tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC October 1, 2009 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
>> right now on msnbc, powerful aftershocks rock indonesia as the death toll soars past 500. hundreds more are feared trapped beneath collapsed buildings. in geneva six-party talks on iran's nuclear program is under way. will tehran be able to prove it is not hiding plans to build a nuclear bomb. elizabeth smart to testify in court against her alleged kidnapper six years later. can first lady michelle obama, oprah and president obama seal the deal for chicago? plus, rumors of an explosive sex tape featuring john edwards and his ex-mistress. does it really exist? good morning, i'm alex witt zpr and i'm monica novotny. we begin with the chaotic scene in indonesia. yet a second earthquake has rocked that area. rescuers are still scrambling to
find survivors of the first quake, which has now claim more than 500 lives. ian williams is in padong. >> reporter: aftershocks, people are running into the street, terrified by their experience yesterday. buildings have been weakened, brought down by what was a pretty severe aftershock. in the center of padong, many buildings have been leveled and efforts are under way to find those trapped underneath the rubble. still those efforts will need to be stepped up. we went to a school that had collapsed. some 60 students had been there at the end of the school day yesterday when the quake struck. they were trapped. now around half were pulled out today alive, but the rest remain trapped. the only equipment they were using was an excavator. the rest was just digging by hand. at the hospital where the
casual casualties are being taken here, it was crowded. there were dead bodies laid out for identification. people were being treated in the corridors. a doctor told us they're running short of drugs, that they weren't able to use some of the operator theaters in the hospital, because they had been damaged. part of the hospital roof came down. they were set up in a tent outside. pretty desperate scenes here. the priority is to try to get those people, to get to the people still trapped under the buildings. and, of course, also in the outlying areas around padang, we really know very little of what happened. but we are seeing a steady stream of people coming in for treatment at the hospital, alex. >> ian, thank you very much for that live report on the desperate situation there in padang. we appreciate it. from the south pacific, death toll continues to rise, at least 150 people in the samoas
continues to rise. officials say it could take several weeks to complete the search for the missing there. here at home, a moderate quake was reported in central california, centered in a rural area near the sequoia national park, 150 miles west of las vegas. preliminary measurements measure it at 5 .1. luckily no injuries or damage have been reported in that one. >> geneva, face-off with iran, key talks are under way as the u.s. and five other world powers sit down for talks with iran over its nuclear ambitions. the u.s. and iran holding its first direct talk in 30 years, all of this on the heels of i n iran's disclosure of a second secret facility. iran has said they would not be willing to discuss their nuclear rights here in geneva, but there are reports that iran's nuclear negotiator touched on the nuclear program in a very general way. is that a good sign? >> reporter: well, it might be. i think what the iranians said
is that they were willing to talk about it in some general matter, but weren't willing to talk about freezing of enrichment and that kind of thing. until we get a better download about what's happening in those meetings, what specifically happened, we won't have an idea of what -- >> hitting the skies again, let's listen. >> jeff? you were with me that day over the hudson. and you have my eternal gratitude for your skill and your courage. i could not have had a better colleague that day or since. within about two days of the january 15th emergency landing when it first became apparent to us that something about this event had captured the imaginations of people around
the world, and it happened at a time and in a place where it was noticed. it happened at a time when people needed to know that good could still be done in the world. when it first dawned on us the enormity of this story and the attention being paid to it, jeff and i knew that we had an intense obligation to do as much good as we could and in as many ways as we could, for as long as we could because of this event and the attention focused on it. jeff, in the ensuing months, has fulfilled that obligation. to his profession, to our employees. and i thank you for that. i'm looking forward to my return to us airways. i will have a role in safety
management, and i will continue to be the same kind of advocate for aviation safety that i've been for decades. thank you all very much. >> pilot chesley "sully" sullenberger with his co-pilot there. they'll be flying from new york to charlotte in about two hours from now, and there we just heard his first words, obviously happy to be back up in the air. to savannah guthrie in washington. we were talking, savannah, about the discussions in geneva regarding iran's nuclear program. i wanted to ask you, because we talked about that topic today, we finally had that first direct talk during the lunch break between representatives of the u.s. and tehran. any idea how that went? there's so much riding on this for the president. >> reporter: you're right, there is a lot riding on it. this is where the rubber meets the road on this engagement policy that the president talk about during the campaign. now we're really seeing it in
action. so, it would be fascinating to see what comes out of these talks. i mean, on the background, it seems like administration officials kind of have low expectations. i don't think anyone really expects iran to go in there and do a complete 180, open up its nuclear program, agree to freeze enrichment. i mean, that's just not going to happen. they do hope that iran will see starkly from these talks a choice, a choice between being more upfront about its nuclear activiti activities, opening up the country and its nuclear program to inspectors on the one hand or otherwise face a real possibility of sanctions. one thing to keep in mind, as we go through these few days, there are two tracks here. on one track is the engagement track, talking to iran, as we're doing. first direct talks in 30 years, it's remarkable. at same time, administration officials are preparing skangss and thinking about what coalitions they could get behind sanctions, whether it's the u.n. security council, whether it's a regional agreement or coalition, whether it's country by country.
so, it's very much a dual track kind of thing. >> we should mention, savannah, you've been hearing these reports. iran state tv is reporting that iran and the six countries have agreed to hold talks again. that report is floating out there from state run-tv. >> reporter: the why house is saying it's something being worked on, but it's not been confirmed. but that will be telling if there's a second set of talks, about whether or not this was fruitful or not. >> thanks for the information. >> reporter: sure. the economy tops our other stories right now. new claims for jobless benefits increased to 551,000. economists had expected an increase of 535,000. meanwhile, today's report on consumer spending shows it's increased by the largest amount in nearly eight years in the month of august. this, as personal income grows. michigan is back in business. well, sort of. late-night budget squabbles
caused a brief technical shutdown in the state. lawmakers did compromise and approved most of the state budget. signing a temporary 30-day budget to keep the state running. moments ago in salt lake city, elizabeth smart came face to face with her accused abductor for the first time in six years. shelly ostello is live from the courthouse where elizabeth smart testifies against brian david mitchell. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, alex. elizabeth smart, now 21 years old. she was just 14 when she was taken, at knife point, in the middle of the night from her salt lake city home. and this is her first chance to testify against the man she says kidnapped her, brian david mitchell. now, that was in 2002. while elizabeth has done some interviews, she's never really spoken publicly about what happened during those nine months that she spent with mitchell and his wife, wanda
barzee, as they hid in the hills as literally thousands and thousands of people searched day after day for her. and then for the months that she spent traveling across country, from utah, to california and back again. where, after nine months -- nine months after she vanished, she was spotted less than 20 miles from her home. she was wearing long robes, a wig, sunglasses and a veil. today's special evidentiary hearing is part of a larger hearing to determine whether or not mitchell is competent to stand trial. they were charged in 2003 with sexual assault and kidnapping, but since then they have consistently been declared incompetent to stand trial. that's what this is all about. this is actually the third time that mitchell has been in a competency hearing and each time in the others, he has behaved poorly, screaming, singing hymns. at one point, he yelled at a judge to kneel in the dust. it will be interesting to see how he behaves today. the competency hearing is
scheduled actually for november 30th, but this is a special hearing because smart is going on a mission for her church, the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. >> heading off to paris, much different tenure there. now in the case of phillip garrido, convicted rapist accused of kidnapping jaycee dugard. it appears this week that garrido, behind bars awaiting trial on multiple charges, wrote a letter to the media expressing concern for jaycee dugard. it says, quote, she's repeatly been denied access to have an attorney present during questioning. it goes on to say her civil rights have clearly been violated. please consider this request to contact her at the earliest possible date. the return address is the county jail where garrido is awaiting trial. students go back to school in texas after a swine flu outbreak that forced the entire district to shut down. first lady michelle obama
makes her hometown pitch in copenhagen. others are gathering to rally against the olympic games. what gives? rumors are certainly heating up about an alleged sex tape of john edwards and her former mistress. those stories next on msnbc. so many arthritis pain relievers -- i just want fewer pills and relief that lasts all day. take 2 extra strength tylenol every 4 to 6 hours?!? taking 8 pills a day... and if i take it for 10 days --
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here's your feel good story of the day. good samaritan being hailed as a hero in new york city after helping firefighters rescue a 4-year-old boy from a burning building wednesday. now, you can see the man, he carries the boy down the fire escape to lay him down in a moment. he gives onlookers thumbs up when he sees that the child does start breathing again. the boy is being treated at a local hospital. he is listed in stable condition. >> what a story there. we're following the very
latest swine flu developments. 24-year-old soldier from florida have died from swine flu. neither had underlying health conditions. four texas children also died this week from complications resulting from the swine flu. two of the children had underlying health conditions, two did not. and the largest supplier of seasonal flu vaccine says it is running behind on shipping vaccine for the regular seasonal flu due to the crunch to produce millions of doses of the swine flu vaccine. and a texas school district is reopening today after a high rate of absences for students with flu-like symptoms forced it to cancel classes for more than 6,000 students this week. john debrock, superintendent for the huntsville school district, joins us by phone. we appreciate your time. >> caller: you're welcome. >> was this swine flu, sir? do you know? have any of the students tested positive? >> caller: we were notified by several parents that the doctors told them that it was swine flu. we don't have any official
confirmation of that. >> so, you closed the entire school district for two days. 6,300 students told to stay home. have you ever had to do anything like this before? >> caller: no, ma'am. >> we just heard alex read the had headlines, four children in texas have died this week from complications as a result of the swine flu. obviously this is top of mind there in the area. >> caller: yes, ma'am. fortunately, we've not had any reports of any of our students having any severe complications. >> uh-huh. and how are parents responding? are they concerned? >> caller: yes, they are, especially since the news of the deaths have begun to spread. they've become more concerned about it and more positive about the idea that we did turn out for a while. >> now is everyone back in school? >> caller: yes, ma'am. >> will you do this again if need be? >> caller: if it's necessary, yes, we will. >> you'll receive about half the doses for the swine flu vaccine that you originally expected in the next week, just half. is that worrisome to you? >> caller: i really don't know. it's hard to say how many
parents are really going to want to take the vaccination. >> you sound a little congested yourself, sir. i hope you're all right. john debrock, school assistant superintendent. thank you, sir. >> caller: yes, ma'am. thank you. john edwards infidelity is about to get more sordid. the man who initially claimed he was the father of the mistress, reportedly is holding on to a sex tape. good morning to you, ben. >> morning. >> who is this guy? i want you to describe him. i heard a couple of colorful phra phrases in there when i read your article. i don't want to say those phrases. who is this guy? how is he perceived among those on the campaign trail? >> andrew young say character, and most politicians have somebody like this around them. he is giet who drove edwards to and from the airport, made sure there was milk in the fridge
when they got home, made sure the dry cleaning got done. at various times as a campaign staffer, he was a government staffer. he had public responsibilities as well. but he was very, very much part of edwards' personal life. >> okay. so, why would he be hanging on to a sex tape? and is there confirmation that this tape exists? >> i've talked to two people who say they've seen the tape. yeah, i think there is confirmation that it exists and that young at least had it at some point. >> how does he go, ben, from being the man who supplies everything for john edwards to being the guy who is going to turn him in? >> well, i think these relationships in politics are actually very intense, personal relationships and at some point he felt as though he had really made every sacrifice for edwards, really deeply believed in edwards and at some point that edwards had kicked him to the curb, that edwards had
discard him. >> young, with all the fury of a spurned lover, may be holding out another threat to his old idol. in an explicit tape, two people have seen it, every edwards and hunter together. really, when you look at where john edwards is now, how damaging would this be? does he have any further to fall? >> i don't know. i don't know if msnbc is in the market for such a tape. or really, who is going to purchase it. you know, to his credit, young did not sell it. he could have sold this tape to the national enquirer at some point and has not. >> okay. ben, i want to get to another article you wrote recently on the person who has authored, co-authored the book with sarah palin, whom you say is a very controversial choice. of course, this book at the top of the "new york times" best seller list now, prior to even being available in book stores. who is lynn binsent? >> a real outside the belt way
christian conservative writer, very lively, good writer, co-written autobiographies for, among others, general william b boykin, pushed out of his job for mixing christianity with politics in the military. and so i think, you know, we're not going to expect a real careful polished washington policy book here. >> okay. ben, thank you very much. appreciate it. >> thank you. still to come, diplomatic showdown now in geneva. can the six world powers convince iran to come clean on its nuclear program? plus, planning to carry out an oklahoma city style attack, reports of new evidence on that straight ahead on msnbc. you've wanted to quit smoking so many times, but those days came and went, and the cigarettes remained.
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electronic files. medical institutions that do so could stand to get some of the more $17 billion in stimulus funding. incentive wants to encourage more electronic medical recordkeeping. congress is considering a penalty to medical providers who aren't keeping electronic medical records by 2015. less than 10% of u.s. health care providers are using electronic medical records. talk with his iran about its nuclear program is under way in geneva. significant conversations in side talks between u.s. representative and tehran's representative. carnegie endowment for international peace, good to see you. the first direct, high-level meeting between washington and iran in 30 years. it happened during a lunch break. obviously, significant for having happened. will it lead to anything concrete? >> monica, thank you first of all for having me this morning. the talks are happening as we speak and they may conclude soon. i think it's right that
expectations be low for the very difficult conversation that's happening with the united states and its partners and iran. there are certain times to look to for hope. one being the show of unity between the united states, united kingdom, france, germany and even good statements from the russians as well. >> let me ask you, if the diplomacy doesn't work, how far is the international community really willing to go to get iran to stop its enrichment activity? >> i think we have to see what happens out of these talks, but one thing that will make a difference for the appetite the international community has for taking steps is last week's revelations, the discovery of the second facility. this is a big deal. they've been trying to say the nuclear file is closed. it is not closed. this is a secret facility. there are questions now about whether there are other facilities. this really raises a lot of
skepticism in the minds of other countries that, to date, have been open minded about iran's program. >> if you do get nations willing to put forward those sanction, can it make a difference on iran's enrichment activity? cleef negotiator saying bring it on. he welcomes more sanctions. >> right. lelt's be clear. i don't think the purpose of these sanctions is to get them to stop enriching. the purpose of the threat of the sanctions is to get the iranians to the negotiating table and to act seriously. i think everyone is now aware of their strategy of trying to divide key powers against one another and their negotiating strategy is one for playing for time. what we'll see in today's talks is that there's probably a zero tolerance policy for that kind of delaying tablingtic. if these talks aren't serious, it's unlikely that the key powers will enable the condition for the iranians to continue that strategy. >> deepit chobay, thank you for
your time today. >> thank you so much. facilitate the 60th anniversary of communist rule. celebrations started in tianamen square. china blocked off much of beijing to prepare for the celebration. many in new york are expressing outrage over the empire state building being lit up to commemorate the anniversary. it was lit up in red and yellow last night. critics who cite china's behavior on human rights -- rescue crews continue their searches for survivors in indonesia. president obama's advisers are still split on what to do in afghanistan. will the president be forced to return to republicans to get the
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see your gmc dealer today. wanted to let you know breaking news coming to us from geneva, switzerland. after about 7 1/2 hours of talking, those talks today between the u.n. security council five permanent members plus one, germany, u.k., france, china, russia, germany, the u.s. and iran, those talks have wrapped up. we're getting a view of the intercontinental hotel. 18th century building,&veuw pre well protected from the press. we expect a news conference to happen any minute now, about another ten minutes or so. we will have that for you live. nbc's andrea mitchell will be joining us. we await word whether there will be future talks in the future or later on this month. that is very key, and the extent
to which iran's nuclear development was on the table. that will be another key question asked by reporters there. as soon as we get that under way, we'll take you there live as well. death toll from the south pacific tsunami continues to rise. at least 150 people have been killed in the samoas. that number is expected to rise as more areas are searched. meanwhile, the red cross now estimating at least 15,000 people have been impacted by this disaster. the relief agency has opened five temporary shelters. fema officials announcing that additional support is en route to samoa by air. supplies and staff will be sent to the region. weak sales for september, following cash for clunkers, this, as gm makes plans to wind down saturn. phil lebeau has the details for us. good morning, phil. sad day for saturn. >> what does it mean for saturn? it's a rather sad day if you're a saturn fan. there are a lot of people out
there who are fans of saturn. great brand loyalty. unfortunately for general motors and those saturn dealers, a deal could not be work out between general motors and penske auto group where they would buy about 350 dealers. their distribution network would become part of the pe inform ske automotive group. as a result, general motors has said we'll wind down this brand by the end of 2010. i have a feeling, alex, we've not seen the end of this. i would not be surprised if the saturn dealers do not try to force gm's hand by going to washington saying, uh-uh, you don't want to lose any more dealerships around the country. we also want to be getting september auto sales reported following cash for clunkers, the sales numbers will not be strong at all. we'll see declines between 5% and 40% depend og n the automaker. that's expected in the auto industry. what to focus on, what the automakers will be saying on the sales conference call today about the outlook for the rest of this year and next year. they're cautiously optimistic
that things are improving, the economy sim proving and sales will pick up. >> thank you, phil lebeau, for that. appreciate it. richest americans are getting poorer, according to the newly released forbes 400 list. for only the fifth time since 1982, the collective network of the richest american went south. they lost a combined $300 billion in the past four months, topping the list, microsoft founder bill gates with a net worth of $50 billion, warren buffett next with $40 billion, lawrence ellison, $27 billion, walmart's christy walton with $21.5 billion and the same family, jim c. walton with just under $20 billion. monica? the way forward in afghanistan, the top commander on the ground there warned that violence in afghanistan is up and the insurgency is growing. >> the situation is serious, and i choose that word very, very carefully. we need to reverse the current
trends and time does matter. waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. >> engining us live, democratic strategist patrick murphy and republican strategist lenny alzovar. general mccrystal was very clear in saying the situation, in some ways, is deteriorating. yet we know in his meeting yesterday, the president with his war council, one thing they didn't discuss was troop levels. what do you think in terms of troop levels, what do you think the president will end up weighing in on there? >> i think the president is taking the time to do the right kinds of meetings in the last 48 hours, talking with both the military as well as certainly the people on the ground, as well as other military strategists. it's not just the number of troops that are there, but also the training that gets involved and how they're supplied. you have members in the u.s. senate like carl levin, who think those numbers should be
high, and they need to get in there sooner rather than later. >> lenny, we've heard from republicans criticism about the pace of this, robert gibbs responding to criticism from congressman eric ca inform tor about the pace of the strategy. i want to get your thoughts on the other side of this. >> i don't recall congressman kasm ntor saying that when david mckiernan's request said on the desk of the previous commander in chief, i don't remember him going to a nop on television saying that that commander in chief was endangering the lives of men and women in afghanistan. >> lenny, what do you think of the pace? is the president taking his time? is that appropriate? >> it's appropriate to the degree that all americans get a sense from this white house that there is an urgency there and i think there are some questions about delays on the part of this president, considering that mccrystal's recommendations have been well known for some time. so, look, here is where americans can agree. one, the situation in afghanistan is worsening. two, americans don't want a
decision at a time of war to be made by politicians worried about re-elections. the question for this president is, will he side with those who are calling for more troops and a better chance for success and safety and security in afghanistan over politicians who are looking to do afghanistan on the cheap and leaving our men and women who are fighting a war that the president said was a war of necessity to fend for themselves. that would be wrong. >> patrick, i want to hear your thoughts on the war council. you've got 18 highly motivated folks standing on different sides of this issue, none of them shrinking violets. all of them want their thoughts to be heard by the president. they have many meetings ahead still. this could take some time. how does the president sift through all that information? >> one of the things the president did in the u.s. senate and a candidate for president, he looked at the entire region as a whole. he didn't look at the individual countries and say, here is what we have to do in iraq today, here is what we have to do in
afghanistan. he realized it's all tied together and it's all related and i think he'll get through all this information and hopefully come up with a plan that does protect the troops that are there, as well as bring some more stability to the afghani people. >> thanks for your time. obviously, this conversation continues. we appreciate it. >> thank you. can the one, two, three punch of oprah, michelle obama and president obama turn chicago's olympic dreams into a reality? we've got team coverage from copenhagen to the windy city next here on msnbc, the place for politics.
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come to the end of the day. they've been working about 7 1/2 hours. they're going to talk about what they talked about. of course, top on the table from the u.s. perspective are concerns about iran and the enrichment nuclear facilities and to what extent that may be going forth toward the development of bombs and the like. we're waiting word to see what kind of discussions they had, if any, on the subject of tehran, whether subsequent talks will be held in the future or later this month as well. as soon as we get that news conference under way, we'll take you there live. president obama travels to copenhagen tonight to make a personal pitch for chicago to host the 2016 olympics. he'll join the first lady and oprah winfrey, who are already there, talking to as many ioc voters they can get to before tomorrow's decision. >> the hospitality is like no other. it's a city that works really well. >> this city has given -- really gave birth and life to me. my greatest successes came from this city. >> key partner, is he? >> he's our team captain.
yes. >> nbc's jim maceda is live in copenhagen. there are critics who are upset that he is personally going to copenhagen given what's on his plate. there are other leaders of count count countrys that are. >> reporter: absolutely. tony blair was instrumental in bringing the games to london, vladimir putin bringing the winter 2014 games. and now it seems it's becoming routine for heads of state to do this kind of lobbying. the 2016 games are no exception. to give you an idea, spain's king juan carlos and the spanish prime minister is here, pushing for madrid. japanese prince and prime minister also just arrived. brazil's president, a very vocal, arrived yesterday.
he is pushing, of course, rio's bid. there are many other city bid representatives who have told me personally that they plan their strategy for 2016 around the almost certainty that president barack obama would, indeed, be arrival here. there's so much at stake in winning these games. expe experts say if, in fact, obama didn't come that chicago could lose a very precious votes, just a couple perhaps, because they would be sending out the wrong signal to the ioc members. monica? >> jim maceda, thanks for that. meantime, chicago residents are counting down the seconds until tomorrow's big announcement. a countdown clock set for noon eastern tomorrow, when that final vote will be completed. chicago sun times today, o positive, michelle obama and oprah in copenhagen. what is the mood in the city as we await the decision? >> i don't know what you're
talking b no one is in chicago. everybody is in copenhagen. i'm the only guy here and they told me to turn on the party lig lights when the vote comes our way. a pep rally is orged this evening in chicago. i must say everyone is on tender hooks here. you know, nothing like this has really happened to this city since -- well, about 100 years ago, i guess, when they held the world's fair here. it's a really exciting time and it's obvious chicago is really -- it really has its best representation over in copenhagen right now with the o team that you just mentioned. >> yeah. kevin, it's alex here. having lived through the los angeles games in 1984, my hometown, a lot of people who did not want the olympics to come to l.a. though it proved to be a very successful venture for los angeles. it's the same way right now for chicago. some folks are saying we don't want it here in the windy city. why? >> several ways to look at that, alex. one would be that those who speak the loudest perhaps get
heard the most. that might have something to do with the fact that so much coverage has been given to a number of these groups. they're very concerned when they see pictures of the bird's nest, for example, in beijing or perhaps athens, where a lot of these former stadia have been left to go to seed almost because after the games were over, everything went away. people are concerned that chicagoans will get hit with a hefty bill when this is all over. a number of people in many depressed neighborhoods where a number of venues are going to be built and saying if we get these games, we'll be able to turn our neighborhoods around. there are two ways of looking at it. yes, there is some opposition. >> there's always two ways to look at everything. kevin tibbles, thank you very much. >> indeed. from nbc's andrea mitchell in geneva for those talks regarding iran -- state of affairs with nuclear iran. confirming to andrea mitchell that all parties have agreed to a second round of talks later this month.
andrea mitchell has confirmed after speaking with the u.s. official there in geneva that all parties agreed to a second round of talks by the end of the month. very big news there. all parties agreed to a second round of talks by the end of the month. we want to go straight to ali who joins us live from tehran as we await that news conference in geneva. what has been the reaction today in iran regarding these talks? >> the reaction is very positive. mentioned on state tv a second round of talks. the government website and said the sanctions are off the table. so, this is playing very well
with iranians. president ahmadinejad said he wanted to see respect from the americans and this is exactly what they're giving them. they're giving them dialogue and said exactly what they're going to do. >> it's alex witt here, with regard to the timing, it has been decades since there have been high-level talks between iranians and the united states since the hostage crisis in 1980s. is that point lost on the people there in iran, sore is that something they realize putting this in perspective this is a significant day to at least be holding face-to-face talks? >> absolutely, alex. it is a very significant days. it has been 30 years. however, i don't know if these talks have any real substance. the iranians have restated their old position, the americans have still restated what they wanted and we want to see where these talks are going to go. it is an important moment, but
how it will unravel still remains to be seen. >> my guess then is that they will be playing this as a victory, as i suspect all sides will that this will be the second round of talks. >> absolutely. the iranian government will see this as a victory and the americans will come to the table to talk to them. this is a significant policy change from the bush administration to favor the isolation. involved in an engagement and they're giving extended hand to the iranians and everything is on the table to play for. if this doesn't work, the obama administration can say we made every effort and we extended our hands and opened direct dialogue but it didn't in the iranian court. >> so, it would appear that with andrea mitchell's confirmation that they'll have talks again at the end of the month and the concept of sanks has been tabled for at least a short while. what sanctions are those that would be the most difficult for the iranian people to deal with
and it has been suggested that a gasoline shortage would be pretty much topping the list, do you agree? >> absolutely. sanks on gasoline in iran would be detrimental here. if the price of gasoline goes up, the price of basic food products go up. people, really, really fear sanctions on gasoline because it would make their life extraordinarily difficult here. >> apparently the iranian foreign minister said they're willing to advance these talks to summit level. they're willing to advance these talks, the second round of talks to summit level talks. so, obviously, a very big deal in iran today. >> absolutely. the next level have much higher delegates and it also means extending these talks which americans have been very clear about. they don't want this to be open
ended. they'll have to come to some conclusion at the next meeting because this can't go on indefinitely. >> on a somewhat related issue, the three american, those hikers that are being held right now in iran, to what extent are people aware of their situation and it is your understanding at all that this might have been on the table for discussion. >> well, i mean, in the rumor mill in tehran it has been discussed that the three american hikers who are being held here will be held as a bargaining chip during the negotiations that are going on with the united states. but very little talk of them on state tv here. you barely hear any mention of their arrest or detention here. they are using this for a later date, i'm sure. >> okay. thank you so much. and that does it for us this hour, everyone. i'm alex witt. >> i'm monica novotny. dr. nancy snyderman picks up our
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