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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 18, 2012 12:00pm-2:00pm EST

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down delivering all of the equipment, desks and just all of the gear that you need to actually functionally make a school happen for little children. a shattered town tries to return to some sense of everyday life, knowing that nothing is really ever going to be the same. most students in newtown, connecticut return to class today but not those at sandy hook elementary. there's a funeral held for another child today, killed in that massacre. i'm suzanne malveaux in atlanta. >> and i'm ashleigh banfield, live in newtown, connecticut. this is newsroom's special coverage, "newtown remembers." today, grieving families are saying good-bye to a 6-year-old girl while yesterday two little boys were laid to rest. connecticut's governor has now taken on the role of comforter, as the heartbreaking scene plays
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out too many times. >> the governor's asking people across connecticut to pause for a moment of silence friday at the shooting that killed those 20 children and 6 adults at the school. he sent a message to governors around the country asking their states to do the same. we want to update you on new developments in the aftermath of the tragedy in newtown. schools reopen today for the first time since the shooting ram page. more police, extra counselors of course on hand. sandy hook elementary still remains closed. funeral services are being held for another 6-year-old. jessica rekos loved horses and expecting a new pair of cowgirl boods for christmas. family members are trying to help her brother understand why he can't play with his best friend. a former director of security for newtown schools is shedding new light on the gunman. he was assigned to keep track of students having problems, including adam lanza but says he
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never thought of lanza as a threat. ashleigh, tell us about the emotion that you are seeing. obviously, a lot of people who are -- they are burying their dead. at same time, trying to move on and give their other children a sense of hope in this community. >> one of the things i've been noticing surrounding communities, people from surrounding communities have been coming here to pay their respects, just to be a part of it somehow, show they are with the people of newtown and they support them in their grief. it's almost unbelievable the number of people with tears in their eyes just walking down the street. you can't walk anywhere near i am without encountering someone with a child or two adults walking hand in hand, crying, because they've just dropped off flags or teddy bears or candles or origami or some christmas ornament with the name of a child. we all know it's okay to be walking done street crying.
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everyone seems to understand. that's what this is all. and i just want to let you know also, there's a cafe i've been frequenting and working in, and i went up to buy a companyl)r o coffee and the woman selling it said it's free of charge. someone called this morning and said, they want to pay for everyone who comes in to the cafe today as a gesture of love. that happened a second time. a second caller anonymously offered to pay for everyone's coffee coming in. that's the kind of thing happening here. everybody feels like they're in the same boat and it's a terrible both to be in. at the same team there's an investigation and formal and serious and massive. the investigation into why and how adam lanza did what he did on friday and changed this community and country forever. deborah feyerick is following that part of the investigation. she's live as well. what's the new information that you are getting? specifically from the medical examiner?
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>> reporter: >> reporter: just a couple of minutes ago, another investigator drove up the long driveway to get back into the thousand search for more evidence. but the medical examiner, h. cosby, toxicology tests were done on adam lanza. they're trying to determine the kind of medications that he may have been on and the effects of those medications also for the first time, officially, the medical examiner saying that adam lanza did have as berger's but that's what he's being told but taking it one step further to find out if that was the correct diagnosis, whether or not there was more going on inside this young man. the bodies of the mom and the alleged gunman, adam lanza, both of them, have undergone autopsies. they have not been released. nobody has claimed bodies yet. nobody will be notified when they are until after the burials. that is at the request of the family. a couple more gruesome details coming out about what happened inside this home on friday morning. the medical examiner saying,
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according to the autopsy report, nancy lanza was shot in the head four times as she slept in her pajamas in her bed. the death of the alleged gun man, he died by a single shot, also to the head. now, the divorce document, this sort of taking it to the next stage, look at divorce document, you're trying to see was it just some kind of diagnosis of aspergers or something else going on. according to the divorce document, nancy lanza was responsible for paying all unreimbursed psychiatric and psychological expenses, also she was responsible for picking up the cost of prescription medications. so when it came to her son's mental health it appears she really was in charge of making sure that he was getting the right kind of help and medications. that's according to the divorce documenh5h hard to mainstream her son even though he didn't fit in, though as a freshman
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here in newtown, you know, he was given a school psychologist and school safety officers watched him carefully because he was so awkward, so gawky, out of place, and anti-social they were afraid that he would become the victim of some sort of crime, like bullying. in fact, that didn't happen. we can't get away from the fact, ashley, that this is a kid who just fell off the grid. about three years ago, no records of what he's been doing since 2009 when the last record shows that he was taking classes at a local university, classes like computer science and macro economics and american history. he's described as a genius. but whatever happened in the last three years, boy, something went terribly wrong, ashleigh. >> deb, it's haunting to see that photograph that shows adam lanza at his most recent state in life before this happened. deb feyerick reporting for us outside the lanza home. we are all trying to make sense of how this happened, all
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trying to make sense of those eyes, of this story, this tragedy. how this could happen anywhere, let alone the tiny town. investigators trying to figure out what was going through his mind. one of the people who maybe able to offer some insight is allen diaz, former classmate of adam lanza who spoke exclusively to cnn's national correspondent, susan candiotti. >> reporter: among the steady stream of people drawn to the memorial honoring victims, a former schoolmate of the alleged killer. >> what do you think of this? does your mind go to your friend? >> obviously, it does because you know, he's a very big part in this event. i'm not really sure what to think of it. >> reporter: sadly, he's the reason for it? >> yeah. >> reporter: allen diaz may have been as close as anyone who could come to being a friend of
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adam lanza when he was a sophomore at newton school, and diaz was a freshman in 2008. >> very intelligent person. he really was. it's like the way he acted around other people was just rewithdrawn and really quiet. >> reporter: a little different? >> yeah. >> reporter: they were in the high school tech club together, spent a lot of time on computers. adam had his own style of dressing. >> kind of had like the steefr stereotypical nerd look, khaki pants, belt, tucked-in shirt. even computer m) briefcase, instead of like a backpack like everyone else. he even had a pocket protector that he had pens in. >> reporter: he doesn't know whether lanza was bullied. he kept to himself. >> we all kind of knew that like he had problems socially and we kind of had a feeling that there might have been something wrong with him but obviously we never asked, thought it was our place to do so. >> reporter: back then his schoolmate's mom once invited all of his friends to the house
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to play video games. one was starcraft, a war games in space. another was war craft 3 whereas the ad says, survival is a matter of strategy. >> the burning shadow comes to consume us all. >> war craft 3 was fun. he was real fly games and he picked up on star craft quickly. >> when lanza left high school and home schooled, diaz lost touch but ran into lanza's mother nancy about two years ago. >> i remember her like mentioning that he started going to the shooting range with her. my initial response to that was, i never imagined adam one to ever even hold a gun. >> reporter: why do you say that? >> i don't know, maybe because in my mind i don't imagine shy, quiet people going to a shooting range. i never really can make that association. >> reporter: investigators have
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r. tracking how often lanza had been to gun ranges. they don't know how many so far. they've proven he's been to target practice six months ago, and for several years. mother and son went at least once together. allen's older sister went to school with the shooter's older brother. and she was friends with their mother who went to her bridal shower last year. >> why her? she was just -- i can't. it was a shock. she always a happy, happy person. >> reporter: do you now think of him as an evil person? because of what he did? >> one point he was a good kid. the event that will he did that day may have been evil but before then, he -- he was just another kid. >> reporter: until something made him snap. susan candiotti, cnn, newtown,
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connecticut. >> a lot of opinions, op-eds written in the aftermath of the tragedy. man support more gun control as well as mental health services. others think there should be more guns as a means of protect themselves. david gergen who has written a op-ed in someone who has advised four presidents, you say clearly we need a change in our culture, the culture of guns and gun policy. and you say that in order to honor the dead, you've got to have some kind of action. what is the most important thing right now for the president to do? >> seize the moment. the opinion in the country now jf gun safety. we have had majorities and two polls, cbs, "the washington post"/abc saying we need stricter laws, stricter earn forcement, and that's -- that's pretty big shift. as you know, opinion had been shifting away toward more people having guns and the whole idea
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of a way to solve this problem, if everybody has a gun you can stop the shooter. of course that doubles down on the problem and we have a culture in which guns are more available to young people and that approach. >> the president can't do it alone. he needs cooperation of congress. three basic principles should guide our gun policies. first you have to -- must have a license to own a gun. the license should not be easy to get. so how difficult should it be what would be your parameters? >> i think the permit system now is full of holes. it's determined at the state level. we have very uneven laws. as you know, suzanne, you can -- the permit system as a background check, a waiting peer, that's all very helpful. it done get into whether you know how to use a gun. the kinds of things we do to license people to drive. cars are dangerous but we let people drive after they get a license, once they prove to us
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they know how to handle it. the same thing should be true of guns. we should have a strict licensure approach so we know who has the gun and you can make adjustments. with modern technology you could put in effect a password on a gun so someone -- if someone picks up your ipad, they don't know your password they can't get into your ipad the same is true of guns. if you put a password on a gun, someone like adam didn't have the password he wouldn't have been able to use it. you -- if you license the mother and then made sure that he didn't have access, we might not have had all of these dead kids. >> second, if you're a civilian cow can't buy an assault gun. folks say i'm a hunter, i want to protect my home and i want a weapon here. people teoday furious, dick's sporting goods not selling these across the countrier.
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tweets coming out. this make me not want to shop at dicks. others saying i called dicks to cancel my rewards zone membership. told the guy on the phone if i receive another piece of literature in the mail from them i will sue them. how do you respond to those people with that anger who feel they should be permitted to have those weapons? >> you and i have been around enough on the internet to know if jesus christ appeared and gave another sermon on the mount some people would attack. and express fury about some aspect of it. you know, you're going to have that. there's going to be noise in the system. the question for political figures, the nation, what's the morally right anything to do? if we don't act now, given what we know about the deaths of these children, we enable the next person to come along, the next loner mentally der ranged to come along, shoot a bunch of kids we'll have blood on our own
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hands. we'll have moral responsibility. we'll be enablers if we don't ability. i think the moment's here. i understand the politics of it. i know the politics are rough. democrats fell when they passed an assault ban in 1994 when. clinton was president, they felt they lost the house of representatives in large part because of that and they've been nervous about it ever since. it's about seizing the moment when it's there and moving as to a different way to live. i think you find -- my argument on was, you have to find meaning in terrible horrors like this. and what we learned from lincoln, when he went on the gettysburg address he didn't talk about the people in the battlefield. words are too little. we have to give new meaning to national life. that's the leadership we need. >> we'll see if they've got the political courage to do that in this administration. thank you. >> courage as a right word.
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thanks, suzanne. >> ashleigh? >> it's so interesting to hear you and david gergen having that conversation over the gun control debate. there's another big conversation reigniting now and the debate over violent video games and whether they lead to actual violence. if you're a parent and this plagues you, you are concerned about, we've got advice coming up in a moment. >> media violence is a risk factor, is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior. [ female announcer ] what if the next big thing, isn't a thing at all? it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide,
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as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here.
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14 days and kouptsing to the fiscal cliff. boehner letting taxes increase on $1 million a year, a plan b, short-term step to avoidsdyñ mae spending cuts and tax hikes that would affect every american starting january 1st. listen. >> every income tax filer in america's going to pay a higher rate january 1st, unless congress abilitiy octobers. i believe it's important that we protect as many american taxpayers as we can. and our plan b would protect american taxpayers who make $1 million or less and are all of their current rates extended. >> want to bring in our white house correspondent dan lothian. we know that the president says, look, campaigned on those earning more than $250,000 would not see a tax increase. now it's been raises to about i believe $400,000. where are we in the negotiations
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here? >> reporter: that's where it stands. i think it was the dramatic development overnight when the president did shift from something he had been pushing out on the campaign trail and the last few weeks saying essentially no deal could get done if taxes did notten crease on those households making more than $250,000. now the president raising that to $400,000. i think there was a level of optimism here in washington that this deal could get done soon. now, you have speaker incumbentincumben incumbentincumbenboehner with plan b, to avoid some of the effects of the so-called fiscal cliff. secretary -- press secretary here jay carney putting out a statement a short time ago saying, quote, the parameters of a deal are clear and the president's willing to work to reach a bipartisan solution that averts the first, protects middle class, helps the economy and puts our nation on a fiscally sustainable path but not willing to accept a deal
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that doesn't ask enough of the very wealthiest in taxes and instead shifts the burden to the middle class and seniors. the speaker's plan b approach doesn't meet this test. and it really has been a back and forth because we soon heard back from speaker boehner's office, bran dan bucks saying, the white house's position defies common sense. what is clear, though, that is both sides here, despite the back and forth in the plan b, both sides say that they're willing to sit down and work on an agreement, this broader agreement but a lot of concern as the clock ticks down. >> looks like both sides seem to be giving in a little bit, giving up something. does this look like a political tactic, the fact he's going to say there's a plan b? that it really does position boehner to go back to his base and say, look, we tried, gave it our best effort and both sides can come out and save face? >> reporter: well, certainly, speaker boehner's looking to put
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pressure on the white house. speaker incumbenter, as he goes back to house republicans trying to give them something to buy into, essentially, this proposal, and one of the things that he can do is say, look, the president has come off this $250,000 cap essentially that he had -- that he held so 15 fast for so long and that's what he's doing in selling this to republicans. while it appeared the dear was close, and it still may be, a lot of talks are going on behind the scenes, this is another ç%sáq'ch in the debate. people remembering daniel inoue, he died yesterday of respiratory complications in washington, d.c. a world war ii veteran who received the medal of honor onsecutive terms, the longest serving member of the senate. also a member of the watergate committee that resulted in the resignation of president nixon.
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he was just 88. who owns rights to all of those pictures that you're posting on photo sharing websites? if you post your photos on instagram the company says it does. so a change to the company's private policy basically says, that your personal pictures can now be used in online ads. you don't get a time. instagram insists you own the actual pictures but it is taking the commercial rights starting january 16th. almost 100 million people are using this photo sharing service. suzanne, as we're reporting, the news has come in that five of our colleagues in the media, american media, from nbc, were held captive in syria and in an incredible escape were able to break free from their captors after five days of being held and blindfolded. we'll bring you their story after the break. [ male announcer ] red lobster's crabfest ends soon.
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kidnapped, blindfolded, threatened for five days. american journalist lives to tell that story. richard engel and his crew were captured last thursday after crossing into northwest syria from turkey. they suffered psychological torture. >> they took us to a series of safe houses and interrogation places, and they kept us blindfolded, bound, we weren't physically beaten or tortured. it was a lot of psychological torture, threats of being killed. they made us choose which one of us would be shot first. when we refused there were mock
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shootings. they pretended to shoot gazi, when you're blindfolded and they fire the gun up in the air it can be a traumatic experience. at the end of this, we were being moved to yet another location in the -- around 11:00 last night local time, and as we were moving along the road, the kidnappers came across a rebel check point something he hadn't expected. we were in the back of what you think of as a minivan. as we were driving along the road, the kidnappers saw this checkpoint, started a gunfight with it, two of the kidnappers were killed. we climbed out of the vehicle and the rebels took us. we spent the night with them. we didn't get much sleep. holmes. you know richard, you know him well. first of all, it's such a relief to see that he is okay. but tell us what kind of
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journalist he is, what he's experiencing because i know you have -- you've faced a lot of situations similar in iraq and afghanistan. >> yeah. he's a good guy. we bump into each other like all sort of war correspondent club if you like, have bumped into him in afghanistan, in iraq on multiple occasion. he's one of the guys seen as fearless, gets in there gets his hands dirty, gets in amongst the weeds. this sort of thing, sadly can happen. we've had our own people in syria. it's one of those things. if you get stopped about a random group and kidnapped. all of my time in iraq, 13 time i was more worried about kidnap than roadside bombs and firefights with the military because they invariably did not end well. this was, in a way, they were lucky. if they had been kidnapped bay hard line jihadist group that may have ended badly for them, too. they were lucky in that they were kept alike, they hit the
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roadblock and during that firefight they weren't somehow hit. an extraordinary time of escape, and luck. >> tell us about the preparation. when you go into a war zone, you and i both have taken classes, five days of war school where they game out scenarios. you know you have a game plan before you go in. >> yeah. hostile environment training. that covers a bunch of things from battlefield, medical treatment to armaments and also kidnapping. and basically to give journalists a feel, a sense of what it would be like. you get a preparation. but nothing will prepare you for the real thing. you can do all of the prep you like but went that happens, you can prepare but you can't prepare. that would have been an absolutely terrifying incident thinking they were going to be killed, mock executions. they are have to decompress. i imagine if i were them -- when we were ambushed in 2004 and ply
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translator and drive where killed in the attack and cameraman shot in the held, and that was a horrible experience, we stayed together for the next five days and talked it out amongst ourselves. the worst they could do is go home, separate ways and all of that, stick it out, have a chat, and decompress. >> how did you get through that? >> with the guys. talking it through with them and our security guy with us that day and basically saved our lives. we debriefed extensively. we mourned. you know you mourn those that you lost. and you sort of then move on. but it's always with you. the anniversary's january 27, i remember it like it was yesterday. happened in 2004. richard's seen a lot of stuff in his career. something different, as it was with the ambush, certainly for me, it was personal. i had been in a bunch of firefight. these guys were trying to kill us, that's a personal thing. these guys were kidnapping them and they didn't know what was
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happening. it's different to being an observer. they're going to have to work through some of this. i'm glad that they're okay. it was worrying when we knew they were missing. >> what gave you the strength to go back out there after you experienced so much and seeing your colleagues gunned down? >> for me personally. >> yes. >> it was respect for our local staff. i didn't want to be the westerner who something bad happened and i ran away. i was back in six months because i wanted to go back and a sign of respect and solidarity. that's just for me. everybody's different. everybody deals with these things differently, too. some people can handle it bzowr than others and it's a factor of how you're wired. one's not good or bad, whether you can hand it or not. it's just how you're wired. i went back another eight or nine times because i cared about the story. and i wanted to go back to see our guys again, relatives and friends of those killed. >> how did your family deal with that? they -- >> annoyed. >> -- angry to go back there.
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>> that's probably why i'm divorceded. my daughter, after that incident, she used to hate me going back there. but she realized what we do. and you know you have a passion to tell the story. and many ways it's a privilege to go so some of the places and tell the story, it's an an or. the risks are there. i tell young journalists, it's not fun. and shoot-ups and firefights and the risk of kidnapping it's not a video game, and people die. and so it's not some glorious adventure. if you care about the story, you are drawn back to it. and also again, as i say, for me i needed to get back to the baghdad bureau to see our staff. we had a big iraqi staff. >> glad you're okay. we respect what you do. we are relieved that richard engel is also okay, he and his crew. >> thank you. >> iraq's talabani is
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hospitalized and in baghdad. the 79-year-old leader suffered a stroke and his health condition is not good. but the president's office has not confirmed that yet. the official line that is he has had a health emergency. mr. talabani elected president in 2005. he's left the country several times for medical issues. want to go back to ashleigh in connecticut for the other big story we are following. >> as you drive through or walk through this town, you see churches everywhere. there are a lot of people of faith in this town. and their faith has unquestionably been shaken. how on earth do you answer the question, how can god let something like this happen? going to talk to a man of faith about dealing with that very question and the question of eving raining down upon newtown, connecticut, in a moment.
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in the wake of the tragedy at sandy hook elementary school in connecticut, many in the community have been coming together and they are relying on their faith to get through really dark days. i want to talk about the role of faith. bishop robert wright of the episcopal deoiocese of atlanta. you were orphaned, went to howard university, majored in political science and history,
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you were in the navy search and rescue. you have a broad life experience. people look at this tragedy and they ask and wonder, how does something like this happen? how do you have faith? how does god figure into any of this? >> sure. you know, i mean first thing we say, of course, is that our hearts and prayers are with those who are in the midst of this tragic, tragic season. we can't begin to put all of the words necessary around this. we just simply let people know that, as the president said, you're not alone in this. we want you to know that our prayers and goodwill are flooding into you. and intangible, ways. but at same time real faith accounts for human tragedy and human loss and grief. a real god can help us in a real world. and i think that in some of the ways we've heard the conversation framed it doesn't really adequately get to that.
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we believe, at least in the christian tradition, that god finds us amidst brutality, violence. is that resource in the mid of that? the fact that tragedy has visited united states is not evidence of the absence of god. i think, and i'm sure we'll see as days unfold, there will be wonderful expressions of grace in the midst of trageát in newtown, connecticut. people from lot of different back grounds are supporting one another and that's the best of faith. >> how do you approach people who think it's a time that has tested they're faith and challenged their faith, and maybe they are losing faith because they feel an overwhelming sense of grief? >> sure. i would say to them, i would listen to them and i think that those feelings are legitimate, but i would guide them and help them to understand that the best part of our tradition enlarges and deepens our faith in the midst of these occurrences.
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we talk about the cross in christianity. the cross helps us to understand god is with us amidst sorry and i think that as we go deeper in our faith, we will find grace in the midst of this. >> i want to play this clip. this is the husband of dawn hochsprung, principal at the school who was killed. >> sure. >> i'm not angry anymore. i'm not angry. i'm not angry anymore. i'm not angry. i'm just very sad. >> he's not angry anymore, he's just very, very sad. where does the role of forgiveness play in this? how important is that? is that something's going to tack a long time? >> this is the git that faith gives us. allows us process complicated motions like hurt and allows us and guides us towards forgiveness. we don't forgive others for them. we use forgiveness so we might be set free.
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god shows us god's grace towards us and we play that back in our lives and with our live -- in our lives with other. we need forgive but it's a process and it takes time and it's about prayer and it's about the study of good's goodness towards us in the midst of our own absence of grace towards others we find that we've been forgiven. 0 we mir that back in the world. this is a process. and i would say that one of the things that we've got to do, we've got to forgive adam lanza. we got find it within our hearts to forgive him. he was a broken young man from what we can tell right now. and we have got to find it within the best of our faith tradition to forgive him and move forward. >> for those who don't believe in the faith, they don't believe in heaven or believe there's a better place for a 6-year-old to be except in their arms, what do you say to those folks who don't believe in god or have that faith? >> i think that we can go so far
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and just in our capacity to love and to be with one another. we can go so far. by i think when we get into processing complex emotions leak the need for forgiveness, we lack the strength to takes us the full way of ourselves, this is where faith is a resource to us. it moves us beyond ourselves. it enlarges our hearts. it stirs up reservoirs of compassion in us. and that's what i would say. we need to draw down on that. >> all right. bishop wright, thank you for your words and encouragement. a lot of people listening and a lot of people need that. >> we'll take a quick break and we'll have veme rates for progressive direct and other car insurance companies? yes. but you're progressive, and they're them. yes. but they're here. yes. are you...? there? yes. no. are you them? i'm me. but those rates are for... them. so them are here. yes! you want to run through it again? no, i'm good. you got it?
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when 20 children are gunned down in their elementary school and six grown-ups are gunned downen in an elementary school and a woman is murdered in her own bed by her own son who perpetrated that crime there is no template for how a town like this copes. there is no template for what becomes their reality. i wanted to just do something for you and show you what it is like to arrive in this town now that the entire world is
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watching them. take a look. one of the first things you'll notice as you drive into this beautiful town of newtown, connecticut, some of the old buildings and the lovely, gently rolling hillside and this extraordinary traffic. the school buss are now rolling once again as these kids get ready to head back to school in the newtown district today. it is not normally like this. the traffic is comprised of people from surrounding counties, contractors come in to help with this emergency, maybe rebuilding in some of the schools, et cetera. and then also an enormous number of media. another thing you notice, as you come into town, right away on the left-hand side is this makeshift memorial that sprung up several days ago and is growing exponentially, people bringing teddy bears, candles, artwork and messages and or gam mi and flowers, you name it, just about everything. you see a lot of people with
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tears as they drop off what they brought. obviously some of the traffic with people from surrounding communities. next thing you notice is this. all of the media. people have come from all over the world to cover this story and they are set up right in the town square. right in the center of town. a place that is not used to seeing satellite trucks and this kind of media attention. boy, are they getting used to it now. another thing that you'll find amidst all of the traffic, take a look up here. police and orange cones and road closed signs, that is the road that leads up to the sandy hook elementary school. they're obviously limiting most of the traffic, not allowed to go up there at this time. that's the other area where there's a massive, massive memorial. i showed that to you yesterday. but one of the things that we do here from people, while everybody around the country and around the world wants to share and wants to know and wants to
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be a part of this grieving, and they're doing that through us and the window we provide the people who live here would like us to leave. they want to return some normalcy and that begs that question, when we do go, when we leave this town and when our world continues, we leave all of these people with a brand-new normal and something they're going to have to figure out for themselves what their new normal is going to be like. and i just want to share an anecdote. moments ago a man by the name of joe whalen came here to meet me by the creek and seen the piece run today on cnn. he lives in town not far away. he's a general contract, builds homes in the community. he was so moved by that notion that once we all leave, they will be left alone with their new normal. he didn't know what to do. he said i want to do something. i don't know what to do. and ultimately he came up with a plan and he shared it with me moments ago.
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he's going to go around town to all of those affected by the tragedy and with some of his colleagues in the building business, he's going repair their homes. whatever he sees needs doing he's going to do it and he's not going to ask for anything in return. a small example of how the community plans to bind together to try to get through this as a unit. i was very thankful that he shared that with me. we are all grieving through this terrible tragedy, the media included. and now more than a million people, a million people, have signed an online sympathy card for the people of newtown, connecticut. we'll have more on that in a moment. [ female announcer ] what if the next big thing, isn't a thing at all? it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away.
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the outpouring of sympathy and support for victims of the connecticut school shooting sets an online record. more than 1 million spepeople signed the sandy hook elementary school online sympathy card. largest petition ever on the
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the founder of 9/11 day started the e-card for people to express sorrow over the shooting. the card was receiving more than 1,000 signatures per minute. a lot of support there. >> beyond the debates over gun control and the discussions over mental illness, there's another big discussion that has come up as well and it's the question over the possibility that a violent culture may also have something to do with what happened here in newtown. we are going to take a look at the way movies and video games could be very desensitizing to some people and what affect that has on the rest of us. [ male announcer ] red lobster's crabfest ends soon.
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people knew the gunman in this massacre say he enjoyed playing violent video games, if particular, they say he played this game called starcraft. you see it right there. the question, of course, whether or not there's a link between games like this and real-life violence. want to bring in elizabeth cohen to talk about this. there have been numerous studies that have showed there could be a ling in terms of behavior and watching violent games. >> they are conflicting. some studies say there isn't a link, you can play these violent video games, no indication it's going to make you violent. there are other studies that suggest there might be a ling.
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one was interesting, i'll give as an example. there's one had people play violent video games and some played nonviolent games. the researchers staged a fight. some guys came in and fought looked like it was for real. people watching the violent video game were less likely to help out, jump in and help out and realized they didn't consider it to be serious. >> desensitized. >> they had been watching all of the violence. it's very conflicting. it's really hard to say definitively what studies say. >> a million kids and adults playing games and they never go out and kill anybody, what is the difference? the difference? t any idea between somebody who watches these games and acts on them? >> that's the key. parents are saying my child watches it all the time and they are fine. it may be some children are more
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vulnerab vulnerable. the problem is we don't know. all you can do, given the messy situation with conflicting science is to be an empowered parent. be a smart parent. >> should you be worried? especially with violent games should there be a limitation or kids too young to ban them from playing those games early on? >> if you -- i think some parents would say no violent video games, forget it, you're not going to do it. some parents say i let them see violent movies, what's wrong with a violent video game? you have to know the rating and watch it yourself. grow go online and watch it. limit use to common family space. do not put a console in their bedroom. monitor your child. are they having problems, fighting in school? pay attention to your kid. >> pay attention to your kid. very important lesson, as we go to newtown, connecticut, for the very latest. throhout our lives.
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most of the students in newtown, connecticut, are back in school today but life as you can imagine is anything but routine. sandy hook elementary remains closed. funerals held for two more children killed in the massacre. i'm suzanne malveaux in atlanta. >> hi, suzanne. i'm ashleigh banfield in newtown, connecticut. this is newsroom special
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coverage "newtown remembers." today families are saying good bye to a 6-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. yesterday, two little boys were laid to rest. it is a heartbreaking scene that is playing out over and over and it will continue to do so this week. connecticut's governor is trying to comfort the grieving families here. >> the reality with respect to the relatives, as you try to feel their pain, but you can't. you try to find some words that you hope will be adequate, knowing that they'll be inadequate. and you see little coffins and your heart has to ache. >> governor dan malloy. we also want to update you on the new developments in the aftermath of the tragedy in newtown. schools are back in session for the first time since friday's massacre. á site ght a bright spot.
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more police and extra counselors are on hand to make sure the transition goes smoothly. sandy hook elementary, where this massacre took place, that will remain closed for the foreseeable future until further notice. more funeral services heldú,u) today. one of them, 6-year-old jessica rekos. she loved horses and she was expecting a brand-new pair of cowgirl boots for christmas, her parents tell cnn. also, a former director of security for newtown schools shedding light on the gunman who perpetrated this horror. that person was assigned to keep track of students who were having problems, students including adam lanza. but he also saysñ"á he never thought of adam lanza particularly as a threat. we want to update you more on the investigation into this massive crime. more information, new information that we're just getting in now from the medical examiner. our deb feyerick has been working that part of the story.
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she's outside of the lanza home with more details on that ainng. >> reporter: a number of investigators are on scene right now looking at whatever they can that remains inside the house. one of the big problems about the investigation, ashleigh, authorities are confirming in fact the computer that belonged to adam lanza was in fact smashed. so they are having difficulty re-creating all of the forensic information. we want to talk to you about a conversation with the medical examiner, h. wayne carver. he confirms to cnn toxicology tests were performed on the body of adam lanza to determine whether in fact he was on any kinds of medication that may have triggered the violent outburst. though the medical examiner was told that in fact he has aspergers, the medical examiner's being extra careful, trying to determine that's all going on this young man and trying to see if there was something deeper, something pathological, psychiatric.
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the bodies of the mom and son, autopsies were completed. they've not been released. nobody's claimed them. what's going to happen, the bodies will be released and then buried before any notification is given, to any members of the press. family wants to keep it private, make sure nothing happens during the burial process. you know it took place here. adam lanza allegedly shooting his mother while she slept in her pajamas in her bed. he shot her four times in the head. the computer, the smashed computer, not clear what point that was actually done. but after he killed his mom, he went over to the school. he killed himself after his rampage with a single shot, that also to the head. according to the divorce documents the mother was in charge of his mental care. what's crazy, ashleigh, there was a three-year period in which adam lanza seems to have disappeared. he was -- looked like he was pursuing an education but even
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then things were going on. little is known about adam lanza. but as a gawky high school freshman in 2007, lanza seemed so vulnerable the former school security director at newtown high school tells cnn he warned his school officers to keep an eye on the child so he would not be picked on or bullied. lanza was also assigned to a school psychologist, says the security director. the lanza joined the tech club he remained withdrawn. in 2008, age 16, lanza enrolled anderson cooper a student at western connecticut state university, 15 minutes from his home, taking among other classes german, computer science, american history, and macro economics. he dropped out in 2009, and did not return. lanza's high school friend ran into nancy lanza a few years ago, he says the mom described adam as doing well in college and told him he had taken him shooting as a hobby and liked to
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go to the gun range. what was interesting, nancy lanza was doing everything she could to mainstream her son. he clearly had issues but she was trying to keep things as normal as possible and getting him to different schools where she could tap into what's described as his genius, his sort of superb intellect. we did peek to a friend who knew nancy and he says she kept a gun lock box in the basement of the home. he saw it eight months ago when he was in the home doing work. and he also said that one of the reasons that she ultimately taught her son how to shoot or took him to the gun ranges, because she didn't like to leave him alone for big periods of time. she's krdescribed as a country girl, liked shooting and going to the aerang and took adam wit her and that's when he developed a like for the sport. ashleigh? >> deb, it's just so troubling to hear details, the gun lock
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box and this mother, who was home schooling and working so hard or trying to do the normalcy schooling, for regular students. very, very upsetting, indeed. deb feyerick reporting for us live. we know the school's a crime scene. students at sandy hook elementary are not returning to class today. when they go back, it will be a new school. the town's updating a former middle school in nearby monroe. that is where my colleague ashleigh took a look. >> reporter: while the kids in newtown, connecticut are going to be returning to school today, the kids from sandy hook will not be. that's because they're going to come here to the monroe middle school campus. look to the left. the chalk hill school, a school because of declining enrollment closed down and set to reopen as a community center but now monroe county has decided to avail its services to kids of sandy hook. look across the street at the sign that has shown up "welcome
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sandy hook elementary" heart warming to see that. here's how it's going to work. they're not going to be here today. we don't know exactly when they'll be here. look up there, there's a police officer who is blocking the entrance to the media. we want to be respectful. they're allowing teachers that are going into an adjacent middle school and people who are moving all of the contents from sandy hook elementary actually into chalk hill so when the children arrive here, the artwork from their elementary school will be on the walls there. their desks will be in place there. and there's even reportedly photographs that werea taken at sandy hook elementary of what the classrooms look like so professional movers could move everything in and make it look exactly the same was really a remarkable feat given all of the duress, everyone's under. over the last couple of days, trucks are been coming up and down delivering equipment, desks and the gear that you need to
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actually functionally make a school happen for little children. >> it is a somber reality for newtown, the funerals are going on for day. yesterday we saw two first grade boys being buried. today a 6-year-old girl. sandra is joining us from newtown where you have been seeing folks trying to cope with waves of grief. i imagine this will continue for some time. today there's a little girl, jessica rekos being buried. we know a little bit about her. >> reporter: absolutely. it's just heartbreaking to see what this community is dealing with and we saw the funeral procession pass through the streets here. people are contantly coming by the makeshift memorial in the middle of town and trying to pay condolences to lives lost. you mentioned being laid to rest today. jessica rekos, 6 years old. according to her family, she loved horses.
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she couldn't wait until her 10-year-old birthday when she was promised to get a horse. she liked to dress in cowboy she's being remembered as the family's ceo. she would plan everything and write down journals and notes and leave them for the family. here's what they say they remember most about her. >> she was a ball of fire. she ruled the roost. she -- >> little ceo we called her. she was -- she was the boss. >> she is survived by her two brothers. also being laid to rest today is james ma tolly, 6 years old and family members say that he loved to wear t-shirts and shorts, regardless of the weather, and he loved to swim. he swam like a fish. loved sports. he sang at the top of his lungs. these are so many different stories we're hearing about remarkable children who, unfortunately, their lives were
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taken way too soon. >> i don't know why, but makes me feel better when i learn more about these kids and what they were look like. there are two, visitation for two other students, charlotte bacon and daniel barton. are we learning more about them as well? >> reporter: yeah. this is unfortunately going to be the new normal for the next few day, suzanne, just funeral after funeral in the days to come. you mentioned charlotte bacon, 6. outgoing redhead. her smile lit up a room. survived by an older brother who attended sandy hook school. she loved the color pink. she wore her favorite pink dress to school, according to her family though she was supposed to wait for the holidays to wear it. learning about daniel, passed away, 7 years old. he was an old soul. open doors for strangers and older people and stand there and
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his family would leave and he's still opening the door for people. clearly a wonderful soul and had so much love for others and again, suzanne, as you mentioned, it's so heartbreaking to hear stories, as you learn more about these individual children, more about their personalties and what type of little children and people they were. >> really beautiful. must be hard to try to figure out a eulogy for a 6-year-old, what you actually say but they break it down. it's very simple. remains you, they are just 6 years old. thank you. many people are wondering, how do you help all of these people impacted by this? we put a list together. charitable organizations on there is a lot to be done. police say adam lanza used a gun like this one to kill his victims at sandy hook elementary. we'll take a look at the ar-15 223 caliber rifle and why sales are skyrocketing. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th,
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single day in this country. just this morning, another multiple shooting. if you can believe this. this is in colorado, police say four people found dead in a home in longmont, 15 miles from boulder. police are treating this case as a murder/suicide. high profile shootings followed by threats of on copycat killers authoritieses are taking no chances. police arrested three teenagers in separate indent whose threatened to kill out similar attacks of the massacre. arrested in his until south carolina for allegedly having weapons in his car, including a loaded .22 caliber handgun. 18-year-old sergio, allegedly left messages online saying he supports the actions of the school shooter. and then a teenager in tennessee
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arrested for posting messages on facebook saying he felt like going on a rampage. now experts say it's going to be difficult to prosecute the cases because of freedom of speech. suzanne, one of the largest sporting goods retailers are in the world decided to suspend the sale of some of the semiautomatic rifles across the country called dick's sporting goods, removed all of the guns from the store it has closest to the community where i am, newtown. this is of course where the shoot owing cured on friday. the company says it made this move out of respect for the victims and of course for their families, as well. and also, in light of that story, some gun shops are reporting a spike, a spike, in the sales of semiautomatic weapons including the type of gun that was used to kill those 20 children and 6 faculty members at sandy hook elementary school.
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our chris lawrence found out the ar-15 model is the most popular rifle in america. >> reporter: the ar-15 has always been a top seller at this virginia gun shop. but chuck says since friday's shooting, sales have been surging. >> people want to get them before the government imposes any restrictions and they're buying them up in record numbers right now. >> reporter: we weren't in the store for five minutes before customers started calling for guns and ammo. >> those magazines are selling fast. in anticipation of possible ban on magazines. >> reporter: and he can't keep enough of the ar-15. >> but we do have in stock in the store three other guns that are of the same quality as the bushmaster. >> reporter: how many rounds can this fire per second? >> how fast can you pull the trigger? >> reporter: the ar-15 is semiautomatic, one bullet per trigger pull.
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average clip carries 30 rounds. it's a variation of the military's m-16. it looks tough, ominous. police say adam lanza used an ar-15 in connecticut. it was also used to kill 12 people in a colorado movie theater this summer. who buys this weapon? >> everybody. >> reporter: guns and ammo magazine estimates that 1.5 million have been made in the last five years alone. dealers say, it's most popular rifle in america. for good reason. how quickly could someone use this rifle? >> to shoot it? very little training to shoot it. >> reporter: it weighs about eight pounds, takes all kinds of ammo. and it can be easily customized with various lasers, stocks and gun locks. the ar-15 is accurate and it is very little kick. >> there's literally no recoil from this because you are shooting a high-powered .22 round. that's one of the things that make it very controllable.
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you can buy these at 1700 walmart stores. there are magazines dedicated to the ar-15. there are literally millions of these rifles in homes across america. honestly, that shows no signs of slowing down. chris lawrence, cnn, washington. going to take a look at federal and state gun laws as we continue our special coverage of the connecticut school shooting. >> it's not so much as rethink it but you know who would have ever thought in america or anywhere in the world that children would be slaughtered? you know that -- it's changed me. but with that being said, people are afraid to talk about some things that just basically should be talked. i don't know of anybody that goes hunting with an assault to financial obstacles military families face, we understand. at usaa, we know military life is different. we've been there.
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the school massacre near newtown, connecticut, has more pro-gun lawmakers changing their views. senator elect joe donnelly of indiana is the latest democrat endorses by the national rifle association, who now says that he is committed to looking at new ways to tighten gun laws. he told cnn, quote, i think we have a responsibility to make sure that this never happens again. and also, west virginia senator joe manchin also a democrat, also a longtime member of the nra, said that he has changed his position after the massacre and now supports gun control
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legislation. lawmakers are hearing today from more than 20 family members and victims of mass shootings across this country. those people all came together on capitol hill and decided they needed to meet with leaders in congress and leaders in the white house. they are demanding that they seriously address gun violence in america. each person who came had a very emotional story to share and they included a father whose 24-year-old son was killed in arepo aurora, colorado, who shielded his girlfriend who the shooter took so many. a mother gunned down on a chicago bus. a father lost his 15-year-old son during columbine tragedy. and the list went on and on. and the photos kept coming out. their message, about 32 people are killed every single day by guns in this country and that it
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has got to stop. >> today, there will be 32 more families that know the pain and or that you just heard here today. so we pay a lot of attention and appropriately so to these mass shootings, the one that andre's son miraculously survived. but we also have to be aware this happens in our nation every day and as you're going to hear today, as a nation, we are better than this. >> that was dan gross, spearhead today's call for action. he's the head of the brady campaign which is a nonprofit that has long fought to reform the gun industry through laws and also through education, suzanne. >> current gun laws are as varied as states that govern them. george howell is taking a look at varied regulations. just watch. >> what happened in newtown, connecticut, has put the spotlight on gun laws in the u.s.
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government dannel malloy says with his state's tough gun regulations it's not enough. >> in the absence of a federal framework in which we limit the explosive nature of the weapons and ammunition that's used, no state would ever be safe based on simply its own laws. that's why the brady bill, that's why the assault weapons ban, was so very important. >> reporter: the only federal ban on assault rifles became law in 1994 but expired in 2004. connecticut still has a similar law on its books banning assault rifles but that law didn't apply to the bushmaster ar-15 rifle adam lanza used during his shooting rampage. the state's gun law would have been baned the 30 round magazine lanza used. >> as everyones aware from the traj doif la tragedy 0 last friday, magazine
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is legal and you don't need a background state to get those types of military-style weapons. >> reporter: robin thomas says federal laws are minimal, at best. according to the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms the u.s. government requires a person must be 21 to purchase a handgun from a licensed dealer, 18 years old to purchase a long gun, like a rifle, from a licensed dealer, but federal law does not regulate private sales between individuals or sales at gun shows or online. it's a state's right issue. the badi campaign for gun control rates five states atop of the scorecard for gun regulations with california at top of the list. >> we have universal background checks so you need a background check on any transfer of sale of a firearm, whether it's a gun dealer, gun show, private
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seller. >> reporter: laws that can be avoided in some cases simply by crossing state lines. the brady campaign's scorecard rates these states as having the weakest gun regulations. >> california, we might have good, strong gun laws but if you want to buy an assault weapon you drive across to nevada or arizona and you can buy them there easily without a background check and bring them across the border. we do need basic measures at the federal level. >> george, that's a patchwork of different laws from different states. it's unbelievable when you think about it, from one state to the next. all you do is cross the board somewhere buy a weapon in another state. california one of the toughest, how s/xp >> you heard there are background checks but they regulate the gun owners. they ban assault rifles. there's a waiting period in california, ten-day waiting peer. look at new york, 90-day waiting period there. when you put measures in place, advocates for gun laws i should say they say that that makes a
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big difference. >> why is it that these laws do not apply for private sellers of the gun shows? why is it allowed? >> state by state. when you talk about gun shows, that's the big loophole. unlike a licensed deal, gun shows don't have to do background checks and they may miss self-things. people are prohibited by federal law from owning guns if they hit a long list of self-things. if you're a convicted felofelon dishonorably discharged from the armed services. a long list of things there. when you don't have to do the background check you may not know and then you can make the sale. >> do you think there's a will here? is there a political will to push this forward? seems like people are talking about changing this or something in place. >> you know, just digging into the law, and then hearing from people on both sides, you can tell that people who support gun laws, they want to see something change. you can also tell people who own
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guns and stand for the second amendment, they want to see some sort of change as well. you see it on social media. you see people talking about it. you get the sense that something will change, given what we saw in newtown. >> thank you, appreciate it. four days since that gunman opened fire on that first day that first grade class at sandy hook elementary. we're still learning about the many victims, as well as heroes. hear from one man who helped kids escape the massacre. >> the two boys mostly talked and they said, we can't go back to that school -- we can't -- >> we can't go back. >> our teacher -- our teacher's dead. [ female announcer ] what if the next big thing, isn't a thing at all?
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it's lots of things. all waking up. ♪ becoming part of the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ trees will talk to networks will talk to scientists about climate change. cars will talk to road sensors will talk to stoplights about traffic efficiency. the ambulance will talk to patient records will talk to doctors about saving lives. it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. the next big thing? we're going to wake the world up. ♪ and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. ♪ cisco.
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tomorrow starts here.
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getting new information from the medical examiner in the aftermath of the tragedy in newtown. he tells our sister network hln autopsies on the bodies of adam lanza and his mother nancy lanza are complete. no one has claimed the bodies yet. he tells that is nancy lanza was shot four times in the head while sleeping. adam lanza died of a single gunshot wound to the head. the medical examiner saying he was told that adam lanza had been diagnosed with asperger's syndrome but the medical examiner em phasizes he does no know if the diagnose is correct and there's no link between the
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diagnosis and violent behavior. >> very distressing information, suzanne. we're also getting details of some of the things that happened on the day of the massacre. and one of the more harrowing stories is what happened with the group of six children who were in one of the classrooms where their teacher was shot dead before their eyes. they escaped and ran for their lives. suzanne, they ran and ran and ran. not only did they aren't out of the school and off of the school property, they ran down the street, past the firehouse, and just ultimately stopped on a man's front lawn. that man is gene rosen, who looked out of his window and had no idea what he was witnessing. and when he found out, he could not believe the story that was coming from the mouths of these babes. he told his story to erin burnett exclusively last night. have a listen. >> they were sitting so nicely but then i saw a man in a very
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agitated way saying it's going to be all right. he kept raising his voice. i thought that was so strange. and i came to the children and they were crying and wailing and mortified, and there was a school bus driver with them. and i invited them into the house. and she said that an incident at the school, i had no idea what it was. >> the children, how did they fine the words to tell you? they told you, right? the teacher had die good they start talking. the two boys mostly talked. and they said, we can't go back to that school -- we can't -- >> we can't go back. >> our teacher -- our teacher's dead. what are we going to do? we don't have a teacher. they were so brave and they were so good. they -- i brought down some toys from my grandson's toy chest and
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i gave them some juice. and we called their parents. they were very brave. and very good. and i was amazed. i was -- i was astounded at what they were telling me. something happened with one of the boys. out of this grief and this carnage, and he stopped and he became very composed and all of a sudden he stopped and he looked at me and he said, just saying, your house is very small. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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14 days and counting until the fiscal cliff. house speaker john boehner proposed letting tax ratesen crease for only those making more than $1 million a year. it is what he calls his plan b. the white house says its plan is better and it is actually more fair. the white house plan calls for a tax increase on earnings above $400,000 a year. that's a concession from president obama who originally wanted taxes to go up on anything above $250,000 a year. the president's offer also calls for $1.2 trillion in spending cuts including those on social
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and defense programs. he wants a two-year extension on being able to raise the national debt ceilings. republicans not thrilled with the white house's latest offer. dana bash following the back and forth here. we know that both sides seem to be giving a bit, right? you've got the president going from $250,000 to $400,000 as a threshold for increasing taxes and the republicans pushing this plan b here. where do they meet? where do you suppose they meet? >> reporter: boy, if i could answer that question we would be able to go home. look, this is -- this is -- this is just more aggressive you know kind of to-ing and fro-ing when it comes to the house speaker's strategy here and the republican strategy. you laid out well what the white house offer was last night when the president and the speaker met in person at the white house. but after that, the speaker concluded that his next move would be this, this plan b,
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because he feels that what the president is offer, not so much in the way of tax but was spending cuts is not enough. that he's not coming down -- going high enough, rather, on spending cuts. with the house speaker saying, as you see on the screen, he's going to try to push legislation this thursday to extend x cuts for those making up to $1 million so that not everybody's taxes will go up. listen to how he described it to reporters. >> every income tax filer in america is going to pay a higher rate january 1st unless congress acts. so i believe it's important that we protect as many american taxpayers as we can. and our plan b would protect american taxpayers who make $1 million or less and have all of their current rates extended. >> reporter: now, what are the democrats saying to this? they don't think a lot of it. the white house flatly rejected it. democrats we're talking to on
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the hill say it's laughable. one senior democratic congressman i talked to said that it's more of a punch line instead of a compromise because they feel that when you look at the big picture talks between the president and the speaker they're further along than the speaker will give the president credit for for giving in on taxes, for giving on what he campaigned on, as you well know for five years, which is raising tax rates for people making $250,000 or more. so we are definitely still in the back and forth phase. this is clearly a negotiating tactic by the speaker to try to push the president to give more on spending cuts and to agree to less when it comes to tax revenue. >> reading the tea leaves here it does seem apparent that this is somewhat of a tactic, the negotiation process to get throughout and put forward the plan b, both men are still talking. they are still communicating. is that a good sign? does that indicate there's more posturing, public posturing going on here than what we're seeing behind the scenes?
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>> reporter: we hope so. we don't have any confirmation that the two men have spoken today. we know they spoke last night when the speakere64)ñ told the president he was going forward on plan b. as part of the announcement the speaker told his colleagues privately and right afterwards this morning that he is going to continue to talk to the president. but that's sort of one side of this. this is the republican side where it's difficult for him to sell this overall, about $2 trillion plan that is not high enough in spending cuts but there's a democratic side, too. i'm told democrats are not happy with the concessions that the president's made, specifically on the idea of people -- effectively people's social security checks being smaller as part of a technical change. >> thank you. kidnapped in syria. how a news correspondent and his crew were rescued and released after held captive for five thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world.
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professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
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kidnapped, blindfolded, threatened for five days. richard engel and his crew captured last thursday after crossing into northwest syria from turkey. engel says they were not physically harmed but suffered psychological torture at hand of their captors. he told the "today" show how they were finally set free. >> at the end of this we were
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being moved to yet another location in the -- around 11:00 last night, local time, and as we were moving along the road, the kidnappers came across a rebel checkpoint, something they hadn't expected. we were in the back of what you think of as a minivan. as we are driving along the road, the kidnappers saw this checkpoint, started a gunfight with it, two of the kidnappers were killed. we climbed out of the vehicle and the rebels took us. we spent the night with them. we didn't get much sleep. >> none of the nbc crew was harmed. we are so glad that they are safe. paula broadwell won't be charged for cyberstocking. it was broadwell's affair with the former cia chief david patreaus that let to his resignation but her anonymous e-mails led to the fbi investigation.
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the u.s. tornattorney's office decided not to pursue a federal case. people remembering daniel inoue, died yesterday of respiratory complications in washington, d.c. a world war ii sveteran who received the medal of honor. the longest serving member of the senate and the member of the watergate committee that resulted in the resignation of president nixon. he was 88 years old. ashleigh? >> there is something that we were considering a bright spot to report from here in newtown, connecticut. and that is that -- pardon me -- that is that amid all of the sadness, these dogs have shown up to help. they are called comfort dogs and they have done so much good in a short period of time. we're going to introduce you to them and tell you exactly what they've been up to, next. hey, look! a shooting star!
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you know, there have been a couple of moments in the middle of this terrible school shooting tragedy where we have been able to shut out the sadness, even if only for just a little bit. but in newtown, several golden retrievers have been helping to
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ease the pain. they're called comfort dogs. and they, along with their human handlers, came here en masse. they traveled to connecticut, all the way from the chicago area, and their mission was to help the people here who are grieving in the aftermath of what happened inside that school. the president of the organization that runs the program talked to our gary tuchman. >> to some people, we have seen this with children, it brings a sense of calmness in a time of confusion for them during this period. to some it helps them process their grief. they'll start crying and they'll hug the dog. and to some children, they'll come up sad and walk away happy. >> reporter: do you know luther is incapable of being mean? luther is a friendly dog. >> caden loves dogs. >> reporter: where else have your dogs been, what other disasters? >> a month ago when sandy hit, we were out in new york and new jersey.
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we have been in indiana with the floodings. we had dogs in joplin, missouri. >> come here, this is luther. he's a comfort dog. you can pet him. it says here, please pet me. >> reporter: how do you feel when you see a child come up to one of your dogs who has been in this kind of situation and have a big smile on their face? >> tears. they smile, i cry. >> like i said, smile in the midst of such sadness. and it is so welcome, the comfort dog initiative, by the way, was started back in 2008. sadly to report after five college students died in a mass shooting in illinois. but, suzanne, what a difference those dogs have been able to make, even if only for just a short moment. >> so nice to see, you know, like you get all happy and excited just to see the dog, the tail wagging and, just, like a friendly face there. well, thank you, ashleigh. appreciate that. also, the voice getting in on paying tribute to the students and those who were killed in connecticut. just watch.
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♪ i heard there was a secret code ♪ ♪ that david played and it pleased the lord ♪ ♪ but you don't really care for music do you ♪ >> last night's show opened with the contestants, judges singing "hallelujah" and holding up cards with the name of each victim. it is just the latest example of how everybody has come together across the country around those victims. over the weekend, "saturday night live" started with a children's choir singing instead of the usual monologue. our special coverage continues after this. ♪ hallelujah hallelujah ♪ pportunity in today's challenging environment. unless you have the right perspective. bny mellon wealth management has the vision and experience to look beyond the obvious. we'll uncover opportunities, find hidden risk,
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one of the first things you'll notice as you drive into this beautiful town of newtown, connecticut, is some of the old buildings and the lovely gently rolling hillside and then this extraordinary traffic. the school buses are now rolling once again as these kids get ready to head back to school in the newtown district today. it is not normally like this. the traffic is compromised of people from surrounding counties, contractors who are coming in to help with this emergency, maybe rebuilding in some of the schools, et cetera. and then also an enormous number
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of media. another thing you notice as you come into town, right away on the left-hand side is this makeshift memorial that sprung up several days ago and is growing exponentially. people bringing teddy bears and candles and art work and messages and origami and flowers and you name it. just about everything. you see a lot of people with tears as they drop off what they brought. obviously some of the traffic, people from surrounding communities. the next thing you notice is this, all of this media. people have come from all over the world to cover this story. and they are set up right in the town square, right in the center of town, a place that is not used to seeing satellite trucks and this kind of media attention. and, boy, are they getting used to it now. another thing that you'll find amidst all the traffic, take a look up here, police and orange cones and road closed signs, that is the road that leads up
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to the sandy hook elementary school. they are obviously limiting most of the traffic, not allowed to go up there at this time. that's the other area where there is a massive, massive memorial. i showed that to you yesterday. but one of the things that we do hear from people, while everybody around the country and around the world wants to share and wants to know and wants to be a part of this, this grieving, and they're doing that through us, and the window we provide, the people who live here really would like us to leave. they want to return to some kind of normalcy and that begs that question, when we do go, and when we do leave this town and when our world continues, we leave all these people with a brand-new normal. and something that they're going to have to figure out for themselves. what their new normal is going to be like. >> the tragedy in newtown has many people wondering how they can help those who are impacted. so we put a list together of charitable organizations on our website. just visit you


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