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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  August 6, 2013 11:00am-12:01pm PDT

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couple hours ago, witnesses and victims inside that courtroom heard from hasan himself, who is acting as his own attorney. during his two-minute statement, hasan said, quote, the evidence will clearly show that i am the shooter. he also told jurors, witnesses will testify that war is an ugly thing. death, destruction, and devastation are felt from both sides, from friend and foe. evidence from this trial will only show one side. i was on the wrong side, but i switched sides. adding to an already charged situation is the fact that since he is his own attorney, hasan will get to cross-examine witnesses, many of whom are the very people he's accused of gunning down. and hasan's defense is coming with a hefty price tag for taxpayers. he has to be flown by helicopter for the 20-mile journey between the bell county jail and ft. hood. he has to be taken nearly every day to a special facility to work on his case. also, since his arrest, he's been paid nearly $300,000 in
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salary under military rule. the army cannot suspend his pay until he's convicted. as prosecutors laid out their argument, they said hasan planned to, quote, kill as many soldiers as possible. the shooting left 13 people dead, 32 injured. he claims he tried to stop what he felt was a u.s. war on the muslim religion. nbc's mark potter has been following this case. mark, there's such outrage that hasan is serving as his own attorney and may cross-examine some of the people he's accused of trying to kill. >> reporter: that's right. one of the victims we talked to actually said he was anxious about that and in some ways looking forward to that. this is his chance, actually, to stare down hasan and tell him face to face what happened. so far -- and what he feels about what happened to him nearly four years ago when this
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particular victim was shot seven times. i was in the courtroom this morning. it was an interesting scene. it was very quiet in there. hasan himself is sitting there in his wheelchair. he's wearing an acu, an army combat uniform, a camouflage top. he's got a full beard. his haircut very short on the sides, bald on top. he's very quiet. no histrionics. no drama at all. when he gave the statement that you were talking about which lasted just a couple minutes, you almost had to strain to hear him as he sat in his chair talking to the panel of military jurors. he did say the blockbuster, of course, was that he said it's very clear that the evidence will show that i am the shooter. in the rest of the trial when the prosecutor was giving his opening statement, he sat there very quietly, not shaking his head, not disagreeing with anything. in fact, much of the time his head was lowered.
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he would look up occasionally. when he was asked by the court if he objected to something the prosecution was doing, he usually said no objection and moved on. so it's been a very quiet day in the court with lots bubbling outside the courtroom. >> and for people, mark, who have not been following every single detail because this has gone on nearly four years, why did it take so long for us to get to this point? >> reporter: well, there were so many delays and so many issues involving he himself, his religion, his faith, his health, his interest in representing himself. all of those issues just kept spiraling. also, this is a death penalty case. the prosecution has made it very clear that they're going for the death penalty, and in the military, that's not something they do very often. so they are dotting every "i," crossing every "t" because they know full well if they get that conviction and he's sentenced to die, there will be years of
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appeals to follow. they want to make sure they get it right. so they're taking their time. as for that helicopter, that's a u.s. military idea to bring him by helicopter to protect not only him but also the soldiers who are required to protect him as part of the detail. so that's almost common format. that's not really that unusual, although it is upsetting a lot of people. >> okay, mark. thank you very much. joining me now, nbc military analyst colonel. and investigative reporter scott friedman. i'll start off with you. you covered this story extensively. your reports should be seen by as many people as possible. you spoke with the father of one of the shooting victims, howard berry, whose son was staff sergeant josh berry. i want to play what he said regarding his son's pain and what his son is going through with this trial. let's play it. >> he was tormented.
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yeah k that's a good word. he was very tormented. he was just tortured. no matter where he went, there wasn't -- he couldn't find a safe place because the army was his safe place. he felt there were considerations being given to the shooter that weren't being given to the victims, and he couldn't understand. he said, you know, when a soldier gets injured on a battlefield, you take care of them. he just felt like it just wasn't the case. >> so josh, a lot of these victims feel they've been abandoned. they have a litany, if you will, of complaints, valid complaints from purple hearts to the fact this is still considered a workplace issue of violence and not a terrorist attack. what else are they saying to you? >> well, they're frustrated, tamron, with the entire process. they feel like this has taken entirely too long to bring the case to trial. they feel there have been to many accommodations made, too
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many delays. there was a delay well reported where hasan was allowed to grow a beard in violation of military rules. there was debate over that, that took additional time. as you just heard howard berry say, the father of one of the victims, they feel like the shooter has been given more accommodations and considerations than the victims have in some cases. they point to the fact, as you mentioned, that the victims had been denied purple heart medals and combat pay, things awarded to other soldiers hurt overseas. they've been denied to these victims because the pentagon does not consider this to have been an act of terrorism. meanwhile, they've watched as they see him, as you mentioned, being transported on a daily basis to and from the jail to a special facility where he can prepare his trial defense. there's expense involved in that. it's costing local taxpayers money, according to the local sheriff there, as they've
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continued to try to secure those transports. >> and colonel, you heard scott say the hardship that a lot of these people are experiencing and their families, what is your feeling here? we know that a number of colonels will oversee this case. the panel will consist of nine colonels, three lieutenant colonels, one major. hasan cannot plead guilty. this is a part of the unified code. military justice does not allow for it. this is all procedural, but it doesn't go down well when you hear him in his opening statements admit to the crime. >> no, but it is procedure, and they have to go through it. it's in the military code of uniform justice. when i was a lieutenant, i was a trial counsel and a defense counsel, which they don't do anymore for special courts. and i sat on panels too. you have to go through the procedure because otherwise you are going to have the ability to challenge any result. we don't want that to happen. i think the thing that should concern people the most about this is the fact that the incident happened in the first
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place. don't forget that major hasan was identified by his supervisor as being a risk and yet they continued to let him carry on and shipped him to ft. hood, where this happened. that's what we should be most concerned about. >> but we're not hearing a lot of that conversation. even over the four years it's taken to get to that point. in this series of reports from scott that we've played here on our show. >> i think the people who supervised major hasan before he got to ft. hood, who knew that he had a problem, who identified him as somebody they wouldn't even send patients to, they have a lot to answer for. >> let me bring in kendall coffey. another part of the outrage is major hasan representing himself. i want to play what one of the shooting victims said about being questioned by hasan. >> i will not show fear in the face of the enemy because the man that shot me, major hasan,
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is going to be the man that's cross-examining me. that's a huge kpachallenge. >> it's a huge challenge, but talk to me about this component. we've seen this in civilian trials as well. >> yes, we know there's a constitutional right to defend yourself. it's very troubling at times for the courts and certainly for victims. how distressing it must be that this man they believe to be a killer is going to be on this stage, able to play the role of the lawyer, even question them. but it's a part of our system that is inevitable. the one thing they want to make sure with this trial is there's no constitutional violation, no legal mistakes. i think these victims it are going to be red dady for this g. >> a lot has been said about major hasan's mental state. how does that factor into his representation? even though you have this right, certainly, and this hearing is under the guidelines of the military. but this man's mental capacity, his state of mind certainly comes into question and what
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he's capable of doing or saying while cross-examining people who are also suffering from traumatic stress after this and many other things we may never know after that horrifying incident that played out on ft. hood. >> well, the court needs to, as i'm sure it has, determine the competency of him to go forward as his own lawyer. certainly if he were mentally impaired to the point he couldn't do it, that would create significant due process issues. and there are going to be some testy, painful, and angry moments, but i think the court is ready for it. i think the victims will be able to deal with it. >> scott, i want to the play another one of the victims who spoke with you. he says that he's upset about the fact -- or at least again this issue of not being treated fairly, in his mind, or treated even better than major hasan, the man accused of this crime. let me play what he said. >> the day that came out was the day the government looked at every single one of the victims
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of the ft. hood shooting and spit in our faces. >> and this man said he's not even able to make ends meet. there are days where he and his wife don't have food on the table because he's not bringing in a check there. >> right. that's logan burnett, who was shot three times during the attack. what he was talking about there was the government's decision to not label this as an act of terrorism, and that has resulted in the victims being denied purple heart medals, combat pay, benefits they feel their families deserve, given what they've been through. and his frustration also comes from the fact that hasan remains on the government payroll today. we obtained records from it the army for the first time showing that he's been paid nearly $300,000 since his arrest. the army does not have any provision right now under current rules to take pay away from a soldier who's been accused of a serious crime, even though they can suspend the pay, the pentagon can suspend the pay of a defense department employee, a civilian employee
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who's been accused of the same crime. there are three congressmen now who have taken up that issue. they've introduced a bill that would strip hasan of his pay, and it would prevent future soldiers accused of similar acts from remaining on the taxpayer-funded payroll. >> colonel, your reaction to that? >> well, the current rules don't provide for a suspension of pay until after a conviction, and a decision will have to be made to apply something like this across the board. the answer will be knno. it's going to have to be a special bill, otherwise you would have circumstances in which soldiers, even for minor infractions, will have to forfeit their pay before it's adjudged. i think the army can get a great deal of the money back in any case. after he's convicted, they will fine him and get the majority of it. >> but the fact this is still considered workplace violence despite statements from hasan himself. >> well, this is -- the government has decided to do that, i believe, so it doesn't
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confuse the issue and then the government then be required to remove him from the military system, send him down to guantanamo or some other place. once of the reasons they're doing this is to keep this within the jurisdiction of the united states army so that the government, the united states army has total control over the process. labeling it as terrorism, for example, might extract hasan from the army system. that would make it probably much more difficult to convict him. >> colonel, thank you so much. scott, thank you for your reporting on this. kendall, thank you for joining us as well. moving on, president obama george w. bush is recovering in a dallas hospital after a health scare. the former president had a stint surgically placed this morning to clear a blocked artery in his heart. the blockage was discovered yesterday during the 67-year-old's annual physical. a statement released by his office says, president bush is in high spirit, eager to return home tomorrow and resume his normal schedule on thursday. joining me now, nbc news chief medical editor dr. nancy
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snyderman. nancy, this sounds like good news from the president's office. you know, when we see him as a physical guy, always out, always jogging, you know, 67-year-old, but by all appearances over the years in great health, how does something like this happen? >> well, it happens, tamron, because we always pay the piper for how we've lived our lives formerly. something was found on his routine physical, whether it was an ekg change or whether he had some pain or discomfort in his jaw or his chest. something made the doctors realize he had a blockage of one of his arteries and they wanted to put a stint in. look, we all pay the price for what we've done in our previous years. cigarette smoking, eating too much saturated fat, our love of cheeseburgers, you name it. while we realize the president is in really great shape and runs a lot, what you see on the outside isn't necessarily what doctors see on the inside. so they took this pre-emptive step to protect his heart. >> he's going to be released as early as tomorrow, resume his normal schedule on thursday. is that incredibly fast?
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>> no, it's incredibly normal. in fact, when patients come in, they get these stints put in by a catheter inserted through either a blood vessel in the groin or arm. that plumps open the blood vessel that has the narrowing. patients are usually sedated, but they're awake. they're monitoring overnight to make sure there's no problem with blood clotting at the spot or any other cardiac problems. assuming he's doing well and most patients do, over 600,000 people are treated this way every year, he'll be discharged and told to go out and lead a normal life. that means running again. >> is there a warning for all of us in this or something for us to look out for? >> there's a warning in all of this that we need to take better care of our kids, our teenagers, because the damage 8, 9, and 10-year-olds do to their hearts causes problems down the line. we also know people who do have heart disease, going to a really low-fat, non-fat diet can
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reverse heart disease. it's been proven. so there are a gazillion messages in this for everyone. >> all right, nancy. thank you very much. well, u.s. personnel rush out of yemen after officials say they intercepted communication between top al qaeda leaders. we'll have more on the chatter that led to this heightened alert. new details out. plus -- >> i got a fight. i need help in a hurry. >> this story is unbelievable. no charges for the florida school bus driver who failed to intervene when a 13-year-old was viciously beaten by other students while he watched. the driver explains his actions. it is our "news nation" gut check. and join our conversation on twitter. you can find us @tamronhall. my team is @newsnation. [ male announcer ] this is kevin. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills.
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welcome back. officials tell nbc news that almost 100 nonessential personnel at the u.s. embassy in yemen have now been evacuated, flown to germany. the state department is also warning all u.s. citizens to evacuate yemen immediately due to what it calls a, quote, extremely high threat level. the actions came hours after a u.s. drone strike in eastern yemen killed four suspected al qaeda militants. meanti meantime, 19 u.s. diplomatic posts in muslim countries remain closed today. we are now getting a better idea of what triggered all of this. intercepted communications between two al qaeda leaders. joining me live now, nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. he's in washington. and nbc's ayman mohyeldin in cairo. pete, let's start with you on
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this latest information on some of the pieces of the puzzle. how did this come about? >> right. the intercept is not -- it's still not clear to us exactly what the communication was, whether it was from the successor to osama bin laden in pakistan directly to the top al qaeda official in yemen or whether it was more of a roundabout relayed communication. in any event, regardless of how it was constructed, it's the wording that so alarmed officials in which the leader of al qaeda in pakistan has basically given the order or approval of what the two are believed to be saying is a significant event, a big terror attack that would have significant strategic consequences, as the way they described it. and that is what has led to all the changes that we've seen in the past several days. >> let me play, pooeete, what
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congressman peter king said on "morning joe" this morning. >> this one was so precise as to the nature of the attack. there were some dates given in there. the sources were so credible that there's no doubt -- >> all the threats overseas, right? no domestic threats? >> no, i would not say that. it does not say where the threat is going to be. it could be anywhere in the world. >> anywhere in the world, pete. we know that. back to this intercepted communication, how was this information made public or available to the media? how do we get such detail down to who the two parties communicating were? >> well, of course, the fact of the threat was announced by the state department last week. they felt they had to tell the american people, the public, at the same time they were warning employees of the state department embassies. the details of who was communicating with whom were initially reported by newspapers in california. other news organizations were on
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to it and agreed not to report this specific information. the government, the administration then dropped its objection once the word was out. they began to confirm it. >> let me bring in ayman mohyeldin, who's in cairo. i have a new statement in from the yemeni official saying that they hope the closing of embassies will be temporary and short. they believe their government has already taken important steps to tackle al qaeda threats, but it appears at least in the last couple of hours some within the government in yemen not happy with these embassy closings, particularly these nonessential personnel being evacuated. >> reporter: that's right. i guess they're seeing this as a little bit of an overkill by the u.s. government for two reasons. one, on one hand it seems that it's a bit of a draconian measure by the u.s. to evacuate some of its personnel or remove some of its personnel, to be more precise.
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i think that's a sleight in the face of the yemenese government. this has a lot of ramifications about the overall security posture of the country. that certainly, from a yemeni government standpoint s going to show that perhaps the security there is being undermined by the u.s. they're making the argument this is the type of paranoia that al qaeda wants. it is disrupting the day-to-day life of relations between the u.s. government and the yemeni government. their argument is this type of severe measure by the u.s. to remove its personnel and the beefed up security and the embassy closures actually plays into the hands of what al qaeda wants, which is to keep everybody on edge, keep everybody in this state of paranoia and fear. that's why they're being very critical that it does not need this much extreme measure by the u.s. to shut down all these embassies, given the fact that
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not only the yemeni government but governments across the region have stepped up security at many western diplomatic compounds. >> all right, ayman. quickly, pete, has there been any reaction to this? this statement from within the yemeni government came out a couple hours ago, around noon eastern time, that there was some unhappiness with the state department evacuating these nonessential employees. >> cup kl of points. first of all, it's not just the u.s. the u.k. as it taken similar steps. it was a little more dramatic having the defense department take out a large number. secondly, state says it's not shutting down the embassy. a few people will remain there, although clearly embassy is going to be closed. i guess there will be a few people there to keep it going in name only. but finally, my guess is here, and they haven't been explicit about this, is the new steps that were taken today are a combination of further analysis of the known threat, plus the fact that the u.s. just carried out another drone attack. the u.s. may well feel that would further enflame the
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situation or perhaps could cause the others sympathetic to the al qaeda cause in yemen to take measures of their own. so you put all those things together, and i think that's the reason. >> all right. and lastly, ayman, let me bring you back in. we know senator john mccain and senator lindsey graham are in cairo. let me play what they said at a news conference today. >> one main message, democracy is the only viable path to lasting stability, national reconciliation, and sustainable economic growth and a return of investment and tourism in egypt. that means more than elections. it means democratic governance, an inclusive political process in which all egyptians are free and able to participate so long as they do so nonviolently. we have urged the interim government and armed forces to protect the rights and freedoms of all egyptians and their right to protest peacefully. >> ayman, how is this visit
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being received? >> reporter: well, certainly supporters of the ousted president mohamed morsi welcomed some of the comments that came out of senator john mccain and lindsey graham because they used very strong language. they insisted what took place here in egypt was a coup, and more importantly they called on the release of president mohamed morsi and other members of the muslim brotherhood in custody. certainly they were also given some very tough questions from a lot of the state media that actually believes what happened here was a populous revolution. so it really depends on who you ask in the egyptian divide about the role the u.s. through the state department and now with john mccain and lindsey graham and the communication they're sending. >> all right, ayman. thank you. thank you, pete, for sticking around. deliberations now underway
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in the trial of the infamous mobster whitey bulger. plus, awkward. >> get someone to handle your [ bleep ]. you are disgusting. disgusting! >> another tense moment for anthony weiner on the campaign trail. it is just one of the things we thought you should know. what he said to this lady in return. goodness. is like hammering.
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plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. with 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day women's 50+. welcome back. jury deliberations now underway at the murder and racketeering trial of reputed former boston mob boss james whitey bulger. it follows 35 days of testimony by 72 witnesses and six hours of closing arguments yesterday. bulger faces life in prison if he's found guilty of those 19 counts of murder and a dozen other charges. joining me live now, "boston globe" deputy city editor mike
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bellow, who's been covering this case. good to have you on. i'm curious, what are the experts there saying regarding the jury, the deliberations, and what they think the jury will determine here? >> well, they have an arduous task. there are 32 counts mr. bulger is facing. the judge gave an hour and a half charge to the jury. i don't think it's going to come back immediately. i think there will be -- many experts think there will be a day or two or three of deliberations. you have to go through all these charges. it's a sweeping racketeering indictment. it covers all kinds of charge, including charges that bulger participated in 19 murders, ran a vast criminal enterprise involving loan sharking, bookmaking, and drug dealing. >> a jury consisting of eight men, four women. you've covered whitey bulger for years. does this saga, this trial and the spectacle, continue to add to it the legend of whitey bulger, which we may see in a
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new movie soon as i understand it. >> there's a lot of tension here. i mean, the victims in the courtroom, 5 of the 19 victims' families in the courtroom. they've been watching this trial. all kinds of spectators. it's been one of the hottest tickets in the city to watch this trial at federal court in boston. so everyone's really waiting for what's going to happen, but these 32 counts, a long list of charges they'll have to go through line by line. it's very details, including a map of the winter hill gang and all kinds of figures with whitey bulger at the top and a host of criminals who testified against whitey at the trial. the big question is, does the jury believe these people who testified? his fellow cohorts, are they believable or do they believe whitey bulger, that he's a victim of government corruption? >> wow, that is the question. we'll see what the jury determines. again, eight men, four women right now deliberating. they started around 10:47 eastern time this morning. mike, thank you for your time. greatly appreciate it. >> thanks a lot. in less than two hours,
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president obama is expected to give remarks in arizona on the housing market. but more than one year this comes after governor jan brewer infamously wagged her finger in front of the president's face. will she focus on any other priorities or topics when she greets him today? plus, new information on the pennsylvania man charged with killing three people at a town hall meeting. what the suspect told the judge today regarding a possible motive. ♪ [ male announcer ] you wait all year for summer. ♪ this summer was definitely worth the wait. ♪ summer's best event from cadillac. let summer try and pass you by. lease this all-new cadillac ats for around $299 per month or purchase for 0% apr for 60 months. come in now for the best offers of the model year.
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jan brewer, who infamously wagged her finger in front of the president the last time the two met on the tarmac back in february of last year. now, in his speech, the president is expected to spotlight the progress the u.s. housing market has made since he took office and to lay out his second-term agenda, policy agenda, to increase homeownership. the president will deliver the remarks just miles from the high school where four years ago he unveiled a mortgage modification program to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. the speech comes at a time when homeownership is at a 17 1/2-year low as many americans continue to rent, one of the continuing effects of the recession. joining me now lynn sweet and sherry olofson. she's a real estate attorney and author of the book "foreclosure nation." thank you for joining us. >> good afternoon. >> thank you. let's talk about the politics. as i mentioned, a little bit of the heat today, jan brewer will greet the president on the
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tarmac, not likely to repeat her finger wag, but you never know with jan brewer. this is a live picture of air force one arriving now as we look on. we'll keep this picture up for us. so what do you think will happen here, lynn? >> well, i think you can never best that picture. it's so iconic by now. i would be surprised if she does the same thing. you maybe only do that once. to do it a second time, it just would look phoney, wouldn't it? so i don't expect that. if she has something to say to obama, i think she knows by now after wagging your finger once, if you have something to say, say it privately. >> we know at that time, it was in the heat of the campaign. the president went on to victory and to win a second term. we also know he's going back into arizona and he plans to point out that two years ago home prices were down 60% and the banks were foreclosing some 70,000 homes a year. now home prices are up 20% from a year ago. that's still down, but seeing
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some progress in the housing market. we know that arizona, like so many parts of the southwest, were hit very hard after 2008. >> well, yes, and actually, what he's going to do in his speech today is make a bipartisan appeal for something that actually may have a chance because it is not ideologically based. it depends how it's structured. that is to make it easier for homeowners to refinance. one of the legacies of the meltdown is banks did a terrible job in making mortgages. now they have become too cautious. even qualified people have trouble getting loans who have to be super, duper qualified. that's what obama is going to address. new mortgages and making it easier to refi. that may have a chance to move on. >> and to lynn's point, i can't tell you how many people i've met who want to the get a new home and talk about the obstacles being presented by the banks.
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the president will tout some of the successes in the market, but republicans are still saying that the housing market is recovering because, in their words, it bottomed out. what is the real picture, not the partisan back and forth of what's happening with our housing market? >> well, and it's interesting. that's an interesting again. it's interesting he's choosing phoenix, because the modification was announced there and under the making home affordable plan. it also has a sister, the harp refinance. that's what the administration is also looking to tweak a little bit. for example, freddie mac last month came out with what they're calling a streamline modification. it's really only for people who are severely, severely in default. so more than three months in default and really about to lose the home. it's a last resort. and i think that's what really the president is focusing on with this refinance plan as well. we've got almost 10 million people still under water. those are the folks really having a hard time. of course, they've tweaked harp a couple times. it came out originally and was only for folks who were 5% under
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water. that didn't work. now we're looking at people who are seriously under water. in phoenix, we still are 20% below -- sorry, 40% below where the prices were at the peak. so there's a lot of folks under water there. >> when you look at the prices, over 40% below what they were at the peak in 2006, some would say that was because these numbers were overinflated, never realistic with you objectively look at the housing market. we're watching air force one, the president to be greeted by arizona governor jan brewer. but the answer to that question is what? >> of course. i mean, you look at real estate indicators and the problem was that housing was just not -- was way exceeding what wages were. the affordability indexes weren't working. we're back to a more normal level still, but not recovered to where we would have been had there been no housing bubble at all. that's where the president is coming from with this housing plan and the emphasis on the middle america and middle-income
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homeowners. that housing plan has something for everyone. it's got something for renters and something for new buyers and refinancing and even a plug for his new nominee for the federal housing finance authority. >> lynn, back to the politics, this is a continuation of the president saying he is focused on the middle class, a series of speeches. we see the president there. a series of speeches challenging the republican party to come up with its own ideas as we watch the president exit air force one. >> absolutely. i see he's with hud secretary sean donovan behind him. yes, part of the politics of the few weeks of speeches, tamron, is to try to put some pressure on house republicans to cooperate more. very tough environment that he's playing in. you know, the other thing on housing where there might be common ground is trying to take apart fannie mae and freddie mac and try to simplify the mortgage process so people understand more about what they're getting into. you know, we may be past an era
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of those so-called liars loans which helped drive up prices. but in this one area, there just may be more area for common ground. >> all right. thank you very much, lynn. thank you, sherry. you're watching the president arriving in phoenix, arizona. then traveling on to burbank, california, to be live on "the jay leno show." it may be the first time we hear from the president on camera regarding this latest terror threat and a litany of other issues likely to be addressed on leno's show. not just an entertainment show. certainly more serious topics addressed there later this evening when he talks with jay leno. we'll keep you posted on that. meanwhile, still ahead, a heartbreaking end to a story that touched so many. the 2-year-old known as the world's youngest best man has passed away after serving in his parents' wedding just last week. how the toddler's parents are remembering him today. the world's most advanced
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authorities have charged the suspected gunman of a deadly shooting in a pennsylvania town meeting. that tops our stories around the "news nation" today. officials. say 15 to 18 people were at the meeting with the 58-year-old entered that building, opened fire, and killed three people. today he was arraigned on charges of homicide and attempted homicide. police say he had been in an 18-year dispute with the town over his junk yard property being condemned. when the judge asked newell whether he owned any real estate, he responded, quote, they stole it from me, that's what started all this. and the terminally ill pennsylvania toddler who served as the best man at his parents' wedding last week has passed away. according to his mom's facebook page, 2-year-old logan stephenson died in her arms at
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8:18 last night at their home in pittsburgh. he suffered from a rare genetic disorder. a statement from the family says he was surrounded by family and loved ones. his mom wrote, he's with angels and he's in no more pain. no more sickness, no more hospitals. god bless you. logan, i'll see you in my dreams, my son. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] if she keeps serving up sneezes... [ sneezing ] she may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec®. powerful allergy relief for adults and kids six years and older. zyrtec®. love the air. we're so choosy about the cuts of beef that meet our higher kosher standards that only a slow-motion bite can capture all that kosher delight. and when your hot dog's kosher, that's a hot dog you can trust. hebrew national. that's a hot dog you can trust. "stubborn love" by the lumineers did you i did. email? so what did you think of the house? did you see the school ratings? oh, you're right. hey babe, i got to go. bye daddy! have a good day at school, ok?
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there's a lot going on today. here are some things we thought you should know. not getting any easier for new york mayoral candidate anthony weiner. at a campaign stop in brooklyn yesterday, he was heckled by a pretty angry woman regarding that sexting scandal. >> [ bleep ] you! go back to your little hamptons house. >> you're very passionate. >> i'm passionate? more passionate than you on twitter. i'm a social media expert. get someone to handle your
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[ bleep ]. [ bleep ] you! >> whoa, you got little kids. >> i don't know what's better, the dog in the bag hiding from the mess there. facebook founder mark zuckerberg is speaking publicly for the first time about immigration. he said he was touched and inspired by a young immigrant he met who is afraid he won't be able to go to college because he was brought here illegally. time now for the "news nation" gut check. a florida school bus driver is facing tough questions over whether he could have done more to stop a brutal fight on his bus. the fight caught on tape last month shows three students viciously beating a sixth grader, leaving him with two black eyes and a fractured hand. the student can be heard screaming for help, but the driver did not intervene and instead radioed for help.
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>> help! >> we got to get somebody here quick, quick, quick. they're about to beat this boy to death. please get somebody over here quick. there's nothing i can do. somebody ought to hurry. >> according to policy in that district, the driver's first duty is to call dispatch and only step in if they think it's safe. they're not required to intervene. joining me now, sirius xm radio host michael smerconish. you are qualified, i think, to talk about this. michael, what do you think? >> as a father, i say he should have intervened and ought to be charged. as a lawyer, i feel differently. his obligation is to intervene if he feels safe in doing so. he's 64 years old, and i think he'd probably have taken a whooping. what's amazing to me, tamron, is to go online and read the stories and then the comments that are appended to them because there's this incredible case of beer muscles. everybody is just hammering the
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bejesus out of this guy saying i'd have done this, i'd have done that. i don't think you know what you would have done unless you were in that situation. if you impose a duty on him, then what kind of a duty is it? is it on men? is it on women? is it on young folks? is it on old folks? i think it's a very difficult standard to set. >> yeah, those are all great points, michael. let me play what the driver john moody said on cnn last night defending his actions. he, by the way, has since retired. >> it's been policy that bus drivers do not jump in the middle of a fight. me jumping in the middle of that fight with three boys, it would have been more dangerous for the other students on the bus as well as for myself. there's no telling what might have happened. i took it really personal. i had many sleepless nights. i had nightmares, couldn't sleep. >> michael, gulf port police chief robert vincent met with prosecutors. they looked at evidence to
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pursue possible child neglect, however prosecutors said there was no grounds to bring any charges there. right call? >> yeah, there's no legal standard that would require him to get involved. if he had gotten involved and if he had hurt somebody, there probably would have been a florida good samaritan law defense for him. i think this is the right outcome, as unpleasant as it is. he also told an interviewer he was absolutely petrified. i don't blame him. >> i don't either when you see the viciousness of that attack and you hear him say they're beating the kid to death. it's such a conflict. you never know what you would do in a situation like that. all right, michael. thank you very much. not an easy answer there. >> thank you, dear. >> what does your gut tell you? do you think the bus driver should face charges for not physically intervening in that fight? i know it's a tough one. but go to to cast the vote. that does it for this edition of "news nation." i'm tamron hall. "the cycle" is up next.
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i'm krystal ball. right now on "the cycle," betting the house. president obama travels west and promises a north star for struggling homeowners. a landmark piece of civil rights legislation turns 48 today, but its future requires more than a birthday wish. i'm abby huntsman. facebook ceo mark zuckerberg finds a status he doesn't like, and he's using his global reach to friend more people. the fate of reputed mobster whitey bulger is now in the hands of the jury. plus, more on the embassy closings and a-rod. if it's happening today, it's in "the cycle." president obama just touched down