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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  May 20, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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good morning, everyone i'm tamron hall. and this is "news nation." we begin with developing news out of california. this is a look at part of the santa barbara coast, now coated in up to 21,000 gallons of oil that spilled from a ruptured pipe. emergency crews are racing to contain the oil and to stop it from moving further south and threatening more wildlife. so far the black tar has washed up along a four-mile stretch of the most pristine beaches in this country. the spill was first reported yesterday afternoon and leaked about 2,000 barrels a minute until coast guard crews were able to stop it hours later. it is the same stretch of coastline where a major spill occurred decades ago. nbc's halle jackson is live on the scene in santa barbara with the latest on the emergency cleanup effort. halle, what's the latest? >> reporter: good morning, you can still smell the oil here and see it on the beach, the rocks
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covered in it tar balls on the sand. they asked us not to step down on to this part of the beach because clean-up crews are just minutes away from starting this morning. if you look down the coast you can see them they are gathering at the command post here you see a couple of folks in blue suits along the shoreline here. this cleanup will take a while, the oil slick a moving target and many in the community say it's devastating. this morning dozens of clean-up crews are racing to contain an estimated 21,000-gallon oil spill. >> that's a lot of oil. >> reporter: thick sludge now spreading along the four-mile stretch of the coast near santa barbara, drenching wildlife and forcing campers out of a nearby state park just before the busy memorial day weekend. >> we're driving out here and smelled something like burning rubber. >> it's really disappointing to see this happen here. >> reporter: officials say someone reported that foul smell around noon tuesday. it's how they discovered the
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crude oil flowing from a broken pipeline and on to the beach. the owner of the pipeline shut down the flow of oil and deeply regrets the spill. they are now making every effort to limit its environmental impact. >> any oil spill is a big deal especially in santa barbara, after the 1969 oil spill people really began to take notice of these things. >> reporter: more than 40 years ago in this same area more than 3 million gallons leaked into the pacific in one of the worst oil spills in u.s. history. today there's a concern this slick could spread south, a moving target with cleanup only just beginning. >> it's not an easy process. i want to manage your expectations, this could take some time. >> reporter: and we do expect to get an update on that timeline tamron. at some point later this morning we expect to hear more from the coast guard, california fish and wildlife folks out here as to how long this could take. back to you. >> all right, thank you. joining me now by phone is
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alexis, a spokeswoman for the california department of fish and wildlife. thank you so much for joining me alexa. >> thank you. >> first, what we just heard from our reporter and officials on the scene that this could take a very long time that essentially you're looking at a moving target. what can you tell us regarding how it's already affected the fish and wildlife there? >> we have wildlife reconnaissance teams out looking for wildlife now and reporting those to recovery and rehabilitation teams that go out and collect the wildlife and bring them in for care. we also have 75 individuals who are in the field, they are either collecting oil or deploying strategies. we have in california strategies predesigned to protect sensitive areas and we've identified snowy clover and turn habitat, birds, concerning california and they are working to protect that
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habitat from any type of oil. >> we have a statement from the environmental defense center as we mentioned in the report this is the same coastline that saw that massive oil spill in 1969 that oil spill is credited for giving rise to the american environmental movement and in the statement that we have from the environmental defense center unfortunately with accidents and oil development it is not a question of if but when, and to see this level of spill and such a sensitive and treasured environment is devastating to watch. with that said do you believe that more forces will need to be called in as i pointed out in the report as well because you are dealing with a moving target at this point? >> there's a command post established at the location, they'll be assessing response needs and adding more crew more vessels, recovery teams, whatever they need to get hands on this spill and make sure that
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it's cleaned up as quickly and efficiently as possible. >> in that statement i read from the environmental defense center, they point out the waters are known as the galapagos of north america with numerous species of endangered whales migrating through marine protected areas. what can you tell us about the sensitivity as it relates to those animals, as well? >> those animals and any of the wildlife in the area will be a high priority to prevent their contamination with oil. the teams will be looking at a number of different approaches to corral the oil and bring it out of the water. we right now have three 65-foot collection vessels on scene gathering oil, in addition to six boon boats that are corralling oil for collection and removal. >> before i let you go looking at this video and you've seen it perhaps up close, what worries you most at this hour? >> for california protecting
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our natural resources, which is the primary objective of the department of fish and wildlife is critical, but also protecting the public. as noted, this is a very important natural resource for santa barbara and for california and we have a good focus on making sure that we're taking care of the environment, removing the oil, and protecting californians, as well. >> thank you so much. we greatly appreciate you joining us with the california of fish and wildlife and we'll keep our audience up to date if we get new developments within the hour. more developing news out of california los angeles has now become the largest u.s. city to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour up from the current $9 an hour. the city council voted overwhelmingly for the hike which will take effect in increments over the next five years. businesses with 25 or fewer employees will have an extra year to comply. a bipartisan coalition of los angeles politicians said they
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had to do something to help the working poor in a city that has some of the highest housing costs in the nation. on "morning joe" today eric garcetti answer kritdices who claim it will cost jobs. >> we studied this closely, we brought in the best economists reviewed three studies and they showed we'd net gain jobs and certainly allow people working full time to have enough money to live off of. >> joining me live right now, dan cantor national director of the working families paerlt, found party, which was started here in new york. dan, thank you so much for your time. let me get the follow-up on what mayor garcetti said. this morning there was questions about walmart and its earnings and the first line after this was, is it because walmart has raised its minimum wage. we often hear this back and forth. >> sure businesses first and
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always respond if we raise wages, it will be a terrible outcome. they said it about unemployment they said it about child labor, about social security. it's not true. what's actually true is what's good for american workers is good for the whole society. people have more money in their pocket, they spend more money, which creates a virtuous cycle in which there's more employment for everyone. we need to stop taking seriously the trickle down idea which is like let's make rich people happy and that will make everyone else prosper and instead get money into the pockets of working class and middle class people. >> for the war you and others have waged on this notion you cannot pay men and women the wage they deserve to be able to move beyond being the quote, unquote, working poor what does it mean to have a city the size of los angeles raise its minimum wage? >> this is an enormous step in a long running fight led by the fast food workers, home care workers, child care workers,
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walmart workers, starbucks workers who are saying you can't survive on $7.25, that's the federal minimum. $15 an hour is $30,000 a year. that's still a modest income where housing costs are high. we think it's long past time. the core problem in america today is this enormous inequality. everybody's aware of it. there is a 1%, there's a 1% of the 1% and unless we're going to share the blessings and burdens fairly, we're headed down a terrible track. >> as with new york what was brought up here is the high cost of housing in los angeles. we went on to the real estate website zillow and they report the median sales price of a home in los angeles is $562,000. the median rent $2,300 a month. >> right, right. you know that's why this notion of a recent minimum wage that's really more of a living wage is taking hold everywhere. in los angeles, here in new
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york, as well, in connecticut, in washington, d.c. all across the country people are saying workers themselves are saying we can't survive on this kind of wage. so it depends what kind of country we want to have right? when the lobbyists for the restaurant association who are making $1,500 a day are saying no no you shouldn't make more than $8 or $9 an hour that's a moral disgrace and economic calamity for the country. we need people to have higher wages. >> before i let you go the federal level, president obama has called for congress to raise the minimum wage. we've seen no movement there. what is your reaction to what's happening, though in washington, d.c.? >> so, proposals are in for going to $12, obviously, the republicans oppose it. they'll pay a huge price for this in 2016 this will be the core issues of the elections, we're quite sure of it. >> dan, thank you so much for your time. pleasure speaking with you. developing now, u.s. intelligence officials have just released a massive trove of documents recovered during the
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raid on osama bin laden's compound in 2011. it includes this video of some of the notebooks inside the compound. this is bin laden's handwriting. the documents reveal bin laden's promises to never stop going after the united states until it fell. he also wrote that al qaeda should stay out of muslim in-fighting and focus solely on attacking and killing americans. also released in this video labeled as "bin laden's draft speech on the evils of big money," the release includes nonclassified and declassified documents. and developing now, government officials and automakers are trying to come up with a plan for carrying out the biggest consumer recall in this country's history. it involves nearly 34 million vehicles with defective airbags used by 11 different automakers. the problem, the chemical that inflates those airbags can explode with so much force,
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blowing apart a metal inflater and sending shrapnel flying. that problem is being blamed for at least five deaths. the recall comes after the japanese company that makes the airbags finally admitted there's a problem. more now from nbc's tom costello in washington. >> hi tamron good day. we're talking about model years 2000 to 2011 and the problem, of course is the airbag in very humid, moist conditions has been known to explode, sending shrapnel into the driver's face and neck and chest. up until now takata corporation has been fined every single day for failing to comply and cooperate with federal investigators, and now takata admits it has a problem. >> car dealers gearing up for the biggest recall in u.s. history, bigger even than the recall of 31 million tylenol bottles. affecting 1 in 4 cars on the
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road nearly 34 million vehicles nationwide, involving 11 auto automakers automakers. >> a safety responsibility they must live up to. there are no excuses. >> reporter: government investigators say exploding airbags are thought to have killed at least five people including this man who died in an accident in orlando. the family attorney showed us her car. >> what happened here you can see the shrapnel on the floor here from where the steering column was blown apart backward but what went forward towards her are metal fragments from the inflater itself. >> came into her face and neck? >> literally from the bag to her neck. >> reporter: 100 people have been injured. until now the takata corporation insisted their airbags were not involved. refusing to answer questions from abc news or the japanese media. in a statement saying "we're
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continuing to work closely with regulators and automaker customers," but original drivers may have long ago sold their cars. >> a lot of vehicles are in the hands of second owners third owners, that's a big problem, too, just in communicating to them. >> reporter: making matters worse, still aren't enough replacement parts. unfortunately, this problem gets worse because if you've already had your airbag replace, there's a decent chance it was replaced by defective parts, so you may have to in fact get it replaced yet again. how do you know if your car is on the recall list? go and get your vehicle identification number, your vin, it's right here on the windshield. it's also right here on the doorjamb, then go to, type in the vin, and any recall pertaining to your car will pop up including if you are on the list the airbag recall. tamron, back to you. >> tom, thank you. developing now, the air force just launched its
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secretive space plane from cape canaveral moments ago. the unmanned test vehicle called the x-37b is reusable and can land like an airplane. details about the plane are classified so it is unclear what it will be doing in orbit or how long it will be in flight. and now to developing news in the war on terror. police in italy have arrested a 22-year-old man from morocco. he is suspected of taking part in the bloody attack in march on a museum in tunisia. 21 tourists and a tunisian policeman were killed in that attack. joining us live from rome now with the latest what else do we know about the suspect? >> reporter: well, tamron we know his name he was issued an international arrest warrant from the tunisian authorities following the museum attack. now the italian police located him last night in an apartment
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in the outskirts of milan. he was staying in an apartment that is rented by his mother and his two brothers who live and work here regularly in italy. now the italian police say they are not related to the attacks, but that the arrest of the man was performed and carried out under the instructions and international arrest warrant issued by the tunisian authorities. the italian police did identify abdel back in february, a month before the attack took place, he disembarked in sicily among 96 migrants who crossed illegally, that traveled from north africa to italy, as hundreds of thousands do every year then they lost trace of him and they believe, according to the tunisian authorities, he went back to tunisia, carried out the attack and returned again to italy. but the family, the mother and the brothers say that he's innocent never left again after february, didn't go back to
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tunisia, and neither was the police reported his passport had been stolen. now the italian police have to figure out whether it was him to have planned and carried out an attack or one of the people that did or if his identity was stolen. tamron? >> all right live for us in rome. thank you very much, claudio. developing now in connecticut, president obama will give the commencement address at the u.s. coast guard academy. graduation is taking place right now. you see the commencement is starting. the president will talk about climate change and the risk to national security. when the president speaks again, the commencement address, we will take you there live. you see the president sitting there near the podium. also ahead, this weekend's annual memorial day biker rally in texas has been called off following the deadly biker brawl. this as police in waco expect to finish their investigation at that crime scene. a live report is next. and a federal judge orders the state department to release
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hillary clinton's e-mails sooner than january, possibly as soon as tomorrow. this as hillary clinton takes questions from reporters for the first time in four weeks. >> i want those e-mails out. nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than i do. >> we'll hear more of what clinton had to say. it is coming up in today's first read. and david letterman's last laugh. bill murray joins the late night legend as his final guest. letterman is officially airing as the last time. that is unless bill murray surprises david letterman as he did lawrence o'donnell. we'll explain after the break. ♪ building aircraft,
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now to the latest on that deadly biker shootout in texas. an annual biker rally held earlier memorial day outside of ft. worth has now been cancelled out of security concerns. police say they asked the cossacks, one of the gangs involved in the bloody brawl to cancel because of the shootout in the waco parking lot that left nine people dead. also three of the more than 170 arrested in the incident are back in custody. they were released monday after being booked on lesser charges. police insist it's not a mistake. nbc's charles hadlock joins me now from waco with the latest. charles, as i understand it the shopping mall near the restaurant which was the scene of all of this has reopened. >> reporter: that's right. after three days of being closed, the shopping center area which is very popular in the southern part of waco has reopened. a lot of major stores were
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closed three days a neighboring restaurant next door is now reopen and they are thankful for that. the cleanup here ended last night, they removed 135 motorcycles and 85 cars that belonged to some of the bikers. inside those cars and trucks tamron they found assault rifles, they found long rifles they found all kinds of weapons. they even thought they found a bomb at one point. they called in the waco bomb squad to look at it but it turned out to be okay. they cleared out all of that moved it to a compound north of waco where it's secure right now. >> charles, thank you very much for the latest from there, appreciate it. coming up clues in the murder mystery of a washington, d.c. family. what the unidentified attackers allegedly did before police say they took the family hostage. plus amazon names a woman to one of the most coveted positions at that company for the first time ever. it is just one of the things we just thought you should know.
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we are back with an update on that disturbing murder history in washington, d.c. investigators have gone back to the area where a family's porsche was found burning as they try to find more clues in the killings of a mother father, 10-year-old son, and their housekeeper last week. they are also looking into whether more than one person was involved. nbc's peter alexander has the latest. >> reporter: tamron, good morning to you. this community wants answers and so far there are very few. nothing about a possible motive or who they believe may be responsible for these crimes but who may have wanted to target the savopoulos family? today we're learning new information about savvas savopoulos a successful business executive. this morning crime scene investigators are zeroing in on a series of surveillance cameras surrounding the multimillion
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dollar savopoulos family home that authorities believe may have been disabled by the attackers who police say were likely familiar with the family's routine. >> right now we have nothing to suggest this was just a random attack. >> reporter: at the end of a terrifying overnight ordeal sources say the savopouloss and their long-time housekeeper were brutally beaten and stabbed. their 10-year-old son burned so badly it's unclear whether he was assaulted. the gruesome murder mystery is focusing attention on savvas savopoulos, a high powered businessman, he was president and ceo of american iron works that helped build the verizon center in washington. he also had international business endeavors. according to facebook, savopoulos joined an investment firm in puerto rico. he also owned an island condo in st. croix. the family's porsche was found 15 miles away from the home in maryland, but just four miles from the iron works headquarters. savopoulos' coworkers remain stunned. >> he was a great man, we love him a lot. >> reporter: their neighbors in one of washington, d.c.'s most
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upscale communities say the family was always friendly. >> kids came trick or treating the wife particularly was very active in the neighborhood. >> reporter: online an outpouring of support for the family's two teenaged daughters believed to be away at boarding school at the time of attack. 16-year-old katarina posting this family portrait on facebook, as well as an old picture with her mom. your mom's love will stay with you for all time its power will never diminish. from another, know your parents and brother are looking down on you and abigail, no matter what they love you to the moon and back. police have set up a $25,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest in this case and they haven't slowed the pace of their collecting evidence from this crime scene, as police chief said it's going to take some time. back to you, tamron. >> all right, so sad. peter, thank you. coming up republican governor bobby jindal resurrects louisiana's controversial religious freedom bill just one day after launching a presidential exploratory
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committee. it is part of this morning's first read on politics. plus how former nfl star chad johnson, aka chad ochocinco ended up hanging out with jeb bush. it is one of the stories we thought you should know. ♪ building aircraft, the likes of which the world has never
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developing now, president obama is about to deliver the keynote address at the u.s. coast guard academy. ceremony is happening right now in connecticut. 218 u.s. cadets and six international cadets make up this year's class of 2015. the president will also speak about the impacts of climate change on national security. when he begins his remarks, we'll take you to connecticut live. now our first read on politics this morning, hillary clinton took questions from the media for the first time in four weeks while campaigning in iowa. john boehner is now blaming the white house for congress' failure to authorize military
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force against isis. and bobby jindal will issue a religious freedom executive order, which critics say will allow businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples. joining me now, mark murray. mark, good morning, good to see you. >> good morning, tamron. >> let's start off with hillary clinton taking questions yesterday. what's been the response? >> well it wasn't all that hard was it? she went four weeks without taking questions from the press. all in an effort they've been wanting to hold very small events speaking with voters sometimes we in the media get in the way of that. but she was able to answer questions we've had over the past two or three weeks, her views on the iraq war, particularly after it blew up on the republican side and she ended up saying again it was a mistake, her vote to authorize it back in 2002 maybe the biggest news she ended up making was she wants her e-mails from her time at the state department to be released as soon as possible. i think there's a political motivation behind there, tamron because the quicker it goes out
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instead of that occurring in january, she would rather have that out now, have it litigated and everyone move on to other things. i think that's why she wants to be released as soon as possible. >> let's play that exchange when she did answer questions about the state department and the e-mails. let's play that. >> i said repeatedly i want those e-mails out. nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than i do. i respect the state department. they have their process they do for everybody, not just for me but anything that they might do to expedite that process, i heartily support. >> looks like the judge has expedited this. what could we see tomorrow? >> tomorrow on the hillary clinton front, you know tamron look, i don't know on these e-mails whether we're going to end up seeing this tomorrow. what i do know is i think we have a pretty good idea what's in them and not a lot of things that are probably damning because of the fact these were e-mails she reviewed handing over to the state department.
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things that were not able to know is things she decided to delete and say they weren't part of the state department business. when we get that batch and see these e-mails, know these are things she already turned over and her lawyers and team have green lighted. >> let's go to congress and speaker john boehner is asking president obama to resubmit a war authorization request against isis. we saw yesterday at the daily briefing the white house pushing back significantly on who is to blame for the slowdown or where we are right now, the stalemate. >> right. the white house is saying congress, if you want to vote on a war authorization against isis, you have every opportunity to do so right now. this is always kind of a passing the buck situation. my colleague luke russert, tamron, who covers this stuff on capitol hill for us notes john boehner and republicans and democrats have the ability to pass this at any opportunity. the reason why they are not taking up is it would be a very hard vote and oftentimes congress doesn't want to take hard votes, so they are happy to
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pass the buck over to the white house, have them conduct the war and have them do some of the monday morning quarterbacking if things go wrong. >> let's get to our last topic, louisiana governor bobby jindal he's launched an exploratory committee, but also now plans to take another stab at the religious freedom act for his state. >> yeah, the timing is interesting here on the religious freedom, not only after he started his exploratory committee, but tamron also because the louisiana legislature effectively ended up killing this legislation, what bobby jindal's done is implement the religious freedom via executive order and executive action. of course, this plays very well with republican primary voters and shouldn't be surprising he's maybe trying to use this issue as a way to get favor with a lot of republican voters in iowa. >> yeah with that said though we've seen this not play out very well for other states who then face boycotts.
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is this the same problem potentially for louisiana, or are we looking at a far more red state who perhaps doesn't have that same kind of worry? >> yeah, tamron i think a lot of people might have thought this issue went away after indiana backed away from this religious liberty law that had been passed but i think what you're seeing is when the audience is purely republican primary voters with a lot of social conservatives, this is popular with them. and so it will be interesting to see what we hear from republicans on the campaign trail going forward, but clearly bobby jindal thinks this is an issue we can capitalize on in a state like iowa. >> right now we're looking at live pictures from connecticut, where the commondant is speaking now, set to introduce the president. the president is going to talk about climate change and the national security threat there. which, obviously, will make significant headlines tomorrow. >> well yeah. climate change is an issue that president obama's wanted to act
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on of course in the first term of his presidency he was unable to get legislation through the u.s. senate to get anything done. when even democrats controlled congress, he has undertaken some executive actions, has the environmental protection agency working on regulations that are very controversial, which they think would lead to the united states truly tackling climate change for generations. but what you're seeing the president do in the fourth quarter of his presidency is really try to lay the groundwork for issues other folks can take up be it hillary clinton if she becomes the next president, republicans if climate change is an issue that motivates them but this is the time which all presidents are kind of not only trying to take care of their own legacy but have issues to pass on to their successors. >> mark thank you very much. we will bring the president's commencement address as soon as he begins. thank you. meanwhile, though i want to update you on the health of beau
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biden, former delaware attorney general and son of joe biden is being treated at walter reid medical center this morning for an undisclosed illness. beau biden, who declared last year he would run for governor has a history of health scares. nbc's ron allen joins me now from the white house. have we heard anymore details from the biden family regarding what's going on here? >> reporter: no the vice president has only confirmed his son is being treated at walter reed medical center here in washington. we don't know the nature of the illness, don't know how long he will be there. we don't know the nature of the treatment he's undergoing. we do know about the previous health scares he had in 2010 what was described as a mild stroke at the time and 2013 when he was treated at a cancer hospital in texas, a lesion on his brain was removed. since then he has said he's been given a clean bill of health until now. he did not run for a third term in delaware which some people
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were taken by surprise he announced he was going to run for governor in 2016. so how all that will be impacted by this unclear. it's a very closely guarded secret as to what his health condition is. he's not been in the public eye much during recent months so this comes as something of a surprise. again, we hope to hear more but again, very very closely guarded secret at this point. >> ron, thank you very much. coming up more severe weather is expected today after more than two dozen tornados batter parts of the south and torrential rains trigger deadly flooding and dramatic rescues. the latest forecast is next. and one of the largest charity fraud cases ever. did you hear about this one? several charities now accused of raising $187 million for cancer patients and then spending the money on salaries cars lavish vacations, and now i want to take you back to live pictures in connecticut, i believe the president is now being introduced. let's listen in.
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>> it's the coast guard academy. we are synonymous with this community of new london equals coast guard academy, just like annapolis our naval academy, colorado springs our air force academy, but he put the coast guard academy on the map in the state of the union address. to that he went one step further, because he shares another common bond with the coast guard. how fitting it is that our commander in chief, his birthday is on august 4th coast guard day, a visionary leader for the coast guard if there ever was one. so ladies and gentlemen, let's give a great round of ovation to our commander in chief, the 44th president of the united states of america, barack obama. [ applause ]
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>> thank you. thank you so much. thank you. thank you so much. everybody, please have a seat. class of 2015 ahoy. there are now fewer days to go until the 2015 class graduates than -- never mind there are now zero days until the class of 2015 graduates. thank you, admiral, for your kind introduction for your leadership of our coast guard on all seven continents. governor malloy secretary
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johnson, ambassador distinguished guests faculty and staff, family, and friends. and admiral stokes as you prepare to conclude your time as superintendent thank you for your outstanding stewardship of this academy. you made history as the first woman ever to lead one of our nation's service academies. [ applause ] and i know you'll keep making history, because i was proud to nominate you for your third star and as the coast guard's next deputy commondant for mission support. [ applause ] it is wonderful to be with all of you here today on this beautiful day.
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michelle sends her greetings, as well. she is the proud sponsor of the coast guard cutter stratton which is tough to beat but as admiral zukoff pointed out, both the coast guard and i were born on the same day, so i want you to know every birthday for now on, i will be thinking about the coast guard. now, the coast guard may be the smallest of our services but i have to say, you may also be the loudest. whenever i visit our military bases, there are always lots of soldiers and sailmen and marines, they make a lot of noise, but wherever i am across the country or the world, including afghanistan, nowhere near an ocean, the most determined cheer from the crowd comes from our proud coast guardsmen, because usually there might only be one or two of
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them. as paul mentioned in my state of the union address this year i mentioned how i've seen america at its best when commissioning our new officers including here in new london and it's true. some folks across the country didn't quite get the reference. one person tweeted they were pretty sure i just made this up. then there was one person in town who asked, did obama name drop new london? so let me do it again, it is a great honor to be back in new london at the united states coast guard academy to salute the newest of america's oldest continuous maritime service. [ applause ] cadets, this is a day to celebrate all that you've achieved over these past four years. you have excelled at one of the most selective and rigorous academic institutions in
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america. you've held yourselves to a high code of conduct, proven yourself worthy to be called commissioned officers of the united states coast guard. you've pushed yourself physically from swab summer to beating your officers at basketball and softball and football. you braced up squared your meals, spent friday nights waxing the floors maybe a little rodeo buffing. i saw the video. that looks dangerous, by the way. you made your mark, and you will be remembered in chase hall in this stadium, and at hannifan's buckley house. which reminds me in keeping with longstanding tradition, i hereby absolve all cadets serving restrictions for minor offenses.
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minor offenses. you came together as one team. we are joined today by commander meryl smith, the first african-american graduate of this academy, class of 1966 decorated vietnam veteran. [ applause ] his legacy endures in all of you, because the graduating class of 2015 is the most diverse in academy history. and you took care of each other like family. today we honor the memory of your classmate from the republic of georgia, soso along with beso their spirits will live on in the partnerships you forge with coast guards all over the world. today you take your rightful place in the long blue line.
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from marina stevens and her family, it is a very long line. where is marina? wave at me real quick. there she is right there. marina's dad is coast guard civilian. her mom, janet, an academy graduate, was a coast guard captain and will pin on marina's shoulder boards today. marina's grandfather was a coast guardsman. her great grandfather joined the u.s. lighthouse service in 1918. that's four generations spanning nearly the entire life of the modern coast guard. no wonder she's named marina. [ applause ] it's in her blood. and cadets i know that none of you reached this day alone, so
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join me in giving a huge round of applause to your mentors and your incredible parents and your family members so many of themselves veterans as well. please, give them a big round of applause. [ applause ] >> class of 2015 i'm here as your commander in chief, on behalf of the american people, to say thanks to each of you. thanks for choosing to serve. for stepping up, for giving up the comforts of civilian life for putting on that uniform. thank you for the service you are about torender. the life of -- to render. the life of purpose you've embraced.
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the risks you've accepted and the sacrifices that you will make. but i'm not here just to sing your praises. i want to speak to you about what comes next. soon you'll fan out across the coast guard, and some of you will go to sectors and shore command. some of you will start your duty aboard cutters. some of you will start flight training. america needs you, and we need the coast guard more than ever. we need you to safeguard our ports again all threats including terrorism. we need you to respond in times of disaster or distress and lead your rescue teams as they jump out of perfectly good helicopters helicopters. we need you in the caribbean, in central america, interdicting drugs before they reach our streets and damage our kids. we need you in the middle east in the gulf alongside our navy.
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in places like west africa where you helped keep the ports open so the world could fight a deadly disease. we need you in the asia pacific to help our partners train their own coast guards to uphold maritime security and freedom of navigation in waters vital to our global economy. these are all demanding missions. the pace of operations is intense. these are tight fiscal times for all our services including the coast guard. we are going to keep working to give you the boats, cutters, and aircraft that you need to complete the missions we ask of you. we're moving ahead with new fast response cutters, new offshore patrol cutters. we're on track to have a full fleet of new national security cutters. most advanced in history. i made it clear that i will not accept a budget that continues these draconian budget cuts
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called sequestration because our nation, military, and our coast guard deserve better. [ applause ] this brings me to the challenge i want to focus on today, one where our coast guardsmen are already on the front lines, and perhaps more than any other will shape your entire careers. and that's the urgent need to combat and adapt to climate change. as a nation we face many challenges including the grave threat of terrorism. and as americans we will always do everything in our power to protect our country. yet even as we meet threat like terrorism, we cannot and we must not ignore apparel that-- a per they'll can affect generations.
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i know there are still folks in washington who refuse to admit that climate change is real. and on a day like today, it's hard to get too worried about it. there are folks who will equivocate and say, you know i'm not a scientist. well i'm not either. but the best scientist in the world know that climate change is happening. our analysts in the intelligence community know climate change is happening. our military leaders, generals and admirals active duty and retired know it's happening. our homeland security professional know it is happening, and our coast guard knows it's happening. the science is indisputable. the fossil fuels we burn release carbon dioxide which traps heat. and the levels of carbon dioxide
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in the atmosphere are now higher than they have been in 800,000 years. the planet is getting warmer. 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have been in the past 15 years. last year was the planet's warmest year ever recorded. our scientists at nasa just reported that some of the sea ice around antarctica is breaking up even faster than expected. the world's glaciers are melting, pouring new water into the ocean. over the past century, the world sea level rose by about eight inches. that was in the last century. by the end of this century, it's predicted to rise another one to four feet. cadets cadets, the threat of a changing
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climate doubts very core of -- cuts to the very core of your service. >> we're listening to the president address graduates at the u.s. coast guard academy, speaking to the science of climate change even addressing those within congress who deny that the 14 of the 15 hottest years on this planet have been recorded. we will continue to follow the president's commencement. we'll turn it over to the next hour of coverage on msnbc. american express for travel and entertainment worldwide. just show them this - the american express card.
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just stay calm and move as quietly as possible.
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no sudden movements. google search: bodega beach house. right now on "andrea mitchell reports" santa barbara spill. miles of california's beautiful central coastline is coated with 21,000 gallons of crude oil from a pipeline spill leaving thick black tar on some of the country's most pristine beaches. >> we smelled something like burning rubber. >> it's really disappointing to see this happen here. >> this is such a shame. i mean all the wildlife that this is going to affect. this is terrible.
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air bag recall. takata finally takes responsibility for denaekts have killed at least five people from exploding air bags. a potentially fatal flaw affecting roughly one in four cars on the road today. brandi brewer lost an eye. >> it makes me angry. angry that this has been an ongoing problem, and that it's still going on now. this is something that should have been fixed years ago. and bin laden's reading list. our first look at what the cia found on computers seized by s.e.a.l. team six in his hideout. in his notebook revealing letters written in bin laden's own hand. >> good day i'm andrea mitchell in washington. emergency crews in california are working feverishly to contain a massive oil spill along santa barbara's picturesque


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