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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  December 3, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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billy graham's doctors say the 93-year-old evangelist is making good progress fighting a bought of pneumonia. doctors say he is resting well and is up and walking around today. there is no question when he'll be discharged. "the situation room" with wolf blitzer begins right now. >> an unexpected drop this week in unemployment in the united states. so what's the real story behind the surprising new u.s. jobs report? also, newt gingrich running as on outsider while he made millions of dollars as the ultimate washington insider. plus, a new privacy concern just in time for the holidays. shopping malls tracking your every move through your cell phone. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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>> the american economy has created in the private sector jobs for the past 21 months in a row. that's nearly three million new jobs in all. more than half a million over the last four months. so we need to keep that growth going. >> there are some new signs of life in the u.s. job market. with a strong showing in november that caught a lot of the analysts by surprise. the labor department says employers added 120,000 jobs helping push down the unemployment rate from 9% in october to 8.6%. that's the lowest level in almost three years. but there's more to it than meets the eye. lisa sylvester standing by with more. so what's the story behind these latest numbers? >> okay, wolf. we're going to talk you through the numbers. first, the positive news. unemployment, as you mentioned, it did tick down from 9% to 8.6% in the month of november.
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that is very good news. and if you take a look at it in terms of the jobs created, 120,000 jobs that is higher than what economists were estimating. they were predicting around the range of 110,000 jobs. and as an added bonus, take a look. these numbers have actually been revised higher. the numbers for the prior three months, october, september and august. significantly higher than what was initially reported. that's all the positive news. but we have to qualify all of this. we can take a look. here's the thing. 120,000 jobs it might sound actually like a lot. but if you want to create more jobs and actually bring down, lower the unemployment rate, you're going to have to do a lot better than just 120,000 jobs. in order to really make a dent and bring down the unemployment number, the economy needs to create about 300,000, 400,000 jobs in order to get back to the prerecession level. another thing that i want to point out to you, wolf, if you take a look at it by race, all the different ethnic groups saw
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a decrease on the unemployment rate. the one exception is for african-american workers. you can see it went from 15.5% to 15.1%. it actually ticked up a little higher. and that's going to be a concern and a question for president obama, particularly with his base. and the last thing i will say is that even though the unemployment rate ticked down from 9% to 8.6%, the reason behind that is that many people simply gave up looking for jobs and they left the workforce, wolf. >> lisa, thanks very much. let's dig a little deeper with mark zandy. one reason as lisa says the unemployment rate dropped so much was because of these revised job numbers for the previous month. so let's take a closer look at these original numbers in august. they said 57,000. originally they said zero. that was revised to 57,000 up to 104,000. that is the latest estimate for august. september, 158,000.
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it's gone up to 210,000 in october. originally they said 80,000 new jobs. now 100,000 new jobs. is this normal for these significant increases to come forward a month, two, three later? >> well, we always have revisions. it is very encouraging that we're getting upward revisions. what that seems to suggest is that we're getting job growth at smaller businesses and establishments that are reporting late to the bureau of labor statistics, keeper of the data. as they get that information in, they revise the estimates and the upward revisions indicate some small business job growth which, you know, has been a missing link in the economic recovery. so it is a positive sign and encouraging sign that is happening now. >> so that's one reason why the jobless number went from 9% unemployment down to 8.6%. the other factor and the critics of the president and the strategy are pointing out to this factor, they say a lot of people are simply giving up hope. they're dropping out of the job market.
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they're forgetting about it as a result they're no longer being counted. >> yeah. that's a problem. the 9% to 8.6% drop in unemployment overstates the improvement. improved in part because of better job growth. it also improved because we did see more people drop out of the workforce. and that is not encouraging. we want more people to step in and feel confident that they go out and look for people to work and find a job. so the large decline overstates the improvement. nonetheless, it was an improvement and it is a positive development. >> off the top of your head and you've been studying the numbers and lisa reported yshgs was there an increase in the unemployment numbers for african-americans? >> well, it can be a number of things. one possible explanation is that the unemployment rate for people with lesser skills in education is a lot higher and is a lot more volatile. it jumps up and down and all around.
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it generally is a lot higher. that may be part of the explanation why that's been the case. it's hard to read a lot into any given month, particularly when you're looking down into particular demographic groups. you know, you don't have a large sample and it could be more statistical than reality. we'll have to wait for a few more months to make sure that what we're observing is reality. >> another source of concern is the underemployed. they have taken a lot less money than they used to. someone making $70,000 a couple years ago and now they make $30,000. they have a job. they're making $30,000 a year but it's a lot less than they used to make. do we have any indication how that is playing out? >> yeah. that's a good point. the number of people working remains very, very high. you know, it hasn't really improved at all so far in the economic recovery.
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and this goes to a broader point. and that is, you know, our job market is very weak by lots of rates. we have a lot of people underemployed, not working as much as they like. and the other thing we learned from friday's jobs numbers is that wages actually fell during the month. and so wage growth remains very, very weak, tepid. it's not really even heating up with inflation. so the job market is much better. it certainly moving in the right direction. much improvement. we are and still a very deep hole and it's going to take a long time as lisa is pointing out, it's going to take a very long time to get out of it. >> and one wild card going on in europe, could have an enormous effect on the u.s. economy, the jobs market. how do you see that in the short term playing out? >> yeah. there's two key things i think that are going to be very important for the job market, the broader economy into next year. one is europe. the european situation is very unsettled. i'm hopeful european policymakers will get it together reasonably well.
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and keep the euro zone together. they seem to be moving in that direction. i think they understand this. it's just a political constraints that are slowing down the process. tend of the day, i think they realize they have to do this and they will. the other is here at home. congress and administration have to come together and extend the payroll, at the very least, extend the current payroll tax holiday. if they don't do that, everyone is going to experience a tax increase next year. it's a pretty hefty tax increase, 120 billion over the calendar year. i think the economy is too fragile for that. so that also is very important for the job market outlook into 2012. >> i think everyone agrees. they got to continue to extend that payroll tax cut. but they're disagreeing how to pay for it. see if they can get their act together. all right, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> mark zandy of moodies analytics. appreciate it. he's now a republican front-runn front-runner. that is bringing new attention to the millions of dollars that gingrich made as a washington insider. plus, on a very, very different note, kermit the frog,
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he spent 20 years in congress and worked his way up to become speaker of the house, second in line for the presidency. since leaving office, newt gingrich cashed in handsomely on his washington experience. despite that, he continues to brand himself as a washington outsider as he seeks the oval office for himself. lisa sylvester is taking a closer look at what folks are calling newt, inc. >> that's right. he is portraying himself as a guy with big ideas. he helped companies problem solve and develop creative solutions. they have paid him very well. but the issue now is was he actually working as a lobbyist for them? the gingrich group and the for profit center for health transformation grossed nearly $55 million in revenue in the last decade. since leaving congress, newt gingrich has become a master of
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branding neutrwt, inc. >> he applied it in any number of for profit arenas. >> reporter: but the groups are now dogging him. in 2008, there was a new health care law passed in georgia. gingrich touted the group's influence at a member's only meeting that year. >> we do no lobbying of any kind. what we do is education. so we did not lobby for the bill of georgia. we did write the basic document that the bill grew out of. >> reporter: that's at the heart of this. where does education begin and lobbying end? gingrich insists he hasn't had to work as a paid lobbyist, according to him, he was making a fine living giving speeches. >> i was charging $60,000 a speech. the number of speeches was going up, not down. normally celebrities leave and they gradually sell fewer speeches. we were selling more. >> reporter: companies paid $200,000 a year to be a member of the center for health
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transformation and gingrich is pitching his ideas to reform health care often pointed to his member clients as providing the solutions. >> somebody estimated that the government that if all health care in america were as effective as intermountain, you would reduce the cost of medicare by 50% while improving the outcomes. >> reporter: gingrich gave his clients access to lawmakers, here again from the 2008 speech, gingrich talks about building ties to people like then senator hillary clinton and former senate majority leader bill frist. >> this goes back to bill frist and working with us to host a series of leadership dinners that we came to on electronic information technology which really did begin to build a bipartisan pattern in the house and senate in a way that was very different.
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>> reporter: the gingrich group and center for health transformation in a statement reiterated that its mission was only to provide strategic thinking, policy analysis and planning. "we do know lobbying for clients and always make that very clear from the outset. we clearly stipulate that fact in our contracts." newt gingrich himself said did he not promote any ideas that he did not personally believe in and he says he was in a position financially where he could pick and choose his clients. wolf? >> always makes the point that he never formally registered as a lobbyist with congress or the justice department or anyone else. very sensitive issue. >> yes, it is. >> lisa, thank you. >> over at the white house, president obama's taking bold new steps to push his bid for re-election. he's hitting the road on trips critics are charging aren't fit for a commander in chief but rather for a campaigner in chief. let's go to the white house. our correspondent is standing by. the white house strongly resisting suggestions the president is campaigning out there on these trips. >> that's right, wolf. they resisted that suggestion over and over for months now.
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but the president paid yet another visit to a battleground state this week to pennsylvania. and now all you really to do is turn on your television and you can see that it's campaign season, both for republicans and for the president. >> reporter: he's off and running. >> the 2012 campaign is under way. the outcome will depend not on what i do, but on what you do. >> reporter: the president's re-election campaign launched its first ads tuesday looking for volunteers. >> to help build our campaign in your community. >> reporter: the same week the dnc put out this ad resembling a movie trailer. >> the story of two men trapped in one body. >> reporter: hit pitting rim mi romney as a flip-flopper. the president travels to pennsylvania, one of many battleground states he's visited to promote his jobs plan. >> it is good to be back in asheville, north carolina.
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great to be back in virginia. >> reporter: during his third year in office, mr. obama has held 55 events in swing states, more than any other president accord williing to "the wall st journal." republicans are hitting him saying he is campaigning on the taxpayers dime. but the white house denies the travel is political. >> every president ought to be able to travel everywhere in the country. it's part of his responsibility serving the american people to get out and be among them and to speak with them about his agenda or her agenda. this president will continue to do that. >> reporter: republican strategists say the president should be out on the campaign trail. >> nothing is getting done in washington from now until next november. so it's not too early for the president to get out there and start campaigning. >> reporter: but he also says it's understandable the white house is resistant to calling what look and sound like political events political. >> i think the president is caught in a catch 22 here. and that is that he's running
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against politics in washington. he says that's what's preventing anything from getting done. but then he's going out there and becoming political. and that is open to the charge of hypocrisy. i think that's what he's trying to avoid. >> reporter: the other sensitivity, wolf, is presidential travel. it's very expensive and taxpayers pick up the tab for the majority of it. that's perfectly legal. but it doesn't always sit well with voters when it's political travel. >> yeah, i suspect we're going to be seeing a lot more of this in the coming weeks and many, many months to come as this battle heats up. thanks very much. so can newt gingrich be his own worst eni our political analysts, they're both standing fwby to talk abou that. the week in politics and a lot more. plus, abortion controversy swirling and the new iphone. t r he'd yet to hear of mutual funds, iras, or annuities. back then, he had something more important to do.
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they call siri a popular assistant on apple's new iphone 4-s that can help you locate phone numbers and addressesment but she is biassed against abortion rights. mary snow is joining us. what is going on here, mary? >> you know, with critics questioning whether moral message was at play, apple denied that blaming technical issues to explain why siri can't seem to locate abortion clinics. >> where can i find a supermarket? >> it's one of the hottest functions of the new iphones. ? i found a number of super markets. >> siri, the virtual assistant. ask it just about anything and it fines an answer. fit can't, it leads you to a
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search engine. but apple is having to respond to questions about its new voice activate add siftant. the questions were first raised by bloggers asking why siri can find anything from strip clubs to viagra but draws a blank whether asked about abortion and contraception. we're standing outside a planned parenthood clinic in new york. where can i find an abortion clinic? this is the latest iphone with the siri app. >> sorry, i couldn't find any abortion clinics. >> asked the same question in washington, d.c., and the blog draws story says that siri comes up with an anti-abortion center in virginia and once in pennsylvania. a similar search on google directs users to several clinics where abortions are performed. they raise concerns but apple is blaming it on a technical glitch saying these are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone. it simply means that as we bring siri from beta to a final
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product, we find places where we can do better and we will in the coming weeks." not everyone is buying it. this man is the former executive director of and the author of the filter bubble. >> i think it's a pretty thin answer, the fact is that for a long time media companies have, you know, made it more difficult for women to, you know, find family planning. >> one analyst who covers apple says he doesn't believe there is a hidden agenda since apple doesn't use its own data base but rather relies on information gathered from partners. but he says the company's culture of silence will likely only add to suspicions. >> do you see lots and lots of pretty wild theories and speculations about new products and services. you see it more than you do with other companies because they tend to constrain the amount of
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information that they make available to the marketplace. >> now meantime, the abortion rights group pro-choice america foundation posted an emmitt received from apple's ceo after writing him. the group says it presappreciat the prompt response and will monitor siri until after apple's effortses are finished. >> what do we know about the siri technology. we know it's been around even before apple purchased. it what do we know about it? >> siri was sold to apple in 2010. you know, we talked to one of the former directors of siri. he we asked him about the technology. he said while he had this company, there were no known filters that would have filtered out anything having to do with abortion. >> mary snow, we'll stay on top of this story. fascinating story indeed. thank you. so if you're planning a holiday shopping trip to the mall, beware. someone may be tracking your every move. and newt gingrich keeps climbing in the polls at mitt romney's
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expense. but will the former house speaker stumble before primary season gets under way? hey, officer, how's it going? [ horns honking ] not a talker. cool. i'm not either most times. passport. yes. passport. passing them to you. driver's license. yup. here you go. past five years' tax returns, high-school report cards, and i'm gonna need to see a receipt for that watch you're wearing. you should have really provided us with a checklist of documents we were going to need up front. who do you think i am, quicken loans? ♪ at quicken loans, we provide a checklist of the mortgage documents you'll need up front. it helps keep you in the know every step of the way. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. ♪
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a florida poll out has proof that the former house speaker soared to the top of the pack while mitt romney's support has gone down. we're joined by our analysts. look at these numbers, gloria. gingrich in october, up to 50% in florida, a key state, obviously. romney has gone down from 28% to 19%. look at herman cain. 34% in october, 10% now. probably still going down. i think it's fair to say almost all of those herman cain supporters, they're not going to mitt romney. they're going to newt gingrich. >> yeah, they're going to newt
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gingrich. it just shows you the volatility of this field and the fact that republicans can't seem to fall in love with mitt romney. he maintains his sort of 20 to 25% base in the republican party. and the other candidates are the ones going up and down. newt gingrich is clearly the beneficiary of herman cain going down in the polls. >> is it fair to say this was a really good week for newt gingrich? not such a good week for mitt romney. >> what's interesting about this poll, you have to be careful putting too much weight on any single poll, especially by a polling organization that is not a specialist in florida, it is specially because florida is so key in the way that mitt romney views the road to the nominationment he is making an extraordinarily minimal effort in south carolina. that is the one state that picked the republican winner in every race since 1980. and their assumption is florida is their fire wall. if they don't do well in south carolina. so if he is facing trouble in south carolina now, imagine what florida will look like after a
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south carolina result that doesn't go well for him. so this is, you know, again, you can't put too much weight on any single poll. this should be a wakeup call about what the trend lines are right now in the race. >> i think this whole week has been a wakeup call to them. >> yeah. >> because it's clear that nobody in the party loves them. and the fact that newt gingrich, somebody they discounted a while ago is back out there. >> all of us discounted him. >> including us. you tack to people in the romney campaign, they're sitting there saying why doesn't the american public understand newt gingrich's past and his history and his nature? and they worry that between now and the iowa caucus there's isn't enough time to get that story out to the voters. >> you see, mitt romney is not really expecting to necessarily win iowa. newt gingrich can clearly win iowa. but he is fully expecting to win new hampshire which is a week later. now here's the nightmare scenario for mitt romney. this is the nightmare scenario.
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newt gingrich does encreasingly well in new hampshire in the coming weeks. he is beefing up the staff there. huntsman starts doing better. so huntsman supporters could be romney supporters. but if romney doesn't win in new hampshire, look, no republican has won both iowa and new hampshire since gerald ford in 1976. the reason is because the electorates are mirror images. iowa is evangelical and it will be difficult for whoever wins iowa to win new hampshire. but new hampshire remains the most important state on the map for romney because it is the one that can give him a burst of energy. if he wins new hampshire, he will be elevated in the eyes of many voters. i think the risk he faces is that if gingrich wins iowa convincingly, that that is the signal to the evangelical and tea party side of the party. this is the guy. and the scenario that romney people are most concerned about is consolidation on the right becomes more likely. >> and it also -- but also, the -- that's why it xplanexpla
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the irritation. >> huntsman is depending on the fact that independent voters can vote in the new hampshire republican primary. and those independent voters are not going to be tracted to newt gingrich. they are going to be tracted to john huntsman. so even if romney wins new hampshire but he wins by a little instead of a lot, don't forget, recent polls of three weeks ago showed them 40 points ahead in new hampshire. even if he decreases that lead but wins, we're going to be saying, you know, he eked it out. >> people are operating very little information beyond the debates. he really hasn't built dmind of structures you would expect from a presidential front-runner. and as new information gets released, it could puncture the balloon. >> people just know who he isment. >> all of us know newt gingrich. we covered him for a long time. the argument against him is he has so many ideas brewing all the time. he's capable of saying something that will undermine his support. let me play this one sound bite.
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newt gingrich this week which caused a stir. >> really poor children and really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. so they literally have no habit of showing up on monday. they have no habit of staying all day. they have no habit of i do this and you give me cash. unless it's illegal. >> that's newt. that's newt gingrich. i mean newt gingrich will shoot his mouth off. i was at a focus group last week conducted by the democratic polster peter hart with republican primary voters in the state of va va one of the voters said, look, here's what we know about newt gingrich. he's careless and that he's combustible. and these are -- so they're worried, the voters are worried because he can mouth off and say things and alienate a group of voters in a nano second and that's not what republicans need. >> newt gingrich came into congress in the 1970s.
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he founded the conservative opportunities society designed to transform the republican minority in the house from a junior partner in governing to a true opposition party. and the way they did was with bombastic rhetoric and late night speeches attacking democrats in very visit olic terms. he is never entirely unlearned those less sonsz even as he rows to the top of the hill. the book on the first year of the republican takeover, the title is "tell newt to shut up." the quote wasn'ts from a democrat. this is from another senior republican who has a tremendous command of a lot of issues but also has this tremendous draw toward the especially volatile remarks. >> no matter what happens in this. >> greg: race, you got to give newt gingrich amazing credit. >> absolutely. >> for coming out of nowhere. >> tenacity and the recovery is remarkable. >> he said he knew all along this was going to happen. >> world historical figure. >> transformation. >> we'll watch it together with you. thanks very much. america's sacrifices in iraq are being honored with just weeks to go before the u.s.
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mission is over. we're following the transition though the bloodshed continues until the bitter end. and a new bid for freedom by the man who shot ronald reagan 30 years ago.
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a rack controls one of the largest u.s. military bases in the country. the last troops left baghdad on friday. another milestone as the u.s. trooepz prepares to withdraw remaining 13,000 forces by the end of the year. martin sachage as more from iraq on the transition. u.s. and iraqi leaders saluted the sacrifice that's have launched a democracy. it was the first of numerous ceremonies for departure of u.s.
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troops from iraq. it may be the only one where u.s. and iraqi leaders and soldiers stand side by side honoring the occasion. while the complete withdrawal of american forces is still weeks away, this event signified that iraq is now very much in charge. the salute honoring the followed was made by an iraqi honor guard. and when the star spanning will banner poured through the palsy, palace, it was played by an i e iraqi band. as u.s. soldiers leave, they go with the gratitude of the iraqi people. >> translator: we thank all the united states and the friends who helped in ending the oppression and build an iraqi and democratic iraq. >> joe biden praised the troops from both nations for their efforts and sacrifice.
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>> all of us are gathered here for the same reason. we're gathered here to thank the arms forces of iraq and america and to honor your sacrifice. to honor your success as well as commitment. >> reporter: then biden spoke the words many iraqis and americans have waited years to hear. >> and because of you and there is no exaggeration to say that, because of you and the work of those of you in uniform have done, we are now able to end this war. >> reporter: but on the same day that leaders praised iraq's success, 20 people were killed in violent attacks just north of baghdad. and that would bring to a total of 56 people that have died in just the last eight days. iraq's prime minister admits his nation still faces a difficult future. but -- >> translator: i'm confident that our security forces are
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ready and to carry out its task of protecting the country and citizens. >> reporter: in other words, for the first time in nearly nine years, the job of ruling and running iraq rests solely in the hands of iraqis. martin savage, cnn, baghdad. 30 years after the attempted assassination of ronald reagan, his shooter is trying to win his complete freedom. we have new information on the fate of john hinkley jr. and your cell phone could be giving away your location to someone tracking your next shopping spree. stay with us. r. we've saved people a lot of money on car insurance. feels nice going into the holidays. ohhhh.... will you marry me? oooh, helzberg diamonds. yeah, well he must have saved some money with geico. reminds me of the gecko mating call. really? how does that go? shoo be doo be doo.
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the man who shot president ronald reagan is making awe new bid to be released from the mental hospital where he spent most of the last 30 years. brian todd is here in the situation room watching all of this unfold. john hinkley jr., you were at the white house earlier in the week. dramatic developments. the stakes are significant. >> they're very significant this time. hinkley's lawyer called him a decent person, a flawed but fundamentally decent person. not a danger to the community. government lawyers called him departmentive. we learned new details about hinkley's behavior in recent
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months. more than three decades after his bullet came within an inch of ronald reagan's heart, john hinkley sat expressionless as lawyers argued over whether he should eventually be free. hinkley's attorney barry levine telling the judge the would-be assassin is flawed but fundamentally decent. he is asking for hinkley to be granted more extended leave from a mental hospital and eventually live full time with his mother. his lawyer says he's not been violent and a doctor at the hospital says there is a low risk hinkley would be a danger to himself or others. a psychiatrist who once evaluated but didn't treat hinckley says this -- >> if he is on medication, mr. hinkley could move in next door to me as far as i'm concerned. if he's not on medication, i would do everything i could to block him from moving in next door. >> reporter: hinckley's lawyer says he's been reliable about taking his anti-psychotic drugs. but government attorneys counter that hinkley's been consistently deceptive. they say the secret service watched him this year without
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his knowledge during unsupervised free time. on more than one occasion, they say, hinkley was supposed to go to the movies or shopping. but instead he went to book stores where he looked at books about ronald reagan and presidential assassins. they say he is also deceptive about dealings with women, searching the internet for pictures of his female dentist then lying about it. faking an emergency to spend time with his dentist. episodes recommend necessary ent of his infatuation with jody foster before the assassination attacks. >> do you understand why i can't, you know, talk to people i don't know. you understand it's dangerous and rude. all right? >> oh, well, i'm not dangerous. >> former u.s. attorney remembers hinkley's prosecution in the early '80s. >> i don't think are any set of circumstances that hinkley should be unmonitored walking freely. he's going to have to self-medicate. there is no way to guarantee he's going to take his medication. >> that means the secret service
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is going to have to devote considerable resources to monitoring hinckley. resources that he says would be taken away from some protective detail. we called the secret service about this. they would not discuss any monitoring operations and would not discuss these proceedings in any way. these hearings are going to play out over at least the next few daysme days. the judge will rule on whether john hinkley merits more freedom. >> do we expect hinkley to testify? >> he's actually on the list to testify. he's on the list of potential witnesses put out by his defense attorney. but if he does testify, that means the prosecution is going to want to cross examine him. hinkley's defense team does not want that to happen. so he may not testify. >> all right, brian. we'll stay in close touch. let us know what the final decision has been made. fnchts you're concerned about uncle sam looking over your shoulder, maybe you should worry more about your own neighborhood ball. mary snow is back from new york. mary, what's going on that shoppers, especially around this christmas season, should know about? >> reporter: wolf, you know, cnn
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money first reported on this new technology being launched to two shopping centers in the u.s. to keep tabs on consumers. it's generated a lot of backlash and a change of plans for now. as shoppers hit stores on black friday, two malls kept a closer eye than usual on where people went. literally. they monitored signals from shopper's cell phones in richmond, virginia, and in southern california. this animation shows how the technology works. it's makers insist personal data isn't collected and that it's use the to track shopping patterns. but the use is now on hold with the manager of two u.s. malls saying "we have temporarily suspended further trial of the technology while we work with the system developer on possible enhancements and a deaf rens to concerns raised by senator schumer." new york democratic senator charles schumer has raised privacy concerns. he says while consumers can turn off their phones when they see
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signs outside of stores warning about the technology, they shouldn't have to. >> if retailers want to tap into your phone to see what your shopping patterns are, they can ask your permission. >> reporter: the company that makes the technology is called path intelligence based in the united kingdom. why is it necessary to track shoppers? >> it's necessary in the offline world to create a level playing field withwhat's going on online. >> ceo sharon baker compares what her company is doing to the information online site's track. she says in this case, cell phones are counted. additional information isn't detected. and she says having people agreeing to have cell phones tracked poses a problem. >> we'll be going from a situation today where we have no information, no details about cell phone numbers or demographics to a situation where we are required by law to hold personal information. >> despite assurances, the aclu's chris caliberse isn't
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sold. >> it's hard to take comfort in the idea that this isn't anonymous information because it's very easy to link people's cell phones and their individual identity. every time you do something from a smart phone, say for example sign up for a service or log into a service, you're linking your identity in the phone. and that information is routinely bought and sold. >> reporter: and while this technology is being suspended in two u.s. malls, the management company of those malls says it does plan to pursue an easier opt out option for consumers other than turning off their cell phones. >> mary, where else is this technology used? >> reporter: well, you know, the makers of this attracting technology say that it's being used in several other countries and that it hasn't seen such a big backlash -- as big of a backlash as it has here. and there are some u.s. retailers who have looked at this technology but, so far, say they don't plan to use it.
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>> mary snow, thank you. all right. get ready. standby for a huge name, a big name guest who may make tv news rivals green with envy. yes, kermit the frog, my new best friend right here in the situation room with me. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
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here is a look at this hour's hot shots. in an indoe sha prosince. in london, members of the british army do a risky motorcycle ship doing a preview of the tournament. in israel, an artist plays with a giant bubble. and in nepal, look at this, players participate in the 30th international el fant polo competition. pictures coming in from around the world. >> three, two, one. >> always an excitie ining mome here in washington. the president and the first lady lit the national christmas tree. always an exciting moemt, indeed. and the president spoke about it. >> this holiday season, let us reaffirm our commitment to each
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other. as family members, as neighbors, as americans, regardless of our color or creed or faith, let us remember that we are one and we are family. >> president had some help, as you can see right there not just from santa claus, but kermit the frog was over with the president and the first lady and the first family. he participated in this event and guess what? just before he went over to the white house for this special ceremony, kermit the frog, yes, kermit the frog was right here in the situation room with me. >> joining me here in the situation room, special guest, kermit the frog. >> thank you for having me. there is a situation that i think we should discuss. >> let's discuss that situation. you're here in washington right now for a very special region. tell our viewers in the united states and around the world
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what's going on. >> well, folks, breaking news. as christmas time, sometimes bad stuff can happen if you're not careful. >> like what? >> well, like for instance, my friends as underwriter's laboratory have given me a list of safety tips for your home during the christmas season. very, very important. >> how many tips are there? >> well, there are at least three. i'll give you the christmas tree ones. >> can you remember those three tips. >> i can. i can. they're important. >> number one, number two and then number three. it would be embarrassing if you can't reb number three. >> okay. number one, i forgot it already -- no, only kidding. number one, water your christmas tree every single day. >> all right. that's important. >> do not let it go by. number two, and this is very important. very important. do not keep that live christmas tree for more than four weeks even if you water it because they dry out and it could be a fire hazard. >> really? >> yes, it could be a situation. number three, what's number three? oh, number three, and this is
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very important, make sure you check those christmas lights that you put on that tree because they get hot. and i mean hot when i say hot. you do not want a fire on your christmas tree. so check for shorts, check for problems. if there is a problem, buy new lights. stimulate the economy, folks. yes. >> that's very important at this time of the year. and i'm really glad because our viewers, not only in the united states but around the world are going to pay attention because they know you, kermit. and you look good, by the way. >> thank you very much. it's even more important in those countries because the voltage is higher. i'm trying to sound studious and sbel jent. >> yes, we have a major show here. do you watch us? >> i certainly do. >> every day? >> well, yes, yes, every day. >> but this is the first time you've been a kbes. >> i have. >> i have never been on your show before. >> i know you're getting ready for something really special today. >> i am. i am. i'm very excited about it. i get to be a part of the tree lighting, the national tree lighting in the -- sort of the
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backyard of the white house. >> and you're going to meet the first family. >> i am. >> have you met them already? >> i have not. we rehearsed without them. they didn't make it to rehearsal, some sort of a vet service thing. but they will be there. i get to read twas the night before christmas with the first lady. it took me ages. i mean, the poem is easy, but trying to figure out what flow it is in. >> i love having a frog here in the situation room. i hope you'll be a frequent visitor. y you're a good frog. keep up the good work. i think you're going to save a lot of people's lives. and that's very important. >> all right, that's it, kermit the frog, he's here in the situation room doing important work. >> have a very happy holiday. >> love kermit the frog and i'm sure flotus, fers lady of the united states and plotus, president of the united ste