tv News Nation MSNBC May 1, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT
good morning, everyone. i'm tamron hall and this is "news nation." this is what people in baltimore, maryland, woke up to this morning. a huge sink hole that took down an entire block long portion of a residential street, swallowing half a dozen cars, along with it a landslide, the result of a relentless rain that's been pounding much of the south and mid atlantic over the past 24 hours. in nearby laurel, mare lan, hundreds of people actually had to be evacuated last night when rising waters caused a dam to crack and that's just one state where we're reporting this. widespread flooding is also hitting pennsylvania and new jersey. in fact, in chester county, outside of philadelphia, heavy rains overnight left entire neighborhoods under water.
the same is true in parts of the south. pensacola, florida, is just beginning to assess the situation after two feet of rain left massive damage to homes and businesses and officials say the flooding is possibly related to a deadly explosion at a county prison last night. we'll have more on that story in a moment, but we start this morning with nbc's kristen welker who is in baltimore, maryland with this road collapse there. kristen, as i understand, some neighbors indicate they have been complaining about issues there for a while. >> reporter: that's right. a few neighbors complaining that they had serious concerns about the retaining wall behind me that gave way last night, causing about eight to ten cars that fell 75 feet on to train tracks. one resident telling me she complained multiple times to the company that is responsible for the tracks, also to city officials. she says she got no response so there was a lot of deep concern throughout this neighborhood. here's what one resident had to
say. take a listen. >> we've reported this a couple of times over the past several years and was told it was structurally sound. they actually patched it up and left it at that. so we've been expecting it. >> reporter: we have reached out to city officials still waiting to hear back from them. the good news here, tamron, is incredibly, there were no injuries so there is relief about that. fire officials working around the clock to try to secure this area. they are cleaning up debris. they have shut off gas lines in the area, evacuated residents. one elementary school is closed today while this cleanup continues. so far no timeline on how long it's going to take to remove all of the debris and to get this neighborhood back together. tamron? >> kristen, thank you. i would like to show you audience pictures we're just getting in from philadelphia, some of the flooding happening in that state as mentioned, kristen, live in maryland. we're looking at a couple of
different state where folks are waking up with serious weather trouble this morning. in fact, just in new york in the community howard beach some people said the damage they witnessed this morning or that they experienced this morning was worse than they received during hurricane sandy and quite a bad situation, and this is out of philadelphia. and now to developing news out of pensacola, florida, where a massive gas explosion at the escambia county jail left 150 inmates and corrections officers injured last night. within the last hour the sheriff of escambia county said not all of the inmates have been found and that led to an emotional exchange with the mother of one of those still missing. >> i need to know who is and is not accounted for, and -- >> i was here last night. >> yes, ma'am. >> i've seen more than two body bags come out of there. my son, i called and i have called and they've been rude and
disrespectful. my son has not been accounted for and they have not been accounted for and i seen more than two body bags come out of there. >> ma'am, i would direct your concern -- >> direct your concern! you're the the sheriff! you didn't even come up here when we were up here! >> officials say heavy flooding in the building may have played a role in the blast which was so powerful, one witness described it and compared it to an earthquake. nbc's gabe gutierrez is in pensacola with the very latest for us. >> tamron, there is some confusion among county officials. earlier we've been told that two inmates have been confirmed dead and that the rest were accounted for. the sheriff now says that information was notentirely complete and while there are two inmates are confirmed dead, there are three unaccounted for. that could mean there are three
fatalities or that they could have escaped and authorities are investigating that. the explosion happened at 11:00 last night and investigators are trying to figure out what caused it. there was heavy flooding in this area and the building was heavily damaged by that flooding yesterday, but again, investigators do not know exactly what triggered the explosion. about 150 people were injured and they were taken to local hospitals and many were treated with minor injuries. again, two people are confirmed dead. the latest information we have is that three other inmates are unaccounted for. some county officials believe -- the county officials are saying they're not sure whether those three that are unaccounted for are -- may have escaped or could be more fatalitiefatalities. more information as we get it. >> thank you. developing right now, the malaysian government just released audio of conversations between malaysia airlines, jet pilots and air traffic controllers and this is the first time we're hearing this. we can hear the final words from flight 370's flight deck that
we've talked so much about. take a listen. >> malaysian 370, good night. >> good night, malaysia. >> it's been described as eerily calm as you hear those words, good night which we've known for a while through transcripts and this is the first time the audio has been heard and released by malaysia's government issuing a preliminary report on the plane's disappearance which is nearly now two months ago. with the nba taking the first steps toward facing donald sterling to sell or forcing him to sell the l.a. clippers. we are learning high-profile names are lining up as potential buyers. the name that's gotten a lot of attention is that of oprah. in a statement a spokesperson for oprah said she is, quote, in discussions with larry geffen and larry ellison to make a bid for the los angeles clippers should the team become availa e available. geffen is an entertainment mogul
and larry ellison is with the software giant oracle and they're potential bidders for the team which was purchased by silver in 1981 was worth $12 million and now the estimated value $575 million. as for getting sterling to sell, a group of owners that make up the nba's executive committee are holding a conference call today to discuss their next step anies whether it's oprah or someone else who ends up owning the team as usa today points out, at the very least it could drag out longer than the nba wants, and joining me now is cindy borne, editor of the early lead, the sports blog. thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> why oprah has gotten the most attention a, she's oprah. >> she's oprah. >> would it have been an incredible turn of events and said the most disgusting things you can say would be owned by the first black woman and the
first black woman owning a team in the united states. >> there is a long way to go before this is wrested from donald sterling's control. however, a number of minority moguls have stepped up, you know, from rap stars to boxers to, you know, the fact that magic johnson's name has been thrown about this and it seems rather clear that there will be a high-profile minority presence among whoever owns it, boy, oh, boy, when you say oprah, all of the other names recede. >> as far as female ownership in the nba, sheila johnson is co-founder and former wife of bob johnson. she's part owner of the washington wnba team, and we know that was alongside her siblings that inherited the team from their father jerry bus. so here, oprah would enter into a whole other realm for women at a time when we know there needs to be diversity and ownership in all of sports and particularly
the nba. >> i'm not sure exactly what her role would be. obviously, this is still really, really in the infant stages. >> david given and larry ellison have both had great interest in sports. ellison, of course, with america's cup has been really involved. geffen tried to buy the clippers three or four years ago and failed. ellison has expressed interest in probably three or four nba teams so i think they would be far more hands on. i don't know, i'm just hoping oprah would do the pregame introductions. >> your starting lineup! >> david geffen did make a comment to espn regarding oprah. he said oprah is not interested in running the team. she thinks it would be a great thing for an important black america to own another franchise. she's got a lot going on and would not be interested in the day to day, but nate silver's blog pointed out the nba diversity and majority owny, 2% african-american player, 76% of them minorities.
so again, if the nba eventually is able to get this team away from donald sterling, what they are looking at and the message for overall sports would be historic, potentially. >> yes, it definitely would and especially like a market like l.a. where the lakers have so dominated it even across all sports, the lakers have been the dominant team in l.a. for years more so than the dodgers. this would be a real, real coup for the clippers and with the lakers in sort of descent right now and a bit of disarray, the clippers would be a really exotic team. >> lastly, regarding this conference between the owners and the next step for the nba here, by all accounts, donald sterling plans to fight to the bitter end here. do we know any more information, what gives the nba confidence that they could win this? >> the owner of the sacramento kings yesterday said that he
thought the vote would be 29-0 among the owners to force sterling to sell. donald sterling loves litigation and he will fight that tooth and nail. you know, will he be successful or will he finally cave in? you know, the value and the prominence of the franchise is only going to decline while this is going on. why not sell now and just throw up your hands and surrender and take the money because, let's face it with all of these people involved, the price is going to only skyrocket. >> to your point, he loves litigation and he loves a settlement, $2.7 million to the department of justice in the discrimination suit. he has in the past caved at least when it related to that incident. >> he's read the cards. >> he's read the cards and folded. thank you so much, cindy. greatly appreciate you joining us. great having you on, thank you. toronto mayor rob ford is going to rehab for, quote, substance abuse problems after a second video emerges allegedly
showing ford smoking crack along with an audiotape filled with swearing and lewd comments and this -- >> not enough has been done to rescue our daughters. >> anger is mounting in nigeria as mothers and sisters demand its government to step up its efforts to rescue nearly 200 girls that were kidnapped two weeks ago and we'll get the latest from the a.p. chief africa correspondent about reports of a possible deal under way with the captors. plus, a first of its kind law in tennessee would punish pregnant drug users with jail time. the state says it helps protect babies, but some doctors and women's organizations say the law could actually harm children. it's our news nation gut check. join our conversation on twitter and you can find me at tamron hall and my team at "news nation." if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, like me,
and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain. this is humira helping me lay the groundwork. this is humira helping to protect my joints from further damage. doctors have been prescribing humira for ten years. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira is proven to help relieve pain and stop further joint damage in many adults. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer, have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever,
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toronto mayor rob ford is taking a leave of absence to go to rehab after new video surfaces showing ford to be using crack cocaine. a self-professed drug dealer claims the video was secretly shot saturday morning and meanwhile "the toronto sun" obtained a recording. nbc news has not authenticated the video, but in that statement, ford said quote, i have a problem with alcohol and the choices i'vy made while under the influence. i've tried to deal with this for some time and i tried to deal with this in the past and i know i need professional help and i am now 100% committed to getting myself right. joining me now nbc political error, mark murray.
people have laughed him off because of the way he presents himself and he is now this "saturday night live" character, and you hear this man saying i've tried to deal with this by myself now realizing he cannot, but even in the midst he still wants to hold on to his seat and he plans to run for mayor again. he's not dropping out of the race. >> it's interesting that this admission didn't come out during the first round of revelations and, of course, you know, it all comes in the context of his reelection bid in toronto. tamron, american politicians, i'm putting on my american politics hat in terms of the canadian political expert. we've seen american politicians be able to survive scandal and you are only able to survive it if there is not one other shoe to drop and one other piece of information and think, and it would end up hurting anthony weiner when he said i'm not going to be sexting with anyone anymore and everything is behind me and then all of a sudden the
new revelation came out and that's why his race and his situation and him finishing where he did turned out and so if you are are going to have a scandal and you will continue to try to run, you better make sure that nothing else happens again and that's the situation that happened to rob ford. >> when you talk about been surviving something so similar it would be marion berry, a storied career and he kept coming back and people kept supporting him. we saw, mark, when the scandal first broke his poll numbers went up and we know people tend to like the story of redemption and that you've overcome something and the time and the clock and the calendar works for him here and sometimes defiance plays very well and people want a politician to stand up for what they believe in, and to lash out at the press and lash out at opponents and that only works so far and all of the team who worked so far, i'm willing to cut him this one break here because i like him and this new revelation that comes out i
think that deflates a lot of that. of course, it seems he still wants to run for reelection, and this makes it very, very, very difficult for him. >> all right, mark. thank you very much. greatly appreciate it. the pentagon is reviewing new rules about women's hairstyles that many call racially bias against african-american women, and the review comes after people signed a petition demanding a change. >> the national guard member who brought this to the attention of secretary hagel. jamis winston is suspended from florida state baseball after police say he shoplifted from a grocery store. what's going on in this young man's life? and here's a look at what's happening today. thursday, may 1st, former congresswoman gabrielle giffords will speak in washington to congressional efforts to curb gun violence and domestic violence and president obama will honor the national teacher of the year. this year's winner is baltimore
teacher, mccomb. people are celebrating may day, demonstrations and protests happening in places like rush a the middle east, new york and chicago. here at fidelity, we give you the most free research reports, customizable charts, powerful screening tools, and guaranteed one-second trades. and at the center of it all is a surprisingly low price -- just $7.95. in fact, fidelity gives you lower trade commissions than schwab, td ameritrade, and e-trade. i'm monica santiago of fidelity investments, and low fees and commissions are another reason serious investors are choosing fidelity. call or click to open your fidelity account today.
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we have an update today on a story that drew outcries from many female soldiers. it involved new army hair restrictions in place since march that some say are racially bias against african-american women. more than 7,000 people signed an online white house petition asking for a review of the policy which bans all dreadlocks, twists and corn rows that are bigger than a quarter of an inch. 16 women in the congressional black caucus launched an official complaint with the pentagon. in response, chuck hagel announced this week that he has ordered a review of its hair approximately cease not just for the army, but for the whole military. back with us is jasmine jacob, a former georgia army national
guard specialist who started the petition. so good to see you again. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> how do you feel that secretary hagel has responded and acknowledges there needs to be a review here? >> i'm really excited. i think that the secretary's message is going to get some great dialogue and education going on and hopefully we can come to a common ground. >> for people who don't understand the issue here or why you felt it was necessary to start this petition, what's at the heart of what you found racially biased here? >> well, for me, the biggest problem was that at the end of the day once the new regulations came out i didn't have any ongs as far as natural hair care and i wasn't alone. the way my hair are currently worn are now in two-strand twists that are unauthorized regulations. they were damaging to the hair and we were able to chemically process our hair or wear wigs or weaves or corn rows which can all damage ethnic hair and it was more so about the fact that my hair in its natural state was
no longer authorized which was at the heart of the issue. >> it's just a lack of understanding that for the most part this was not an attempt to alienate african-american women soldiers. it sounds -- and people still, we talk about this all of the time, someone would come up to you and say can i touch your hair, and trust me, i get it, too, with our hair and its texture. secretary hagel wrote in a letter with congresswoman marcia fudge with the cdc, said in part, they will review the definitions of authorized and prohibited hairstyles in each of its respected policies and revised any offensive language. each service will review the hairstyle policy as they pertain to african-american women to ensure standards are respectful of our diverse force. when people say to you, listen, it's just hair, what's the big deal? what is your response to them? >> for me, i understand that yes, it's just hair, but at the
end of the day if someone told you told you to cut your hair up or cover your hair up because of the way your natural hair is is unacce unacceptable. for you would want some education to take place. yes it's my hair and it's not like i'm trying to wear something faddish or a 20-inch afro or free form dread locks and i want to be professional about it. >> it was also potentially offensive because it used white hair as the baseline and our hair is different, and that is not a good or bad thing. it is a fact. >> correct. especially when they say that you can wear wigs, but they have to mimic your natural hair appearance. for me, i'm confused that because my natural hair appearance which isn't how my natural hair is. >> it's as a result of you speaking up and educating him.
>> thank you so much. up next, we are live in nigeria where families are demanding the government help bring back nearly 200 girls kidnapped from school. they've been missing now for more than two weeks and we have the latest report on a possible deal with the captors and this -- we appreciate chairman ryan coming to our meeting. didn't get a whole lot accomplished. >> i think it still has a lot to learn. >> we'll have more reaction to republican congressman paul ryan's meeting with the congressional black caucus. did he clear the air over his controversial comments about inner city men? we'll talk live with sheila jackson-lee who was at that meeting. maybe traveling for work sounds glamorous, but have you been on an airplane lately? oh. [ man ] man, this thing's got a lot of onions. it's good, though. i really wouldn't survive it without this scarf. it's like a little bit of home i can stuff in my bag. mmm. and i have tide plus febreze, which now gets it fresher for longer,
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more than two weeks ago allegedly by islamic extremists. hundreds of parents and other relatives and supporters staged an emotional march to demand that the government do more to rescue those girls. ♪ bring back with our girls ♪ bring back our girls >> we are so frustrated at the fact that 234 children could get missing and there is actually no coherent explanation as to exactly the such and rescue operation that is going on on saving them. >> joining me now by phone in nigeria's capital the chief africa press press for the associated press, michelle fall who has been reporting on this story since the girls were abducted, april 15th. michelle, are you there? i think we've run into a
technical difficulty. i'll try one more time. michelle, are you able to hear us? >> yes, i can hear you. >> thank you. >> tell me a little bit about this developing news that there may be a deal in the works with the captors? what do you know about that? >> well there was an intermediary, and they send a message saying that they are ready to release some of these girls for an unspecified ransom. they also said that two of the girls have died from snake bites. >> so at this point we believe that they are willing -- boku haram which means western education is simple, this is the terrorist organization, islamist organization, terrorist organization that is believed to have the girls that they are willing to release them for a ransom. is the government willing to negotiate with this group? >> that's not what is clear.
the government has, in the past tried to negotiate with bock you haram for a cease-fire and the president said this week that he declared all-out war and boku haram must be punished for the person i spoke with today was saying this is not the way to help release these girls while we're trying to negotiate and mediate. you have to have a more diplomatic stance. >> and michelle, we are watching video of the march that was held yesterday where countless women and men joined forces here in the states and nationally, the social media response to this has been tremendous. do these parents know now that they are not alone? i know there has been great frustration and they believe no one cared and no one is listening and are they aware
that this story is now getting international attention? >> not in chibok. i spoke with a mother there today. she had me in tears. she was crying about her 16-year-old daughter, and she said, you know, our government doesn't care about them. our military doesn't seem to care about them. all i can do is pray to god to help my daughter and to keep her safe. >> do you get the sense at all that if the government is not adequately -- first of all, let me ask, is that the general opinion that the government is not reacting in an urgent fashion despite what the president has said about all-out war against boko haram? >> there is definitely that impression and the president barely mentioned these missing girls which is shocking, i think. you know, going around the u.n. ambassador of the former british
prime minister has probably mentioned these kidnapped girls more than nigeria's president. he didn't even mention them in his eastern message. >> at this point, do you believe now, though, with some of this international attention, will it have any influence in forcing the president, the government to do more and i guess, also, michelle, what are their options at this point for fear that if they pushed too hard the members of boko haram will kill the girls. >> exactly, and there is that fear and the military is not saying it, but, you know, that is obviously why, for example, they have stopped bombing in the forest, bombing that has been going nearly daily since the middle of january. this has to be stopped because that's where they initially believed the girls were being held and some of them may still be held there so they've stopped the bombing. it's unclear what the military
is doing. the parents certainly feel that they've been abandoned. they're not hearing from authorities other than their local state governor who actual willy went out there to visit with them, but that they're, you know, that they're -- that these girls and their babies are just out there. it's more than two weeks now since that happened. the military said they were in hot pursuit. >> right. >> then they said that they'd released, they had rescued all be but eight of the girls and this whole issue has now become so politicized that it's going to be very difficult for negotiators. the head of the ruling party's women's group yesterday came out saying she doesn't even believe that any of these girls have been kidnapped. >> michelle, a lot to digest in this new information, but the bottom line here is the most important thing is getting those
girls safely and it is clear, as you pointed out this has become so politicized, the government's response and these families rightfully, it seems, being furious and emotional and that they don't believe their daughters and their families are being treated properly here. michelle, thank you for your excellent reporting. we'll speak with you hopefully again tomorrow and give our audience the latest information. thank you, michelle. >> you're welcome, tamron. coming up on "news nation," current heisman trophy winner jameis winston's latest run-in with the law has a lot of people asking what's going on in his life. >> he did, in fact, acknowledge he had left publix without paying for the items. >> winston said he made a mistake after admitting that he stole crab legs and craw fish. what this latest incident means for his career and a 67-year-old man is training for this weekend's bike tour through new york city. 69 is not old at all, right?
well, he's blind and his disability is not keeping him from joining 30,000 other bikers for the 40-mile trek. he will join us and give us inspiration today. we'll be right back. that's why i got a new windows 2 in 1. it has exactly what i need for half of what i thought i'd pay. and i don't need to be online for it to work. it runs office, so i can do schedules and budgets and even menu changes. but it's fun, too -- with touch, and tons of great apps for stuff like music, 'cause a good playlist is good for business. i need the boss's signature for this. i'm the boss. ♪ honestly ♪ i wanna see you be brave ♪ honestly if yand you're talking toevere rheuyour rheumatologistike me, about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain. this is humira helping me lay the groundwork. this is humira helping to protect my joints
from further damage. doctors have been prescribing humira for ten years. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira is proven to help relieve pain and stop further joint damage in many adults. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer, have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. take the next step. talk to your doctor. this is humira at work.
...and a choice take 6 tylenol in a day which is 2 aleve for... ...all day relief. hmm. [bell ring] "roll sound!" "action!" heisman's trophy winning quarterback jameis winston has now been suspended from the school's baseball team where he's also a superstar and follows his latest run-in with the law and he admitted to taking $32 worth of crab legs and craw fish from a local supermarket on tuesday. sheriff's deputies questioned him at his apartment after the store complained. >> in a post-miranda interview he did, in fact, acknowledge that he left publix without paying for the items. he indicated to the deputies he had forgotten and when he got home he realized that he had not paid, but he, in pack, had made no effort to contact publix or
returned to pay prior to the deputies' arrival. >> he was issued a civil citation and by performing 20 hours of community service can avoid having a criminal record and this follows last december's high-profile decision by the florida state's attorneys office not to prosecute winston on charges of sexually assaulting a woman a year earlier. those were the allegations. joining me now live nbc news network rob sime simulcaar. >> we know what is over his head as well as all of these young athletes because of the storyline that has happened too many times where this escalates into something bad. >> yeah, tamron. if you take this incident in isolation it's really not very serious. it's arguably even a little bit funny, right? there's been a lot on twitter making fun of this whole thing
with crab legs and what not. when you take it in a larger context given the serious charges, allegations and no charges being followed against jameis winston and the allegations of sexual assault and you look at him and say is this someone who understands his role as a public figure, understands his responsibilities to his teammates, to his university, to the nfl team he'll probably end up playing for soon enough and that's going to give a lot of people pause and nfl teams pause when thinking about him as the draft approaches. >> it may or may not be fair, but it's life and when you know that these stories, again, and i can rattle off a laundry list of names and we all know a few right off the top of our heads where you've seen this escalate and the next thing you know they're either arrested or they got into a bar brawl, drunk driving, domestic violence and this goes bad for them. what kind of advice, who is he surrounded by or is it just the
university that's the major influence in his life? >> well, at this point he's still a student athlete and he's not surrounded by the cadre of agents a s ans and advisers and like that that a pro athlete would have. this shows the double-edged sword of being a star athlete in this society. you get a free pass on a lot of things especially when you're young and coming up because everyone knows you have this potential, but as the spotlight gets brighter and as the attention on you is greater and greater, the scrutiny is greater and greater and you have to conduct yourself above boards and above standards all of the time and yes, it's quite possible he forgot to pay and this becomes a national story when you may be the number one draft pick and that's what someone needs to sit down and tell him. >> absolutely. is there any indication the university is prepared to do that because you know a lot of these universities give the stars a pass and even when you read his statement about it, i'll be honest, i was, like, who
helped him write it and that it was rather mature and not that he isn't and we're kidding ourselves that someone helped him write that. >> tamron, listen. >> his status at the university now he's done playing football there. he's playing baseball, but you know, that's not nearly as big a deal as college football, right? we don't really know who's talking to him at fsu and what kind of advice he's getting. i think we can only hope that he's going to get better advice about his decisions, personal and professional starting as soon as he becomes a very highly paid nfl player. let's hope he surrounds himself with the right people. >> much is given and much is expected. thank you very much, greatly appreciated. >> a controversial prison sentence for a rapist tops our stories around the "news nation," the montana supreme court is taking a stand against a one-month prison sentence for a high school teacher who raped 14-year-old girl who later took her own life. it says the lower court sentence was too lenient.
the lower court district judge said the victim was, probably as much in control of the situation as the high school teacher who raped her. the supreme court has now decided to assign the case to a different judge for re-sentencing this after tremendous outrage, by the way, directed at the judge and many people wanted him to lose his judgeship. and the company csx plans to have a massive oil train accident in virginia cleaned up by the end of it today after one of its trains derailed and exploded in virginia. it is estimated each car was carrying 20,000 of crude oil that spilled into the james river. the accident forced 300 people to leave the area and it's the second oil train accident for csx. up next, a new law innen 10 would punish pregnant drug users with jail time. the state says it helps protect babies and opponents say it does the opposite. it's the news nation gut check.
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join the news nation on twitter and find us on our page @newsnation and you're about to see 67-year-old chris wilkinson in action. here he is in wilkin son in action in training on his bike in the shadow of the brooklyn bridge in new york. right now chris is getting ready to ride in sunday's annual 40-mile bike tour which winds through new york's five boroughs and taking part in more than 32,000 other cyclists and what makes chris absolutely unique and amazing is that he is blind. chris joins me now in the studio to talk about his upcoming adventure. all smiles, i ride my bike pretty regularly and tired after three blocks. what's your inspiration? >> my inspiration is very simple. get on your bike you know you have to pedal, you go up a hill and go down a hill, go left, you
go right, you go straight. you just do it. >> but you're doing that blind. >> well, it keeps you healthy and it's something that anyone can do like new york is there for everyone, the 37th anniversary and i have rode six bike tours before and this is my seventh and i'm going to enjoy it. >> you ride on a tandem bike with your training partner, who is 65 years old. here you are both in your 60s and don't look a day over 21 by the way. how do you train? how often do you train? >> we train -- jack and i were train as often as we can. and since we have been riding together for so long, we know exactly what to do. >> i know you're also doing this to defy any labels of including
being disabled, you want people to look at your journey and accomplishments and see a disabled man doing that. >> that's true. because i think for someone like me to get 30,000, 40,000 people biking with single bike tandem bikes and triple bike, it's a great inspiration to anyone because it can be done. >> absolutely. i actually have the official program guide, the fire borough bike tour, may 4th, 2014. i may have to get you to autograph it -- no, i'm going to keep it. sell it on ebay, i'm just kidding. you were born in trinidad and lived in the u.s. virgin island before coming to the mainland in '79. when someone said to you the first ride that you can do this, was there ever any doubt in your mind? >> there was no doubt because i
like sports and that is a four-month sport and healthy and easy to do. >> lastly for people who believe they cannot do it, what do you say to them? >> i will say to anyone out there, once you get a bike, and you get a helmet, get in touch with bike new york and you can just get on your bike and just take your time. you will start off very slow, bought you're going to get to the finish line. fantastic. >> getting to the finish line in life is always pleasant and wonderful. >> oh, yeah. thank you so much. i'll be screaming for you and rooting for you and keeping an eye out. good luck to all participating in the bike tour. bravo, chris, you're amazing. >> thank you. >> time for the "news nation" gut check, a strict move in tennessee is igniting controversy over drug addiction and controversy. it says women can be arrested
and jailed for ugsing drugs while pregnant. the law would benefit women and protect babies but opponents say it could have a reverse effect, and may push pregnant women from getting treatment for drug addiction and prenatal care. directors of aclu are extremely disappointed by the governor's decision. what does your gut tell you? do you agree with the law that says pregnant women can be arrested and jailed for using illegal drugs? go to newsnation.msnbc.com. take a look at yesterday's gut check, do you agree with those who say britain's new rule will help unemployed find work? it's one of the stories we were working on yesterday. 45% said yes. we're rooting for the bike tour folks including my friend chris. can't end on a sad story. i'm tamron hall and my co-host chris, we'll be back with you tomorrow. before i go, i should say, i want to thank safe horizon for
honoring me with the voice of empowerment, amazing work in helping victims of crimes including domestic violence. they are many times the lifeline for victims who have no place to go. i was honored to be alongside jeff rossky and steve parrish and also $1.4 million were raised last night. it was a great honor. thank you to everyone who was there for the support. up next "andrea mitchell reports." this is the first power plant in the country
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right now, the deluge, super soaker sweeping from the south to the northeast. april shower for all ages with record downpours trapping residents and drivers alike and possibly causing a suspected gas explosion at the florida jail. from pensacola to baltimore, collapsing roads imploding sending cars and sidewalks tumbling into sinkholes. >> we heard a very large boom. and about two seconds later, the house swayed kind of like this. >> when i think of a sinkhole, i think of florida, not baltimore. bailout, my interview with the international monetary fund's christine lagarde. and $17 billion loan package. can will powers loosen russia's type grip around ukraine. >> hopefully other countries as well that will rally to help and
support the ukrainian authorities restore the economic situation. retrial, republican lawmakers reopen the benghazi files after a conservative watch dog group obtains a memo. why wasn't that memo included in the previous white house document dump? >> the military, the cia, the cia station chief, the state department, all of them, the facts, mr. chairman, the facts do not point to a video. that only comes from the white house. what was going on in the room, general? our people are under attack. there are people dying. what is the military doing? >> last words. 55 days after malaysia airlines flight 370 disappeared families are hearing for first time what could be the final transmissions from the