to about it? this was supposed to be a little talking point before syria erupted. it was on the calendar. president clinton is happy to be at center of the stage. happy to be seen as riding to the rescue of the obama administration anytime they're in trouble. he is happy to look like he is able to save their bacon. makes him look strong. makes obama look weak and i can't believe they're letting it happen. jon: karl rove, thanks very much for your thoughts on that. >> you bet, jon.
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jenna: are you tweeting with katy perryany, i am not. she has something like 40 million followers. jenna: she is the one to tweet with if you're the president and want people to join up from the health care law. jon: damage phieffer from the white house sent out tweets, he was happy to have bill clinton, the secretary of explaining stuff making the speech. jenna: some top news stories today. meantime we turn to another big case that's developing in north carolina. a north carolina man convicted of the 2008 murder of his estranged wife. why the verdict was just overturned. our legal panel will weigh in on that. plus russian president putin drawing a line in the sand with the united states. not a red line, jon. jon: no. jenna: just a line. there are no colors i guess as the senate lawmakers begin to draft their authorization for military force in syria. joining us up ahead, wyoming senator john barrasso with the latest from capitol hill. that's next.
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jon: senate lawmakers get ready to formally draft a text for the military strike on syria, russian president vladmir putin today saying the u.s. congress has no right to approve the use of force against the assad regime without a decision from the union security council. and doing so would be quote, an act of aggression. russia and china long opposed any such measure in that body. here is wyoming senator john barrasso. >> has the administration created, conducted perhaps a threat assessment, how russia, how iran, how hezbollah is going to respond to a u.s.-led attack? what response do we expect from syria allies, including russia, iran, hezbollah, to military action? >> we all agree that that would be best handled in a classified session. jon: so we don't get the answer from secretary of state kerry at least not on television.
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but the man who asked the question is with us. republican senator john barrasso from wyoming. member of senate foreign relations committee. he attended the classified briefing this morning with president obama's national security team. difficult to ask the question since we know it was a classified briefing but are you satisfied at least with the answer you've got? >> we've been having a lengthy discussion asking questions like that and other questions. i still have the underlying fundamental question of why is this in the national security interests of the united states? what is the overall goal? what is the plan? and where are we a month from now? what does success look like? and to me, those questions have still not fundamentally been fully answered. jon: what about, and another question, and i think you asked this in the hearing as well, what happens if we strike syria, bashar assad decides in a week or a month he will try trot out weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons again? >> well you're absolutely right
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because people that have proposed solutions they're all theoretical. they don't know exactly how he is going to respond under this sort of duress. will he just come back and use additional weapons? we know there are extensive chemical weapons around syria. and what happens if there's a strike by the united states. will they impact and specifically hit those weapons? we know that the elements of surprise has been lost by the administration's efforts and we're now in a situation where we know that assad is moving his assets in terms of his personnel as well as heavy artillery into neighborhoods where many civilians are living. jon: during the iran-iraq war, those two countries were using chemical weapons against each other regularly and the united states didn't do anything. why now? >> well, that's the question that many of us continue to ask. that's the question that i'm hearing from my constituents at home in wyoming who are very concerned, who want to know why
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this is in the national security interests and specifically what does success look like? the president has given mixed messages. you know he said, well it's a shot across the bow. well, a shot across the bow is intended to hit nothing. then he said it is intended to be limited, a message, be a way to in a very small way, just punish assad for the use of nuclear weapons. so what is exactly the goal and why are we fully focusing? this is a big decision for every member of congress to vote on. but to me it is an act of aggression and, the vote will be taken seriously by every member. jon: well, one of the members of your caucus, senator john mccain had been supporting the president up to now on the idea of using force against syria, to answer to this chemical weapons attack. now he is saying he can not support the resolution as it stand right now. what does that say to you and other members of the republican
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caucus? >> i think people want to actually read the resolution. there was an initial resolution that came forth from the white house but there was a new resolution by the foreign relations committee chairman that came out at 9:30 last night and many of us had a chance to read later last night. i discussed it with senator mccain this morning and there are additional concerns. so that may be amended in committee, voted on and if passed in the committee, then on the full senate, will there be additional discussion and amendments? jon: if the congress does not approve the use of force, should the president go ahead and take action any way? >> well, that's the big question i asked senator, i asked secretary kerry yesterday. you know that the prime minister of in england has said, no, he's not going to join in the effort because the parliament voted no. and my question to secretary kerry is, if congress votes no, is the president still going to
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act without that permission? he said, well i don't intend to lose the vote but otherwise why did the president ask for congressional resolution and approval if he didn't want to abide by it? are we all here to vote for theatrical reasons for the president or is he serious about asking for congress to approve of what he wants to do? jon: a lot of questions yet to be answered even for one of the senators who has been in on the classified briefing. senator john barrasso, republican from wyoming. >> thanks for having me. jenna: much more on syria in just a moment. meantime the supreme court may be forced to take another look at the president's health care law to settlingerring questions about the mandate requiring companies to cover birth control. a report on the constitutional battle on religious ground straight ahead. also, some new developments on a story that has many outraged. the judge who ordered a teacher sentenced to 30 days in jail for raping a student, now apparently having second thoughts. an update ahead.
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jenna: well, right now, a battle over birth control could send the president's health care law back to the supreme court. the owners of chain store, hobby lobby, are fighting the health care law's birth control mandate on religious ground. if the department of justice appeals a recent ruling in the chain's favor, the supreme court will have to reconsider the constitutionality of the mandate. to explain all of that, shannon bream live in washington. shannon, what's at stake here? >> reporter: jenna, hobby lobby may be the most high-profile case folks are familiar with but there are 70 days pending across the country. opponents of mandate saying it will make business owners violate their religious convictions for forcing to
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provide insurance coverage for employees that include all types of birth control. lori windham who is handling dozens of cases. no one is challenging access to birth control. it is a different question entirely for the government to tell employers, they have to foot the bill. >> the only question here is whether our government can force religious business owners to pay for a abortion-causing drugs and to pay for in some cases contraceptives even if that is against their deeply held religious believes. these employees have the right to on tape these drugs on their own. the real question is, what our government can do to religious business owners. >> reporter: because lower courts split on legality surrounding the mandate, it is the kind of case the supreme court could take up perhaps as early as this term, which starts in october, jenna. jenna: how do supporters of the mandate feel about all of this and their chances in this case? >> reporter: the way they say it employers can practice their own
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bee leaves but can not force the beliefs on employees by making sure they have free birth control. john o'brien, presidents of catholics for choice, the far right can't win in the court of public opinion so that is why they're flooding the legal system instead. >> what the supreme court will have before them is a very tricky decision. because if they actually decide that a corporations or business have consciences because that's what we're talking about, we're not talking about individuals. we're talking about business having consciences, i think that has profound implications for, freedom of conscience in this country, of individuals. >> reporter: now the surprisingly o'brien believes the supreme court will ultimately uphold the contraception mandate. jenna. jenna: a story to continue to watch, shannon. thank you. jon: an embattled judge orders a new hearing for the former teacher he sentenced to 31 days in prison for raping a teenage student. judge todd because says he may have been wrong and minimum
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sentence should have been two years. protesters are calling for his job not only for the short sentence because also he blamed victim for the crime. the judge since apologized for his comments. the original case was complicated because the teen committed suicide before the trial. after that the teacher, stacey ram bold was able to strike a deal that let him avowed prison. last month he was sentenced after breaking the terms of that agreement. jenna: a man sentenced to life in prison for murdering his estranged wife gets a second chance. why an appeals court ordered a brand new trial. plus the iran nuclear showdown and why strike on syria may stop tehran in hits tracks. others disagree completely saying it will actually motivate iran. we'll talk to ambassador john bolton. he will weigh in on that next. ♪
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jon: as the senate foreign relations committee begins to draft its authorization for a military response in syria, president obama has some heavy lifting to do in terms of shoring up international support for any potential strike. france is among the few countries supporting military action without the okay from the united nations as well as turkey. countries that reject any military response include the czech republic, poland and finland. among the countries supporting president asad, iran, russia
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and, algeria as well as the leaders of the terror group hezbollah. >> against multiple warnings from the president of the united states, from the congress, from our friends and allies around the world and even from russia and iran, the asad regime and only undeniably asad regime unleashed a chemical attack against its citizens. our inaction would surely give them a permission slip for them to at least misinterpret our intention, if not to put it to the test if iran and hezbollah are advantaged by the united states not curbing asad's use of chemical weapons, there is a much greater likelihood that at
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some point down the road, hezbollah, who has been one of the principal reasons for a situation on the ground, will have access to these weapons of mass destruction. jenna: that was secretary of state john kerry testifying at a senate hearing on the situation in syria. we'll hear more from secretary kerry in just a few minutes from now. we wanted to point out, though, beyond just talking about syria, the secretary mentioned another country, iran, several times yesterday. some supporters of a strike on syria say it would show america's strength and hard line stance against the use of weapons of mass destruction. also could curb iran from seeking nuclear arms in fear of facing the same backlash. that's one theory. let's talk about it with john bolton, former u.s. ambassador to the u.n. and fox news contributor. that's one of the explanations or reasons of support for some sort of military strike at this time, ambassador. do you agree that it would be a deterrent to iran? >> it depends on what the nature of the strike is but even before
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you get to that point, iran has had 4 1/2 years of experience with the obama administration and i think it's through that prism that they principally judge whether the obama presidency has made a credible threat against iran's nuclear program and i think their judgment is unequivocally no. they've not slowed the program down despite economic sanctions. they listen to the president say with respect to iran that all options are on the table. there's simply no evidence that the iranian regime has believed that nor while we're on the subject of the government of israel believed that. so when it comes to what we do in syria, obviously this is a step removed from iran itself and the real issue is the nature of the strike. i think even those who say that a strike against the asad regime would send a message to iran would agree to that. would launching one cruise
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missile establish a deterrence? obviously not. although we don't know what the administration strike will look like, we know what the president has said. jenna: let me jump in there. kerry named iran in his conversation yesterday and we've heard from from other members of congress as well. the president has not been as specific in relation to the syria issue when it comes to iran. we have an example of how the president talks about the reason for getting involved in syria and what it would mean for other regimes. let's take a listen to that. unfortunately, we -- i think we lost ambassador bolton. i thought we didn't have the sound there but is ambassador bolt john gone? >> i'm still here. jenna: i'm sorry, ambassador. i don't really know what exactly is going on. maybe it's the iranians not wanting us to talk about it on the air. if i could just sum it up, basically the president is
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talking about other spots in the region, other people getting access. so if the issue is iran here, if that is a reason why we're going into syria, why not address iran direct ly? >> i think there's a very good reason for that. obama still thinks he can negotiate with iran over their nuclear weapons program. and if he named them to shame them in effect, i think he worries he would undercut the prospects of negotiation. now, he doesn't have anything to worry about. iranians are never going to be talked out of their nuclear weapons program in any event. but the key point to come back to syria is, if you want to establish a structure of deterrence, you can't do it the way the president, at least, says he wants to respond with proportional and limited strikes. and we have a clear historical example of deterrence. we feared soviet invasion or the soviet first nuclear strike, the
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eisenhower response was called massive retaliation. massive. not proportional retaliation. that deterrence worked. if we have a light strike on syria, it will not only not establish conditions of deterrence, it will tell iran that they can escape with minimal costs. i think in many respects it's worse than no strike at all. jenna: do you believe in strike and awe? some believe it led libya to weapons of mass destruction. >> what led libya to give up weapons of mass destruction was the capture of saddam hussein that scared qaddafi's daylights out of him. the problem with massive assault in syria, although that could establish deterrence, it would tip the balance on the battlefield, possibly resolve in the asad regime falling and bring the opposition to power. i see no advantage for the united states in allowing that to happen. that's why talk in the abstract
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of a strike, because of the use of chemical weapon, is inopposite here. it's a more complicated situation. jenna: apologies for the technical problems. we appreciate it very much. thank you. >> thank you, jenna. jon: brand new developments in the case of a north carolina man convicted of murdering his estranged wife. with an appeals court now ordering a new trial, the case dates back to 2008. we talked about it a lot then. brad and nancy cooper were in the middle of a contentious divorce, both had affairs. nancy reportedly threatened to move back to canada with the couple's two daughters. witnesses say they got into a fight one night. she disappeared the next day. her body was discovered near a drainage ditch about three miles away from their home. a map that far same area was later found on brad cooper's computer. it was the only piece of physical evidence used against him in trial. his defense team wanted to argue that someone could have tampered
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with his computer but the judge refused to let two witnesses testify about that. now an appeals court says that testimony could have changed the outcome of the trial. let's talk about it with our legal panel. joining us is a criminal defense attorney and a former prosecutor. tom, so he's going to get a new trial. that is not the same thing as an acquittal obviously. >> it's not, jon. that's what a lot of people don't understand about the appellate process. the assumption is that, well, you know, the defendant walked free into the sunset. what is really means is that he's entitled to a new trial. in this particular case when the appellate court rested its decision, it means the defendant was denied his sixth amendment right for a defense. if you're accused in the criminal case, the united states supreme court said part of the rights is to present your own
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defense. should you want to call witnesses, should you want to present information, should you take the witness stand, you have a right to do that. by a right to call his own expert witnesses to rebutt what the f.b.i., cyber crimes expert had said about what was on his computer, he was denied that right. jon: we learned during the course of the trial that while nancy was across the street at this party on the last night of her life, brad cooper was apparently on his computer, at least this was the testimony, and one of the things he did was zoom in on this map of the neighborhood where she was found next to a storm drainage, you know, holding pond. now, his attorneys say they wanted to argue that someone could have accessed his computer remotely and planted that evidence. sounds a little far fetched but would that have been enough to potentially change the outcome of the trial? >> actually i don't think it would have changed the outcome
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of the trial. but the point made that i think was the right move here was to say he didn't have the right to even present that evidence. he doesn't have to present evidence but here he wanted to. the state had their expert. they put their experts on the witness stand and these google map files were actually key in obtaining a conviction in this case. so to not allow the defendant to put forth his own expert to say that someone else could have come in and done this, no, i don't think it's a great argument. i think the conviction -- the outcome would have been the same but you want the due process rights to be protected and he should have been allowed to present those experts and make that argument. jon: he told the cops that he was asleep while his wife was at this party across the street. someone was accessing his computer, presumably him. does all of that still reason enough for a new trial? >> yeah. it's reason enough for a new trial because what the constitution says is that the
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defendant has a right to present the defense. if the defendant's defense is so outlandish, so goofy, then you can rely on a jury of 12 people to look at it and say, yeah. we're not buying it. now we're going to convict him on the new trial like he was the first time. a right to a new trial is no guarantee of a new outcome and the defense's theory is that somebody accessed his computer remotely. someone hacked into it. hey, who knows? stranger things have happened. certainly hacking is a big issue right now. it happens every day, probably a million times a day. it will be the defense's burden if they choose to put on a defense to try to convince the jury there's a reasonable doubt. jon: it's been five years since the murder. he's serving life without a parole. he gets a new trial. the couple's two daughters living in canada with her parents. thanks very much, tom and faith. jenna: the u.s. is bulking up military presence as congress considers action against syria. up ahead a british military adviser with this advice.
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keep calm and consider democracy. he's our guest next. ♪ [ male announcer ] may your lights always be green. [ tires screech ] ♪ and your favorite songs always playing. [ beeping ] ♪ may you never be stuck behind a stinky truck. [ beeping ]
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♪ may things always go your way. but it's good to be prepared... just in case they don't. let's go places, safely.
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jenna: the pentagon is beefing up forces in the eastern mediterranean as washington considers military action against the regime in syria. right now, we take a look at our assets, the u.s. navy has four destroyers within firing range. each destroyer is capable of carrying up to 90 tomahawk cruise missiles. whether they have that or not is another question. the navy diverting a top of line enthusiast warship as well. u.s.s. san antonio with 300 marines on board from the 26th marine expeditionary unit are the guys you want leading the way with boots on the ground or maybe in their emergency rescue or something like that, although the president has said there will be no boots on the ground. that is part of what his forces
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would do. in addition there are two aircraft carriers in the nearby region. the u.s.s. nimicks and the u.s.s. harry truman as part of the regular deployments. next guest thinks the movement of the assets and a possible strike is being talked about quite frequently now, isn't it, is actually the wrong move. joining us is a former adviser to the britain defense. michael, why? why do you think we should go back to diplomacy now? >> i think there's a huge disconnect here that the president has almost buried his head in the sand on and the disconnect is between what america actually wants and what's proposed by capitol hill n. a recent poll conducted yesterday said 19% of the american public supported strikes on syria. that's not a lot of people. so domestically there is a gaping disconnect between what
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america wants and what the president wants or what capitol hill is proposing given the conversations that went on yesterday. internationally we see the same thing. only two people, two countries on the security council out of 15, so that's the five permanent members, u.s., china, russia, france and the u.k. and the 10 non permanent members, only two, france and the u.s., overtly support this action. jenna: kosovo, for example, being an example for republicans in congress not wanting to vote, did not vote yes to move forward in kosovo, for example and maybe the public support also wasn't there at that time. when you look back at that, it's widely viewed as a good decision to have military intervention in that particular area. so are there some comparisons we can draw upon? maybe the public isn't supporting it. maybe the lawmakers aren't but in the end, it's the right decision? >> i think kosovo is a good debating point.
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nato was a huge africa and the whole intervention on air strikes on kosovo was supported by nato. and i think this is where kosovo and what we see in the syria start to diverge in terms of the lack of international legitimacy on this. jenna: i'm up against a commercial break. one of the other components in this, and especially in diplomacy, you have to have somebody to talk to and president asad has come out and said he's not interested in talking anymore. so after a quick commercial break, michael will be back with us and we'll talk more about what do we do then if president asad is not interested in talking to us anymore. we'll be right back with more. and investing accounts on one page... before he could easily transfer funds between the two in real time... before he could even think about planning for his daughters' future... mike opened a merrill edge investment account and linked it to his bank of america bank account to help free up plenty of time
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for the here and now. that's the wonder of streamlined connections. that's merrill edge and bank of america. ugh! actually progresso's soup has pretty bold flavor. i love bold flavors! i'd love it if you'd open the chute! [ male announcer ] progresso. surprisingly bold flavor for a heart healthy soup.
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jenna: we're back talking about our options beyond the military
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options in syria. you talked about diplomacy. president asad did an interview this week saying -- at the beginning he was willing to talk. now he's not willing to talk anymore. and if someone on the other side isn't willing to answer our calls, then what good is diplomacy? >> it's a great question but i think the key to this is not going through asad himself but using his supporters and influencing his supporters such as russia and iran. there is nothing to gain on military strikes and there's everything to lose. politically you undermine the potential talks that are about to commence between israel and palestine. you threaten a strike from tehran on tel aviv. you completely put a wall up against the potential conversations under the new management in iran about stopping iran from enriching uranium. jenna: didn't all of that already happen just based on world events right now? is it the one decision not good
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diplomacy somehow going to stop some things you just listed off? >> but the big question here is, why are we embarking on a technical plan? and then thinking about strategy afterwards and foreign policy afterwards? this is the tail bwagging the doll. jenna: you think the president is not clear on priorities here. >> do they want to depose of asad? do they want to dispose of the regime? what about our al qaeda and what about the foot hold they're going to get within the country? jenna: apparently relatives close to asad tell the "new york times" that they believe that the west is bluffing, that it would be a cosmetic attack and we keep hearing about our credibility being on the line. you obviously have travelled a lot overseas. what's your perspective on that? is our credibility on the line? how big of a deal is that? >> i don't think the u.s. credibility is on the line at all.
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senator mccain talks about this all the time. it's just not the case. the u.s. has done and showed invaluable support all over the world and will continue to do so. i think what the u.s. needs to do, president obama needs to do is listen to the people and listen to the international community. go back to the table, look at the non military sanctions resolution that's been vetoed three times by china and russia. go back and pressurize china and russia on that. vladmir putin said today that actually, he's happy to reconsider if the evidence is critical. jenna: and you believe him. >> i'm not saying i believe him. i'm saying our options are limited. jenna: we'll see what happens, especially with the big meetings in st. petersburg. thank you for being on the program. jon: less than one month now until the markets open for obamacare. as the law falls in popularity, there are some winners in the health care over haul. we'll report who is coming out on top coming up.
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jenna: we have a fox news alert. house foreign affairs committee set to open meetings on the strike against syria. the president's top guys on foreign policy will press the case to punish syria for the reported use of chemical weapons and win over lawmakers skeptical over the idea of another u.s. military intervention. we're going to watch, monitor the latest developments, and we have much more coming up on "happening now." but first right now, brand new stories and breaking news. jon: three years after the president signed obamacare into law, there is still plenty of confusion along with the people it's intended to help but there are some folks and some corporations who are doing quite well, thanks to that sweeping legislation. we'll explain. caught on tape, a funnel cloud touches down. trail of destruction this twister left behind and valerie
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harper might be battling brain cancer but she's not letting that stop her from getting on with life. details of the celebrity competition show she just joined. it's all happening now. jenna: the house set to open the first hearings on the president's call for a military strike on syria as the senate could vote on a braft resolution authorizing a strike as soon as today. a resolution already coming under a lot of fire from one of the staujest sad row indicates so far on military interaction on syria. jon: happening now, the president's big guns on foreign policy set to appear before the house foreign affairs committee. this as the president and his team try to win over skeptical lawmakers and a war weary public on both sides of the aisle. this as senator john mccain is coming out against the draft resolution to authorize military
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force against syria. the senator says it doesn't go far enough. john kerry, defense secretary chuck hagel and general martin dempsey set to testify. jenna: in the meantime, the president is in europe today pressing his case against syria as well ahead of the g 20 summit in russia. he'll cross paths with vladmir putin. mr. obama says the use of chemical weapons in syria needs to be answered for. >> i do think that we have to act. if we don't we're effectively saying that even though we may condemn it and issue resolutions and so farther and so on, somebody who is not shamed by resolutions can continue to act. jenna: mike is live on capitol hill, what normally would be a
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quiet time has turned very busy with all of these hearing. what is taking place right now on the side of the senate? the authorization for the use of force, where is that at this time? >> we expect any moment now the senate foreign relations committee will go into session to try to fine tune the use of force resolution that was crafted last night. amendments will be offered and they're running a little behind schedule because of these classified closed door briefings have been running a little long. some, like arizona senator john mccain, will try to make the resolution tougher. he would like to see more force used in syria to try to alter the situation there. for now here is the senate foreign relations chair on the language so far. >> it gives the president the wherewithal to have the limited military action that he's asked for in order to punish asad for the use of chemical weapons and the killing of innocent civilians. at the same time, it is tightly tailored by having a time frame
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in it and by certainly prohibiting american boots, troops on the ground. >> american boots on the ground was a big issue at yesterday's open hearing with secretary of state john kerry. he later came back and said no, i did not mean to leave the door open in terms of american troops being on the ground. he was just responding to a hype they tell i can aa aa aal -- h thetical. jenna: you would think that things are all good when you talk about some of the resolution or the ideas of a resolution on the table, mike, but there are significant hurdles when it comes to military option. >> no question about that. if you look at the latest polling, the american public is against the idea of a military
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strike. there is clearly some war fatigue on capitol hill and throughout the country and bottom line, the house armed services chair says he knows this vote is going to be difficult. >> it will be one of their toughest votes in congress because they're going to be pulled in all different directions. i have no idea how the vote will come out. i have no idea how the debate will go. but there will be pressures from all different sides to do this or do that and at the end of the day, some of those people aren't going to make up their minds until they're on the floor voting. i don't know when i'll make my mind up. >> already we're seeing some outside groups start to weigh in, some pro israel groups saying we should authorize the use of force to help our ally israel. some are saying that this is not a clearly defined mission. you should vote against. so there's some of that outside pressure also coming in to bear as well as what constituents are telling these lawmakers.
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jenna: mike continuing to follow the action on capitol hill. thank you very much. we appreciate it. there's a new poll out that shows it's a tough sell ahead for the president in this ongoing discussion about what to do about syria and whether to get involved militarily. check out this poll. it's a new "the washington post" poll. nearly six in 10, that's about 60% of americans oppose a unilateral u.s. strike against syria and even more oppose arming the syrian rebels. among americans who say no to a strike, the full finding, their intensity level doubled that to 36% of americans favor a strike. they feel more strongly that we should not act militarily. we'll continue to watch if public opinion changes as we get fresher and newer polls. jon: the president's task of winning over his kept i cans on syria and maybe the public as well, a fight that could be more uphill at a republican controlled house that rarely sees eye to eye with mr. obama and could get trickier in the senate where senator john mccain
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is rallying against the draft resolution authorizing use of force saying it doesn't go far enough. he would tore at large for national review online and a fox news contributor is with us on that. what do you think about john mccain's apparent turn about? he supported the use of force but doesn't like this resolution because apparently it's not forceful enough. >> look. i think john mccain makes a very good point. i'm fairly sympathetic to his argument in that i'm opposed to doing a strike on syria purely for cosmetic reasons. one obama aide said they want to make it just serious enough they don't want to be mocked. they don't want to change regime elements, don't want to change the momentum of the war. they basically want to put on a little show to make obama seem like he's a serious guy and, you know, that's basically what they're trying to sell through congress. if i were john mccain, i would be against that.
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i think doing something cosmetic is probably a lot worse than doing nothing at all. jon: you probably saw in the national review the president has proposed a limited strike that will kill thousands of people but not kill asad or drive him from power. not a strategy, he says. that is an act of heat. would you agree? >> it is. it's sort of like a seinfeld episode. it's like we're doing this out of spite. one of the things that i think is outrageous, and again, i'm with john mccain on this and i'm not always with john mccain on a lot of things. it is beyond disgraceful this administration is going around saying giving this delay does nothing to change the strategic calculus or limit the ability of what we can do if we do strike syria. that is simply, blunt, a disgusting lie. we know now, a.p. and other news outlets have been moving stories on this, that asad has been moving his assets into civilian areas and moving civilian areas
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into military areas. he's, in effect, making it extremely difficult for americans to do something even cosmetic without killing a lot more innocent people than remotely necessary. and the president is saying all of that basically because he just wants cover from congress. this idea for a lot of my friends on the right are celebrating obama for consulting with congress and all of that. but president obama does not say that he needs congress' authorization. he says he wants their organization for something he already insists he has authority to do anyway. what he's basically looking to do is perform c.y.a. he wants to cover himself from acting unilaterally and he really came to congress as a last resort. when i say a last resort, i mean after the u.n. security council, after the british, after even the arab league. it doesn't say in the constitution that the congress has the right to declare war only after the president strikes out with the arab league.
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so i don't give him a lot of credit for the way he's done this. what he's really done is blow up american foreign policy out of a sense of essentially political cowardness. it's disgraceful. jon: we'll continue to keep an eye on this senate debate as it moves forward. thanks for your thoughts. >> great to be here. thank you. jenna: in the meantime, more backlash from russian president vladmir putin who is challenging the administration to back up its evidence of a chemical attack in sar a by the hanthe r. he also warns the u.s. against taking military action without the support of the u.n. security council which, of course, russia is not. here is more. conner? >> in that interview, vladmir putin seems to threaten the united states saying in recent months, russia has suspended the delivery of some military equipment to the asad regime but saying if the u.s. does strike against syria, vladmir putin may have to rethink the delivery of some military equipment.
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now, vladmir putin did go so far as to say there is a slight possibility he might be open for some type of international action against syria saying that russia may approve military option if there's provided evidence that damascus carried out a chemical attack but vladmir putin added the u.n. must approve a strike and so far he nor his government has seen any information that the attack was carried out. one of the big questions here in this entire region is what happens the day after a u.s. military strike in syria? well, today a syrian official said if attacked, syria would not only strike israel but also jordan and turkey. raising the question about what happens the day and what happens if iran or hezbollah or syria strikes israel? what will the u.s. do then? a lot of concern in this region about a u.s. strike. jenna: a great question for the general coming up after the
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break. we'll continue that in a moment. conner, thank you. jon: so as we've been telling you, lawmakers are weighing whether or not to give president obama a green light on an american assault on syria. a senate resolution seems to give the president an out to act on his own and he's already signalled he might. military expert is here to explain what a strike by our warships, now off the coast of syria, could look like. also emergency vehicles rushing to a texas high school before classes even began this morning. what we're learning now about what happened. breaking details coming up. [ telephone rings ]
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from capital one... boris earns unlimited rewards for his small business. can i get the smith contract, ease? thank you. that's three new paper shredders. [ boris ] put 'em on my spark card. [ garth ] boris' small business earns 2% cash back on every pchase every day. great businesses deserve unlimited rewards. read back the chicken's testimony, please. "buk, buk, bukka!" [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase every day. told you i'd get half. what's in your walle jon: headlines we're following from around the country, three students in custody after a violent fight at a texas high school left a 16-year-old boy dead. the school is on lockdown and students are being released to their parents. the massive wildfire burning in and around yosemite national park causing new concerns about san francisco's water supply.
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the city is taking precautions over fears that ash could contaminate a reservoir that supplies much of the drinking water. the fire is now 80% contained. and a young man in hawaii says he's lucky to be alive after a surf board crashed through his windshield coming within inches of his face. witnesses say the board fell from an overpass, bounced off a school bus and then slammed into his car. jenna: happening now, the president's national security team with the second day of questioning on capitol hill as the house panel hears from secretary of state john kerry, secretary of defense chuck hagel and general martin dempsey. kerry is getting ready for another round of similar questions but you never know what could come up and what lawmakers are searching for is a little more explanation about what is going to be done in syria, why military intervention is right, according to some of our leaders. in the meantime, with several
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destroyers positioned in the eastern mediterranean, u.s. military says it's ready to attack if given the order. we have a little bit of animation that shows for you where some of these ships are, these destroyers. retired four star general keen is a fox news military analyst and we have an animation that shows where our assets are being positioned but most of us probably would not know where those assets are and a lot of time they are at sea so how significant are these moves, really? >> the fact of the matter is we have navy ships all over the world in various regions and they respond to crisis and they're always loaded up. they have their missiles with them, pull up in terms of intelligence gathering, et cetera, but they're a very significant capability that the united states has. jenna: are those ships enough to send a message? >> absolutely. we could also use fix winged aircraft out of bases in turkey and cypress and damascus if we want to and i'm assuming we have a couple of submarines as well.
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jenna: nobody talks about. >> they have the same cruise missiles on board that the surface ships have. we really have a significant capability here to deliver quite a blow if we choose to do so. jenna: even with that animation, with all of these hearings, we've been talking about the specifics of what military intervention would and would not look like in syria. how much of a risk does that pose to the people that would be carrying out those strikes? >> there's virtually no risk to them whatsoever. jenna: you don't think so? they're talking about where it would come from and what they would do and the fact there's no boots on the ground. that's not putting anybody in the military at risk? >> the surface ships themselves, the only danger to them here would be anti-ship missile. you know, fired by hezbollah or something like that. they would have to come out and find them, have to get within range of them. so -- and syria is not going to take its papers and go out there and meet those ships. those ships would just fire them
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right out of the sky. jenna: what about russia, though? we hear that russia has a lot of naval assets in syria which is why syria is an important partner for them. what about involvement by russia? a report talked about concern in the middle east about what the next day would look like after we, presumably, would take the first step of bombing syria. what are your concerns about that in retaliation? >> there's no concerns about russia. listen. russia is not the military organization it used to be under the soviet union. they're a mere shadow of their former self. mostly what you get from them is humor. it will not interfere with this operation whatsoever. the larger question that you asked, and a very good one, what about retaliation? syria will not retaliate any country in the region. they're not going to retaliate in israel. jenna: what about their own people? >> certainly they're going to go after -- i would assume that they have made some plans that
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after this strike is over, they will concentrate their forces and pick a rebel location to go after. and seize it. the same thing, i know for a fact, the opposition forces are doing much the same. they intend to leverage this military strike and make some advances. jenna: it's interesting to hear you say that it's relatively low risk for our military because there's been, you know, so many different quotes people are calling upon. winston churchill talked about war and war being so unpredictable. this essentially, although no one wants to call it that, would be an act of war, of bombing another country. and aren't there some hypothetics that do concern you? >> this is a military intervention. we'll have limited scope, limited duration and it's about as low risk of a military operation that we can run when we're actually using lethal weapons. jenna: would you green light this today?
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if you were in the position to do so? >> i would have done this 10 days ago. president obama did not seek political cover when he went to libya. other presidents have not done it. these kinds of operations that are very limited and you're not -- many in the country to a campaign of war, i would never have given the asad forces this kind of opportunity to hide and protect its resources. jenna: would you have even talked about it? we've talked a lot about it. would you have gone and done it? >> i would have done it and kept it as quietly as possible and then during execution, made an announcement to the american people and explained why we're doing it, what the consequences are, what kind of risk there is for us and certainly explained to them very clearly it's of limited duration. jenna: great to see you. thank you. jon? jon: we have told you about the high price some people have had to pay under obamacare. next wait until you hear about all the people who actually profit from this new law. and incredible video of a
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tornado in action, the damage it left behind, where it all happened coming up. plus a man convicted of holding three women captive in his ohio home found dead in his cell. ariel castro only served 33 days of his lifetime sentence. how mu protein does your dog food have? 18 percent? 20? new purina one true instinct has 30. active dogs crave nutrient-dense food. so we made purina one true instinct. learmore at [ all ] who's new in the fridge! i help support bones... [ ding! ] ...the immune system... [ ding! ] ...heart health... [ ding! ] ...and muscles. [ ding! ] that can only be ensure complete! [ female announcer ] the four-in-one nutrition of ensure complete. a simple choice to help u eat right. [ major nutrition ] nutrition in charge.
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>> now your hell is just beginning. i will overcome all this that happened. but you will face hell for eternity. jenna: you watched that live for us when it happened and that was the voice of michelle knight, one of three women kidnapped, tortured and held captive by ariel castro. today he is dead, reportedly killing himself in his prison cell. mike has more from chicago.
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>> thank you. the suicide should serve as a message to other child kidnappers, you won't enjoy the captive side of the bars, he says. a statement just released read as follow, the molesters are cowards, they con and capture vulnerable children. this man couldn't take for a month a small portion of what he dished out more than a decade. castro was found hanging last night at 9:20 p.m. local time. coroner confirms this was a suicide and the cause of death was hanging. sources tell local news in ohio that cost row used a bed sheet to hang himself. he had not been on a suicide watch since june when officials at the jail determined he was not a suicide risk. his attorneys had requested a complete psychological evaluation of castro and they never got it. >> clearly we had a concern because we wanted to make sure that there was going to be an independent evaluation done prior to him going to a prison.
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>> now, they believe that castro fit the profile of a sociopath and studying him they believe could have provided information that stopped other predators in the future before they hurt someone. castro was checked on every 30 minutes as opposed to a suicide watch which would have put him under constant observation. it should be noted the cleveland mayor says the focus remains and should remain on the well-being of the survivors. jenna: well said, mike. thank you. jon: ahead all the problems with the rollout of obamacare comes word for all the losers under the health care law, there are plenty of winners. we're live in los angeles with a look at some of them. william? >> let me explain why. knowledge is money and obamacare, that's he is personally true because it's so complex. those who wrote the bill hold the keys to the federal money. providing care to 30 million more patients means for drugs, more wheelchairs and cat scans,
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more days in the hospital. >> it's no secret to anyone that a lot of the mechanics of what has happened with obamacare have been driven by some very strong lobby from the private industry. >> that's because the health care lobby favored obama 2-1 in the last election. >> one reason for the stock runnup is obamacare will now pay providers some $40 billion in previously unreimbursed care. jon: it's no secret that the lobbying street of washington lives off the pocketboo taxpayers. is obamacare any different? >> un, it's the size and scope of obamacare. to many, rules and regulations are red tape. the lawyers and lobbyists, that's where the money is. planned parenthood just got a
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million dollars just to help those in four states understand the law. some 30 former federal officials have jumped on the corporate gravy train hoping to turn their public service into profits. others like this philadelphia lawyer studied the affordable care act and now he's written a software program to help businesses manage obamacare. >> it creates new requirements for employers, for individuals and someone has to help employers and individuals and anyone who is involved to understand, you know, what they need to do to comply with the law, to make sure they're in good standing with the government. >> obamacare may not deliver as promised. it's a little controversial. like any government program, now it has the constituency that it's invested in seeing it continue. jon: and big stock runnups to go along with it. thank you. jenna: we're watching fast breaking developments in washington today as lawmakers giving the president the green
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light to strike syria. the raining democrat on the house armed services committee on where he stands on the use of military force, he's our guest and he's just ahead. connecting the dots and avoiding the intel failures of years past. how today's u.s. intelligence community is going about confirming the horrendous attack of the asad regime on its own people. we'll tell you about that next. ugh! actually progresso's soup has pretty bold flavor. i love bold flavors! i'd love it if you'd open the chute! [ male announcer ] progresso. surprisingly bold flavor for a heart healthy soup. ♪ [ male announcer ] bob's heart attack didn't come with a warning. today his doctor has him on a bayer aspirin regimen to help reduce the risk of another one. if you've had a heart attack, be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.
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jon: right now, making a hard
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sell, president obama is in europe pressing his case against syria ahead of the g20 summit in russia where he will cross paths with vladmir putin, leader of one of syria's staunchest allies who is warning the president not to exact militarily against syria without approval first from the united nations. senior white house foreign correspondent wendell goler joins us live from stocks home. wendell? >> reporter: jon, as you say the president's using part of his time on this stop in sweden which he substituted for a meeting with vladmir putin in moscow, to try to build support for military action in syria which of course mr. putin opposes. the president defended the evidence of chemical weapons used in syria which mr. putin says is as suspect as the weapons of mass destruction the u.s. insisted were in iraq in 2003. putin says only the u.n. security council can authorize
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action in syria and he blocked it there. he says sometimes the u.s. must go it alone. the swedish prime minister also said the matter should be handled by the u.n. but he understands the potential consequences of letting chemical weapons use into unanswered. meanwhile the president said it wasn't his red line that the syrians crossed but the world's. >> my credibility is not on the lane. the international community's credibility is on the line. and america and congress's credibility is on the line because we give lip service to the notion that these international norms are important. and when those videos first broke and you saw images of over 400 children subjected to gas, everybody expressed outrage. >> reporter: the president said as commander-in-chief he believes he could order the attack on syria without the approval of congress.
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but he also said he didn't put the matter before congress as a symbolic gesture. he says the u.s. will be stronger if he and congress work together on this jon? jon: wendell goler traveling with the president in stockholm. thank you, wendell. jenna: as that is happening we're also getting some new details about the intelligence presented by the administration and their case for military action against syria. remember there's a closed-door briefing that is happening right now where general dempsey as well as secretary hagel are participating in still not over apparently. the big question what are lawmakers really hearing? our chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge is live in our d.c. bureau with more. catherine what do we now know about the intelligence on the ground? >> reporter: throughout public testimony new details of intelligence have emerged as the administration tries to build the case for limited military action. secretary kerry says there is granularity of the intelligence. they have physical evidence where the rockets landed during the august 21st attack and
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none the rockets landed in regime-controlled territory. size and scale of syria's chemical weapons programs. one senator asking if the intelligence finding are consistent with the findings from the french. >> the syrians have more than 1,000 tons of chemical agents and precursor agents and chemicals. 100 tons of sarin representing the bulk of the arsenal. >> our assessment closely matches the french assessment. >> reporter: in every case the secretary of defense and join chiefs deferring possible retaliation for a strike to the classified session, jenna. jenna: we have that going on right now. when are we expecting the u.n.'s results? >> reporter: the secretary of state telling lawmakers yesterday that the u.n. results will not be ready for two to four weeks. yesterday a former u.n. inspect tore in iraq that this appears to be a delaying tactic. in his experience it is standard
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practice for u.n. inspectors to report initial findings. >> there will be an interim report presented to the u.n. security council pretty much immediately, within a day or two of the inspectors finishing their inspection. i think if there were a sense of urgency, and that would be followed up with a full report once all the results come back from the la boretory. >> reporter: he says there is virtually no hard scientific data on the effect of the gas in urban environments attack on tokyo subway in 19935 not good example. this was an attack by a religious cult and it was low-grade sarin. they took plastic bags sarin and putting them on subway cars and puncturing them with umbrellas. only data we have from limited military experiments and they were done onioning men not a broad speck tum of women, children and those with chronic
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diseases which is what we saw in damascus. jenna: interesting variables to consider. catherine, thank you. >> reporter: you're welcome. jon: as the president presses his case against syria abroad his foreign policy a-team is making its case best house. this as the senate might soon vote on a draft resolution that would set a time limit and bar the use of ground troops in syria. let's talk about it with congressman adam smith. hehe is the ranking democrat frm the house armed services committee. he got back in recent days as syrian-jordanian border. as part of your work on armed services you traveled to afghanistan. we have pictures of you there. you express ad fear that al qaeda could take root in syria if we don't do something. do i have that correct? >> well, they have taken root. obviously they're a big part of the resistance and i think we need to prepare how we can contain that part of containing that i think is supporting the free syrian movement and supporting those rebels who are against assad and not in support of al qaeda.
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right now syria is divided. assad controls some portions of it. al qaeda control some portions of it. other rebel troops control it. we should be supporting the friendly groups, if nothing else to enable them to survive in the short term and long term give us friend in case we have to deal with al qaeda in syria. jon: but one of the criticisms or potential criticisms of the president's discussion of a military strike if you weaken saudi arabia -- bashar assad you may empower al qaeda. >> this is separate conversation. supporting rebel groups sympathetic to our way of looking at the world is different than a one-time military strike because it is difficult to determine what a one-time military strike would do in the broader issues. the strike aside we have got to be concerned about the rise of al qaeda in syria. jon: your office issued a press release with your quotes on it a couple days ago after you had assessed the situation in syria and you ended it this way.
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simply lashing out with military force under the banner of, quote, doing something, will not secure our interests in syria. i think that's it in a nutshell for so many people. that just a military strike doesn't necessarily accomplish anything, does it? >> yeah. and i'm, i'm still open to the conversation. obviously i have a enormous amount of respect for the president. want to give him as much support as possible on national security matters but i think that's the question that has to be answered. it is not a matter of whether or not we're outraged by what bashar assad has done. we are. the question is whether or not we're in a position to really do big in it and does a military strike do that? what happens the day after that military strike? the president's clear, he is aware not going to remove assad pro power probably won't even significantly shift the balance of power. and then what? our credibility continues to be on the line at that point under the president's formulation. the basically, either we hold him accountable for this, or, we are turning our back on something we said was important.
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one-time military strike does not finish that job. jon: speaking about the president and credibility, jose maria aznar, the former of spain was meeting with diplomacy students in washington and he was critical of what the president has done in approaching congress. he said, leaders that do not want to take the responsibility alone and seek the authorization of other political actors appear weak on the international stage. do you think it's a mistake for the president to go to congress and authorize military force? >> well i understand why the president has done it. he wants the broadest possible support for this action. you know, we are a representative democracy. he is trying to act with the support of congress and with the support of the american people and i understand that and i think that would have been similar outrage if he hadn't come to congress. it is our system of government. you know, in a parliamentary system sort of a different situation. the parliament elects their leader.
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here we have a civil of divided power. i don't really blame the president coming to congress for this. you know, but the larger policy question, if he comes to congress for this, we have to decide whether or not we agree with the policy. it is not just a rubberstamp for the president. jon: so what is the primary question, the most important question you need answered before you would cast a vote? >> what comes after a military strike? you know, how do we think that this will effectively hold assad accountable for his actions? and keep in mind, long before he used chemical weapons he killed over 100,000 people with conventional weapons. that is no less of a crime. it's a crime, you know, under the geneva convention and variety of different other things to target civilians. assad was doing that. how does this differentiate? so the day after this strike as we go forward how does your credibility play out from there? and that's the biggest question i need answered. jon: adam smith is the democratic congressman from washington state, a member of the armed services committee, ranking member from the armed
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services committee and just back from the syria border. thank you. >> thank you. jenna: you asked him what questions remain and we're going to be hearing from lawmakers about their questions as well as we're watching this hearing on capitol hill where the president's national security team is trying to continue to convince lawmakers that an assault on syria for its use of chemical weapons makes sense now. we're going to bring you breaking developments on that as it unfolds. meantime, the fight to keep some students from citing the pledge of allegiance making it to one state supreme court. the ripple effect it could have around the entire nation. that's ahead. [ bottle ] okay, listen up!
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i'm here to get the lady of the house back on her feet. [ all gasp ] oj, veggies you're cool. mayo? corn dogs? you are so outta here! aah! 'cause i'm re-workin' the menu, keeping her healthy and you on your toes. [ female announcer ] the complete balanced nutrition of great-tasting ensure. 24 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and 9 grams of protein. i see you, cupcake! uh-oh! [ bottle ] the number one doctor recommended brand. ensure®. nutrition in charge™. jenna: while another hearing is underway in d.c. where leaders in our government are trying to convince lawmakers about the next step in syria what is the syrian government doing at this time? it turns out they're waging a major propaganda campaign through social media, through instagram. they're taking to instagram to publish carefully-staged photos.
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this one from august 1st showing assad with his soldiers. the government posting several pictures a day on average in days leading up to the chemical attack. this shows his wife going about their official duties. in that picture, she is wearing, jon, a controversial bracelet. this bracelet costs $100 and tracks your sleep and calories. here she is interacting and happily engaging with children. the regime posted this picture to instagram just two days before the nerve pass attack. but the account has been relatively quiet since then. we noticed that. they have been publishing a lot of photos. now they stepped back. publishing only official photos like this one, four with a more official tone since that time but instagram used by the assad regime to get their message out. jon: nero fiddled while rome burns and he takes pictures while gases people. the pledge of allegiance could be changed forever at public schools in one state. the high court of massachusetts takes up the case of an atheist
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couple. they're fighting to remove the phrase, "under god." molly line with more on that. what happened in occur today, molly. >> reporter: oral arguments were held today and this is something generations of schoolchildren something are infinitely familiar with the pledge of allegiance led by the teacher at beginning of the school day. it is more than tradition. in massachusetts it is the law. this case best massachusetts supreme court was brought by an athiest couple against the foxboro regional school districts. with the humanist association they're challenging use of words, under god, in the pledge. arguing this phrase and repeated pledging violates the commonwealth's equal rights amendment. here is david niosi. >> we want to be inclusive, we would just say one nation indivisible. by injecting under god into the middle of that, we are really excluding a large, important part of the demographic in this country. >> reporter: the lower court ruled against the couple in this
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case. determining that there was no violation of state law or the school's antidiscrimination policy jon? jon: the defendants are seeking to preserve the pledge? >> reporter: absolutely. early on there was another couple that joined this case, seeking to defend the pledge. they were joined by the school district. they joined the school district, rather and along with the knights of columbus. they're being represented by the beckett fund for religious liberties. they argue the pledge is voluntary and it is not inherently religious. >> this country is about diversity and about the ability of children to voluntarily participate in that diversity. silencing children simply because there's a disagreement of views is entirely un-american and unconstitutional. >> reporter: now we don't know when the opinion will actually be rendered by this court. they will be looking things over and we will keep you posted. jon? jon: please let us know what happens. molly line from boston thank
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you. jenna: she won over audiences as the star of "road today." as she battles brain cancer we'll tell how valerie harper is dancing her way back into america's living rooms. that story straight ahead. they n and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief! ... ... ...
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jon: some new information right now out of the entertainment world. beloved american actress valerie harper recently announced she is battling brain cancer. she is a fighter. she will be a competitor on the upcoming season of the "dancing with the stars." other contestants include bill nye the science guy, and former saved by the bell actress, elizabeth berkeley. jenna: the word paradise and male doesn't come up very often, mail but as in mail carriers. jon: please, please, define that. jenna: he raised his eyebrows.
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you never will believe this, there is a mailman's paradise. a community in florida made up retired postal letter carriers and sort of there. steve harrigan is live in a national letter carriers. how did you get in, steve? your background is not in postal work? >> reporter: that's true. they let me in. they have been friendly to us as well. 752 people, all of them former letter carriers. they don't like it when the fedex drives up. they don't like email and no one in town is allowed to own a dog. >> llv, long live vehicle. that is what we use most of routes. >> reporter: 752 residents of now crest florida are former letter carriers for the u.s. postal service. >> it is unique because no one is better than another person and there's no competing with the joins. >> reporter: at the town's post office, old-timers tell how they used horses on their routes. >> a couple of times a horse
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stopped at a saloon. i knew i didn't have nothing in there but the guy says, i used to go in there and get a little, pick me up, you know? >> reporter: on the softball field, at the pool, the topic is often the same. >> when the men get together, what happens? >> well a lot of times they talk post office. >> reporter: yet despite the lack of sleet or snow in central florida, that talk is often grim. there's a sense here that the golden age of first class mail is gone. >> it is kind of sad. we've still got the christmas cards. that they can't change. bills eventually they will change that. a lot of them are online too. you never get anything in the mail. >> reporter: rent for the cottages built 50 years ago starts at $395 a month. jenna? jenna: looks like a pretty nice place to be. steve, thank you. jon: we're keeping an eye on the fast-breaking developments in washington. the householding its first hearings as lawmakers consider
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giving the president the green light to strike syria. we'll continue to monitor. we are live from the pentagon. we'll have reaction. too soft. too tasty. [ both laugh ] [ male announcer ] introducing progresso's new creamy alfredo soup. inspired by perfection.
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get your first prescription free and save on refills at >> making it a great wednesday. thanks for joining us. america live starts right now. >> thanks, guys, we start with a fox news alert from capitol hill where president obama's top advisors on syria are appearing before the foreign relations committee. they are planning to meet to hold a vote on whether to authorize a military strike on syria welcome to america live. i am martha mccowan in for megyn kelliy. the question is, will the obama administration get the votes they are seeking? we are getting amateur video out of syria. this video reportedly from the outskirts of damascus. heavy gun fighting


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