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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  September 19, 2010 11:00am-11:30am EDT

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mom: you're home. piggy: oh,cool, thanks mrs. a. anncr: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more. igor roars, bermuda braces. the hurricane bears down on the island nation. back home, a bittersweet return for the american released from iran. and fearing the worst. the search for a missing group of suspected cult members including eight children. why are authorities worried about what they may eventually find? good morning, everyone, i'm alex witt. it's 11:00 a.m. on the east
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coast, 8:00 a.m. on the west. we have an exclusive interview on "meet the press." retired general and secretary of state colin powell says he hasn't yet decided to endorse president obama in the 2012 election. >> just as i did in 2008, when 2012 comes along, i will look at the needs of the country, the situation as i see it, and i will evaluate both candidates and see which one i think is best able to lead the country. >> nbc's mike bacquero at the white house. good morning. colin powell did back the president in '08. what is his view now? >> reporter: he did so on "meet the press." he called barack obama, then of course the senator, a transformational figure. he's not really backing away, he's saying let's wait and see, i did it in election year, i made the endorsement which incidentally angered people within his republican party. i'm going to wait and see. let's at least guest past these midterms. and when that election year does come up, we'll look at both nominees and make his decision. but it was interesting, alex, because he had a lot of advice
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that he wanted to offer president obama. no one needs to be reminded of his standing in the polls. the situation that democrats are facing on capitol hill. and while colin powell endorsed a lot of the initiatives that the president has undertaken like health care reform, although he does think there needs to be tweaks to that, he advice on other ways the president could regain his popularity. >> i think he has lost some of the ability to connect that he during the campaign. and it is not just me picking on the president. it's reflect eed in the polling. some of the anxiety and anger that you see comes from a belief on the part of the american people whether it's correct or incorrect, and the white house would say it's incorrect, that enough enough attention, his singular focus should be on employment. wall street got fixed. they're getting their bonuses back. we fixed the auto industry, it's starting to function. but people are still seeing a 9.6% unemployment rate. they're losing their homes. homes are underwater.
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mortgages can't be paid. short sales, they are anxious. and they are expecting more out of the president. so i think he has to do more with respect to reducing the deficit and also being careful about putting more and more programs, more and more rocks into that knapsack because the american people are looking for singular focus on the economy and unemployment. >> reporter: alex, let's do a dramatic shifting of gears here, shall we? you remember the old movie "oliver," based on the charles dicken novel and the song "who will buy this beautiful morning?" it's just such a morning here in washington. the first family took the occasion to walk, very unusual, together outside the north portico behind me here across the street to st. john's, the church of the presidents, to attend service. over the summer there was controversy about the president's attendance or, dare we say it, lackthereof. the white house giving us he gets a daily devotional on his
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blackberry, he guess to camp david and speaks privately with spiritual advisers all the time. the first family on a beautiful day walking across the street, ace cameraman gary bell there captured them coming off the north portico, and then after the services, they walked back across the street. i thought we'd throw that in, alex. >> that was nice. and you know, i'll tell you, you can't beat the commute there, especially when you have a lovely day and pennsylvania shut down. thank you very much. good to see you, mike. >> reporter: okay, alex. >> you can watch david gregory's interviews with former secretary of state colin powell and former president bill clinton when "meet the press" reairs at 2:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc sunday. developing now, the american woman held in iran for more than 13 months and accused of spying is back in the united states this morning. a spokesperson for sarah shourd says the 32-year-old arrived this morning at dulles national airport near washington, d.c. shour shourd's two companions and fiance are still being held.
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we have more live outside the hotel where shourd is expected to speak live today. ron, another good morning to you. to we have details on her arrival back to the u.s. and when she'll be there in new york where you are? >> reporter: the press conference is planned for 3:00, and we believe that's still go to happen. as for her return to the states, she flew from oman in the middle east to dulles national airport in washington and is presumably making her way here to new york now. why new york? well, one reason may be because there are quite a few world leaders, tos of them, who are arriving here, as well, for the united nations general assembly's annual meetings. and shourd is concerned about the fate of her companions still back in jail in iran. and she want to talk to the world media about this. it's a time when world leaders are here in new york, the world press is here, and she wants to keep this issue on the agenda. alex? >> okay. and she's got, what, about four hours or so until she speaks with the press. do we expect anyone else in addition to shourd being there,
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other family members, perhaps josh and shane? >> reporter: yes, she's coming with her mother who has been accompanying her. and the mothers of shane bower and josh fatale will speak. we're told that sarah is only going to make a statement. she's not going to take questions. but the mothers of the other two will take questions. i think that's because she's -- that's what happens. i think she want to be very, very careful about what she says. there are obviously a lot of questions about what happened, where they were hiking, why they were there. and with the two other still in jail, i'm sure she want to be careful about anything she says that might jeopardize the chances of them being released. >> i think we all understand the reasonings behind that. okay. ron allen, thank you very much. keep it here, we are going to siercarry sarah shourd's new conference on msnbc sunday. bermuda's bracing for hurricane igor. the category 1 storm is expected to strike the island later today, but already big waves are
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pounding bermuda's beaches. while the islanders there rushed to board up windows and prep for this storm, let's get more details from the weather channel's jeff morrow. good morning to you. good morning, alex. and i guess you've been talking to my colleague, jim cantore, this morning. and seeing some of the action behind him. i do not envy him today. i've covered a lot of hurricanes in the field. and he's going to have a long day ahead of him here in bermuda. there's bermuda, there's the business area of the hurricane so to speak, right near the center. that's going to be crossing near or directly over bermuda with these winds, up to 85 miles per hour, already getting tropical storm-force winds on bermuda now. some power outages being reported, it is going to move by fairly quickly. however, it's going to be a long duration of these gusty winds, at least tropical storm to occasionally hurricane force because of the size of igor. it is so big. so it's going to move by probably sometime in about 12 to 14 hours over the islands.
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and then move quickly off to the northeast, and lose its tropical characteristics. we'll see good-bye to igor. along the east coast, the only effects which had really been the case for most of these hurricanes this season, has been high surf. we can all be thankful for that. closer to home, across the midwest, a little bit of a rainy day from iowa through chicago, and into indianapolis and down to stloes. some flooding issues -- st. louis. some flooding issues this morning. north of that, we have a taste of autumn across the far north. minneapolis up to 63. across the south, though, i got to say summer is holding on. officially summer ends this coming wednesday, but i'll tell you what, it looks like we're going to be holding on to this heat for much of the upcoming week with temperatures well up into the 90s. and a pretty nice day in the northeast for you in new york city, as well, alex? >> i always like to thank you for those nice things you throw our way. jeff morrow, thank you very much. >> all righty. in just a few minutes, we are going to get a live report from bermuda, as we were talking about. jim cantore's there, and hurricane igor has approached.
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they're feeling the effects. we'll take threw live coming up. the end is in sight to the bp oil spillster. we are waiting to hear about a final test in the blown-out well in the gulf of mexico. after pumping in cement, the test of the last step before the well can be declared dead. nbc's kristen dahlgren is live in venice, louisiana. with another good day to you, what are the details on this final test? are you hearing anything in terms of a time update for getting done and finally decided? >> reporter: yeah, hey, alex. we had hoped by now to be able to bring you that official announcement that this well was dead, that it would no longer ever leak into the gulf of mexico. but we're still awaiting any word from out at the well site. we do know that they had planned to do this last pressure test overnight. they had hoped to have it finished around midnight. and what that entails is they've cemented the bottom of the well, they put in 74 barrels of cement, they created this
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1,000-foog plfoot plug, and thi test was exerting pressure on to the plug for a half-hour, steady pressure. and they needed to that plug holding. so now we're just waiting to make sure that they've done that test. and to hear the results of that test. we do expect that final announcement come from the national incident commander, admiral thad allen. at this point we don't have any idea when any type of announcement might come. >> we'll be waiting. when we get word we'll let people know. thank you very much. five adults and eight children are missing in los angeles county. and authorities concern r concerned they could be involved in cult-like activity. the husbands of two women in the group reported them missing yesterday. authorities believe the group is made up of el salvadoran immigrants led by this woman, reyna marisol chicas. nbc's kristen welker joins us from burbank with the latest. any progress made with investigators looking for these people? >> reporter: no, not yet, alex.
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and it's certainly a tense situation here in southern california. but we can tell you that investigators will be scouring the wilderness areas surrounding palmdale. that's about an hour north of los angeles. they're really going to be focusing on the remote areas there in that wilderness. they couldn't see those areas when they were searching last night. again, they are looking for 1 people. five adults -- 13 people. five adult, eight children ages 3 through 17. again this all came to their attention yesterday afternoon when two huhs of the missing women came forward to police and said they were concerned about where their family members could be, particularly worried because they found a purse. inside that wupurse, cell phone personal documents, and really disturbing letters. take a listen to how a spokesperson with the sheriff's department described those letters. >> they left behind notes saying that they were going to go visit their deceased relatives, that they were going to go meet jesus, notes that indicated that
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they wanted to go to the next life. no words such as suicide or taking our own life were used at all. but the indications seem that that may be a possibility. >> reporter: now authorities again believe the leader this group is a 32-year-old woman named reyna marisol chicas. they say she is the one heading all of this. they're quite concerned because they believe some of the people who she's with may be vulnerable. they say a lot of these people don't have a lot of education. so the husbands in their words told police they're concerned their wives may be being brainwashed. now it's not exactly clear what religion all of these people feel affiliated with, but again, authorities believe that they have become a cult-like group who initially met when they went to a church, a christian church, and then broke away and broke off into a smaller sect that, again, officials are calling a cult-like group. so again, a lot of concern here
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in southern california. alex? >> yeah. and kristen, of these five adults, there are reports that three are from one family? >> reporter: that's right. there are reports that three of them are sisters, actually. so this is a very close knit group of people. and it's possible and authorities are still looking into this, but they're thinking that all of these people are from three different families. so they're still trying to confirm that, but one thing is certain, they are all quite close. they come from this palmdale area, and again, they initially went to the same church and then broke off and started these unorthodox practices. and i think what's most concerning to police right now is that they feel as though a lot of the people who are missing are incredibly vulnerable for one reason or another. a, the children are vulnerable because of their age, but any believe some of the adults don't have a lot of education, and might be really susceptible to believing things easily. so that is why there is so much
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concern, and that's why they want to find those 13 missing people. alex? >> understandably so. what a story. thank you very much. it could be the first shot fired in the battle for the white house in 2012. and a leading conservative just got an influential group's blessing. peer into the future. there's a nurse who can access in an instant every patient's past. and because the whole hospital's working together, there's a family who can breathe easy, right now. somewhere in america, we've already answered some of the nation's toughest healthcare questions. and the over 60,000 people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens. answers. ♪ [ male announcer ] we touch a lot of things throughout the day. so it's nice that clorox disinfecting products help kill the germs that can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours. ♪ feels sweet when i can touch you ♪
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to politics now and the republican values voter have spoken. their annual convention wrapped up this washington this weekend with this announcement. >> coming in as the top pick in the 2010 presidential candidate straw poll at the values voter summit is congressman mike pence. [ applause ] >> in fact, pence edged out form governors mike huckabee, who won last year and in 2007, as well as mitt romney, for that win. he also bested former house speaker newt gingrich and sarah palin, who came in at the rear of the top five pack there. and the praise for pence kept
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coming. >> now on the vice presidential category, the top pick for vice president, we had to actually take off the list because it was congressman mike pence. [ laughter ] >> and with pence out of the run, runner up, sarah palin, was named the winner of the vice presidential straw poll. patricia murphy joins, capitol hill bureau chief and economist for good morning again. >> reporter: good morning. >> let's get to a president sarah palin who got a last place threw their but win in the v.p. contest. what do you think that's about? >> reporter: i'll tell you who did interpret that, tony perkins, head of the research council that sponsored this values voters group. what he said was so interesting. he said that this result that showed sarah palin finishing way behind for president but up there for vice president said maybe republicans and conservatives know you shouldn't always say what you think. you shouldn't always say everything that's always on your
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mind. and then he also said this maybe republicans and conservatives see her more as a cheerleader rather than a leader of their party. and i think that is incredibly, incredibly -- it's a great insight into what conservatives are thinking. the big question about palin is, is she a legitimate potential leader of the country or a media star. and those results start to tease out what conservatives think the answer might be right there. >> okay. what does this say about mike pence and about the gop party overwhelm, the fact this he -- overall, the fact that he came out on top for the straw poll and if he weren't taken out, the lord in the v.p. poll? >> reporter: in these polls he's always the bride maid and never the bride. what he's done for years and years and especially when it was not popular, he's been a fiscal conservative, really consistent about not growing the size of the government. not running up large federal debt. not running up the deficit. he came out and spoke vocally
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against jurj bugeorge bush when that was happening. conservative voters were attracted to him. now that that's the of the day, not growing the government, not growing the debt, now it's mike pence's time. he's also, however, a social conservative, and telling republicans you don't have to pick between fiscally and social conservatism. you can do both. this is the audience that wanted to hear that. >> do you really think that, the larger values voters skpum what they are voting on citing abortion as their number-one concern. won't the upcoming electric be won or lost more on the economy? >> i think it will be -- listen, in gop primaries, there will be social issues that are important and fiscal issues that are important. we've seen that in a series of these primaries that have already happened. so for pence to come forward, there are a lot of people on that list who are social conservatives. we think of mike huckabee maybe as somebody who's a strong social conservative, not as much a fiscal conservative. this shows that those people who are values voters are as interested, maybe not more interested, but they're as interested in those fiscal
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issues. that's a message that republican leader are going to take forward. >> patricia murphy, thank you very much. >> reporter: thanks, alex. now for a quick look at today's number ones. a new ranking of best universities puts harvard at the top. the honor comes from the united kingdom's leading publication on higher education. last week another study put harvard at number two. coca-cola comes out on top in the latest list of the best global brand. rankings based mainly on financial performance. more fame for lady gaga, like she needs it, right? the folks at guinness world records say she's officially become the most searched-for female on the internet. and she edges out sarah palin. she previously held that title. now to the music charts. for a second straight week, you'll find katy perry's "teenage dream" at the top of the billboard 100. >> taking command of billboard's digital songs list, "just the way you are."
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wee taking you back to bermuda, where the weather channel's jim cantore has been braving the elements to bring live coverage of hurricane igor as it is bearing down now. what's it like? winds picking up and certainly the surf behind you, jim. >> reporter: like, it's unbelievable. this is actually a break in the rain which we expect with a storm that's still 135 miles away. we just got new pictures to sha share with you of the rain action. this is when the rain bands was just starting to come in. we're talking about winds that have gusted to 71 miles per hour at the airport. if you go up 200 feet where there are january nomer its -- anonometers, we have gust at 90 miles per hour. gusts upon us, and it's 135 miles away. the weather center keeping this at 85 miles per hour. it's going to be a lot worse before it gets better. we'll gust to over 100 as i told you, especially when we get to the rain bands. want to give you a different
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vantage point. the wave action behind me. as we turn around, the winds going to get -- the lens will get wet when we do this, but you'll see the full fury of winds sustained at 50 miles per hour blowing here at elbow beach. again, we'll be sustained we think at hurricane forcer sometime near midnight when the worst of the storm is going to bush by. so far, 3,650 without power, down to 2,500. they're not going to be able to get out and clean things up. each rain band is going to bring in stronger and stronger winds and cause more damage and power outages. back to you. >> i got to tell you, i was impressed by your beach erosion. that's significant behind you at elbow beach. >> reporter: its much there's going to be -- it is. there's going to be much more at high tide. >> best of luck riding this out. thank you very much for joining us. >> reporter: absolutely. >> scary stuff there, right, everyone? stay tuned for msnbc. we'll have that for you. also the weather channel will cover what's happening with igor in bermuda. right now, that's a wrap of our live msnbc coverage. something special coming up, the
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nbc fall preview show for us. a 30-minute special coming up. we'll look on sarah shourd, to address the media at 3:00 p.m. we'll carry it live. when life's this hard, graduating can be even harder. but you can help jose and the students in your community make it through by visiting stay twice... earn a free night! two separate stays at comfort inn or any of these choice hotels can earn you a free night -- only when you book at [ woman ] chopping and peeling can be kinda relaxing at the end of the day. [ female announcer ] relaxing for who?
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