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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  August 20, 2011 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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sentenced in tehran, two american hikers sentenced to eight years in jail. and the expectations of president obama's plan. will it be a formula for jobs? caught off guard with deadly results. and saving mr. b.
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a note for help on his collar. welcome. i'm in for alex witt today. it's 11:00 here in the east and 8:00 out west. happening right now, breaking news on two americans in prison in iran. josh fattal and shane bauer were sentenced to eight years in prison. they were hike i along the iran-iraqi border. they have 20 days to appeal their sentence. ali? >> reporter: that's right. they have been given a very heavy sentence. everybody in iran thought that they would be given a heavy sentence. nobody thought that these guys would spend two years in an iranian prison and not be charged with anything. the case is dragging out. we thought we would get a verdict a. ruling on their way home. that hasn't happened. this has dragged out.
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now the big question is whether they find at the end of the month of aramadon. the two americans could be here for the length of the sentence. >> ali arouzi in tehran. thank you for the breaking news? back here in the u.s., the first family is on vacation in cape cod but the administration is insisting that the trip is not all about fun and games for the president. kristen is traveling with mr. obama she joins us. what has the trip been like so far? >> well, a little bit of r and r but the white house is certainly making the point that this is a working vacation. now, we want to tell you that we're expecting a statement to come out of the white house sometime this morning about those two hikers that were sentence in iran. we will get that to you as soon as we get it. president obama will be briefed
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by his national security team and his afternoons will be reserved for more time with his family. they are certainly trying to make a point that it's not a typical vacation. the first image that we got out of this vacation, in fact, was a serious one. it was being briefed by his counterterrorism advisor, john brennan. then a little bit of family time. he stepped out with daughters malia and sasha. they went to a bookstore. they were chanting as he stepped out with his daughters and then he squeezed in a little bit of golf as well as date night with the first lady. again, the white house is making the point that mr. obama is also working. he's got answer lot of criticism. republican presidential candidate saying that this is not the right time. the unemployment rate is above 8% and the economy is really struggling. they say that he is working hard on that jobs plan which is he
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going to unveil as well as investing in construction projects. so we'll have to see how that plan turns out. but, again, he's gotten criticisms. white house officials pushing back hard against that. they also say he's a husband, a father, and they don't think the american people will begrudge quality time with the family. >> you mentioned the criticisms. what do we know about the number of vacation days that president obama has taken compared to the number of vacation days that previous presidents have taken? >> reporter: well, there seems to be one person who tracks this. that's sort of the unofficial white house historian and mark is reporting that president obama is taking 61 vacation days. ronald reagan from had taken 112 and bill clinton, interestingly,
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had taken only 28. he has the few west. certainly president obama, according to mark nol lar, has taken a lot less than his predecessors. >> and kristen who takes no vacation on martha's vineyard. >> appreciate that. >> sure, thanks, craig. african-american unemployment. at 16.8% in this country, the congressional black caucus continues to hold the massive job fairs all over america. max even waters is saying that the black community needs to speak up, the way that the tea party does to get noticed. >> our silence does not help the president. >> we've been traveling between him and protesting against him when it is not. our protests, in fact, empowers him and helps determine the direction of the floor of
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america's agenda. that starts on monday. after that, that's off to los angeles. that starts august 30th. another tough week for the stock market. traders at the new york stock exchange yesterday. >> to libya, libyan rebels are gaining momentum. a rebel spokesman says that rebel forces are now in control of an oil port. this, one day after rebels made advances into the center of the western town of zawiya, 30 miles outside the libyan capital of tripoli. in norway, families of the victims of the massacre are
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returning to the island where their loved ones died. jay gray is on the island in norway this morning with the very latest. jay, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, craig, as you can imagine, it's been a very emotional weekend. hundreds of survivors are returning to a place that a month ago they ran from heavy gunfire vowing not to take back this plot of land but also their lives. >> this weekend, a boat ride over is to a place so much different than what they've known. >> it's going to be an extremely emotion nalt day for me as i get back on the island and something that i really think i need. returning to a killing field. >> i remember laying there to r for a while and suddenly i could
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hear him placing his boots right in front of my face. and i could also feel the warmth of the barrel that he was pointing at me and, again, i was thinking, it's over. everything i was saying don't shoot. >> reporter: but he kept shooting. killing 69 young campers and forcing hundreds to scam brel to safety. >> one gal that i know screamed very, really loud in the next room and i was certain that now he's on his way and into the building. >> >> she will go back to the gunfire. >> there are going to be shots and i just try to imagine where is he going to shoot. >> she will remember that fear. she will mourn those lost but amelia and other survivors will insist that they will not think back to the man responsible. >> i'm not spending time
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thinking about him. okay. mostly i don't want to. because i don't think that he deserves my thoughts. i would rather my friends not here today get my thoughts. >> reporter: the focus is clearly on healing. the prime minister and others have said, it's time for an end to the mourning, though they are also quick to point out that they will never forget what has happened here. that's the very latest just off latoya island, jay gray. craig, now back to you. >> nbc's jay gray in norway. back here, the west memphis three are free today. all three agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors that released them for time served as well. they had been held since 1993 for killing three cub scouts. they spoke at a news conference
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yesterday. >> it don't matter what the crime is. you've got to think about your safety. >> in the beginning, we told them nothing but the truth, that we are innocent, and they sent us to prison for the rest of our lives and the only thing that the state would do for us is to say, hey, we'll let you go only if you admit guilt. >> also because of the agreement, the west memphis three will not be allowed to sue the state. a tremendous violent weather in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. a mother and two children died and one is still missing. brenden joins us from wpxi. >> reporter: this intersection will remain blocked until further notice. workers are working on search and cleanup efforts less than 24 hours ago. this is where the water rose so
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fast that it killed three people. another person is also missing. take a look at this video. all of this happened on one road. drivers say they've never seen the water buckle and rise that high. crews rescued people trapped inside of their cars or standing on the roof of their cars. reporting here in pittsburgh, craig, let's take it back to you. >> brandon, thank you. running short, a published report claims that america is facing a shortage of critically needed drugs for cancer and other diseases. also ahead, is making a run for the white house, ron paul says that he is not getting the love from the media that he deserves. the media will talk about it in concurring challenges, a courageous young girl overcoming a frightening ordeal and setting
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an example for all of us in the process. her story truly inspirational. we'll have that for you straight ahead. you're watching msnbc saturday. [ jim ] i need to push out an upgrade. build an app for the sales team. and see my family while they're still awake. [ male announcer ] with dell global services, jim's i.t. needs are supported in over 100 countries. so his company sees results. and jim sees his family. dell. the power to do more. pnc virtual wallet gathers your spending and saving in one place. credit and debit purchases, checks, bills, and other financial information.
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representative ron paul turns 76 years old today. some critics say that he's too hold to run. >> they suggest that with the other candidates around, say come to houston at 12:00 noon tomorrow, 100 degree heat and humidity and i'll ride 20 miles on my bicycle and we'll see if they take me up on it. age is relative to the person's mind and body and most important thing is that you have your own idea. >> joining me now on the phone,
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it's msnbc campaign reporter, anthony. could you ride? could do 20 miles in. texas heat? >> i don't know. i'm 32 years old. i don't know if i could keep up with a 76-year-old congressman. >> i want to talk about this article of ron paul finishing second in the ames straw poll. he didn't get a lot of love after that from media folks. why do you think that is? why don't you think he doesn't get more ink or press? >> well, political analysts say that they think he's a long shot because of his views on foreign policy and that doesn't drive well with the mainstream republicans. charlie cook told me yesterday that these nine interventionist views are not being articulated by anybody else and because his mind your own business foreign policy doesn't sit well with the hawks in the republican party. >> you mentioned his foreign policy but a major component of his domestic policy,
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specifically, his position on the role of the fed and its need to be transparent, that policy seems to have been adopted by a number of his fellow republican candidates. >> right. you saw texas governor rick perry's comments earlier in the week calling on fed chairman, printing more money and being treasonness. the paul campaign is thrilled that his message of sound money, warning the fed printing more money and warning that the fed be more transparent being adopted by other candidates. i spoke to charlie cook yesterday and he told me that these ideas were once considered eccentric and mainstream and that the paul campaign should be thrilled that other candidates are parroting his message and it's becoming more accepted by the party. >> but the other candidates have really never appeared to take ron paul all that serious. they are just out there on the campaign trail? >> maybe they should.
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today the ron paul campaign is using his age as an event to raise money. they are calling it the ron paul money birthday bomb. they are hoping to raise $1.5 million. they point to paul's age as not we saw at the republican debate, when santorum was active about iran, so the campaign believes that congressman paul has a long history that can benefit the country that is more weary and campaign says that the economic spending trillion of dollars on wars won't sit well with voters in this year's election. >> anthony, thank you. appreciate your time. >> thanks, craig. appreciate it. >> for more on ron paul, check out the full article. it's at firstread
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republican candidate mitt romney getting new mileage out of a controversial comment that he made last week. romney was slammed for comparing corporations to people. he says that corporations are people. mitt romney is out with a new political ad explaining that comment. >> it's pretty astonishing to me that the obama folks would try and argue that businesses are people. what do they think they are? little men from mars that when they tax business, they tax people. karen finney is an msnbc political analyst and there is mitt romney trying to flip a number. does it work, karen? >> i think it does. look, a flub like that is where you either really have to lean into it, double down and go for it, or you immediately correct
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it. what i would like to ask mitt romney, if i buy the argument that corporations with people, it's true that people work for corporations. government is also people. and people work very hard in government and most of us see that -- i work for government service and too often times government workers get bashed. let's remember, government is people, too. >> we both asked you which republican is out in front. both of you said mitt romney. robert, why mitt romney at this point? why is he still the man to beat? >> well, two reasons. he has the most diverse staff and the most money. remember, romney has been running for president since 2000. if you take a look at the list, i call them the key battle ground states of new hampshire, iowa, south carolina, and again
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if you look at the polls, he is looking at the polls. >> rick perry, the number two front-runner right now. how would you characterize the week that rick perry has had so far on the campaign trail? >> it was kind of a mixed bag. that's always going to happen when you let expectations rise to a certain level and then you have to be flawless when you come out of the box. he was pretty good, as i understand it, last week. and then this last week, not so good. although i personally think, and robert agrees with me on this, to some degree what many saw as a mistake in the harshness of the comments of the fed chairman -- >> they work in his favor? >> well, yeah, they work in his favor. when you have karl rove and an establishment criticizing him, that makes the argument that he's an anti-establishment guy. >> let's talk about the third
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candidate. you guys disagree here. karen, you say that michele bachmann is the number three spot right now. >> yeah. >> robert, who do you pick? who do you say is number three? >> i would say this is a tied number three. ironically, none of them are candidates right now. and that is chris christie and sarah palin. look, michele bachmann is probably not going to go anywhere after new hampshire. i think most political experts would say that. but if you look at chris christie, the more he says no, the more he says yes. when she showed up in iowa, she had the largest crowd, largest media skrum and she continues to create this buzz. and you can't discount that. now, whether she runs or not, i don't know. but she certainly is in place to run and if in fact she does run, she will pull a rick perry and go to number one, unfortunately. >> who is the next candidate to drop out? >> well, my pick -- and i'm sorry to admit, i keep for
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getting his name. that's so terrible. >> michigan congressman? >> yes, michigan congressman. >> thaddeus mccotter. >> you would think that it would be a santorum or a gingrich. >> right. >> i don't think their ego will let them walk away. i don't think they will be wise enough to get out of the limelight when they should. >> mccotter probably didn't even know was in the race. who else do you think is probably hanging on by a thread? >> hanging on by a thread? i would say newt gingrich. there is no question that i can't see him going anywhere. the more he talks, the more trouble he puts himself into. he appears to be very angry on the campaign trail. i think that was evidenced by the fox news debate last week where he really got into a tit for tat. when you look at gingrich, you would think that he would be the number one pick for people but
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he's not going anywhere. >> well, the problem is that you have to campaign. you have to run for president. >> well, hawaii is not a toss upstate, guys, let's be honest. >> and tiffany's is not either. folks, in just a moment, you are going to meet a remarkable young lady who is a gleaming example of courage. it's a story you don't want to miss right after this. this is ls to stay ahead of her class. morning starts with arthritis pain... that's two pills before the first bell. [ bell rings ] it's time for recess... and more pills. afternoon art starts and so does her knee pain, that's two more pills. almost done, but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve because it can relieve pain all day with just two pills. this is lisa... who switched to aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. for a day free of pain. ♪ ♪
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you might forget that these are kids out there battling on the diamond for baseball subpoena prem ma see. two players collided at first base. both youngsters from the pennsylvania and kentucky teams are visibly shaken by the collision. the boys burst into tears. they were okay and stayed in the
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game. kids are pretty resilient. this is msnbc on saturday morning. we'll be right back. five chicken breasts individually wrapped, so you can use what you want and put the rest in the refrigerator. and the best part is it only takes 10 minutes. it's my go-to meal. what if we designed an electric motorcycle? what if we turned trash into surfboards? whatever your what if is, the new sprint biz 360 has custom solutions to make it happen, including mobile payment processing, instant hot spots, and powerful devices like the motorola photon 4g. so let's all keep asking the big what ifs. sprint business specialists can help you find the answers. sprint. america's favorite 4g network. trouble hearing on the phone? visit dr. scholl's custom fit orthotic center recommends the custom-fit orthotic that's best for your tired feet. foot-care scientists are behind it. you'll get all-day relief.
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where you book matters. expedia. no at the half hour. josh fattal and shane bauer were convicted of eight years in jail. the united states has been appealing to iran to release them, claiming that they have done nothing wrong. meanwhile, norway's massacre has returned to the island where 69 children were gunned down. survivors and families went there today for a ceremony of remembrance. and the cremlin is reporting that kim jong-il has arrived in russia and it's hirs first trip to russia since 202. and in spain, thousands of
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people hold a prayer syringe yil. back here in the united states, first lawsuits from last saturday's stage collapse have been filed. one was filed on behalf of the one of six people who died, the other four a survivor and those are your fast five headlines. to libya now where rebels are in control of a key oil port. they have seen the rebels close in from gadhafi at every angle. richard engel had is in libya with the very latest. >> reporter: at the center of the city of zawiya, it's 30 miles from downtown tripoli, many moving at a high speed up and down this road. rebels control about 75% and the reason that they are driving so quickly, all day gadhafi forces still hold a pocket of the city and the positions around
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sdplchlt zawiya, we've been hearing for the first time of zawiya, it gives rebels an extra push as rebels say that they are making their final advances on tripoli. craig? >> richard engel there for us in libya. meanwhile, egypt plans to recall its ambassador to protest the death of at least three egyptian troops between izzy soldiers and palestinian militants. put in place after hosni mubarak accused israel of violating the peace treaty of 1979 and and demanded an apology. the izzy defense force insists there had been no intention to harm egyptian security personnel. a government-owned bashar al-assad step down and
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european leaders urged assad to step down and kill anti-government protesters coming out of mosques. but that says that it is all part of a conspiracy to unravel the country politically because of the role in the arab izzy conflict. back here, investors worry about what the market will do next. friday, the dow fell more than 172 points. it was down more than 450 points for the week. joining me now to talk about the market, the economy, all things kmims, rick, good morning to you. another volatile week on wall street? >> if we haven't gotten used to this, we need to get used to it. there are so many ups and downs and when the worries are banking problems as they are right now, that's one of the most serious things that you can be concerned
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about in the economy. the problem is nobody is exactly sure how exposed some of the banks are. i think the markets are basically looking at worst case scenarios at this point. that's why we see these plunges lately. >> you talk a lot about the effect of what is happening in banks in europe, the potential effect and what can you tell us about what is happening and the impact here? >> it all has to do with the overindebted greece, spain, the bailouts. and if those countries get closer to default, a banks in europe hold a lot of that debt. it's not exactly clear which banks own the most and which banks are the most vulnerable. in the absence of real clear and
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this matters to us because this is all one economy. just to illustrate this, the big companies that make up the dow jones index and s&p 500 index get about 45% of their revenue from overseas. that's good news when they are able to tap into markets like india and china. that helps companies grow and it means that they are exposed to problems all around the world. you can't fence this off. >> the president said to unveil his new jobs plan after labor day. we've heard bits and pieces of that. what do you think that will have on the markets? >> president obama needs something big and unexpected. >> like what?
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>> he needs to call on congress once and for all a solution to the debt problem. he needs to start with that i think he needs to -- we need more clever ideas and public and private partnerships, ways that the government can be an organizer of an infrastructure bank. this sounds like a glaze over idea. it's actually a good idea if you can get it moving and execute it and get private money invested in things like this. and some other ideas, a prize to the upside. >> got to go big. >> yep. >> rick, appreciate it. >> thanks. there's a critical shortage of medicine from serious diseases right now. 180 dogs have been declared in short supply so far this year. thas according to the new york time. that is a new record.
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for treating colon and cancer leukemia and other did i diseases as well. it's being proposed as a solution to the problem. new york city's plan to prevent people from using food stamps to buy sugary drinks is going down the drain for now. the u.s. department of agriculture will not allow that to go forward over concerns that it will be too large and complex. they expressed disappointment with that and want to help people from people like diabetes at little or no cost to taxpayers. we want to bring you a little story of an inspirational young girl. she was faced with a courageous, life changing choice but not before living her dream. >> for alyssa, playing basketball with her team was a dream come true but it's been her courage off the court that's
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been an inspiration. >> she's put up a good fight and she's been in a lot of pain. >> alyssa was born with a rare and painful condition robbing her use of her leg. earlier this year, the 13-year-old made a tough decision. >> it was kind of scary, but it's a good choice. >> reporter: rather than undergo painful operations to both legs, she chose to lose one. >> to her, the amputation was the surgical solution to resolve all of those issues as she continues her life into the future. >> but, first, she worked out a deal with her doctor to delay surgery so she could finish the basketball season. >> i was both legs. >> she started as the score
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keeper. alyssa played and scored. >> this was a real college the following day she was back shooting basketballs on the court. she's endured tough physical therapy but it's not stopping her. she now wants to swim competitively and her biggest challenge yet may be healing fast enough to achieve even bigger dreams. the surgery allows alyssa to be free of the pain that has plagued her for all of her 13 years. she's a very brave young lady. she says she's excited about starting school after labor day. an abandoned dog in washington state has a new home after he was discovered on a neighbor's door step with a mysterious note and $100 stuck
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to his collar. mr. b is living with family that includes three young children his new owner heard about the man who found mr. b. while leaving for work one morning. >> i find this hanging around his neck and it says open. i open it up and i find the note. it says, please take care of mr. b., my parents got divorced and mr. b. was supposed to go to the pound. i think he has a better chance with you. >> wow. how about that? a jet vet checked the dog and mr. b. is in pretty good shape. you know when something's bad -- but you do it anyway?
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conspiracy theories about the events of the tragic day still persist but a new book
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claims to debunch most of those theories. debunking 9/11 theories. conspiracy theories. the publication spearheaded this. let's start with the more prominent theories. let's start with those and put those up on the screen for you. these are some of the ones that we all heard from folks. first of all, american air defense ordered to stand down. world trade center building 7 professionally demolished. missile military jet struck the pentagon. you looked into all of these. what did you find? >> popular mechanics has been looking into how buildings are built and how planes crash for more than 30 years. we thought we had really drilled down on the theorys that you're asking and they turned out not to be the case. the buildings fell down as a result of primarily fires and the impact of the crashes
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themselves and as far as the pentagon, hundreds of eyewitnesss who saw the plane hit the building. >> how do things like this even gain traction in the first place? >> well, every major event leads to conspiracy events. it started right after 9/11 and a lot of people have political motivation. they have a villain that they want to blame for an event like this and rather than looking at all of the facts and then drawing a conclusion, they select a handful of solutions that they think supports their point of view. so we try to look at those facts and they turn out to be distorted or just something that was mistaken in the original coverage and they don't hold up. >> since 9/11 we have learned a great deal. what have we learned? >> exactly right. you know, because not only was it a great tragedy but it was also great engineering failures, that the towers fell down and world trade center 7 that did not fall down, that's been a big
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conspiracy. as they've vepthed that, it's been investigated and it makes things safer and they were not as resistant to the fire damage that they should have been. >> conspiracy theories, it's also big business. we should note that there are a lot of people making money o promoting theories like this. >> i don't know what you call a lot of money. for some of these authors and stuff, they get flown around the world to give lectures, they sell a lot of books, they have radio shows, and, yes, there are certain people that have an interest in promoting these views and ultimately i think the mainstream media has been slow to respond. >> veteran chief, popular mechanics, looks like a fascinating read. coming up in just a moment, america's kids not making the grade. what's keeping u.s. children from ex selling in the classroom. we'll talk about that. you're watching msnbc saturday.
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the weather is costing america a lot of money. a new report from the national climactic data centers says nine separate disasters from this year alone will cost about a billion dollars. the number of natural disasters tripled in the past 20 years. a well-known fast food character is being dethroned. burger king saying good-bye to its king. the hamburger chain says it is moving into another direction so the royal has to go. instead the company plans to concentrate on freshness. new addition to its menu will be the california whopper, burger with guacamole. if you fly virgin atlantic you may be getting a weepy warning. the airlines says it will let passengers know if an in-flight movie is a tear jerker. the airline did a survey and found 41% of men admitted to
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hiding under their blankets to cover their tears during sad movies during a flight. the first two movies to carry that new warning, "water for elephants" and "just go with it." a sobering new report shows only one-fourth of high school seniors are ready for college. the study comes from the a.c.t., a group that offers college entrance exams. similar to the s.a.t.s. of the 1.6 million high school graduates who took the a.c.t. test last year just 25% met or exceeded all of the tests bench marks in science, math, reading, english. joined by jim sturgess, community blogger, he's also executive director of the pioneer institute, a research organization looking to improve the quality of life in massachusetts. jim, thanks so much for joining me this morning. massachusetts has had some success in recent years in terms of closing the achievement gap
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and in a report by the national assessment of educational progress. students there became the first to take top honors in all four a.c.t. categories. data showing scores for african-americans and hispanics on both zpourth eighth -- fourth and eighth grade. >> what makes our states stand out is basically in 1993 we start order the reform path with the reform that wasn't just a silver bullet. i think the edge indication world generally has silver bullet-itis. they try one thing and go to the next thing. it is a policy area. it is an area of great importance to the country that's ridden with faddism. they love to have fads. massachusetts took the path to the following. we have to make sure we measure students' performance and measure teachers in terms of what they know. are they capable of actually
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teaching strong content? we said the -- set the highest academic standards in the country and they were comparable to standards in finland and singapore. 200 that stand out internationally. we put into place charter schools and we put into place also additional money to make sure we get the teachers up over the bar. and make sure that we can perform well. that's very different from most places across the country. frankly, which is interesting, craig, in response to a report like the a.c.t. report, which is important. the federal government is talking a good game, i think in terms of the reforms but frankly, they have not followed the massachusetts path. >> how much of a role does the economy play in all of this? what do we know about the correlation, if not causation, between poverty in student achievement? >> well, i think for a long time historically there was a strong correlation. i think the charter school movement has blown up most of those hypotheses of we can see in many different instances in charter schools in massachusetts are very consistent in their
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performance. charter schools can turn around kids' lives even if they come in two years behind. and even if they are very poor. >> what is the one thing that -- one thing that the -- government, whether it is state government or whether federal government, one thing that we could do right now to start to turn to some of the scores around? >> i'm not a big fan of one thing-ism. the best thing we could do is take a look at massachusetts and florida. those are the t two states that have shown incredible progress. florida shows more progress among hispanics than even in massachusetts. take a look at those two paths and try to model those. that's not what we are doing right now. instead the federal government is pushing sort after one-size fits all set of measures. they want all states to comply with. that will kill innovation at the state level. what we want to see is the competition among states to improve and try to outdo massachusetts. there i think the federal government could be helpful by putting out a pot of money and saying whoever improves the
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fastest gets the money. >> jim sturgess, thank you. appreciate your time this saturday. >> craig, thank you so much. folks, that wraps up our live msnbc saturday coverage. be sure to stay with us for headline updates and breaking news as it happens. stay tuned for another msnbc documystery. have a fantastic saturday. ask me. if you think even the best bed can only lie there... ask me what it's like... when my tempur-pedic moves... to someone who owns an adjustable version of the most highly recommended bed in america... ask me about my tempur advanced ergo. ask me about having all the right moves. these are real tempur-advanced ergo owners! find one for yourself. check out twitter. try your friends on facebook... see what they have to say...unedited. it goes up... ask me what it's like to get a massage ---any time you want. goes down... ergo...nomics... ergo...nomics... tempur-pedic brand owners are more satisfied than owners of any traditional mattress brand. (in chinese) ask me why i never want to leave my ergo.
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