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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  September 21, 2010 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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tell policy for gays in the military. it's a vote, keep in mind here, this isn't a definitive yes or no. simply a cut off debate of this defense spending bill. republicans need all 60 gop votes to filibuster. of course, cnn live coverage of the international don't ask, don't tell vote. watch it at 2:30 eastern today. on that note, "cnn newsroom" continues right now with my colleague don lemon in for ali velshi. don? >> so good to see you, brooke. so good to see you. thanks very much. you're seeing pictures now of the white house and the capitol just over my shoulder. the reason, what's about to happen there is going to put the military and our national security in the spotlight. next hour, the senate takes up the fate of one of the most controversial military policies ever. talking about don't ask, don't tell. and right now it is still too close to call. could be a filibuster, and support of overturning that ban may not be able to move on with the situation, if there is a
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filibuster. plus, one of our great soldiers is about to receive the highest honor any service member can get. saved three of his comrades on a secret mission and died doing it. 42 years later his family will take home the medal of honor. you'll see it, right here, live. first want to start with the president. that town hall meeting the president had yesterday, he took very tough questions from people who were there. small business owners, unemploymentened and recent college graduates. it got us thinking about the promises the president made as he came into office. of course, when he first got into office, very beginning no approval rating until we took one about february of 2009. it showed 76% of americans approved of the job he was doing. and then in february of -- now i should say it is 50% down. some 20 points. down some 20 points. look at this brand new poll of polls. not our poll. this shows that it's down 46%. down to 46%.
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the president's approval rating. that's not even our poll. take a look at this, though. this is all despite some legislative victories that the president had. health care reform. remember that? although very controversial, financial regulatory overhaul. the stimulus. plus, two supreme court justice confirmations. talking about sonia socieewonia and what is the problem, then? of course, it's the economy and unemployment, as the president heard yesterday. when he got into office, a poll taken around february of 2009. he was at 8.2%. now 9.6% and some think it's going up to 10% unprecedented, very tough for the president to recover from that, if that does happen. you know, this comes as comments like the ones the president got yesterday at the town hall meeting, that cnbc town hall meeting. we took the numbers. listen to what people had to say about the current fate of the economy and the president and
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the presidential approval and promises when he campaigned. it feels like the american dream is not attainable to a lot of us. >> bring in correspondent ed henry and our senior political analyst gloria borger to talk about all this. the president's approval what the president did yesterday taking questions from everyday americans. if you're out of work, i'd have tough questions for the president. gloria, start with you. what can the president do to get this back on track, especially when so many democrats are on the line? >> i was talking with some
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republicans yesterday doing house races, and they basically said, look, this mid-term election is bait. okay? people feel -- they don't feel any recovery. they're disappointed. the change that they've seen, a lot of voters are nervous about it. you mentioned before. you mentioned health care reform. the stimulus package. the bailout. people decided that they didn't like them, or they haven't seen the results from them yet. particularly health care reform. a lot of it's not going to kick in until 2014. so what the president can do is try and help out members of congress where he's still popular. he can raise a lot of money for democrats but, you know, the democrats kind of understand that they've got to hunker down. it's just not going to be a good mid-term for them. >> if you watch the news, henry, standing there in front the white house. i wonder how the administration is handling this? those questions yesterday from everyday americans? if they're looking at it, as,
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this is a great opportunity for the president to get out in front of people and take their tough questions so he can feel it for himself? or is it, man, we should not have done this? >> no. i think they feel they've got to be open and transparent. when you talk to senior aides, they realize, the president's got to take some of the heat. let the american people vent if will you. interesting to me, i just spent a couple days in southeastern virginia for a big piece on publishing it tomorrow about sort of what happened in the obama mojo. take virginia. look, there were all of these obamacans. republicans who became obama fans in 2008. they crossed the aisle because they were inspired, just like some democrats were, and thought he was going to change things. i talk to democrats, republicans and independents in southeast virginia. they were basically saying, look, not angry at him. saying, we think he's a good man. we think he's got ideas and is trying, but basically said he tried to do too much too fast in the first 20 months or so, and the second thing they say, it's
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just a constant political environment, because of the economy. the economic issues, you and gloria were talking about that, frankly it's a throw the bums out kind of mentality. look what a couple voters we talked to, republ >> no matter how he spent his time during office and how well he represented his constituency, unfortunately the majority of citizen whose will going to vote for him, constituents that he'll follow along with his voting record are just going to vote for something different. they're going to be knee-jerk reactions and that's what you're going to see. >> i think why people are looking to vote out the incumbents is mainly because they're looking for an easy fix. i think they're unhappy with the current situation, as well they should be. it's not a comfortable feeling, and the easiest thing to do, get rid of your representative. i think two years hardly can be representative of what they can do. and to buy in another two years is a risky proposition.
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>> one of those voters put it bluntly. look, voters are in panic mode now. gloria said, house republicans think it's cooked already. video of a freshman democrat from southeastern virginia, got it all on the line. got a republican scott, car salesman, political newcomer saying, look, throw the bums out. a lot of people are responding to that. >> gloria, those people said the same thing people in the town hall said. give us a bottom line here, gloria borger, what should the president do? what are republicans going to do? >> what's interesting about barack obama as we look back over the last couple of years is that we have seen more of this president than almost any president that i can remember. but people still think they really don't know who he is. so that's something the white house really needs to work on, because people don't dislike
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him. they just feel they're not quite sure who he is. he bills himself as a postpartisan president. they see a lot of partisanship in washington, and they really don't like that, but in the short term you know, it's very, very difficult for the democrats right now. this election is about barack obama. now, republicans are coming out with this version of the 1994 contract with america. some republicans are a little worried about that, because they don't want to give the democrats anything to kind of pick on, but, you know, at this point the democrats have to do hand-to-hand combat in every congressional race, in any senate race where they think maybe the tea party is going to help them out. as for barack obama, he's got a lot of work to do in letting the american public know just who he is. >> very interesting. he's written two books and so much dealt with, as far as his past. >> exactly. >> a whole other conversation we could have. thank you both.
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talking about the economy now. let's talk about the war. two wars we're fighting overseas. in particular, a deadly day for u.s. troops in the afghan war. what has become the deadliest year. nine americans killed. live reports from kabul right after this. host: coulswinto geico really save you 15% or more on car insuranc did the little piggy cry w wee all the wahome? piggy: weeeeeee, weeeeeee, weeeeeee, weeeee weeeeeeee.
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the world can be a far less threatening place. take the scary out of life with travelers insurance... and see the world in a different light. the story in california where officials were making so much money, hundreds ever thousands of dollars a year, and the people who lived there really got upset about it when they found out. this just in. the investigation. someone close to the investigation confirms to cnn that eight current and former city officials from belle, california, have been arrested. they were arrested this morning in connection with a probe
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conducted by the l.a. county district attorney's office. this is according to the "l.a. times." investigating transactions amounted to they have of public funds. stealing people's money and looking into allegation of voter fraud and whether the high salaries earned by city officials and others were legal. we'll check into that. this just in to cnn from bell, california. meantime, overseas to talk about our men and women in uniform. nine of them lost their lives today in a helicopter crash in the southeastern part of afghanistan. this all happened just days after parliamentary election where the taliban has so much violence, were able to close down polls and keep people from the polls there, and also one year from now we're expected to pull out of afghanistan and start pulling out, nine u.s. service members killed. officially we don't know what happened, but the taliban is taking responsibility. to the ground now in kabul and
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cnn the ivan watson. ivan has said, this is the worst violence we've had in that war this year. >> reporter: that's right. this has been an escalating war and this case on a helicopter going down you usually get a spike in casualties when these types of accidents take place. military spokesman are saying they saw no evidence of hostile fire. they're still investigating the cause of the crash. a weston defense source telling cnn zone here that this resulted in the death of nine u.s. servicemen. that makes it the deadliest year yet, you pointed out, of this nine-year conflict in afghanistan. fo for u.s. troops and coalition troops. look back over the years, the casualty list has gone up year after year. 155 dead in 2008. american troops. 313 american troops killed in 2009. and now 350 in the year is not through yet.
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now, when you ask weston military commander why are they going up? more troops on the ground an more battles as a result with taliban insurgence. u.s. troops on the ground increased by 30,000 this year as a result of the decision by the obama administration, but one consequence of that is more violence and more civilians caught in the cross fire. listen to what this analyst had to say here in kabul. >> the violence in the country has risen es po nentially and it's affected afghans in the biggest way. also a lot of casualties on the u.s. and nato side, but i mean, you've got thousands this time of civilian casualties and it keeps going up. there's some 30% increase in violence in this last while in civilian casualties. that's really significant. and, for example, don, just today getting reports from
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afghan officials of five afghan construction workers killed by a roadside bomb, northwest of the afghan capital. don? >> ivan watson, kabul, afghanistan. thank you very much for that. technically we may be out of recession. got out of officially last summer, but is there a so-called double dip on the way? a new cnn poll of economists says they aren't so worried about it. we'll explain that to you, and why.
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okay. here's what we heard yesterday. the recession was officially declared over as of last june. do you believe it? this year the economic performance has feared what's known as double dip.
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you've heard ali velshi talk about that, that w, talk answer the double dip. go on to, paul la monica joins me. what are the odds of another recession? we don't want that? >> obviously we don't want that. fortunately odds are not that high we'll go into that double dip recession according to a survey of 31 economists that conducted. the average expectation is about a 25% chance. so that's obviously good news that it's not higher than that, but unfortunately the bad news is just a few months ago the consensus opinion was about a 15% chance of a double dip. so the economists that we surveyed definitely think there is a greater chance now than just a few months ago. >> the reason for the disconnect between anyone listening, saying it doesn't feel like a recovery, what are they talking about? 9%. only 9% of the jobs lost in the private sector have been
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recovered, and so there's a big disparity where 70% of gdp has recovered. however, only 9% of jobs recovered. >> yeah. i think what he just said is a perfect example of you know, how many consumers feel. it doesn't seem like a recovery. even though we can say the recession is technically over, doesn't matter to a lot of people. the recession in their minds is something they're feeling. >> still feeling it and a lot of them thinking it's getting worse now. the recovery of the economy has a lot to do with the way consumers feel. consumer confidence. the way people in america feel. given the way americans feel, how likely will their attitudes help the possibility of a double dip? >> that's a very interesting question. unfortunately, a lot of times bad economic news can be somewhat a self-fulfilling
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prophecy. if consumers are worried they're going to hold back on spending. while that's good news for the long term, remember the reason we got into the great recession in the first place, a lot of people, not just consumers, businesses as well as the government overspent. that's something that came home in a very bad way in 2008. so if consumers hold back, that could, though, be something that's bad for the short term. we need consumers to spend again. companies are waiting for to justify decisions to start hiring people back again. >> and consumers are waiting for companies to hire again. paul la monica, thanks very much. paul, part of the best financial team on television. you can see more of them on jaromir jayr "your $$$$$'s" 1:00 p.m. eastern and 3:00 p.m. sunday. and denying allegations christine o'donnell misused campaign funds. a campaign watchdog group filed
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complaints with the federal election commission and the u.s. attorney in delaware saying o'donnell improperly spent $20,000 in funds from her previous campaign after that campaign was over. a government report says 16% of all traffic deaths last year were caused by distracted drivers. transportation expert safety advocate and police officials are holding a summit in washington today to discuss that problem. transportation secretary ray lahood describes distracted driving as an epidemic and calls for additional laws to ban texting while driving. today is world alzheimer's day, and a new report confirms what many families already know. caring for people with dementia can about huge financial burden. a group called alzheimer's international says more than 600 billion dollars will be spent around the world this year. saying the cost per patient is highest in the united states. $40,000. more than 40 years, but a hero from the vietnam era is
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finally getting recognition. live pictures now of the ceremony. we'll go to that. going to get a medal of honor. that ceremony will happen at the white house and we're going to profile the man behind this medal. stay with us p. a story you won't forget, coming up. [ woman ] nine iron, it's almost tee-time... time to face the pollen that used to make me sneeze... my eyes water. but now zyrtec®, the fastest 24-hour allergy relief, comes in a liquid gel. zyrtec® liquid gels work fast, so i can love the air®. comes in a liquid gel. this site has a should i try priceline instead? >> no it's a sale. nothing beats a sale! wrong move! you. you can save up to half off that sale when you name your own price on priceline. but this one's a me. it's only pretending to be a deal. here, bid $79. got it. wow!
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you win this time good twin! there's no disguising the real deal.
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an american hero honored 42 years after he died. air force chief mast every sergeant whose name is richard etchberger killed leping evacuate injured comrades from a mountain top in laos.
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president obama will present the medal of honor to his son in the east room of the white house today. you're seeing behind me, people getting ready to go into that room. live pictures of the east room. before that ceremony starts, though, we'll find out a little bit more about sergeant etchberger's back groun and his fascinating story. we go to our homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve. interesting to hear how he saved three of his comrades and then was on his way to safety add then gets killed. the secret mission they couldn't honor him because the u.s. was afraid to do it. >> reporter: that's right, don. even his own children didn't know the story until the 1980s. he was in the air force with a radar technician. he was asked to go to laos, and man a radar installation on a mountaintop there. during the vietnam war, laos was neutral. u.s. servicemen were not supposed to be there, so he resigned, as it were, from the air force, donned civilian clothes and he and others went
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to this remote radar station at the top of a tall cliff 4 laos and from there helped vector in american aircraft for bombing north vietnam and communist controlled parts of laos. in march 1968, unexpectedly north vietnamese soldiers able to scale the cliff, a 3,000 feet tall, attacked these men. many of whom were technicians, and etchberger, according to accounts, picked up an m-16 he had barely any training on and started firing to protect his men. several of them were killed. two of them were wounded. eventually an air america helicopter came in to rescue them. and he -- it is said, braved enemy fire in order to get his men on the hoist and up into that helicopter. he got two of them. another wounded man emerged from the shrushry. got him up in the helicopter too. went up himself. was uninjured, unharmed, but as
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the helicopter pulled away, there was ground fire, one round, pierced that helicopter and hit him, and he was killed. but the american government didn't want to make this all public, because the american military wasn't supposed to be in laos. so he was secretly awarded the air force cross. at the time it was discussed, should he get the medal of honor? it was rejected we're told because u.s. officials didn't want to make the operation in laos public. only in recent years was there a movement to give him this honor and indeed that's coming to a culmination today. several of his children, three of his sons supposed to be there in addition to other family members and one he rescued plans to be there. >> one whom he rescued, we're looking at live picture where they're about to have the ceremony. he said i live with it every day. i saw him get shot. i saw the blood, and he said, every single day, he thinks about that his life was spared and the man who helped save him
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you know, died. listen, you mentioned his three sons are going to be there today. one is cory etchberger, jeanne. i know you would know a lot about the story. third grade, in 1968, when he wad told his father die in a helicopter accident in southeast asia. not until he was 29 did he learn, until they declassified think information. imagine what an emotional day for them? >> reporter: yeah. he was absolutely stunned when his mother finally gathered the sons around and told them the truth, that, in fact, her husband, their father, had not died in a helicopter crash, but in fact was a hero of the vietnam war. interestingly, one of the mementos he has is the watch that his father was wearing when he was killed. you can see that the crystal on it is broken. cory told us his father, because he was left-handed would wear this watch on his right wrist and wear it with the face inward facing to protect it. and today every member the family is going to be wearing
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their watch on their left wrist with the face facing inward, sort of a silent tribute to this man that's being honored today. >> jeanne, stick around. i want to tell viewers, that ceremony is about to get under way. we always like to honor our heroes and of course one of our biggest heroes now being honor today with the highest honor you can get from the military, which is the medal of honor. his name, air force chief master sergeant richard etchberger. richard etchberger. we're going to take a break. we're not taking a break now, because we're going to get started. listen, this is fascinating. it makes one wonder about how often things like this happen as we watch and listen and things get underway. of course, handed this honor, his family, by the president. we will wait for the president to come up, but i wonder how often this happens, ladies and gentlemen? do you know? >> ladies and gentlemen, the vice president of the united states. >> we don't, here the ceremony is about to begin.
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if you're just joining us here on cnn we're waging a ceremony about to happen in the east room of the white house. i'm joined by cnn homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve. we're about to watch a hero get honored 42 years after he die and after he saved colleagues during vietnam. his name, air force chief master
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sergeant richard etchberger. his three sons are there. they're going to accept this honor on his behalf. 42 years after this death. the person said the president of the united states is coming. a bit of a delay. we'll keep talking about -- you said we don't know how often this happened, because declared top secret. let's listen to the ceremony. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and mrs. michelle obama. [ playing "hail to the chief" ]
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>> let us pray. dear lord, how grateful we are for the privilege of living in america, the land of the free and the home of the brave. we thank you for those throughout our nation's history who have left the comfort and security of our shores to stand between their loved homes and the war's desolation pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to establish and maintain our precious freedoms. today we offer special thanks for the sacrifice and service of one of america's finest airmen, chief master sergeant richard etchberger who on that fateful day in march 1967 demonstrated enormous courage and valor beyond the call of duty, as the
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sons of this brave air force warrior receive on his behalf our nation's highest military award, the medal of honor. we know that they will stand just a little taller. and so also shall we, a very proud and grateful nation. and now as we honor this american hero, and the family who loved and supported him we humbly ask that you grace our time together with your presence and blessing and your holy and wondrous name we pray, amen. >> please, be seated. good afternoon. and on behalf of michelle, myself, welcome to the white house. i thank you, general, for that wonderful invocation.
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of all the military diecoration our nation can bestall, the highest in the medal of honor. it is awarded for conspicuous gallantry, for risking one's life in action, for serving beyond the call of duty. today we present the medal of honor to an american who displayed such gallantry more than four decades ago. chief master sergeant richard l. etchberger. this medal reflects the gratitude of an entire nation. so we are also joined by vice president biden, members of congress, including congressman earl and from chief etchberger's state of pennsylvania, the congressman.
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we are joined from leaders from across my administration including secretary of veterans affairs rick shinseki, secretary of defense robert gates, vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general jim cartwright, leaders from across our armed services, including air force secretary michael donnelley and chief of staff general norton schwartz. i want to acknowledge a group of americans who understand the valor we recognize today, because they displayed it themselves. members of the medal of honor society. most of all, we welcome dick etchberger's friends and family. especially his brother, robert, and rick's three sons, steve, richard and cory. the etchberger family, this is a day more than 40 years in the making.
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cory was just 9 years old, but he can still remember that winter in 1967 when he, his brothers and his mom, were escorted to the pentagon. the war in vietnam was still raging. dick etchberger had given his life earlier that year. now the family was being welcomed by the air force chief of staff in a small, private ceremony dick was recognized with the highest honor that the air force can give. the air force cross. these three sons were told that their dad was a hero. that he had died while saving his fellow airmen, but they weren't told much else. their father's work was classified, and for years, that's all they really knew. then nearly two decades later, the phone rang. it was the air force and their father's mission was finally
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being declassified. and that's when they learned the truth, that their father had given his life not in vietnam but in neighboring laos. that's when they began to learn the true measure of their father's heroism. dick etchberger was a radar technician, and he had been hand picked for a secret assignment. with a small team of men he served at the summit of one of the tallest mountains in laos, more than a mile high. literally above the clouds. they manned a tiny radar station guiding american pilots in the air campaign against north vietnam. dick and his crew believed they could help turn the tide of the war. perhaps even end it, and that's why north vietnamese forces were determined to shut it down. they sent their planes to assist american as they work pd then moved in their troops and eventually dick and his teep could look through the
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binoculars and see their mountain was surrounded by thousands of north neat in a mease troops. dick and his crew had a decision to make. evacuate or continue the mission for another day. they believed that no one could possibly scale the mountain's steep cliffs and believed in their work, so they stayed. they continued their mission. there were 19 americans on the mountain that evening. when their shift was ober, four men moved down to a rocky ledge on a safer side of the mountain, and then during the night the enemy attacked. somehow fighters scaled the cliffs and overran the summit. down the side of the mountain dick and his men were now trapped on that ledge. the enemy robbed, lobbed down
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grenade after grenade, hour after hour. dick and his men would grab the grenades and throw them back or kick them town down into the valley below, but the grenades kept coming pup win airman was kill add then another. a third airman wooned, then another. eventually dick was the only man standing. as a technician, he had no formal combat training. in fact, he'd only recently been issued a rifle. but dick etchberger was the very definition of an nco. a leader determined to take care of his men. when the enemy started moving down the rocks, dick fought them off. when it looked like the ledge would be overrun, he called for air strikes. with yards of his own position, shaking the mountain, and clearing the way for a rescue. in the morning light, an american helicopter came into view.
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richard etchberger lived the airmen's creed. never leave an airmen behind. never falter, he never failed. so as the helicopter hovered above and lowered its sling, dick loaded his wounded men one by one, each time exposing himself to enemy fire. and when another airmen suddenly rushed forward after alluding the enemy all night, dick loaded him, too, and finally himself. he had made it off the mountain. that's when it happened. the helicopter began to keel away. a burst of gunfire erupted below. dick was wounded, and by the time they landed at the nearist base, he was gone. of those 19 men on the mountain that night, only seven made it out alive. three of them owed their lives to the actions of dick
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etchberger. today we're honored to be joined by one of them. mr. john daniels. among the few who knew of dick's actions, there was the belief that lis valor warranted our nation's highest military honor. but his mission had been a secret, and that's how it stayed for those many years. when their father's mission was finally declassified, these three sons learned something else. it turned out that their mother had known about dick's work all along, but she had been sworn to secrecy, and she kept that promise to her husband and her country, all those years. not even telling her own sons. so today it's also a tribute to katherine etchberger and the reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices that our military spouses make on behalf of our nation. this story might have ended
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there, for the family finely knowing the truth, and for another two decades it did, but today also marks another chapter in a larger story of our nation finally honoring that generation of vietnam veterans who served with dedication, courage, but all too often were shunned when they came home, which was a disgrace that must never happen again. a few years ago an airmen who never even knew dick etchberger read about his heroism and felt he deserved something more. so he wrote his congressman, who made it his mission to get this done. today we thank that airman, retired master sergeant robert dilly, and that congressman, who along with congressman holden made this day possible. stanley, dick's wife katherine, sadly, do see this moment, but
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today stephen, richard and cory today your nation finally acknowledges and fully honors your father's bravery. because even though it has been 42 years, it's never too late to do the right thing. it's never too late to pay tribute to the our vietnam veterans and their families. in recent years, dick's story has become known in air force bases have honored him with streets and buildings in his name. and at the base where he train so long ago in barksdale, louisiana, there's a granite monument with an empty space next to his name, and that space can finally be etched with the words, medal of honor. the greatest memorial of all to dick etchberger is the spirit that we feel here today. the love that inspired him to serve, the love of his country, the love for his family, and
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most eloquent expression of that devotion are the words he wrote himself to friends back home just months before he gave his life to our nation. i hate to be away from home, he wrote, from that small base above the -- but i believe in the job. he said, it is the most challenging job i'll ever have in my life. and then he added, i love it. our nation endures because there are patriots like chief master sergeant richard etchberger and other troops who are serving as we speak, who love this nation and defend it. their legacy lives on because their families and fellow citizens preserve it. as americans we remain worthy of their example only so long as we honor merrily not only with the
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mettle we possess but remaining true to the values and freedoms for which they affect us. so, please, join me in welcoming steve, richard and cory for the reading of the citation. [ applause ]
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>> the president of the united states of america authorized by act of congress march 3, 1863 awarded in the name of the congress the medal of honor to chief master sergeant richard l. etchberger united states air force for conspicuous gallantry at the rick of life above and beyond the call of duty. chief master sergeant richard l etchberger distinguished himself why hair heroism assigned to detachment 110 43rd radar evacuation squadron. on that day the chief and his team technicians were manning a top defensive position at lima site 85 when the baits was overrun by an enemy ground force, receiving sustained and withering heavy artillery attacks directly upon his unit's position, the chief's entire crew lay dead or severely
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wounded. despite little or no combat training chief etchberger single-handedly held off the enemy with an m-16 why simultaneously directing air strikes into the area and calling for aires cue. becau aires cue. because ever these actions he was able to deny enemy action to his position and save the lives of his remaining crew. with the arrival of the rescue aircraft, chief etchberger without hesitation repeatedly and deliberately risked his own life exposing himself to heavy enemy fire in order to place three surviving wounded comrades into rescue slings hanging from the hovering helicopter waiting to airlift them to safety. with his remaining crew safely aboard, chief etchberger finally climbed into the evacuation slim himself only to be fatally wounded by enany ground fire as he was being raced into the aircraft. chief etchberger's bravery and determination in the face of
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persistent enemy fire and overwhelming odds are in keeping with the highest standards of performance and traditions of military service. chief etchberger's gallantry, self-sacrifice and profound concern for his fellow men at risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the united states air force. [ applause ] [ applause ]
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>> let us pray. and now, o lord, as we close this medal of honor ceremony and our hearts have been stirred by the account of chief etchberger's story of bravery and sacrifice, we pray that we may respond with a renewed devotion to the cause of peace and freedom. we also pray for your blessing and protection to be upon america's sons and daughters who stand in harm's way today, and for their loved ones who prayerfully and patiently wait, may our efforts, dear lord, lead to a more secure and prosperous world. a world in which all people will one day live in harmony with you and one another. amen and amen. >> thank you very much.
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there you go. very emotional speech given by the president on behalf of master sergeant master sergeant richard etchberger who lost his life 42 years ago in a secret mission during vietnam. his three sons were there today to receive the honor for him, the highest honor from the military, the military honor. steve, richard and cory. cory 9 years old at the time 1968. told his father had died. didn't know why. didn't know he was a hero. but today he certainly does. ♪
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okay. let's do "the big i" now. we've been talking is a lot about conservation, green energy, all the of that. i want to talk to you about an electric vehicle charger. you've seen some of these around places. hey, i'm just going to show you this little bit. this is how -- just a regular car that we have, the one that uses combustible gas. you put it in and put the gas in and the red line here. it goes to a combustion engine, right? this is what happens with an electric car. you have a household plug or plug somewhere in case you run out of energy and plug it in. plug it in. it goes to the battery and then to the controller and from the controller it goes to the electric motor. so that's supposed to be able to
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conserve energy and all of our fossil fuels as they say. let's walk over here and talk to this gentleman who -- his name is andy kinard. this is the president of the car charging group. tell us, is this it? how do it happen? what do you do with that thing? >> this is a 220 volt and 110 volt charger. i'm not sure if you have seen the movie "who killed the electric car." every car had the individual car charger. that was part of the reason for the demise about the electric car vehicle eight years ago. >> because the thing i was showing there in the wall back there is you have a big charger at your house and then there's a big charger somewhere and you have to go to these certain places. this one works more like a traditional gas station where you can go and just charge it and plug it in for a while. >> exactly. the industry standardized the charger. this is something called the j-1772. every charger will be equipped with this. every car produced from this
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point can accept this just like gas pumps work now. this is a public charger. what that means is it's got a cell phone in it and talking to the internet. if you're driving around and you need a charge, you can look on google maps and iphone applications that can help you find this. all types of different smartphone applications. you can use a credit card or this is a membership card. it will send a signal to make sure this is an actual authenticated card. the 110 charger just opened. if you want to charge with 110 you can plug it in or put that in your car and it charges 220. >> this is my question. am i standing here forever to get it to charge like my cell phone when it runs out? is it a quick -- >> no, it's not that quick. i would say three or four hours depending on the car. we put them in places where cars are going to be standing anyway or places you wouldn't mind killing an hour. >> parking garage, shopping center when you get your car tuned up or fixed. president of car charging group. thank you very much.
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it's very interesting. you're going to see this is -- maybe one day it will become -- very status kuo very soon we who he. your "cnn equals politics update" straight ahead. an off the cuff remark by the senate majority leader has him in some hot water. we'll tell you what he said. one word turns innovative design into revolutionary performance. one word makes the difference between defining the mission and accomplishing the mission. one word makes the difference in defending our nation and the cause of freedom. how... is the word that makes all the difference. how... i'm ahmed mady and i'm a homebuilder. my father brought me up to give back to society... felicia jackson promised her late sister that she would take care of her children. but she needed help. i used my american express open card to get half a million points to buy building materials
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don't worry about that. i switched to sprint's $69.99 plan, so i wasn't charged extra. [ buzzes ] okay, i just got your breakup e-mail. e-mails are unlimited, too. and look -- i just changed my facebook status to "single." but internet's also unlimited. [ cellphone buzzing ] deaf, hard-of-hearing and people with speech disabilities, access yeah. [ male announcer ] only sprint gives you unlimited text, web, and calling to any mobile for just $69.99. sprint. the now network. time right now for your "cnn equals politics update."
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cnn congressional correspondent briana keilar is in washington. what is crossing now? >> reporter: just up on the ticker you can take a look here. the big question in politics are democrats going to be able to hang on to the majority come the midterm elections? this is the number two democrat in the house steny hoyer. he just said in his off-camera weekly briefing, he insisted democrats will be able to hang on to the majority. he was specifically asked a question by a reporter about recent news coverage, particularly one item that had to do with poll numbers that spelled bad news for democrats. he really pushed back and said this is a party on the move and they'll be able to hang on to things. also on the ticker you know that senate majority leader harry reid is prone to making some of the off the cuff remarks that kind of get him in trouble sometimes. well, he's delivered again for us. this is from my colleague dana bash on the hill. he said that kirsten gillibrand
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of new york is the hottest member of the house. he apparently said it and it made her blush a little bit. she was ranked number three most beautiful person on the hill recently in a hill rags but a bit awkward there. finally on the ticker coming up, don, sarah palin has a brand new video out from her political action committee sarah pac very produced and obviously appealing to the tea party crowd. calls them real people. she says the future of politics. obviously makes you wonder if she's running for 2012 and trying to harness the power of those voters. >> happy birthday and thank you very much. we appreciate that. we've got more political news to tell you about on cnn including a key vote that we're watching on "don't ask, don't tell." key vote by the senate. going to happen moments away. in,
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minutes away from a vote in the u.s. senate that could decide the fate of "don't ask, don't tell." so let me set the stage for you. back in 1993 president bill clinton signed that compromise measure which allows gays to serve in all branches of the u.s. military as long as they don't reveal their sexual orientation. republicans have filibustered a new measure that would authorize a repeal and it's not clear if supporters can round up the 60 votes that they need to press on. we're going to be watching that. but a mighty force is leading the charge for change. at the top, president barack obama, he campaigned against "don't ask, don't tell" but says it is really up to congress to end it. defense secretary gates said he asked to let gays serve openly. joined by mullen. now senate majority harry reid rallied his members which voted for repeal in may of "don't ask,
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don't tell". today senator lieberman echoed that call. >> it has denied almost 14,000 of our military who are in the military the right to continue to serve, to put their lives on the line to protect our security and freedom. and why were they kicked out of the military? not because they were bad members of the military, not because they violated the military code of conduct in their personal behavior but because of their private sexual orientation. >> and also today, general james amos, who is poised to become the new marine corps commandant came out in support of "don't ask, don't tell," that policy. arizona senator john mccain, top republican on the armed services committee fiercely opposed repealing it before a military review. take a listen. >> i continue to urge my colleagues to reject this effort to short-circuit the process endorsed by department of defense leaders, not by the
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service chiefs, a process that was supposed to inform us with one that merely ratifies a politically-driven decision. we all look forward to hearing your thoughts about whether the comprehensive review should be allowed to run its course in this fashion and what you feel about the effect it could have on the united states marine corps. >> the senate is preparing to take this issue up today. why don't we go to our senior congressional correspondent dana bash in washington. dana, you have been watching this story for a very long time. mike mullen is in support of it. secretary gates is in support of it. but is that going to make a bit of difference to the politicians in washington today when they vote on it? >> reporter: will it make a difference on this vote? more and more it's seeming like the answer is no, don. you could sort of feel everything deflating as the day has gone on with respect to supporters of "don't ask, don't tell" re peel as they have seen
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that this particular decision, this language in this defense bill looks like it is not going to get on to the senate floor in this critical vote in the next half an hour unless we're surprised. we should noet nothing is ever simple or straightforward in the senate. what this language actually says is it allows the pentagon to repeal -- allows for repeal after the pentagon is finish with its year-long review and after the president and military leaders sign off on it. that is the language. but why is it not happening? some of the republicans who -- supporters of the repeal have been targeting, namely susan collins of maine, she is simply making clear she's going to stick with her party. she's going to vote to block this bill from coming to the floor. she argues, along with her party, that the democratic leaders are simply not giving republicans ultimately enough chance to amend or change this bill once it gets to the floor. >> let me ask you this. how much has to do with the
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"don't ask, don't tell" policy itself or something that's attached to the bill that has to do with immigration? is that playing a bigger role or is it really the "don't ask, don't tell" part that people are opposed to here? >> reporter: both issues are playing a big role. the "don't ask, don't tell" language is already in the big and with regard to immigration democrats have signaled they want to putt an aamendment if this go et cetera to t-- gets t called the dream act. both are inflaming this. we have heard more as the day goes on, both sides accusing the other of playing politics. i know that's not a surprise to people to hear parties say this especially this close to an election but i have to tell you i was talking to our team here and wanted to gauge is it just me. you can really feel the animosity in a big, big way. more than even before. there's certainly been partisan politics before. but you can cut it with a knife here in congress right now.
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people are just itching and they are angry and they're aggravated at each other and they are really feeling the pressure from the voters especially the democrats who obviously are on the hot seat right now with their majority in question. >> all right, dana. that vote expected to get started. doesn't know if it will be finished -- what time it will be finished. expected to start in a few minutes here on cnn. we'll check back in on capitol hill to see what's going on. stand by. we appreciate you reporting right now. we're going to talk about teaching kids how to be business owners at age 10? that's what's going on at a school in jerlsy. and this school is named after dionne warwick the singer. make sense? it will. i always get there faster. see, expedia lets me mix and match airlines. so i can take one airline out... and another home. so with more flight options, i can find the combination that gets me there and back quickest.
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time for shop talk. and in shop talk we talk about ways that we fix our schools and highlight schools that are doing something right. today we're going to east orange, new jersey, where elementary school kids are learning how to be entrepreneurs. elementary school, wow. all right. they say it's never too early. we're going to ask that question. we're talking about the school called the deion warwick institute of economic entrepreneurship. renamed for the singer in 1966 when it was changed into a more business themed public school. warwick attended the same school back in the 1940s and thanks to a generous gift from the five-time grammy winner, the school now has a state-of-the-art technology lab equipped with new hi end computers for them to use, about 425 students attend this school and nearly all the students are either black or hispanic and most of them are from poor
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households. joining me now, sharon giles. she is the economics and entrepreneurship teacher at the warwick school. so good to have you here. thank you so much for joining us. here's my question. congratulations on the gift. but how do you get elementary schools -- elementary school students to learn about entrepreneurship? is that is not too early? >> it's never too early, don. what we find is the more we expose our children to, the more opportunities they're able to have. so we find that we give them the skills to select a product, to make it, to sell it at what we call market day and get that money in their hands. we let them know how to make it and how to use it, how to spend it wisely. >> yeah. as i understand, you said it's going to be used for school projects but they'll be able to as you just referenced use it for their own benefit and make money starting early on. >> yes. >> the reviews are mixed on
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whether or not supplying students with this sort of technology, newer technology, if it really affects test scores at all. are you concerned about test scores or concerned about preparing the kids for the real world? >> right. i'm more concerned with preparing them for the real world. with this donation, we have state-of-the-art computers that have microsoft, office software. and that's pretty much what you find in offices throughout the country. so if our students get the opportunity to start working with this now, the presentations westbound the powerpoints, they'll have a very comfortable feeling as they go forward and they'll have real workplace readiness skills. >> hey, sharon, can you share any success stories with us? >> well, we do have a few right now. as you mentioned, our students are very young. but we find that as they continue to go through our school system, that many of them are continuing their entrepreneurial efforts and they've also come back to say
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that in their new schools, in high school, that their teachers were surprised that they knew so many things about profit, about a business plan and all these times of things that we teach them because you don't usually find them in such young students. >> here's a perfect example of when you don't know, you really just don't know. when you don't have opportunities, you don't rise to the occasion. many of the students with the old computers that would just schutte down or just stop working for no particular reason, they thought the old computers were just fine and that's the way computers worked. now that they have these new computers, sharon -- >> now that they have these new computers, they can really see how quickly the internet comes into your life, how much research that they can do, how many wonderful graphics are available and really how easy it is. >> and they're focused -- i read that all you can hear in the room is just the clicking of the keyboards and the clicking of the mousse and before kids would get distracted because it would
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be so slow, the internet connection, that they would become distracted. >> absolutely. so now we have their complete attention. they are so excited, they're ready to learn. >> sharon giles from the warwick school in new jersey. hey, best of luck to you. thanks for coming on cnn and telling your story. say hi to the kids. >> thank you. i will. coming up on cnn, what do the israeli minister of defense, crown prince of saudi arabia, laura bush and ashton kutcher have in common? they and many others are taking part in the annual meeting of the clinton global initiative under way in new york city. after a break we'll hear from the guy in charge. of course he's the former president of the united states, bill clinton. he is speaking to cnn's very own wolf blitzer. sure i'd like to diversify my workforce,
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check your top stories right now on cnn. standing by for a key senate vote on gays in the military. democrats are trying to begin debate on a defense bill that includes a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." that's a policy that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces. democratic leaders need 60 votes to fend off a republican filibuster and right now it is really too close to call, but we are watching it for you. republican senate nominee christine o'donnell is denying allegations that she misused campaign funds. a watchdog group filed complaints with the federal election committee anti-u.s. attorney in delaware. it says o'donnell improperly spent $20,000 in funds from a previous campaign after that campaign was over. wyclef jean won't be running for president of haiti after all.
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the hip-hop singer says he's given up trying to overturn a ruling that he is ineligible to run for president there. the haitian electoral council issued the ruling last month after complaints that jean is not a legal resident of haiti. now that his presidential bid is over he says he's going to focus on his music. we're going to turn to weather now. remnants of hurricane karl soaking up southern texas. big rains, a flash flood watch and other severe weather on the other side of this break. up to $250 to use on your next purchase. start earning with as little as $75 spent, including great sale prices. hurry, sears bonus days are on! sears. 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
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can earn you a free night -- anople really lover, i jugot ae our claimservice. gecko:speciallthe auto repair xpress. repairs are fast and they're guaranteed for as long as you is thisyyourcphone?ey, th! gecko: yeah, 'course. sswhere do you po you...carry... for as long as you is thisyyourcphone?ey, th! waitress: here you go. boss: thanks gecko: no, no i got it, sir. ncr: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. our meteorologist bonnie schneider joins us now. is this a time when it's really kind of crazy when it comes to tropical weather, hurricanes and all of that?
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>> it is. we already reached the peak of hurricane season but it looks like october is going to be active, the end of september certainly has been and it's getting even more active. i want to show you texas now. notice the flood threat for south texas especially in corpus christi. we have video to show you. inundated with heavy rain. a lot of the rain enhanced of a tropical nature from the remnants of karl yesterday and also tapped in gulf moisture. people are doing what they're not supposed to be doing. it only takes six inches of water to dislodge your vehicle and two feet to sweep it away. don't try to cross a road like that. i imagine people might have been caught off guard in their car. we're expecting more rain. another rain threat today at least three to five inches. some of the rivers in south texas are also facing advisories as well. i want to talk a little about the fire threat happening across parts of the west right now. we still have mild temperatures in the 70s and 80s, but the low relative humidity and of course the strong winds are keeping these red flag warnings in
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effect as you can see for parts of areas particularly of utah. that's some of the biggest threat for fire danger. we've been talking a lot about the tropics. we have a lot of activity to talk about. let's start with the newest. >> doesn't look good. >> any time you see that burst of red or orange it indicates the convection is getting active. >> is that trying to form an eye? >> actually i think with lisa this storm right now the winds are at 45 and the gusts at 60. it's forecast to intensify the next couple of days but then to weaken again. it will come over cooler weather here. this is way out east in the atlantic. we have other storms we're monitoring. igor, this storm still a category 1 hurricane with strong winds but you can see it's plaguing areas into newfoundland. that's anticipating four to eight inches of rain. still a hurricane watch for hurricane-force winds way up to the north. so that storm obviously was a very big one. we're also monitoring some activity possibly into the
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caribbean that looks like it's getting going. it's going to be a busy rest of the season. we still have a ways to go. >> this one developed into -- igor developed into a hurricane very quickly, tropical storm forever and very quickly. is it normal to last this long? seems like it's been going on a while. >> it does. depends how intense it was. igor was a very large and intense storm at one time. it's going to dissipate because it's coming over cooler waters right now. >> bonnie schneider giving us the lowdown on the weather. from bonnie schneider we're going to turn to a sadder story. a deadly day for u.s. troops in afghanistan. a helicopter crash. we want to know was the taliban behind it but in the "globetrekking" segment we're going to dig deeper. a live report from kabul after this.
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time now for "globetrekking" which is essentially what you would think it means. we go on the other side of the globe or somewhere on the globe and try to break down a story that's happening right now. this one is in afghanistan where nine american troops were killed today in a helicopter crash. our ivan watson is on the ground there. ivan, the president wants to start pulling troops out of afghanistan in a year. when you hear things like this and all of this violence heating up, you wonder if we'll be able to start doing that. >> reporter: don, i have to apologize. i'm having some trouble hearing you down the line. this has been a grim line for u.s. and nato forces here in afghanistan. this helicopter crashing in the southern turbulent province called zabul and western defense force telling us that nine u.s.
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servicemen killed on board. what that does is it brings the number of casualties, as you mentioned, to the deadliest year yet in this nine-year conflict. as you look year to year, the casualties do go up from 295 total coalition dead, 155 u.s. dead in 2008 to 313 u.s. servicemen and women killed in 2009 and now 350 in this year and the year is not through yet. and just to bring home how serious and how the conflict has been escalating, one isaf nato serviceman, nationality not identified was killed today in southern afghanistan by a roadside bomb. yesterday another serviceman or woman, again nationality not identified because they don't like to tell the nationality until the family has been informed of this, killed yesterday in a taliban attack. don.
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>> ivan spoke to someone about what's going on in afghanistan a short time ago. let's listen and then we'll get back to ivan. >> the violence in this country has risen exponentially and it's really affected afghans in the biggest way. obviously there's also been a lot of casualties on the u.s. and nato side but you've got thousands this time of civilian casualties and it keeps going up. there's some 30% increase in violence in this last little while in civilian casualties. that's really significant. >> ivan, a big surge in violence after saturday's parliamentary election. so, listen, i know the taliban is saying -- claiming responsibility for this, but officially we don't really know. what are officials saying? >> well, they're saying that they did not see initially signs of hostile fire, that the cause of the crash is being investigated. and we have seen helicopters go down with tragic results in the past either as a result of
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equipment malfunctions, bad weather or coming under hostile fire. the weather was good, we're told, by locals on the ground in this case. we have gotten some reports from some taliban spokesmen claiming responsibility but there is a propaganda war going on right now. but just to bring home the scale of this conflict which has been escalating, large parts of this country that i used to be able to travel around, don, i cannot move around. one province northwest of kabul that i could have easily driven openly five years ago, we're told that earlier today five afghan construction workers were killed pie a roadside bomb there and that's a province to the northwest neighboring the afghan capital. don. >> ivan watson in kabul, afghanistan. thank you very much. she is out to end global poverty, and she's a full-time soccer mom. "mission possible" next. i didn't miss a premium payment for 10 years.
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to see how it can help you, visit us at something we do every day on this particular program. we profile people who are really making a difference. today we have a soccer mom who is tackling global poverty and still getting dinner on the table by 6:00. imagine doing that. what's on her plate is really staggering, though. one in every three people on the planet lives on less than a dollar a day. that's about 2 billion people. to make matters even worse, hiv and aids is rampant among that impofrished community. the u.n. estimates more than 33 million suffer from hiv and aids. 2 million are kids. sadly, there are a lot more
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statistics just like these. but our "mission possible" today is really out to fight them and to change this, to lower all of those statistics. this woman thinks that every person can make a difference. i want to read a quote from her. she says, i'm only one woman. i live in one town. i go to one church and i have one voice. but i've come to believe that all our ones add up. all right. joining us up is shane moore, a global soccer mom. she joins us now from chicago. great to see you. how do you do all of this? first of all, how did you come up with this idea? >> well, i got involved in 2002 right at the inception of the one campaign. so i really am a state at home mom. i have three children. i live outside of chicago and i just realized i needed to educate myself and educate others and it doesn't take lot to make a difference. that's what i want to tell my friends and my family, that you can make a difference right from your own homes, from your own
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kitchens. >> shayne, how do you reach people? enough to go get groceries and dry cleaners and pick your kids up, get dinner on the table and then to try to help change the world. how do you get people interested in what you're selling? >> there's a lot of people behind this movement. when one started it was a grassroots movement. now there's 2.5 million people of the one campaign. one is cool because they do a lot of the work for you. it's make this phone call or sign this petition. it's stuff you can do in five minutes as you fill a backpack, click, do the laundry, click. >> you're very organized. >> it's very doable. organized chaos. but it does make a difference. that's one of the things that i've learned as i've journeyed this. my world leaders and the politicians in d.c., they pay attention. and they pay attention when a soccer mom cares and gets politically organized and politically active.
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so it's really been a fascinating journey for me to watch. that i really can make a difference. but i don't do it by myself. it's together. >> when i hear stories like people like you talk about it and about volunteering or doing something that comes from the heart that you feel you should be doing and many times, as we've saying here, people feel they don't have the time. but once you do it, i think people start to feel invigorated and want to continue doing more and inspire other people. have you found that with this? >> absolutely. i think that once you really become informed -- i believe that about americans. i believe america has the best to offer when it comes to having a compassionate heart for the world. when you really start educating yourself about the reality of the statistics that you mentioned or on the show yesterday the mother and her daughter florida who is alive today because she got life-saving medication. when you really start engaging your heart, time really -- you find the time to be a voice for those who have no voice. the only reason that i'm a mother and i have three healthy
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children and i live on more than a dollar a day is just because of where i happen to be born. it's not a cliche to say the world is getting smaller. we can do it. we can be a voice for people to really mobilize around this. and the u.n. summit is coming up in new york next week. and they're going to focus on the millennium development goals and they're going to focus on no child born with hiv by 2015. i'm a mom and i live in the suburbs. but i can put pressure on my world leaders to say this is important to me. i care about other moms and other families just like my own. >> shayne moore is a global soccer mom. you're amazing. thank you so much for sharing your time with us. all right? >> thanks. >> check out shayne's book called "global soccer mom" hitting stores in january. head to my blog listen, as the spotlight swings after the primaries, ed henry, there he is, is asking
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voters a question. what happened to the president's mojo? did you find it, ed? head shake. not sure. we don't hear you. ♪ [ male announcer ] ever have morning pain slow you down? ♪ introducing bayer am, an extra strength pain reliever with alertness aid, specially formulated to fight morning pain and fatigue. ♪ so get up and get goin'! with new bayer am. the morning pain reliever.
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ali velshi. pretty soon it's going to be like brad or angelina. i don't know what do you think? ali or just velshi in i think velshi. he's in a new movie. chief business correspondent superstar -- movie star. he appears in oliver stone's sequel to wall street which had a big premiere last night. >> this is a financial crisis and jaun one who doesn't admit that is just kidding themselves. >> so guess what he played. he played a reporter/anchor. it's a stretch. wall street money never sleeps takes up the story of disgraced financial titan gordon gekko played by michael douglas as he gets out of prison 20 years later and we caught up with velshi on the red carpet and asked him about stone's portrayal of the economic crash of 2008. >> it's not something we want to relive, but if you want to be reminded of how tough that three-week period was in september and october of 2008,
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oliver has captured it very, very well. >> that was velshi on the red carpet. you can check out ali's performance on the big screen when it opens nationwide this week. ed henry is here. ed, this is how ali is going to appear on television. you're going to have to see him in glasses only because he is now money, big money, super movie star. >> reporter: and he's only like -- it's one name. like cher, madonna. >> velshi. >> reporter: just velshi. i'm going to start doing this. i'm love it you're getting in his grill a little bit. i think it is a stretch for him to play a reporter/anchor, don't you think? >> i think so too. i think i'm going to hear about these glasses. i'm sure an e-mail on high is coming down now. very serious subject here. we saw the medal of honor ceremony and the president just left that and the president really got the heat yesterday at a town hall meeting. what's the president to do? people are going, has he lost
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his mojo? really. >> reporter: let's start with the medal of honor ceremony. this is chief master sergeant richard etchberger. he passed away many years ago 1968, died in a secret mission near the vietnamese border. basically his family was initially told it was a helicopter crash because they had to keep secret he had gone into laos on asecret mission. the u.s. was not supposed to be there during the war. 42 years in the making getting the medal of of honor. president obama saying you have to right the wrong no matter how long it takes. only the second medal of honor he's awarded as president so far. last year profiling sergeant paul monte from massachusetts. this is a heavy burden of being commander in chief. you talk about the town hall meeting and the president getting heat yesterday on the economy. we still have 50,000 u.s. troops in iraq, about 100,000 in afghanistan. in some ways, the pressures of
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the economy might be small compared to the life and death situations that people are still going through every day. sbl speaking about that what the people in the down hall said, it took a lot of courage to stand up to the commander in chief and say, listen, you're not delivering. you took a trip to virginia recently and have been asking voters about why they think the president at least in some ways has lost his mojo. really? >> reporter: yeah. we spent a couple of days, just the last couple of days in southeastern virginia. we went there because we remember president obama won virginia for the first time a democrat won since 1964. and it was in part because of all of these obama cans who switched over. when i was down there you could see there are republicans, independents who voted for barack obama who are now having at least some second thoughts. there are democrats also, as you saw, supporters of his even at that town hall meeting that cnbc
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broadcast who are disagreeing with him. respectfully i should add. we've done a lot about the angry voter out there. the last couple of days i spent in rural virginia, people were really not getting in the president's grill or attacking him. some of the republican voters i spoke to said i think he's a good man, his heart is in the right place. one said he has new eye dees and we need those to deal with the crises. but what i heard across the board was that they feel he took on too much too fast in the first 20 months or so and it's been too hard for everyone to digest and figure out. i think that's adding -- when you add that to all the economic anxiety that's already out there, it's making this a very volatile election about. >> so then what's a president to do then, ed? >> reporter: aides r. saying over the next few weeks we'll see him barn storming a lot. we have seen quick trips, fund raisers and what in the. over the next few weeks he'll hit the road a lot more spending
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days at a time hitting several states. i think all the money is on the line now. you were asking about did he lose his mojo. democrats need him now more than ever to sort of restore some of that magic that he had in 2008. but i've got to tell you that the race i was looking at -- there's a house race down there in southeast virginia. and congressman nye, a freshman democrat, he rode the obama wave in 28 and has since distanced himself from president obama. he voted against health care reform. he appeared with then candidate obama several times in 2008. this time he doesn't want to really appear with the president. that's another challenge. he's hitting the road but he's got some democrats maybe because he lost mojo don't want to appear with him. >> thank you. enjoy your day. >> reporter: say hi to velshi. big buck donation for the tea party, that's just one of the stories coming up in our cnn politics update. my name is matt lavaute.
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this is a cnn e quauquals politics story. a watchdog group accusing christine o'donnell of embezzling past campaign money for personal use. brian todd is in wilmington, delaware, and doing some digging. what have you found out? >> reporter: a lot of punching and counter punching on this story right now. as you mentioned christine o'donnell's critics including this group citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington are getting information from a former campaign official alleging she spent about $20,000 of money from her 2008 senate campaign on personal expenses. things like gas, food, even a
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bowling outing, and that she did it at a time last year and early this year when she didn't even have a campaign. i asked christine o'donnell about that at a campaign event. listen. >> ms. o'donnell, would you be able to talk about the specific question on the $20,000? >> no truth to it. i'll release a statement. i'll release a statement. no truth to it, though, i assure you, brian. >> reporter: we have since gotten some more specifics from christine o'donnell's new campaign counsel. i spoke with cleata mitchell not too long ago today. she said she had a campaign at that time that these expenses were proper, that she didn't do anything wrong and that they're looking into all of these charges. they're going to come out with specific counter arguments later but essentially denying the central charges that she misused campaign money. >> so this group is a watchdog group. they're asking for a federal prosecutor to open an investigation and wants the fec
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to audit her expenses. is this finger pointing or something bigger. >> reporter: that's going to come out in the wash. it takes a long time to figure out if campaign money was misused for these purposes. anybody who knows about this stuff will tell you election laws are so complex and finance laws are so complex that to determine whether someone did something wrong and knowingly did that, it takes a long time. a lot could be political posturing. certainly ms. o'donnell's campaign attorney is accusing cru of that going after this group. they deny it saying they've gone after charlie rangel and maxine waters. but proving that and doing it legally before the campaign comes to a close probably going to be difficult to do. >> i'm wondering since we've been doing so much talking about christine o'donnell, about her past and her comments -- she was
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television pundit for a long time and there's lots of tape of her -- and now this. so her campaign, i wonder if they're -- how they're feeling about this since you've been talking to them, brian, whether they think she's just being targeted or if they think this is just politics as usual. >> reporter: they really believe she's being targeted. they think that because she was such an insurgent in the primary campaign beating mike castle coming from nowhere to beat him when everybody thought she was going to lose that race that there are people resentful of that. certainly that campaign for the primary was a very bitter one against mike castle. her staff, by the way when you talk about politics as usual, her staff is not a group of people who are used to politics as usual. she has about 10 or 12 campaign staffers, most are young people. not used to races of this kind of magnitude with this profile. they're just hiring people now trying to get the staff booted up. so what they're saying is we were not ready for this. we're running kind of an
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insurgent campaign with a grassroot support and this is political bitterness directed right now at o'donnell. >> interesting character. out of nowhere and all of this. brian todd in delaware. it's time now for another "cnn equals politics update." cnn's political director paul steinhauser, what's crossing right now? >> reporter: you were just talking about campaign cash with brian todd. let's talk a little bit more about big bucks. let's start with the tea party patriots. they're one of those major national tea party organizations. new on the ticker, they announced they are going to get $1 million and pump it into the midterm elections within the next few weeks. they say they got the money, the $1 million, from an anonymous donor and say they're going to get it out as soon as possible to local tea party groups across the country in the next few weeks to help them get the message out and of course support republican candidates in midterm elections. this is an article i did earlier today. governors battle in maryland, a
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great story. and today the republican governors association decided to jump into that race and they've put up an ad for former governor robert urlych. he lost in 2006 to the current guy, o mali, the democrat. o'malley has a lot more money. when the republican governors association announced they're going up with ads and help out they turned this race into an exciting battle. maryland usually a pretty re liably safe democratic state but not always. we're going to keep a close eye on this contest. finally, hey, it's six weeks today until the midterm election but is the next battle for the white house the 2012 election already under way? i learned today tim pawlenty, the minnesota governor, is going to new hampshire to help campaign with the new hampshire gubernatorial nominee and mitt romney is doing it this saturday as well and haley barboubarbour.
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don, 2012 is not that far away, is it? >> no, it isn't isn't. so coming fast and furious. for the latest make sure you watch us because we'll have an update every hour and check out thank you. the american dream, it's more than a house, more than a job and 2.5 kids. much, much more than that. i'll give you my take on the american dream in my "xyz." hi. we're ready to switch our car insurance to progressive. today just seemed like a great day to save.
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personal pricing now on brakes. tell us what you want to pay. we do our best to make that work. deal! my money. my choice. my meineke. for "xyz" today i want to talk about the american dream and whether it is still attainable. as you know, that was a very good question asked of the president yesterday at a town hall meeting in washington. it was a very good question. now i have a question for you.
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what is the american dream? ever look it up? i did. the definition includes words like freedom, equality, opportunity. but mostly the american dream is defined as material comfort, prosperity, home ownership, and money. and many of us with a lot less money in the bank and in our wallets and one way or another are wondering what's happening with the american dream, just like that gentleman yesterday. the truth is the american dream is still attainable for some people like the wall street fat cats, right? or innovators like steve jobs or bill gates or oprah winfrey, the facebook creators, twitter founders, on and on. you see what i'm saying? so though the bar may be higher through no fault of our own it's still attainable. i'm not letting anybody off the hook but the american dream is way bigger than them. way bigger than a job or house or car or bank account. so maybe the american dream is evolving as well it should.
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doesn't everything evolve? perhaps this tough time in our history is a catalyst to redefine exactly what the american dream is. for me especially lately it's not a big house, fancy car, brass ring, money in the bank. some of those things are important but they're more about comfort, ego and how we've been programmed to think. to me the american dream is a dream in pro congressional, one whose reality has more to do with living in your means, in the moment and with you will at people around you, not just americans. and that's my "xyz." time now for my friend rick sanchez and "rick's list." >> hey, what's going on? breaking news we're going to start with today. we're going to be taking you through what we're learning is going on in yemen. this sounds significant, scary if you're there. we understand that there's an offensive going on right now in yemen. by the time this is all said and done, it could possibly involve a major -- a major al qaeda


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