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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  September 26, 2013 5:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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currently alying a fix. that's nice. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. you can follow me on twitter. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." that room happens to be just feet away right next door. mr. blitzer. >> jake, thanks very much. happening now, only days before millions of americans become eligible for new health insurance coverage, president obama angrily calls out his critics and leads an all-out campaign to defend his controversial health reform law. the white house press secretary jay carney is standing by live. we'll talk about obama care and much more. a global alert for the so-called white widow. a british woman whose husband was a suicide bomber. she's wanted in kenya on explosives charges. could she be tied to the mall attack? and a quarter million dollars for a private flight into space. hundreds have already signed up, including some big name hollywood celebrities. we will show you what they're
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paying for. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." a fiery president obama isn't holding back with two potential showdowns looming in washington, one of them now only four days away. he's sounding a lot like candidate obama in his latest obama care event, the president accusing republicans of blackmail and worse, vowing he won't negotiate when it comes to last minute gop attempts to stop his controversial health care legislation from taking effect in exchange for a deal to keep the federal government from shutting down. our senior white house correspondent brianna keilar is joining us now from the white house. she's got the very latest. what a day it's been. >> reporter: sure has been, wolf. president obama trying to escape the beltway politics, just barely going outside the beltway to a community college if prince georges county, maryland, pushing his signature health care reform law as the online marketplace for obama care is
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set to open on tuesday. now, this comes of course as some republicans have been threatening a government shutdown if funding for obama care is included in that spending bill that's currently working its way through the senate. well, now house republicans in what is a shift are talking about how they want to instead refuse to increase the debt ceiling, a different thing, if they cannot delay the implementation of obama care. house speaker john boehner calling on president obama to negotiate on this today and president obama fired back. >> to suggest america not pay its bills just to try to blackmail a president into giving them some concessions on issues that have nothing to do with the budget. i mean, this is the united states of america. we're not a deadbeat nation. we don't run out on our tab.
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we don't not pay our note. we are the world's bedrock economy, the world's currency of choice. the entire world looks to us to make sure that the world economy is stable. you don't mess with that. you don't mess with that. and that's why i will not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the united states of america. >> reporter: this sort of ups the ante, wolf, because the economic ramifications of breaching the debt ceiling of course far surpass the economic damage that would be caused by a government shutdown. you could see a government shutdown monday night going into
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tuesday if the house doesn't take up that senate bill which we're expected they will have a final vote on probably on sunday. the debt ceiling is expected, we have learned from treasury recently, to be hit on october 17th. that is when the treasury department says it will no longer be able to pay the united states' debts as they come due. wolf? >> brianna keilar, thanks very much. let's dig a little deeper right now. joining us now to discuss the president's all-out push to sell obama care with only five days left before americans can begin signing up, the white house press secretary jay carney is joining us. jay, thanks very much for coming in. let's go through some of the criticisms of obama care, give you a chance to respond. here's what the president said in selling obama care back in 2009. >> first of all, if you've got health insurance, you like your doctor, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. nobody is talking about taking that away from you.
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>> as you know, a lot of people are not going to be able to keep their doctor or their plan under this new system. what do you say to them? >> well, wolf, when you say a lot of people, that's simply not true. you have employer provided health insurance. that health insurance will not change when obama care takes effect and the marketplace is open on january 1st. and the options that you have will not change unless your employer decides to change them. but that won't have anything to do with -- >> but -- >> wolf, hold on. the marketplaces are in place to allow individuals who do not have insurance through their employer to purchase affordable health insurance for them and their families, and the affordable health insurance that they'll be able to purchase has not been available until the affordable care act because they have been priced out of the market, they have been blocked from getting insurance because they have a child who has a pre-existing condition. you know, you have families of four now making $50,000 in states like north carolina and
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florida and colorado and california, who will have an array of options available to them to buy health insurance at extremely affordable prices and premiums that were never available before. >> all of that is true. hold on a second, jay. all of that is true, but you know that there are companies like ups or home depot and a lot of other companies now that are taking full-time employees, making them part-time employees, eliminating their health care benefits. they will have an opportunity to go to these health care exchanges and get new health insurance programs, but they won't be able to keep what they had and they might not be able to keep the doctor they used to have. >> wolf, first of all, employees are making a choice about whether or not to provide -- i mean, employers are making the choice about whether or not to provide their employees insurance. that has always been the case. and there has been a long-term trend in this country as you know that long predates the legislation called the affordable care act in which
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employers have been dropping people from their employer provided insurance. that is a trend that long predates the affordable care act and it was a trend driven by the incredible increases in health care costs. one. two, the implementation of the employer mandate does not even take place for another year and a quarter, okay, so if companies are saying they're making these changes now because of the affordable care act, the affordable care act does not even affect them now so i would question that assertion. >> that's what they are saying. that's what they're saying. they're saying they're moving people to 39 hours instead of 49 hours or 29 hours, precisely because of obama care. that's what they're saying. >> well, when you say "they" again, there is zero data to back that up, okay? what we have seen is that in jobs that have been created since we began climbing out of this recession, more than 90% of those jobs have been created, that have been created are full-time, not part-time. and a large portion of those
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jobs, millions of those jobs, have been created since the affordable care act passed. if employers enmasse across the country were saying because of the affordable care act we're cutting workers to part-time, that would show up in the data. i'm not saying there aren't anecdotes where individual employers claim they are doing this because of the affordable care act but the data doesn't back that up. in fact, the opposite is true. >> i was just talking about some big companies like ups, home depot, among others. let's move on. >> again, for years -- hold on, wolf. it is important, one other point i think is essential to make. the reason why employers for a long time now have been changing the way they provide insurance, making it more expensive or dropping their employees is because of the dramatic rise in the cost of health care. what has happened in the last three years since the implementation or rather, the passage of the affordable care act. health care costs are growing at the slowest pace in half a century. slowest pace in half a century. so if you're a company that was making decisions five years ago based on what the projections were for the health care cost
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curve, you were looking at costs that far exceeded what you're looking at now, thanks to the affordable care act. >> let's talk about the other part of this story right now, the debt ceiling. the president once again affirmed today he is not going to negotiate with republicans when it comes to raising the debt ceiling. listen to what he said. >> and that's why i will not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the united states of america. >> all right. so if he holds to that, he'll be the first president in a long time who won't negotiate with the opposition to try to raise the debt ceiling. he himself did it, clinton did it, bush did it, reagan did it. they've all done it. why is the president so firm right now in saying he doesn't even want to talk to the speaker or any of the republicans to work out a deal to raise the debt ceiling? >> wolf, i know because you've been covering washington for a long time, that you know that what happened in 2011 when
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republicans threatened default if they didn't get what they want, had never happened before. not under clinton, not under reagan, not under either of the bushs, had never happened. it is simply categorically false to say that any party in any negotiation over budget priorities had ever said if i don't get what i want, i'm going to default on the full faith and credit of the united states. had never happened before. and the mere flirtation with it in 2011, the threat of it, caused this country economic harm, caused harm to the american middle class. this president will not allow that to happen again. he will not allow republicans to, what they're saying now, basically attach a laundry list of partisan objectives to their responsibility to raise the debt ceiling saying if i don't get what i couldn't get through the legislative process, what i couldn't get at the ballot box, what i couldn't get out of the supreme court, i don't get that we're going to crash the economy and the american middle class will pay. that's totally irresponsible. >> the president says he will
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not make any concessions to raise the debt ceiling, is that right? >> here's the deal. he's not asking for anything to raise the debt ceiling. it's congress' responsibility to raise it. he's not saying i will only sign an increase in the debt ceiling if congress attaches one of my priorities. only the republicans are saying that they will threaten the full faith and credit of the united states if they don't get some partisan objective, some other item attached to the debt ceiling. we're not asking for anything. we're not asking for any legislative agenda item to be attached to raising the debt ceiling. we're just saying that we agree we should never default, we should never even contemplate default and congress ought to raise the debt ceiling. only one party is asking something else. >> very quickly, remind us why the president as a senator voted against raising the debt ceiling. >> the president voted against raising the debt ceiling as a senator to make a point about what he believed were wrong fiscal priorities of that administration. what then senator obama never did was say i will vote to default if i don't get what i want.
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and that was part of a process where, as you know, because you have covered this, wolf, cycle after cycle, presidency after presidency, we saw the debt ceiling raised again and again without delay, without default, without drama, and without ever the threat that we would trash the world economy if one party didn't get what it wanted. it's just unprecedented and talk to business leaders. talk to business leaders who generally agree often with republicans and their priorities, and ask them if they think this strategy is good for america and good for our economy and good for the middle class. to a person, they'll say no. it's terrible. it cannot be the right way to go. what we have here is a faction of one house in congress driving an ideological train in a very dangerous direction. >> jay carney, the white house press secretary. a lot going on. we'll be working over these next several days and weeks. hopefully there will be no government shutdown, the debt ceiling will go up, business
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will continue. we'll see what happens. thanks very much. >> i hope you're right, wolf. >> i hope i'm right, too. i hope it all works out for the sake of the country and the sake of a lot of americans. the sake of the economy. appreciate it very much. just ahead in our next hour, i get republican reaction to all of this and a whole lot more. the new york congressman peter king will join us live. up next, as the white house digs in, we'll dig deeper into what we just heard from the president's press secretary. kae candy crowley and gloria borger are standing by. a global alert issued for the white widow. her husband was a london suicide bomber. could she be tied to the nairobi mall massacre? i'll ask britain's visiting deputy prime minister. he's here in "the situation room." i'm kind of seeing a... some kind of... this is... an alien species. reality check: a lot of 4g lte coverage maps
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some breaking news, important news coming in. cnn has learned the united nations security council numbers are now being called to a consultation on an actual text for a syria resolution just a few hours from now. let's bring in nick paton walsh,
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who is over at the u.n. nick, what happened? >> reporter: 8:00 tonight, the full 15 members of the u.n. security council will meet. now, that suggests that the u.s. and russia have overcome their differences on a draft resolution for the issue of disarming syria of its chemical weapons, for enforcing what they agreed in geneva. you wouldn't really call those 15 together unless you had something that was pretty much finalized and pushed through. of course, we could still have issues here but i am hearing from one diplomat things are quote, moving very fast and it's possible we could see a vote on this resolution by the weekend. the fact they're able to put this text together also suggests they have overcome the technical hurdles they were facing with the u.n. monitoring group that had to decide how syria would be in violation or work out exactly what you would have to do to determine that during this disarmament protocol. but the fact this meeting is being called tonight at such short pace, suggesting things are moving very fast here. when kerry and lavrov met a few hours ago, they pretty much ironed differences out. >> let's see how it works. important stuff. thanks very much. let's get back to our other
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top story. the president of the united states facing two huge potential showdowns with congress over spending. will he be able to negotiate, will he continue his position of not negotiating with the republicans to find some common ground as far as raising the nation's debt ceiling. let's bring in our chief political correspondent, candy crowley. also our chief political analyst, gloria borger. listen -- look at this new bloomberg national poll, gloria. the debt ceiling should be raised without conditions, 28%. raised with spending cuts, 61%. you just heard jay carney, you just heard the president earlier, they're not negotiating as far as raising the debt ceiling. what's going to happen? >> this is why republicans believe they're on firmer ground when they talk about delaying obama care, for example, on the debt ceiling because if you look at that poll, people sort of think and it's intuitive to think we're going to raise the debt ceiling but at the same
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time we ought to pay attention to how much money we're spending and if you believe that the president's health care plan is in the long run going to cost more money, you might think this is a decent time to do it. however, people do not want to shut down the government so they don't want to see obama care attached to that. but the president, as you point out and as jay carney pointed out, believes that it's extortion to do that. he used the word blackmail today in his speech. he's not going to negotiate on this debt ceiling on obama care. >> there are ways not to negotiate. you can have tandem bills. you can say give us this, we'll put this on the floor. there are ways around this that will ensure that the debt ceiling is raised certainly before it does great damage. now, obviously the democrats and others are arguing that it's already doing damage, just the thought of it. but there are ways around it. but the president has been as definitive as i have heard him on anything out there saying i'm not negotiating on this, i'm not negotiating on this.
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now, he said it last time but again, there are some tandem things going on. they can get around it that way. >> even if they work on a deal in terms of keeping the government operating after october 1st, they fund the government, there's no defunding of obama care, these issues are going to be huge by october 17th, when they have to raise the debt ceiling. otherwise the consequences for the u.s. economy, america's credit rating, it will be awful. >> well, if by the way, it could be awful for everybody politically. the republicans may feel they have the public with them more on the debt ceiling issue, but if you see the full faith and credit of the united states being put on the line, as you did by the way a couple years ago, when we went through this, the polls actually flipped because people were nervous. we got downgraded, right? and they don't want to go through that again. it's embarrassing. they think it's not working in washington and generally when voters think things aren't working in washington, they kind of blame everybody and the president's the leader. >> but if the republicans -- last time we had a government shutdown in '95-'96, republicans
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blamed the republicans. >> they don't want to have a government shutdown. they haven't from the beginning. john boehner, who is kind of the pivot guy in this, he's key -- >> poor thing. >> poor thing is right. he needs another job, i'm sure. but he had to find a way to say i took this to the barricades for you guys. i did as much as i could, i pushed and pushed, they are continuing to push it even when they get back a clean bill from the senate, they will try to put something on it. he needs to push it just as far as he can push it but in general, what they're going to have to do is carve it out of the middle of the house with democrats and republicans and giving those on the right and those on the left a free note. >> it will be dramatic as the clock ticks for all of us. thanks very much. it would be dramatic but the stakes are clearly enormous. thanks very much. up next, the global police alert for the british woman known as the white widow. her husband was a suicide bomber. was she involved in the nairobi mall massacre? why did britain fail to stand by its closest ally when the u.s. called for military action in syria? britain's deputy prime minister
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following the devastating terror attack on that nairobi mall, the american embassy there is getting extra protection right now. u.s. officials say more u.s. marines from a special security unit are now on hand and as kenyan authorities dig for clues in the ruins of the mall, they have asked interpol to put out a global wanted notice for a british woman known as the white widow. could she be tied to the nairobi attack? brian todd is here in "the situation room." he's been investigating this part of the story. what are you learning? >> she may or may not be tied to that attack, but there is no doubt samantha luthwaite has run in terrorist circles in that region, a far cry from her background as a young girl in the countryside of southeastern england. she's been photographed as a british school girl with a soft-faced innocent smile. she's now called the white widow, is believed to be a committed jihadist, and interpol has just issued a worldwide red notice trying to track her down. that's at the request of kenyan
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authorities, who have implied but presented no evidence that she may have been involved in the nairobi mall attack. >> al shabab, the terrorist group on a twitter handle that appears to belong to them, have denied that any women were involved in this attack. >> but a senior kenyan official says a woman was there and kenyan leaders clearly believe she has had bad intentions. born in buckinghamshire, england, she had by all accounts a normal, even innocent upbringing. as a teenager she married jermaine lindsey. she was pregnant when he blew himself up in the london bus and train attacks that killed more than 50 people. it's not clear if that event radicalized her. she initially condemned those bombings. >> subsequently, she's thought to have traveled to east africa and connected with militants linked to the group al shabaab. >> authorities say she was raised money and run logistics for terrorist cells. she has always been elusive, known to travel on a fake south
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african passport under the name natalie webb. in 2011, kenyan authorities raided three homes in mumbasa, including one allegedly used by her. there, they found similar bomb making materials to those used in the london bombings. they arrested people for plotting to bomb tourist areas but were too late to catch her. do those pieces add up to her potential involvement in the westgate mall attack with al shabaab? peter bergen doesn't think so. >> it doesn't fit with how these groups operate. they're mysogenists. they think that women should be at home in a body veil. >> but she wouldn't be the first western woman to be involved in a well-known terrorist plot. in november 2005, muriel deguck blew herself up and injured a u.s. soldier in a suicide bombing in iraq. there's a picture of her. in 2011, colleen larose from pennsylvania, who called herself jihad jane, pleaded guilty to
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plotting the murder of a swedish cartoonist who had drawn an insulting image of the prophet mohammad. >> thanks very much. the so-called white widow is a british national. her husband died in the london suicide bombing. does the uk have any new information about her? let's discuss this and more with britain's deputy prime minister, who is joining us right now. minister, thanks very much for coming in. do you have any idea about her whereabouts right now? >> no. of course we don't. absolutely none. and it's fitting for interpol to explain the alert that it has issued. i have no evidence linking her to the events in nairobi. that is all still something that needs to be investigated. but clearly, she is someone of interest who interpol and i think it's important we allow interpol to get on with the work. >> have british authorities specifically been on the lookout for her? is she wanted in britain? >> she's obviously someone who is well known to the authorities
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in the uk and elsewhere, but as i say, at the moment, she's now -- this alert has been put out by interpol. it's not been specifically linked to the events in nairobi. she has some of the history that your earlier piece described but the key thing now is to let interpol get on with its work. >> see if they can find her, if she's still alive, where she is. let's talk a little about syria. you may have heard the breaking news this hour. it looks like there's a resolution now going to be on the table at the u.n. security council worked out by the u.s. and russia. i assume if that's true, britain, a permanent member of the u.n. security council, is on board. dealing with chemical weapons and their eventual destruction in syria. what can you tell us about this? >> i think we're close to getting a u.n. resolution on this. we've certainly been very, very supportive as one of the permanent members of the u.n. security council of translating the american/russian agreement
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into something which is binding in the united nations. exactly when and in what form that will take, i think we have a few more steps to go through. but the intention is very clear, is to make sure that this agreement now has some teeth, is internationally recognized and that if the assad regime seeks in any way to escape from its commitments under that agreement, there will be consequences. >> when you say consequences, including the u.s. -- the use of force whether by the u.s. or others, would those be acceptable consequences? >> well, my own view is that i don't think we would have got to this point in the first place if there hadn't been a credible threat of deterrent force on the table, and clearly, i very much hope this won't happen, i very much hope that the agreement and the commitments entered into by the assad regime will be followed so that we can take chemical weapons out of the equation all together.
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these are heinous illegal weapons which have been prohibited to close for 90 years. if that were not to occur, i do think the international community and obviously the united states and the president of the united states has been clear about this, should retain the right to be able to take action to deter any or stop the temptation for any further use of these horrible weapons. >> a lot of us were stunned when the parliament voted against allowing britain to participate to support the united states in the use of force in syria. it was a stunning event. i remember anchoring our coverage when that roll call in the parliament was going on. a lot of members of your own party voted against you on this. why was there such opposition in britain to aligning itself with president obama and the u.s.? because i don't remember a time when the u.s. and the uk were on such different pages. >> i think there are a number of explanations but i think what was very obvious to me as i sat through the debate in the house
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of commons, i sat pretty well through all eight years of the debate, it was obvious to me that mps from all parties, members of parliament from all party, were to be fair, reflecting a very widespread public anxiety and skepticism about the wisdom of being entangled in a new conflict in the middle east. and much as myself, the prime minister and others sought to explain that all we were trying to establish was a principal consent for participating in any eventual deterrent action led by president obama, i think the memories of the iraq conflict ten years ago were so strong still that i think that really did prompt very profound skepticism on the part of many mps and reflecting in many ways the views that they were hearing from their own constituents. i've heard from my own constituents in my district, in my constituency in sheffield,
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profound public skepticism. my own view is well known, which is that the case that president obama was making at that time which is that it might be necessary to take military steps to deter the further use of these weapons because the use of the weapons are international war crime under international humanitarian law, i felt was a strong case. but it was not as you know a case that carried the day in the house of commons. >> one quick question on iran before i let you go. you believe this new president of iran, hassan rouhani, is the real deal, moderate, and there's a new chapter about to develop between iran and the west? >> well, there's certainly new language and the words that he's using, the tone that he is striking, the language which he's deploying, of course is encouraging. i welcome that. he appears to be reaching out to the world. but words on their own of course do not constitute a solution to
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the threat and the possibility of a nuclear armed iran which i think would be destabilizing to the region and very destabilizing to the world. so now the thing to do is to see whether those words can be translated into action. but i think the whole international community, britain, the europeans, russia, china, the united states, we have all put a very clear offer on the table to iran, which is to recognize iran's legitimate use of civil nuclear capabilities and -- but to draw the line, if you like, at the development of a military nuclear capability. i think if we can come to some agreement on that basis, that would be very promising for the future of the world as a whole. >> certainly would be, if you could do it peacefully. that would be the best way out of this situation. nick clegg, thanks very much. >> thank you. just ahead, facebook's dismal wall street debut is now a fading memory as shares topped $50 for the first time ever. what's behind the surge?
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but first, a preview of the next list. >> this week on "the next list" dr. miguel and the cutting edge of neuro prosthetics. >> the person wears the robotic vest and he or she will use his or her brain activity to actually control the movements directly of these vests. and the vests will provide some sort of tactile feedback to the person. select temperature, fine touch. the concept is to get the signals translated into a language, electrical signals, that the brain can interpret. >> it went from an idea that was impossible when i was first injured ten years ago to probable, to inevitable. >> the designer melds high tech with high fashion. using laser cutters and conductive threads, she lights up the showroom with her interactive designs.
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thankfully, the truthful answer, i guess, in that i'm deeply grateful for my life now. i love my life. i love being able to do this work. i love that particularly through the clinton global initiative university, we're able to connect with students like peggy and help connect her to more resources that can help advance her work and help connect her to young students who want to emulate her work, and i'm grateful that i live in a city and a state and a country where -- >> this is a brilliant politician's answer. >> it's true. >> this is what i mean. this is why you would be so perfect. you can talk for an entire minute without referring remotely to either yes or no. >> well, the answer is i don't know. that is the honest answer. because right now, i am grateful for my life, i'm invigorated by my life. ♪ let's face it. everyone has their own way of doing things. at university of phoenix we know learning is no different. so we offer personalized tools and support,
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here's a look at some of the other top stories we're
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monitoring here in "the situation room." jpmorgan chief jamie dimon was in washington today to meet with eric holder over settling a number of government mortgage securities investigations. proposed settlement figures could reach as much as, get this, $11 billion. jpmorgan is fresh off a $920 million settlement after a massive trading debacle. a stunning reversal for facebook stock which topped $50 a share for the first time today, more than a year since its disastrous initial public offering. the stock made its debut at $38 back in may 2012, then plunged more than 35% within a few months. the dow also gained ground today after five straight days of losses. texas state senator wendy davis will run for governor next year. this according to two democratic sources. davis gained national attention after a monumental 13-hour filibuster over a controversial abortion bill. the move delayed a vote on the legislation designed to ban most
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abortions for pregnancies past 20 weeks and implements strict regulations on abortion clinics. take a look at this. unexpected pictures of the former president george h.w. bush attending a same sex wedding in maine, where he served as an official witness over the weekend. a spokesman says bush 41 and the former first lady barbara bush attended their friends' wedding as private citizens and he signed the marriage license at the couple's impromptu request. gay marriage is not a platform either president bush supported in the white house. here's the younger president, george w. bush, back in 2006. >> we believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman and should be defended. >> same sex marriage became legal, by the way, in maine last year. just ahead, a quarter million dollars for a private flight into space. why hundreds, including some big name hollywood celebrities, are now already signing up. at the top of the hour, u.s. investigators looking for clues in kenya that might help prevent
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a similar terror attack right here at home. ♪ nascar is about excitement. but tracking all the action and hearing everything from our marketing partners, the media and millions of fans on social media can be a challenge. that's why we partnered with hp to build the new nascar fan and media engagement center. hp's technology helps us turn millions of tweets, posts and stories into real-time business insights that help nascar win with our fans.
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one of the great comebacks in sporting history, oracle team usa rallied from an 8-1 deficit to retain america's cup. the u.s. sailors stormed back in the waters off san francisco to win the final race against emirates team new zealand. congratulations.
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wealthy travelers gathered in california's mojave desert to catch a glimpse of a spaceship. here's poppy harlow. >> reporter: who would spent up to a quarter million dollars just for minutes in space? >> seeing the spaceship here is just absolutely mind-blowing.
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>> you it's not about you destination but the journey. >> reporter: more than 600 have signed on. >> how much to charter one of these puppies? >> $1.2 mill. >> reporter: i hear you're going to leave two seats empty? >> no, there's two angels coming with us. >> reporter: passengers won't just check in and hop on board. the whole experience will mean three days of training and health checks, then a few hours in the air, and three minutes weightless in space. the mother ship will carries spaceship 2 up, then release it to glide back. unlike nasa's rockets, it won't orbit the earth. it's sir richard branson, who is determined to take them there. is not the new space race? >> i think it's the start. it's not been easy. it's taken us five years more than we thought it would take, but finally they pulled it off. >> reporter: that is, if the faa
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gives galactic the green light the virgin says commercial launch is just months ago. >> you're broaching into a new field in the sky. we're going to have mishaps that happen now. hopefully not catastrophic. >> reporter: do you ever fear you're putting too much at risk with this? >> people risked a lot to get space off the ground in the first place. unless you risk something, the world, you know, stays still. >> reporter: branson is such a believer, he plans to take the first flight with his own children. david mckie will be at the controls. >> we don't want to push too hard too quickly. it would be nice to be the first to do it, but the most important is to do it right. whoever does it first has to do it right. >> reporter: what is the ultimate dream? >> we'll start with a taste of space, then some people into orbital flights, we'll start building hotels in space.
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>> reporter: in our lifetime? >> in your lifetime definitely, hopefully in my lifetime. >> reporter: is this the playground for the wealthiest. >> initially it's very much the wealthiest are going to use it, but through these wealthy people beingling to be pioneers, i think millions will one day have a chance to go to space. >> like mikie, who has a dream perhaps bigger than most. >> i want to be the first -- i don't have 200 grand, but i have a dream. >> hoping he may get his moment among the stars. >> reporter: if you have the guts, it's one thing. if you have the cash it's another. don't expect this to become affordable for the masses anytime soon, but again, this is a concept that knows no bounds. poppy harlow, cnn, in the mojave desert. up next, jeanne moos.
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a desperate plea from willie nelson. here's jeanne moos. >> reporter: this is a live armadillo, and this is a taxi determinied one. it was after a live performance that the band's armadillo was snatched. it's enough to give you the willies. surveillance video at the capitol theater in portchester, new york shows a woman wandering on the stage as it's being dismantled. watch her pick up the stuffed armadillo lying on a console. she looks around, exits the
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stage, even talks to a security guard. what kind of person would stoop to stealing an armadillo? and armadillos dangerous one joked someone on the facebook page, where willy asked fans to help us find the woman in this video who stole him. now fans are suspiciously eyes are taxi determine yesterday armadillo for sale on ebay listed as used but in good shape. next thing you know, a restaurant chain decided to shell out the reward. the texas roadhouse chain has its own mascot and business ties to willie nelson. >> our potatoes are loaded as the folks at a willie nelson concert. >> even braids are attached to a bandanna. the restaurant is offering a $1,000 gift certificate for
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information leading to the return of the armadillo. >> it's appalli to us. somebody needs to armadillo up, it is return odillo and put this best hind us. >> reporter: the video says there is a suspect, though other armadillos may be live and well, it's a taxi determiny one that willie nelson is missing. ♪ you were always on my mind >> orel dillo is wanted dead, not alive. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. happens now, growing fear that terrorist links to al qaeda attack in the nairobi mall is a precursor to a similar strike here in the united states. a disturbing split among syrian rebels, some now turning backs on moderates backed by washington and vowing a more radical path. plus the highest-level meeting between the united states and iran in 34 years.
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we have details of nuclear talks between the secretary of state john kerry and his iranian counterpart. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." a terror attack on so-called soft targets. it's long been a concern here in the united states, and now there's growing fear that the attack on that mall in nairobi kenya that left 67 people dead nay foreshadow a similar attack on american soil, the u.s. now taking an active part in the investigation, looking for clues that could potentially help prevent that kind of carnage and massacre at an american mall. joe johns is working the story for us. what's the latest? >> well, wolf, security at the u.s. embassy in nairobi is being beefed up again with extra u.s. marines, as cnn's pentagon correspondent barbara starr reports today, authorities say
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there is no credible threat at this time, but they did this out of an abundance of caution and they're well aware of the concerns about a second wave of attacks, and there's simply no telling who could be the potential targets. >> the u.s. is beefing up security for good reason, but if there's no credible threat right now, what's the points? >> look, assets are on on the ground in kenya, heavily involved in this investigation. typically they can go when americans are killed overseas, but in this case we still don't know if americans were killed. not all of the dead have been identified. there may be bodies under the rubble, nationality unknown. the kenyans have also asked for the bureau's help, but the truth is the u.s. authorities are extremely interested in this for a number of reason, including concern about history repeating itself. al qaeda cut its teeth in kenya with the embassy attacks in 1998. in hindsight that appears to have been an early warning that september 2001 was on -- so the
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question is whether al shabab could be following in al qaeda's footsteps. we're dealing with a different threat environment. >> i'm not sure if they have the capacity to do anything in the united states. that doesn't mean we are not taking the threat they -- we are taking that as a serious one. >> you just heard what eric holder said. it looks like the fbi, correct me aisle wrong there, they're really certificately concerned about this potential threat? >> clearly they're seriously concerned. many in congress and in the intelligence community say the threat to the u.s. is plausible and should be taken very seriously. members of congress have been cold told that a number of somali americans have been recruited 20 or more are believed to be alive today and trained as terrorists, and what's to stop them from coming
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back home t senator feinstein talked about that. listen. >> the death and destruction we saw at the mall could have been at a mall in the united states. we know that al shabab. the terrorist group that's claimed credit for the attack has successfully recruited young men from the united states to come to somalia to train in their jihadist camps, and the group form formally merged with al qaeda in february of 2012. >> frankly it's just hard to tell who is who over there. one of the westgate mall suspects now being held in custody by kenyan officials is believed to have tried to flee after the attack. cnn's nema alma gere reports this is a kenyan national who was being evacuated among the injured when a machine gun magazine fell out of his pocket. he'sing held at a hospital
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military air base. >> thanks very much, joe johns. by the way, later this hour, i will speak with congressman peter king. stand by for that. in syria, meanwhile, a civil war within the civil war. some of the country's biggest rebel groups are turning away from the modest opposition, vowing a more radical path. very, very troubling development for the obama administration. u.s. officials, let's bring in barbara starr, what are you seeing and hearing? >> wolf, you know, in new york the united nations is trying to get an agreement together on syria giving up its chemical weapons. just as that is happening, the opposition has taken the step making the civil war much more complicated. in syria, 30 miles northeast of damascus -- jihadist fighters known as the al nasr front shoot their way into this christian
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enclave. the fighters linked to al qaeda along with a dozen other mill tan groan representing thousands of fighters have just strengthened their hand, joining forces and rejecting any alliance with western-backed opposition. in a video statement, one of the rebel leaders made clear they are going for a new hard line. >> translator: the fighting groups and factions called on all military and civilian organization to unify through a clear islamic framework. >> what is -- the statement indicates that the insurgency in syria has taken a turn toward much more significant radicalization. >> reporter: the problem -- the u.s. has been trying to support select opposition groups. >> there is a real moderate opposition that exists. >> reporter: now there may be fewer moderates inside syria to get that support through a covert cia program to supply them with weapons.
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is it too late for the u.s. strategy to work? >> i think there's no question at this point that the u.s. should have probably gotten involved earlier. the extremist elements, particularly jabad al anisra, they're very well organized, we very well financed, and it's late in the game. >> reporter: defense department officials openly acknowledge it will be tough to keep finding the moderates to work with, but at the same time here at the pentagon, they're looking at a plan to actually use u.s. troops to train and equip moderates somewhere in the middle east, not inside syria, but in a nearby country and then send them back into syria. wolf? >> barb bra, thank you. up next, the highest-level meeting between the united states and iran in decades. we have details of nuclear talks with the secretary of state john kerry and iran's foreign minister. plus hillary clinton's
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there's breaking news. history has been made. there has now been a formal meeting for the first time in decades between the secretary of state and iran's foreign minister. jim sciutto is here. there you see some of the pictures, the iranian foreign minister, the secretary of state and they did have a separate meeting. >> the meeting as a whole, the p-5 plus one. joining that meeting is john considerry, and they did have a separate bilateral. and we got a readout from secretary kerry. he just spoke to reporters saying one meeting and a change of tone is not enough. he says there's a lot of work to
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be done, but the former minister of iran puts a puts possibilities on the table, and now the hard work is to be done. this is still historic, the most senior level, substantive meeting. the last tame jimmy carter was president and the shah ruled iran. today that changed. john kerriened the foreign minister in the same room, engaged in direct talks on iran's nuclear program. highlighting the meeting's significance, hasan rowhani said he could see a nuclear deal. though the white house expressed caution. >> we're not expecting any breakthrough, but this is part of us testing the seriousness of at the iranians.
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the biggest obstacle could be iran's domestic politics, where hardliners -- president rowhani may have been playindicating those hardliners when he singled out israel's nuclear weapons. >> translator: israel, the only nonparty to the nonproliferation treaty should join there, too, without any further delay. >> reporter: four years ago the u.s. and iran were discussing a deal with many of the same elements, including shipping iran's enriched uranium to be converted into a form usable only for research and not for a nuclear weapons. >> in 2009, four years ago ed major players in geneva talking about many of the same components that we're talking about now. what blew it up then? >> i think what blew it up was politics back in iran. there was an agreement in the room. when everyone went back to the capitals, leadership said no. >> reporter: so progress on
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iran, but also today progress on syria, just two weeks after secretary kerry floated the idea, the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. has confirmed via twitter that the u.s. and russia have reached agreement on a resolution. so amazing progress there, when you think about it, and they're expecting a vote before the weekend. i was thinking, wolf, a couple months ago if we were talking about a day like this, america's most intractable problems we could have predicted it, incredible. >> good thing there's progress in new york. not much progress here in washington on a whole range of other issues. thanks very much. with the government shutdown looming here in washington, in federal workers will actually begin to get verbal furlough notices in the next 24 to 36 hours. there's another crisis just beyond. let's bring in our chief congressional correspondent dana bash. she filed this report.
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>> reporter: it would be one thing for the government to shut down. national parks closed, medical research interrupted. that would be bad, but then 17 days later, the u.s. could default on its loans if congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling. that would be catastrophic. >> on the debt limit we're going to introduce a plan. >> reporter: house republicans say they want to raise a debt ceiling but with a catch. looping with it, a lengthy list of gop priorities, from the keystone pipeline, tax reform, to delaying obama care for a year. it's a direct challenge to the president. >> i will not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the united states of america. >> now, the president says i'm not going to negotiate. quell, i'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way. >> reporter: the reality is republican leaders are also doing this as a negotiating tactic with their own restive conservatives. senior gop source admit to cnn they have learned the hard way
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to manage unpredictable hard-liners, leaders have to first show they're -- is it something you could support? >> i'm not sure. >> reporter: even this plan that democrats dismiss as gop -- doesn't satisfy some republicans. >> the plan right now does not address the spending. >> reporter: that brings us to the more imminent october 1st deadline over funding the government. >> we have no interest in seeing a government shut down. >> reporter: that may be true, but time is running out. house republicans plan to change it and send it back. >> everything is a big, big stall. >> reporter: senate majority leader harry reid tried to move senate votes up to today, but ted cruz objected and fellow rep bob corker came to the floor to chastise him. >> my two colleagues, who i respect, have sent out e-mails around the world and turned this into a show, and that is taking priority over getting legislation back to the house so
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they can take action. >> why is harry reid going to vote the same way you are proposing to vote? why is every democrat in this chamber going to vote the way you're proposing to vote? >> cruz never directly responded to the allegation that he wants to delay it, because this is all for show, but his spokesman said he simply wants to have these votes in the light of day. wolf, he got his wish. we now know a series of critical votes will happen at 12:30 tomorrow. then after those are passed, we expect this to go to the house and of course the government shutdown hot potato will be in their lap with just 2 1/2 days to go to the deadline. >> midnight monday night. thanks very much, dana bash. he called senator cruz of texas a fraud. now peter king of new york says he's get threatening phone calls from cruz supporters. we'll discuss with congressman king, that's coming up.
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the fbi now taking an active role in the investigation into that terror attack on a nairobi mall that left at least 67 people dead. were any americans involved in that brutal strike? let's get more now from republican congressman peter king of new york. he sits on both the house intelligence and homeland security committees. do you have the answer to that question, congressman? >> not yet, but when i was chairman of the committee we held hearings focusing on al shabab and the fact it recruited
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at that stage a year and a half -- actually 2 1/2 years ago they recruited between 40 and 50 americans, mainly from the minneapolis and st. paul area, approximately 15 killed that we know of, so at least 25 somali-americans that we know that are active, there could well be more. it's very likely there could broadband americans involved, absolutely. >> what do you make of this height send security in nairobi right now? >> i think it's something that has to be done, wolf. it's -- the fact is when you have al shabab, and we know that al qaeda has carried out attacks against american embassies, kenya especially, that to el me makes tremendous sense to have the extra security to do what we can to make sure there's no follow-up attacks. this is part of the dangerous worked that we live. this is an ongoing threat.
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everybody is now concerned about attacks on malls. malls have been susceptible for the last 11 years. people are concerned about al shabab having americans involved. the fact is we've known this for several years, but too many people wanted to ignore it. if anything, if anything positive -- i hate to even say that -- that can come out of the attack, it's to wake americans up and make them realize how serious this threat continues to be. quickly on syria, now these reports that some of the rebels who were once aligned with the u.s. and others, they're losing heart and moving toward al muss ra, a terrorist organization and other militants. how concerned are you about it? >> we have to be concerned. this is part of the -- this is a partial result of the fact that our government is not taken action for the last two years. if they had taken action two years ago we would not be in this position now. i still believe, however, from the meetings i've been involved in, the briefings i have
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received, that the predominant number of rebels, rebel force are still individuals that we can work with, groups we can work with, and that still be in a position to minimize the impact of al muss ra as far as negotiations, and as far as any aftermath of -- or any change in the syrian government. having said that, the situation does get more concerning and more dangerous, and we're going to have to take action as far as training and arming them soon or again there will be real consequences. let's talk about the government shutdown potential monday night at midnight. what good is coming from this huge debate under way between republicans and the president and democrats? >> well, some good that can come from it, especially on the debt ceiling, i think the president does have an obligation to negotiate with republicans. this is an opportunity that's been -- >> you know he's not going to give up on obama care.
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that's a nonstarter, right? >> yeah, as far as defunding obama care, absolutely not. that's why i'm so critical of ted cruz. he's a false leader, and he's been putting pressure on conservative republicans, bakley saying if they voted to defund obama care, he would take care of it when he goes to the senate. the fact is he can't, and it's a false bill of goods, even fraudulent advertising, and now the government and the congress are tied up in knots because of the really the phony tactics. hopefully the next four days we can begin to get this involved. >> you're getting very, very ugly phone calls from some of his supporters. tell us about that? >> yeah, listen, you can't always blame a person if -- but i mean, the type of vial, obscene phone calls coming in that claim to be his supporters -- imyoung women interns and full-timers in their
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late teens, early 20s, and they get these phone calls, the most gross, vial, obscene type of comments. i'm not saying that's his fault, but he's tapping into something out there, which is mean and ugly. we have an obligation again not to go down this path and not give somehow this idea that i could -- and the fact is it passed both houses of congress, signed by the president and the president -- if we want to repeal it, we should. i want to repeal it as strongly as possible. that's to repeal it in both houses. to do that we need more republicans in the house and senate and have it signed by -- i want peter king, as usual, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. that's it for me. thanks very much for watchicing. "crossfire" begins right now. tonight on "crossfire" two
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brews crises in washington, four days from a government shutdown, weeks from financial chaos, republicans unveil new demands. >> i will not negotiate -- >> well, i'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way. on the left, stephanie cutter. on the right, newt gingrich. in the "crossfire" democratic congress mast keith ellison, and republican congress mast cory gartner. what is the president's next move? what are republicans planning? tonight on "crossfire. ". welcome to "crossfire." . >> we're still trying to avert a government shutdown, but another crisis, an even bug bigger one is looming. house republicans said this morning that president obama has to meet the outrageous list of demands. this isn't negotiation, this is extortion. they're holding the economy hostage for the right-wing political wish list. wt


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