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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  November 30, 2013 9:00am-11:01am PST

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ard to earn miles in order to go visit my family, which means a lot to me. ♪ why is north korea still holding an american citizen hostage and did that man really confess and apologize for the war? president obama in a new and wide-ranging interview. he talks about his second term goals and what he will be extraordinarily proud of. the battle at the christmas box office. it's not just for kids anymore. a new look at why filmmakers are changing their approach this year. at points it got ugly, but did the black friday main event score for the big retailers? we have new numbers to report today. hey there, everyone. it's high noon in the east. 9:00 a.m. in the west.
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a desperate search and rescue operation is under way in glasgow, scotland, after a police helicopter crashed into a roof of a pub filled with patrons last night. eight are confirmed dead including all three people on the helicopter. here's how one of the patrons described the crash. >> there was no sign of fire whatsoever. but i had noticed just before the cloud of dust took over the whole pub, that the skeeling had fallen onto the bar or the central bit of the pub. and that's when we realized things were serious. >> i'm joined by correspondent martin guysler about a block away from the scene of this crash. martin, xweeng to you. what are officials telling you about what they've been seeing inside that pub? >> reporter: good evening, alex. spent the afternoon speaking to a couple of other eyewitnesses, a pair in the pub last night and moved from the area where the roof came down just a couple of minutes before this helicopter crashed.
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they had had a very lucky escape. they've been telling me the bravery of the people who were on scene, the passers-by who came to help and the kindness of strangers which has almost had certainly saved lives. the rescue services were here but it was the people in the pub who helped each other which stopped this death toll which is eight and potentially rising because 14 are still seriously injured in hospital here. it stopped that going higher because emergency primary first aid was administered at the scene by other revelers. they'd gone to see a band perform in the city center of glasgow and suddenly at half past 10:00 last night, this happened. >> martin, was there nilg that the patrons could hear or was it dead silence and all of a sudden just crash? do they know what caused this crash? >> no, and interestingly, they say that there wasn't suddenly a helicopter appearing through the ceiling. this happened almost in stages.
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in fact, the trumpeter in the band at one point made a joke. they thought there was a bit of masonry falling. he said look, we've brought the roof down we're so good. within a couple seconds after that, a huge dust cloud. you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. one woman had a torch in her handbag and shown it toward the door and screamed to people to hold on to each other to make a human chain and in the front, she led them all to safety. it seems not to have been that the rotors came crashing through the ceiling. that didn't happen. the injuries, there's obviously a full investigation to be conducted but the injuries seem to have come from the roof falling down rather than the aircraft itself impacting inside the pub. >> that's extraordinary. you would think the rotors would be lethal for so many. anyway, martin guysler, thank you so much for the live report from glasgow, scotland. north korea claims account elderly american tourist held
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for a month has apologized for alleged crimes in the korean war in the federal i 1950s. authorities released this vie showing merrill newman admitting to ". hostile acts and espionage against north korea." u anyone you know is in north korea with more on the story. >> north korea is accusing detained american veteran merrill newman of war crimes for his service during the korean war in the 1950s. the authorities released a video on state tv showing new man reading his alleged confession. in it the man from california reportedly apologized for his actions. in it he said that he was guilty of a long list of crimes against north korea. newman was in north korea legally as a tourist on a nine-day trip. he had been held captive in north korea since october 26th when he was taken off plane heading home by authorities. newman's detention has confused north korea watchers, mainly
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because other american war vets have been able to visit the country without any problems. now that he has gone through this confession, there's been some speculation he could be released but at this moment, he is still being held prisoner. alex? >> nbc's u nice yun, thanks for that. president obama and the first lady getting a new wide-ranging interview with barbara walters. the president addressed concerns about the health care rollout and questions about his legacy. ing >> every president in their second term is you know, mindful that you've only got a limited amount of time left and you want to make sure you are squeezing every last ounce of energy that you have to try to deliver on the commitments you made to the american people. >> president obama's self-imposed deadline is fast approaching. 12 hours to go for with that deadline looming. the president and other top officials have said people will start having a better experience on the site by then. key parts of the site will be down this weekend like in past
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weekends for maintenance and repairs. the president will unveil a new national security strategy early next year. the white house notified congress about the plans in a letter released friday. the president is expected to update the strategy he outlined in 2010 and described the administration's national securities priorities for the remainder of his term. the top u.s. commander in afghanistan is apologizing to after gab president karzai for a drone strike that killed at least one child and injured two women. he has condemned the attack. nato says it will investigate. let's go to the holiday weekend forecast for you and a gathering storm out west. choppy waves in northern california, just a little bit of what's to come. a bit further north, seattle bracing for a powerful storm that will bring heavy rain, snow and cold to the region. but here in the northeast. pretty quiet. increasing clouds. dylan dreyer is here with the forecast. hello, dylan. >> hi, alex. night quiet day today and tomorrow too for everyone traveling back where they came from.
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the only trouble spot in the pacific northwest. elsewhere in the country, a good amount of sunshine. temperatures a little bit cooler than you'd like to see this time of year, especially through the east half of the country. the storm system in the northwest, another storm that moves in with the wind and rain and some of the mountain snow. pretty light in nature right now, but there is a heavier band offshore of northwestern parts of washington state that is going to move in today and into tomorrow especially. temperatures are certainly on the cold side, especially up across minneapolis. at 2 degrees. only at 2089 right now in boston. new york's at about 26 degrees. it's not going to warm up all that much today. it should be warmer than yesterday. we're still going to be running 10 to 15 degrees below average essentially across the northeast and into the great lakes region. we are looking for warmer air down near florida. 80 in miami. 6 in san antonio. the west is going to see temperatures about 8 to 10 degrees above normal. as we go into tomorrow, some of that rain and snow is going to continue to push into the
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northwest and we could see a spotty shower or two in the northeast and down in the southeast, too. but nothing that's going to hamper or put a damper on any of the travels for the people on sunday. but we are looking for temperatures to still be on the cooler side. gradual warmup does start to move in by the end of the week. >> thanks for that. the holiday shopping season is in full gear this weekend after an early thanksgiving day kickoff. shows just like these certainly took advantage of the extra day of deals as the more than a dozen retailers which open on thanksgiving. walmart handled 10 million transactions from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. unfortunately though, there were some violent incidents as shoppers tried to snag the best deals. police used pepper spray to control a surging crowd at a store in texas. in anyplace, police shot a suspected shoplifter after the car he was driving dragged an officer through a parking lot. other shoppers chose to play it safe and shopped online instead. online sales were up almost 20%
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from last year. and on this small business saturday, the main focus all those mom and pop shops which could sure use a boost right now. joining me now kristin dahlgren is in her rolled square in new york city. the challenge is now for retailers how to keep the momentum going, right? >> exactly at lex, take a look behind me. if it looks like they are giving something away, it's because they are. all those people in line to get a shopping bag that someone is giving away. it's pretty calm today actually. not the numbers we saw out here yesterday and definitely not as frantic. >> in a philadelphia mall, black friday tensions reached the boiling point. two female shoppers coming to blows. one even using what appeared to be a stun gun. at a walmart in north carolina, no stun guns but elbows were flying. as shoppers pushed their way to discount tvs.
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but despite the crush, the cold -- >> we will waited five hours to get in. >> -- and plenty of thanksgiving openings, millions of americans hit the stores in search of bargains. >> this is the best spot i can be right here because i know i'm going to be the first one to get my laptop. >> stores were angling for the best position, too. since thanksgiving falls so late in november this year, there are six fewer shopping days than last year. that means black friday results may be extra important. the national retail federation is predicting the doorbusters will pay off. forecasting total holiday sales of $602 billion. up 3.9% over last year. >> these extra promotions and these extra hours may have cut into our dinnertime with our families but it really gave a good boost for retailers. >> walmart is already calling it a record-breaking weekend saying it processed more than 10 million registered transactions from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on thanksgiving alone.
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selling 2 million televisions, 1.4 million tablets, 1.9 million dolls, and 300,000 bicycles on thursday. and many shoppers say they're not ready to slow down yet. >> we're going to keep on going i think. i don't think we're going to eat. >> now, at least inside macy's here today, i still saw some piles and stacks of doorbusters. so there are still deals to be had out here. when you see those scuffles, you can understand why a lot more people chose to shop online this year. according to walmart, thursday was its biggest traffic day ever to its website, its second biggest sales day ever and 53% of those people who bought on did it on a mobile device. so things changing in the marketplace this year, alex. >> i still can't get over those twos chicks duking it out in pennsylvania. the stun gun in the mall? i'm like, come on. that was just all of. >> there is no deal big enough.
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i don't know. >> anyway, all right, kristin, thank you for that. so what is the best color to wear to a job interview in the answer ises in today's number ones for you. and its an a face-off over air space and it's getting tense. how dangerous is the "uss confrontation with china and how long is it going to last? get yo. get yo. you find that certain thing you were looking for here, but actually you get so much more. when you shop at these small local businesses, you support all the things that make your community great. the money you spend here, stays here. in this place you call your neighborhood. today is small business saturday. get out and shop small. you can fill that box and i didn't know the coal thing was real. it's very real... david rivera. rivera, david. [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex.
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"washington post" says obama administration officials are preparing to announce tomorrow they have met the self-imposed deadline for improving that deadline is midnight tonight. also new today, an official with the centers for medicare and medicaid services says the website is close to he supporting 50,000 users at one time. joining me now reporter for politico, wanda summers and for "the washington post" david nakamura. thanks for joining me. >> thanks for having us.
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>> david, what are you hearing from the officials about meeting this deadline tonight in terms of how confident they are? >> they're giving two different messages saying they've met their goals which to them means they're improving the user experience, the capability for how many people can be on the site at one time and how many can register. jeff zients who is is overseeing this war room said they fixed over 300 computer programming errors. however the white house is simultaneously cautioning it's not going to be a perfect website. their goal is about 80% of users should have a good experience and be able to enroll. they're saying they recognize there are going to continue to be problems and they don't know for sure if it can handle this much activity without slowing down the load time for pages and they won't be able to tell till the weekday. monday, tuesday, wednesday as more and more people get back and log into the system. they're saying it's going to be a much better system but not perfect. >> peak times something else entirely. wanda, do you think this issue
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has political staying power? even if the website is fixed which it certainly will be, or will it be forgotten quickly? and perhaps well before the 2014 midterm elections. let's say like april it's all perfect. are we going to be thinking about this in november? >> i think this absolutely has political staying power. this is president barack obama's signature campaign promise. it's been a blythed rollout by any account. regardless whether or not the administration is successful in meeting its deadline in a couple of short hours, republicans and competitive congressional districts will be looking to leverage the health care law for their cause for their election prospects as they're looking to make some gains this year. >> okay. let's check things happening overseas. wanda, the top u.s. commander in afghanistan is apologizing to afghan president karzai for the drone strike that killed one child and injured two women. nato says it's going to investigate. how significant is this? >> this is incredibly
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significant. the united states still trying to nail down a security deal with afghanistan to allow troops to remain there will post-2014. what this drone strikes and a number of other issues that came up in the process, that deal in the balance. secretary chuck hagel said if a deal isn't finalized soon it will make it impossible to plan for a future there. this is an incredibly big deal and one that lawmakers on the hill will be watching closely. >> what are you hearing from the white house, david, on this and the timing of this drone strike? how might this complicate the current discussion on allowing thousands of troops to stay in afghanistan after next year? >> wanda is very correct in what she was saying. karzai is in a difficult situation. he's got to the restore trust in a country tired of war, a bit skeptical of america's strategy there and continues to be so. at the same time, he recognized he probably needs u.s. and international support to continue to get the financial aid he needs and the training for his own troops to be able to secure the country.
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this is another problem for the united states and for the obama administration which is already suffered a lot of criticism here and abroad about the use of drones and in some ways they continue to do so in a way that some people see it fairly flagrant. it is part of the administration's tactics. they don't seem to be backing down from that. how they manage this situation is important and is probably something that's going to continue to happen as long as we use these kind of tactics. i think restoring trust and allowing karzai to save face is important. >> vice president biden as upcoming trip to china. >> the vice president rpt leaves tomorrow. i'll be with him to go to japan, china and contemporary. this issue where china is sort of asserted its rights in the east china sea angered japan and south korea will probably overshadow the entire trip. china is trying to sort of
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establish its preeminence in a lot of parts of asia and the u.s. has tried for a while now to show to strike a balance with china saying yes, we need to work together but at the same time, we'll be there for allies to make sure you don't overstep your bounds. the first thing the vice president has to do is assure its allies that the u.s. will stand firm against china but then he's going to go to china and give the same message to the president of china that the u.s. is not going to tolerate these kind of moves unilaterally. you have to negotiate and use diplomacy to talk about these issues. it's a challenge for the haven't. >> what do you see, wanda, the meeting between the china president? >> there's potential it could escala escalate. this could have huge ramifications for international trade at a very critical time. so very interested to see what will be happening in the next couple days on that trip. >> wanda and david, thanks so much. so what does brown do for
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you? at least one answer ahead in today's remarkable list of number ones. avo: the volkswagen "sign then drive"
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on the west coast. shoppers happily jumped the gun on black friday. it's about how 1500 prove buyers waited in line eight hours to buy guns and other sporting goods at a phoenix area store friday morning. and the "san francisco chronicle" has this headline, a smashing success. it's a profile of a 16-year-old california girl who is a monster truck driver. she's also among the nation's top math students and looking toward studying engineering at m.i.t. time now for today's list of number ones. and what can brown do for you? how about give you a job. the united parcel service tops the list of the top ten companies hiring this week. u.p.s. currently has nearly 43,
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000 job openings. petco has about 11.5 thousand jobs there available. pizza hut almost 6400 openings. if you're looking for work, beware of the color of clothing you wear to a job interview. in a new survey, 23% of employers say blue is the best color to wear. the worst color orange. 25% said so. >> and this year's macy's prayed no doubt brought picture perfect moments and insta gram helped share them it set a record for usage probably because it was the thanksgiving and the first day of hanukkah. >> i opened my eyes and looked around better than the first time. >> well, she is a number one in our book after celebrating her 90th birthday by sky diving. that will california great grandmother did the same thing on her 85th birthday. here's wishing her many more. those are your number ones. ring♪
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welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." time for headlines. the state department is the urging u.s. airline carriers to comply with china's demands any flights passing through its newly restricted air space be announced, this after china scrambled can fighter jets to investigate u.s. and japanese planes passing through the zone over the east china sea. this new restricted air space is in response to the on going dispute between china and japan over a small group of islands in the area. dozens of young football players are recuperating after experiencing flu-like symptoms while staying in las vegas. 60 to 70 people reported illness since friday. the southern nevada health district is investigating. the comet ison thought to be dead may have survived its close encounter with the sun after all. recent images show a brightening of what some say may be a small part of the comet which remain intact. the european space agency, one
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of the first organizations to call it a goner is now re's assessing. north korea is claiming the 85-year-old u.s. citizen being held for quote hostile and subversive acts has apologizes for his actions. the news agency released video of merrill newman and claimed it is a videotaped confession and apology. they are accusing him of masterminding espionage and say his work led to the killing of korean soldiers and civilians. here at home his wife and son say he is an avid traveler and wrapping up a dream trip to nok when he was pulled off the plane last month and detained. they are worried he won't have access to the heart medication he needs. joining me bob casey. thanks for joining me, sir. >> thanks, alex. >> obviously the united states has no diplomatic ties to pyongyang. are there nel government efforts at all under way being made to bring mr. newman homele? >> well, in circumstances like this it, alex, there's always a
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full and significant effort by the federal government to intervene. but this is both outrageous and unacceptable. the regime should release him. and they should do so immediately. because it's one of the games they've played over many years by making charges that they can't prove and then detaining someone. so they should release him immediately so he can see his family and get the medical care that he needs. he's 85 years old. and to detain him any longer is totally unacceptable. >> we know that his wife has sent medication because apparently he went on this ten-day trip with only the amount of heart medication needed for that vacation. she september medication and has no idea whether it got to him. he's one of two americans being held in north korea last year. kenneth bae was instanced last year to 15 years of hard labor for hard acts. mr. new man used the same
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wording in his apology hostile acts. do you think that apology will make his release more likely or less likely? >> well, from published reports, alex, it seems as if it might make it more likely. but to put someone through that kind of pressure and detain them, in this case, he's been detained since the latter part of october at the age of 85. so it's outrageous but it's not unfortunately not at all surprising from a regime which continually misleads the world and makes charges it can't back up. >> senator casey, what leverage does the u.s. have tols force north korea's hand and get this man's release? both of their relations? >> well, alex, sometimes in these circumstances what our state department does and the federal government overall is to try to use other meeddries, either other countries or resources to bring to bear some
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pressure. it seems like in this case, so far that's working. it seems like it's moving in the right direction. but until he's out of there, we've got to continue the really determined efforts to release him that his family has undertaken as well as our government. >> all right, senator, i'm going to change gears for a minute to the fight over the food stamp program. food pantry employees say they've seen a rush of new clients. one virginia food bank reported a 40% jump in families seeking help this year. house republicans want to add another $39 billion in cuts. i mean, how committed is the senate to blocking any deep cuts to the s.n.a.p. program? >> well, i think you have a bipartisan commitment not to cut the s.n.a.p. program by that amount. i will never vote for legislation that cuts it by $39 billion. we should mention that the senate passed bill passed back
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in 2012 had within it some cuts to the s.n.a.p. program. so we're always willing to consider limiting spending or reducing spending on a program. but the idea that you can cut a program by $39 billion based upon nothing, no analysis undergirds that cut. it's just an ideological statement by house or i hope not senate republicans. but the house should reconsider that and come to the table to make a reasonable and appropriate cuts. the other thing we should mention is that you know, a lot of folks that make charges about the food stamp program, number one, don't tell us that when you spend a buck on food stamps, the entire economy in terms of economic growth and gross domestic product increase goes up by more than $1.75. so there's a jumpstarting effect on the economy overall. in addition to the obvious need that will millions of americans
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still have because they're still digging out of the recession. >> yeah, and i believe the senate proposal is about .1 of what the house proposed, about $4 billion in cuts. >> that's correct. >> all this is coming as a result of the stimulus program ending here. so i'm curious if you have seen some of your pennsylvania citizens suffering as a result. i mean, have you seen an uptick in that? >> i have, alex. what i have introduced as legislation that would just say simply that the recovery act enhancement to the s.n.a.p. program would continue for another year because of the circumstances that people face. i have to be honest though, it's an uphill fight to get that passed. but at a minimum, in addition to passing that legislation, at a minimum though, we should make sure that we stop the cut that the house has proposed, which i'll say again is based upon no analysis. it's just really an ideological statement by house republicans. it should be rejected not only
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because it's bad for families and especially children who are served by the food stamp program, but it's bad economics, as well because it takes off the table a jumpstarting effect that the food stamp program provides to the overall economy. >> yeah. i'm curious how much your eyes are on the clock right now with about 11.5 hours to go till the health care website is functional, that self-imposed deadline there. are congressional democrats holding their breath almost as much as the president for a smooth december 1st? there's a lot riding on this. >> there is. and holding our breath is probably a good analogy because the administration promised initially there wouldn't be problems. then there were. and then the administration very directly said just a number of weeks ago that they had about 500 fixes roughly that they were working on. they had he worked every night for several hours and then start in the start with the website on a new day. but they claimed at the time, this is going back a couple of
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weeks ago, that a little more roughly about half of those 500 were fixed. so i think we'll snow tomorrow how they've done, but it's critically important they get this done so that we can get beyond the website problem, get millions of americans enrolled and really have this program work for families and help strengthen the economy. >> but as you know, that website was down for about 11 hours for maintenance on average on weekends, it's had four-hour chunks of time. it was down from 10:00 p.m. last night till 9:00 a.m. this morning. you have kathleen sebelius blogging tips for health care customers. she's saying go at off peak times. they want to avoid a traffic meltdown. is it safe to say there is still concern this site could crash? >> it seems like there's still some concern. i guess the number that they've used is they want -- they hope that up to 50,000 would use it at any one time. that if you get beyond that number, you could have problems. so i guess what we urge people to do is to go on the website,
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if you really have to. if you are in greater need. i wouldn't encourage people just to browse for their own purposes if they don't need coverage on health care. but ideally, i think you want the website to handle more than the 50,000 the administration says it can handle at this time. >> pennsylvania senator bob casey, thanks for joining us on this holiday weekend. >>, that, alex. a life snapped in focus. a place in history, to russia with love and a reason to pinch yourself. by the end of this week's best of office politics, you're going to learn about that and more.
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ted cruz, can you really figure him out? >> he's the guy that doesn't belong in the senate by the terms of the senate. now, there may be a new rule out there. joe mccarthy broke the rules for four or five years. he was popular. everybody was afraid of him, but demagoguery is not a good career move. it works in the short run. it can be great in the short run. it's not a long-term career
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plan. >> their opposition to obama care has been disingenuous in a lot of ways. i think it has been driven by a personal animus towards this president. and by a desire for political gain. >> putting lives in danger. >> yeah, you do not want to put lives in danger people carrying out these missions on the ground. so many times, the a.p., other news organizations have made the call to hold a piece of information for a while. and report it later. >> we're not asking for anything special. just for equal respect in russia, anyway, you know, culturally they're a few decades behind us on that front. >> and i remember i had to tell my boss here, david corvo at the time, what was happening. and i remember i said to him, i have the breast cancer and i have to have a big surgery and i
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was just like oh, i was like a mess. he said can i say something to you? and i said yeah. he said i have a lot of friends who have breast cancer and they all have one thing in common. i said what's that. >> >> he said they're still there. >> talking about having to have your legs reconstructed and yet look at you persevering and running towards a half marathon. >> any trauma patient whether it's a car crash or car bomb, your muscles that got reconstructed, the parts of your body that got reconstructed always want to go back to the weakness at that point of injury. if i don't work out on a regular basis, my legs get really weak. it makes it your life snap into focus. it makes you weed out, i hate to say it sounds cold but people who are not helpful or do not nourish you. >> out of this high school, this high school my parents went came the first black general of the
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army, first black presidential cabinet member, first black federal judge. and they were telling me that so that i had a sense of black history. and also a sense of what contributions african-americans have made to the united states. when i went over to the school, i saw the history was being lost when i thought i need to write this down before it gets lost. >> you lived in this area. do you sometimes pinch yourself and think i was part of all this? >> i feel like i'm -- i was on the plane with president carter. it's in the book. it starts the book off. when we get beaten by regan. we get the word you guys are going to lose by ten points. i fly in a helicopter with him to vote in plains, georgia. i was there the whole time. i'm watching him tell rose lynn i lost in the window of the old depot and i find myself working at the top guy with tip o'neill for all those years, the second round with reagan. i'm there will all the time. it's amazing. pinch yourself is right. >> yes, we do, chris has a
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which films are going in this direction and why the sudden shift to attract older audiences? >> we've got lots of wonderful more grown-up fare coming our way. nebraska is out with bruce dern. it's a terrific father-son road drama/comedy. philomena, a film i'm really fond of with judy dempbl and steve coogan is coming out around no now. another road picture of an unlikely pair on the search for her son. a lot of movies are still in theaters that people would enjoy, things like captain phillips and "12 years a slave" and all is lost. this is not just an annual -- it's not a trend just this year but i think in recent years we've seen a surge in studios saving up these sort of high quality prestige pictures to open in the holiday season to take advantage of award season and the kind of earned marketing that they get from the publicity they get around award shows. >> but you know they're not
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always just thinking about publicity. certainly that's a big deal. do you think it's the sentiment of the holiday they're trying to appeal to that element with the older audience, as well thinking maybe they're more sentimental when they go to the movies? >> that could be. although i think anecdotally and personally i know for jus grown-ups we would like for them to know there are 128 months in the year and we would like these all year long. it's a shame the year is so back loaded as it is. but i take your point. the holiday season is traditionally a time for people to go to the movies especially to go together as families. oh if people are especially taking teenagers or young adults and mom and dad and grandparents, then these are ideal choices. >> but we're looking at ten or a dozen films that have more of an adult theme and focus here in terms of the audience. yet, the movies dominating the box office right now, catching fire," frozen, even "thor" to some agreeing. these are not geared to the over
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35s. >> i think this is all -- i think they stake out these opening dates month months and months in advance. in a way, "frozen," even hunger games" a lot of grown-ups really love those books. that is another example of a film that for certain families, would be appropriate family fare with teenagers and up, young adults and grown-ups. they would get a lot of it. "frozen" i would strongly recommend for families to see together who have little ones up to grandparents. it's the animation is beautiful. the music is gorgeous. the voice acting is terrific. i mean, it's really, a very high caliber film. so i actually think they do belong in all of this category in terms of just sophistication and you know, i think when in doubt, quality, i really think quality counts. >> well, and to that point i want to pick up what you said about the award season. here's more from that hollywood reporter article which says the
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only two kids films are disney's animated film frozen opening november 27 and fox's walking with dinosaurs. deem works is pretty much sitting out the holiday season. many children's me ofs have gone on to become box office cash cows. do you think studio execs are placing golden globes and oscars before profit? >> i wouldn't pretend to know what is going into their thinking. sometimes i think it might it be these animated especially the computer graphics and 3-d movies take a long time. they're labor intensive and technology intensive. it could be they weren't ready in time. but it's true that i really do think that this awards season marketing gambit that we're increasingly seeing, it might be -- this year especially we saw it getting so crowded that some movies had to move off. for example, george clooney's movie "monuments man" is opening early 2014. just you know, in large part i would imagine because it's so
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the crowded. i mean we have dozens and dozens. it's not even over yet. we have the cohen brothers? inside louann davis" coming down the pike. august osage county, the david russell film. there's a lot. but the good news is that really i mean, this is the strongest year in recent memory in terms of sheer, sheer quality. >> all right. well, that's something to look forward to. ann hornaday, thanks so much. i appreciate it. >> thank you. drug allegations against tv chef nigella lawson become even more personal. the latest on the trial of her former assistants. great...what? he's using you. he probably has a citi thankyou card and gets 2x the points at restaurants. so he's just racking up points with me. some people... ugh! no, i've got it. the citi thankyou preferred card. now earn 2x the points on dining out and entertainment, with no annual apply, go to
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one week into the nuclear deal struck between iran and the u.s. and allies, hassan rouhani has reportedly flat out refused to dismantle iran's nuclear facilities. what impact will this have on the deal's success? joining me now, president of the plow shares fund and a member of secretary kerry's international
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security advisory board board. he's the author of a new book "nuclear nightmares," which takes a look at efforts to secure nuclear weapons around the world. i've read excerpts. pretty frightening. i'm like really. >> we want those scenarios to play out. in a recent interview with the financial times, rouhani not only refused to dismantle the nuclear facilities but also says the amount of uranium enriched by his country will depend on our needs for nuclear fuel. how troubling is that statement? >> well, dismantling iran's nuclear facilities is on the agenda for the next round of talks. the agreement that we just reached has frozen the iranian program in its tracks. rolled back some parts of it, but now we're going to engage in the tough negotiations over the sext six months to dismantle it, to impropose intrusive inspections so we can get the inspectors to inspect anything at any time, make sure there's no secret facilities and finally to get iran to come clean about
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its past history. so what you see rouhani doing is sort of positioning for those talks, putting out a position that says no, we're not going to dismant dismantle. in the end, be there has to be some dismantlement. >> let's get to nuclear nightmare. securing nuclear weapons around this world before it's too late. so first off, what is the probability of iran reneging on this geneva deal? >> well, that's why the inspections will be oh important. i think iran, for its own strategic reasons, is ready to give up this program. if it gets a fugue clear weapon, what do its neighbors do? if saudi arabia gets a weapon, doesn't that offset any advantage iran might get by having its own? iran is playing a bigger game here, wants to get reintegrated into the region, restore its economy and the new clear aspect they pursued in the past is less and less important. we have to inspections to make
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sure we will get -- that we don't get any back sliding on this. if you can get a deal with iran, this is the good news story, it could be near the end of proliferation. iran, north korea, the last two countries in the world who still have major programs pushing to develop and become a nuclear state. if you can give into to iran to make a deal, maybe that sets a good example for north korea. if you can get north korea, you're looking at the end of the proliferation wave that will began over 68 years ago with hiro shim na ma. there's a good ending to this nuclear nightmare story. >> what about the crippling sanctions imposes on iran from the west. is obtaining a nuclear weapon worth another brush of sanctions for that country? >> well, i don't think it is, frankly. i mean, rouhani was elected in june. >> do they see that too. >> i think he does. i had dinner with him in new york when he was speaking at the u.n. these people know they have a mandate from the iranian public
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and the core elements of their elite, their regime, to restore the economy. the only way to get the economy going is to end sanctions. the only way to end sanctions is to make a deal on the nuclear program. i think the program is much less important to iran than some people think. they want to be a strong powerful country in the region and to do that, they've got to get their economy going again. >> you don't have any concern about iran taking a playbook page out of pyongyang's book there and breaking promises that they make come hither and yon? you don't think they'll behave that way. >> the north korea story is very complicated. northern iran, we froze their program. it was during the bush administration that iran restarted and went nuclear. i think as long as you're talking to iran, there's a combination of pressure and incentives, you can walk them back from this path. should we be concerned? of course. that's why you have inspections and keep sanctions on until they will fulfill their obligations. >> joe, thanks for talking with us.
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tick-tock with 11 hours to go until deadline, will the government's health care website work? what to expect from the last minute fixes. >> trying to save some money. you know, this is the holidays and we're trying to get as much as we can for the kids. >> day three of the shopping frenzy. but are the deals worth the crush of the crowds? this time it's personal. nigel lal lawson's ex-husband takes the stand in the trial involving her two former employees. good day to all of you. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." just past 1:00 p.m. in the east. 10:00 a.m. out west. as we go to politics and more of that new interview with president obama and the first lady. in an exclusive with abc news'
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barbara walters the president responded to critics including opponents of obama care. >> there are going to be moments where things aren't going as smoothly as you want. very rarely are the good things that happen get the same attention as the things that aren't working, as well. >> and time is running out for the self-imposed deadline to fix problems with the obama care website. the president and other top officials said most of the issues would be resolved by midnight tonight. key parts of the site will be down throughout this weekend though like in past weekends for on going maintenance and repairs. a new poll shows chris christie leading the 20816 candidates among republicans followed by rand paul and former vice presidential nominee paul ryan. among the dems, hillary clinton leads with a commanding 63% followed by vice president joe biden in at 1% and massachusetts senator elizabeth warren with 7%. a bit more now on the looming deadline on the fixes to the website. white house correspondent
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kristen welker is at the white house for us. less than 11 hours to go now. what is the president saying about these challenges with the obama care website roll out? >> well, alex, the president's trying to strike a confident tone, if you will, telling barbara walters that ultimately he thinks he's going to be on the right side of history when it comes to this health care law once they finally fix all of these glitches. at the same time, some top officials here really trying to down play expectations. you have hhs secretary kathleen sa peelious blogging on friday that folks should log on during off peak hours. top officials also saying this it is not going to be a relaunch but they will do tell me they are on track to meet the stated goal of having the website support 50,000 people at one time by the end of the day today. they also say there have been other big improvements. they've decreased the error rate they say. was once at 6%. they say now the error rate is below 1%. they say the website is
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functioning more smoothly and more quickly. it used to take eight seconds for a page to load. now that can be measured in milliseconds. i've also been talking to tech experts though. i made this point earlier. i'll make it again because i think it helps folks to understand, it's not just about having 50,000 users use the site at one time. it's also about how quickly they can get through. you can think of it in terms of a highway, if have you 50,000 carson the highway, the big question is, is traffic moving. so that's what tech experts are going to be looking for as the next 248, 48 hours gets under way as folks go back onto the website and try to reenroll. the obama administration saying they will hold a conference call tomorrow to update everyone on the progress that has been made. we don't expect to hear from them today. alex? >> that will highway analysis definitely worth repeating. about regard to the president, what's he doing today? >> well, the president has had a
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bit of a busy morning. started off playing basketball. now he is going with the first family to a popular bookstore here called politics and prose. he tweeted this out just before he went. he tweeted when our small businesses do well, our communities do well. join me and visit a small business near you today to celebrate small biz saturday. so as you know, everyone from the administration, lots of local municipalities as well as encouraging people to get out ow, head to their small businesses, help out their small businesses and, of course, the economy. alex? >> again he's gone to a bookstore on small business sated. thank you very much. appreciate it, kristin. north korea claims the elderly american tourist, 85-year-old merrill newman held there for more than a month hats apologized for alleged hostile acts he commits during the korean war in the 1950s. eunice yoon has more. >> the authorities releases a video on state tv showing new
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man reading his alleged confession. in it, the man from california purportedly apologized for his actions. that apology was dated november 9th. in it, he said that he was guilty of a long list of indelible crimes against north korea. new man was in nok legally as a tourist on a nine-day trip. he had been held captive in north korea since october 26 they when i was taken off the plane heading home by authorities. >> other american war vets have been able to visit north korea without any problem at all. the 2013 atlantic hurricane season officially ends today. forecasters predicted an can antive season but there were just 13 that i ammed storms and one storm andrea that made landfall back in june. this was the fewest hurricanes in a single year since '82. of course, the holiday shopping season is in full swing today. shoppers got a head start on thanksgiving day as more than a dozen major retailers opened their doors early.
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nbc's kristin daal all gren is in new york's herald square and the big challenge is how to keep this momentum going for the retailers, right, kristin? >> exactly, alex. they really want to keep a good thing going. there are people out here. take a look, you can see behind me a lot of people checking out the window displays here at macy's and some of them coming out of the store with bags. there are shoppers out there will, including myself. i checked it out for research purposes only and what i found was that you could get in and out pretty easily today. things were orderly, at least in this shopping district here. now, macy's ended some of its doorbuster sales at 1:00 p.m. it was the early people who really got the best deals. we talked to some shopper out here and they were happy with the deals they were getting. take a listen. >> cosmetics, boots, $200 boo the for $39. >> whoa. >> cosmetic kits for less than
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50% off like $200 kits for $50. so it's been very much worth it. >> wasn't that bad at all. i mean, it was busy, but i can understand why. it's macy's. it's a great place to go. >> and for all of the people that are out in the stores shopping, there are an awful lot of people who are shopping at home online and on their mobile devices. ibm, according to ibm, they say thanksgiving traffic online was up 19% over last year. so a big jump. also mobile traffic this year, really taking some huge leaps up 34% over last year. and a lot of analysts saying this it is going to be the season of shopping online and on your mobile device, alex. >> it certainly is practical. makes it easy from the comforts of your home. thank you very much, kristin dahlgren. now to the serious drug allegations against chef nigella lawson that became even more personal on friday. her ex-husband took the stand in the trial involving her two
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former personal assistants. michelle kosinski is covering the trial for us in london. michelle? >> hi there alex. so advertising mogul charles saatchi sent this private e-mail to nigel lal that became very public saying he believes everything these assistants were saying. they claim not only was nigella a daily cocaine user but that she let them spend a total of more than $1 million in return for keeping her secret. now so he clarifies he does not think at least that the last part of their story makes sense. >> charles saatchi in court forced to explain a single e-mail he sent his ex-wife last month writing to the domestic goddess. >> last minute suppers they don't worry me. >> calling her high gel la, he wrote. i col only laugh at your sorry depravity. you've become a celebrity hostess on a global tv game show
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and you got the pass free to enjoy all the drugs you want forever. he says had he just seen statements by the assistants in which they detailed what they called the drug culture in her household. after he spoke to staffers about it, he did believe nigella had a severe cocaine habit that stretched back a very long time. she took this and cannabis and shared it with her children for a very long time but adding he has never, never seen any evidence she was taking any drug whatsoever. they split up after these photos emerged of the couple arguing at a london restaurant. the defense believes it was over this case. more than $1 million in purchases allegedly for themselves on his credit cards. they claim nigel lal let them do it in return for keeping her drug use a secret. sachi calls the amounts these women spent on clothes,ing travel and hotels bewildering. so what alerted the family to this massive alleged fraud?
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a single tax taxi ride. it did come out in court another member of her household was spending amounts similar to one of the sisters, but satchy said that was authorized by nigella and he denies anyone gave permission to the sisters both of whom have pled not guilty. >> the michelle, thanks you for that. a desperate search in scotland after an unthinkable accident at a pub and is it the worst fight mayor for the u.s. coming from na nuclear meltdown in japan two years ago? it is headed to the u.s. [ woman ] too weak.
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charges about the food stamp program, number one, don't tell us that when you spend a buck on food stamps, the entire economy in terms of economic growth and gross domestic product increase,
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goes up by more than $1.75. so there's a jumpstarting effect on the economy overall. >> that was senator bob casey who spoke with me last hour why the country can't afford to make more drastic cuts to the food stamp program. now to another showdown on the hill. immigration activists holding a hunger strike catching the attention of president obama. the president and first lady met with hem on tried they're fasting to protest inaction in the gop-led house on comprehensive immigration reform. the group has been demonstrating in a tent drinking only water since november 12th. host of post tv's in play jackie kucinich and staff writer for the hill newspaper elise viebeck. i'll begin with you, elise. what do you think? will the hunger strike help to get the house to act on immigration reform or do you think this will go anywhere at all? >> certainly it's a news event
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getting a lot of attention. we don't see hunger strikes very often on capitol hill. it's a wrenching story of people without food for more than two weeks now. we have a lot of cabinet secretaries visiting them and the president and first lady. it's hard to see whether or not this event will impact house republicans on the issue of the path to citizenship. that's the real question here. most of the people within that caucus on the right flank in particular see that will pathway to citizenship as amnesty and don't want to go anywhere near it. i know that president obama certainly wants to see that as part of any final deal. we will sae if this has an impact but i kind of doubt it. >> jackie, if republican leaders in the house continue refusing to bring this bill up for a vote, is this going to hurt the gop in next year's midterms? >> i don't know if it will hurt in next year's mid terms because districts are drawn and a lot of republican districts. this isn't really a factor. in some it might. but john boehner left the door
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open last week. he first said he's not going to take up the senate bill at all and then last week he said immigration is not dead. so we're not going to see it this year. maybe next year. >> elise, what about your latest articles? we switch gears here titled "d-day for fixes." meeting it the deadline is going to provide a major boost for the obama administration. how big a boost? >> a big boost if all goes well. we know any anecdote about problems at the website can be used as a weapon against the administration by the republican opponents. certainly there are going to be further glitches that need to be fixed. even though they fixed about 300 problems with the website, there are still more to be discovered and more that remain on those lists. so if the administration can get it right for the vast majority of users, i think it would do a lot for the white house and a lot for democrats on capitol hill who have been nervous.
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>> jackie, politico is avoiding a goal of a mission accomplished moment. if the website is fixed by tonight, do you think the obama administration is going to win some points here? >> i think they could win some points. but again, you've seen them kind of downplaying how well this is going to go. they want to meet the goal and work on some of the things on the back end. the problems aren't over yet. i think they're wise to really to slow walk this a little bit out there. because if anything does fail, you know, republicans are going to grab on to that and run with it. >> absolutely. elise, the white house says that the president's going to formally present a new national security strategy early next year. he's going to identify his foreign policies for the rest of his terms. what do you think some of the items on the list might be. >> we know that foreign policy has actually been a major issue for president obama in a lot of different ways. but it's mostly taken the form
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of one off news items that maybe last a week or two. this could open a whole new conversation where he wants to take his foreign policy in the second term. a lot to choose from. we're talking about drone strikes and nsa surveillance, the sequester cuts to the defense budget, the shift to the pacific and asia. we'll see all of those things reflected but this give him a chance to talk about his values and his vision and maybe shift away from the health care narrative so damaging to the white house. >> is this something that is standard, jackie, presenting a new national security strategy with three years to go in a term. >> the president is supposed to let congress know about their national security strategy, supposed to do it frequently. george bush, for example, only released two over his eight years. and the obama doctrine has been kind of undefined. he hasn't been interventionist. he hasn't really been an isolationist. it's been a little bit of both. so this gives him an opportunity to maybe define what his
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doctrine is going forward. >> okay. jacquie kucinich and elise viebeck, good to see you both. >> thanks, alex. >> the hard homecoming, a new book looks the struggles facing veterans. y in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death.
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we'll donate 250 dollars to a choice of charities that benefit your community. it feels good to be a helping hand. for so many soldiers, the battle is not over when they leave the front lines. in fact, it's just beginning. a new book from journalist david finkle outlines the struggles so many of our veterans and their families face as they try to readjust to life back home. "thank you for your service okay author david finkle joins me now. this is so important to talk about this. your detailed account from the front flins baghdad won major acclaim. now you're revisiting some of the same troops. they face so many new battles here at home. why were you compelled to tell the story of life after war? >> the first book was about a group of soldiers during the surge in 2007 and 2008.
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it was a chronicle of what they went through in a tough neighborhood of baghdad. and, of course, they came home quite changed by the experience after 15 months in war. what happened after the first book came out is i began hearing from some of the guys in the unit and some of their wives about the difficulties they were having. and not physical difficulties but difficulties sleeping, with anxiousness, depression, and at some point it occurred to me i had told the half of the story but there was a whole second half of what happens when you come home. >> i want to read an excerpt from the book which i find heart breaking. you could see in his eyes nervous eyes you could see it in his shaking hands, the three prescription bottles in his room, one to steady his heart rate, one to reduce his anxiety, one to minimize his nightmares. post traumatic stress disorder
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is one of the many issues our troops face. what are some of the costs of this war on veterans and fair anthems. some can last for generations. >> sure the books concentrates on folks sought so much with physical injuries but psychological bounds from what they did, what they saw, what they experienced while being in war. and look, i mean, let's face it, nobody knows what they're getting into when they go to war. that was the case with these guys who i followed into the surge. the excerpt you just read was, it involves a guy named adam shuman who was regarded as one of the very best soldiers in this infantry battalion. he was on his third tour. he had been in combat for about a thousand days. had done everything asked of him, somebody not creating policy but carrying out the policy of a country. he had fought well but there was such an accumulation of events he couldn't do it anymore. he came home. i was with him actually the day he walked to the helicopter. and left the war. and he came home not feeling any
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sense of accomplishment over what he had done. but cloaked in a sense of guilt or shame that he couldn't stick it out. and all of the stories you'll read about the folks in this book, that's a common theme. there's some sense of guilt or shame or questioning of what happened to me over there? who did i become? why did i babe the way i did. >> so what is it that we're really asking of our troops as we send them into battle, and what are we thanking them for when they return? >> that's a perfect question. what are we thanking them for, you know as well as i do that these have been distant wars. there hasn't been a lot of direct american participation in these wars. it's a professional army. it's a volunteer force. and these wars were over there. but iraq is over, afghanistan is winding down, and of the 2 million american who have deployed into either of those
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wars about half a million are coming home with some type of psychological wound. and so we can say thank you for your service and i know from knowing these soldiers that it employees them to hear the sentiment but i think what they would also like people to know is the day to day healing process, recovery process going on not over there as they fought the war, but back here as they try to recover. >> the book is called "thank you for your office." i thank you for your time. david, i appreciate it. >> a real-life game of cops and robbers that was way too easy for the men in blue. [ sniffles, coughs ]
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gravy and more, you get your coffee here. you get your hair cut here. you find that certain thing you were looking for here, but actually you get so much more. when you shop at these small local businesses, you support all the things that make your community great. the money you spend here, stays here. in this place you call your neighborhood. today is small business saturday. get out and shop small. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." it's 31 past the hour. a desperate search and rescue operation is underway in glasgow, scotland, after a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a pub filled with patrons last night. now the death toll is rising. annabelle roberts is about a block away from the scene of the
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crash. annabelle, what are officials telling you what they're seeing inside that pub? >> reporter: alex, good evening. well, police are describing the scene behind me as a very dangerous and complicated situation. you may be able to see the rescue work is continuing. this evening. eyewitnesses described clearly the moment the helicopter they say plunged like a stone out of the sky, tumbling down, landing on the roof of the pub. police have confirmed the three people in the helicopter, a civilian pilot and two police officers were killed. they also say five more people were killed inside the bar. the bar itself is a very popular live music venue here in glasgow. more than 100 people were inside last night when the helicopter hit. those who have survived described thick clouds of smoke. it's worth remembering, alex, that tonight 14 people are still
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in hospital, police say they're in serious condition. and there is every likelihood, i'm afraid to say that the death toll may rise. >> annabelle, you talk about this helicopter dropping silently like a stone. was there any sort of may day call or any idea what caused it to crash? >> reporter: it's really tool soon to say what may have caused this crash. there's been plenty of spemlation. what eyewitnesses say there was a kind of sputtering noise of the engine and then silence. well, that's caused some people to speculate maybe there was some kind of engine failure but it's far it too soon to say. the helicopter itself was a euro capitol ter, very commonly used in britain by the emergency services here. and used by other police forces across this country. but really too soon to say what will may have caused. but this is a city really in shock tonight that will an accident liking this could have happened on a friday night when
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so many people were out enjoying themselves, having a good time. >> and on the st. andrews day holiday. >> thank you so much. annabelle robert. new concerns about radio active waves from japan hitting the u.s. the water was capitaled after the tsunami hit in 2011 and damaged a nuclear reactor. it is expected to reach the west coast of north america sometime in 2014. fda keeps track of radiation in the country through a nationwide system of monitors. this holiday shopping weekend has been marked not just by the big brown bags but by some big loud protests. >> we can see your greedy side. >> black friday protests were held outside some 1500 walmarts across the country. workers fighting for higher wages, more hours and full-time positions. the company released a statement saying walmart provides wages on the higher end of the retail average with full-time and part-time associates making on average close to $12 an hour. we're also proud of the benefits
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we offer. i want to bring in contributor jared bernsteinster fellow at the center on budget priorities. he wrote the book "getting back to better employment." he's the man i trust above all others for economic analysis. walmart and many of its workers seem to see things through different lenses. a $12 an hour average is a whole lot higher than the federal minimum wage but the workers say there are not enough full time slots and say nothing less than $25,000 a year is fair. where do the truth lie? >> well, when you take these broad averages across a giant corporation like walmart, you're going to be including a lot of the very high end people in that calculation. now, they're not nearly as transparent as they ought to be with the broad distribution of their wages. we've actually have a better conversation if we really knew what they were paying their service associates, their cashiers. the research suggests that it's
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less than $12 an hour. somewhere in the $9 to $10 range. if you doll have full-time work, even full-time work at that kind of wage, you're kind of bumping around the poverty line. as you suggested in your introduction and those protesters were underscoring this point, a lot of those folks don't have the full-time work. there is definitely a wage issue in play here into walmart has launched a sort of counter offense if you will of tv ads touting happy employees with all their personal accounts of how great things are. the coe spoke out on the today show, too. here's a clip what he had to say. >> we have one of the largest percentages of full-time workforce in retail and pay in the top half of retail. our industry is a great way for people to start. you can enter our company at any level at any age from 16 to 66 and we have a lot of opportunity for people to work their way and progress as you move forward. >> so jared, walmart does employ an enormous workforce.
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at a time when employment is scarce. are union represents, advocates dismissing an important point here? >> i think the truth is somewhere in between. frankly not that they necessarily need my advice but i don't think where bill simon was coming from there is the right angle for them to pursue. it is absolutely the case, as you suggest, there are large employer. they create a lot of jobs but the thing we know walmart for is they have very, very low prices. no question that's a benefit to lots of shopper who's go there. that's why they go there, but low prices correspond to low wages. and i don't think he's going to convince anyone that there aren't a significant number of workers at walmart who face a very difficult living standards profile because of their jobs. not everyone, but certainly some of them and those protesters are a good example. what we really need to think about here is what would be the impact on prices if you were to increase those wages? and that's a real issue to explore.
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now, to the extent walmart's a very profitable corporation, $17 billion in profits last year. to the extent you could raise wages at the expense of profits wouldn't hurt prices but it could lower shares. there's a lot of moving parts here. >> absolutely. wages are not the only thing that the protests are are plaid about. they claim the workers who have spoken out faced retaliation. the national labor relations board found walmart fired some employees who protested. are we looking at a david and goliath battle? >> its an important point. when you think about a place like walmart employs over a million people. one thing that comes to my mind, why isn't there any union representation in walmart? clearly folks have tried to organize and haven't been successful. again, i'm not here to advocate that every walmart employee should join a union but they should have the opportunity to do so if that's what they want.
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i think there are legitimate concerns that walmart prevents that kind of collective bargaining formation that should be allowed to occur. >> do you think the story speaks to a bigger flash point in this country, the problem of income inequality. >> unquestionably. again, if you think about the idea that we've got very low prices, but we also have very low wages, this is a model that kind of works only in the context of considerable inequality. we have very low income people who aren't benefiting from the growth in the economy year in year out. so there's kind of a stuck at the lower end of the income scale, what can they do, where they can be shop? they can shop the an walmart because they have low prices. on the other side of that, you've got low wages. you see the vicious cycle of inequality, can low income, low wages play out year after year ear here. >> jared, thanks so much for joining me on this saturday. to iran, one week after the deal struck? jaeb, a an article in the
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financial times says president rouhani has to plans to dismantle any of the country's nuclear facilities and that could make some of the members of congress very nervous. joining me the dean of the school of can advanced international studies. he was born in tehran. nice to welcome you back to the broadcast. does iran's refusal fuel the suspicions that it is indeed nursing some sort of nuclear ambitions? >> yes, it will play negatively here with congress and other critiques of the deal paid in geneva. but we have to remember that iran's president is also talking to a constituency back home who are also critical of the geneva agreement and think that he gave up too much in geneva and he's poised to give up the whole of the nuclear program. so he's trying to basically calm nerves in iran to say that you know, i'm not about to give up everything. and he's posturing. i think one has to put this in context.
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negotiations about an end state have not even started. and he has to manage his constituency back home. >> you know people in many iran, i'm curious about the reaction from the man on the street, volley. do people weigh all this and think we've got to pursue nuclear ambitions or looking at their lifestyle and the fact that they don't have a lot because of all the sanctions and other things? do they want to improve their quality of life more than they want to pursue nuclear bomb ambitions? >> i think the majority don't think they're pursuing a nuclear bomb. they think they are pursuing nuclear capability. even though they're very unhappy with the quality of their lives but not willing to give this up because they see it as a matter of sovereignty and there's a lot of pride in it. i think the distinction is that the iranians and the iranian public is much more willing to give up the path to a bomb to create transparency and to limit enrichment to a level where it would not suit for a bomb making
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process. but they're not willing to give up the entirety of the program. i think if it becomes a choice between giving everything up or living on their sanctions, i think there is a segment of the iranian public which will not be willing to give up everything. >> pooh iran's hassan rouhani just celebrated his first 100 days in office. had he not been elected, say ahmadinejad was still in office, would this deal have happened. >> no, no, it would not. ahmadinejad was interested in negotiations but the way he went about antagonizing the west, threatening israel, made it impossible for an american administration as well as our allies in the p5-plus-1 negotiating team to really engage him seriously. i think the new president understood that the path to serious negotiations starts by changing iran's image, changing its attitude by lessening fear that exists in the west towards
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an iranian government, and that gives a lot more breathing room to the united states and allies to actually seriously sit around the table and discuss a deal. >> how about anti-american sentiment in iran? has this deal done anything to reduce that? >> i think the iranians are generally very hopeful about what this still might mean for their daily lives and for their future. it is also a segment of the iranian public that is suspicious of what the united states is up to. does it really want only a containment of the nuclear program or is it after regime change or does it want to weaken iran? those sorts of sentiments are there. and therefore, that makes life very difficult for president rouhani going forward. that's exactly why he has to come out and sort of assert the fact that he's defending iran's rights and is not ready to give up everything. >> it sounds like there are suspicions on both sides. vali nasr, good to see you. random questions with the
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a 19-year-old armed robbery suspect in south florida who needs to get a new career, pal. you can see his gun fell to the floor. look at the get away. the bag breaks. he was so busy picking stuff up, he didn't notice the police arrive on the scene right there. he ran away, but yeah, he was captured. not a rocket scientist. time for the big three in "today's topic"s. what will get done totally random and best week, worst week. republican strategist and contribute ker susan del%io, national reporter suzy khimm and democratic strategist maurice reed. i'll begin with you, maurice. first to what will get done. and here's the president in an exclusive interview with barbara walters. >> every president in their second term is you know, mindful
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that you've only got a limited amount of time left and you want to make sure that you are squeezing every last ounce of energy that you have to try to deliver on the commitments you made to the american people. >> a little time but is it quality time, maurice? how difficult is it for the president to get anything done with the current climate in washington? >> extremely difficult. it's going to be very hard for him to go get anything that requires the right wing of the right wing of the right wing of the republican party to assist. he should focus on actions he can be doing from executive order that he can move with his administration, but clearly there's not much he's going to get done with those folks on the hill. >> susan, is the gop's goal to be obstructionist for the remainder of his term. >> i don't think it is nor should it be. the gop needs something to show for this. right now people's frustration with congress is a 9% approval rating. they're sick and tired of it. republicans have to show they are able to get something done. i agree with maurice.
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it's going to be tough but i think perhaps when it comes to immigration reform, they may get something done there. >> i'm going to state very clearly here, suze, how crucial is this midterm election going to be next year for the president in terms of getting things done like comprehensive immigration reform? >> it's still a long shot. basically at this point, democrats will pretty much be thanking their lucky stars they managed to old onto the senate and hold on to at least the seats they have in the house. i think basically the democrats and obama are going to be playing defense. they're going to be trying to defend obama care from further attacks by republicans and trying to ensure it's a success. i think this obama ends his presidency having defended the accomplishments he managed to pass, the legislative accomplishments of his first term, he'll be in a good place. >> totally random now. this question is for all three of you. maurice, do you know what a bitcoin is and do you have any? >> no, i certainly know what it is, the twins involved with
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facebook are involved. that means i'm staying away. >> okay. susan? >> i know what it is but i don't have any. >> suze? >> i do know what it is. i know a friend of a friend who has one. >> >> i know a few people who have them. >> all right. susan, did you see any movies over thanksgiving? if so, what? if not, what do you plan to see? >> i haven't yet. but i have one more day. so maybe i'll see one. >> suzy? >> i saw the second "hunger games" movie. which i recommend if you liked the first one. >> morris? >> it's my grandmother's birthday. i'm going to do whatever she wants to do today. >> you are so nice. what a good grandson. another random question to you, suzy. for your christmas holiday shopping, are you almost done? are you not done at all? have you not even started? >> not even started. there's no way that i'm going anywhere near a store while
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black friday madness is still happening. >> i'm so with you. morris? >> i listen to whatever my wife wants. she buys it and i take all the credit. >> susan? >> haven't thought about it. i don't even have a list yet. >> i'm with you. coming up next, who had the best and worst week? ugh! actually progresso's soup has pretty bold flavor. i love bold flavors! i'd love it if you'd open the chute! [ male announcer ] progresso. surprisingly bold flavor for a heart healthy soup. surprisingly bold flavor is a really big deal.u with aches, fever and chills- there's no such thing as a little flu. so why treat it like it's a little cold? there's something that works differently than over-the-counter remedies. prescription tamiflu attacks the flu virus at its source. so call your doctor right away. tamiflu treats the flu in people 2 weeks and older whose flu symptoms started within the last two days.
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let's get back to the big 3 for the best and worst of the week. susan, i'll begin with you. who's your best and your worst? >> best of the week was popcorn the turkey that got a pardon from president obama. and the worst week goes to a bunch of other turkeys down in d.c., congress, all the stories are coming out, how they're not getting anything done. it's going to be the least productive session ever. that's going to be a lot to take home to their districts over the holidays. >> i see you on the worst part, and actually the best. suzy, yours? >> the best definitely went to
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advancements in public health and science. there was a new study saying that vaccines have basically protected 100 million people from diseases that they would have gotten otherwise. over almost the last 100 years. this is a big message of the triumph of vaccination. a lot of folks are concerned about this and opting their kids out. i think this study is a big blow to them. in terms of worst week, i would say the obama administration did not do itself any favors by announcing just right before thanksgiving when everyone was leaving town that they would be delaying another big part of obama care, the small business's ability to buy health insurance over the exchanges. if they were going to do this anyway, it was going to look great. but doesn't instill much confidence that they tried to slip it in under the radar. >> the delay is for an entire year, good point. morris, best and worst? >> my best week goes to u.s. golf relations. a lot of talk about iran. i think this is going to bring us closer.
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i think saudi arabia is the winner. i think we're going to get closer to them. the worst week to me is the situation where the terrorist attack happened on the camp and the u.s. government needs to protect these folks. we need to do something about this. it's very, very serious. >> tell me about this last one. i'm not familiar with it. what is that? >> happened a few months ago. it was an attack in iraq. these are a protected group of people but the u.s. government signed along -- we transferred our power to protect this group. we haven't done a great job. and women are being held hostage. there are hunger strikes around the world. this is a really big thing. america needs to get involved. >> okay. glad you brought it to our attention. thank you, guys. thanks to all of you, susan, suzy and morris. that is a wrap of this edition of "weekends with alex witt." see you right back here tomorrow at noon eastern. up next, t.j. holmes is in for craig melvin. have yourselves a great day. see you tomorrow.
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how are things with the new guy?
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the good thing about when you're done is that usually you've got nowhere to go but up. >> exactly. >> optimistic about obama care. good afternoon. i'm t.j. holmes. craig melvin is off today. you are watching msnbc. countdown to the deadline. officials promised a fix to the obama care website by midnight tonight. so what's the status now? we're live at the white house. we're carrying out rescue operations at the scene. >> right now, search and rescue, a police chopper crashes into a scottish pub on a crowded friday night. eight people confirmed dead. the country in shock on their national holiday. saying "sorry." north korea releases video of an american war hero held captive for more than a month. but


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