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tv   American Morning  CNN  December 29, 2011 6:00am-9:00am EST

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51 is a number, 16, just a much, much, much smaller number, ain't love grand. so don't be too hard on these lovebirds or until the divorce or the reality show about the divorce comes out. number two that does it for us. thanks for watching. "american morning" starts right now. upheave natural iowa. newt gingrich fading. rick santorum surging. five days to go before the caucuses. it is suddenly a brand-new ball game. could gas prices be rising? tensions in iran could impact money in your pocket as the iranian government threatens to choke off a third of the world's oil supplies. sneaking into a city under siege to get the real story. snipers picking off people at will on the streets. journalists get a look at the violence syria doesn't want you
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to see. it is amazing to me how this guy has been shot this many times. i mean, he's superman. i have been shot three times. my fingers have bullet holes. >> did you hear had a? part man, part terminator. shot three times in a robbery. a marine pulls out the bullets with his own hands. and now he's talking about it from his hospital bed on this "american morning." good morning, everyone. it is thursday, december 29. this is "american morning." a lot going on today. let's get right to it. >> that's right. good morning, everybody. glad you are with us. i'm alina cho. up first, dramatic shift in the political landscape with five days to go before the iowa caucuses. just look at this brand-new c cnn/"time" poll. mitt romney on top in iowa now. followed closely by ron paul.
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newt gingrich plunging and rick santorum suddenly rolling right to the top three. gingrich now 11 points behind romney. he's dropped 19 points in less than a month. after gingrich called on romney, again, to debate one-on-one the following massachusetts governor told our wolf blitzer he is in no hurry to accept. >> look, this is a campaign about the things we believe in. as for a one-on-one with newt gingrich, if he and i are the two finalists we will have that opportunity. right now, debated ten times, more debates in january. but until he and i -- there are other people that still deserve to be on the stage. i think ron paul is leading in iowa as of today. the idea that this is all about newt or all about mitt is not right. we have a field of candidates out. i will debate all of them. when it comes down to finalists, i hope i'm one of them, if i am
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i will debate who the other finalist is. >> remember this. romney likened good rich's campaign to lucy at the chocolate factory. well, gingrich seemed to appreciate the humor but is still not dropping his challenge to romney for a face-to-face showdown. >> governor romney had a cute line yesterday about my team resembling luisy and the chocolate factory. i want to say here i am in the chocolate factory. and now that i have the courage to come to the chocolate factory hope governor romney will have the courage to debate me one-on-one. >> you had to know that was going to happen. right? all of a sudden rick santorum's star is rising, too. just yesterday the former pennsylvania senator was talking about packing it in if he finished last in iowa. doesn't seem like that problem now. political editor paul steinhauser live in des moines with that part of the story. good morning. i have to say that when i heard
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the new poll numbers and saw them i was most surprised by santorum's rise in the polls. what happened? >> reporter: yeah. he was one happy person this morning in iowa. no doubt about that. what happened? we always talk about social conservative voters out mere and how influential they are. because of the stances on abortion, gay marriage and other issues like that. very popular santorum with social conservatives and making the call. take a look at this. break down that poll you just showed, all right, this is people who describe themselves as born-again christians and look who is on the top. break those numbers down. rick santorum and 22% ron paul, 16% romney. so on. why social conservative voters influential in iowa when it comes to the republican side, rick santorum is atop the list. the other reason, hard work. the guy has been here a long time. he has been in all 99 counties. take a look at what he told wolf blitzer yesterday in "the situation room." >> like any small business
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person. the money is not coming in, work harder. that's what we are doing. continuing to work hard and going off in the morning and doing radio shows at 6:00 in the morning here and going until, you know, 9:00, ten cloak at night. town meeting after town meeting. 357 town hall meetings i have done in the state of iowa. you know, hard work pays off. >> reporter: i guess you can say that rick santorum is climbing the polls at just the right time. >> that's right. i mean, you know, just goes to show that hard work does pay off. can pay off. there are some people, a small number of you think he he could pull off a huckabee in 2012 ask iowa will have to see what happen was that. the other big surprise in this poll was that newt good ruch really slipped. what happened to him? >> reporter: well, gingrich campaign says it's that negative advertising we have been seeing. a barrage of it on iowa tv directed mostly at newt gingrich. here's what's his campaign communications director told our candy crowley last night.
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>> $9 million in negative advertising. you know, i was a very small media market. you can blanket the airwaves. you have enough money. and i don't care what candidate is in the race, if they have $9 million in negative advertising against them they will drop in the polls. >> reporter: you know what, five days to go, people could still change their minds. look at this. among likely caucus voters, look at that. 43% say i still may change my mind. >> it is extraordinary that nearly half of voters in iowa still haven't settled on candidate. the other news we want to get in here is michele bachmann's iowa state chair jumped ship yesterday and decided to support ron paul. what does that mean, big picture here for the bachmann campaign? >> reporter: probably not good news. this was a shocker last night. the guy's name, ken sorensen.
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state chair. you see him all the time at campaigns. he was here earlier yesterday. last night he shows up at a ron paul event. guess what, he endorses ron paul. it got crazier. later last tonight, bachmann's campaign says hey, he was paid off to jump ship. the paul campaign and sorensen say that's not the case. >> michele bachmann maintains she will stay in the race. paul steinhauser, we thank you for joining us live from des moines. later this afternoon, jon huntsman with will be in "the situation room" live from manchester, new hampshire. michele bachmann will be live from nevada. iran is threatening to stop the flow of oil. new sanctions imposed on the crude exports. sanctions are meant to pressure iran to halt nuclear program. third of the world's oil supply travels through the strait and
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something that could send gas prices soaring to historic levels. u.s. navy is already warning the mood will not be tolerated. jill dougherty has a look at what's at stake. >> reporter: just 34 miles wide, the strait of hormuz is one of the world's most strategically important choke points. one-third of all oil carried by sea is shipped through it. now iran is threatening that not one drop of oil will pass through if the u.s. follows through on tough new sanctions aimed at stopping its nuclear program. but the u.s. is warning iran any disruption will not be tolerated. >> any miscalculation could mean we are drawn into conflict and that would be -- that would be a tragedy for the reason and the world. >> reporter: world oil prices are spiking. upping the tension iranian naval vessels lurk nearby in the north iranian sea holding a ten-day military exercise.
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>> close would be disastrous for the global economy. i don't think any u.s. president could let that stand. >> reporter: matthew served as special adviser on iran at the pentagon. he says that any attempt by tehran to close the strait of hormuz could mean war. >> united states would be compelled to open the straits, something we could, not military is much stronger than iran's but would mean attacking iranian navy and attacking iranian ballistic missiles and rocket sites so that is war. >> reporter: he thinks it is likely iran is bluffing, trying to stop president obama from carrying out the new sanctions. the state department, too, is downplaying iran's threat. calling it an attempt to distract the world's attention from the nuclear program. but iran has been increasingly belligerent and unpredictable. including allegedly hatching a plot to kill a saudi diplomat on u.s. soil. you about just their threat athrown shut the strait of hormuz is making washington and
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the world nervous. so far, however, the pentagon says that there have been no hostile moves by iran. u.s. aircraft carrier and also a guided missile cruiser got through the strait without incident. jill dougherty, cnn, the state department. >> also new this morning, a national memorial service for the late north korean leader jim congress ill tod -- kim jong-il. officials using artillery fire to honor kim jong-il and regime declaring his son, kim jong nam, the supreme leader. bp may soon be hit with criminal charges for the oil spill last april. prosecutors are considering charging several bp employees for allegedly providing false information to regulators about drilling risks. felony charges could be announced in the coming months. the oil spill is considered the worst in u.s. history.
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11 workers died. no comment from bp or the department of justice. the parents of april teenage girl driven to suicide received nearly a quarter million dollars settlement from their town. hadley, massachusetts, paid $225,000 to the parents of 15-year-old phoebe prince in order to avoid a lawsuit. prince committed suicide back in november of 2010. choking dangers for a popular children's toy build-a-bear workshop is recalling nearly 300,000 colorful hearts, teddy bears. the u.s. consumer products safety commission says that the bears' eyes can loosen and fall out and becoming a choking hazard for kids. so far no injuries have been reported. the chinese made toys were sold in the u.s. and canada. check your tickets. clock is ticking on an unclaimed $10.75 million iowa lottery jackpot. the winner has until 4:00 p.m. local time today to present the
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ticket. it was purchased exactly one year ago at a quick trip convenient store in des moines. the winning numbers, 3 p. 12, 16, 26, 33, and the hot ball number is 11. earlier this week, a $77 million powerball jackpot went unclaimed. >> they are focusing too much on politics and not focusing on lot owe picks. incredible story that proved yet again marines are just a new breed. >> go to iraq and afghanistan multiple times and i-haven't been shot or blown up. i'm here at home and here i am in an ambulance with two gunshot wounds. >> a man home from two wars shot on the streets of south florida. not only did he live to tell about it, he actually plugged the bullet holes with his own fingers. also this. a disney overload. we are going to tell you how many visitors it takes to force disneyland to shut its gates.
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firefighters saved the life of a dog trapped in ice. the rescue captured on camera. we will show you that story after the break. it is 13 minutes after the hour. yeah, i'm married. does it matter?
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welcome back. 16 minutes after the hour. new this morning, more than 1 million people had visited the new 9/11 memorial since it opened 16 weeks ago. a museum on the site is still being built. it should be ready to open next year on september 11. and a close call for eight people who walked away from a crash landing in ft. lauderdale's executive airport. the 650 took off yesterday morning but an unspecified problem forced the pilot to make an emergency landing. the jet crashing through -- after coming down hot. the passengers were terrified. >> i had my husband in the next seat. he held my hand and told me we were going down. we are going down. >> the faa is investigating the cause of the accident. part man and part terminator.
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a marine is recovering this morning in south florida after he was robbed and shot three times you about men who responded to a craigslist ad about his fiance's gold chain. lieutenant colonel carl was chasing down the chiefs when one opened fire and hit himself of ral times in the chest. listen to this. he pulled out the bullets with his own hands and then he even called home. here's the story in their own words. >> i go to iraq and afghanistan multiple times and i haven't been shot or blown up. i'm here at home in florida and here i am riding away in a an ambulance. he hit me five times. i was pointing out the marks on the necklace to him and then he kind of picked it up and put it in his hands and yeah, that feels real and just took off running. dialed my phone and talked to my
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fiancee. listen, i have been shot. i think three times. >> i mean, it's amazing to me how this guy has been shot this many time. i mean, he's superman. you know. and he -- he's talking to me just as calmly as i'm sitting here talking to you now. i have been shot three times. my fingers are in bullet holes the police are going to take care of the kids. >> superman is right. she's -- i think the -- the shock masks her happiness. >> doing okay. we are very happy to report that he will join us tomorrow from the hospital with more of his incredible story. firefighters saved the life of a dog trapped in the frozen waters of fargo, north dakota. the entire rescue caught on camera. emergency crews strapped on water rescue gear and helmet cam and they jumped on the ice, red river to save a stranded black labrador. the lab stuck on the ice shown
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clinging for his life. >> looked like he jumped in the river like most black labs love to do and play in the water. >> it was really tired. you could tell i don't know how long it was there but it das i'm sure it struggled white a kwil. >> both paws up on the ice and -- begging for mercy. >> firefighters say jake, 11-year-old black lab, lost his way home. he's now safe with his family. imagine one calendar, one time zone, for the entire world. that's right. team of scientists at johns hopkins university proposing a new standardized calendar system. take a look at your screen. each day would fall on the same day of the week every year, christmas always on a sunday and new year's eve always on a saturday. and instead of 365 days, the year would have 364. plus, an extra week every few years. no more leap years, most month was have 30 days and every third month would have 31.
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scientists say the new system would have save time and make scheduling easier. i don't know. it sounds more confusing to me. meanwhile -- >> takes the randomness out of it, excitement of knowing what days you will be getting off ruined the holiday time. >> what day of the week your birthday is? rob marciano off today. reynolds wolf in the extreme weather center with the forecast. good morning. >> good morning. big mistake they are making. you need to have christmas every day needs to be on a thursday, thursday, guaranteed at least a four-day workday. >> i like your thinking. >> obviously for people like us, television doesn't apply to us but for everyone else, hey, how could you possibly be lose. you will be losing it at a few airports. few backups here and there. especially in places like -- detroit, seattle, san francisco, and denver. you have wind that can give you delay. under an hour. chicago, it is going to be rain. in new york and boston, big issues going to be the wind. wind will play a huge factor in your day today.
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lit make those cool temperatures feel even cooler. es pshly to the friends in montpelier, vermont. 7 below is what it feels like with the wind roaring in from the northwest and syracuse, it feels like 7. albany, 3. portland, 8. abo what we are going to see to the west, western great lakes, something different. we have cold air in place. also rain in chicago. some light snow falling. sleet. in places like milwaukee, wisconsin, just east of minneapolis. farther out to the west and parts of seattle, even into our friends in vancouver and seattle, portland, we are going to be seeing the cloud cover and with it high elevation, combination of rain in the valleys but up above the snow. it is going to be very heavy. some places getting well over a foot of snowfall. that coupled with strong winds, p wind gustses in parts of big sky country, northern rockies, approaching and surpassing tropical storm force. it is going to be very breezy up there to say the least. southern half of the country, wrapping things up. sunshine for the four corn terse
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p. i'ms in place like dallas and houston sishgts and 70s. 55 in billings. 48 in minneapolis. 37 in new york. and 58 in atlanta. that's your forecast. let's send it back to you guy. >> chilly in new york. thank you very much. still ahead, look inside syria. you won't see anywhere else. freelance journalist sneaks into the city of homes under sniper fire and finds people living in terror. too afraid to cross the street. ron paul on the rise in iowa. could the texas congressman actually win tuesday's caucuses? you are watching "american morning." [ female announcer ] you use the healing power of touch every day. the healing power of touch can be even more powerful. with precise from the makers of tylenol. precise pain relieving cream works quickly to activate sensory receptors. it helps block pain signals fast for relief you can feel precisely where you need it most. precise.
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minding your business this
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morning. two more trading sessions to go in 2011. so far the dow is up 5% for the year. leading the dow down 138 points yesterday. all things considered, the it has been bernanke year for the auto industry. according to trucar.com close to 13 million cars, trucks, suvs were sold in 2011. that's the best perform since 2008. analysts say next year is looking even better. late surge in holiday shopping has retailers celebrating. according to shopper track, online sales in the final week before christmas were up 16% over last year. spending in the same week went up nearly 15%. overall retail sales up 4.5% to the year. the deal is believed to be worth $7 billion to the afghan government with china national petroleum given the right to
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develop a small field in northern afghanistan. that's believed to hold 80 million barrels of oil. million apologies from "the new york times." that's how many people received an e-mail say p sent by mistake. informing they would no longer be receiving home delivery of the newspaper. readers were concerned that the paper had been hacked and their personal information had been compromised. "the times" says it was an employee error. and the google plus social network topped 60 million users. some analysts say that number is going to go up. 400 million by the end of 2012. facebook has the 800 million active users. "american morning" will be right back. capital one's new cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus! so you earn 50% more cash. according to research, everybody likes more cash. well, almost everybody... ♪ would you like 50% more cash? no!
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♪ i like it. yeah, i love the kitchen. [ male announcer ] the epa-estimated 42 mpg highway chevy cruze eco. from looking for your perfect home to finding it. chevy runs deep. sold out of almost all of the glocks. most popular models were sold out. >> the hottest gift this year,
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guns. americans buying a record number of guns during the festive holiday season. what the sudden boom in gun sales could say about the 2012 election on this "american morning." welcome back. glad you could join us this morning. it is 6:30. time for this morning's top stories. upheaval in iowa. newt gingrich fading. rick santorum rising in the late cnn poll. front-runners with santorum nine points back in third and gingrich slipping to fourth. former house speaker plunging 19 points since earlier this month. violence erupting in another syrian city with peace moptors set to arrive. opposition group says rebel forces ambushed a syrian military convoy. killing four soldiers and wounding a dozen more in the soy of dara.
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the u.s. navy warning iran not to make good on the threat of block the strait of hormuz. iran said it would shut down the straut if the u.s. imposes sanctions on iranian oil exports over iran's nuclear program. experts say that a blockade could double the price of oil overnight. one of michele bachmann's biggest backers in iowa is suddenly a ron paul supporter. iowa state senator kent sorensen has been one of bachmann's high-profile adviser but surprised ron paul supporters yesterday when he announced he was bailing on the minnesota congresswoman and getting behind the texas congressman. >> tonight has been tough for me. i have been serving as michele bachmann's state chair over the last year. and while michelle is fine for my tremendously conservative values i believe we are a turning point in the campaign with the republican establishment is going to be coming good him over the next few days i thought it was my
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duty to come to his aid. >> ron paul is on a roll. you can always tell a candidate has real chance of winning iowa because his rivals step up attacks. and in the media, it is also turning up the heat. >> it looks like there are more cameras than there used to be. >> welcome to the big-time ron paul. a candidate who until recently has spent much of the race for the nomination running slightly under the radar. paul climbed out of an suv at the iowa speedway and was suddenly getting treated like a top tier candidate. stone silent, though, when i asked him to respond to attacks from newt gingrich just last night in the situation room. mr. paul, newt gingrich is very tough on you. he said you had no idea what you were making money on your newsletter, it was racist and anti-semitic. what do you say to that? the the congressman's rise to
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the top tier in the polls here in iowa made him a target. check out gingrich's ferocious attack in the situation room starting with paul's questionable claim he did not write and never read racially charged newt letters printed under paul's name in the 1980s and 1990s. >> as people get to know more about ron paul, who disowns ten years of his own newsletter, says he didn't really realize what was in it. had no idea what he was making money on. had no idea it was racist, anti-semitic, calling for the destruction of israel and talked about a race war. all of this is a sudden shock to ron paul. people won't take him as a serious person. >> reporter: romney joined in on the attacks also. slamming him for his foreign policy, specifically his previously stated position on iran. romney never actually mentioned paul's name. >> greatest threat that israel faces and greatest threat the world faces is a nuclear iran.
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and i -- we have differing views on this. one of the people running for president and thinks it is okay for iran to have a nuclear weapon. i don't. >> reporter: racetrack event in iowa, paul took a number of questions from the audience but none about the attacks from romney and gingrich. >> how long do we have to stay in korea? i mean, we have been there since i was in high school. we have been in japan since world war ii. we have been in germany subsidizing their defense since world war ii. >> reporter: what the campaign did do is release a new ad criticizing the politicians of the so-called washington machine and including pictures of both gingrich and romney. >> the washington machine is strangling our economy. politicians supported bailouts and mandates. hypocrites and flip-floppers. >> the government is tightening the choke hold on the people. tanks firing at protesters, snipers, randomly shooting
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civilians on the streets. syria's behind the accused of finding the real slaughter for peace monitors. one freelance journalist and filmmaker put his life on the line and slipped into the city to get the real story. he is sharing what he found in this cnn exclusive. >> reporter: snipers are basically on every main street. they have check points on both sides. snipers will shoot everybody who is crossing this street between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 in the morning. this is an unofficial curfew. they told me i have to meet this woman. this is the mother of a victim who got shot when she was
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pregnant in the seventh month. it was during the morning when she wants to go out for shopping. >> translator: her brother tried for half an hour to go over the walls and roofs to get to her. but he didn't manage to reach her. finally they managed to pull her away. but it took another half an hour to get her to my house. >> you or i seen where a half hour ago somebody got shot. and 30 minutes later people are crossing very normally the street. me crossing this street, i have been feeling basically, feeling that somebody is aiming. snipers are aiming at me. it is up to them if he's going to pull the trigger or not. i came to this juncture and i realized that somebody wanted to cross the street with a huge pack of cigarettes.
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so -- i could hear the snipers shooting. he wasn't able to cross the street and the bag of cigarettes was in the middle of the street. very impressive scenes where people have been very happily and almost like sport challenge to get the cigarette bags out of sniper range. they were quite happy when they could. >> translator: we need to cross the street to buy bread and other food but the snipers surrounded this area. it is a huge danger. good they started to throw the bread. everything they needed is on the other side. they throw it over the streets. the point of no return is already crossed. the people are -- there are no options. they started to uprise and so
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many blocks. so many people got killed already. and when they stopped to go out to the streets, the regime has to come back and got to get killed anyway. >> violence is now flaring up in another syrian city as arab league fact finders head there. it is just stunning to watch this scene. the military targeting its own people. >> reporter: that's right, deb. and the more we speak to rights activists, objectsition group members, and residents in syria, especially cities where that report was, the more we hear these tales of horror, massacres that continue to occur and that everybody and anybody there target, one thing that is happening, too, is even though this arab league monitoring team is there, is there in the city, we keep hearing reports of
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violence. that's making a lot of people inside and outside syria question the credibility of this monitoring scene. even before they got there we heard reports of dozens of people killed, hundreds of people wounded. now they are in the town. we are hearing reports that crackdowns are ensuing on people gathered, security forces are still shooting at people with live bullets and tear gas and we are seeing a lot of videos, purporting to show even as members of the team walk around neighborhoods shooting, still being heard in the distance as the monitors take pictures of the surrounding area for their investigation. so it is really causing a lot of concern. we spoke today to a member of the arab doctors association. invited to join this team. he pulled out of the arab league fact finding mission after being selected. he told us he disagreed with the methods. all i see now is the head of the mission barely announcing any information while dozens died in the first two days of the miss. even though the arab league say they will continue to be
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transparent and make reports available to the arab league we are just not hearing from those monitors on the ground. that's causing great concern of the people of syria and questioning if this team is as affected as it should be. >> we are going to be checking back with you. lots more questions, lots more information. you are going to bring us on later on. thanks so much. also new this morning, the father of the missing toddler ayla reynolds. he's saying whoever has his little girl is to do the right thing and return her safely. and is claiming his innocence in her disappearance. she was last seen december 16 when her father says he put her to bed. the grandfather of the missing 20-month-old told nancy grace his daughter has reached out but has not been in touch with the family. priests break out into a broomstick brawl where christian tradition holds jesus was born.
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more than 50 clernlg gri the greek orthodox and armenian church came together to claim the church nativity and started hurling insults and then it came to blows. then they broke out the brooms. palestinian police stormed in to break it up. disneyland at its max. tens of thousands of holiday travelers flooded the california theme park yesterday and, in fact, it became so crowded that the park had to stop selling tickets. can you imagine? this is becoming almost an annual tradition. just last year the park had to shut down because of overcrowding. many visitors, not surprisingly, were annoyed. it is a little frustrating to pay, you know $300 for three people to go into the park and only get to ride three rides. $100 per ride almost. you know. i would say i wasn't worth it. >> it is worth it for us living in sacramento and coming over here. this is our third day. it is worth it.
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it is long but worth the wait. >> all right. what's the max capacity for disneyland? park officials won't say but sources estimate it is about 85,000 people. it is the holidays but imagine packing up your family, going out there to disney land and not being able to get in. >> if you are going to go, you have to go early. especially during the peak times. you will be shut out. which is why my kids think i'm insane. they get them out there at 7:30 in the morning. hurry up. we won't be able to ride these more than once. still ahead, the hottest christmas gift this year. no, not ipad. not a video game but guns. real guns. >> concerned about what obama will do if re-elected. they are trying to get stuff while they can. >> are people afraid the government will take their weapons away in 2012? or is it just a matter of personal protection. barbara starr takes a look. >> also, investing money in american businesses or buying a
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green card. we will take a closer look at a federal program aimed at immigrant investors. 44 minutes after the hour. back after this. [ female announcer ] splenda® no calorie sweetener is sweet... and more. if you replace 3 tablespoons of sugar a day with splenda®, you'll save 100 calories a day. that could help you lose up to 10 pounds in a year. and now get even more with splenda® essentials, the only line of sweeteners with a small boost of fiber, or antioxidants, or b vitamins in every packet. just another reason why you get more... when you sweeten with splenda®. ♪ when you sweeten with splenda®. what is it about taking a first step that we find so compelling? is it because taking a step represents hope? or triumph? at genworth, we believe in taking small steps every day to keep your promises, protect what matters, and prepare for a secure financial future.
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welcome back. it is bill as a way to create american jobs. immigrants investing money in exchange for a green card. it is perfectly legal anding in fact, it is encouraged by the u.s. government. i went to a ski resort in a small vermont town able to expand because of foreign investments. take a look. it is that time of year. everyone at jay peak resort in vermont is gearing up for the ski season. but for co-owner bill stanger says the snow is not enough to make a business. he's hard at work transforming the winter resort into a year-round facility. building a golf course, a water park, and an indoor ice ring. >> without sustained year-round operations you can't survive. you must be 12-month-a-year operations. >> reporter: he needed about $250 million to expand.
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the banks wanted 30% down. money he did not have. >> if you don't have capital, you can't mauck things happen. >> reporter: instead using a federal program, he got the money from rich immigrants willing to invest $500,000 each in exchange for a green card for them and their families. >> we have over 500 investors from 56 countries. >> reporter: among them, berinda and his wife. these are the permanent green cards. >> these are the green cards. >> reporter: he is an indian engineer that travels on business to the united states. he decided to switch countries and careers and became a mystic teaching enlightenment. >> i make up my mind, i come here and the only option available at that time was the investor root. >> reporter: the 20-year-old program has brought in about $2 billion in investment. he has been aggressively promoted by the obama administration as a way to create jobs.
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especially in rural areas with high unemployment. critics, like david north, who supports strict limits on immigration says this amounts to selling green cards on the cheap. >> if we are going to be selling visas for money i think we should sell them for a lot more and put the money in the treasury rather than scattering it around for these developers who figured out how to get money from the aliens. >> reporter: tell that to bill. >> we have retail shops. >> reporter: eager to show us around and boasted the impact on the local economy. >> hundreds and hundreds of new full-time jobs being created as a result of these facilities. >> reporter: locals also are happy for the foreign investment. boyd quinton able to stay put and raise his family here. >> before this started i was traveling two, three, four hours to work in connecticut, new hampshire. >> reporter: and now year round employee alex knox says the pros outweigh the cons.
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>> working on a few thousand people coming in and creating a whole bunch of jobs for those of us that ned them quite badly. >> the rules are that investors must show created ast least ten jobs and could only pull their money out after four years. but if a business does fold, those investors lose their money. getting a green card is no guarantee of getting citizenship. there are 10,000 of the special visas up for grabs every year but far fewer aprilly wants what a great idea. it creates jobs and sort of a pathway to citizenship. it gives him a 12 month a year business versus a seasonal business. >> exactly right. great story. one of the hottest items this holiday season, guns. men and many women arming themselves before the new year. what's going on? why the sudden spike in sales? we will talk about it. ♪ [ female announcer ] you use the healing power of touch every day. the healing power of touch can be even more powerful.
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52 minutes after the hour. here is what you need to know to start your day. newt gingrich fading. rick santorum. mitt romney and ron paul are the front runners with santorum now just nine points back in third place. gingrich falling to fourth. u.s. navy warning iran not to shut down the strait of hormuz. the most important oil shipping artery in the word. iran said it would shut down the strait if the u.s. imposes sanctions on iranian oil exports
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over iran's nuclear program. experts say a blockade could double the price of oil overnight. violence erupting in another syrian city this morning as peace monitors arrive. syrian forces reportedly firing on protesters in the city. critics now questioning the credibility of arab league teams on the ground there because of the recent surge in violence. north korea warning its late leader kim jong-il, the second day and final day of memorial ceremonies in pyongyang. kim jong-il died nearly two weeks ago from an apparent heart attack. iowa lottery is looking for the winner of a $16.5 million jackpot. they have until 4:00 p.m. today to claim their prize. look at your tickets. ticket was purchased a year ago at a quick trip store in des moines. that's the news you need to know to start your day. "american morning" is back after this.
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♪ ♪ pack yourself a gun good morning. new york city. what a beautiful shot of the sunrise there. 6:5. time to wake up. welcome back to "american morning." ralphi from "a christmas story" is not the only one asking for a gun this christmas. >> what's behind the sudden boom in sales? our barbara starr takes a look. >> these are like $3300 rifles. we sold three of these earlier in the week. >> reporter: in this holiday season of peace on earth and good will to man, gun sales are
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on the rise. >> our busiest december ever. >> reporter: maryland gun shop owner andy raymond says people are buying everything from assault rifles to handguns. >> totally sold out of almost the nine millimeter glocks, standard most popular models sold out. >> reporter: it is nationwide trend. fbi is reporting a million and a halfback ground checks in the month of december alone. that is an all-time record. raymond says many customers already own guns and are buying more. >> there's also the aspect of it, upcoming election. lot of people are once again concerned about that. they are concerned about what obama is going to do if he is re-elected. so they are trying to get stuff while they can. >> reporter: criminal test experts are not surprised at the chatter. >> there is a set of groups out there that every time there is a democrat going to be elected or democrat going to be re-elected say you should go out and get guns because they are going to ban guns. >> reporter: there is no indication of a new ban.
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but republicans again are making sure that the photo-ops show them as pro-gun ownership. >> i actually am for gun control. use both hands. >> the largest increase you have ever seen the month of sales. it is something that we have the look into as public safety officials and say why is this happening. >> reporter: some of the people woe talked to out there buying guns say the reason they want to buy, they want to hunt or have personal protection. and many say that they are buying guns to give as gifts. barbara starr, cnn, washington. still to come this morning a new cnn poll, shaking things up in iowa in a big way. just five days to go before the caucuses. rick santorum on the rise. gingrich is falling. we are going to let you know how the political landscape has suddenly changed. iran is playing the oil card.
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it is 58 minutes after the hour. when bp made a commitment to the gulf, we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home.
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♪ [ male announcer ] icy hot no-mess applicator. wherever you hurt, it massages in icy to dull pain, hot to relax it away. no pain. no mess. significant shake-up in iowa. newt gingrich fading. rick santorum suddenly surging with five days to go before the caucuses, it is looking like a brand-new ball game. that's right could gas prices be rising? how tensions with iran could impact money in your pocket as the iranian government plays the oil card. threatening to choke off the third of the world's oil supply. sneaking into a city under siege to get the real story. snipers picking off people at will on the streets.
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a freelance journalist gets a look at the violence syria doesn't want you to see. it is amazing to me this guy has been shot this many times. i mean, he's superman. i have been shot three times, my fingers are in bullet holes. >> part man, part terminator. shot three times in a robbery. a marine pulls out the bullets with his own hands and he's talking about it from his hospital bed on this "american morning." good morning. it is thursday, december 29. welcome to "american morning." that man is not only part man, part terminator, part superman. we will get to that story in a little bit. first, we have a lot of news to cover. including politics. >> right now, five days to go before the iowa caucuses, a
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stunning shift in the political landscape. look at the numbers in this brand-new poll. shaking things up. mitt romney now alone on top in iowa followed closely by ron paul with newt gingrich fading and rick santorum inching up, surging, into the top three. gingrich now 11 points behind romney. dropped 19 points in less than a month. the former massachusetts governor is in no particular hurry to accept his demands for a one-on-one debate. >> i don't know why he is so angry. look, this is a campaign about the things we believe in. as for a -- one-on-one with newt gingrich, if he and i end up being the two finalists, we will have that opportunity. but right now, we have -- i don't know debated maybe ten times. we will do more debates in january. but until he and i are the -- two other finalists, there are other people that deserve to be on the stage. ron pauley think is leading in iowa.
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as of today. so the idea that this is all about newt or all about mitt is just not right. we have a field of candidates, i will debate all of them. when it comes down to the fin finali finalists, i hope i'm one of them, and if i am i will debate whoever the other finalist is. >> romney likening gingrich's campaign to lucille ball in the chocolate factory. gingrich seemed to appreciate the humor. you can see him there at his own chocolate factory. he still is not dropping the challenge to romney for a face-to-face showdown. >> governor romney had a cute line yesterday about my team resembling lucy and the chocolate factory. i want to say here i am in the chocolate factory. and now that i have the courage to come to the chocolate factory i hope governor romney will have the courage to debate me one on one. >> just a stunning as gingrich's decline is rick santorum's sudden rise. just yesterday the former
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pennsylvania senator was saying that lee would pack it in if he finished last in iowa. cnn political editor paul steinhauser is live in des moines this morning with what's behind the santorum surge and the gingrich drop and could it have anything to do with the fact iowa is a conservative state and maybe they are realizing that they need to get their candidates a little bit higher up there? >> reporter: it could be. social conservative voters, deb, very influential out here on the republican side in iowa. no doubt about it. and thanks to his stances on issues like abortion and gay marriage p. popular with them. he has been making a major push for scioscia conservative voters. look at this. break down our poll. overall number you gave. break it down by people who are self-described born den christians. look who is on the top. rick santorum, 22%. everybody else lower down. that's one reason why santorum is rising in our polls. another reason, old fashioned hard work.
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take a listen to what he told wolf blitzer yesterday here in iowa on "the situation room." >> like any small business person, wolf. with the money not coming in, just going to work harder. that's what we are doing. continuing to work hard and doing radio shows at 6:00 in the morning and going until 9:00, 10:00 at night. town meeting at after town meeting. 357 town hall meetings i have done in the state of iowa. you know, hard work pays off. >> reporter: okay. so what's behind the gingrich fall? well, the gingrich campaign says all that negative advertising, turn on your tv, is see a barrage of ads, critical of gingrich. one other thing, deb. what's going on with michele bachmann? big stunner last night. right here in iowa. sorensen was her top person.
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guess what, last night he shows up at a ron paul rally and says i am now supporting ron paul. gets even crazier. bachmann's campaign last night said sorensen was paid off to go to ron paul. sources of the paul campaign say no, not true. five days to go, deb. it has been one wild ride here in iowa. >> certainly has. interesting that romney remained near or at the top of public opinion surveys in iowa. he has to hold on to it for now. we will check in with you later onchlgts with newt gingrich's numbers declining, mitt romney in the front-runner position in iowa. also in new hampshire. our next guest says we could be looking at a nightmare scenario for his conservative voters. ron brownstein joins us live from washington. good to see you. >> good morning. >> let's talk about newt gingrich. 20 days, we have seen him fall about 20 points. 19 points to be exact in iowa. he was leading at one point with 33%. now he is in fourth place with 14% of the vote. as you well know he is quick to
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point out all those negative ads finally got to him. isn't there more to the story here? >> well, i think it is part of the story we have seen all year. i mean, michele bachmann, rick perry, herman cain, newt gingrich, rapid rise and faster fall. it is a reflection above all of two things. first, this race is existing almost entirely on television and as a result candidates aren't building as deep a relationship with their voters as in the past. more susceptible to the rapid changes based on new information. and secondly, one of the dominant story lines is one of the bug story lines in the poll as the inability of conservative voters or skeptical about mitt rom new, to find an alternative who checks all of their boxes and they can lastingly get behind. and gingrich is only, as i said the fourth one in this trajectory who has riz wren and fa -- risen and fallen in that way. >> i want to talk about romney and his rise in the iowa poll in just a minute. you mentioned just sort of that
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lack of a ground game that's going on in the gingrich campaign and some of the other campaigns. flip side of that is when you have a strong ground game like rick santorum. you see what happened in the poll yesterday. i mean, he just shot up. he's now in number three. are you surprised by this? >> i mean, a little bit. in that he struggled all year. but not in the sense that -- those voters, those evangelical christian voters in iowa are v to go somewhere. ace said the big story in your iowa poll yesterday, i think, crystallizes what has been the major story line of the republican race all year. which is that mitt romney is being slightly more successful at consolidating more moderate and secular parts of the party than anyone is at consolidating the more evangelical and ideologically ardent tea party. so he's ahead even though he is looking at a modest overall number at 25%. no better than showing last time and lost the state by nine points. >> 60% of the voters in iowa are
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social conservatives. you know. and the same is true later on in south carolina. and so, you know, having said that, you call romney's rise in the poll a nightmare scenario for conservative voters. why? >> well, for the conservative activists who are most dubious about romney, iowa poll yesterday is a snapshot of everything they are afraid of. romney never develops an overall majority in the party. he's only at 25% overall. no better than 2008 when he lost. but he has the possibility of winning anyway because that conservative -- bigger conservative block that's skeptical of him can't unify behind any one candidate. he's getting around a third of voters who don't identify with the tea party, about a third of voters who don't identify as evangelical christians in iowa. among the evangelical christians and tea party supporters, nobody is getting more than about a fifth. rick santorum 22% you just showed him leading among evangelicals in iowa is a modest number.
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you have a six-car pileup. six candidates very closely divided and that benefits romney. >> with all due respect, ron, i mean, i want to give romney a little more credit. is this -- that sort of classic turtle and hare story? slow but steady wins the race. this has been his campaign all along p.m. are he just now starting to see it pay off? >> it could pay off in a big way. republican race really tash talked about before, proceeded along two parallel tracks. a competition where the voters that don't identify with the tea party, not evangelical christians, pragmatic, business oriented and economic oriented. and romney is making steady progress at consolidating those voters. he's up to a third of them in both categories in iowa and higher than that in new hampshire where is very strong. other half of the race has been the inability of anyone to lastingly unify that other more conservative side of the party and as dubious and really that phenomenon that's so precisely captured in your poll. >> bachmann, michele bachmann,
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like to say she has the support after tea party but at the bottom of the poll. 9%. something happened yesterday. her iowa state chair decided he wanted to jump ship and go over to ron paul. big picture, what's this mean for bachmann? >> i think she struggled. high point for her was winning the ames straw poll last summer. both her and rick perry as the season has gone on, even though they are probably ideologically and most in tune with where the party is today, simply haven't beenable to reject the ply built as nominee for president and in some way that explains the vacuum you are seeing in iowa. those are the candidates who are probably best positioned in their views to consolidate and unify the party. the result is what you see here today. you know, which is -- on the brink of the actual voting a. as i say, no one above 19% in your iowa poll with tea party
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supporters, no one above 22% among adult christian -- evangelical christians. if that happens and conservative side of the party stays fragmented it is an enormous advantage for romney who is making not spectacular but steady progress unifying the other side of the party behind him. >> willing to make a bet? think she will drop out after iowa? >> no. i think -- the part of the problem she has, south carolina is just as friendly to candidates who depend on evangelical votes. if the conservatives fragment in iowa, for torch go on to south carolina, santorum, gingrich, bachmann. all hoping for last stand. the risk is that the same thing happens in iowa which is that conservatives fragment, again. again, that is kind of the nightmare scenario for the conservatives who don't want romney that -- he never attracts an absolute affirmative majority that wants him but doesn't matter because no one can coalesce that group of voters
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skeptical about him. >> nightmare scenario for conservatives. isn't it the best case scenario for people like you and me to watch this race? >> yes. >> ron brownstein. always great to see you. thank you so much. iran threatening to stop the know of oil through the strait of hormuz. if new sanctions are imposed on its crude exports. the sanctions meant to pressure iran to halt nuclear program. a third of the world's oil supply travels through the strait. experts say a blockade could double street price of oil overnight. the u.s. navy already warning that the move will not be tolerated. jill dougherty is live at the state department. jill? >> reporter: the latest is coming in this war of words. hopefully not a real war. from the revolutionary guards commander who is saying our response to threats is threats. and what he is responding to is a very strong statement coming from the u.s. navy which is any
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disruption in oil passing through the strait of hormuz will not be tolerated. the situation right now, i think it is -- it is that this is a vital, vital area that strait of hormuz coming in very narrow. you can see it on the map. very narrow stretch and it is like a choke point for oil coming from iran out to the rest of the world. and iran now is saying look, we are going to shut that off because they don't want sanctions. very, very difficult sanctions, tough sanctions, that the united states and perhaps europe now are going to be leveling against the oil industry of iran. it is a big threat to iran and iran right now thinks that it can threaten back. but it is a highly dangerous situation. there is no way that iran could possibly stand up against the u.s. navy. certainly right now they are playing with fire. >> fascinating because i does look like the two sides are really almost at a standstill
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with each of them pushing back. is there the possibility of a potential u.s. strike if they do choke off that point? >> you know, if they really try to, militarily and many analysts believe that they won't really do it, but if they did, you would have to say according to the experts we have been speaking to, the united states would be forced to do it, and the international community says that's -- that is international passageway for oil and it would -- very big way affect oil prices. there would have to be some type of military response. but at this point, again, it is -- it is really a war of words. >> right. absolutely. all right. jill dougherty for us at the state department. everybody looking at this to see what's going to happen very serious. thank you very much. still ahead, incredible story that proves yet again the marines are just a rare breed. >> go to iran and afghanistan
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multiple times and i haven't been shot or blown up. i'm here at home in florida and here i am in an ambulance with gunshot wounds. >> man home from two wars shot on the streets of south florida three times. not only did he live to tell about it, he plugged the bullet holes with his own fingers. we are going to bring you his story. a look inside syria that you won't see anywhere else. freelance journalist sneaks into the city and finds people living in fear in the shadow of tanks and snipers. capital one's new cash rewards card gives you a 50 percent annual bonus. so you earn 50 percent more cash. if you're not satisfied with 50% more cash, send it back! i'll be right here, waiting for it. who wouldn't want more cash? [ insects chirping ] i'll take it. i'll make it rain up in here. [ male announcer ] the new capital one cash rewards card. the card for people who want 50% more cash. what's in your wallet?
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he is being called a superhero. a marine is recover thing morning in south florida after he was robbed and then shot three times by men who responded to a craigslist ad about his fiancee's gold chain. police say that the marine was chasing down the thieves when one opened fire and hit him several times in the chest. he pulled out the bullets with his own hands and then called
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home. here's the story in his own words. >> i go to iraq and afghanistan multiple times and i haven't been shot or blown up. i'm here at home in florida and here i am riding away in an brans with gunshot wounds. show hit me five times. i was pointing out the carat marks on the neck loose him and then he picked it up and put it in his hand and said yeah, that feels real and then just took off running. dialed the phone. talked to my fiancee. i have been shot. i think three times. >> i mean, it is amazing to me how this guy had been shot this many times. i mean, he's superman. you know. he is talking to me just as calmly as i'm sitting here talking to you now. i have been shot three times. my fingers are in bullet holes. the police are going to take care of the kids.
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>> totally incredible story. so calm, so cool, so collected. i hope they get those guys. the colonel will join us tomorrow from the hospital with more on his incredible story. >> can't wait for that. it is 21 minutes after the hour. reynolds wolf in the extreme weather center. sounds liking? you would do, rob -- i mean, reynolds. >> i answer to anything. it is all right. why is this story surprising? the man is a marine. that's why they train so hard at camp pendleton. the very best. still the best weather you can ever find is in parts of the northeast. if you don't mind the way things look, beautiful feeling out there. it is going to be cold. backups in spots, lightning in boston the detroit, have you some backups through the snow showers. low clouds at seattle and san francisco. with denver wind. we started it off with new york. let's revisit that for a moment. new york state as well as other part of the northeast, big story
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will be cold temperatures. take a look at highs today. albany. we are talking about rye here -- right at the freezing point in many spots. few places above. then when you bring in that strong wind it changes the landscape. it feels like five, seven below in montpelier. 12 for your neighbors in toronto. ten in buffalo and ten in providence. as you take a look at the national perspective, back towards the west, you will see light snow falling in minnesota, u.p. of michigan and for farther south in chicago, rain. it will not last all day long. nice mild conditions will wrap things up. nice over the four corners and back over to southern california with high temperatures today of 52 degrees in seattle. 74 in los angeles. 59 in memphis. 73 in miami. new york with 37 degrees. that's your forecast. now it is your turn. >> thanks so much, reynolds. still to come this morning, a look at the terror inside syria. a freelance journalist sneaks into the city and shows us what
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the syrian government has gone to great lengths to hide. when it comes to politics, will 2012 bring more of the same gridlock or not? you are watching "american morning." it is 23 minutes after the hour. brad, where we going? just a second. just, just one second. ♪ what are you looking at? don't look up there. why are you looking up? ♪ get outta the car. get outta the car. ♪ are you ok? the... get in the car. get in the car! [ male announcer ] the epa estimated 42 mpg highway chevy cruze eco. from spending time together, to spending your lives together, chevy runs deep.
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two more trading sessions to go in 2011. so far the dow is up 5% for the year. but it has been a sluggish week. late sell-off on low volume. dow down 138 points yesterday. and it has been a banner year for the auto industry. according to trucar.com posted 13 million cars, trucks, suvs
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sold in 2011. that's the best performance since 2008. analysts say next year looking even better. a surge in holiday shopping leaves retailers celebrating. online sales in the final week before christmas were up 16% over last year. and mall spending in that same week went up nearly 15%. overall retail sales up 14.5% year to year. the first big oil contract awarded by afghanistan not going to the u.s. it is going to china. the deal is believed to be worth $7 billion to the afghan government. china national petroleum giving the rights to develop a small field in northern afghanistan that holds an estimated 80 million barrels of oil. apologies from "the new york times." 8 million people received an e. maim september by mistake informing them they would no longer be receiving home
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delivery of the newspaper. readers were concerned the paper had been hacked or personal information had been compromised. turns out that the times says it was an employee error. google associate allege network topped 60 million users. some analysts say it could hit 400 million by the end of 2012. right now facebook, that has 800 million active users. don't forget for the latest news about your money, check out the all new cnnmoney.com.
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when bp made a commitment to the gulf, we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home.
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we have this just in to cnn. a massive shutdown on a major highway to tell you about. you are looking live there. aerial shots. i-95 northbound in volusia county, florida. shut down this morning. police say there has been a multivehicle crash involving several tractor trailers and at least one car. the orlando sentinel says one person is dead. four others are injured. cnn is still working to confirm that report. there have been explosions reported in the area as well as fires being you can nighted by burning gas. southbound i-95, we should mention, was also closed for about two hours but it has since been reopened. other top stories. north koreans are remembering leader kim jong-il. second day of mourning for the
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country. thousands were lining the streets of pyongyang to honor the late dictator who died nearly two weeks ago. the regime used artillery fire and blaring horns to pay respect to kim jong-il. the u.s. navy warning iran not to make good on a threat to block the strait of hormuz. iran said it would shut down the strait if the u.s. imposes sanctions on iranian oil exports over iran's nuclear program. experts say a blockade could double the price of oil overnight. and we may soon see the first criminal charges against bp employees stemming from the gulf oil disaster in 2010. this is according to "the wall street journal." prosecutors are considering charging several bp employees for allegedly providing false information to regulators about drilling risks. no comment from bp or the department of justice. 11 people died during that accident. rick santorum surging five days
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before the iowa caucuses. according to brand-new poll. the former pennsylvania senator has jumped to third place in the iowa race. that's ahead of newt gingrich who is in fourth. wi violence erupting in another syrian city as peace monitors arrive. now many critics questioning the credibility of the arab league team. monitoring the developments from cairo. boy, just taking a look at this, it really wondering whether whether president assad is, in fact, has any of this under control. >> reporter: that's right. and, you know, even before these arab league observers started showing up in syria, people were already questioning how syria's regime was about letting these people do the work they needed to do to really try to end the crackdown there. and the violence and since they have arrived, only heard more reports and several cities of
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violence that has been going on the past if you days. today syrian opposition group tells us that at least ten people across syria have been killed due to crackdowns by security forces. we have also seen a lot of different disturbing videos posting online from opposition groups. one very disturbing, we should warn viewers, purporting to show a member of the arab league in the city being taken into a mosque to view the body of a 5-year-old boy who reportedly was killed in this crackdown that's been going on. we have also seen videos purporting to show members of the arab league observers. they are the ones in the video that appear to be wearing orange vests and as they are touring the neighborhood and you hear gunfire all of a sudden. then it looks chaotic and then you see observers as they are looking around trying to take pictures of the scene. we have also heard yesterday that the visit by the observers to different cities in syria was
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delayed. today we are told they are there. but yesterday they were supposed to visit tehran. we heard reports that a convoy of syrian security forces came under attack by the syria army. four security forces were kid. right now what we are seeing, 75 observers we are told on are r in syria trying on conduct the mission, keep hearing of more violence and seems like more escalation and just making people worry. if this mission can be effective, and how credible these observers are and what they can do to end the violence in that country. >> mohammed, thank you very much. and as you just heard, syria is being accused of hiding the real slaughter from peace monitors. one brave free lance journalist, filmmaker, who we will not name for his own security, put his life on the line and slipped into the city, the center of the resistance to get the real story. he is sharing with us and with you what he found in this cnn
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exclusive. >> snipers are basically every main street. they have checkpoints on both sides. snipers would shoot everybody who is basically crossing this street between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 in the morning. and this is an unofficial curfew. they told me i have to meet this woman. this is a mother of the victim who got shot when she was pregnant, in her seventh month. it was during the morning when she wants to go out for shopping. >> translator: her brother tried for half an hour to go over the walls and roofs to get to her. but he didn't manage to reach her. finally, they managed to pull her away. but it took another half an hour
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to get her to my house. >> you or i, a situation, you or i foreseen -- a half our ago somebody got shot. and 30 minutes later, people are crossing, very normally, the street. me crossing the street, i have been feeling basically, literally i have been feeling that somebody is aiming. it is up to him if he is going to pull the trigger or not. i came to this junction and i realize that somebody wanted to cross the street with a huge bag of cigarettes. so -- i could hear the sniper shooting. he was -- was than able to cross the street. the bag of cigarettes was in the middle of the street. one of the unprecedented -- present impressive scenes where people have been very happily --
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almost like a sport challenge to get the cigarette bags out from the sniper range. and they were happy when they could. >> translator: we need to cross the street to buy bread and other food but the snipers surrounded this area. it is a huge danger. >> they started to throw the bread because they are not able to cross. everything they need order the other side, they throw it across the street. at the point of no return has already crossed. the people now, there are no options. they started to uprise in so many blocks. so many people got killed already. and when they start to go out to the streets, the regime is going to come back and they got to get killed anyway. >> incredible that he had that kind of access slipped in there and able to get out and brings that report.
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coming up, a massachusetts town pay it is parents of a teenage bullying victim who committed suicide. remember the phoebe prince case? we are going to tell you just how much her parents got in that settlement. lessons of a slice of american culture or teaching hated. a ruling in arizona that could mean the end of mexican studies in schools. it is 40 minutes past the hour. you ready for your present? yeah.
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take a look there. a very cold day here in new york city. sunny, 25 degrees. going up to 37 a little later on. central park. a park we call our backyard. you heard that right 25shgs degrees. i had to double-check with our producers to make sure that was right. it is right. chilly morning. if you are waking up in new york city, make sure you take your coat. new this morning, choking dangers for a popular children's toy. the build-a-bear workshop company recalling nearly 300,000 colorful hearts teddy bears. the u.s. consumer products safety commission says the bears' eye could loosen and fall out, becoming a choking hazard. so far there have been no injuries reported. the chinese made toys were sold in the u.s. and canada. a third baby has been reportedly sickened by a rare bacteria that can come in powdered formula. the infant from oklahoma is recovering. bacteria also sickened an
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illinois boy earlier this mop he was fed enfamil formula. the latest case has not been linked to that formula brand. fda inspectors have been investigating the company that makes enfamil. health officials are testing environmental factors like water and surfaces used to prepare the formula. massachusetts town pays nearly a quarter million dollars to the parents of a teenage bullying victim that was driven to suicide. the parents of phoebe prince received $225,000 in the case settlement with the town of south hadley. 15-year-old phoebe prince committed suicide last year after being relentlessly bullied by her classmates. an arizona judge ruled a mexican american studies program in tucson city high school is, well, illegal. the classes were challenged based on a new state law barring racial resentment. the people that really want the classes gone, they are the real racists.
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rafael romo is live with the racially charged debate. is this about con ten or is it about the fact that the class exists? >> it is actually both. the administration and administrative law judge ruled that this mexican/american studies program was, quote, biased, political, and emotionally charged. upheld the determinenition by other state officials in arizona saying that the tucson unified school district violate ad state law in the past year. the written statement, current school superintendent from the state of arizona, said, quote in the end i made a decision based on the totality of the information and facts gathered through my investigation. a decision i felt was best for all students in the tucson unified school district. the tucson unified school district had appealed the decision to shut down the program. the board members remained equally divided on the issue. >> at this point we will review
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the direction of the administrative law judge and we believe that we are in compliance with this law. >> i would like to start over with a program that serves more of the 30,000 latino students in the district. more than 30,000. >> under the law of the state can withhold 10% of its funding for the school district which is about $15 million a year. until the district change as course tucson's superintendent said that the school board's lawyers are reviewing the ruling and board members will discuss it at a meeting next week. what to expect in politics in 2012. a look into our crystal ball and get a few predictions from our senior political writer for politico. 47 minutes past the hour. [ fe] splenda® no calorie sweetener is sweet... and more.
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48 minutes after the hour. her are your morning headlines. i-95 northbound in volusia county, florida, shut down this morning. police say that there has been a multi-vehicle crash involving several tractor trailers and at least one car. local reports say one person dead. four others were injured. there have been several explosions reported as well as fires caused by burning gas. prosecutors may be getting ready for criminal charges for
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bp employees following the 2010 gulf oil spill. this is according to "the wall street journal." prosecutors say that some workers may have provided false information about the drilling risks. 11 people died during that accident. second of the last trading session of the year gets under way in less than two hours. it has been a down week so far. but this morning the dow, nasdaq, s&p futures are pointing higher. could see a bounce at the opening bell. violence he erupting in another syrian city. syrian forces firing on protesters in. critics are questioning the credibility of arab league time because recent surge in violence. mitt romney and ron paul running neck and neck in iowa in our latest poll. rick santorum surprisingly searched a third place within nine points of the lead. newt gingrich faded into fourth dropping 19 points since the beginning of this month.
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president obama's approval ratings may be lagging but has plenty of support from latino voters. according to a news survey, latinos strongly favor the president over any republican the president topping mitt romney and rick perry by a margin of more than 2-1. that's the news you need to know to start your day. "american morning" is back after this.
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you're now looking at washington, d.c. it is mostly cloudy, 32 degrees there the high going up to 47.
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welcome back, everyone. well, bipartisanship. we will see, will we see any sign of it in 2012? i'm kind of thinking yes. what is ahead on the political landscape after iowa and new hampshire? this morning we're looking into our 2012 political crystal ball with maggie who is a senior writer for politico. bipartisanship, first of all. i look at all the candidates and they see what's going on in iowa and new hampshire the question is, is anyone focusing on if they're going to unite congress or if they're going to unite congress or what's going to happen with the euro zone. what do you see? >> all of the above is a major focuses going forward but this is all taking place in the prism of the general election campaign of the candidacy. you're not going to see a whole lot of moments in the coming months. what we have seen with the house payroll tax fight and the debt increase limit ceiling, what have you argument, i think these
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are all very rankers, partisan fights and you're going to see this played out going forward because neither side can give in a little bit. you're going to have two sides that are laying out their case, but this is an election that is going to be fought towards the middle. it's going to be fought towards the independents. you are going to have to some level of you are trying to reach out to the other side. it is going to be very, very difficult. >> what's fascinating about that, mitt romney seems to understand that a little bit because he's sort of staying right in the middle. he's okay if he's not number one. that's the most dangerous place to be in some respects simply because the second you're up to number one, everybody sort of pulls you down. for him to position himself as a moderate and he sort of gets around the whole conservative tea party, all the kind of edges. what do you think about that strategy, really? >> i think he has to do it for a couple reasons. number one, where the general election is going to be fought. number two, this is not someone who can afford to attack to the
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right. he has been accused of flip-flopping for years. he cannot run another race as seen as switching positions. this is not exactly a purple state. right? this is a very blue state. this is not going to play very well, if he was trying to attack hard right, again. again, you can't offend hispanics who are very crucial in the general election. you cannot offend working class white voters who are very crucial in the general election. however, it makes it harder to survive a primary and that's what he's struggling with right now. that being said, mitt romney chances look much, much better . right now we're not seeing signs of that. >> what about the other candidates. with evangelical conservatives in iowa approach rick santorum or michele bachmann and say move your votes over to another candidate that can perhaps win. what is their power play? are they in the game to stay or
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in the game to get some larger position? what is the strategy there? >> social conservatives and evangelical voters have been perceived as dominating the iowa caucuses for a very long time and you have this very fractured field right now where the evangelicals are split as your polls show across the board. it's basically even. this is a problem, rick santorum is up a little bit, but not so much it's making a difference. they had predicted very early on social conservatives. we will rally around one candidate. we will coalesce around one candidate and that will not happen. when we, the national band leave town on january 4th, the evangelical voters still want to have some say on what happens in iowa going forward for local issues. if they look like they are split, their power is reduced locally, at the gubernatorial level and state house elections. >> looking forward, so many huge international issues. right now iran selling its oil to china which is in afghanistan and the euro zone, what will happen there. the candidates, how will they have to prove to the american
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public that they are the ones who know how to resolve and to move forward in a stronger way? >> with retrends difficulty. with china we see a huge demonizing from china and in terms of the euro zone, it's completely unpredictable and out of everybody's hands and these candidates are to some extent very tethered to events going on that are beyond their control. we'll see. >> it seems exactly what happened to president obama when he steps into the presidency. okay, maggie from politico, thank you for joining us. great insights. top stories, next. i'll take it and tourists beware. why there is big trouble at disney land this week. also ahead, listen to this. >> it's amazing to me how this guy had been shot this many times. i mean, he's super man. i've been shot three times, my fingers are in the bulletholes.
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>> part man, part terminator. shot three times in a robbery. a marine pulls out the bullets with his own hands. we'll bring you his incredible story, next. it's 57 minutes after the hour.
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this was the gulf's best tourism season in years. all because so many people wanted to visit us... in louisiana. they came to see us in florida... nice try, they came to hang out with us in alabama... once folks heard mississippi had the welcome sign out, they couldn't wait to get here. this year was great but next year's gonna be even better. and anyone who knows the gulf knows that winter is primetime fun time. the sun's out and the water's beautiful. you can go deep sea fishing for amberjack, grouper and mackerel. our golf courses are open. our bed and breakfast have special rates. and migrating waterfowl from all over make this a bird watcher's paradise. so if you missed it earlier this year, come on down. if you've already been here come on back... to mississippi... florida... louisiana... alabama.
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the gulf's america's get-a-way spot no matter where you go. so come on down and help make 2012 an even better year for tourism on the gulf. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. the race in iowa taking on a new dimension.
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newt gingrich slipping and rick santorum searching. disney land overloaded. that's right. tens of thousands of holiday vacationers crammed into the park hitting maximum capacity and they couldn't get in on this "american morning." good morning. it's thursday, december 29th. welcome to "american morning." i'm alina cho. you're so far away, deb, come closer. >> i am. so sorry. i'm still learning my marks here. >> welcome to "american morning," everybody. 5:00 a.m. in the east awest and a.m. in the east. >> a major shift in the political landscape in iowa with five days to go before the caucuses. former pennsylvania senator rick santorum suddenly surging and former house speaker, newt gingrich, he's plunging.
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here's the brand-new cnn/"time"/orc poll. 25% for romney at the top and gingrich just nine points out of the lead. >> well if gingrich peaked too soon. the former speaker was the clear frontrunner in iowa earlier this month. in just a few short weeks, he has dropped 19 points in the polls. mitt romney showing a little swagger now that he's leading the polls in iowa and new hampshire. the former massachusetts governor sitting down with cnn's wolf blitzer in "the situation room" sounding confident about his chances, even complimenting the president, even though he's eager to take him on. >> tell me one thing you like about president obama? what has he done right? >> he's been a good model of a husband and a father. i think that's important in our country today. i think some of the things that he said on education about bringing more accountability
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into the classroom, i support that. i'm glad that he ordered the killing of osama bin laden. so, some of the things he's done, i would certainly recognize as having been properly done. >> you're ready to go head-to-head in the debate with him? >> i can't wait to go head-to-head in a debate with president obama. he has failed the american people. he has failed to get the economy going and failed the middle class of america and tried to change america in ways we wouldn't recognize. he is trying to make us more like europe. i want to make us more like america. which is a land of liberty, freedom, a land of opportunity where people are free to pursue their dreams. >> well, it's crunchtime in iowa. the candidates are canvassing the state for votes and the people are locking in their picks, or are they? joe johns live in des moines for us this morning. hey, joe, good morning. >> good morning, joe. >> this is the time -- we're
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hearing the republican party of iowa has some security concerns, actually? >> we'll start with that. the security concerns are pretty simple. you know, the "occupy" protesters have started becoming a factor here in the state of iowa and as we get closer to the caucuses, they're probably going to be even more so. so, every four years, generally, the tabulation of votes on caucus night is held at party headquarters. we are told that is going to be changed now out of security concerns. they're not confirming this is because of "occupy" protesters, but we do know they are a potential factor and we're being told, yes, they're going to move all of this to a secret location. while generally it's been in des moines before, we don't know where it is. meanwhile, here's another -- >> yeah, let's talk about the polls because that's the big news here, which is that in just
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20 days gingrich has fallen 19 points and santorum, which is surprising to a lot of people, now number three in the iowa poll. i mean, what's going on here? >> well, a lot of people have said rick santorum, quite frankly, may have been underpolling here in iowa. he's one of the candidates who's spent a lot of time here. he's been to every single county. sometimes more than once. and now we're looking at a situation where rick santorum has gone in the polls from polling around 5% all the way up to 16%. putting him in third place in the latest cnn/"time"/orc poll. so, big changes here and a lot of people say rick santorum is the kind of guy who fits very well, if you will, with the beliefs of evangelical and social conservative voters here
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in iowa. he speaks their language and, so, now, it's not that surprising to see him doing much better in the polls than he has been before. perhaps many other candidates, we do know, have gotten their day in the sun. this may be rick santorum's time. coming just in time for the caucuses. >> and newt gingrich? >> well, newt gingrich just hasn't been doing so well and a lot of people have said, even newt gingrich himself has said this is a reflection of a guy going to the top of the polls then getting hit with a lot of negative advertising from a variety of different people. you know, mitt romney has gone after him, ron paul's gone after him and he has a long history there. he's sort of a ripe target, if you will. >> all right. joe johns live in des moines for us. joe, thank you very much. five days and counting until the caucuses begin. doesn't seem like much time. but in iowa politics, it can be an eternity and a lot can happen
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between now and tuesday night. let's talk about the final push for votes and the latest polls with kiki mcclain. cnn contributor and former george w. bush speech writer david joining us from sunny miami beach this morning. how you got there, we're not going to talk about that. david, i want to start with you because in just about 20 days, we have seen gingrich fall 19 points in the polls to fourth place with 14% of the vote in iowa. you know, gingrich is quick to say all those negative ads got to him, but what he doesn't say is that he doesn't have much of a ground game and he tried to stay positive while everyone is going negative and he is headed into 2012 in debt. was it the perfect storm here, david? >> i think all we're seeing is stop the presses in wiowa. money counts and organization counts. mitt romney has organization.
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that's what you do with money when you have a lot of it. newt gingrich happened to present the target-rich environment for mitt romney's money. ron paul's surge is a reflection of this ability to organize and attack enthusiaenthusiasm and t strange coalition of college students who like the drug legalization and anti-war message but terrible history of having spent most of the past 10, 20 years to the far right american life. i don't think that is a very stable coalition and i think he will pay a price for it later on. >> a lot of people wondering if he has the stamina to hold on in those later contests. meanwhile, you talk about organization, david. kiki, i want to talk about someone else who has great organization in the state of iowa. that's rick santorum. that was reflected in the polls yesterday. he just skyrocketed. one of the most amazing things
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about that poll. third overall in iowa. he told our wolf blitzer yesterday that hard work just pays off. what's interesting, he's first among evangelical voters who make up 60 m% of the iowa vote d 60% of the vote later on. is this a one-time surge or is this a real surge here? >> well, it's a real surge in iowa for the caucuses. rick santorum has an audience and as other candidates begin to fall away, they want to go somewhere. you have to remember little bit of iowa history. remember when the iowa caucuses first became well known to people outside of iowa and that was a guy named jimmy carter who was actually spending the night in people's homes and down ballot kind of candidate that he didn't stay in hotels. there wasn't the budget. he was driving across the state of iowa and that's when iowa caucuses became famous around the rest of the country. rick santorum has been doing a little bit of that. it also demonstrates that mitt romney hits the ceiling at 25 because he continues to give
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unsatisfactory answers to republican primary voters and that's important in two ways. number one, he gives unsatisfactory answers to base voters on issues like whether he's going to put out his taxes and what he will do to actually create jobs and number two it's important because he's not giving a satisfactory answer to independents. >> but meez he's moving up in the polls. >> he moved up but he's holding at 25. you see the real surge coming from santorum and santorum getting all the news coverage. >> so, david, i want to talk a little bit more about romney because, as we saw in the poll, he now has a three-point lead in iowa and a commanding 27-point lead in new hampshire. in the last hour, i was talking about that sort of turtle/heare approach. is that what we're seeing here? >> throughout this race it's been apparent to anyone watching
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television that when you look at the republican debates, you see one president on that stage. one person that could actually do the job. maybe you see a second in jon huntsman, but he's just not connected with republican voters. the rest of these people, they are talk show hosts and book sellers and motivation speakers, they're not presidents. and the american process is designed to find the president and eliminate the nonpresident. so, the interesting news here may be that the process that we thought may be long may turn out to be very quick. if mitt romney wins iowa, then that just removes the oxygen from everybody who is not -- >> you think so? >> all the nonmitt romneys are supposed to do well. >> david, do you think if he wins iowa and goes on to win new hampshire, which he is expected to, it could be game over for a lot of people? maybe he could lock it up after that? >> at that point, somebody would have to run. somebody who is not mitt romney would have to run a very ugly campaign in south carolina.
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coalesce every opponent for mitt romney, including those who oppose him on religious grounds. now, who could that candidate be? the person most likely to have the resources and the chances to do it is ron paul who is so radically unacceptable to the country and ron paul is going to be bumping along in the single digits or low double digits through his race. >> kiki, i want to talk about the undecided here. 43% say they still might change their mind. that's still nearly half. five days to go before the iowa caucuses and still nearly half of the voters are undecided. who will benefit from that? >> that depends on what happens in the next four or five days. i expect santorum to get some of them now from the amount of press he's getting from this. i had the good fortune to work for president and you have to
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remember that -- >> don't forget about huckabee. >> president huckabee. that's just how fluid this race is. those undecideds represent something else. the republicans have that intensity. the republicans are going to be there. obama's team and his supporters don't have intensity. a lack of intensity and i had a republican operative e-mail me yesterday that nobody is talking about those changing rules of the primaries through the rest of the republican process where delegates are going to be awarded differently and more dragged out, even if romney does have two wins in a row and that's really going to continue to push the intensity level down. the one thing president obama had going for him in 2008 was growing intensity all along through those primaries and bringing new participants to the process. that many undecideds doesn't represent the likelihood in the republican caucuses next week. kiki, david, always great to
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talk to you. i'm sure we'll see more of you in the coming days and weeks. this tuesday night, of course, the country's first real votes and the candidate's first true test. special live america's choice 2012 coverage of the iowa caucuses begins at 7::00 p.m. eastern time right here on cnn. and ahead on "american morning," just imagine the line for space mountain. families told that disney land is full. people turned away after the park reaches maximum capacity. what could be the busiest day ever at the happiest place on earth. one unhappy hybrid owner suing honda claiming she was taken for a ride over gas mileage claims. she's here to tell her story and why she's so mad about this. a cranky crocodile versus a lawn mower. whose teeth are tougher? we'll show you. don't want to mess with that. it is 14 minutes past the hour.
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what is it about taking a first step that we find so compelling? is it because taking a step represents hope? or triumph? at genworth, we believe in taking small steps every day to keep your promises, protect what matters, and prepare for a secure financial future. no matter where you want to go, one step at a time is the only way to get there. go to genworth.com/promises.
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this just in to cnn, i-95 in volusia is reopened. a crash involving several tractor trailers and at least one car. orlando sentinel says one person is dead and four others injured. cnn is working to confirm that report, but, again, i-95 in that area now reopen. >> what a mess. meanwhile, wouldn't be the last week of the year if we didn't show you great animal video. this lawn mower never had a chance. check it out. meet elvis the crankiest croc at an australian zoo. he decided to sink his teeth into a mower and drag it into his pool and we're sad to report that the lawn mower did drown. elvis, by the way, he didn't get out of it without a little damage, as well.
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he lost three giant teeth in the batt battle. >> i wouldn't want to be his dentist. reynolds wolf in the extreme weather center with a look at the forecast for the day. hey, reynolds. >> i think that's probably not covered under warranty. >> probably not. >> definitely not covered under warranty. >> salt water. >> that's what you get when you don't put your things away. >> isn't that the truth? keeping in the love with the animal stuff. let's show you incredible video that came out yesterday. we'll show you this beautiful polar bear cub in denmark. this bear has a facebook page and over 20,000 people following it at this time. what a beautiful little guy. you know, in the wild, polar bear cubs will nourish for the first two years and eventually a male polar bear like this will grow to be ten feet in height and weigh around 1,500 pounds and rip your face off. for the time being, it's a beautiful little animal. let's enjoy him while we can.
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>> he's a tiny little thing, reynolds. >> we'll make a shift from polar bear to polar air that is moving into parts of the northeast in new york and boston. wind is strong making some delays there in chicago mainly the rain and in detroit the snow showers. throw in a little bit of rain that might get mixed in with temperatures above the freezing point. in seattle, temps go low clouds and in denver it's going to be an issue with the wind. let's talk more about the northeast. the cold temperatures you're going to get today. high in 32 in albany and when you have that wind, hey, we're talking about single digits and subzero so cool times for you. that cold air is going to remain locked in place for much of the weekend. farther out of the western great lakes. combination of the rain and sleet and chicago back up into wisconsin and farther north you go the colder air is going to be and see the snow stack up and some snow back up towards the rockies may get heavy. northern rockies well over a foot there and into the cascades. plenty of sunshine into the four corners into the desert
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southwest and back into south texas, great for you. going to 67 degrees for your high in dallas and no major delays expected there for today. 57 in kansas city and 46 in chicago and 58 back in atlanta. that's a quick snapshot of your forecast. got it all in. your weather, your travel and the animals. >> you can't get any better than those little animals. that little bear looks more like a baby than a bear. okay, thanks, reynolds wolf. well, disneyland at its max. tens of thousands of holiday travelers flooded the theme park yesterday and it became so crowded the park had to stop selling tickets. >> reporter: they came by the tens of thousands. guests of disney land long need to board the thrill rides and eventually they did get to the rides, but only after a long, long wait. >> for space mountain it is about two hours. >> pirates of the caribbean was pretty rough, about an hour, i'd say. >> so many people came to the
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park, disney stopped selling tickets between 4:30 and 6:30 in the evening forcing guests to hang out with untold number of vacationers flooding anaheim and tens of thousands of people in town for the rose bowl this shut down is becoming an annual occurrence. >> it's frustrating to pay $300 for three people to go into the park and only get to ride three rides. it's $100 per ride almost, you know. so, i would say it wasn't worth it, definitely. >> reporter: on the website, isitpacked.com where people can post real comments, there were these comments. disneyland is not crowded, it's overcrowded. i can't believe they would let that many peepinal to the park. here's another one. been at disneyland since 1:00 and only gone on five rides. it's one packed day. guests like cindy was all smiles at the end of the day. >> this is our third day, it's worth it.
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still long, but worth the wait. >> reporter: how many people does it take to shut down disneyland? that's confidential, but sources tell us the park can hold up to 85,000 people. from anaheim, jay jackson, kcal 9 news. >> if you don't get there by 8:00 in the morning, you're just bringing it on yourself. you have to wait on the lines that are endless. you go early and you leave at a nice time. >> 85,000 people, sounds like a lot of people, but apparently not enough. coming up, a check of the early morning financial markets. what was the most pirated movie of 20 11? we'll tell you. [ male announcer ] the more you lose, the more you lose,
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get zero first month's payment, zero down, zero security deposit and zero due at signing on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com. this was the gulf's best tourism season in years. all because so many people wanted to visit us... in louisiana. they came to see us in florida... nice try, they came to hang out with us in alabama... once folks heard mississippi had the welcome sign out, they couldn't wait to get here. this year was great but next year's gonna be even better. and anyone who knows the gulf knows that winter is primetime fun time. the sun's out and the water's beautiful. you can go deep sea fishing for amberjack, grouper and mackerel. our golf courses are open. our bed and breakfast have special rates. and migrating waterfowl from all over make this a bird watcher's paradise. so if you missed it earlier this year, come on down. if you've already been here come on back... to mississippi... florida... louisiana... alabama. the gulf's america's get-a-way spot no matter where you go. so come on down and help make 2012
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an even better year for tourism on the gulf. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. 26 minutes after the hour. two trading seshzs to go before the end of the year. right now things are looking up on wall street. right now the dow, nasdaq and s&p futures all pointing higher
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after two straight days of selloffs this week. a rebound in the auto industry, according to truecar.com. close to 13 million cars, trucks and suvs were sold in 2011. that's the best performance since 2008. analysts say next year is looking even better. new year, new you. the "wall street journal" says the end of the year is the busiest time for surgeons. the new year isn't the only reason. many patients say they choose this time of year because they have the days off from work to recover. the google plus social network has 60 million users and some analysts say that number could hit 400 million by 2012. right now facebook has 800 million active users. how many people received an e-mail that was sent by mistake informing them they would no longer receive home delivery of the newspaper. i got it, too.
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the "times" says it was an employee error. delaying the launch of its website after it was hacked. the breach resulted in the release of subscriber credit card information. stratfor is working with the fbi and says it will provide its subscribers with a year of free identity protection monitoring. and "fast five" was the most pirated movie of 2011. "hangover 2" was second on the list with 8.8 million downloads. this could be looked at as a victory for hollywood since movie piracy was down from last year and it could also mean the movies were not as good. the delaurean that marty mcfly drove in "back to the future" has just sold for $541,000 at auction. it's one of the actual cars used in all three of the "back to the future" movies. still ahead, just
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incredible. a marine shot three times in a robbery pulls out the bullets with his own hands and tells the story from his hospital bed. that's next. "american morning" is back after this. 01x [ female announcer ] the healing power of touch can be even more powerful, with precise pain relieving heat patch. it blocks pain signals for deep relief precisely where you need it most. precise. only from the makers of tylenol. we get double miles on every purchase.
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syrian cities become war zones. the military firing back at protesters. arab league monitors only making the situation more ugly on this "american morning."
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welcome back to "american morning." your top stories now. a national memorial service for the late korean, north korean leader kim jong-il today. thousands gathered in pyongyang mourning the dictator that died earlier this month. using horns to honor kim jong-il and the regime declaring his son the supreme leader. this is the second and final day of ceremonies. the u.s. navy warning iran not to make good on a threat to block the strait of hormuz. the most important oil shipping artery in the world. iran said it would shut down the strait if the u.s. imposes sa s sanctions on iranian oil exports. experts say a block aid could double the price of oil overnight. bp may soon be hit with criminal charges for the gulf oil spill last april, that's according to "wall street journal." prosecutors are considering charging several bp employees for allegedly providing false
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information to regulators about drilling risks. felony charges could be announced in the coming months. the oil spill considered the worst in u.s. history. 11 workers died in that accident. no comment yet from bp or the department of justice. and rick santorum is surging five days before the iowa caucuses. according to a brand-new cnn/"time"/orc poll. the former pennsylvania senator has jump under to third place in the iowa race, ahead of the sagging newt gingrich. within nine points of the frontrunner, mitt romney. violence is erupting in another syrian city with peace monitors hitting the ground. those monitors for not doing anything as people continue to die. our crew spoke to a syrian activist who tried to lead observers to the real story. our mohammed jamjoom is live in cairo watching all of that for us. mohammed, good morning. >> good morning, alina. if i could direct our viewers'
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attention to this new, remarkable video that is posted online. we can't verify its authenticity but purports to show a syrian activist walking alongside the head of the mission of the arab league, the observers. now, this is supposed to be in homs where there has been so much violence the past few days and you hear the activist really railing against how the arab league hasn't been effective in doing what it needs to be doing so far. here's more of that scene that was captured on videotape. >> translator: let me tell you the situation, just so you know how to work. the problem is not with you as individuals, the problem is with the mission as a whole. you came here on a mission to monitor all aspects of the crackdown. the first aspect should be the end of the killing when you're here in homs and 15 people were killed by the regime, i gained nothing from the observers. yesterday 100,000 people came out to the demonstration in the streets. how can i reach a dialogue when
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there's still blood on the ground? >> translator: i arrived yesterday. how can he expect on what has happened over several months be solved in one day. we will work until we reach a dialogue. >> now, we spoke to this activist who appears on this video by phone. he said that was him in the video. when we asked him about what was going on there in the arab league mission, the people of homs have no faith in the monitors that are there and the people really believe that the regime in syria only let this mission in as a stalling tactic, as a ploy. alina? >> mohammed jamjoom live in cairo, thank you very much. we want to bring you this incredible story. a lot of people are talking about it on twitter. the few, the proud, the marines really are a rare breed. once a marine, always a marine is what they say, right? this marine that served in iraq and afghanistan recovering in
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south florida. he was robbed and shot three times by men who responded to a craigslist ad about his fiance's gold chain. he was chasing down the thieves when one of them opened fire and hit him several times in the chest. he actually pulled the bullets out with his own hands, then he called home. here's how he tells the story. >> i go to iraq and afghanistan multiple times and i haven't been shot or blown up and i'm here at home in florida and here i am riding away in an ambulance with a bunch of gunshot wound. he hit me five times. i have three good punctures. i was pointing out the karat list to him and he said that feels real and just started running. i have been shot, i think three times.
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>> i mean, it's amazing to me how this guy had been shot this many times. i mean, he's superman, you know. he's talking to me just as calmly as i'm sitting here talking to you now. i've been shot three times and my fingers are in the bullet holes and the police are going to take care of the kids. >> just incredible. >> we should mention that him and his fiancee will join us tomorrow from the hospital with more on that incredible story. can't wait for that. >> that's right. hopefully, they'll get those guys. really outrages. you have to wonder why he was selling the piece of jewelry, the fact that he got shot over it. you have to be careful what you do on craigslist. still to come on "american morning," one determined woman going up against a giant automaker in a lawsuit against gas mileage. it is now 38 minutes after the hour. what is that? it's you!
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well, you're looking there at a live picture of los angeles. the sun still has to come up. but it is going up to a high of
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73 degrees. a lot warmer there than it is here. welcome back to "american morning." i'm deb feyerick. well, talk about david taking on goliath. heather peters is suing honda. the california woman is seeking $10,000 from the auto giant in small claims court because ever since she bought her 2006 honda civic hybrid she says she's been spending a lot more on gasoline than she expected. now, heather joins us live from our los angeles bureau this morning and before we beginning, heather, we do want to mention that we did reach out to honda for a comment, but they arefuse because of this pending litigation. what is so interesting, heather, is you bought this car, you expected to get 50 miles per the gallon and then what happened? >> well, you know, they always say mileage may vary and you expect that. but when i bought the car, i never got more than 40 miles per gallon and i just sort of
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accepted that. it was a 20% variance and that was a big deal to me, but i wasn't going to go out and sue over it. but as the time went by it got worse and worse and worse and they did a software update that made it even worse and now i get 28, 29, max. >> the software update was to extend the battery life and also improve the gas mileage and that's not what you found. in essence, by changing the brain of the car, you now have a different car, is that fair? >> yes. the dealership will back me up on that at trial. they will testify that this was designed solely to change the way the car used the battery, to use the battery less, extend the battery life and they did not disclose that it would be a drain on gas mileage. >> so, on some levels, do you feel it was a bait and switch right in the middle. you bought one car, you got another car. why not just try to return the car? >> well, i have. i have, actually. i wrote honda a letter and i
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explained that this was a problem for me and i offered to do any one of three things. they can give me money for it, they could trade my car for a good old-fashioned manual transmission or buy the car back. they never responded. to this day, i have never, ever heard from someone from honda. i got one call from one attorney and that was it. he didn't offer me anything. >> now, heather, there is, you're not the only person. there is a class action lawsuit that is going on right now. you decided to go out on your own. how come? >> yeah, there are actually five class action lawsuits going on and they've all been consolidated. i was in touch with the class action lawyers and they said, well, wait and see. we think we're going to celtal. i waited. and the settlement came out and they're basically offering me $100 to $200 and a coupon towards my next honda, but, thank you, i really don't want another honda. so, i decided that i was going to go it on my own and small
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claims court is very easy to do and i started a website, www.don'tsettlewithhonda.org to show people across the country it's easy to do and at least in california you don't do it without lawyers. they can't bring in their high-price lawyers to drag it out. it's all done with probably 60 days. >> what is it you want honda to do for you? >> well, i'd like them to pick up the phone and call me for first. they have this ostrich approach to the thing. in my opinion, you know, when your best defense is to absolutely ignore someone, you have a real problem. >> all right. have they, have they responded at all about the other litigation that's out there or, no, just basically left you out hanging? >> oh, yeah, they've defended the five-class actions for many, many years and, you know, as a matter of fact, they were actually sued by another person before i bought my car for the same thing. for claiming 50 miles a gallon
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in the brochure and yet they never changed the brochure. when they sold my car, they gave me another brochure that i still kept that has 50 miles per gallon, city and highway. >> all right, heather peters, thank you so much, we really appreciate it. it will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially since the hybrid is such a new car and everybody has to see exactly how it's going to age over time. heather peters suing honda. we appreciate it. again, we do want to mention that we did reach out to honda and they did not respond to our calls. thanks, heather. coming up, your morning headlines are next. plus, lessons about a long ignored slice of american culture or teaching hate. a ruling in arizona that could mean the end of mexican studies in schools. so, why is this happening? we'll tell you. 45 minutes after the hour. n ipa♪ ♪ made sure his credit score did not go bad ♪ ♪ with a free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ app that he had ♪ downloaded it in the himalayas ♪ ♪ while meditating like a true playa ♪
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jumping by 15,000 in the last week to 381,000. that's according to the labor department. have to see how the markets react. they open in about 45 minutes. right now the dow and nasdaq and s&p 500 futures all pointing to a higher opening this morning. could see a bounce at the opening bell. prosecutors may be getting ready for criminal charges for bp employees following the 2010 gulf oil spill. this is according to "wall street journal."
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some workers may have provided false information about drilling risks. 11 people died during the accident. north korea mourning its late leader kim jong-il. the final day of memorial services. the regime used artillry fire and horns to honor the dictatod. violence erupting in another syrian city this morning as peace monitors arrived there. syrian forces reportedly firing on protesters in the city. pushing the arab league monitors on the ground there because the violence has been surging. new this half hour, the war of words escalating further between the u.s. and iran. a senior white house official is blaming iran for the saber rattling. it's the most important oil shipping artery in the world. iran said earlier it would shut
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it down if the u.s. imposes new sanctions on iranian oil exports. rick santorum suddenly surging five days before the iowa caucuses. according to a brand-new cnn/"time"/orc poll he has jumped into third place in the iowa race ahead of newt gingrich and nine points behind the frontrunner, mitt romney. president obama's approval ratings lacking, but according to the new survey. latinos strongly favor the president over any republican candidate with the president topping his closest rivals. mitt romney and rick perry by a margin of better than 2-1. disneyland turning away hundreds of holiday visitors yesterday in california. the park had to stop selling tickets after it hit its maximum capacity. this happened last year, too. some estimate the park can hold 85,000 guests. apparently not enough. that's news you need to know to start your day. "american morning" is back after this.
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and a live shot there of atlanta, georgia. it is clear, 31 degrees, sunny. going up later to a high of 57 degrees. >> ali velshi likes to say, you're not up, you better get up. almost 9:00 in the morning on the east coast. welcome back to "american morning," everybody. nine minutes before the top of the hour. a massive recall of a popular teddy bear to tell you about. the build-a-bear workshop is recalling 300,000 teddy bears.
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the bear's eyes could loosen and fall out and become a choking hazard for kids. so far no injuries reported. the chinese made toys were sold in the u.s. and also in canada. and parents, another warning. a third baby has been reportedly sickened by a rare bacteria that could come from powdered formula. the infant from oklahoma is recovering. bacteria also sickened an illinois infant and killed a missouri boy earlier this month. he was fed enfamil formula but this latest case has not been linked to that brand. an update to a story we told you about, a massachusetts tune is paying $250,000 to the parent of a teenage bullying victim. the parents of phoebe prince have received $225,000 in a settlement with the town of south hadley. 15-year-old phoebe prince committed suicide last year after being relentlessly bullied by her classmates. an arizona judge has ruled
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that a mexican american study program in tucson city high school is illegal. based on a new state law barring courses for racial resentment. the people who wanted the classes gone are the real racist. cnn's rafael romo is live in atlanta with this very racially charged debate. rafael? >> deb, alina, good morning. the bottom line question is this. is the mexican american study teaching valuable kids valuable lessons or insigciting hatred a division. heated protests at meeting of the tucson unified school district. in a previous ruling by state officials, a local judge calls the program "bias, political and emotionally charged." the ruling means in the judge's opinion it violates a law last year but what does the program teach that is so controversial?
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american culture that proponents say and social justice, history and literature. but critics say that promotes hatred among students. in a written state, john hopenthal the school superintendent the state of arizona said in the end made a decision based on the totality and the facts gathered during my investigation, a decision i felt was best for all students in the tucson unified school district. they had appealed a school's decision tom horn to shut down the program. board members remain deeply divided on the issue. some say the law is discriminating against hispanic students who want to learn more about their origins. >> at this point, we will review the direction of the administrative law judge and we believe that we are in compliance of this law. >> i would like to start over with a program that serves more of the 30,000 latino students we
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have in the district and more than 30,000. this has always been a program that has held a small number of students. >> under the law, the state can withhold 10% of its funding for the school district, which is about $15 million a year until the district changes. of course, tucson school superintendent says the school board's lawyers are reviewing the ruling and board members will discuss it at a meeting next week. deb and alina? >> thanks so much. that is an awful lot of money. the state is playing hardball with tucson in order to make them change this particular program. thanks so much, appreciate it. coming up, breaking into cnn, a hostage situation going on in the atlanta area. we'll tell you about that. the island of samoa is going to jump ahead to the future. what is that about? we'll tell you. ♪ that's why we created the share the love event. get a great deal on a new subaru
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and 250 dollars goes to your choice of five charities. ♪ with your help, we can reach 20 million dollars by the end of this, our fourth year. [ female announcer ] get 0 percent apr financing on select models for thirty-six months and we'll donate two-hundred and fifty dollars to your choice of five charities. now through january 3rd. this was the gulf's best tourism season in years. to your choice of five charities. all because so many people wanted to visit us... in louisiana. they came to see us in florida... nice try, they came to hang out with us in alabama... once folks heard mississippi had the welcome sign out, they couldn't wait to get here. this year was great but next year's gonna be even better. and anyone who knows the gulf knows that winter is primetime fun time. the sun's out and the water's beautiful. you can go deep sea fishing for amberjack, grouper and mackerel. our golf courses are open. our bed and breakfast have special rates. and migrating waterfowl from all over make this a bird watcher's paradise. so if you missed it earlier this year, come on down. if you've already been here come on back...
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to mississippi... florida... louisiana... alabama. the gulf's america's get-a-way spot no matter where you go. so come on down and help make 2012 an even better year for tourism on the gulf. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. it's real milk full of calcium and vitamin d. and tastes simply delicious. for those of us with lactose intolerance... lactaid® milk. the original 100% lactose-free milk.
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just before the top of the hour. breaking news out of atlanta that we want to tell you about. looking at a possible hostage situation there. in the buckhead area of atlanta. a s.w.a.t team is apparently on the ground. more than two dozen police officers, some armed with assault rifles and wearing body armor reported to be at the scene. officers say they received a 911 call saying the 19-year-old woman is being held against her will by armed males. right now we're told that officers are trying to make contact with the people inside
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the home. we are watching this breaking story out of atlanta and bring you more on it as more details come in. >> absolutely. new year's eve is just around the corner and later today organizers are going to conduct the annual air worthness test of the confetti because you want it to fall, not just blow into the wind that will be used at times square on saturday night. one ton of confetti ready to go for the big event. anderson cooper and kathy griffin will co-host cnn's new year's eve celebration live from new york's times square. get ready, put on your coats or just turn on the television. cnn correspondents will provide reports from celebrations across the country and around the world. the party starts saturday at 11:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. >> and i'll be speaking to anderson later on on why he chooses to work on new year's eve and what his favorite moments are. we'll brinos

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