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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  November 13, 2010 7:00am-8:00am EST

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the final leg. president obama talks jobs in japan and how the u.s. shapes up against the rest of the world. we have a live report ahead. the business back home. a tax fight looms when the president returns. is there any winning outcome for all parties? the fight is on. the first rival to apple's ipad hits the store shelves, but can it compete with the original? cold war intrigue. a new and potentially deadly twist in the spy scandal that brought anna chapman. could someone die for exposing
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her? good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt. this is msnbc saturday. we'll get right to it. president obama is in japan on the final leg of his ten-day tour. world leaders are gathering for the economic forum near tokyo. the president outlined his goal of putting americans back to work. >> in this region the united states sees a huge opportunity to increase our exports in some of the fastest growing markets in the world. for america this is a job strategy because with every $1 billion we sell in exports $5,000 jobs are supported at home. >> today's meetings follow the advice of a trip to south korea where the president failed to secure a long-trade deal with that long-time allie. mike baa caro is live at the white house. good saturday morning to you. >> reporter: good morning. >> to take away from the trip overseas is what? >> reporter: that's an interesting question. the takeaway is the international and political landscape is shifting but the u.s. is still looked to in power
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around the world to settle age-old disputes. the president started his trip in india. some of the questions he got were about india's ancient enemy of pakistan and the two nuclear armed rivals and the years of animosity towards each other. of course, it is all reflected in the 2008 tax on the very hotel where the president stayed in mumbai. then it is on to korea where he is unable to secure a u.s./korea trade pact. many countries in the region trying to reign in and ascend in japan in geographical disputes. the japanese are looking to americans to mediate that. as night falls in japan as we speak, tomorrow morning the president will wake up. and the last thing he'll do before getting on air force one and coming back to the united states is talk to the russian president about the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. an age-old point of contention between two former super powers
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of the soviet union and the united states. the president is being looked to to settle the disputes as the economic issue is on the rise. >> it was a foreign focus with bringing jobs back to the u.s. when he gets back and hits the ground running, is it all domestic policy? taxes, is that front and center? >> it doesn't get easier for the president. he faces the newly embolden republicans coming off the election with the house of representatives. they come back for a lame duck session beginning monday, alex. the president has the whole gang over. republicans, democrats, house and senate, eight leaders in all at the white house on saturday for a meeting. then he takes them up to the residence for the dip dinner. the bush era tax cuts at the top of the agenda. >> thank you, mike. for more perspective, we'll bring in richard wolf. good saturday morning to you.
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>> good saturday morning, alex. >> the president was hoping to score victories on this asian trip. give us the assessment on how things have gone overseas. >> i think he wanted to get out of town, mission established. he had great pictures out of india. he and the first lady had the crowds around them, the dancing, the big cultural speech as well in indonesia. those are important reminders to the american people this is a president who reaches around the world, but his predecessor didn't. when you get to the summits and trade deals it is very messy. and frankly one thing is the messiness of trying to do a trade deal overseas and the other is trying to bring it back home. the politics have been bad, but the summits are always complicated and rarely give any president the big kind of triumph that their aids hoped they will get. >> it was widely anticipated that he would be very warmly embraced on the world stage. you know, do you think that that is happening with him? do you think it is authentic?
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>> i do think it is authentic. there's a connection that he has, especially the developing world, especially in a country like indonesia, which is real. indonesia, there are developing countries and one that is are actually important to the united states and the national security interests. indonesia, the largest muslim majority population in the country in the world with a significant historic presence of an al qaeda offshoot. those are important messages put in place to deliver those messages, but does it change america's position on the biggest stuff when you really look at the trade in balance with china? it doesn't, but americans wanted to see a path who is popular in the world. that was a big reason why president obama was elected. this is a reaffirmation from the campaign trail. >> in fact, you have had exposure to the president. how disappointed do you think
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his on how things are going right now? >> this is extremely tough. all of these challenges are hard whenever he gets knocked down. and his party and his white house are still trying to figure out what the new politics means. and we have seen stumbles this week over tax cuts. where do they draw the line on compromise. can they talk about compromise when they don't know what the oh side is going to do. they have a certain vagueness to the position inevitable until the negotiations happen. those of us in the media are asking questions and won't put up with the vagueness, so when they say they are red zi to negotiate. when we say, what does that mean? they get fuzzy about it, which is not surprising but very unsatisfied for hem, for us, and ultimately puts the cards in the hands of republicans to drag this out until they get the deal they want. >> we were talking with vic from the white house. the president returns to what will be a really tough fight
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over the taxes. the compromise factor, though, is there any way the president can turn this into a win for him? >> well, he has to turn it into a win for regular lur americans. people who will vote for him next time. the most likely form of compromise is a temporary extension for everyone. the complicated stuff of splitting the middle class from the upper income brackets is too politically dynamite. republicans can see what the tactic is. so i think the most obvious thing is this gets kicked down the road until another election and maybe the congress has more clarity because it is one party and not two parties in control. >> richard wolf, good to talk to you. thank you. on sunday's "meet the press" david axelrod and an exclusive interview with john mccain. if it is sunday, it is "meet the press." check your local listings. a group of suicide bombers
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stormed this nato base. six of the assailants were killed two. were wearing explosive vests -- what's the very latest here, atia? >> reporter: it was 6:00 a.m. when they tried to attack this airfield. it is a mixture of an afghan airport as well as a civilian base. they were able to kill six of the insurgents. two of them were wearing a suicide vest as a government spokesperson said as well. but the taliban has a different story. they did claim responsibility. and in a phone call to nbc news, kabul had, in fact, 14 fighters attack the base. all of them wearing suicide vests. the spokesperson said three of the fighters were able to get away. 11 died fighting.
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he also claimed they were able to destroy one jet and three helicopters when i asked the spokesperson about that. he laughed it off saying, no way was the taliban that successful. we should know this base was also attacked back on june the 30th. >> atia, do you think the reason they successfully fought this off was because of intelligence that was a tip this was coming or because they were prepared for anything to come their way? >> reporter: well, when you go to the bases here in afghanistan, alex, they have to be prepared and on the lookout for an attack. but when you talk about intelligence, they may have gotten intelligence. if they did. the taliban had some sort of success. no matter what base you go to they are always on the lookout, whether it is in intelligence or not. with this certain attack, they
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are not stating if they had intelligence prior to the attack. >> atia, thank you so much. well, the military's ban on openly day service members remains intact following the order by the u.s. supreme court. the justices refused to stop enforcement of the policy while a lower court hears a challenge to the ban. the appeals court is not expected to decide on the issue "don't ask don't tell" until march. it was their worst fear. now a north carolina community is coming together to mourn zahra baker, the 10-year-old missing in october. police confirm her dna matches a bone fragment they found. neighbors and strangers left flowers, stuffed animals and camels on the little girl's front yard. she lost a leg to bone cancer and wore hearing aids. her father and step-mother were both questioned by police. police say her step-mother wrote a fake ransom note.
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>> investigators, agents and officers and staff, good work on this staff, but we are devastated that we are not able to find zahra alive and bring her home safely. we appreciate the support we received from the public. today our community mourns. our state mourps. >> the police chief has been dreading this moment since the investigation began. you can see the look on his face as he delivers the news. a mother and her two children missing in ohio. police found blood in the family's home. tina hairman and her 13-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son have been missing since wednesday. herman's friend is also unaccounted for. kenyan college was put on lockdown after her pickup truck was found on campus. herman recently ended a relationship with greg borders who still lived in the same house with her and the children. high winds rocked an ice cream parlor in texas. that storm tore apart part of
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the roof structure and a person was injured when a sign crashed to the ground. for the complete soggy forecast, we'll go to bill karins with this information. >> well, good morning, alex. the middle of november, unfortunately, that means it is time to start talking cold air and snow. we have the firns winter storm of the season over the midwest and northern plains. it is only a narrow area expecting some really nasty weather today, but that does include duluth, st. cloud, minneapolis, st. paul, all the way down to out of sioux falls. the area under a winter storm warning. look at the colorized radar. the green is the rain. the pink is a mix. the white is where it is snowing. it is difficult to get around, especially the minneapolis area where we are expecting six to ten inches of snow. here's the radar. the rain/snow line is just to the south of minneapolis now and just to the east. so much of wisconsin near 94 is
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looking at rain. to the north of you it is all snow in northern wisconsin, especially out to areas north of marquette and duluth. that's where the heaviest snow will be later today. how much snow are we expecting in the pink? 6 to 12 inches through the heart of minneapolis, st. cloud and duluth. you have a chance for a little more. the rest of the weather pattern is a lot better. much of the west coast looks nice and into your sunday. not many weather concerns once the storm exits the northern plains. the first to know storm has the possibility of a foot of snow. back to you. it is called blackout in a can. a controversial drink that is popular on college campuses is being banned. what makes it so dangerous? also, he hired anna chapman and ratted her out. is the so-called russian agent going to pay the ultimate price now in the cold coast war sbleeg
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one of the world's most prominent prisoners has been freed from house arrest this morning. myanmar's leader spent seven years in detention. succi is a no bell peace prize winner. the faa sets a retirement age for most commercial aircraft. once regulators and plane makers agree on the age, they could retire older planes instead of understood going costly
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maintenance scales. and winning almost $129 million in a powerball drawing. the lottery ticket was born at a detroit area bookstore. well, it is one of the biggest issues of the day in u.s. immigration. and in two days msnbc will host a town hall event tackling this topic. the special event focuses on the impact of arizona's controversial immigration law and the role the voters play in this year's elections. wale hear from teens born and raised in america illegally. here's a preview. >> since i was little my dad was always telling me, don't tell anybody you are from mexico. >> i considered this my country. and, you know, i would be more than proud to serve and protect our freedom. >> people talk about getting in line, but what line do i get in? >> i think around high school it really started hitting, the fact
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that undocumented was going to be too hard to overcome. you can't say that i don't belong here, that i'm not welcome here, that i'm not needed here because i am. >> it is our home because, like, for me, personally, i was here since i was 4 years old. >> i have been part of this community since i was little, a part of this state, this country, and i feel part of it. i feel american. i am american. this is the community that saw me grow up. >> we brought all of you to watch that msnbc special event on monday "beyond borderlines" hosted by lawrence o'donnell. it is monday night at 10:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. the taliban states a high-profile attack on a major airport in afghanistan today. the afghan spokesman says eight attackers were killed, two wearing suicide vests. today's violence comes ahead of the nato summit next week and president obama's plan review of the war strategy next month.
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experts are warning americans will be fighting in afghanistan until 2014. colonel jack jacobs is a military analyst. good morning to you. >> good morning, alex. >> 2014, really? is that it? 2014 and we are done or something else? >> i don't think so. the president said he'll start withdrawing people, american combat troops from afghanistan starting next summer. with the implication being they are all out by the time the election occurs in 2012, i think 2014 is pie in the sky, too. we are probably going to have to keep troops as long as we have interest there in the area. if not in the country. a long past that will be particularly in the south. >> you distinguish between combat troops and reserve troops, backup troops, educational troops to help those on the ground get ahold of -- >> the government always does that. >> is there a difference in what we'll see? >> we'll take out units, battalions, brigades, so on.
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we'll leave special forces and special operation forces all of which will be battling the taliban. so formations of troops out for political purposes will be good indeed, but we'll keep people there for quite a while. >> what about the high-profile attack today? what does that tell you about the situation? afghanistan. >> well, it is not going that well. intelligence is not very good. there are leaks in intelligence as we heard an hour ago talking to people on the ground. there's corruption. you don't know when the taliban will attack and you don't know who inside is supporting it. and we are going to go after major targets like airfields and so on, even though the base of the taliban, the places they recruit and train is out in the country side. >> what are the main obstacles to secures afghanistan? >> corruption. government corruption. a large majority of the money that goes into the country winds up some place else because that's how things are done there. and, you know, for sure that's
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the case. second, there's not going to be any rule from kabul. it has never been like that in the country in the history of the world. people with places like kand hah and up in the mountains next to pakistan won't submit to oil authority in kabul. they will only submit to authority of the triable leaders. >> thank you much. the ipad is getting new competition. how does the new graduate measure up? we'll compare them for you side by side next here on msnbc saturday. hey, babe. oh, hi, honey! so i went to the doctor today, then picked up a few extra things for the baby. oh, boy... i used our slate card with blueprint. we can design our own plan to avoid interest by paying off diapers and things each month. and for the bigger stuff, we can pay down our balance faster to save money on interest. bigger? bigger.
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galaxy tab. here to size up the to tablets, dan ackerman, good morning to you. >> good morning to you. >> i'm going to take you first to the cost because it looks like it will be cheaper, but when you put it all together -- >> it is apples and oranges. with the ipad you just buy the ipad and can sign up for a data plan to get the 3g version. with the galaxy tablet, you can only get the verse after you sign up for a two-year plan. if you want to buy it outright, $600. >> is this galaxy a credible match for the ipad? >> it is probably the first credible match because it runs android. that's the popular operating system on the phones. and it has a market similar to the itunes app store that plays music. it does a few things the ipad doesn't. that's the key. it has cameras on it that the ipad doesn't have. it runs flash, which is what a
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lot of movies and games use. >> why is everybody following apple? >> i think because they do a lot of invasion. they are not afraid to experiment with new stuff. so when they put a product out there successful, it is like game consoles and everyone else that wants a version of it. sometimes they come up with a lot of improvements on it. >> isn't it about trying to be the first innovator with something? i mean, wouldn't you suspect others would try to go down a different road than what apple has troden? >> well, we see movies every year about the same thing. if there's a successful movie you have a lot of copy cats. the entire industry is built around copying something successful like the min ten nintendo wii with motion. everyone has to have a tablet. >> which one do you like better. >> i like the ipad. it is a whole ecosystem together. it is the smoothest. the android tablets do a lot of interesting stuff, but it is a little clun can i. the scrolling is not as smooth. you have to work harder to get what you want out of it.
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>> who is buying the galaxy, you think? people really excited about the newest gadget to try it out? >> that's true. there are people who like android and the to go up oper e operating system. those hard-core techies will like the android better. a chinese vase found in the attic of a suburban house was bought for a staggering price. the vase was bought to a chinese buyer for $69.3 million. the item was given to a brother and sister who inherited the business. the auction house said the vase was only expected to sell for a little less than $2 million. what's up ? ugh. my feet are killin' me.
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it is msnbc saturday. i'm alex witt. 31 past the hour, here are the fast headlines. president obama talked jobs today in a business summit in japan. a live report in a moment. in myanmar the government released a pro-democracy leader from arrest. she has been detained for 7 1/2 years and on house arrest for 15 of the last 21 years. in afghanistan six insurgents are dead after storming a nato afghan base. and in haiti the death toll from cholera nears 800. in all, there are more than 11,000 confirmed cases of the deadly illness. and back at home, a new gallop poll shows air sarah palin's unfavorable rate hitting 52%. those are your fast headlines. president obama is heading
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back to the u.s. tomorrow after swinging through asia, but another full day of meetings as leaders gather to discuss the global economy. nbc's savannah guthrie is joining us live traveling with the president. good day to you. what's the latest? >> reporter: well, good morning to you, alex. it is evening here in japan and the president wrapped up a full day of meetings with the apec countries. this is the longest trip of the presidency. this trip came after the big midterm loss, but the president has been making a pitch that everything he's doing overseas is about improving things at home. the president took his one-man sales expedition to its final stop in japan where he told a group of ceos america is open for business. >> this region the united states sees a huge opportunity to increase the exports in some of the fastest growing markets in the world. for america this is a job strategy.
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>> reporter: the president is in japan today for one last summit of asian economic powerhouses wrapping up his four-country mission to try to pry open asian markets to more american exports. the president promised to double exports in five years, which he says will lead directly to more jobs at home. while the u.s. has been battered by unemployment and lackluster growth, e merging economies have been booming. largely fueled by the powerful pocketbooks of the once veracious american consumer. in seoul the president said the days of massive trade imball lands imbalances must come to an end. >> they must shift away from unhealthy numbers on exports and try to boost demand. as i said going forward, no nation should assume their path to prosperity is paid simply with exports to the united
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states. >> reporter: well, the president has one more half day here in japan. the big event is a meeting with the russian president dmitry medvedev. obviously on the agenda, the s.t.a.r.t. treatly currently stalled in congress, one of the items the president has waiting for him when he returns tomorrow. back to you. >> a very full plait. can i is a you, what's the mood of the president's team? how do they feel this trip has gone? >> reporter: they are pleased with this trip. i would say they are miffed at the coverage because certainly coming out of the g-20 a lot of reporters and analysts said the president came away empty handed. for one thing, he didn't get the south korean free trade agreement. something they really hoped they would be able to cross the finish line on, but they say, look, that work is continuing and we think in a matter of weeks we'll get a deal. the other issue has to do with the larger global issue of trade imbalances.
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come countries exporting more than importing. america, for example, importing much more than it exports. this is something the president wants to badly address. the g-20 leaders came together on a basic framework saying things need to be more balanced, but there's criticism they didn't get down to specifics or really hard timelines. so some people read that as coming up a little bit short. overall, we talked to the national security adviser today. and they really feel like this has been successful in so far as it is focused on this area that the president really wanted to reengage asia. they think it is a huge untapped market for american exports. if we increase the exports that means more jobs at home. >> does the attention turn to taxes and the fight looming on that front when they get back? >> reporter: no question about it, they will also have to deal with the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. he is meeting with president medvedev tomorrow. this is a huge issue. they are working hard to get that done in the lame duck
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session. then the taxes, what will happen. there's ban lot of talk back at home. wront have to tell you whether or not the administration is willing to compromise. it is clear there's some kind of deal. the president has that meeting with republican and democratic lawmakers when he comes back. this is something that i think both sides want to see taken care of before congress goes out of session again. >> i'm curious, are you back on "daily rundown" on monday. your body clock must be all messed up. are you going to to be on at 9:00 monday morning? >> reporter: i'm going to take a day off, but i'll be back soon enough. we are on opposite time here. you are right, i'm going to take a day off. >> we'll have chuck solo on monday. see you on tuesday. thank you so much. and be sure to catch the two of them every weekday morning at 9:00 a.m. eastern time. now to the latest twist in the case of the ten russian spies kicked out of the u.s. in june. a new report this week says the mastermind of the whole
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operation is living right here in the united states after defecting from russia. and the russians reportedly hired a hitman to track him down and take him out. we are live in moscow. good morning to you, or good afternoon your time. what do we know ability the alleged double agent? >> reporter: good morning, alex. so far everything we know is from the report in this russian newspaper which is a business daily. it doesn't have a lot of details, but it gives his last name to say he was in the intelligence service and worked in the department that managed and placed these russian sleeper agents in the united states. it also mentioned there was a number of red flags that should have tipped off his superiors something was up. he had a daughter supposedly living in the states for a number of years and a son recently moving to the united states. both things should have disqualified him from working on a program like this. reportedly, he turned out a
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promotion a year ago. which in order to get he would have had to take a lie detector test. these reports have not been confirmed, but we were given vague confirmation yesterday. the president knew about what happened on the day. it did seem to say he gave some sort of confirmation to the details and story in general. >> that's interesting. how about anna chapman, who has become quite the celebrity there. what is she up to? >> reporter: absolutely. we saw her a couple days ago at an opening swiss watch boutique in the center of moscow. we saw earlier this month she did the magaziner earlier. she is carving a nature and niche for herself. we have not seen anything out of this, so we are keeping a low
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profile. >> again, they are not on the cover of "maxim" magazine. thank you. u.s. marshalls cleaned out bernie madoff's closets and are selling everything from watches to socks and cuticle scissors. the online auction starts today. the merchandise runs the gamete. you will find diamond necklaces, a grand piano, luggage, antiques mixed with shoes and books and dishes. the proceeds all go to his victims. the auction expects to bring in $1.5 million. the upcoming holiday could provide an economic boost for those out of work. retailers will add up to 650,000 temporary jobs to handle the holiday rush. last year retailers added 500,000 helpers. amazon.com will hire 15,000 people at shipping offices around the country. they are hiring more temporary workers than last year, but they
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don't indicate how many more. they are called a toxic and dangerous brew, and two states recently outlined them. what is it young people are drinking that is raising a law across the country? also, fat chance. a new study finds you're increasing risk on getting fat based on who your friends are. see how obesity can be contagious. you are watching msnbc saturday. which provided for their every financial need. [ thunder rumbling ] [ thunder crashing ] and then, in one blinding blink of an eye, their tree had given its last. but with their raymond james financial advisor, they had prepared for even the unthinkable. ♪ and they danced. see what a raymond james advisor can do for you. when my doctor told me that my chronic bronchitis was copd... i started managing it every day. i like to volunteer... hit the courts...
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police are looking for the man who abandoned his four kids. the man's daughter was ejected from the suv when he drove into a pole friday night. he drove off leaving his injured daughter in the middle of the street. the man abandoneded the suv after driving a mile. then his 9-year-old son and severely injured 6-year-old son were left inside. >> you sit and try to imagine, how could you leave a 5-year-old injured alone in the street? and to leave and not render aid
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to the children you left behind, it is almost unimaginable. >> yeah, what is wrong with that guy? the man then walked to his mother-in inform law's home and left his 11-month-old son there. the oldest child told them their father has been drinking heavily. two states have banned an emergency drink nicknamed blackout in a can. washington and michigan prohibiting four loko, a mix of caffeine and alcohol. it is blamed for the death of numerous students around the country, including nine from central washington university last month. the company says its product is just as safe as any other alcoholic beverage. dr. lisa gongo is from st. luke's hospital. good morning to you, doctor. >> good morning. >> what is it about this drink to make it dangerous, four loko? >> it is a combination of high dose of alcohol and caffeine.
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it is a lot of stimulant and depressant all mixed together. >> so when you're drinking it, do you feel the alcohol? because wouldn't the caffeine sort of block that? >> basically that's what it is. a wide-awake drug. that's what they call it, because you don't feel the depressive and sleepiness effect of the alcohol. the caffeine just makes you so excited you don't feel it and keep drinking. >> so as i understand, if you look at the ratio of alcohol in this drink, one can of four loko is the equivalent of five or six beers? >> it is a lot. 12% alcohol per volume. normal beer is 5%. >> is it kids just don't know how much they are consuming? >> they really don't know. we are talking about a very young population of people that are naive drinkers that don't really understand the effects of alcohol. so they are pounding their body with all this alcohol and are staying wide awake because of all the caffeine. they are young, developing minds that can't process the information. >> what happens?
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if they are getting drunk without feeling as if they are drunk, at what point does the body break down? is it instant in what happens? >> it is a slower process where the body passes out. that's what sounds like happened to those college kids. >> so what happens? do they go to emergency rooms and the doctors are aware of the drink? >> it is pretty common. it has been around for a while in different forms. but the alcohol poisoning is very common in college-aged kids, unfortunately. e.r. doctors are aware of it. >> the company put out a statement saying when you drink this responsibly it is fine. what do you say? >> all the alcohol containers say drink responsibly, all the commercials say drink responsibly, but you are not responsible if you are under the influence of alcohol. >> do you have to be 21 to get this? ifs an energy drink --
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>> it is still beer, but they market it in colorful cans so people don't realize it is an alcoholic beverage. i have been reading that a lot of parents will see it thinking it is just an energy drink and didn't realize it was alcohol. >> kids are drinking right under their noses. >> yeah. >> how are the victims presenting themselves when getting to the hospitals? what do you hear from emergency room physicians across the country? >> they are presented with more alcohol toxicity with being passed out -- >> or stomachs being pumped. >> exactly. the caffeine part of it -- ultimately they have to crash from having so much alcohol in their system. they just don't understand why this is happening. so they are unconscious, they are vomiting and sick. >> we have to give a heads-up to parents across the country and college kids, so we'll have you back to talk about that, okay? thank you. in today's yes it's true, youtube's popularity, a dancing bird wows the worldwide web and
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regrettable facebook postings. but first, what to do when lebron james makes his visit as an opponent on december 2nd? they held a breakfast meeting this week to talk about how to handle the king's return. no action plan was drawn up, but they hope fans behave themselves when he comes back. for members of facebook and other social networks, there's a new sobriety test to save drunk people from making embarrassing posts. that's true and perhaps necessary. basically, members of this site would be put through a number of mental agility tests. if they fail the test they are unable to post and send those things that you wish you had not. anyway, there's no stopping people from uploading youtube or to youtube. back in march the online video giant said 24 hours of video was uplocaled every minute. now it is 35 hours of video every minute. that's an astounding 21 hours of video every 60 minutes or more than 50,000 hours of video every day. now you get the idea, it is
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we invite you monday watch "beyond borderlines." it is a special two-hour town hall event where we take a look at immigration and the role of the latino population in life and politics. so are your friends making you fat? a new study suggests that people's weight and fitness levels are linked to the habits of the people they spend time with. showing that poor fitness may actually spread from person to person. i'm joined now by david rand, a fellow at harvard department of psychology live in boston.
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good morning to you. >> good morning. >> what do you make of these findings? do you think there's a correlation between fitness levels from one person who has friends in their own fitness level? >> yes. that's clearly what we see in our data, that the more obese friends you have, the more likely you have to become obese yourself. >> there are two theories on why fat may be contagious. one is perhaps your lazy friends make you lazier and the fit friends make you more fit. the second one is that maybe people choose to associate with friends that have limb lar lifestyles. of those who two, is there one that seems to be the most likely scenario? >> where he. the point of this study was to try and tell the two of those apart. it's not just that people choose to be friends with other people that are like them, but that is really is, for a given set of friend, having obese friends is more likely to make you become obese. >> do you find anything between distinguishing the difference between friends and family?
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so often, you see an entire family, parents and children following in the same footsteps. any distinguishing factors there? >> that's a great question. in all of this, we've been saying friends, but what it is, it's social contact that we're talking about friends, family and coworkers. and in that particular study, we didn't have enough data to tell differences between those three different types of social contacts, but it's an important question. >> is there anything country can do to break out of it? >> yeah. so if you feel like the sort of take home message from this study is that there's this important social aspect of obesity and that people should be thinking about this public health policymakers should be thinking about it. and it has a sort of silver lining in that it means if you can effect the obesity status of some people that doesn't affect just them, but it can affect everyone else in a positive sense, too, in that if there are
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fewer obese people, then there's less pressure or whatever, there's less transmission to make nonobese people become obese themselves. >> wait, i want to bottom line this. does this mean that you need to look at your friends and look at their physicality, their appearance and all that or at least take that into consideration before make friends or hanging out with a certain group of people? >> no, absolutely not. friendships and social contact res extremely important and valuable among all different kinds of dimensions. this is one very small part of a relationship. but i think that the bottom line for this is that it's in your interest to try and help your obese friends lose weight, that that will come back to help you in the future. >> harvard psychology fellow david rand, thank you so much for joining us here on msnbc. >> thanks a lot. it want an ordeal they will never forget. passengers on that stranded cruise liner will talk about just what they went through.
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